Davidson Fellows - Class of 2012

2012 Davidson Fellow Laureates

$50,000 Scholarship Recipients

  David Ding
Albany, CA
Category: Mathematics
Project Title: “Infinitesimal Cherednik Algebras of gl_n.”
  Manoj Kanagaraj
Chino Hills, CA
Category: Science
Project Title: “A Novel Mechanism for HER2 Targeted Drug Resistance: The Role of t-DARPP in a Compensatory Signaling Shift Between the EGFR and HER2 Pathways"
David (Fengning) Ding studied infinitesimal Cherednik algebras which are deformations of a certain symmetry algebra. This could shed light on how a deformation could change the well-understood representation theory, and prove useful in describing the symmetries of mysterious phenomena such as super-symmetry. More >   Manoj Kanagaraj developed a model identifying how the protein t-DARPP confers drug resistance to HER2-targeted breast cancer drugs such as Herceptin, by activating an alternate signaling pathway to sustain tumor cell survival. Approximately 50-70% of HER2 breast cancer tumors become resistant to Herceptin within a year. More >

  Sara Volz
Colorado Springs, CO
Category: Science
Project Title: “Enhancing Algae Biofuels: Investigation of the Environmental and Enzymatic Factors Effecting Algal Lipid Synthesis”
  Michael Yan
Pepper Pike, OH
Category: Science
Project Title: “Genetic Mutation of LRRK2 Causes Autosomal Parkinson’s Disease by Disrupting Mitochondrial Dynamics"
Sara Volz sought to increase the oil produced by algae to make algae-derived biofuels more feasible. Her work focused on developing algae as an effective oil source for biodiesel, by finding and characterizing ways to stimulate algal oil production through environmental and genetic means. More >   Michael Yan found that mutations in LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) cause Parkinson’s disease by physically interacting with DLP1 (dynamin-like protein 1), a protein that promotes mitochondrial fission, thereby causing excessive fragmentation. Identification of this biomechanism provides a therapeutic target to curing Parkinson’s disease pathology. More >

2012 Davidson Fellows

$25,000 Scholarship Recipients

  Nathan Chan
Burlingame, CA
Category: Music
Project Title: “The Importance of Passion”
  Ashley George
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Category: Science
Project Title: “Creating a Framework for a Flexible, Biodegradable, and Biocompatible Gelatin-Chitosan Biosensor"
Nathan Chan created a cello portfolio that is a commentary on what it means to be successful and how one finds success. As a musician who has thrived through the passion and love of his craft, Nathan believes that the pursuit of one’s passion is a key factor in finding success in life. More >   Ashley George created a flexible, biocompatible and biodegradable gelatin-chitosan gel substrate suitable for a low toxicity, bio-friendly biosensor. Biosensing is critical to all areas of scientific research but has been hindered by the lack of a low toxicity, biodegradable substrate. More >

  Philip Cody He
Okemos, MI
Category: Science
Project Title: “A Novel Role of an Actin Capping Protein in Plant Immune Signaling”
  Duligur Ibeling
Osseo, MN
Category: Science
Project Title: “The Metallicity-Dependent Transition between White Dwarfs and Type II Supernovae"
Philip Cody He focused on how intracellular signaling in plants works to produce an effective immune response against bacterial pathogens. Arabidopsis thaliana Capping Protein is the first actin binding protein that has been shown to be required for the expression of an immune protein in plants. More >   Duligur Ibeling determined the mass boundary between a star becoming a supernovae or white dwarf based on the star’s initial condition, thus improving understanding of supernovae which produce most of the heavy elements, including those necessary for life. More >

  Ryota Ishizuka
Cos Cob, CT
Category: Science
Project Title: “Optimization of a Microbial Fuel Cell to Drive a Bioelectrochemically Assisted Wastewater Treatment”
  Nina Lu
Rockville, MD
Category: Science
Project Title: “Determination of Binding Energy Hotspots on a Broadly-Neutralizing Antibody against HIV-1"
Ryota Ishizuka fabricated a novel dual hydrogen production and water purification device using wastewater as its sole fuel source. His device continuously generates renewable energy and eliminates 95% of organic pollutants in the wastewater, paralleling traditional wastewater treatment plants. More >   Nina Lu researched the atomic-level interaction between HIV and the broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 by identifying nine key amino acids that contribute to VRC01’s ability to potently bind to 91% of circulating HIV strains. This research will inform potent next-generation anti-HIV therapeutics and vaccine. More >

