Alexis Lopez

The Triological Society 2016 Combined Sections Meeting

Miami, Florida

Friday, January 22 - Sunday, January 24

Abstract: Objectives: Mastoidectomy is a common otolaryngology procedure performed as either inpatient or ambulatory surgery. We investigate the impact of payor mix on the frequency of statewide inpatient vs. outpatient mastoidectomy from 1995-2007. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of a statewide inpatient and ambulatory surgery database from 1995-2007. Methods: All cases of inpatient and ambulatory mastoidectomy in the database were identified. In addition, age group of the patients, gender, Health Service Area (HSA) in which the surgery was performed, payor status, and associated ICD-9 diagnosis codes were also extracted. Results: Between 1995-2007, 23,161 mastoidectomies were performed with 68% performed in the ambulatory setting. The mean age was 37 years; males (55%) and those aged 20-44 years (35%) comprised the majority of cases. The most common ICD-9 codes were for conductive hearing loss, otitis media, chronic mastoiditis, and cholesteatoma. Although a majority (50%) of cases were performed in HSA 7, 40% of inpatient and 56% of ambulatory cases were performed in other HSAs. There was a significant increase in ambulatory cases over time: from 30% in 1995 to 80% in 2007. Simultaneously, there was a shift in payor mix from 1995 to 2007; 36% of inpatient and 21.5% of ambulatory cases were paid for by Medicare or Medicaid. Conclusions: Between 1995-2007, there has been a dramatic increase in mastoidectomy being performed in the ambulatory setting. The shift in the site of surgery may be related to a change in payor mix with an increasing proportion of government insurance.

Award: $300.0

Ahanjit Bhattacharya

Pacific Chem 2015

Honolulu, Hawaii

Tuesday, December 15 - Sunday, December 20

Abstract: Title: Exploration of Novel Methods for In Situ Vesicle Formation and Linking them with Gene Expression Abstract: In the present work, we explored various non-enzymatic ways of synthesizing phospholipid membranes using water-soluble, non-membrane forming natural precursors. The key class of molecules undergoes rapid, facile bond formation with lysolipids under mild conditions. Building on these results, we aim to link phospholipid formation with enzyme catalyzed reactions, in order to tune vesicle formation with gene expression. Inspired by a previous work in our group, we found that phospholipids can be generated in situ from enzymatically synthesized fatty acyl precursors and lysolipids. Our current research is expected to provide some insight into membrane evolution in the context of origin of life and also develop novel methods for in situ vesicle generation for bottom-up synthetic biology applications.

Award: $500.0

Brittany Matheson

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 49th Annual Convention

Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, November 12 - Sunday, November 15

Abstract: Design and Implementation of a Parent-Only Behavioral Treatment for Pediatric Obesity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Among children with ASD, prevalence rates of pediatric overweight and obesity are as high as 46%. Parent-only Family-Based Treatment (PBT) has been shown to be an effective weight-loss treatment among typically developing children. Therefore, we are conducting a pilot study (PBT-ASD) that adapts PBT to address the needs of overweight children ages 5-13 with ASD. Our 16-week parent-only group treatment targets weight loss by integrating PBT and behavioral principles specific to children with ASD. The goal of this project is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of PBT-ASD, and to evaluate the impact on child body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and eating behaviors. To date, four families have completed treatment. Baseline and post-treatment assessments were conducted at the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research in La Jolla, CA. Children underwent anthropometric measurements at baseline, week eight, and post-treatment, but otherwise did not actively participate in treatment. Preliminary results (n = 4) suggest strong feasibility and acceptability ratings, as assessed through interview and questionnaire. On average, children lost 3.78 kg (individual change scores: +0.7, -4.3, -5.1, -6.4) and BMI decreased (26.23 to 24.23 kg/m2) from baseline to post-treatment. Following treatment, parents reported greater increases in child physical activity (5.5 to 8.6 times/week), fruit intake (+78.13%), and vegetable intake (+227.27%). Fifteen additional families are expected to participate in this pilot. Our preliminary findings suggest that parent-only FBT may be an effective weight-loss treatment for children with ASD. Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to further examine the efficacy of PBT-ASD.

Award: $500.0

Byeong Keun Kang

11th International Symposium on Visual Computing

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Monday, December 14 - Wednesday, December 16

Abstract: Real-time hand articulations tracking is important for many applications such as interacting with virtual / augmented reality devices or tablets. However, most of existing algorithms highly rely on expensive and high power-consuming GPUs to achieve real-time processing. Consequently, these systems are inappropriate for mobile and wearable devices. In this paper, we propose an efficient hand tracking system which does not require high performance GPUs. In our system, we track hand articulations by minimizing discrepancy between depth map from sensor and computer-generated hand model. We also initialize hand pose at each frame using finger detection and classification. Our contributions are: (a) propose adaptive hand model to consider different hand shapes of users without generating personalized hand model; (b) improve the highly efficient frame initialization for robust tracking and automatic initialization; (c) propose hierarchical random sampling of pixels from each depth map to improve tracking accuracy while limiting required computations. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first system that achieves both automatic hand model adjustment and real-time tracking without using GPUs.

Award: $500.0

Cun Yu Zhou


Honolulu, HI

Monday, December 14 - Sunday, June 21

Abstract: Phospholipids and glycolipids constitute an essential part of biological membranes, and are of tremendous fundamental and practical interest. Unfortunately, the preparation of functional phospholipids, or synthetic analogs, is often synthetically challenging. Here we utilize thiol-yne click chemistry methodology to gain access to phospho- and glycolipid analogs. Alkynyl hydrophilic head groups readily photoreact with numerous thiol modified lipid tails to yield the appropriate dithioether phospho- or glycolipids. The resulting structures closely resemble the structure and function of native diacylglycerolipids. Dithioether phosphatidylcholines (PCs) are suitable for forming giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV), which can be used as vessels for cell-free expression systems. The unnatural thioether linkages render the lipids resistant to phospholipase A2 hydrolysis. We utilize the improved stability of these lipids to control the shrinkage of GUVs composed of a mixture of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and dioleyl-dithioether PC, concentrating encapsulated nanoparticles. We imagine that these readily accessible lipids could find a number of applications as natural lipid substitutes.

