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About the L.I.F.E Fellowship

Machine learning and computer modeling are changing the face of medicine. The next breakthroughs will require scientists and innovators eager to tackle hard problems around human health.

Local Initiative For Excellence (L.I.F.E.) Foundation Fellowships provide four-year scholarships and research stipends for highly-motivated undergraduates at NKU who major in the computational sciences and minor in the life sciences.  L.I.F.E. fellows get the chance to work on multiple research teams during their time at NKU. The fellowship serves to jumpstart the next generation of computationally-grounded biomedical researchers who will then further their education in graduate school.

 

Current Fellows

Ben Coburn Headshot (Incoming)

Ben Coburn
Third Year Fellow
 

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Biological Sciences & Chemistry
 

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Lauren Williamson

Summary

In this project, we studied helminth infection and their effects on cognitive development and the immune system on rats in a variety of ways, including RNA sequencing. I have been working with new types of cognitive tests to determine the effectiveness of parasites in rats. I have also been experimenting with different software to effectively represent the results of these tests, while improving my writing to successfully detail the research I have been working on.

Headshot of Ashton Davey, (Incoming)

Ashton Davey
Third Year Fellow
 

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Biological Sciences

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Michael Guy

Summary

We are studying post-transcriptional tRNA modifications in yeast using molecular biology and genetic techniques. These tRNA modifications play a role in proper cell growth and are associated with diseases such intellectual disability and cancer. I'm currently conducting experiments to verify the
activity of my candidate guide RNAs in yeast and preparing to present at the American Chemistry Society meetings in spring of 2024 in New Orleans.

Headshot of Elaina Hall

Elaina Hall
Second Year Fellow
 

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Neuroscience


Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Nicholas Caporusso

Summary

We are working on developing an eye-tracking software that can use a webcam to diagnose concussions through irregularities in eye movement. I have been working with another student member of Dr. Caporusso’s research group on cleaning and analyzing the data that is being collected from the eye-tracking software. Recently, we completed the code for flagging and removing blinks from the dataset so as not to corrupt the rest of the data. Next, we will work on measuring different metrics from the data, such as saccades.

Headshot of Tri Manh Do

Tri Manh Do
Second Year Fellow
 

Major: Data Science
Minor: Biological Sciences

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Seth Adjei

Summary

After working with Dr. Seth Adjei and his team on a natural language project, I am now part of a team developing an adaptive testing system we have been working on since summer that we plan to apply to NKU’s elementary programming course next semester. This project aims to help students learn and master Python programming skills and inspect the relationship between skills and their order of acquisition to reach mastery of a subject.

Headshot of Gaurab Baral

Gaurab Baral
First Year Fellow
 

Major: Data Science
Minor: Biological Sciences

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Junxiu Zhou

Summary

The Movie Recommender System is dedicated to transforming movie watching experience through application of innovative technologies. Employing advanced methodologies such as the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD), deep learning methodologies, natural language processing (NLP), and matrix factorization, this project tailors movie recommendations to individual preferences.

Headshot of Catie Condit

Catie Condit
First Year Fellow
 

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Biological Sciences

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Lauren Williamson

Summary

The Williamson lab studies the effects of maternal helminth infection on brain development and immune system functioning using a rat model.

Headshot of Tri Manh Do

Tyler Egloff
First Year Fellow
 

Major: Computer Science
Minor: Neuroscience

Research Advisor Spring 2024:
Dr. Nicholas Caporusso

Summary

We are working on a project to develop a web application that records eye tracking data to diagnose concussions.