CLOSEDNot taking new members

Methods in Scientific Inquiry

Student projects are focused on three areas: Clean water, Clean energy, Quality education.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology

Projects assigned are related to the UNSDG's.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Environmental Chemistry

Projects pertaining to specific UNSDG's are presented through the course.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Engineering

Students choose from among the UN SDGs to apply their second quarter project.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Microbes and Disease

This course focuses on the role microbes play in human health and disease.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Physiology and Disease

Physiology and Disease reviews the role of organ systems in the pathology of human diseases

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Scientific Inquires - Physics

Class projects will be focused on the UN SDG's

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Scientific Inquiries - Biology

Class projects will be focusing on three areas of the UN SDG's

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Moving and Learning - Wellness

The wellness team promotes and helps students live a healthy active lifestyle through all our courses, as well as during open swim and fitness center

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Wellness Electives

or all Wellness courses, our final writing assignment discusses how the students will continue to learn throughout their IMSA career and beyond.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Gender Studies

The course embraces gender equity through readings, discussions and presentations.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

African American Studies

The course works to historically contextualize the history of inequality in America

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Green Apple Day of Service

Green Apple is a global movement to encourage students to serve eco-friendly initiatives in their community.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Girls IN2 STEM

Girls IN2 STEM is a pipeline mentor matching program which pairs girls in grades 6-12 with Women in STEM.

OPENTaking new members

TALENT

Experience entrepreneurial thinking from ideation to investment

CLOSEDNot taking new members

eleMENT

eleMENT introduces IMSA sophomores to Lean Startup methods as a first step in entrepreneurship

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Teen Stem Café

STEM talks and events designed by teens for teens in grades 7-12.

OPENTaking new members

Phocus

OPENTaking new members

KODE.IO

OPENTaking new members

June's Learning Laboratory

OPENTaking new members

Adaptive Sailboat Control System

CLOSEDNot taking new members

SchoolBoard

SchoolBoard is a service that enhances the productivity of teacher - student communication by providing a platform for meaningful inquiry

OPENTaking new members

IMSA Kenya Project

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Concussion Technology Team (CTT)

OPENTaking new members

ShINeIN2STEM

OPENTaking new members

Flameless

Flameless is a device implemented in the range hood above a stove that utilizes low-frequency sound waves to extinguish cooking fires.

OPENTaking new members

Crystoil

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Eximius distributed supercomputer

A distributed multi-platform metaplatform enabling highly parallelizable computation initiated from any connected computational device any user.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Extracting environmental energy

We are developing a technology that pulls useful energy out of the air.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Floating Wind Turbine

A working wind turbine based on a magnetically levitating axle.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

IMSA CMS

This research group works with Fermilab to conduct a student-run analysis of particle physics data.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Student Inquiry and Research (SIR)

Testing the effects of phenol, a common environmental pollutant on the health of Drosophila melanogater.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

A Water Filter for Families in the Devolping World

We seek to develop a silver-based ceramic water filter that kills 99% of bacteria, produces 40 L per day, and costs less than 20 USD annually.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

STEM Motivation in URP Students

This study examines URP students who are engaged in STEM to understand their motivation to diversify STEM education and careers.

CLOSEDNot taking new members

Understanding role of normal MLL in cancer

Create mutation in the MLL gene to knockout its expression in a breast cancer cell line using CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Methods in Scientific Inquiry

The projects are part of the MSI's curriculum taken by all Sophomore students at IMSA.