Award: $500.0

Daniel Lenzen

Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research

Melbourne, Australia

Monday, January 4 - Thursday, January 7

Abstract: ASL learners’ gestures about time: Measuring movement with the Microsoft Kinect (English) Previous research has illuminated changes in the gestures of American Sign Language (ASL) learners (Casey, Emmorey, & Larrabee, 2012) – increased gesture rate, number of iconic gestures, and number of handshapes after a year of training. There were no reported changes in location or movement of gestures, though, perhaps because of the difficulty of measuring those parameters with traditional methods. The current study uses non-invasive body-tracking (Microsoft Kinect v.1) and novel data processing methods to compare co-speech gestures in an established gestural domain (Time) between ASL-naïve participants and experienced ASL learners, with an emphasis on changes in movement and location. The Kinect continuously tracks body movements in three dimensions without markers or physical sensors on the body. This opens research topics that require information about location and movement in three-dimensions, such as gestures and signs about time, which rely on the lateral (left-to-right) and sagittal (front-to-back) axes. English-speaking non-signers tend to use the lateral axis 3-4 times more than the sagittal axis when discussing time (Casasanto & Jasmin, 2012). Additionally, non-signers sometimes blend the axes and produce gestures that move diagonally across the body (Walker & Cooperrider, 2015). Signs about time in ASL have conventionalized standards that the lateral axis is used for sequential events and the sagittal axis is used for deictic references (Emmorey, 2001). This ASL structure could leak into co-speech gesture of ASL learners. Participants (7 ASL learners with >3 levels of ASL completed, 18 non-signers) were given 15 seconds trials to explain 12 temporal (including deictic and sequential), 10 spatial and 12 filler concepts to someone who did not know what they meant. We continuously recorded depth camera body tracking estimations (30Hz), audio, and video with a front-facing Kinect. Speech was coded for temporal- and spatial-related target words and an independent coder established start and end points for gestures occurring during target words (+/- 500ms). Identifiable lexical signs were occasionally produced by the ASL learners and we excluded from the gesture comparison. Preliminary results suggest, similar to non-learners, ASL learners showed a gestural preference for the sagittal axis during deictic referential speech and the lateral axis for sequential speech. Importantly, ASL learners tended to blend the two axes less frequently than non-learners. That is, their time-related gestures tended to move less along the non-dominant axis. ASL learners tended to use the sagittal axis in line with their right shoulder, while non-signers typically referred to the past to the left and/or towards their left shoulder (Figure 1). These gestural changes are consistent with the Emmorey (2001) depiction of the sequential and deictic timelines in ASL. These data suggest that ASL training influences the locations and movements produced in co-speech gesture towards conventional ASL standards – in this case for metaphorical concepts – and these changes can be measured with the Kinect. Further analyses will compare the frequency of axis/metaphor blending, the role of the non-dominant hand, and the speed profiles of the gestures.

Award: $500.0

Elaine Denny

Peace Science Society Conference 2015

Oxford, Mississippi (University of Mississippi)

Friday, November 13 - Saturday, November 14

Abstract: “Introduce A Little Anarchy”: Fear, Vulnerability, and Survey Behaviors in a Somali Sample Which is more frightening for citizens of a failed state: violent anarchy or a centralized government where there are clear winners and losers? This paper analyzes data from a four-wave panel survey of citizen welfare in Mogadishu, leveraging a survey experiment and an unusual natural experiment. Priming a respondent’s psychological feelings of insecurity with reminders of anarchic violence affects willingness to reveal sensitive information to survey enumerators, and these effects differ depending on a respondent’s overall level of security. Vulnerable subjects are much less likely to provide information after anarchy-triggering “fear primes” than secure subjects in the same conditions, vulnerable subjects in acutely violent environments, or subjects treated with a consolidation-triggering “fear prime”. This may be evidence that the emerging social order in Mogadishu is less frightening to the most vulnerable residents than anarchy, though this paper also presents an alternative hypothesis consistent with the findings. Findings demonstrate how background insecurity and fears primed by a foreign-funded survey can lead to over-representation of the beliefs of relative winners in studies that are conducted in very weak states.

Award: $500.0

Eunsong Kim

Modernism and Revolution

Boston, MA

Thursday, November 19 - Sunday, November 22

Abstract: Financialization and Modernism: Revolutionary Co-optation? This roundtable will discuss financialization and/as Modernism. Leigh Claire La Berge, Robert Tally, Dorothy Wang, Tom Eyers and Eunsong Kim will engaged how notions of “Modern” and current legible narratives of “Revolution” have been financialized. In the "Aestheticization of Risk in Wartime" Art Historian Jane Blocker analyzes the deployment and appropriation of the language of risk (and risk transfer) in art production as mirroring the logic of investment banking. In both art and banking, risk becomes celebratory and outsourced risk becomes situated as creativity. In addition, cultural studies scholar Max Haiven has argued that finance is the imagination of capital--it is the site of capital’s experimentation and failure. In situating the economics of Modernism, poet Aaron Kunin has argued against separating one from the other, positing: “Modernism is what we got instead of communism." The language of finance is executed to legislate the terms of a modernizing and revolutionizing world: from industrial and state definitions of individual, work and freedom, to cultural and emerging aesthetic formations. This roundtable exists to examine the intersections between: Modern, Revolution and Finance. Key frameworks will include: finance and the imagination/cultural production (how this affects modern and current understanding of revolution), the connections between the abstract and the algorithmic, financial time-keeping & narrative formations, Modern conceptions of revolution vs. revolution from the Modern, precarity as the precondition for the production of subjectivity, the indebting of Puerto Rican poetry, and the appropriation of banking terminology in modern and contemporary aesthetic production. In these frameworks, the roundtable scholars will discuss paralleling examples between Modern, Revolution and financialization as well as dark arts practices and events of rupture.

Award: $500.0

Gregory Wagner

68th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics

Boston, Massachusetts

Sunday, November 22 - Tuesday, November 24

Abstract: We derive a model describing the coupled nonlinear evolution of three fields: near-inertial wave (NIW) amplitude, quasigoestrophic potential vorticity, and the NIW second harmonic. The model is derived by asymptotic reduction of the Boussinesq equations using the method of multiple scales. The model conserves two distinct quantities: wave action, and coupled energy. Wave action conservation implies energy exchange between NIW kinetic energy and energy in the NIW second harmonic. Coupled energy conservation implies energy exchange between NIW potential energy and quasigeostrophic flow. We explore the implications of the model with two-dimensional numerical solutions meant to approximate NIW evolution in non-uniform quasigeostrophic flow following storm-driven excitation. For this scenario we find good agreement between the model and solutions of the full Boussinesq equations. Preliminary results show the initial transient evolution of the NIW field extracts energy from the quasigeostrophic flow. Further, the quasigeostrophic flow catalyzes an interaction between the NIW and the NIW second harmonic which ultimately leads to the generation of small NIW vertical scales.

Award: $500.0

Hina Shaikh

National Women's Studies Association Conference 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thursday, November 12 - Sunday, November 15

Abstract: My paper examines the precarity of activism by Ahmadi Muslim women in a Western context. While such activism is easily co-opted by neoliberal structures of consumption, as seen with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Malala Yousafzai, that ultimately support US Empire and policies of intervention in South Asia and ”the Middle East,” I am interested in how Ahmadi Muslim women in the West navigate such embodied containments in their everyday lives. I argue that we must redefine activism in order to situate how Ahmadi Muslim women creatively reconstruct narratives of US Empire through writing editorials in local and national publications.

Award: $500.0

Ivana Polic

Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies - Annual Convention

Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, November 19 - Sunday, November 22

Abstract: Testing the Limits of Deception: Children as Propaganda Tool in Serbian and Croatian Media during the Yugoslav Wars (1991-1995) The violent breakup of Yugoslavia, which began in the early 1990s, was undoubtedly influenced by the war propaganda aimed towards nationalistic goals of the sides involved. This paper is focused on the analysis and comparison of one specific aspect of Serbian and Croatian propagandistic tendencies; that of misuse of children as a propaganda tool. This refers not only to the Serbo-Croatian war (1991-1995) but also other conflicts in the region in which Serbs and Croats participated: Bosnian war (1992-1995) and its sub conflict, Croat-Bosniak war (1992-1994). Utilizing children as an element of war propaganda is certainly not a historical novelty, but it is interesting to see how much it contributed to the creation of the atmosphere of collective fear and hatred among the ethnic groups in question. Both Croatian and Serbian most prominent pro-regime media are being considered, as well as other relevant sources such as witness reports, interviews, and documents released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The research examines different ways in which the manipulation of children as victims was used in Croatian and Serbian media and also its consequences, especially the role it played in shaping the actions of the warring parties. Key words: Serbo-Croatian war (Croatian War for Independence), Bosnian war, Croat-Bosniak war, propaganda, media, children, manipulation, victimization

