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Project Formulation Exercise

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									      Project Description
        Development

               Tabbetha Dobbins
   Created for Louisiana Tech’s NSF-Funded
Research Experiences in Micro/Nano Engineering
                    Program


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            Hypothesis Heuristics
1. Specify the nature or direction of the relationship(s) of the
   variables under consideration.
2. Indicate how they will be empirically tested.
3. Not value judgments (A is better than B).
4. Not trivial; for example, they do not predict a relationship
   that is already well-established.
5. Do not predict a lack of significant differences or
   correlations.




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                Handout

You have been given the handout:

Project Formulation.doc

Which contains descriptions of four projects
that an REU student might be given.
Consider the appropriateness of each
description for the student’s level and the
timeframe of the REU program.
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         Problem Description 1
Alkylating agents represent an abundant class of
chemical DNA damaging agent in our environment
and they are toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic and
carcinogenic. Since we are continuously exposed to
alkylating agents, and since certain alkylating agents
are used for cancer chemotherapy, it is important to
understand exactly how cells respond when exposed
to these agents. We will have our REU student to
use Affymetrix oligonucleotide DNA chip analysis to
monitor the transcriptional response of the entire S.
cerevisiae genome, i.e., all 6,200 genes in response
to a number of different alkylating agents.
                                                     4
       Problem Description 1

Good Aspects
   Includes the “big picture”


Not So Good Aspects
   6200 genes is too many.
   May not be intellectually challenging.



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                 Project 2

We will have our REU student studying the
development of polymers to deliver drugs
including the development of effective long-
term delivery systems for insulin, interferon,
growth hormones and vaccines.




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               Project 2

Too many variables
Which drug will be examined
Lacks focus/too vague
No “big picture”
May be too long-term




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                Project 3

Our laboratory uses microfabrication tools to
study the structure/function relationship of
the liver. Our REU students will leave the
program having expertise in
microfabrication, liver biology, stem cells,
biomaterials, polymer chemistry, or tissue
engineering.


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               Project 3

No hypothesis
Too many areas to gain expertise in
Too vague
Only trains student as a lab tech
May be too mechanical, not creative




                                      9
                  Project 4

Our research laboratory focuses on Biomedical
(orthopedics, cancer, cardiovascular) and non-
medical (chemistry, physics, materials science,
engineering) applications of nuclear magnetic
resonance (NMR) imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy
(MRS). An REU student working with our group
will study layer-by-layer self assembled
polystyrene sulfonate polymer distributions within
silica aerogels by 1H NMR imaging.

                                                10
               Project 4

Better than the other 3
Defines a project
More specific
Provides an overview
Techniques and materials are defined
Research question is not clear


                                       11
         Project Description

We will have our REU student studying the
development of polymers to deliver drugs
including the development of effective long-
term delivery systems for insulin, interferon,
growth hormones and vaccines.




                                                 12
   Project Description - Leaders

Our group studies the development of
polymers. The REU student will coat insulin
with PSS and PAH with the LbL technique
and measure the lifetime in PBS as a
function of the number of layers.




                                              13
   Project Description - Climbers

We will have our REU student studying the
development of a polymer to deliver insulin
and study the efficacy of insulin delivery
over 24 hours in vitro.




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         Skills and Values
Polymer and drug chemistry
Interaction of polymer-drug systems
Time course of drug delivery
Advantage of in vivo vs in vitro systems
Lab notebook development
Equipment and techniques
How to approach new pieces of equipment
Lab techniques
                                           15
     How to package the project

One tool can be used for multiple purposes
Being able to operate one tool will make it
easier to operate others.




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