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Research Live! Event Details

2016 Winners

First Place

Ritu Raman, "Bio-Bots: Building Beyond Biology"
Ritu Raman is an engineer an educator committed to introducing biological materials into the toolbox of every inventor. She will receive her PhD in Mechanical Engineering in December 2016. Ritu is also an aspiring writer and entrepreneur, and is passionate about promoting diversity in STEM. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and drinking tea with friends. Website: | Twitter @raman_ritu

Second Place

Janelle Mapes, "What Makes Breast Cancer Cells Grow?"
Janelle Mapes is a PhD Candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Milan Bagchi in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her research focuses on identifying signaling pathways controlling mammary gland development and breast cancer. Outside of the lab, Janelle enjoys spending time with friends, trying new foods and sampling craft beers.

Third Place (Tie)

Christina Bronson-Lowe, "Complexity and oral motor learning: a path to better treatment of swallowing disorders?"
Christina Bronson-Lowe is a speech-language pathologist and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science. Her work focuses on using measures developed from theories of fractals and chaos to investigate motor control and motor learning, particularly in the elderly. The goal is to apply this knowledge to improve therapies for dysphagia (swallowing disorders). Christina also has a strong clinical interest in speech-language pathologists' contributions to end-of-life care, including supporting patients and families with feeding decisions and communication.

S.K. (Kayleigh) Van Poolen, "Started with a Hurricane Named Katrina"
S.K. (Kayleigh) Van Poolen is an Advanced Studies student at the iSchool and focuses on information and data sciences with added components of social justice and legal information. She brings advanced degrees in Political Science, Urban Planning, Information Sciences and Law to her work that seeks new ways of using information and data. She is actively pursuing a career related to data and research that supports digital scholarship, social justice organizations and communities as well as law schools with active public interest law programs. In addition to most things data, she enjoys radio broadcasting, managing large volunteer teams and projects, jewelry designing, painting and creative endeavors wherever she lives.

People's Choice

Vaibhav Karve, "Recognizing patterns in New York traffic"
Vaibhav Karve is a second year PhD student in the Department of Mathematics. He likes solving mathematical problems that have a flavor of Physics or computation to them. When he is not studying he enjoys teaching math to to his students. He hopes to work towards making math enjoyable to every one and eradicating math-phobia. Outside of math, he spends a lot of time reading literature and scouring the internet.

2016 Finalists

Arif Abdullah, Mechanical Engineering, "Mimicking Venus Flytrap: Autonomous Structures That Sense and Respond"
Kamalika Chatterjee, Mechanical Engineering, "Studying mechanical deformation of aircraft materials : Have a safe flight!"
Kyung Yun Choi, Aerospace Engineering, "Impact Resistant Prosthetic Hand: The Soft Overcomes The hard"
William Davies, Mechanical Engineering, "Condensation on an Inclination"
Jessica Hekman, Animal Sciences, "Domestication comes in on little feet -- like, microscopic ones"
Jamie Pearson, Special Education, "'You Need to Keep Those Kids Quiet': Autism in African American Communities"
Widya Aulia Ramadhani, Architecture, "Please Remove Shoes: The Relation of Shoes Removal Practice, Transitional Space, and Human Health"
Jessica Saw, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, "Urinary Stones: A Product of Dynamic Interactions Between the Microbiome and Mineral Precipitation"
Lisa Schlein, Pathobiology,  "A Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Brain Cancer"

Finals Judges

Naila Boodhoo Niala Boodhoo is Host and Executive Producer of “The 21st” on Illinois Public Media/WILL Radio, a weekday public radio talk show about the issues and stories that matter to Illinois. She has worked as a journalist for 16 years, including stints at the Miami Herald, Reuters, and The Associated Press. She’s been in public media since 2008, first in Miami and most recently as host of The Afternoon Shift on WBEZ/Chicago Public Media.
Antoinette Burton Antoinette Burton is Director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) and Catherine C. & Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies in the History Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Burton is a feminist historian of Britain and its empire, and she is author or editor of more than 18 books. Burton is also principle investigator on “Humanities without Walls,” funded by a Mellon Foundation grant, that includes efforts to enhance career preparation for humanities graduate students.
Gene Robinson

Gene Robinson is Director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and Swanlund Chair of Entomology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Robinson uses genomics and systems biology to study the mechanisms and evolution of social life, with a focus on bees as model systems. He heads the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium and serves on the National Institute of Mental Health Advisory Council. Robinson is a fellow with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Vishal Sachdev Vishal Sachdev is Director of the Illinois MakerLab at the University of Illinois. The Illinois MakerLab is equipped with 3D printers, 3D design software, and 3D scanning devices, and it offers access to and training to use these tools for University of Illinois students and community members. Sachdev holds a PhD in Information Systems and researches the role of technology in enabling collective action, cooperative production, information sharing, sense making, and collaborative work.
Daniel Simons Daniel Simons is Professor of Psychology and affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research explores the limits of our own minds and the reasons why we often are unaware of our limits. He is co-author of The Invisible Gorilla and has written for the New York Times, Psychology Today, Slate, and other popular venues in addition to numerous scholarly articles. Simons has also taught graduate courses on speaking/writing for general audiences in the Psychology Department at Illinois.