Led By

D. Dosch

D. Devol

S. Anjur

J. Golab

S. O'Leary-Driscoll

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Don Dosch 

David Devol

Sowmya Anjur

Joe Golab

Sarah O'Leary-Driscoll

Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology

In EBE we discuss life on land and below water extensively in several ways. First through student presentations on different historical epochs in Earth’s history and the geographical, geological, meteorological, climate related, and biodiversity based characteristics within each time period. We also cover how biodiversity has changed on both land and below water in our Evolution focused unit, in which students do simulations on mutations, natural selection, and the founder effect, and read about ongoing research into effects of variables such as genetic diversity and chromosome rearrangement on the rates of speciation. Towards the end of the course, we also read the book Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson, which is a work of fiction that focuses on real historical (1990s) issues related to the pollution and health issues in Boston due to the poor water quality in the harbor. This not only helps them learn more in regards to life below water, but also give context into responsible consumption and production. This UN goal is repeated, along with Climate action, in our final project, where students select a topic that has current relevance to global ecology (climate, oil transportation, pesticide use, etc) and complete a two part project, with a poster focusing on the scientific aspects for part one, and a paper addressing the social, governmental, industrial and technological context of their topic.

Led By

S. O'Leary-Driscoll

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Sarah O'Leary-Driscoll 

Environmental Chemistry

Life Below Water - Students study the effects of different water pollutants on the heart rates of Daphnia (small planktonic crustaceans). Life on Land - Students study the effects of different air pollutants on miniature environments containing living plants. Affordable and Clean Energy - Students make and characterize different biodiesel fuels. Climate Action - Students give presentations on global climate change.

Led By

A. Ahrendt

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Angela Ahrendt 

Engineering

Toward the end of the first quarter, students brainstorm and research the 17 UN SDGs and project ideas, which are presented to their peers. Students rate their interests and several projects and groups are selected. Students pursue these projects for about the last 6 weeks of the semester. During this time, they meet with IN2 staff to strengthen the connection between their prototypes and the target end user based upon the SDG’s they sought to address. At completion, students present their prototypes to their peers and evaluating adults. A significant portion of the project assessment reflects the degree to which the prototype enhances the chosen SDG’s.

Led By

J. Thurmond

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

John Thurmond 

Microbes and Disease

The molecular biology that the students learn is put into practice building a model of the cell cycle regulatory pathway. This pathway allows students to transfer their understanding of the cell cycle to the study of cancer pathways and tumor formation in the body. We focus heavily on different hallmarks of cancer as a disease, and how those hallmarks influence the recovery and mortality rates of patients. The diversity of both the cancers themselves, and how they affect diverse individuals also lend context to the topic. This work has clear and obvious connections to health and well being. Another way that we focus on this particular goal is by drawing connections between molecular pathways and gene regulatory systems (such as epigenetics) and different issues such as developmental diseases and mental health, and address scientific realities related to some common misconceptions within these areas.

Led By

C. Randall

D. Dosch

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Crystal Randall 

Don Dosch

Physiology and Disease

Students learn about the hierarchy of cells to organ systems to organism, with a focus on changes in homeostasis, causing diseases. Students transfer their knowledge of cellular structure and function to the pathology of disease. The course content has clear connections to health and well being. Diversity in organ systems and the effect of lifestyle and environment on organ systems through the centuries is also a main focus. Students model their understanding by constructing heart models and measuring their exercise parameters to emphasize the connections and interrelationships between theory and practice of health and well being.

Led By

S. Anjur

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Sowmya Anjur 

Scientific Inquires - Physics

The students research a scientist that belongs to a group that is underrepresented in their field and share their research with the class. One group that is largely underrepresented in physics is women.

Led By

B. Schmidt

M. Carlson

E. Hawker

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Brooke Schmidt 

Mark Carlson

Eric Hawker

Scientific Inquiries - Biology

Student projects are focused on three areas: Clean water, Clean energy, Quality education. In time, we hope to focus the projects more specifically on specific projects related to these SDGs.

Led By

C. Randall

D. Dosch

S. Anjur

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Crystal Randall 

Don Dosch

Sowmya Anjur

Moving and Learning - Wellness

During the student’s sophomore year in Moving and Learning through the elective of their choice, we connect the content to the dimensions of wellness. The six dimensions are: physical (sleep/stress/nutrition/health and skill related components of physical fitness), environment (clean surroundings), social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. During the nutrition unit in Moving and Learning, we discuss food safety and the cultural significance to food. How to obtain high quality ingredients that can be sustained. How food can promote a safe and healthy life.