  Naomi Shah
Portland, OR
Category: Science
Project Title: “An Experimental Study of the Impact of Airborne Pollutants on the Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) Rate of Asthmatic Subjects PLUS A Novel Risk Assessment Model to Predict the Adverse Effect of PM10 and TVOCs on the PEF Rate of Asthmatic Patients”
  Lijia Xie
Lansdale, PA
Category: Science
Project Title: “Location Matters—Specificity of the Methylated RASSF1A Gene as a Biomarker for the Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinomas"
Naomi Shah determined the relationship between indoor pollution and the lung health of asthmatic patients, and developed a mathematical model for more targeted treatment. She also developed a biofilter that removes pollutants before they enter indoor space where we spend over 90% of our time. More >   Lijia Xie investigated a tumor suppressor gene and its usefulness as a biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer. He then developed a test that is able to detect and differentiate cancerous and noncancerous tissue with greater sensitivity than current methods. More >

$10,000 Scholarship Recipients

  Saumil Bandyopadhyay
Glen Allen, VA
Category: Science
Project Title: “A Novel Frequency-Selective Detector of Light and ß Radiation Implemented with Self-Assembled Quantum Wires: An Application of Quantum-Mechanical Wavefunction and Density-of-States Engineering”
  Alexander Chen
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Category: Science
Project Title: “A Maximum Power Point Tracking Hardware with an Improved Hill Climbing Algorithm"
Saumil Bandyopadhyay invented a universal photon and particle detector built with semiconductor nanowires that detects the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as single beta-radiation particles. His research has applications in mine detection, car collision avoidance systems, astronomy, homeland security, and cancer treatment. More >   Alexander Chen developed and implemented a computing algorithm in a microcontroller to automatically optimize the operating voltage of a photovoltaic panel to track changes in sunlight intensity and ambient temperature. More >

  Sitan Chen
Suwanee, GA
Category: Mathematics
Project Title: “On the Rank Number of Grid Graphs”
  Ioana Grosu
Troy, MI
Category: Philosophy
Project Title: “Consciousness and the Hard Problem: Discovering the Mind"
Sitan Chen studied grid graphs, a class of graphs linked to circuit design, and found formulas for unknown rank numbers. His results show how to design smaller, more cost-effective circuits, how to optimize searching for data corruptions in computers, and assembling complex products using parallel computing. More >   Ioana Grosu investigated emergent dualism”, which considers that consciousness is an emergent property, arising from a sufficiently complex system. Her findings contribute to a better understanding of consciousness and have implications in fields ranging from medicine to artificial intelligence. More >

  Xiaoyu He
Acton, MA
Category: Mathematics
Project Title: “On the Classification of Universal Rotor-Routers”
  Bryan He
Buffalo, NY
Category: Technology
Project Title: “A Simple Optimal Binary Representation of Mosaic Floorplans and Baxter Permutations"
Xiaoyu He studied the rotor-router model which simulates random, unpredictable behavior in networks with periodic, predictable behavior. He focused on the question of which rotor building blocks could build every type of rotor-router network and found that certain rotors, because of their symmetries, cannot build everything, but proved that most of the other, asymmetric ones can. More >   Bryan He designed an optimal binary representation of mosaic floorplans used in the process of creating layout designs during very-large-scale integration. This compact coding of mosaic floorplans allows more efficient floorplan algorithms to be created. More >

  Kamden Hilliard
Mililani, HI
Category: Literature
Project Title: “Reflections on Everything
There Ever Was”
  Ian McKeachie
Reno, NV
Category: Literature
Project Title: “ Attitudes of Existence"
Kamden Hilliard wrote a portfolio of work that not only explored the concept of completeness, but personal completeness. He explored mental illness and other marquee issues while respecting the entirety of human experience attempting to touch the corners of humanity. More >   Ian McKeachie examined humanity’s relationship with death. Death is not present in literature to make life seem nobler, he argues, but to make the reader uncomfortable. This discomfort turns the reader’s attention inward, and forces people to reconsider their attitudes towards their own existence. More >