Award: $500.0

Joanne Ho

Southern Thoracic Surgical Association 62nd Annual Meeting

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Wednesday, November 4 - Saturday, November 7

Abstract: Intentional Delay Versus Usual Management for Low Birth Weight Newborns with Congenital Heart Disease Authors: Joanne W. Ho, BS, MAS, Aaron J. Lemieux, BS, MAS, Daniel Sisti, MD, Florin Vaida, PhD, John J. Lamberti, MD, Daniel J. DiBardino, MD Objectives: There is long standing debate regarding the weight gain and outcomes of low birth weight (LBW) and premature newborns who are subjected to intentional delay of surgical correction for congenital heart defects (CHD). The purpose of this study is to review the resultant longer-term outcomes. Methods: Over a 6-year period, all 582 neonates who received stage I palliation or corrective surgery for CHD were reviewed. A multivariable analysis of long-term survival and potential risk factors was performed for the entire cohort. A similar analysis for LBW neonates (≤ 2.5 kg; n=124) was separately performed, and survival was compared for those subjected to intentional delay versus usual management. Intentional delay was defined as definitive surgery outside our standard institutional time frame, regardless of the use of temporary palliations. Results: In the entire cohort, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS; HR=4.29, p<0.001), total anomalous venous return (TAPVR; HR=3.75, p=0.005), and surgical weight (HR=0.69, p=0.014) were found to be determinants of mortality. In the LBW cohort, gestational age (HR=1.39, p=0.007), HLHS (HR=16.29, p<0.001), surgical weight (HR=0.55, p=0.029), and pulmonary co-morbidities (HR=22.31, p=0.020) were significant predictors of mortality. Those who underwent intentional delay had lower mean birth weight (1.81 ± 0.53 kg) and achieved higher mean surgical weight (4.42 ± 1.56 kg). Long-term survival between usual (76.4% 5-year survival) and delayed (87.8%) management groups was not significantly different (p=0.256). Presence of important surgical complications was comparable between groups (p=0.753). Conclusions: While LBW was not an independent risk factor overall, lower surgical weight and HLHS were consistent risk factors of death. For LBW patients, the smallest neonates were more likely to be subjected to delayed management (including temporary palliations) and were able to achieve a higher surgical weight. The long-term outcomes up to 5 years were equivalent.

Award: $500.0

Jungwoo Lee

Materials Research Symposium Fall Meeting

Boston, MA

Sunday, November 29 - Friday, December 4

Abstract: The Role of Titanium Stoichiometry in Lithium Lanthanum Titanate Ionic Conductivity for Solid-State Batteries J.Z. Lee1, Z. Wang1, and Y.S. Meng1 1University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA Next generation batteries will require a broad range of energy densities to meet the challenges of portable electronic storage from electric vehicles to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Solid state electrolytes are researched heavily because they have the potential to improve capacity loss, cycle lifetime, operation temperature and safety [1]. Lithium lanthanum titanate (LLTO), with the perovskite structure (ABO3), has gained interest due to its high bulk conductivity (10-3 S cm-1) at room temperature [2]. LLTO has many advantages including negligible electronic conductivity, high voltage stability (> 8 V), atmospheric stability, and temperature stability [3]. Furthermore, LLTO is transferable to thin film structures for fabricating micro-batteries such as on-chip batteries [4]. However, LLTO has a relatively low grain boundary conductivity (<10-5 S cm-1), lowering the overall material conductivity [3]. In this work, we investigate the role of titanium (Ti) stoichiometry in LLTO ionic conductivity both in crystalline bulk and amorphous thin film. LLTO polycrystalline powder was prepared via solid state synthesis and pressed into pellets composed of a mixture of tetragonal and cubic phases. Pellets of varying titanium stoichiometry were fabricated and we explored the resulting grain boundary conductivity. Additionally, amorphous thin films of various titanium stoichiometry were deposited by pulsed laser deposition allowed characterization of ionic conductivity without grain boundaries. By controlling the laser fluence and background pressure, we were able to grow dense films with controlled thickness and stoichiometry. The electrolyte performance is investigated for various stoichiometries to elucidate the relationship between titanium stoichiometry and LLTO ionic conductivity in both bulk and thin film forms. [1] A. Hayashi et. al. “ Superionic glass-ceramic electrolytes for room-temperature rechargeable sodium batteries,” Nature Communications. 3 (2012) 856–860. [2] O. Bohnke. “The fast lithium-ion conducting oxides Li3xLa2/3 − xTiO3 from fundamentals to application,” Solid State Ionics. 179 (2008) 9-15. [3] C. Cao et. al. “Recent advances in inorganic solid electrolytes for lithium batteries,” Frontiers in Energy Research. 2 (2014) 1-10. [4] A. Furusawa et. al. “Ionic conductivity of amorphous lithium lanthanum titanate thin film,” Solid State Ionics. 176 (2005) 553-558.

Award: $500.0

Jecedthel Dumpit

ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting

New Orleans, LA

Sunday, December 6 - Thursday, December 10

Abstract: Evaluation of a pharmacist managed telephone pain clinic Pain is prevalent in our society, affecting more than a quarter-million U.S. adults and leads to poor patient outcomes. At Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), clinical pharmacists work to improve these outcomes by establishing their very own pharmacist managed telephone pain clinic (PMTPC) since 2005. Clinical pharmacists evaluate patients based on referrals and perform consultations by telephone or in person. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of PMTPC in improving patient pain scores associated with diabetic neuropathies, fibromyalgia, post-herpetic neuralgia.

Award: $500.0

Jennifer Sanchez-flack

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition

Chicago, IL

Saturday, October 31 - Wednesday, November 4

Abstract: Background: Lack of access to healthy food disproportionately impacts racially/ethnically-diverse and low-income populations, such as Latinos, and leads to obesity disparities within the U.S. (Lindsay et al., 2008). Without access to produce, individuals cannot meet the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day (Freuhaft & Karpyn, 2010). Improving the food environment of small food stores by incorporating fresh produce into their retail environment is an important step in creating an equitable food system. Methods: Mixed-methods interviews were conducted in San Diego with nine small store managers and data are being collected from ten small produce farmers. Interview topics include: current sourcing/distribution experiences, relationships with business clients, and opinions on the feasibility of distributing local produce in small stores. Results: Preliminary results revealed that managers and farmers both support a distribution model to increase access to local produce in low-income communities. Managers believe increased access to local produce would increase purchasing among customers. However, managers reported a lack of knowledge in how to connect with farmers and believed farmers prefer working with large stores because of their purchasing power. Farmers reported an interest in working with organizations that are invested in the community and not for profit. Conclusions: Connecting small store managers and farmers has the potential to increase access to fresh produce within low-income, racially/ethnically diverse communities, and improve dietary behaviors. By understanding the facilitators and barriers to sourcing/distributing local produce, it is expected that an effective distribution model between store managers and farmers will be identified.

