STAR Student Project Titles

As part of the STAR program students must submit a one page summary and present a poster of their research findings at the end of the summer STAR TG.

Below are the titles of the most recent summer STAR projects. Click on the title of a project below to view the poster (.pdf). Posters may not be available for all participants.

For more information, please contact us at

2021 STAR Student Projects:
Student Name Class Mentor/s Project Title
Taylor N Abraham 2024 Esteban Soto Martinez Immune response of Thiamine Deficient Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytsch) to Columnaris disease
Cynthia A Adkisson 2024 Melissa Bain Relationship between ownership and enrichment in dogs with and without separation anxiety or noise phobia
Elizabeth A Ashley 2024 Christine Kreuder Johnson Investigating relationships between prey preference and infectious disease in southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)
Makda Asrat 2023 Simon Anthony Surveillance for novel coronaviruses in West African bats
Katherine S Bandlow 2024 Munashe Chigerwe Determination of the minimum individual cow colostral immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration required for pooling to achieve adequate passive immunity (API) in dairy calves.
Catarina A Bianchi 2024 Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little Vertebral Geometry and Disc Mineralization in Heterozygote and Homozygote Chondrodystrophic Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
Madeline C Bradford 2023 Dr. Sara M. Thomasy The impact of netarsudil on endothelial regeneration following cryoinjury in a murine model of early-onset Fuch’s corneal endothelial dystrophy
Anneka Christie 2023 Dr. Frank Verstraete Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)
Jennifer R Colangelo 2023 Jessica Morgan  Evaluation of cardiac extracellular matrix remodeling in horses that experience exercise associated sudden death.
Blaire A Consales 2023 Dr. Christine Toedebusch Characterization of microglia in canine brain metastatic melanoma
Olivia Cords  2023 Tierra Smiley Evans Optimizing Flavivirus Detection in Nonhuman Primates
Shiori Echizenya 2024 Dr. Kent Pinkerton Potential Risks to Wearers of Face Masks: Inhalable Particulates from Facial Mask Debris from New and Used Face Masks: Pathogen Detection from Reused Face Masks.
Megan E Elcombe 2024 Carrie Finno Prevalence of the RAPGEF5 c.2624C>A Variant Associated with Equine Familial Isolated Hypoparathyroidism (EFIH) Variant in the Thoroughbred Population
Stephanie A Elliott 2023 Woutrina Smith Investigating Beaver Dam Analogues as a Novel Method to Reduce Cryptosporidium and Giardia Load in Wet Meadow Streams
Ryan M Gluck 2023 Dr. Isaac Pessah Central and Peripheral Contribution to Heat Stress Intolerance in Wild Type and Malignant Hyperthermia Susceptible Mice
Sophie R Gretler 2024 Dr. Nicole Baumgarth TLR9-signaling and its effects on B cell receptor (BCR) signaling in B-1 cells
Caitlin N Hardgrove 2024 Joshua Stern Pattern of Inheritance and Identification of Genetic Variants Associated with Familial Supraventricular Arrhythmias in Labrador Retrievers
Erin A Hisey 2023 Brian Leonard Characterization of Antimicrobial Peptides Expressed by the Equine Ocular Surface and Amniotic Membrane
Silke L Hoffmann 2024 Heather Knych Pharmacokinetics of grapiprant and effects on TNF alpha concentrations following oral administration to exercised horses
Daniela A Jimenez 2024 Nicole Baumgarth The role of complement in Borrelia burgdorferi infection
Davida A Johnson 2023 Esteban Soto Martinez Cross protection capabilities of an Edwardsiella ictaluri live attenuated vaccine against E. piscicida infection in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) model of infection
Joshua C Liu 2024 Bianca Da Costa Martins Investigating the effects of different storage methods on cryopreserved rabbit corneas 
Madison E Luker 2024 Ching-Hsien Chen Molecular characterization and targeting of macrophage polarization in lung cancer
Indiana E Madden 2023 Dr. Danika Bannasch Fragmented Coronoid Process Association Study using the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Marissa R Monopoli 2023 David Guzman, Michelle Hawkins, Joanne Paul-Murphy ANALGESIC EFFECTS OF HYDROMORPHONE IN GREAT HORNED OWLS (BUBO VIRGINIANUS)
Lena Ngo 2023 Crystal Ripplinger, Ph.D The Effects of Chronic Nicotine Exposure on Cardiac Remodeling and Arrhythmia Susceptibility in a Rabbit Model
Lily Nguyen 2023 Ala Moshiri Utilization of electroretinography and advanced retinal imaging to monitor development of retinal abnormalities in nonhuman primates with homozygous or heterozygous mutations in PDE6C
Lynsey M Petersen 2023 Dr. Christine Toedebusch; Dr. Luke Wittenburg Cerebrospinal fluid proteomic profiling using mass-spectrometry for biomarker discovery in canine non-infectious meningoencephalitis. 
Eleanor M Pressman 2023 Laura Van Winkle Oxidant stress response in neonatal rats as a predisposing factor to lung developmental disruption by episodic ozone exposure
Justin D Ringhofer 2024 Dr. Robert Rebhun Evaluating the canine aryl hydrocarbon receptor’s role in osteosarcoma progression, metastasis, and chemotherapy resistance.
Emily J Shelton 2023 Dr. Clare Yellowley PPAR Induction of Angiopoietin-Like 4 and Wnt Signaling in Osteoblasts Under Hypoxic Conditions
Brianna R Stoyle 2023 Kevin Woolard Effects of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition on canine glioma cell proliferation in vitro