  Vaishnavi Rao
San Diego, CA
Category: Science
Project Title: “Activity-dependent Regulation of Nitric Oxide Expression: Novel Form of Neurotransmitter Plasticity”
  Anand Srinivasan
Roswell, GA
Category: Technology
Project Title: “"Doc Ock" - Development of Novel Filtration Techniques to Facilitate Accurate Pattern Detection in EEG Signals"
Vaishnavi Rao examined the plasticity of gaseous neurotransmitter nitric oxide, which is involved in regulation of vital body functions. By altering electrical activity she induced neurotransmitter plasticity in the form of nitric oxide regulation. This approach shows potential for non-invasive treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and stroke. More >   Anand Srinivasan designed a filtration algorithm that allows, on average, 15% more accurate pattern classification in electrical signals produced by the brain, with applications in brain-computer interfaces, and speech recognition and data transmission. More >


2012 Davidson Fellows Honorable Mentions

Miss Angelica Modabber
New York, NY
A Gathering of Moments

Mr. Mitchell Lee
Oakton, VA
A Counterexample to a Correlation Inequality

Miss Kimberly Hou
Arlington, VA
Realizing the World's Love for Classical Music
Miss Ariel Kent
San Francisco, CA
Raising Awareness of Dyslexia Through Music
Miss JiEun Lee 
New York, NY
La Vie en Musique: Living My Life for Music

Miss Min Joo Yi
Bellevue, WA
Healing Lives through Music

Miss Rebecca Alford
Commack, NY
The Membrane Mutational Effect Classifier (MMEC): A Novel Structure Based Approach to Predicting the Functional Effects of Mutations in Membrane Proteins

Mr. Felix Angelov
Skokie, IL
Investigating the Effects of Butyryl-L-Homocysteine Thiolactone and Homoserine Lactone Octadecanoyl-L on Quorum Sensing in Vibrio Harveyi as Expressed Through the Presence/Absence of Luminescence

Mr. Ben Bartlett
Lexington, SC
Unidirectionalization of Particulate Distributions in Isotropic D+D He3+n Reactions Utilizing Differential Ion Velocities

Miss Sarah Chapin
New Hyde Park, NY
Computer Aided Drug Discovery: Structure-Based Design and Evaluation of Small Molecule Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors
     __   Science (cont.) 
Miss Maria Grimmett
Jupiter, FL
Sulfamethazine Removal from Aqueous Solution using Purolite Hypercrosslinked Adsorbents

Mr. Jack Huang
Allentown, PA
From Dusk to Dawn: Contact Lenses in the Night Tear Proteome

Mr. Yinan Kang
Collegeville, PA
New Mathematical and Computerized Methods for the Structural Elucidation of Bioactive Steroids

Mr. Nathan Kondamuri
Dyer, IN
A Novel Biofuel Cell Incorporating Photosynthesis to Efficiently Create Sustainable Electrical Energy

Mr. Rahul Mukherjee
Rochester, MN
Restoration Of The Great Lakes: A Genetic Study On Zebra And Quagga Mussels To Unfold The Mystery Of Calcium Based (Ca2+) Invasion And Its Survival

Miss Katherine Picchione
Albany, NY
Production of Biogas Energy: Design of a Safe Anaerobic Digestion and Gas Compression System to Create Energy from Organic Waste and Food Waste Via Methanogenic Processes

Miss Sofia Rafikova
Evans, GA
Measuring Amount of Detergent in Bodies of Water Near Big and Small Cities

Miss Sulekha Ramayya
Palos Verdes, CA
Increasing the Efficiency of Energy Extraction from Landfill Gas

Mr. Arjun Balasingam
San Jose, CA
Minimizing the Variability-Induced Power Overhead in Nanoscale SRAMs: Redundancy and Resiliency for Extremely Energy-Constrained Computing

Mr. Andrew Feldman
Freehold, NJ
Acoustic Imaging Using Optimized Beamforming Techniques

2012 Davidson Fellows Press Kit
Video - 2012 Davidson Fellows Reception (YouTube)
National News Release 
Davidson Fellows' Positive Contributions to Society

For more information, visit the Fellows Press Room.

NEXT - 2013 Davidson Fellows

PREVIOUS - 2011 Davidson Fellows

Back to Davidson Fellows Home

Email this Page Email this Page