GS Symposium 2021 Posters

The presenter’s abstract, zoom link, and posters are shown below.

Nnamdi Osakwe

PI: Dr. David Reif 

Title of Poster: Building Comprehensive Models of Environmental Integrity

Currently, many environmental modeling tools function as information silos with little to no correspondence with other environmental domains and features. Current tools lack multi-faceted functionality and the ability to scale from local principalities. The potentially adverse environmental effects that these scores have on surrounding communities is often ignored and poorly emphasized. There is a need for a new framework that incorporates novel deep learning methods to integrate individual environmental domain indices via an ensemble learner to predict environmental quality as a dynamic quantity. Incorporating water, air, land, sociodemographic data from an array of publicly available environmental resources can be used to generate environmental quality integrity indices, forecast environmental integrity scores and comparing its relationship to health risks in a specific location. In addition, prioritizing translational accessibility and availability of this method would ensure that community stakeholders and risk assessors have an effective way to select problem sites for monitoring affected communities.

Zoom Link:

Poster Link: Nnamdi_Osakwe_GS_Sympoisum_2021

Jonathan Fleming

PI: Dr. David Reif 

Title of Poster: Production of ToxPi Geospatial Feature Layers for an Interactive Visual Analytic

Painting a comprehensive picture of place-based, geographic data comprised of multiple factors is an inherently integrative undertaking. Furthermore, the visualization of this data in an interactive form is essential for public sharing and geographic analysis. This integration is made available via the ToxPi model, and interactive geographic mapping is possible through ArcGIS; however, production of ToxPi figures in ArcGIS maps is not available. We propose a method for drawing these interactive ToxPi figures in ArcGIS, as well as a pipeline for map sharing consisting of the ToxPi GUI for data integration, a custom python script for automated map layer production, and ArcGIS for map sharing. Although this method will require ArcGIS for map production, it does not require the user to have previous knowledge of ArcGIS software, as the usual manual steps for map production have been automated by the python script. This widens the user-base to anyone with access to ArcGIS licensing. Furthermore, map viewing and interaction is easily accessible to the general public via a web url. We illustrate this process with an example using current Covid-19 data to determine risk factors of counties across the United States. The script and its use instructions are available at

Zoom Link:

Poster Link: Jonathon_Fleming_GS_Symposium_2021

Dani Joseph

PI: Dr. Santosh Mishra

Title of Poster: Neuro-immune Interactions linkage to Pruritus and Pain

Pruritus and pain are highly related sensations that are detected at the periphery by the sensory neurons, which peripheral afferents innervated into the skin. Individuals with chronic pruritus and pain experience intense detriment to their ability to function, unbalanced and distracted sleep, and many other symptoms that lead to a significant impact on their quality of life. Inflammation is the common link between pruritus and pain. Until recently, inflammation was associated with the local release of mediators and vasoactive substances by immune/non-immune cells but the role of neuropeptides released by the peripheral afferents and how they activate cell types in the skin remains elusive. Here, we have focused on one of the immune cells, mast cells, and their role in pruritus and pain due to the complex nature of the underlying interactions that may be the causation of the pruritus and pain sensations. To investigate these neuro-immune interactions, we used mouse molecular genetics, behavioral, cellular, and molecular approaches to provide mechanistic insights for these complex sensations.

Zoom Link:

Poster Link: Dani_Joseph_GS_Symposium_2021

Nirwan Tandukar

PI: Troy Ghashghaei

Title of Poster: Brain development and repair

The human brain is arguably the most complex of all biological systems. The different layers of cortex contain different types of neurons. Early developmental stage progenitor cells could produce any type of neurons but with age, they become more restricted. The mechanisms that control their proliferation and fate specification are important to understand and ameliorate a wide range of central nervous system (CNS) disorders including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, etc. The Ghashghaei lab is interested in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) which is a regulator for neural stem cells. The lab has shown that EGFR is important for gliogenesis, gray matter astrocyte generation and oligodendrocyte generation. Evidences suggests that EGFR play important roles in psychiatric and cancer disorders. The brain of schizophrenic and depressed patients shows a decrease in EGF levels. Using Mosaic analysis with double markers (MADM), we made a population of cells with EGRF knockouts and wildtype in the same mouse brain. EGFR deletion in the ventral and dorsal region has shown to cause a transient defect in the development of the brain but the brain gets repaired as the mice matures. However, the olfactory bulb remains small. The lab is working intensively to characterize the defects and their mechanism

Zoom Link:

Poster Download Link: Nirwan_Tandukar_GS_Symposium_2021