Below are lists of BBMB senior thesis projects from past years.  The location of the research and the student's thesis adviser at Whitman are listed for each. (Students who do research at other universities, government agencies, companies, research institutes still have a Whitman faculty serve as adviser for thesis write-up during the senior year.)

BBMB Senior Research Projects 2013-14

Shunei Asao
Algae Switching in Forked Tube Lichen
Whitman College   (Adviser: Suzanne Alterman)

Jay Barlow
Role of Microbial Biosurfactants  in the Athabasca Oil Sands
U. of Calgary; Whitman College  (Adviser: Sara Belchik)

Ryan Calvert 
Nutritional Counseling for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease
Whitman College   (Adviser:  Kendra  Golden)

Andres Crane
Role of Astroglia Contact in Neurogenesis
Whitman  College   (Adviser:  Ginger  Withers)

Daniel Ellis
Biomimetic Models for Mo-containing CO Dehydrogenase
Whitman  College   (Adviser:  Dalia Rokhsana)

Forrest Epstein
Adenovirus-Derived Junction Opener
Dept. of Medical Genetics, U. of Washington, Seattle  (Adviser:  Arielle Cooley) 

Kayla Erspamer
Alpha-TEA-lysine salt induction of autophagy in breast cancer                                
Whitman  College   (Adviser:  Ginger  Withers)

Patrick Finnegan
PIRL genes in Vitis vinafera (grape)
Whitman  College    (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon)

Kendell Gilmore
PIRL-9 gene overexpression in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana
Whitman  College    (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon)

Gabriela Kaus
Role of c-di-GMP responsive circuits in biofilms of Vibrio
Dept. of Microbiology, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA   (Adviser: Sara Belchik)

Sam Kirsch
Neuron Polarization on Nanotextured Growth Surfaces
Whitman  College  (Adviser:  Ginger  Withers)

John Lee
Atlas for Mouse Brain Vasculature
Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, Seattle   (Adviser:  Ginger  Withers)

Liz Leong
PIRL9-GFP gene expression in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana
Whitman  College   (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon)

Amanda Lu
Biochemical pharmacology of IRAP inhibition
Dept. of Physiology, Monash University, Australia  (Adviser:  Jim  Russo)

Joshua Melander
Experience-dependent Neuroplasticity
Whitman  College  (Adviser:  Chris Wallace)

McKenzie Momany
RNA isolation from Foreskin and Rectum in HIV vaccine trial
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle    (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon)

Carol Pengshung
Tuberculosis Antigen Discovery
Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle      (Adviser:  Jim  Russo)

Chris Perkins
Betaine osmolyte in Mice
Whitman  College     (Advisers: Leena Knight and Paul Yancey)

Corinne Pingul
Evaluation of Physical Fitness and Nutrition Programs in WWPS
Walla Walla Public Schools     (Adviser:  Jim  Russo)

Nathan Radakovich

Diversity of CD8 Tcell responses to HY antigens in GVHD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle     (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon) 

Alexandra Roston
Allosteric control KCNQ1 Ion-channel in Cardiac tissue
Cardiovascular Research Group, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver   (Adviser: Leena Knight)

Jeremy Schofield 
Model Complexes to probe substrate specificity of pcpA enzyme
Whitman  College     (Adviser:  Tim Machonkin)

Reid Shaw
Intracompartmental Pressure Measurement
Mirador Biomedical, Seattle       (Adviser: Leena Knight)

Hallie Swan
PIRL-6 gene expression using protoplasts in Arabidopsis thaliana
Whitman  College        (Adviser:  Dan  Vernon)

Ivana Vukovic
Molecular cloning of XylE Catechol 2,3 Dioxygenase
Whitman  College            (Adviser:  Tim Machonkin)

Forrest Watkins
Pentamidine binding to DNA in Myotonic Dystrophy
Institute of Molecular Biology, U. of Oregon, Eugene     (Adviser:  Arielle Cooley)

Katie Zajicek
Chromatophore cell based biosensors
Oregon State University           (Adviser: Paul Yancey)



Max Adcox

(Adviser: Jim Russo)

Inhibition of carbonyl reductase using trans, cis and trans-trismethoxyresveratrol

Dept. of Biochemistry, Boise State University

Tom Austin

Association between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease susceptibility loci and risk of colorectal cancer

(Adviser: Dan Vernon)

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Sarah Brooker

Effects of Dietary Milk Fat Intervention on Fatty Acid Expression in Lactating Women

(Adviser: Jim Russo)

Dept of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Idaho

Carson Burns

Bacteriophage Infection in E coli

(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Tiffany Choe

Early detection of optic nerve degeneration: The effects of acute intraocular pressure and tracking axonal degeneration in the rat retina

(Adviser: Leena Knight)

Legacy Devers Eye Institute, Portland, OR

Kayla Chory

Analysis of Synapse Development Associated with Neuron and Astroglia Interactions