Award: $500.0

Jinxing Li

Falling Wall Conference

Berlin, Germany

Saturday, November 7 - Friday, November 13

Abstract: Breaking of Wall of Robot Miniaturization Robotics deal with automated machines that can locomote themselves and operate tasks in various environments over many orders of magnitudes in scale. One of the most inspiring goals/dreams? is the construction of smart and powerful nanorobotic systems for the operations in human body. However, viscous forces dominate inertial forces at such small scales which lead to the “low-Reynolds number challenge” for nanoscale propulsion. This presentation will discuss newly created multi-functional nanorobots which can overcome the challenge by local chemical reaction or external field actuation to achieve efficient locomotion in biological matrices. With desired engineering of the materials, the nanorobots possess numerous attractive properties, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, high loading capacity, and autonomous ‘on-the-fly’ release of payloads. The increased capabilities and sophistication of these tiny robots hold considerable promise for variety of biomedical applications ranging from drug delivery to minimum invasive surgery. Particularly, using zinc-based micromotors as a model robots, we reported the first in vivo study of artificial micromotors in a living organism. Such in vivo evaluation examines the distribution, retention, cargo delivery, and acute toxicity profile of synthetic motors in mouse stomach via oral administration. We demonstrate that the acid-driven propulsion in the stomach effectively enhances the binding and retention of the motors as well as of cargo payloads on the stomach wall. This work is anticipated to significantly advance the emerging field of nanorobotics and to open the door to in vivo evaluation and clinical applications of these biomedical nanorobots.

Award: $500.0

Joel Palhegyi

Association for Slavic, East Europe, and Eurasian Studies

Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, November 19 - Sunday, November 22

Abstract: This paper investigates the role of national museums in Croatia both during and after socialism, focusing on the country’s two most important history museums, the Croatian History Museum and the Revolutionary Museum of the Croatian People. As both state developed and publicly experienced institutions, these museums were intimately tied to the construction and maintenance of Yugoslavia’s particular form of communism centered on the concepts of brotherhood and unity, self-management, socialist patriotism, individual national assertion, and supranational South Slavic culture and community. This paper therefore traces the development and collapse of Yugoslavism in Croatia’s national narrative by investigating how these museums constructed a distinct Croat-socialist-Yugoslav mythology through the display and narration of material culture and national heroes. Based upon an examination of the exhibition catalogs and brochures published by each museum from the late 1950s to present day, I argue that these museums were envisioned by Party elites and museum curators alike as essential to the project of building socialist Yugoslavism by adapting and altering Croatia’s previous national pantheon of heroes, sites, objects, and events in order to fit into a larger and distinctly supranational Yugoslav framework. Furthermore, this paper investigates the institutional make up of Croatian national museums and the development of professional museology in order to better understand the everyday workings of a socialist cultural institution hedged between its traditional national orientation and top-down pressures to narrate a different history of socialist brotherhood and South Slavic unity.

Award: $500.0

Josef Djordjevski

Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies 15th Annual Convention

Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, November 19 - Sunday, November 22

Abstract: Communist Coastlines in Croatia and Macedonia: Yugoslavia, 1960s-1970s In the 1960s and 1970s widespread concern for the environment began taking hold throughout the world. While Yugoslavia’s environment suffered relatively less degradation than many other socialist and even capitalist states, the country shared many of the same environmental challenges as its neighbors. Although there were genuine concerns for the environment and nature in Yugoslavia from the 1970s onward, for officials and many experts, their importance was measured insofar as they contributed to the development of socialism. Conservation and protection for the sake of nature itself was hardly ever considered. By examining Croatia, one of the most developed Yugoslav Republics, and Macedonia, one of the most backward, we can see how social and economic development affected the environment in two different yet very similar parts of Yugoslavia. Croatia with its vital coastline, and Macedonia with its “untapped” resources, strove to develop their Republics while also trying to fit the environment in their plans to build a brighter socialist future. Official publications from the 1960s and 1970s expose elite attitudes toward the environment, and how only those parts of nature seen as crucial for socialist development were considered worthy of protection. The examination of the attitudes of Yugoslav elites shows that socialism may not have been as “inherently” negative in environmental terms as many scholars have assumed.

Award: $500.0

Joseph Stratmann

North American Kant Society Pacific Study Group

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

Saturday, November 14 - Sunday, November 15

Abstract: In this paper, I explore Kant’s theory of real grounding relations, and its ramifications for the debate between metaphysical one and two object interpretations of Kant’s distinction between things-in-themselves and appearances. I first detail some of Kant’s central real grounding relations, and how they are differentiated. I then argue that Kant holds that we cannot know what we would need to know in order to have knowledge of which real grounding relation obtains between things-in-themselves and appearances. But given this, we don’t know whether appearances and things-in-themselves are the same object or not. If certain specific real grounding relations obtain between things-in-themselves and appearances (e.g. the substance-accident relation), things-in-themselves and appearances are the same object, but if other specific real grounding relations obtain between appearances and things-in-themselves (e.g. causation), they are distinct objects. The seemingly intractable debate between proponents of metaphysical one object and two object interpretations is thereby undermined.

Award: $500.0

Julia Callender

ASBMB Kinases and Pseudokinases: Spines, Scaffolds, and Molecular Switches

San Diego, CA

Saturday, December 5 - Tuesday, December 8

Abstract: The signaling output of protein kinase C (PKC) is exquisitely controlled, with its disruption resulting in pathophysiologies. Identifying the structural basis for autoinhibition is central to developing effective therapies for cancer, where PKC activity needs to be enhanced, or neurodegenerative diseases, where PKC activity should be inhibited. Here, we reinterpret a previously reported crystal structure of PKCbII and use docking and functional analysis to propose an alternative structure that is consistent with previous literature on PKC regulation. Mutagenesis of predicted contact residues establishes that the Ca2+-sensing C2 domain interacts intramolecularly with the kinase domain and the carboxyl-terminal tail, locking PKC in an inactive conformation. Applying a similar approach towards another conventional PKC isozyme, PKCa, confirmed C2 domain-mediated autoinhibition as a shared mechanism among conventional PKC isozymes. Ca2+-dependent bridging of the C2 domain to membranes provides the first step in activating PKC via conformational selection. Therefore, elucidation of the structural basis for autoinhibition of PKC unveils a unique direction for therapeutically targeting PKC activity.

Award: $300.0

Keir Gogwilt

The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research

Ghent, Belgium

Monday, November 9 - Wednesday, November 11

Abstract: Beginning with David Stromberg’s recording of Helmut Lachenmann’s Pression, I ask the question: who interprets? Operating within a conventional understanding, one would say that David Stromberg interprets Pression. This understanding indicates that interpretation marks the individual subject. However, it could also be said that Lachenmann re-interprets the instrument-body complex, bringing this complex into a new orientation of expressive structures through extended techniques of notation and cello playing. It is not simply a question of the performing subject interpreting the score, but also the performing body itself interpreted by systems of notation. Taking Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche as a starting point, I will argue that performance does not have to be organized around the interpreting subject. As Deleuze describes, the “will to power” is not a “who,” but a force of creation (Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy). A current that runs through The Logic of Sensation, invisible forces manifest themselves on the body: “Bacon’s bodies, heads, Figures are made of flesh, and what fascinates him are the invisible forces that model flesh or shake it” (Deleuze, The Logic of Sensation, xi). Borrowing from Deleuze’s conceptual framework, I argue that “technique” cannot be thought of as co-extensive with the body’s movements, simply instrumental in conveying the performer’s “interpretation.” Rather, I argue that Deleuze’s philosophy allows one to re-appropriate technique as a structuring entity (or invisible force) that plays across the body, without falling into a hylomorphic scheme in which form is distinguished from matter. Technique is never present; it is not an appendage; it is not co-extensive with the material body or the psychological subject. It is easier to say what technique is not than what it is. However, again in line with Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche, I argue that technique should be spoken of in terms of becoming, not being. Technique is continually developing in relation to different modes of articulating music: as we have seen, Lachenmann’s notation is one example of composition re-interpreting the body and technique. However, many technical treatises from Pierre Baillot’s violin treatise to Gerhard Mantel’s cello manual to the acoustics research of the bassist Knut Guettler can be thought of as critical re-interpretations of the body, affecting and indeed becoming part of the technical assemblage. I will argue that a critical and theoretical language about technique that incorporates Deleuze/Guattari’s philosophy might allow us to describe performance on its own terms, aesthetically and formally independent (and yet co-dependent) from (and with) composition. The work of Mantel and Guettler treats technique as an independent object of study shifting between the phenomenological and the empirical. This research values technique in a fundamentally different manner from its treatment as a means of expressing an “interpretation” of musical compositions. Guettler and Mantel work with technical bodies as machinic assemblages, developing a bodily calculus in line with Deleuze/Guattari’s “minor science”: “This science is characterized less by the absence of equations than by the very different role they play: instead of being good forms absolutely that organize matter, they are ‘generated’ as ‘forces of thrust’ by the material, in a qualitative calculus of the optimum” (A Thousand Plateaus, 364-5). Guettler and Mantel introduce knowledge about the body, but a knowledge that is inseparable from material action. This knowledge follows the indeterminacies of the technical body’s programmed action, disrupting (to different degrees) the methodologies of “royal science.” It is of note that differences in valuing and observing the technical component of musical practice led the researchers to propose radical revisions to the structure of conservatory education, demonstrating the close relationship of material practice, aesthetics, and politics.