Led By

M. Meyers

D. Lundgren

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Mary Meyers 

Dave Lundgren

Wellness Electives

Our curriculum is designed for all students, regardless of gender and identification. Students leave the wellness courses and spaces with a better understanding of health as the wellness team seeks to educate students to become health literate leaders in their respective fields.

Led By

M. Meyers

D. Lundgren

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Mary Meyers 

Dave Lundgren

Gender Studies

This course considers gender as a social construction – i.e., a set of sex-appropriate identities and behaviors that are created and changed by societies over time – and places this theory in conversation with competing essentialist explanations. Students will examine some particular debates (e.g., the underrepresentation of women in high-level STEM fields, the sexual double standard, the intersection of gender and race, issues of gender identification and identity) for how they showcase these dual explanations of gender among other questions. Students will also examine cultural nodes that illuminate the context of this debate, including politics, cinematic and media representations of thesexes, gender and finance, and questions of language use. The course catalyzes meaningful debate and calls on students to come to the course with an open mind, examine evidence, and think through their beliefs.

Led By

L. Kind

E. Micklo

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Leah Kind 

Erin Micklo

African American Studies

This interdisciplinary course presents a survey of major voices in African American history and literature, from slavery to the present. Combining class sections of History and English, students will explore themes like identity, equality, and freedom while examining the contributions of the black community to American literature and history

Led By

A. Kotlarczyk

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Adam Kotlarczyk 

Green Apple Day of Service

Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform their community into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service events.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Betty Hart 

Members/Collaborators

Club Terra, ComEd

Girls IN2 STEM

Girls IN2 STEM is a pipeline mentor matching program which pairs girls in grades 6-12 with Women in STEM studies or careers. Girls IN2 STEM is also a leadership and mentor training program for high school girls; high school students learn how to facilitate STEM activities with the guidance of STEM Champions (Women in STEM). During monthly FunShops, high school students and Women in STEM meetup with middle school students for 3-hour themed events in February (Science), March (Technology) and April (Engineering and Math). The goal of our program is to encourage girls to pursue STEM studies and careers and nurture long-lasting relationships.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Betty Hart 

Members/Collaborators

wiSTEM, Girls Who Code, Million Women Mentors

TALENT

TALENT helps students find problems, create and test solutions, form teams, develop business models and, ultimately, operational business entities

Led By

C. Heine

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Carl Heine 

Members/Collaborators

TALENT members

eleMENT

Lean Startup methods help companies build, test and refine products and services with minimum investment of time and money. IMSA sophomores are introduced to this type of thinking as a first step in entrepreneurship.

Led By

A. Karuturi

C. Hultquist

H. Welch

M. Mazzorana

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Carl Heine 

Teen Stem Café

The Teen STEM Café is a partnership program between local middle and high schools, Northern Illinois University and IN2@IMSA. Teens plan special events where industry experts from around the region visit IN2@IMSA to talk with local teens about their research and experience out in the field. Gain leadership experience, network with hundreds of other teens and STEM experts from around the region, learn about potential careers in STEM fields, collaborate in a team environment, and expand your knowledge of cutting-edge STEM subjects. Sponsored by Caterpillar.

Led By

J. Dymond

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Betty Hart 

Members/Collaborators

Teen STEM Board

Phocus

Phones are a classroom distraction that shifts students’ focus away from the lessons taught in class. In turn, there is a decrease in the quality of their educational experience, which will impact their future as they apply for colleges and jobs. To ensure students are not setting themselves up for failure, we devised an idea for an app: Phocus. This app is an OS launcher that requires students to sign into their phones, which changes the phone interface and only displays educational resources. Teachers are notified if students leave the app, making sure students don't use their phones irresponsibly.

