The ARCS Illinois Board invites you to meet four of our chapter’s rising science researchers and engage with them LIVE in a FREE virtual event on Thursday, February 24, 2022, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Central Time.
ARCS Scholar SAM GRAYSON is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through his work, Sam hopes to create a bridge between academia and industry in software and hardware research and development. He is passionate about encouraging a new generation of scientists and research software engineers, especially from underrepresented groups.
"Computers have become an essential tool for chemistry, physics, astronomy, biology, and others sciences. However, researchers do not have the time to learn how to become software engineers. I want to develop tools and processes to help scientists leverage software to do their research."
An ARCS Scholar in Physics at The University of Chicago, DANIEL SMITH takes us far from Earth as he strives to develop the next generation of experiments to detect the highest energy neutrinos in the Universe. Although his physics research often seems all consuming, Daniel manages to find time to foster cats through a charity, taking in stray or otherwise homeless cats until they are healthy enough to be adopted into a permanent home.
"My research in astroparticle physics centers on developing the next generation of experiments to detect the highest energy particles in the universe. I am a member of a team that is using glacial ice at the top of Greenland as an enormous 'net' to 'catch' one extremely rare astrophysical particle, the neutrino. The detection of astrophysical neutrinos teaches us about the most extreme celestial bodies in the universe and reveals fundamentals of physics."
ROGER SMITH is an ARCS Scholar working toward a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics along with an MD at Northwestern University, where he is conducting research on immunotherapies for cancer treatments and doing clinical work. Away from the lab and clinic, Roger enjoys experiencing different cultures and cuisines. He even attempts to cook diverse dishes, incorporating herbs and produce from his small but growing indoor garden.
"I am currently researching how cancer cells are so resilient to stressful conditions in the tumor environment. These stresses include rapidly dividing in nutrient and oxygen deprived environments. Understanding how cancer cells take advantage of stress response pathways will allow us to develop new therapeutic strategies."
RASA VALIAUGA is a first-year ARCS Scholar in Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where she is studying the molecular bases of neurological disorders. Rasa immigrated to the US from Lithuania as a child and is a first-generation college/medical student. She is also an avid advocate for an inclusive environment, especially for women in the sciences.
"I am investigating the connection between diet and Alzheimer's disease, specifically as it relates to the regulation of blood sugar and inflammation. Using a mouse model developed in our laboratory that allows us to measure inflammation in a living animal bred with a well-studied Alzheimer's disease mouse model, I seek to understand how different diets affect inflammation and the progression of Alzheimer's disease."