Award: $500.0

Kerri Seger

Acoustical Society of America Biannual Meeting

Jacksonville, FL

Monday, November 2 - Friday, November 6

Abstract: For seven seasons (2007 and 2014) Greeneridge Sciences, Inc., annually deployed passive acoustic recorders (DASARs) between August and October. Five sites were monitored in the Beaufort Sea between Deadhorse and Kaktovik, AK, to collect acoustic data during the fall bowhead whale migration. Each site contained sets of 7-11 DASARs, arranged in a triangular grid with 7 km spacing between each DASAR unit. The shallowest DASAR unit in each set was deployed 15–33 km due north of the coast in 22–39 m of water. The acoustic environments between sites differ due to varying ocean depths and sound source contributions (whales, winds, and human activities). Here, we conduct a multi-year bulk analysis of the summer Beaufort Sea acoustic environment in several ways: (1) comparing noise properties from inshore to offshore for each site, (2) from East to West across all sites in a given year, and (3) from the same site across all seven seasons. Comparisons are conducted statistically by investigating the percentile distributions of ambient noise intensity over several bandwidths that are representative of the different sound sources present in the Beaufort Sea. Results suggest that variations in the ambient noise field across sites and years create spatially heterogeneous acoustic environments in the Beaufort Sea that must be accounted for when addressing responses of bowhead whales to industrial noise.

Award: $500.0

Linjie Li

Neural Information Processing Systems

Montreal ,Canada

Sunday, December 6 - Saturday, December 12

Abstract: Understanding how humans assess facial similarity based on images is an important problem for both machine learning applications and basic cognitive science. Two classical techniques for extracting perceptual similarity judgments from humans have been in broad use, pairwise rating and triplet ranking. Pairwise rating typically consists of asking subjects to assign a numerical “similarity score” in a given range to a pair of presented faces. Triplet ranking typically consists of asking subjects to choose which pair of faces among three presented are the most similar. While there are obvious algorithmic consequences based on the method, since the pairwise response is numeric while the triplet response is ordinal, there has been little explicit comparison of the informational utility of the two methods. Here, we present face similarity judgment data, in both pairwise and triplet forms, collected on Amazon Mechanical Turk. We demonstrate that the triplet data are more informative of both individual judgments and heterogeneity among individuals. In the experiment, we present seven faces to subjects in the two formats, for a total of 35 sets of triplets in the triplet condition and 21 pairs in the pairwise condition. The face images are taken from the 10k US Adult Faces database provided by Aude Oliva’s group at MIT and then cropped for uniformity in presentation. To facilitate the assessment of self-consistency, we present each pair and each triplet four times to each subject. Since the pairwise data have greater granularity than the triplet data, we convert the pairwise data into equivalent triplet data (based on which of the three pairs receives the highest average similarity rating), and then use identical measures for self-consistency assessment to compare the two. For the triplet and the equivalent pairwise responses, we compute the cross-correlation over repeated responses for each triplet (averaged over triplets and subjects), and find that the self-consistency is higher for triplet data than the pairwise data. Moreover, cross-correlation of responses across subjects for the same triplets suggests distinct subgroups of individuals based on overall similarity judgments, and this multi-cluster pattern is less evident in the cross-correlation of the equivalent pairwise data. Additional clustering analysis confirms that the triplet data indeed yield more precise and self-consistent categorization of individuals based on their overall responses. Overall, our results indicate that triplet ranking is more informative than pairwise rating for eliciting face similarity judgments from humans. Although pairwise rating has greater granularity, it has often been observed that humans give more self-consistent responses when reporting relative preferences than assigning numeric values to individual items, especially in complex judgments that involve high-dimensional input. Apparently, forcing humans to assign numerical values to complex judgments can not only fail to add information but also can corrupt the information available in simpler relative ranking responses. Moreover, pairwise rating may introduce extra inter-subject noise, i.e. due to individuals interpreting the rating scale differently.

Award: $500.0

Lorenzo Rossini

Annual Meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Association

Boston, MA

Sunday, November 22 - Tuesday, November 24

Abstract: Abstract: R24.00001 : Clinical Assessment of Intraventricular Blood Transport in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy In the healthy heart, left ventricular (LV) filling generates flow patterns which have been proposed to optimize blood transport by coupling diastole and systole phases. We present a novel image-based method to assess how flow patterns influence LV blood transport in patients undergoing cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Solving the advection equation with time-varying inflow boundary conditions allows to track the transport of blood entering the LV in the different filling waves, as well as the transport barriers which couple filling and ejection. The velocity fields were obtained using echocardiographic color Doppler velocimetry, which provides two-dimensional time-resolved flow maps in the apical long axis three-chamber view of the LV. We analyze flow transport in a group of patients with CRT devices as well as in healthy volunteers. In the patients under CRT, the device programming was varied to analyze flow transport under different values of the atrioventricular (AV) conduction delay and to model tachycardia. This analysis illustrates how CRT influences the transit of blood inside the LV, contributes to conserving kinetic energy and favors the generation of hemodynamic forces that accelerate blood in the direction of the LV outflow tract.

Award: $500.0

Mark Kelley

Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives: The Society for the Study of American Women Writers Triennial Conference

Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, November 4 - Sunday, November 8

Abstract: “An Offense Without Feeling”: Pirates of Sympathy in the 1861 Confederate Piracy Cases and Maria Cummins’s Haunted Hearts (1864) In this essay, I argue Maria Cummins’s Haunted Hearts dramatizes jury decisions that gave Confederate sailors the legal status of sympathetic privateers rather than pirates fit for hanging. Cummins’s1864 novel centers on the trial of Caribbean pirates following the War of 1812, but foregrounds “the recent revival of the crime” in which “lawless freebooters…claim legal sanctions” through “sophistry or imaginary wrongs.” As I show, the contradictory October 1861 trails of the Confederate ships Jefferson Davis (guilty of piracy) and the Savannah (hung jury) established the murky waters of this “lawless” system and its “sophistry.” While these cases dealt with complex legal precedents regarding the validity of Confederate letters of marque, lawyers’ jury appeals were largely based on these sailors’ capacity for sympathy. For the prosecution against Jefferson Davis, piratical hostage-taking was “an offense without feeling” that sought to “tear a man from his home”; the defense of the Savannah portrayed misguided men with “a thousand sympathies and emotions, through the hearts of others." Even though not all Confederate defendants were acquitted, neither the Jefferson Davis crew nor any other Confederate privateer was hung as a pirate; instead, they were moved to military prisons on February 2nd, 1862 and later released. These trails, in addition to the 1863 Prize Cases that rendered the Union Blockade and subsequent prize-taking constitutional even without a formal war declaration, created a legal precedent that sought to utterly deny Confederation nationhood and sovereignty even as it sought to treat the Confederacy as something like a belligerent. Reading Haunted Hearts alongside trial transcripts and newspaper accounts, I show how Cummins displays piracy’s disastrous effect on sympathy and, in the process, makes a literary and legal argument about the Confederacy and its sailors’ national status.

