2014 Summer Undergraduate REU Program

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI - Department of Mathematical Sciences

Topic 1:

Amphetamines and neural control of body temperature - Yaroslav Molkov

Project Description:

Cognitive, neurophysiological, and neuroanatomical deficits induced by long-term use of amphetamines are enhanced by hyperthermia, which itself is a major mortality factor in drug abusers. Due to multiple factors involved in temperature responses to amphetamines, including various neuromediator systems, ambient temperature, current metabolic status, and previous exposure to the drug, malignant hyperthermia is hard to foresee, and hence, is impossible to prevent. The objective of this project is to develop a theoretical framework for describing the interaction of amphetamine-induced thermodysregulation and environmental factors with the ultimate goal of predicting scenarios which can lead to life-threatening thermal imbalance in amphetamine users.

Topic 2:

A theoretical investigation of retinal oxygen saturation levels in glaucoma patients - Julia Arciero

Project Description:

Glaucoma is a severe disease of the eye characterized by progressive retinal cell death and visual field loss. Although elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the primary risk factor for glaucoma, several studies have shown that impaired perfusion and oxygen delivery to retinal ganglion cells also contribute to the pathophysiology of glaucoma. The objective of this project is to develop a theoretical model to predict blood oxygen saturation in the retina as IOP and mean arterial pressure are varied. The predicted saturation levels will be compared with oximetry data obtained from both normal and glaucoma patients. The theoretical and clinical comparisons will aid in guiding the differentiation and identification of the most relevant factors in studying the progression and treatment of glaucoma.