Graduate Student Research Projects

Current Students | Alumni

Malak Alghamdi

Email

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Lead Advisor Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky
Committee Members
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Research Summary
Funding Sponsor

Monique Carvalho de Santana

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Lead Advisor Dr. Colin Kay
Committee Members Dr. Mary Ann Lila, Dr. Massimo Iorizzo, and Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Research Summary Monique Carvalho de Santana’s doctorate research focuses on the pharmacokinetics of blueberry phytochemical compounds through consumption of the produce and of a blueberry-containing product in a clinical study. It attempts to purpose a redefinition of daily servings that can supply some deficiencies in the diet of most Americans.
She obtained her master’s degree in the University of Campinas (Campinas, SP, Brazil) in 2018 by developing a method to control ascorbic acid via near-infrared spectroscopy and analyzing the bioaccessibility of iron and zinc in powdered soft drinks.
Funding Sponsor  North Carolina State University

Haley Burtch

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Lead Advisor Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
Committee Members
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
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Funding Sponsor

Micaela Hayes

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Lead Advisor Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
Committee Members Dr. Allen Foegeding, Dr. Massimo Iorizzo, and Dr. Mary Ann Lila
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences
Research Summary Micaela’s research characterizes the diversity in the bioaccessibility of spinach bioactives, including carotenoids and chlorophylls, across genotypes and seeks to understand the influence of different spinach processing methods on bioactive bioaccessibility. Research ultimately aims to identify genotypes of superior bioactive bioaccessible content and processing methods that maintain or improve bioactive bioaccessible content, thus optimizing the accessibility of nutrition throughout the spinach food chain.
Funding Sponsor

Su Liu

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Lead Advisor Dr. Massimo Iorizzo
Committee Members
Home Department Horticultural Science
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Funding Sponsor PHHI

 

Bryan Munoz

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Lead Advisor Dr. Massimo Iorizzo
Committee Members
Home Department Horticultural Science
Research Summary

 

Funding Sponsor

Zulfiqar Mohamedshah

Email

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Lead Advisor Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
Committee Members
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Research Summary
Funding Sponsor

 

John Overall

Email

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Lead Advisor Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky
Committee Members
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science
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Funding Sponsor

 

Erika Pambianchi

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Lead Advisor Dr. Giuseppe Valacchi
Committee Members
Home Department Animal Science and Nutrition
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My research is focusing on the evaluation of the effects of environmental pollution as a source of oxidative stress on the skin, and on the molecular and signal pathways involved in the cellular responses to these stimuli. In this context, studying how to counteract the pollution-induced cutaneous inflammation through dietary interventions and/or topical applications of phytochemicals present in berry extracts could help us preventing the occurrence of skin diseases and/or improving the preexisting conditions.
Funding Sponsor   PHHI
Publications Cavicchio C, Benedusi M, Pambianchi E, Pecorelli A, Cervellati F, Savelli V, Calamandrei D, Maellaro E, Rispoli G, Maioli E, Valacchi G. (2017). Potassium Ascorbate with Ribose: Promising Therapeutic Approach for Melanoma Treatment. Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2017;2017:4256519. doi: 10.1155/2017/4256519.

Brogi S, Ramunno A, Savi L, Chemi G, Alfano G, Pecorelli A, Pambianchi E, Galatello P, Compagnoni G, Focher F, Biamonti G, Valacchi G, Butini S, Gemma S, Campiani G, Brindisi M. (2017). First dual AK/GSK-3β inhibitors endowed with antioxidant properties as multifunctional, potential neuroprotective agents. Eur J Med Chem,138:438-457. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.06.017

Valacchi G, Pecorelli A, Belmonte G, Pambianchi E, Cervellati F, Lynch S, Krol Y, Oresajo C. (2017). Protective Effects of Topical Vitamin C Compound Mixtures against Ozone-Induced Damage in Human Skin.J Invest Dermatol, 137(6):1373-1375. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.01.034

Kathryn Racine

Email

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Lead Advisor  Dr. Andrew Neilson
Committee Members
Home Department Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
Research Summary

 

Funding Sponsor

Marlee Trandel

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Lead Advisor  Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veasie
Committee Members Dr. Jonathan Schultheis, Dr. Chris Gunter
Home Department Horticultural Science
Research Summary

 

Hollow heart in watermelon is a physiological defect that is generally enhanced by pollination issues, watermelon variety, and drought stress. However, grafted watermelon are much less prone to this disorder due to differences in physicochemical and phytochemical attributes such as increased tissue firmness and rind thickness. Research is planning to target cell wall differences (pectins, hemicelluloses/xyloglucans etc.) and various enzymes in grafted compared to self-rooted watermelon to better identify why this physiological disorder is occurring. We also plan to better identify postharvest quality differences.
Funding Sponsor USDA-SCRI

Charles Wagner

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Lead Advisor Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky
Committee Members Dr. Jillian De Gezelle, Dr. Xu “Sirius” Li, Dr. Richard Blanton
Home Department Plant and Microbial Biology
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Evidence Based Validation of the Herbal and Nutritional Tradition of the British Isles: from Antimicrobials to Microbiome Modulators

Funding Sponsor PHHI
publications Wagner, C. S., De Gezelle, J., Robertson, M., Robertson, K., Wilson, M., & Komarnytsky, S. (2017). Antibacterial activity of medicinal plants from The Physicians of Myddvai, a 14th century Welsh medical manuscript. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 203(Supplement C), 171–181.

Kozlowska W, Wagner C, Moore EM, Matkowski A and Komarnytsky S (2018) Botanical Provenance of Traditional Medicines From Carpathian Mountains at the Ukrainian-Polish Border. Front. Pharmacol. 9:295. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00295

 

Victoria Yell

Email

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Lead Advisor Dr. Sirius Li
Committee Members Dr. Anna Stepanova
Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh
Dr. Candace Haigler
Home Department Plant and Microbial Biology
Research Summary

 

Victoria Yell works in the Li lab describing lignin deficient Arabidopsis mutants. This work has broader implications for bioenergy production, as the presence of lignin in plant cell walls makes fermentation of biomass into ethanol fuel challenging. However, these lignin deficient plants also experience severe dwarfism. Her work focuses on describing the molecular mechanisms involved in the dwarfing of these plants.
Funding Sponsor

Ashley Yow

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Lead Advisor Dr. Massimo Iorizzo
Committee Members
Home Department Horticultural Science
Research Summary I am currently studying genomics of natural flowering in pineapple. Pineapple production is limited by stress-induced natural flowering, which causes reduced fruit size and non-uniform maturation in pineapple fields. Various hormonal treatments are used to delay natural flowering induction of pineapple. At the end of a growing season, hormones are then applied to induce flowering uniformly throughout a growing field. The purpose of my research is to understand how we can control stress-related natural flowering through incorporating genomic data into a molecular breeding program. The results found in this study will contribute to the development of stress-tolerant pineapple varieties, which will help reduce labor inputs, chemical usage, and production costs.
Funding Sponsor  Dole