Award: $500.0

Michael Hardy


Honolulu, Hawaii

Tuesday, December 15 - Sunday, December 20

Abstract: All living organisms are organizing structures that perpetually take up and refashion environmental precursors into additional organizing structures. While sophisticated biochemical pathways currently carry out these processes, the first biochemical pathways must have been far simpler. To build such a pathway in the laboratory, one approach is to have one or more reaction products act as a catalyst, which can feed back into the pathway and aid in catalyzing additional products. A recursive scheme set up in this way could theoretically result in a self-propagating system. Here we report on a self-assembling, autocatalytic pathway that continually synthesizes environmental precursors into products, allowing for propagation to continue. Additionally, these structures are capable of remodeling their physical composition in response to changes in the environment by preferentially incorporating specific precursors. These results demonstrate that complex structures capable of indefinite self-synthesis can emerge from simple chemical building blocks.

Award: $500.0

Nadeen Kharputly

Middle Eastern Studies Association

Denver, CO

Saturday, November 21 - Tuesday, November 24

Abstract: This paper interrogates the intersection of memory, grief, and cleansing at the National 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan. I examine how memories of the past interject the memorial's present and its vision of the future through two cases that illustrate the exclusion of Islam and the inclusion of the Middle East in narrative sites of the memorial. The first case recites the exclusion of Pakistani-American Mohammad Salman Hamdani from the National 9/11 Memorial's list of deceased first responders. Instead, his name was included in a panel commemorating those who have a "loose connection, or none" to the WTC. A Muslim American, Hamdani was mistakenly thought to be involved in the attacks and not, as was later discovered, a hero who responded to victims at the site. The memorial not only failed to acknowledge Hamdani's heroism fittingly, but this omission denied his family, and the greater Muslim American community, the act of grieving for this man as an American hero. This denial resembles the particular kind of grieving that Lori Peek describes in Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans After 9/11 (2011), where Muslim Americans were denied participation in the same kinds of grieving processes as the rest of the population in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In the second case, a 2014 article by Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury describes a visit to the memorial. The author considers what a memorial to martyrs of the Lebanese Civil War would look like. As Khoury gazes at the memorial waterfalls, his imaginative act extends to a tribute to the entire region of the Middle East, thus joining the losses of 9/11 to ongoing losses in the Middle East. Whereas Hamdani's case illustrates the exclusion of Muslim identity from an American memorial, Khoury presents a continuum from New York to the Middle East, extending a line of memory from the American mainland to consequences of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. The National 9/11 Memorial thus appears as a site of paradoxes; of memories that cannot be memorialized, of narratives that are both limited and limitless. I argue that the National 9/11 Memorial complicates the role of Islam and the Middle East in narratives of American public life. Both cases represent kinds of cleansing - a cleansing of Muslim life from the site of tragedy, and a temporal cleansing for both America and the Middle East, to a time "before pain and blood" (Khoury).

Award: $500.0

Naina Kurup

Axons: From Cell Biology to Pathology

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sunday, January 24 - Wednesday, January 27

Abstract: Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying neural circuit rewiring in C. elegans Naina Kurup1 and Yishi Jin1, 2* 1 Neurobiology Section, Division of Biological Sciences, UCSD 2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSD *Corresponding Author Neural circuits are rewired during critical periods of development in many organisms. The nematode C. elegans also undergoes structural synaptic plasticity during larval to adult transition. A subset of motor neurons called DD neurons initially form en passant synapses with the ventral body wall muscles; these synapses are subsequently eliminated and new synapses are formed along dorsal body wall muscles. Interestingly, DD rewiring does not require changes in overall neuronal morphology, and instead is dependent on an increase in the number of dynamic microtubules (MTs) 1. Loss of the conserved MAPKKK DLK-1, in the genetic background of an α-tubulin (TBA-1) mutation2, results in reduced MT dynamics. Adult tba-1 dlk-1 double mutants fail to form DD synapses with dorsal muscles, and display severely uncoordinated locomotion. We performed a forward genetic screen to isolate mutants suppressing this behavioral phenotype, in an effort to understand the role of dynamic MTs in synapse rewiring. Several suppressors are novel gain of function mutations in MT motors, and alter synaptic vesicle transport in DD neurons. Additional data from live imaging of MT plus ends suggest that MT dynamics can provide a directional cue for synaptic vesicle transport to sites of new synapse formation. We also isolated two suppressors affecting an intermediate filament (IF) protein. Ultrastructural analysis and live imaging of MT dynamics reveal an increase in the number of IFs in tba-1dlk-1 double mutants, which appears to inhibit MT growth. Loss of IFs restored MT dynamics and synapse rewiring in tba-1dlk-1 animals, and similar results were obtained using the IF destabilizer, 2, 5 Hexanedione. We hypothesize that MTs may be stabilized through the formation of cross bridges with IFs. Our findings suggest that IFs play an important role in regulating MT dynamics in synaptic plasticity. 1 Kurup, N., Yan, D., Goncharov, A., & Jin, Y. (2015). Dynamic microtubules drive circuit rewiring in the absence of neurite remodeling. Current Biology, 25, 1594-1605. 2 Baran, R., Castelblanco, L., Tang, G., Shapiro, I., Goncharov, A., & Jin, Y. (2010). Motor neuron synapse and axon defects in a C. elegans alpha-tubulin mutant. PloS one, 5:e9655.

Award: $500.0

Ori Ben Yosef Talmon

New Music Conference and Festival NUNC2

Northwestern University

Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8

Abstract: Title: Music and the Visual Arts – The Ensemble as a Translator of Experience. Abstract: In recent years, my compositional practice has revolved around the challenge to translate into music the experience of contemplating works of visual arts. My compositional methodology evolved as an iterative process that evaluated ways in which visual elements and their perception can be captured, described and represented in the audio domain during the act of listening to music. In “Tracing Lea’s Strokes” for Saxophone, E-Guitar, Piano and Percussion (composed as part of UCSD’s collaboration with the L.A based ensemble wasteLAnd in 2015) the ensemble is treated as a Translator of a human gaze-behavior; the experience of contemplating an abstract painting was captured through an eye-tracking procedure, in which the x-y coordinates of the observer’s gaze were recorded and projected on a “material field of musical opportunities”.

Award: $500.0

Rachel Hicks

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting

Denver, CO

Wednesday, November 18 - Sunday, October 25

Abstract: On the multilingual landscape of Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands, Engdewu, the smallest language on the island, is facing pressures that are causing a shift from people mainly speaking their indigenous language to increasingly speaking Solomon Islands Pijin, the lingua franca. Many factors are causing this shift including the intermarriage patterns and the introduction of Pijin in schools, as well as the ideological associations tied to each language. Historically, women learned Engdewu when moving to the village, associating themselves to an Engdewu identity. However, since everyone now learns Pijin in school, they do not need to know Engdewu to communicate, so the newcomers to the village speak Pijin and transmit Pijin to their children. In this paper, I will explicate these causes of language shift and how this is tied to politics of identity for Engdewu speakers. Members of the Engdewu community attribute different values to speaking Engdewu, Pijin, or another local dialect. Some people consider Pijin to be the language of authority because it is accessible to anyone and opens the door for economic advancement. Contrastingly, some native speakers consider Engdewu to be the authentic language that should be transmitted because of its cultural and linguistic value. Through this paper, I will examine how community members either attempt to hold onto their Engdewu identity by speaking their native language with their children or choose to incorporate Pijin into their homes, associating themselves to an identity and value beyond their local village.