Led By

M. Selvaraj

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Carl Heine 

KODE.IO

Our project aims to provide quality computer science education to underrepresented students in the Chicago land area. Our goal is to spark long term interest in computer science among the students.

Led By

C. Rhodes

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

4.3: "By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university"

10.2: "By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status"

10.3: "Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard"

Driver/Champion

Adrienne Coleman 

June's Learning Laboratory

June’s Learning Laboratory is our first step to creating a better world by advocating for a more culturally accepting society that appreciates everyone regardless of our abilities. Our innovative curriculum encourages cultural competency in high schools worldwide, We also work to build and design free 3D printed prosthetics for any child who needs a helping hand. We believe “lending a helping hand” to kids will make a profound impact and better ourselves in the process.

Led By

H. Harvard

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

David Lundgren 

Adaptive Sailboat Control System

Develop a system of controls that allow quadriplegics to steer and adjust sails on a sailboat. System will limit required movement to above the shoulders, be easy to set up and require a minimum of training.

Led By

S. Heronemus

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Erik Swanson 

SchoolBoard

SchoolBoard is a service that enhances the productivity of teachers and learning experiences of the students by creating a platform for meaningful inquiry. Students will be able to ask questions in a public manner outside of class while also having the benefits of teacher response. The goal of this service is to increase academic activity through ease of informational flow between students and teachers.

Led By

S. Anozie

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Namrata Pandya 

Members/Collaborators

A. Walia, M. A. Tenedor

IMSA Kenya Project

Inspired by Joseph Opiyo of Kisumu Kenya and the LEAD SocEnt curriculum, groups of students formed a second SocEnt project in support of the impoverished people in Joseph's community. This project combines all of these into one larger project so that they can partner as needed to bring their concepts closer to reality. The project areas are: (1) Spirilina algae growth for a sustainable food source; (2) Creating a Web-based market place to sell Kenya crafts thus supporting their creators; (3) Curriculum development and delivery for assisting Kenya students who wish to pass their KCPE tests (to get into high school) and those who want to learn about business and startups; (4) Curriculum and instruments for teaching music to Kenya students; (5) provide a library for Kenya students using cast-off books collected in the US.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Jim Gerry 

Concussion Technology Team (CTT)

Led By

M. Mufti

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Britta McKenna 

ShINeIN2STEM

We hope to establish a program allowing students with autism to further their interests in STEM. It is hard to find jobs that align with their interests, so their exposure to STEM is important because studies show that areas of the Autistic brain are programmed to respond better to STEM.

Led By

J. Lee

B. Jasthi

E. Yoon

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Anita White 

Flameless

In the U.S., residential cooking fires account for approximately 170,000 fires annually. This results in 6,000 casualties and $1.1 billion lost in property damage every single year. These are primarily grease-based fires; spraying water on the fire (which is many people’s initial reaction) inadvertently makes the problem worse and is therefore very dangerous. Research shows that sound waves have the ability to disrupt the flow of oxygen to the fire, causing it to die out. We designed a device that will be implemented into a range hood and will emit a low-frequency sound to extinguish the fire. The existing methods found on the market today are unsafe. For example, large quantities of chemical dispersants, which smother the fire, can cause hypoxia; a fire extinguisher may inadvertently spread the fire; and the lid of a pot increases the chances of an injury because it requires human interaction. Our solution uses a safe frequency that ensures the fire will be automatically extinguished. Built-in sensors recognize grease fires before they grow too large, further enhancing the safety aspect of the device. Another competitor that we have identified is the Wave Extinguisher, which uses sound waves as well, but is designed to mimic a traditional fire extinguisher. This requires the user to be present at the site of the fire. Our product is safer as it can automatically extinguish the flame. We have demonstrated that low-frequency sound waves are able to extinguish alcohol-based fire through a proof of concept where we used a Logitech subwoofer played at 40 Hertz. We have begun prototyping and have also begun the process of applying for a patent. We are currently seeking guidance to develop a compact speaker that would fit in a range hood.

