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Here are some student research projects. We hope they can inspire you in your research journey!

Journal of International Women's Studies with Grace's publication screenshot

This paper has systematically reviewed literature and evaluated the role of fencing in the empowerment of women through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods including first-hand observation, interviews, archival analysis, and secondary statistical data collection. It has attempted to narrow the empirical gap by exploring the gender perspective of fencing as a sport. It reveals that due to historical, social and cultural bias, financial constraints, as well as a lack of leadership, women’s involvement in fencing had been limited throughout fencing’s history. The paper develops a framework to highlight the linkage between Title IX, women’s fencing, and empowerment.

Grace's UN published policy brief image

Over the past years, international society has dedicated efforts to mobilize financial resources to promote technology transfers in SIDS and facilitate its sustainable development. Accordingly, this policy brief aims to provide an overview of finance for technology transfer in SIDS by analyzing the current status for technology transfer and gender inclusiveness, discuss capacity building and institutional support, and challenges SIDS face. It recommends that SIDS refer to the Guidebook for the preparation of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for SDGs Roadmaps to foster stronger global partnerships and cooperation, and proposes a way forward to facilitate financial flows for technology transfer and gender inclusiveness in SIDS. This is a team project sponsored by the United Nations. 


Chlorpyrifos: Effects on Cell Cytotoxicity, Viability and Apoptosis

Chlorpyrifos (CPF) was a widely-used organophosphate insecticide banned in 2021 in the United States and 2020 in the European Union due to concerns related to neurotoxicity,
genotoxicity, and apoptosis. However, previous studies on this chemical focused on in-vitro models regarding rat neuronal cells and did not define a clear molecular target. This study combines both computer-assisted in-silico molecular docking and in-vitro human cell assays (LDH, metabolic activity, caspase) to help better understand the mechanisms in which CPF affects human cells. CPF increased rates of cytotoxicity, following a dose-dependent increase from 5.5% to 12.7% for U937 cells (p < 0.05), and from 1.8% to 9.4% in HTB11 cells (p < 0.05 at concentration CPF10). Furthermore, CPF exposure caused a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in cell viability at concentration 1 uM (29.7%), followed by 100 uM (21.2%) and 10 uM (19.8%). Viability in HTB11 cells exposed to CPF exhibited an increasing dose-dependent curve until a peak at concentration CPF100 (29.9%). Caspase apoptotic activity peaked at 0.1 uM and 100 uM concentrations, at 28% and 328%, respectively. Meanwhile, caspase activity in HTB11 cells followed an increasing dose-dependent curve, with the highest activity at concentration 100 uM (p < 0.05). Based on the in-silico screening, the two molecular targets with the highest binding affinity were the Mitochondrial Complex I and Caspase-3, which are inhibited and upregulated, respectively. This research indicates environmental pollution caused by CPF may impact human neuronal systems via overaction of caspase, causing apoptosis, and metabolism through interactions with the Mitochondrial Complex I., inhibiting cellular respiration. One possible explanation for why in some cases the highest doses did not result in the most cell damage could be that lower concentrations of CPF more easily enter the cell. Protective measures need to be employed based on the level of contamination.

Cream and Green Illustrative Science Project Presentation.jpg

Nucleotide Supplementation Causes a Dose-Independent Decrease in
Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

Cellular damage is theorized to be caused by oxidative stress (OS), which can lead to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The present study aimed to determine if nucleotide (NT) supplementation could combat rises in OS. Previous research relating NTs to OS was focused on aquaculture and in-vitro studies, so the present study used C. elegans, a model organism that shares many human homologous genes. Age-synchronized C. elegans N2 were treated with the nucleotides AMP, CMP, GMP, IMP, and UMP at 50, 100, and 200 μM for 5 days. OS was then induced with 120 μM juglone for 24 hours. The nematodes were then stained with dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA), a dye that binds to the products of OS, and viewed under a Zeiss fluorescent microscope. Images were analyzed in ImageJ for corrected total
cell fluorescence (CTCF) values, which quantitatively measures OS. There was a significant decrease in OS in the treatment groups compared to the control, but there was no significant difference in oxidative stress levels between treatments. These results suggest that NTs cause a dose-independent decrease in OS in C. elegans, and present their potential as a novel antioxidant treatment against OS in a wider range of organisms, including humans.

