Research Abstracts

Nicole Figueroa-Sierra

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nancy Cheever CSUDH

Batched Notifications

This study sets out to investigate the association between batched phone notifications and smartphone use. In order to do this, researchers will gather 250 participants from California State University, Dominguez Hills via convenience sampling who are 18 years or older, reside in the United States, utilize notifications, have an Android smartphone, and will be able to complete a total of three surveys given every two weeks. Those who are interested will be recruited via a flyer, an email, or Blackboard announcement posted electronically. Participants will then be randomly assigned into two groups, where one group will utilize the Daywise app to receive batched notifications at three intervals throughout the day (9 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.), while the control group will receive their notifications normally. Participants will receive a link to a survey every two weeks for a month. The survey will measure their technology usage, smartphone addiction, executive functioning, attention, stress, and well-being. There are potential benefits to the participant for participating in this study, such as learning about their notification habits and about their smartphone use. Additionally, the results will help contribute to the current literature on notifications and smartphone addiction. While this study has minimal risks while completing the survey, participants may start to feel anxious because of the limited number of notifications. Due to feelings of anxiousness possibly arising throughout the study, participants will receive a link to a resource where they can receive help with their anxiety. All the data collected will be stored on a password protected SurveyMonkey account, as well as the investigator’s password protected computers.


Kirolos Saleeb

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erin McCauley CSUDH

Identification of Fungal Natural Products that Exhibit Cytotoxic Activity Towards a Brain Cancer Cell Line

The National Institute of Health Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates there will be a total of 24,530 new cases of brain cancer diagnosed in 2021 and an estimated 18,600 deaths. The overall goal of this research is to identify fungal natural products that exhibit cytotoxicity towards a brain cancer cell line. Natural products are secondary metabolites produced by living organisms and they make excellent therapeutic drug leads as over 65% of all approved therapeutic drugs are either natural products, natural product derivatives, or their pharmacophores are inspired from natural products. To initiate this research over 50 fungal strains were cultured and the metabolites they produced were extracted. The natural products were screened against a brain cancer (U87) cell line using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay cytotoxicity assay. If an extract exhibited activity in the SRB assay, the metabolites present in the extract were purified using high performance liquid chromatography and their structures were determined using mass spectrometry, NMR, and circular dichroism spectroscopy.


Lari Smith

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erin McCauley CSUDH

Identifying Putatively Novel Chemical Scaffolds from Marine Derived Fungi using Mass Spectrometry based Molecular Networking

Natural products are secondary metabolites produced by living organisms. They have played an important role in traditional medicine for thousands of years and continue to be an essential part of the current healthcare system, as over 65% of all approved therapeutic drugs are either natural product, natural product derivatives, or their pharmacophores are inspired from natural products. The success of these compounds and their derivatives as therapeutic agents is largely due to their high structural diversity and specific biological targets. The overall objective of this research was to identify natural products from marine derived fungi with novel chemical scaffolds. This was achieved by culturing 50 unique fungal strains in five different types of media and extracting the biosynthesized natural products. The extracts were run on a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer (MS) in a tandem (MS/MS) format so it could be run analyzed using Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS), an online interactive platform that can provide researchers insights about the chemical structures and diversity found in their samples. The MS/MS data was analyzed using the Spectral Library Search tool within the GNPS platform. This tool compared the tandem spectra to the massive library of spectra within the GNPS database and allowed for the dereplication of extracts that contained previously known natural products and the prioritization of those with putatively novel chemical scaffolds.