Senior Research

Sabrina Lee - "Une paire de pigeons: La découverte du côté biblique des Rêveries de la femme sauvage" and  "The Body Speaks: Lady Gaga and a Battle Between Écriture Féminine and Objectification"

During my junior year, I completed a French honors project entitled "Une paire de pigeons: La découverte du côté biblique des Rêveries de la femme sauvage." (A pair of pigeons: The discovery of the biblical side of Les Rêveries de la femme sauvage) For this project, I read Hélène Cixous's autobiographical work Les Rêveries de la femme sauvage and analyzed the biblical allusions found throughout the text.

During my senior year, I completed an English honors project entitled "The Body Speaks: Lady Gaga and a Battle Between Écriture Féminine and Objectification". For this project, I examined the relationship between objectification and Hélène Cixous's theory of écriture féminine (feminine writing) in Lady Gaga's music videos "Bad Romance" and "Yoü and I." I also made this project digital, and it can be found at: https://gagathesis.wordpress.com/

Ryan Martinie - Discovery, Detection, and Formation of Crosslinked Protein Cofactors

My thesis topic concerns the molecular details of how enzymes function in living cells. Particularly, my research has investigated the role of covalent crosslinking between two amino acids: tyrosine and cysteine (Tyr-Cys). I employed a bioinformatics methodology to identify proteins in which a Tyr-Cys crosslink could form. Experimental validation of one of these candidates, a protein of unknown function called BF4112, resulted in the discovery of the fifth known Tyr-Cys crosslink containing protein. Subsequent work has utilized BF4112 as a platform for exploring the mechanism of crosslink formation and for the development of methods for detecting Tyr-Cys crosslinks.


I could make an even less technical version, but it would not explain what I actually did. 

 

Larissa Osterbaan

Last summer, I did a research internship in Cornell's department of plant pathology and plant microbe biology. My project focused on finding a gene responsible for plant resistance to a virus called grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV), a commercially important pathogen in the wine and grape industry due to the damages it causes to grapevines. The gene I worked with is called eIF4E. Using Nicotiana species (i.e. tobacco and its relatives) as a model system, I looked for a genetic mutation that correlated with virus resistance. Though I did find a small mutation that seemed to correlate with resistance, other experiments failed to confirm the relationship, leading us to hypothesize a more complex mechanism of virus resistance than previously proposed.