Science Writer, Goggles Optional (August 2015 - Present)
Goggles Optional is a podcast where scientists from Stanford University provide their professional yet humorous takes from the world of science. Join us as our hosts explore the significant news and discoveries of the week using a combination of wit, analogies, and words with less than four syllables. Goggles Optional has been featured as a New and Noteworthy science podcast on iTunes and by the Stanford School of Medicine blog. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a scientist to listen. The Goggles are Optional! Check it out here: http://gogglesoptional.com
Mentor for Research Experience for Teachers, UCSB (2014)
Project description: Marine mussel plaques are rich in DOPA, a modified tyrosine residue, which is primarily responsible for plaque adhesion. I studied the change in local pH and would like to couple it with cyclic voltametry studies. We would like to study the redox activity of the plaque using a carbon paste electrode over time. Previous studies showed that individual purified proteins are not reservable under oxidation when applied a certain potential using a gold surface electrode. This leads us the hypothesis that the DOPA residues from a complex bond with the gold surface and loses its ability to reduce back to DOPA from DOPA-quinone after oxidation. Using a carbon paste electrode will allow us to study the redox activity without forming bonds with the surface of the electrode. Challenges also include determining a method to measure redox activity as the mussel is secreting the adhesive plaque in real time.
Mentor for RISE summer undergraduate research program at the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2014)
The project will entail studying the mechanics of mussel adhesion on biofilm surfaces and gold sputtered surfaces. We will use a custom tensile machine where will pull adhesive byssal plaques from fouled surfaces using variable speeds and pull angles. The goal of this project is to determine if marine mussels prepare surfaces prior to protein deposition by removing large and small contaminants that may decrease the adhesion at the interface of the surface and byssal plaque. We will compare the results to non-fouled surfaces to gain a better understanding of how mussels attach to various surfaces and how fouled surfaces affect and impact the adhesion of the byssal plaques.
Research Experience for Teachers, UCSB (2012)
Mentor: Nadine R. Martinez Rodriguez Research Project Year: 2012 Research Project Title: Do Adhesive Mussel Plaque Proteins have Antimicrobial Properties? Research Project Description: In the summer of 2012, I assisted PH.D. candidate Nadine R. Martinez Rodriguez on a project to investigate the adhesive plaques of marine mussels. We were primarily working to determine whether the mussels’ adhesive proteins have antimicrobial properties. The mussel foot proteins (Mfps) were isolated using acid/urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (AU-PAGE), size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and reverse phase HPLC (RP-HPLC). These methods purified the proteins down to Mfp-3 and Mfp-6 so that the antimicrobial action of each individual protein could be tested. We tested for the inhibition of growth of E.coli using radial diffusion assay. Preliminary results showed that Mfps 3 and 6 do not inhibit growth of E. coli in radial diffusion assay. However, further tests using different assays and different microbes will be conducted. http://www.mrl.ucsb.edu/education/ret-research-experience-teachers/jessica-thompson
Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships, UCSB (2011)
CNSI Education Programs seek to increase science literacy by engaging the broadest range of learners in science and engineering education opportunities. We collaborate with educational partners at UCSB and in the community, bringing together students, educators, and researchers to develop activities which motivate, recruit and retain students in science and engineering fields. These programs also create new social networks and include mentorship as a particularly powerful resource to engage more students from disadvantaged and/or under-represented backgrounds. http://csep.cnsi.ucsb.edu/miguel-jasso
Kids Do Ecology, UCSB (2011) Visiting Scientist
At the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), teams of scientists conduct research on major problems in ecology. NCEAS promotes education and outreach as part of its mission to increase the public understanding of science. The Kids Do Ecology program provides these scientists with an opportunity to volunteer in the Santa Barbara community by adopting local 5th grade classes. Together these scientist-classroom pairs explore specific ecology problems through the collection, analysis and interpretation of experimental data
Girls Incorporated, (2011), Mentor
The day consisted an afternoon of job-shadowing at various corporations around Santa Barbara. The girls will be exposed to a wide range of career opportunities in order to begin to set career goals and learn about paths they need to take to achieve those goals
Early Entrance Program (EEP), California State University, Los Angeles (2009), Mentor
The Early Entrance Program (EEP) is designed to permit young gifted students to enroll in college as full-time students where the average age of the students is 13.5 years. I mentored a 15-year-old student and trained her to work in our immunology lab. She eventually took over my project after I received my masters and then went on to a Ph.D. program in Immunology at Harvard University.