Award: $500.0

Rawan Arar

Social Science History Association

Baltimore, MD

Thursday, November 12 - Sunday, November 15

Abstract: Scholars have typically drawn a sharp distinction between immigration admissions policies and policies that regulate immigrants’ integration into the society of the destination country (Hammar 1989). Yet by 2011, several European governments required many potential immigrants to demonstrate that they have the capacity to integrate before or shortly after entry. The supposed ability to integrate became a condition of admission through new policies that required national language tests, and in the Dutch and French cases, the demonstration of cultural knowledge about those countries as well. Many analysts have argued that combining integration and immigration policies in this fashion is a novel and uniquely European form of immigration control (Orgad 2010; Wallace Goodman 2011; Groenendijk 2011; Joppke 2013; Bonjour 2014). This paper draws on much deeper and broader comparisons across North America, Latin America, and Western Europe over the last century. We identify and explain what is new in the forms and logics of using assimilability as a formal criterion to select immigrants. A recurring characteristic throughout this period is that preferences for “assimilable” immigrants are used to avoid the international and domestic conflicts that accompany discrimination against named groups. A major difference in twenty-first century European policies is that while they are motivated by folk theories of which social groups are most and least assimilable, the ability to integrate is now tested as an individual cultural achievement, rather than an immutable, racially ascribed status.

Award: $500.0

Saining Xie

International Conference on Computer Vision

Santiago, Chile

Sunday, December 13 - Friday, December 18

Abstract: We develop a new edge detection algorithm that tackles two important issues in this long-standing vision problem: (1) holistic image training and prediction; and (2) multi-scale and multi-level feature learning. Our proposed method, holistically-nested edge detection (HED), performs image-to-image prediction by means of a deep learning model that leverages fully convolutional neural networks and deeply-supervised nets. HED automatically learns rich hierarchical representations (guided by deep supervision on side responses) that are important in order to approach the human ability resolve the challenging ambiguity in edge and object boundary detection. We significantly advance the state-of-the-art on the BSD500 dataset (ODS F-score of .782) and the NYU Depth dataset (ODS F-score of .746), and do so with an improved speed (0.4 second per image) that is orders of magnitude faster than some recent CNN-based edge detection.

Award: $500.0

Sandahl Nelson

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

San Antonio, Texas

Tuesday, December 8 - Saturday, December 12

Abstract: Post-diagnosis physical activity and comorbidities, not BMI, explain mortality risk in the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project Authors: Sandahl H Nelson1 MS, Catherine R Marinac1, Ruth E Patterson1 PhD, Sarah J Nechuta2 PhD, Bette J Caan3 DrPH, Wendy Y Chen4,5 MD, MPH, Xiao-ou Shu2 MD, MPH, PhD, John P Pierce1 PhD. 1Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, CA 2Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 3Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, 2000 Oakland, CA 4Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 5Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA Background: In its 2014 position statement, ASCO concluded that obesity is associated with worse prognosis after cancer diagnosis. However in the same year, a comprehensive review by the World Cancer Research Fund concluded that there was limited evidence that greater body fatness increases risk of overall or breast cancer mortality, indicating that further investigation into lifestyle factors are needed. The After Breast Cancer (ABC) Pooling Project has reported, separately, significant mortality effects of pre-diagnosis BMI and of post-diagnosis physical activity (PA). We investigate whether the effect of BMI can be limited to subgroups characterized by comorbidities and physical activity. Methods: Data are from the three US cohorts that were harmonized in the ABCPP (n=9513) including: the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL), Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE), and Nurses’ Health (NHS) studies. Stepwise delayed entry Cox proportional hazards models examined each lifestyle predictor (BMI, PA, and comorbidities assessed after diagnosis) sequentially and together in multivariate models for breast cancer and all-cause mortality. Results: In multivariate models without the other two target variables, PA was significantly associated with a 17% decrease in the risk of breast cancer mortality among women in the highest quartile of PA (MET hrs/wk > 21.4), compared to the lowest quartile (MET hrs/wk < 2.7) (HR=0.81,95% CI= 0.67,0.97). In the model with major comorbidities, there was a significant 40% increase in the risk of breast cancer mortality among women diagnosed with both diabetes and hypertension (HR=1.40, 95% CI= 1.01,1.93). In the model with BMI, there was no significant association with risk of breast cancer mortality. These results were essentially unchanged with all variables in a single model. For all-cause mortality, the PA-only model showed a significant PA effect with the hazard decreasing from 20% to 40% across quartiles (Q2 HR=0.80, 95% CI=0.71,0.90, Q4 HR=0.62, 95% CI=0.54,0.71). In the comorbidity-only model, both diabetes and hypertension significantly increased hazard of all-cause mortality 80% and 33%, respectively. Having both diagnoses was associated with a significant, 2.3 fold increase in all-cause mortality (HR=2.34, 95% CI= 1.95,2.81). In the BMI-only model, being underweight was associated with a significant 2.4 fold increase in risk of all-cause mortality, and there was a 20 and 37% increase in risk associated with being categorized as obese I or II (Obese I HR=1.23, 95% CI=1.07,1.40, Obese II HR=1.37, 95% CI=1.16,1.61). With all three variables in the model, the risk associated with being obese decreased and became non-significant (Obese I HR=1.06, Obese II HR=1.05), while the significance, strength, and direction of the association of comorbidities and PA with all-cause mortality remained constant. Conclusion: These data suggest that post-diagnosis comorbidities and lack of physical activity, rather than obesity, are the important risk factors for all-cause and breast cancer specific mortality. While needing further validation, these suggest that physical activity interventions and monitoring treatment for comorbidities should become standard of care for breast cancer survivors

Award: $500.0

Sean Berquist

American Federation for Medical Research - Western Regional Meeting


Thursday, January 28 - Saturday, January 30

Abstract: TITLE: COEXISTING CLEAR CELL RENAL CELL CARCINOMA AND SOLITARY EXTRAMEDULLARY PLASMACYTOMA AUTHORS (FIRST NAME INITIAL LAST NAME): S. W. Berquist1, A. Hassan1, Z. Hamilton1, C. Dufour1, I. Derweesh1 INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. UC San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, United States. ABSTRACT BODY: Case Report: Renal solitary extramedullary plasmacytomas are rare plasma cell neoplasms. We report a patient with coexisting extramedullary plasmacytoma and clear cell renal cell carcinoma with 22 month follow-up. A 51 year old male presented with gross hematuria. Follow-up CT imaging (Image 1) revealed an 8 cm left renal mass. A fine needle biopsy found monoclonal plasma cell proliferation and serum protein electrophoresis showed monoclonal expansion of a small IgG, leading to work-up for multiple myeloma. PET/CT imaging, bone marrow biopsy, peripheral blood smear, and cytogenetics were consistent with a solitary extramedullary plasmacytoma. He subsequently underwent an open left partial nephrectomy and discharged with no complications. The resected mass had negative surgical margins, a largest diameter of 8 cm and was not spread past the capsule. Tumor histology was conducted with hemotoxylin and eosin staining. The tumor pathology revealed a Fuhrman grade 2 clear cell renal cell carcinoma with intermingled plasma cell proliferation.The plasma cell nodules were found to be monocolonal lambda immunglogulin light chain producing cells. Overall, the findings are compatible with coexistence of plasmacytoma and clear cell renal cell carcinoma, pT2a pathological staging. At 22 month follow up the patient has no evidence of disease and is without complication. Renal function tests are unchanged from baseline. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of coexisting plasmacytoma and renal cell carcinoma. The report calls into question pre-surgical renal mass biopsy protocol and suggests a relationship between renal cell carcinoma and plasma cell neoplasms.

