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Inhibitors for Malate Dehydrogenase
Dawn Marin, Gaston College
The goal of this CURE is to design, synthesize and test inhibitors of Malate Dehydrogenase. Students will study the structure of the enzyme and propose possible inhibitors that could form intermolecular bonds with the enzyme. Students will choose potential inhibitor molecules that can be purchased or easily synthesized and purified. The binding of inhibitors will be screened using computational docking calculations. Successful Inhibitors will be tested using enzymatic assays.

Discipline: Chemistry, Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Non-major, Introductory
CURE Duration: A few class periods

Phage Investigations
Sonia Singhal, Johnson C Smith University
Bacteriophages -- viruses that infect bacteria, or "phages" for short -- are the most abundant organism on the planet. We can harness them to fight diseases, restore environmental functions, and search for new genes. However, we only know about a tiny fraction of all the bacteriophages that exist. In this lab-based course, students will participate in hands-on research by isolating and characterizing their own bacteriophages from the environment.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Microbiology, Ecology
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Field Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Microbial Community Diversity and Interactions
Rachel Bleich, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Discipline: Life Sciences, Microbiology
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Drosophila as a Model Organism for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Rick Topinka, American River College
There is concern that chemical exposure may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as autism. Drosophila (fruit fly) is a model system for NDDs and flies with mutations in genes homologous to known human autism-risk genes exhibit behavioral abnormalities. As part of the course-based undergraduate research experience in this biology class we will be exposing developing flies to environmental toxins and measuring one aspect of their behavior, either mating behavior or grooming behavior. In addition, we will be investigating whether neural development is impaired in these flies using dissection and fluorescent labeling of particular brain structures.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Anatomy and Physiology, Ecology, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: California
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: Half a term

Stress and Social Behavior in Cichlid Fish
Edmund Rodgers, Georgia State University
Social bonds are critical to the success of all social animals. However, these relationships are not static: they change over the course of an animal's life experience due to a variety of factors. This CURE is primarily interested in the interconnection between stressful experiences and social bonds. To explore this relationship the lab uses the highly social convict cichlid fish, which exhibit a variety of different types of social bonds: they are monogamous, bi-parental, as well as forming social shoals when not breeding. Students will perform animal husbandry, design experiments, and perform those experimental protocols in small groups. They will then present their findings at a University Research Conference. Over the duration of the course, students receive training in animal care, behavioral quantification, hormone sampling and EIA assay performance, data analysis, literature critique, scientific writing, and oral presentation.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Zoology, Evolution
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Georgia
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Generic Arthropod Behavioral Syndromes CURE
Donna McDermott, Emory University
Behavioral syndromes research can be done with many students and few expensive materials. This field is fairly recent, so much of this research begins with descriptive observational studies where researchers identify behavioral types in a study system of interest. An animal exhibits a behavioral type if their behavior is consistent through time and ecological context, but differs from other individuals of their species. For example, a spider might consistently behave aggressively while hunting, finding mates, and avoiding predators as opposed to another conspecific spider which behaves with relative docility in all of those contexts. In this example, the behavioral types present in the population are aggressive and docile. In this CURE, students perform an observational study followed by an experiment. In the observational study, students will devise an assay used to investigate whether or not their study species displays multiple "types" of one behavior (e.g. boldness, aggression, exploration, sociability, activity level.) In the experiment, students investigate the role of developmental factors on those behavioral types OR the fitness outcomes of those behavioral types in different ecological contexts.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Ecology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Georgia
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Assessing antibiotic resistance in E. coli isolates from environmental samples in urban Atlanta
Mauricio Lascano, American Intercontinental University

Discipline: Life Sciences, Microbiology
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Georgia
Target Audience: Major, Non-major

Invertebrate Biology
Michael Sitvarin, Georgia State University
In this course, students will collaborate with Dr. Michael Sitvarin to understand the behavioral decisions made by various arthropods, with an emphasis on spiders. Questions that could be explored include, "How do individuals choose their mates?", "How do predators find prey to consume?", and "How do prey avoid being eaten by their predators?". Students will gain experience working with arthropods as well as practice with experimental design, data collection and analysis, and scientific communication. This CURE will allow students to carry out the entire scientific process and will prepare them for future careers in STEM fields.

Discipline: Life Sciences, Zoology
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
State: Georgia
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Analyzing datasets in crime and policing teach the nature and process of science
Michael Watson, Fisk University

Discipline: Statistics, Social Sciences:Sociology
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Applied Research, Informatics/Computational Research
State: Tennessee
Target Audience: Non-major, Introductory
CURE Duration: A full term

Bioenergy Materials for Renewable Energy: A Theoretical and Experimental Approach
Jalaal Hayes, Delaware State University
This course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) will focus on the topic of biomass energy.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Energy, Sustainability, Chemistry:Physical Chemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data
CURE Duration: Half a term