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The Development of a Plant-Expressed M2e-Based Universal Influenza Vaccine

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Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A, however, has demonstrated high levels of conservation. On its own it is poorly immunogenic and offers little protection against influenza infections, but by combining it with a potent adjuvant, this limitation may be overcome. Recombinant immune complexes, or antigens fused to antibodies that have been engineered to form incredibly immunogenic complexes with one another, were previously shown to be useful, immunogenic platforms for the presentation of various antigens and could provide the boost in immunogenicity that M2e needs to become a powerful universal influenza A vaccine. In this thesis, genetic constructs containing geminiviral replication proteins and coding for a consensus sequence of dimeric M2e fused to antibodies featuring complimentary epitopes and epitope tags were generated and used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The transformed bacteria was then used to cause Nicotiana benthamiana to transiently express M2e-RICs at very high levels, with enough RICs being gathered to evaluate their potency in future mouse trials. Future directions and areas for further research are discussed.

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2018-05

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Re-Humanizing the Medical Field Through Narratives

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The medical field is one that depends on human interaction. I have noticed through my love of both English Literature and Medicine that one of the best ways to connect people, is by sharing their stories. To accomplish this, I

The medical field is one that depends on human interaction. I have noticed through my love of both English Literature and Medicine that one of the best ways to connect people, is by sharing their stories. To accomplish this, I interviewed eleven physicians to understand their human story. From those interviews, I worked to emulate their voices, to create a chapter for each of them. Through this, I was able to understand what they personally went through to get to where they are today. This has allowed me to better understand the field I plan to be in.

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2019-05

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Medicine Before the Flexner Report: How Sects-y is too Sects-y?

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While the transition from sectarian to allopathic medicine was almost entirely beneficial due to our perceived value in the type of evidence and transparency that science provides, key values within sectarian practice were lost in this transition. Attention to these

While the transition from sectarian to allopathic medicine was almost entirely beneficial due to our perceived value in the type of evidence and transparency that science provides, key values within sectarian practice were lost in this transition. Attention to these values helps us better understand the role and treatment of patients in modern medicine. Modern scientific physicians have proven the inefficacy of sectarian treatments by scientific practices, but the efficacy of exact sectarian remedies may not have bearing on the importance of sectarian values. These values were: medical simplicity, harmlessness in treatment, independence from physicians and accessibility of treatment. A more in-depth analysis of sectarian values allows us to understand that while the values of allopathic medicine have become ubiquitous, it has not always been that way. It is time to consider the validity in the sectarian values we have abandoned; this analysis was one of many on medicine's imminent developmental horizon. This realization allows us to call into question the importance of our current practicing values, and the necessity that they continue to stand alone.

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2017-05

Dichotomy: A Framework for Curative Drawing to Reduce Stress

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Curative arts and art therapy have been increasingly implicated in promoting health and well-being for patients, but little research has been done for the benefits of drawing therapy for stress management or individuals in a non-diseased state. College students and

Curative arts and art therapy have been increasingly implicated in promoting health and well-being for patients, but little research has been done for the benefits of drawing therapy for stress management or individuals in a non-diseased state. College students and healthcare professionals are particularly susceptible to high levels of stress, as I experienced firsthand as a medical scribe in the Emergency Room during my undergraduate experience. For this reason, I wanted to focus on using curative arts as a mediator for high-stress situations. My creative project is therefore a portable framework for curative drawing. The framework is designed to help people process complex emotional states in a more effective way using mark-making and color. Specifically, the framework is designed for those who have limited experience with art making but can be used by anyone who feels a need for curative drawing. I used this framework in both individual and group settings, culminating in a final gallery show in which viewers were able to participate in the framework and take home a booklet with the framework printed inside. In conjunction with outside research, the help of my thesis committee, and the students of Drawing and Painting as Seeing and Thinking, the final project can be viewed as one part of the intersection between art and medicine in our ever-changing healthcare environment.

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2018-05

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Communicating Medical Information to College Students

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Most individuals entering college are taking responsibility for their own health for the first time. Students are used to having a parent or guardian nearby to diagnose and provide remedies for common health issues. Entering college, whether in a different

Most individuals entering college are taking responsibility for their own health for the first time. Students are used to having a parent or guardian nearby to diagnose and provide remedies for common health issues. Entering college, whether in a different city or just down the road, means they must assume those responsibilities themselves. Navigating that transition can be difficult for college students. A large majority of students turn to internet health resources, such as WebMD, for health information. However, studies show that despite overall internet savvy, college students are not very skilled at finding legitimate health information online. Therefore, a health resource designed specifically for college students would be a valuable resource for many students at ASU. Working with local Phoenix physician Doug Lakin, I and a team of other Barrett students revised Dr. Lakin's healthcare guide, Thrive 101: Health & Wellness for College Students. I was responsible for the guide's second chapter, which provides information on specific illnesses and injuries. I conducted a literature review to discover the best practices for communicating medical information. I found that using short sentences, simple words, bullet point lists, numbered lists, and subheadings improved the effectiveness of a health resource. I also found that health information seekers want resources to be tailored specifically for them. They want personalized resources. Personalization means including health information that the intended reader wants, excluding the health information the reader does not want, as well as featuring personal anecdotes from individuals like the reader dealing with health problems like the reader's. I applied what I discovered to Thrive 101. I reorganized the chapter I was assigned, incorporating subheadings and clear organization of the information. I also eliminated information I judged irrelevant to college students and brainstormed what information was missing that college students would benefit from. At this time, the revision team has not gotten to the point where we are researching and writing new information, but we do have lists of items we want to include. The information already in the guide I reformatted into bulleted and numbered lists where possible. As with the new information, we have not begun to revise the guide on a prose level, shortening the sentences and simplifying the vocabulary, but we intend to work into the summer to finish our revisions.