Award: $300.0

Steven Naleway

6th International Conference on Mechanics of Biomaterials and Tissues (ICMOBT)

Waikoloa, Hawaii

Sunday, December 6 - Thursday, December 10

Abstract: The recent interest in biocompatible and bioabsorbable bone implants over permanent devices has driven a multitude of research into bioinspired designs. Key to these designs is mimicking the complex hierarchical structure of cortical bone, which displays porosity on multiple length scales including larger osteons and smaller lacuna spaces. It is this porosity that promotes healthy bone growth. We present a novel method for the fabrication of bioinspired, hydroxyapatite-based materials that mimic this complex and hierarchical porosity (Figure 1). In this, smaller porosity is created by the freeze casting technique, where a ceramic scaffold is templated by the growth of ice crystals, while larger porosity is templated through the use of 3D printed structures. This results in final scaffolds with interpenetration between porosity at two length scales. The 3D printing process allows for a high level of control over the final porosity size and shape. Applications as biomedical implant materials will be discussed.

Award: $500.0

Vanessa Lodermeier

“Familiar/Strange”: 114th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting

Denver, Colorado

Wednesday, November 18 - Sunday, November 22

Abstract: Discourses about human rights abuses proliferate today from the US Senate report on the CIA torture program to the brutal murders of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico. Neoliberalism brings many political and economic transitions, profoundly restructuring labor regimes. For instance, with “the retreat of the state,” non-governmental organizations (NGOs) become a pivotal defender of human rights. As part of the increasing interconnectedness of the 21st century, porous borders create landscapes lush for migration. These changes, combined with a flexible labor market, means migrants search for employment across international boundaries, travelling wherever work can be found. This complex leads to the intersection of migrant sex worker rights, which I investigate. I examine human rights discourses employed by NGOs regarding women who are involved in the sex trade, particularly Latina migrants along the Mexico-U.S. border. Regarding the sex trade, the intersection of rights to freedom versus rights to work represents a contradictory conjunction of discourses. Whether employed by sex worker advocates or anti-sex trafficking activists, rights discourses are used in service of particular political agendas. I explore to what extent hegemonic and counter-hegemonic rights discourses are channeled by both activists promoting migrant sex workers’ well being and by neo-abolitionists protecting those involved in sex trafficking. Necessary to understanding the subjectivities involved in such identity politics are conceptions of agency and common-sense/doxastic world-view. Of special concern is the representation of migrant women who make constrained choices to engage in such labor, and how this influences their subjectivities and daily life experiences.

Award: $500.0

Vincent Sherman

6th International Conference on Mechanics of Biomaterials and Tissues

Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA

Sunday, December 6 - Thursday, December 10

Abstract: Armored scales of Atractosteus spatula (Alligator gar), Arapaima gigas (arapaima), and Latimeria chalumnae (Coelacanth) are characterized using a variety of techniques including mechanical testing, SEM, TEM, and AFM. These three fish have unique scales with different characteristics and structures that provide effectiveness as an armor. The alligator gar is a large fish which measures up to 2.5 m and 150 kg and lives in brackish water of the southern United States and the Gulf of Mexico. It has an inflexible articulating ganoid scale made of a hard and highly mineralized enamel-like outer surface and a tough dentine-like boney base. These scales are optimized to resist self-predation and attack by alligators. The arapaima lives in the Amazon and grows up to 2.5 m and 100 kg. It has flexible and overlapping elasmoid scales which consist of a tough Bouligand arrangement of collagen layers in the base and a hard external mineralized surface. These scales protect the arapaima from the piranha, a predator with extremely sharp teeth. Lastly, the coelacanth is a prehistoric fish originally thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago. These “living fossils” live 100-500 meters deep in Indian the ocean, and grow up to 1.8 m and over 60 kg. Overlapping cosmoid scales made of Bouligand-like lamellae are oriented at near 90 degrees to adjacent layers, which are connected with struts, creating voids between lamellae. These fish have existed for 400 million years and the effectiveness of their scale armor has truly stood the test of time. Structural differences between the three scales lead to differing toughening mechanisms which may be imitated and incorporated into superior armor designs. Supported by AFOSR MURI (AFOSR-FA9550-15-1-0009)

Award: $500.0

Weijie Wang

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

San Francisco

Monday, December 14 - Friday, December 18

Abstract: A large body of work has shown that year-to-year variations in North African dust emission are inversely proportional to the monsoon rainfall received in the adjacent Sahel, implying that African dust emission is highly sensitive to vegetation changes in this narrow transitional zone. However, such a theory is not supported by field observations or modeling studies, as both suggest that interannual variability in dust is due to changes in wind speeds over the major emitting regions, which lie to the north of the Sahelian vegetated zone. Here we reconcile this contradiction showing that interannual variability in Sahelian rainfall, and surface wind speeds over the Sahara, are the result of changes in lower tropospheric air temperatures over the Saharan Heat Low (SHL). As the SHL warms an anomalous tropospheric circulation develops that reduces windspeeds over the Sahara and displaces the monsoonal rainfall northward, thus simultaneously increasing Sahel rainfall and reducing dust emission from the major “hot-spots” in the Sahara. Our results also shed light on why climate models are to-date unable to reproduce observed historical variability in dust emission and transport from this region.

Award: $300.0

Yun Goo Ro

2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

Boston, Massachusetts

Sunday, November 29 - Friday, December 4

Abstract: One of the most exciting trends in electronics lately is flexible and wearable devices that can feedback important information about our health and well-being. One of the main obstacles to overcome for flexible and wearable electronic devices is power management; In this work, we introduce flexible and efficient Si nanowire solar cells which promise excellent potential for powering wearable electronics. Silicon nanowire solar cells have long promised reducing the optical absorption length in Si and the enhanced photovoltaic activity in thin Si materials but have been limited to less than 10% power conversion efficiencies. Surface recombination loss of photogenerated carriers is one major component for degrading nanowire solar cell performance. Controlling the nanowire facets on crystal planes that are known to have low interface state densities may help in reducing surface recombination and recovering the promised performance of nanowire solar cells. Here, we studied the solar cell performance in {100} and {110} square Si nanowires and in arbitrary faceted Si circular nanowires with similar surface area. We have done a systematic study to minimize the surface recombination effect by fabricating nanowires with clean smooth surface and we demonstrate that with appropriate surface passivation, solar cell performance can be enhanced to over 9% efficiency. Additional tuning of optical absorption resulted in 10.5% power conversion efficiencies in 10 μm tall Si nanowires, which is the highest performance reported for this type of thin Si solar cells. The nanowire cells were transferred to a flexible polyimide substrates. Bending tests of these wire cells showed that the devices are flexible and potentially wearable. For this purpose, we developed a single fabrication process that for making both Si nanowire solar cells and MOSFETs on a single chip, for solar-powered wearable electronics. We will report on the latest performance metrics in these endeavors and the performance analysis of the overall system on a flexible substrate.

Award: $500.0