Gender digital divide Grace's paper screenshot

Bridging digital divides is vital for achieving the United Nations’ 5th Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality. The objective of this research is, by using a feminist approach, to review the existing literature on the gender digital divide published between 2010 and 2022 through keyword searching on ScienceDirect, Proquest, Sage Journal, JSTOR, EconLit, Google Scholar databases, and research from international organizations. 42 articles were selected in total and analyzed using a systematic review method. The results from a feminist perspective analysis indicate a lack of pragmatic policy implications. The findings can provide an innovative perspective for future researchers to consider in gender digital divide studies, especially for policy recommendations and future research agendas. Therefore, the results contribute to the literature on digital inclusion, women’s empowerment in technology, as well as gender and feminist studies altogether.

Space Satellite

This project uses AI to capture weather data and designs a satellite-based approach for bringing electricity to the most vulnerable groups in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and empowering local women entrepreneurs in communities. It uses weather data inputted into a program onboard a satellite telecommunication payload to manage renewable energy production and storage in a grid system. It tested for viability with a small-scale pilot in the rural village of Bambouti, Garga Sarali, Cameroon, focusing on one renewable energy source (solar power), working with a microgrid, using the battery storage already available in the village, and exempting the use of a satellite payload due to the small scale. It provides a financing plan for widespread “scaling up” across SSA and other regions. It is a team project sponsored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Chalmers University of Technology in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences. This project was interviewed by the United Nations SDG Learncast.

Mobile Phone

This project develops a MiHealth telemedicine app with geographic-specific resources to reduce heat-induced health problems in underserved populations in Miami, Florida. It provides an alternative solution to healthcare access when dealing with deathly high temperatures that may implicate heat-induced diseases. It addresses heatwave-induced heart diseases, helps mitigate condition severity, and improves public knowledge of the human body's heat health. It is a team project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Stevens Initiative, the Aspen Institute, Royal Health Awareness Society of Jordan, and the New York Academy of Sciences. This project  won 1st Place of the Global Challenge “Public Health Impacts of Climate Change”.

Image by Marek Okon

This research explores the current status, challenges and actions taken by the international community regarding the gender digital divide in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It found that connecting the unconnected is vital for LDCs to achieve the United Nations’ SDGs and promote gender equality, and economic and social progress. Despite the many great efforts at international and national levels, concrete progress is limited to only selected countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Haiti. Given that 81 percent of women in LDCs still do not have access to the Internet, these countries will have a long way to go to rapidly bring about gender digital equality at a large scale.  This research received Harvard International Review Academic Writing Contest Fall 2022 Gold Medal.

Crowd with Masks

This project creates a machine learning-based computation model running inside an Apple watch and provides recommendations about the care process that patients need to follow. It develops an app that collects information about COVID status and the underlying non-communicable diseases the patient suffers, and sends an alert in the case of an emergency based on the patient's blood sugar levels, heart rates, and quantitative indicators of wheezing. It also provides a comprehensive treatment plan with a built -in alerting mechanism. It is a team project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Stevens Initiative & New York Academy of Sciences.

Hotline Consultant

This research studies the availability of the current treatments, training data, patient privacy related to AI for marginalized communities. It proposes strategies to integrate machine learning and computational linguistics for real-time suicide prevention based on google accounts, mobile apps and social media. It recommends clinical evaluation at a concerning risk level as well as connecting people to free crisis counseling services such as Crisis Text Line. It is a teamwork. The project was presented at the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association’s Annual Conference.


This project aims to raise girls’ and women’s voices against injustice and stand hand-in-hand with the people who need it. It focuses on STEM in different parts of the world, and how different cultures deal with women in the STEM field. The final goal is to inspire, educate and empower girls and women in STEM. It was sponsored by 1000 Girls 1000 Futures of  the New York Academy of Sciences

Lab Worker

This project promotes cultural competency for women in STEM Women who have made significant contributions to science despite facing barriers such as gender stereotypes and biases. It addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion in the scientific community. This involves understanding and respecting differences, addressing biases and stereotypes, providing support for work-life balance, and promoting diversity and inclusivity.


This project explores what makes a good STEM leader in particular for females, what is involved in being a leader in the STEM world, and how to develop and improve your leadership skills. It is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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