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2016-05

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MULTIVECTORED SMAS SUSPENSION FOR SURGICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF FACIAL PARALYSIS

Description

In this study, we propose and then assess the efficacy of a new approach to static suspension to correct for facial paralysis. Our method involves placing barbed sutures through the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and anchoring them in the

In this study, we propose and then assess the efficacy of a new approach to static suspension to correct for facial paralysis. Our method involves placing barbed sutures through the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and anchoring them in the temporal fascia parallel to the underlying facial muscles. We first analyzed the ability of this procedure to improve facial symmetry by comparing the degree of asymmetry between the paralyzed and unaffected sides of a patient's face (N=10) prior to and following surgery. Then, to determine if symmetry is improved as a result of placing the sutures parallel to the direction of facial muscle forces, we measured the vectors of levator labii superioris and zygomaticus major in cadaver hemifaces (N=3) and compared them to the angles of the vectors of correction from the patient sample to angles of muscle vectors in three facial hemispheres from cadaver controls. Results indicate that: (1) facial symmetry was significantly improved in these patients and (2) this improvement. We conclude that, compared to existing protocols, our novel surgical method is a better means of static suspension for reconstruction following onset of facial paralysis as it is simple to perform, easy to replicate, able to be post-operatively adjusted in-office, has a good long-term prognosis, and, as we have demonstrated, effectively corrects the appearance of asymmetry by working with the underlying facial anatomy.

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2016-05

Consent: A Novella on Medical Ethics

Description

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At the same time, we also acknowledge the value behind human subject research and the information science can obtain from such endeavors. This project analyzes this conundrum through a narrative describing a group of scientists who choose to ignore some of the laws and regulations concerning human subject research in order to pursue neurological based research for a "greater good." In the novella, the scientists end up harming several people while performing their illegal research, but are able to obtain successful results. However, the group is eventually caught, and end up having to face the consequences of their actions. The situations and interactions the story presents are meant to juxtapose both sides of the human subject research ethical argument in a unique way in order to allow the reader to critically think through the argument themselves and form their own opinions on the matter.

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2015-05

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Students Organize for Syria: A Student Led Initiative

Description

Students Organize for Syria (SOS) is the student led initiative for Syria. With 18 registered chapters across the United States, this student organization is targeting a multidimensional cause by different means. Though it is now a national movement, it started

Students Organize for Syria (SOS) is the student led initiative for Syria. With 18 registered chapters across the United States, this student organization is targeting a multidimensional cause by different means. Though it is now a national movement, it started off with one group at Arizona State University, with one student. Zana Alattar, founder and student director of SOS, tells the story of how she took an ASU organization, Save Our Syrian Freedom (SOS Freedom), to the national level as SOS. As a pre-medical student, she also combines her work in human rights with her future in healthcare. After all, health and human rights have long maintained a synergistic relationship.

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2016-05

Wandering Paws

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Objective: To explore the dimensions of the human animal bond and provide a community needs assessment to inform the community stake holders such as the Arizona Humane Society and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Foundation how many animals are in

Objective: To explore the dimensions of the human animal bond and provide a community needs assessment to inform the community stake holders such as the Arizona Humane Society and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Foundation how many animals are in need of veterinary services within the homeless population of Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to this, pets of the homeless individuals will be able to gain access to veterinary services for eight consecutive weeks. Background: Pets have an important impact on human mental, physical, social, and emotional health. It has been reported that about one third of the homeless population in Arizona has pets that are not able to gain access to veterinary care (Wang, 2015). Most homeless shelters will not allow people to access services with pets. As a consequence people will sleep out in the streets. Animals as Lifechangers and Lifesavers: Pets in the Redemption Narratives of Homeless People (Irvine, 2013) contains interviews of homeless people based on their life stories. A common theme among interviewees was that they felt they had a responsibility to their pets that served as a motivating purpose for giving up horrible personal habits because they had a sense of responsibility. Methods/Materials: Wandering Paws was launched in February 2015, but did not officially start as an eight-week study until March 2016. This pilot program serves the homeless populations' dogs and cats with veterinary care. The Arizona Humane Society was approached to acquire their services for this project including a veterinarian, a technician, and usage of their seventy-one foot mobile unit. Homeless individuals who wanted veterinary services were recruited and asked to fill out a twenty-three-question survey. Secondary data was procured from the Arizona Humane Society about the animal and services rendered for that pet. Results: Over the course of the first four weeks 22 surveys have been completed. 86% of the surveys completed indicate a strong bond between the owner and animal. The remaining 14% of the surveys completed indicate a weaker bond between the animal and owner. Conclusion/Implications: The research indicates a strong connection between most people and their animals. The veterinary services provided for the homeless population should be continued on a monthly basis as a wellness clinic in the future, as these services are in great demand.

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2016-05

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Selenium Supplementation and Cardiovascular Outcome Markers in Hemodialysis Patients: An Evaluation of Bioelectrical Impedance

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Cardiovascular disease is one of the most deadly outcomes of end stage renal disease. Bioelectrical impedance is a intriguing, yet unproven method of measuring fluid buildup in the heart, and is marketed as a early diagnostic tool for onset of

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most deadly outcomes of end stage renal disease. Bioelectrical impedance is a intriguing, yet unproven method of measuring fluid buildup in the heart, and is marketed as a early diagnostic tool for onset of cardiovascular disease. In this study, selenium supplements were given to a cohort of dialysis patients in the Phoenix metro area and their fluid tolerance was measured with thoracic biolectrical impedance. BNP was used as a correlate to see if bioelectrical impedance was correlated with heart disease. The study found no correlation between BNP and bioelectrical impedance and thus was not an accurate diagnostic tool in a medical setting.

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2013-05