• Combatting Distrust of COVID Vaccination
    Participants: Aimey Jimm, Clemson University; Aaron Moore, Clemson University; Adrianna Mosher, Clemson University; Heny Patel, University of South Carolina; Brianna Pendergraft, University of South Carolina; LeeAnne Stokes, University of South Carolina; Victoria Young, University of South Carolina

    Mentor: Pamela E Mack, Clemson University

    Description: Students will investigate mistrust of science and how it can be combated, specifically in the case of distrust of the vaccinations for COVID. The group will create public information material such as a video or infographic for the campus or local community. Topic can develop depending on student interest.

  • Buoyant and magnetic (BAM) diagnostic assays for COVID-19
    Participants: Wilkins Taylor, Clemson University; Jakob Jackson, Clemson University; Eve Gilreath, Clemson University; Bailey Gibson, Clemson University; Connor Bates, Clemson University; Emma Harrington, Clemson University

    Mentors: Jeffrey Anker, Clemson University; Chuanlei Wang, Clemson University; Meenakshi Ranasi Ranasinghe Arachchila, Clemson University; Philip Moschella, Prisma Health; Carolina Livi, Akadeum Life Sciences and Southern Oregon University

    Description: We are developing a rapid screening test that can detect the presence and concentration of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in a patient's saliva using buoyant and magnetic microbeads. Both buoyant and magnetic microbeads are functionalized with antibodies that specifically target and bind to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein present in a patient's saliva. When both types of microbeads bind to the same nucleocapsid protein, they form a buoyant and magnet (BAM) complex. These BAM complexes can be pulled to the bottom of a centrifuge tube or cuvette using a magnet and separated from buoyant but non-magnetic beads. Removing the magnet causes the BAM complexes to rise towards the surface, while the non-buoyant magnetic particles stay where they are or sink slowly. The number of BAM complexes can be counted to determine concentration. Our goal is to optimize the technique for higher speed, specificity, and ease of use.

  • Small Sample Volume Saliva Serology Testing for COVID-19 Variants Using High-Throughput Western Blotting
    Participants: Micah Jordan, Clemson University; Wesley Meredith, Clemson University; Taylor Seawell, Clemson University; Hayden Tharpe, Clemson University

    Mentors: Marc Birtwistle, Clemson University; Jonah Huggins, Clemson University

    Description: We propose a new method of high-throughput western blotting to analyze the binding of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. We hope to reveal novel insights into the relationship between COVID-19 variants and viral immunity. This new method of high-throughput western blotting will allow for small sample volume whole blood serology testing with similar sensitivity to current ELISA tests that require blood processing. This method of high-throughput western blotting could also be applied to various applications across the biomedical sciences.

  • Preventing the Next Pandemic
    Participants: Ashutosh Arora, University of South Carolina; Hanna Dearinger, University of South Carolina; Claire Pienkowski, Clemson University; Pranav Saravanan, University of South Carolina

    Mentor: Justin Napolitano, Clemson University

  • Containment Measures of COVID-19 in Texas
    Participants: Kaitlin Agrons, University of South Carolina; Taylor Curry, University of South Carolina; Harlan Derry, University of South Carolina; Jake Masters, Clemson University; Julia Mathew, University of South Carolina; Leena Syed, Clemson University; Laken Trimble, University of South Carolina

    Mentor: Zhili Tian, Coastal Carolina University

  • Post Pandemic Virtual Engagement Opportunities Using Immersive Technology
    Participants: Syed Bukhari, Clemson University; Rachelle Hales, Clemson University; Austin Halupnik, Clemson University

    Mentor: Bing Li, Clemson University

    Description: Students will investigate and discuss participant engagement regarding virtual modalities in remote learning. Research into immersive technology will include possible applications of Google’s Project Starline and the Virtual Reality platform, Oculus. Outcomes may include applications to advance learning in education and healthcare, with a focus on medical education, online education, and the virtual lab classroom.

  • qPCR for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Variants
    Participants: Keegan Sell, Clemson University; Laura Mitten, Clemson University; Emily Plumb, Clemson University; Anna Robinson, Clemson University

    Mentor: Jerry Che, Clemson University

    Description: This project aims to develop a multiplex RT-PCR assay to detect known strains of concern in saliva.

  • Quadruplex qPCR Detection for SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A and B
    Participants: Tyler Bowie, Clemson University; Erika Teetsel, Clemson University; Isaac Lee, Clemson University

    Mentor: Kylie King, Clemson University

    Description: This project will develop an assay to discern SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A and B infections from saliva.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Mental Health
    Participant: Sam Rubin, Clemson University

    Mentor: Jorge Rodriguez, Clemson University