Led By

N. Madugula

S. Bhatt

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Carl Heine 

Crystoil

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

John Thurmond 

Eximius distributed supercomputer

We are seeking to develop a completely democratized distributed computational platform using an unbounded number of computational devices. This platform would enable anyone wishing to use it to have access to the full capability of the network on demand and to negotiate use of the network based on pricing decided on by each user.

Led By

D. Sanza Kazadi

D. Suranga Hettiarachchi

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Dr. Sanza Kazadi 

Members/Collaborators

There are three students in addition to the leaders: V. Tetali, L. Putnam, A. Lennox

Extracting environmental energy

Entrochemical systems are a patented technology that use two entropy transfers (internal and external) to acquire environmental energy. The system can be used to drive desalination, distillation, heating, cooling, and more. The project began in 2007 at the Jisan Research Institute in California and came to IMSA in 2016. It is ongoing.

Led By

D. Sanza Kazadi

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Dr. Sanza Kazadi 

Members/Collaborators

N/A

Floating Wind Turbine

This project will create and characterize the performance of a novel wind turbine design based on a patented floating axle technology. The design centers around building a low cogging torque generator that sits on the main rotor of the turbine. The design and implementation of the generator will be undertaken in the Grainger lab as part of the SIR program.

Led By

D. Sanza Kazadi

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Dr. Sanza Kazadi 

Members/Collaborators

V. McKibben, N. Krouse, M. Chapman, S. Provine, A. Romanov

IMSA CMS

In this program, IMSA students collaborate on a student-conducted analysis of particle physics research collected by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). In collaboration with the scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), students begin by learning the tools of the trade of experimental physics, including general computer skills (Linux, C++, scripting) and physics-specific ones (basic Standard Model theory, Monte Carlo methodology, statistical analysis). Once they demonstrate their understanding by reading several physics papers and passing a qualifying exam, students head to Fermilab to work more intensely on a specific research project. All students collaborate on a single project, each contributing a piece of the analysis until it is completed. The end goal, which may take several years, is to have a complete physics analysis conducted solely by IMSA students, which will be accepted by CMS, allowing students to present the results at conferences and be included on the author list of a professional paper. The goal is to maintain this group with ten seniors and ten juniors per year. The juniors spend most of their time learning necessary skills, while the seniors conduct the actual research and help train the juniors to do the same. Students apply as sophomores and are required to enroll in Modern Physics as juniors, and spend their I-days doing research for the program. It is expected to take several years to complete the analysis. Currently, students are working on a search for particle compositeness by looking for a non-resonant enhancement of the cross section in the dilepton channel.

Led By

P. Dong

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Peter Dong 

Members/Collaborators

Fermilab (L. Spiegel and P. Bhat)

Student Inquiry and Research (SIR)

This a long term project (currently in its second year). The focus of this project is to see how a long term exposure of low dose of phenol affects health of an individual. We use Drosophila melanogaster commonly known as a fruit fly as a model system to conduct experiments. Drosophila offers many advantages and serves as an ideal model organism to use in this study. It is easy to rare and culture in the lab, less expensive, has a shorter lifespan and allows study to continue over several generations. Drosophila also shows sexual diamorphism and shares very high genetic homology with humans. Preliminary results suggests that long term exposure to low dose of phenol shortens the lifespan and impairs mobility at an earlier age than control. There are two senior and four junior students working on this project . The senior students are continuing their research from last year. The junior students joined this project at the start of 2017-18 academic year. They work in the Grainger center at IMSA most Wednesdays during the academic year. The students and I also work on this project for few hours, two days a week in addition to 8 hours on I-days (Wednesdays).

Led By

V.