(Adviser: Ginger Withers)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

John Hodges

Bacteriophage Infection in E coli

(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Nang San Hit Lar Seng

Testing Osmolytes as Cryoprotective Agents for Macromolecular Crystallography

(Adviser: Doug Juers)

BBMB & Physics, Whitman College

Allison Ikeda

Evaluation of potential CD8 T-cell inducing adjuvants using Plasmodium CS Protein

(Adviser: Jim Russo)

Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle, WA

Erik Korsmo

Bacteriophage Infection in E coli

(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Matt MacQuivey

Bacteriophage Infection in E coli

(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Chelsea Momany

Expression and cloning of the PATE gene family in Mus musculus

(Adviser: Dan Vernon)

Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State Univ – Spokane

Eric Nesbit

Using qPCR to screen for onset of morphological plasticity of neurons, astroglia and blood vessels in rat model of brain information storage

(Adviser: Chris Wallace)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Viral Oza

Using Nanofabricated Substrates to Investigate Topographic Dependent Growth of Rat Hippocampal Neurons in vitro

(Adviser: Ginger Withers)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Charlie Procknow

The Molecular Basis of Pulmonary Artery Stiffening Caused by Pulmonary Hypertension

(Adviser: Doug Juers)

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Laura Quennoz

The Effect of Steroid Ablation and Replacement in the Primate Corpus Luteum during Simulated Early Pregnancy

(Adviser: Jim Russo)

Oregon National Primate Research Center, Portland, OR

Johanna Robertson

Finding a Method for Reverse Transcriptase PCR on Microfluidic Card & Pape

(Adviser: Dan Vernon)

Dept of Bioengineering, University of Washington

Chris Saxby

Protection against polymicrobial sepsis conferred by miR-155 knockout in mice

(Adviser: Dan Vernon)

University of Washington

Rachelle Sloss

Lipid Analysis of Fall and Spring Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi)

(Adviser: Paul Yancey)

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute/NOAA, Juneau, AK

Jeff Sterritt

Analysis of Co-cultured Neuronal and Glial Cell Development in vitro

(Adviser: Ginger Withers)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College

Kiana Sua

Bisphenol A (BPA): The Experimental Challenges of Assessing the Health Hazards of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds

(Adviser: Jim Russo)

BBMB, Whitman College

Lauralee Woods

Analyses of Leucine Rich Repeat Protein PIRL9's role in flowering initiation pathway of Arabidopsis with respect to SOC and FLC genes

(Adviser: Dan Vernon)

BBMB & Biology, Whitman College


Jeremy Balch
Modeling Translocations and Oscillations to Characterize ERK in EGF Signal Pathways
Pacific Northwest National Labs
(Advisers: Steven Wiley and Jim Russo)

Jackson Cahn
Pretreatment with serum-free media enhances short-term adhesion of osteoblasts to borosilicate glass
Materials Science & Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards & Technology
(Advisers: Sheldon Wiederhorn & Doug Juers)

Kevin Chung
Synthesis of Cruzain Inhibitors for Therapeutic Use Against Chagas Disease
BBMB & Chemistry, Whitman College
(Adviser: Marion Götz)

Rachel Constantino-Wallace
Analysis of Neuron-Glial Interactions
BBMB & Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Ginger Withers)

Anees Daud
Cloning and Refolding of LinE: Towards the Overexpression of a Chlorohydroquinone Ring-Cleaving Dioxygenase
BBMB & Chemistry, Whitman College
(Adviser: Tim Machonkin)

Crystal Dinh
Initial in vitro screening of IDRI's adjuvant formulations
Infectious Disease Research Institute
(Advisers: James Chesko & Jim Russo)

Erin Franco (TBD)

Meesha Last (TBD)

Haley Marshall (TBD)

Brian Mooers
The Manduca Sexta Immune Response to Escherichia coli Infection in the Presence of T4 Bacteriophages
BBMB & Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

Heather O’Moore
Computational Analysis of the Specificity of Thalidomide binding to DNA
BBMB & Physics, Whitman College
(Advisers: Dayle Smith and Doug Juers)

David Protter
To Pool or Not to Pool: Implications for Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics
Pediatrics Proteomics Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine
(Advisers: James Schilling & Doug Juers)

Thomas Roston
The Effects of Sub-inhibitory Concentrations of Antibiotics on Bacteriophage T4
Microbiology, U. British Columbia
(Advisers: Julian Davies & Kendra Golden)

Kendra Vandree
Developing Tools for the Characterization of Marine Environmental Samples
Marine Sciences Lab, Pacific Northwest National Labs
(Advisers: George Bonheyo & Amy Groth)

Chris Yoo
The Manduca Sexta Immune Response to Escherichia coli Infection in the Presence of T4 Bacteriophages
BBMB & Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Kendra Golden)


