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DePaul students shine at the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium

DePaul students shine at the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium
CDM students (left to right) Ahad Abubake, Jake Peterson, Maria Alexandra Theodorescu and Nailah Ali are four of 11 Blue Demons who presented at this year's Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium. (Image courtesy of Maria Alexandra Theodorescu)

In the spring, 11 DePaul students participated in the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium at Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. Two students, Elena Sasso and Maria Alexandra Theodorescu, earned second and third place, respectively, for their poster presentations at the symposium.

“Participation in undergraduate research is a learning activity that broadens and deepens students' classroom learning," says Daniela Stan Raicu, associate provost for research at DePaul. “Students engaged in research develop a range of skills including critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. Having our undergraduates present at CAURS provided an opportunity to showcase undergraduate research taking place at DePaul, as well as offered the students a sense of community to research teams and labs belonging to the Chicago area."

Sasso, a student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science and Health, presented on how inflammatory caspases, or enzymes, involved in the immune response are overactive in many inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and lupus. She argued further study of these caspase will help differentiate them to better understand their inflammatory pathway and achieve the development of caspase inhibitors.

Theodorescu, a student in the School of Computing in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media, covered data science and how end-users of machine learning models are not always trained data scientists. She argued it is crucial these models be infused with domain knowledge in order to increase explainability and trust in their output.

DePaul's showing at the conference included two oral presentations and nine poster presentations. Disciplines of research work presented by the students included engineering, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, physics, biological sciences and psychology.

Check out the latest featured research at DePaul on the University Research, Creative Activities and Innovation website.