C.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Vandana Chinwalla 

A Water Filter for Families in the Devolping World

Currently, 6" clay disks with adsorbed silver nanoparticles are being mounted in 5 gallon buckets. Although the desired flow rate has been met, filter composition is being adjusted to more consistently achieve the target kill rate. Initial material costs are well within the stated price point presently, but the maintenance and longevity remain to be assessed.

Led By

D. Mark Carlson

P. Manny Hernandez

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Dr. Mark Carlson 

Members/Collaborators

Prof. Manny Hernandez, C. Parent, K. Brudnak

STEM Motivation in URP Students

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy has defined students from underrepresented populations (URP) as Black/Latino, low-income and rural. While there is an array of literature on URP students, most of it focuses on their academic deficiencies. Regarding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), much of the professional literature focuses on the reasons why students from underrepresented populations are not engaged. According to the literature, it is rare to find gifted and talented Black and Latino Students that are engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) (C. G. Wright, 2011; LSA, 2005; Scott, 2010; Speight & Weatherspoon, 2009). They are virtually invisible in STEM majors and careers; Caucasians and Asians view STEM careers as a world of opportunities, Blacks and Latinos see them as challenging and inaccessible (The Center on Education and Work, 2008). This is a result of a lack of exposure to STEM in K - 12 education, mathematics phobias, students’ misperceptions of what science is, lack of real-life application of science, lack of motivation to succeed, and peer pressure that devalues high achievement (Flores, 2007; PEW, 2005; Scott, 2010; QEMN, 2010). Black and Latino students tend to pursue familiar areas, such as the arts or athletics where they are sure they can excel because their role models have excelled in those areas already (Schlesinger, 2005). Research shows rural students are less likely to attend selective colleges, have greater gaps between high school graduation and entering college, and are less likely to be continuously enrolled in college (Byun, Irvin, & Meese, 2015). In addition, many rural students don't see the connection between their high school education and careers. STEM programs, though, can help rural students aim high while providing real-world, experiential learning opportunities. STEM learning can motivate students to engage in more rigorous coursework, envision pursuing postsecondary education, and pre-pare for high-demand careers that are located in their own backyard (Peterson, Bornemann, Lydon, & West, 2015). For rural communities, the payoff is a pipeline of skilled workers for hard-to-fill jobs in areas such as resource management, clean energy, water conservation, and telecommunications and the ability to entice talented young people to return to the places where they grew up (Peterson et al., 2015). This study examines URP students who are engaged in STEM to understand their motivation to diversify STEM education and careers.

Led By

A. Coleman

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Adrienne Coleman 

Understanding role of normal MLL in cancer

Mixed Lineage Leukemia gene, (MLL also known as MLL1, ALL, HRX and KMT2A) was originally identified as a gene involved in chromosomal translocations associated in a variety of infant and childhood leukemia. The MLL gene located at 11q23 is involved in number of translocations with different partner chromosomes. These translocations result in fusion oncoproteins that lead to the cancer phenotype. MLL was thought to be involved in hematopoiesis and its translocations are associated with infant and adult leukemias usually with a very poor prognosis. Since its cloning in the 1990s, a bigger picture has emerged indicating that MLL mutations are found in almost all known cancer types. MLL is a methyltransferase and plays a role in epigenetic regulation and maintenance of cellular identity. This investigation is focusing on creating MLL knock out (loss of function) in various different cancer cell lines using a relatively new and promising technology CRISPR/Cas9. The CRISPR construct using MLL guide RNA has been cloned and used in transient transfections. The cell lines that are transfected with the “MLL knock out” construct will be studied for their ability to continue the cancer growth pattern. The research work takes place in the Grainger center at IMSA and is part of the SIR program. There are currently 5 senior students and 6 junior students working on this research project. It started in August 2016 and is open ended. Dr. Nancy Zeleznik-Le and her lab is providing their expertise and crucial reagents for this investigation and we are very thankful for this collaboration.

Led By

V. Chinwalla

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Targets

Driver/Champion

Vandana Chinwalla