Eric L Stubbs 2023 Patricia Pesavento Optimizing detection of persistent parvovirus infections in the red panda.
Aryana M. Razmra 2023 Dr. Robert Canter Characterizing the phenotype and function of tumor-infiltrating NKp46+ NK and CD8+ T Cells in canine osteosarcoma 
Anna M Taylor 2024 Karen Shapiro Epidemiology and risk factors for Sarcocystis neurona infection in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) from 2010-2019
Savannah J Tobin 2024 Kent Leach Interrogating the effect of matrix stiffness on cisplatin resistance in triple negative breast cancer
Victoria R Tobin 2023 Dr. Luke Wittenburg, Dr. Ellen Rothenberg A CRISPR screen in T cell precursors to reveal novel mechanisms of Bcl11b target repression
Nicole K Wegrzyniak 2024 Kent Leach Interrogating the role of hydrogel electrical and physical properties on neural cell behavior 
Brandon M. Weiss 2023 Julie Bossuyt, DVM, Ph.D The Role of Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase II Nitrosylation in Cardiac Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Emma C. Weitzhandler 2023 Marisa Ames Characterization of chymase-mediated myocardial angiotensin II formation in dogs with spontaneous heart failure: the influence of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
Sarah G Au Yeung 2023 Sina Marsilio Microscopy with ultraviolet surface excitation as a novel diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of chronic enteropathy in cats
Yafen Zhen 2023 Brian Murphy The role of ACE2 and DC-SIGN receptors in the cellular entry of feline infectious peritonitis virus and their gene expression profiles in target macrophages
2020 STAR Student Projects:
Student Name Class  Mentor/s Remote Project Title
Levi, Amit 2022 Xinbin Chen p53 Mutations in Canine Cancers - A Review Study
Makda Asrat 2023 Kirsten Gilardi A 14-year retrospective epidemiological and ecological analysis of data from California bat carcasses
Julie A Baldassano 2023 Lark Coffey Influenza A virus subtype distribution in California waterfowl from 2007-2018
Ashley N. Caron-Brummel 2023 Dr. Noelia Silva-Del-Rio Massage Therapy as a Recovery Aid for Animal and Human Patients Following Respiratory Disease: a Protocol for a Systematic Review
Maggie Buktenica 2023 Dr. Meera Heller Survey of Within-Herd Prevalence of Coronavirus in Goats in Northern California and Oregon During 2018 and 2020
Erica K Chang 2022 Drs. Esteban Soto-Martinez & Michael Ziccardi Histopathological changes associated with novel etiologies in cultured and wild fish
Julia R Cohen 2023 Karen Vernau The effects of weaning stress and maternal presence on kitten personality, health, and behavior
Olivia Cords 2023 Beatriz Martinez Lopez Modeling the Potential Spread of African Swine Fever in North Macedonia
Prathima A Garudadri 2023 Jenessa Gjeltema Comparative Analysis of Microplastics in Marine Mammals - Literature Review and Modified Fecal Sample Analysis
Christine J E Haake 2022 Brian Murphy Coronavirus Infections in Companion Animals
Erin Hisey  2023 Stuart Meyers Gene Editing in Equine Embryos: A Model for Gene Therapy to Reduce Burden of Genetic Diseases
Amy (Huong) Huynh 2022 Kent Pinkerton Deposition, translocation, localization and microglial activation of inhaled silver silicate in the rodent nose and brain following acute inhalation exposure
Maya L Iyer 2022 Tierra Smiley Evans Diagnosis and treatment of clinical elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1A (EEHV1A) infection in a captive juvenile Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Nadia Javeed  2023 Jonathan D. Dear Disease epidemiology and clinical outcomes of domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) infected with Babesia conradae
Laila M Joseph 2022 Christine M Toedebusch  Determination of the effect of microglia-derived olfactomedin-like 3 on mouse brain endothelial cell angiogenesis 
Tiffany Kim 2022 Ingrid Balsa A cohort study of canine patients with migrating plant awn-associated disease: geographical distribution of plant awn species and identity of bacterial isolates
Davia C Kot 2022 Elizabeth Stelow  Effect of human socialization and training on Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots neophilia
Vivia Liang 2023 Joanne Paul-Murphy Changes in personality assessments as a result of human socialization and training of Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots
Joie Lin 2022 Christina Sigurdson Mechanisms of Demyelination in Prion Disease
Sara T. Lo  2023 Joshua Stern and Ronald Li Effects of dual antithrombotic therapy using rivaroxaban and clopidogrel on platelet function and coagulation parameters in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Kurt Miura 2023 Stan Marks Videofluoroscopic and Manometric Assessment of the Effects of Sildenafil on Esophageal Transit and Lower Esophageal Sphincter Tone in Dogs with Congenital and Acquired Megaesophagus
Marissa Rae Monopoli 2023 Dr. David Sanchez-Migallon Guzman & Dr. Amir Kol Hematologic Reference Intervals in Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus): Manual Techniques and Blood Cell Library Development for Future Automation
Hannah E Neer 2023 Anna Denicol Seasonal impact on bovine embryo production
Tracy Trang Nguyen  2022 Sara Thomasy OPA1 Mutation and Gender-Dependent Differences in Circumpapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Rhesus macques (Macaca mulatta)
Jordan V Nunes 2022 Laurel Gershwin, Gerald Barry