Reid Bennett
Bacteriophage Infection of Stationary Phase E coli by Bacteriophages CEV1, CEV2, & CBA120
Phage Lab, Evergreen State College
(Advisers: Elizabeth Kutter & Kendra Golden)

Etasha Bhatt
Control of Orienting Head Movements in the Mouse: Projections from the Motor Cortex to Brainstem Neck Premotor Areas
BBMB and Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Tom Knight)

Jessica Bruhn
Creating a Chimera: Studying Multiple Sclerosis Through a Myelin Basic Protein-Actin Fusion Protein
BBMB and Physics, Whitman College
(Advisers: Doug Juers & Jim Russo)

Calvin Davis
An Orbital Analysis of Metallized DNA
BBMB and Physics, Whitman College
(Adviser: Dayle Smith)

Josiah Hanson
Living Lean: The Effects of Glia Deprivation & Cholesterol on Cultured Rat Hippocampal Neurons
BBMB and Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Ginger Withers)

Sam Moulton
The Ketogenic Diet & Epilepsy: Does the diet affect insulin receptor expression in the brain?
BBMB and Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Leena Knight)

Ysbrand Nusse
Wnt Signaling and Retinal Regeneration
Dept. of Surgery, Stanford University
(Advisers: Jill Helms & Leena Knight)

Simon Quay
Photostimulation Using Channelrhodopsin-2 Sheds Light on Neural Circuitry
Watson School of Biological Sciences
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
(Advisers: Tony Zador & Leena Knight)

Andrew Richards

Ex vivo Tumor Platform: Targeted Therapy for Medulloblastoma
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(Advisers: Jim Olson & Jim Russo)

Brigitte Woods

GFP-e2F1 PIP3A Effects on Endoreplication in Drosophila Salivary Glands
Basic Sciences Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(Advisers: Bruce Edgar & Dan Vernon)

Jillian Varonin

Comparative qRT-PCR Gene Expression Analysis of Glucocorticoid Receptor Induced & Repressed
Genes in WT & GRdim Mice
Gladstone Institute, U. California- San Francisco
(Advisers: R Farese, C Harris, & J Russo)

Kellie Wutzke

Use of Lytic T4 Bacteriophage in Prevention of E. Coli Infections in Manduca Sexta Larvae
BBMB and Biology, Whitman College
(Adviser: Kendra Golden)

BBMB Senior Research Projects 2007-08

Lauren Adrian
Fluorescence-Detection Size Exclusion Chromatography as a Precrystallization Screening for Bcr-Abl
Oregon Cancer Institute
Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland

Garth Brandal
Fmr1 transcript isoforms: association with polyribosomes and expression in developing brain and neural stem cells.
Dept. of Biochemistry
University of Washington, Seattle

Rachel Carroll
Thy-1 and PTEN regulation of -smooth muscle actin expression in fibroblasts.
Division of Pediatric Pulmonology
University of Alabama-Birmingham

Rhea Edelman
The Perfect Storm: Implementing School Nutrition Policies to Respond to Childhood Obesity.
BBMB Program (J. Russo)
Whitman College

Rob Jefferson
Cloning and Expression of Myelin Basic Protein - Calmodulin Fusion Proteins for Structural Studies.
BBMB Program (D. Juers)
Whitman College

Kalani Halemano
Molecular Modelling of Drug Targets for PDK1/PI3K Protein Kinases.
BBMB Program (D. Smith)
Whitman College

Sarith Keo
Hepatitis C Virus NS5A: Functional Analysis through Mutagenesis.
Dept. of Molecular & Cell Biology
University of California-Berkeley

Ellen McCleery
Behaviorally-Induced Immediate-Early Gene Expression Across Hippocampal Subfields and Neocortex.
BBMB Program (C. Wallace)
Whitman College

Thu Nguyen
Computational analysis of Thalidomide-DNA interactions.
BBMB Program (D. Smith)
Whitman College

Tracey Park
Investigating the depletion effect in polyethylene glycol-induced protein crystallization.
BBMB Program (D. Juers)
Whitman College

Mike Patterson
A Proteomics Approach to Study Human Burn Tissues.
Dept . of Anesthesiology/Shriners Children's Hospital
University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston

Linda Phan
Using Multiple Biopsies to Detect HIV Drug-Resistant Variants in the Female Genital Tract.
Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease
University of Washington, Seattle

Kathryn Roston
Protein Trafficking in Mammalian Neurons.
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University. Burnaby, BC

Loren Schmidt
Pathways of cell death and inflammation in lung injury.
Division of Pulmonary Medicine
University of Washington, Seattle

Allison Spencer
Bioremediation at the Hanford Site.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Shana Straub
Genetic Screens for Genes that Promote Flowering in Response to Shade in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Dept of Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Claudia Yeung
Murine Cytomegalovirus (MCMV) Immune Evasion Gene Function in Neonatal Mice.
Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland

Matt Zekan
Molecular mechanisms of noradrenergic dysregulation in PTSD.
VA Medical Center, Seattle, WA