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May 16, 2005

CAMP Undergraduate Smith-Kruck Honored At Statewide
Symposium For Research On Abnormal Brain Development In Mice

By Jessica Nager

Nine UCSD undergraduates presented their research at the annual California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (CAMP) Symposium, held recently at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, CA. Among these students, senior Tyheshia Smith-Kruck won a merit in research award in the Biological/Life Sciences division for her oral presentation.

UCSD undergraduate Tyheshia Smith-Kruck, who won a merit award for her research, poses with CAMP Program Coordinator Jacquie Azize-Brewer (on left) and mentor Elizabeth Yoder from UCSD's Radiology Department.

Smith-Kruck’s presentation, entitled “MRI and Volumetric Analysis of a Mouse Model for Abnormal Brain Development,” covered the research she has been conducting through UCSD’s CAMP Program, which -- through interaction with faculty mentors and other activities -- encourages ethnically underrepresented students to pursue graduate degrees and careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.

Smith-Kruck termed the symposium “an enriching experience” that provided an “opportunity to interact with undergraduate researchers from other UC schools.”  Elizabeth Yoder from the UCSD Radiology Department has served as Smith-Kruck’s mentor for the research presented at the conference.

UCSD CAMP Participants at the Symposium: (left to right) Julie Zamarripa, Jessica Pelaez, Jose Borunda, Nick Gastelum, Jacquie Azize-Brewer (CAMP Program Coordinator), Arthur Sandoval, Yvette Valenzuela, Blanca Tapia, Nelson Bravo, Tyheshia Smith-Kruck, and Maria Tobar.

The following is a rundown of other UCSD CAMP students who presented their research at the conference:

In the Symposium’s Physical Sciences and Engineering Division –

  • Nicholas Gastelum: “PRG4 Contributes to a Sacrificial Layer Mechanism of Boundary Lubrication of Articular Cartilage.” Mentor: Dr. Robert Sah, UCSD Bioengineering Department
  • Yonas Alemu: “The Characterization of P-Ge/N-Si Photodetectors for Si-based Nanophotonics, Grown by Low Temperature.” Mentor: Prabhakar Bandaru, UCSD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
  • Nelson Bravo: “Analysis and Manufacture of a Light, One-Legged Jumping Robot.” Mentor: Nathan Delson, UCSD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
  • Jessica Palaez: “The Effect of Unbalanced Brace Force on Laterally Loaded Concentrically Braced Frame Beams.” Mentor: Chia-Ming Uang, UCSD Structural Engineering Department
  • Jose Borunda: “Studies of Tape Edge Wear.” Mentor: Frank Talke, UCSD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department

In the Biological and Life Sciences Division –

  • Blanca Tapia: “Studies on Regulation of Expression of IGFBP-5 in Osteoblasts in vitro.” Mentor: Subburaman Mohan, Musculoskeletal Diseases Center, J.L. Pettis VA Medical Center and Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Physiology, Loma Linda University
  • Maria Tobar: “The Effects of Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors on Cytokine Balance.” Mentor: Dr. Raul Coimbra, UCSD School of Medicine Surgery Department
  • Yvette Valenzuela: “A Novel Cell Culture Model for Reactive Gliosis.” Mentor: Gabriel Silva, UCSD Bioengineering Department

UCSD was also represented by judges and student observers: J. Enrique Cometto-Muñiz, Department of Surgery, and Elizabeth Yoder, Department of Radiology presided as judges for the CAMP Symposium while freshman Arthur Sandoval and junior Julie Zamarripa attended the symposium as observers.

The CAMP Statewide Undergraduate Research Symposium is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of California, and the UC Regents. CAMP is one of approximately 30 Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation programs funded by NSF in the United States and Puerto Rico.

For more information on the program at UCSD, visit the AEP website at or contact Dr. Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, CAMP Regional Coordinator.

Media Contact: Jessica Nager

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