Understanding variation in the Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus population in Ireland and its potential impact on vaccination efficacy
Eleanor M Pressman 2023 Frank Mitloehner Using alternative greenhouse gas metrics to assess warming effects and dynamics of methane emissions from dairy cattle 
Aryana Razmara 2023 Dr.  Luke Wittenburg & Dr. Christine Toedebusch The role of microglia-derived olfactomedin-like 3 in the growth of malignant glioma
Riley Ellis-Reis 2022 Lance Visser Evaluation of regurgitant fraction in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease
Eliza Richartz 2023 Nicole Baumgarth Antibody-FcyRIIb interactions and effects on phagocytosis during B burgdorferi infection of mice
Siobhan Scott Rickert 2022 Frank J M Verstraete The Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of Wild Carnivora (foxes)
Megan J Rivera 2023 Carrie Finno Effects of Sex and Vitamin E Status on RORa and LXR Expression in Spinal Cord and Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons of Young Mice
Maya Schlesinger 2022 Patricia Pesavento Multi-regional phylogenetic characterization of Skunk Amdoparvovirus  ** needs remote proposal
Allison H Shannon 2023 Brian Leonard  Modulation of antimicrobial peptide expression as a novel approach to treating infectious keratitis.
Kassidy Shelly 2022 Susan Stover Fetlock injury prevention in horses
Brianna Stoyle  2023 Dr. Janet Foley (UC Davis Dr. Eranda Rajapaksha (University of Peradeniya)  Vectors and Reservoir Hosts for Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia
Kristen R Stucker 2023 Dr. Heather Knych Pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and effect on thermal nociception of codeine following administration of 3 doses to horses
Anett A Szczepanek 2023 Emmanuel Okello 1. Antimicrobial Drug Use & Resistance Surveillance on California Dairies
2. Antimicrobial Resistance in Calves treated for Bovine Respiratory Disease
Rebecca F Terrett 2022 Dr. Woolard Canine Glioma: Primary Literature Review and Manuscript Preparation
Victoria R Tobin 2023 Dr. Luke Wittenburg, Dr. Ellen Rothenberg Modeling developmental progression speed of early T cells
Alexander R True  2023 Monica Aleman  Evaluating the Ototoxicity of Aminoglycosides in Neonatal Foals 
Scarlett L Varney 2023 Dr. Danika Bannasch The Role of Selected Genetic Variants in Canine Morphology
Ad Yael 2023 Dr. Ramsey The impact of a ketogenic diet on cognitive and motor function in female mice
Nicole M Yost 2022 James Angelastro Evaluating novel therapeutics for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme
Yafen Zhen 2023 Swee Teh Effects of Copper, Organophosphate, and Pyrethroid Pesticides on the Growth and Survival of Copepods Eurytemora affinis and Pseudodiaptomus forbesi
Emma T Zhang 2022 Karen Shapiro Spatial modeling of microplastics and zoonotic parasites along coastlines from North America: Implications for human and wildlife health