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Friday, April 24th

Poster Number: 015

Expression of Endothelial Protein C Receptor in Prostate Cancer


Jessika Bonner, Winthrop University
Austin Brewington, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Laura Glasscock, Ph.D.; Kathryn Kohl, Ph.D.; and Kunsiri Grubbs, Ph.D.

Endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR) is expressed in the serum of patients with prostate cancer and in a prostate cancer cell line, PC-3. EPCR is normally expressed by endothelial cells in the blood vessel, where it functions as a co-receptor in the anti-coagulant protein C system. The localization and function of EPCR on endothelial cells is well-documented. Our previous studies have shown that the receptor EPCR interacts with thrombomodulin (TM) on endothelial cells. TM is also expressed by prostate tumor cells in vivo and in vitro, where it regulates proliferation and invasion by these prostate tumor cells. The concentration of TM in patients with prostate cancer is elevated compared to controls. Since EPCR and TM are co-receptors, our goal was to determine the concentration of EPCR in patients with prostate cancer compared to normal controls, and to localize EPCR in PC-3 cells. ELISAs on serum samples from patients with prostate cancer indicated that EPCR concentrations were statistically elevated (82.5 ng/mL to 892.5 ng/mL) compared to control patients (102 ng/mL ± 0.002) (p £ 0.05). Western blotting of cell media and cell lysates from PC-3 cells demonstrated that EPCR is expressed by the prostate cancer epithelial cells. These data provide additional evidence that the anticoagulant protein C system, specifically, EPCR and TM, are involved in prostate cancer progression.

Poster Number: 016

Communication and COVID-2019: A Review of Transdisciplinary Communication Scholarship

Jadden Bergholm, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Chen Chen, Ph.D.

During a crisis event, communication is crucial to the safety and survival of the people who are directly impacted. Global disaster events such as earthquakes, epidemics, and nuclear meltdowns require the swift and efficient spread of accurate information for the purposes of awareness, aid, and safety. Scholars of technical communication and intercultural rhetorics, such as Huiling Ding and Jingwen Zhang, have studied how cultural backgrounds impact the informational narratives. Others have conducted research on the usage of digital media platforms such as Twitter and how hashtags and other tools affect the spread of information in an international environment. Scholars recognize the important role of social media and online discourse in an international crisis event. Through this literature review, it is intended to illustrate the role of digital media in the international and intercultural circulation of information during global crisis events. This project will review literature from a breadth of scholarship from transnational technical and professional communication, risk communication, health communication, and rhetorical studies. It argues that this review of the existing transdisciplinary literature is crucial to the current understanding of how communication has been and continues to be conducted in regard to the current COVID-19 epidemic. Events like the current outbreak provide a chance to critically analyze the digital cultural discourse in a global crisis context, which is vital to social justice and advocacy.

Poster Number: 017

Childhood Obesity in Relation to Low Socioeconomic Status

Nathaniel McLean

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Childhood obesity is a crisis in our country. Over the decades, there has been a significant increase in sedentary behavior and unhealthy lifestyles. This rise in sedentary behavior has increased in obese individuals, especially children. In the United States alone, 18.5% of children and adolescents were diagnosed as obese in 2019. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in our country and worldwide. Obesity is more prevalent among children who come from low-income households. Socioeconomic status is a key indicator of a child’s health. The goal of this research is to better understand the relationship between socioeconomic status and childhood obesity, understanding how variables like lack of nutritional education, limited access to healthy food, and lack of resources negatively affect children from low-income households and ultimately affect their weight.

Poster Number: 018

Caffeine Consumption among Adolescents

Meredith Howey

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Caffeine is a commonly consumed compound that can provide an individual with energy, attentiveness, and focus, among lots of other factors. However, many people tend to ignore the negative effects of caffeine due to the positive, but temporary results it brings. Adolescents should be consuming around 100 mg of caffeine. However, it is very common that adolescents are seen consuming well over that amount. Caffeine consumption has taken a major toll among this age group with too much overuse. This can be a dangerous, misused drug that adolescents need to have proper education about. This presentation will describe the adverse symptoms of caffeine consumption and explore why adolescents are among the top consumers of caffeine.

Poster Number: 019

Underwater Treadmill Training on Different Populations


Ashley Erwin

Faculty Mentor: Joni Boyd, Ph.D.

There are many populations of people who need rehabilitation but sometimes normal treadmill and overground rehabilitation can bring more pain than help. This is because of the gravity and weight that is being put on the body and this causes patients to stop going to therapy because they are in pain and the cycle of deterioration begins. This is when it would be beneficial to try underwater treadmill training, which is using water’s buoyancy to take pressure away from the body. The goal of these studies was to find which population would be affected by completing underwater treadmill training over certain periods of time. Each study used the Hydrotrak treadmill or one of the top leading underwater treadmills competitors. The hypotheses that were shown in the articles all showed the want to improve gait, balance, and overall personal mental health. Many different populations were being tested, such as, athletes, stroke patients, spinal cord injuries, cardiovascular patients, obese patients, and healthy patients. They almost all reacted positively to the training, and this shows that underwater training is used for more than what is known for with stroke patients. We have seen that even when the water is up to the navel it relieves the pressure of gravity up to fifty percent, and when it is up to the xiphoid process it relieves more than sixty percent. This presentation will discuss the different populations this training could be used for, as well as different activities that can be done in the water for rehabilitation.

Poster Number: 020

Improving BMD in Elderly Women with Osteoporosis

Hadasah Hoffmann

Faculty Mentor: David Schary, Ph.D.

Osteoporosis is a major public healthcare problem affecting the elderly population, especially women. Osteoporosis means porous bone, and it is a disease in which density and quality of bone are greatly reduced. The bone disease is preventable, and can be managed if diagnosed. Although osteoporosis is not a new disease, many women believe they are not susceptible to developing the bone disease, but researched preventative steps should be considered by young women. Based on research, the best method to prevent and treat osteoporosis in elderly women is weight-bearing exercise activities providing high impact at high loading rates to the bone. This presentation will discuss what types of weight-bearing exercises should be done by elderly women with osteoporosis to increase their bone mineral density and reduce bone loss.

Poster Number: 021

The Efficacy Of Mindfulness Interventions in the Treatment of Chronic Diseases

Zak Butt

Faculty Mentor: Janet Wojcik, Ph.D.

Healthcare costs in the United States have reached approximately $3.5 trillion each year, with the majority of costs arising from the physical treatment of chronic disease patients, including surgeries, radiotherapy, physical therapy, and medication interventions. Chronic disease patients (e.g., cancer, HIV/AIDS, coronary heart disease patients) are afflicted with a significant amount of physical complications (e.g., pain, fatigue, nausea), which are the primary targets of medical treatment; however, these physical complications often coincide with cognitive and psychological complications including stress, anxiety, and anger, all of which remain heavily untreated among many patients. Mindfulness, a technique that can be traced back to the early rise of Hinduism, has been suggested as a process that can assuage both the physical and cognitive complications of chronic disease patients. The mindfulness techniques most commonly discussed in recent literature refer to “present moment practice,” or methods in which an individual dedicates a non-judgmental awareness and cognizance to the present moment. The purpose of this literature review is to analyze the effectiveness of mindfulness techniques in chronic disease patients who suffer from a plethora of somatic and cognitive complications. Among prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and coronary heart disease patients, the practice of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) has been found to assist in treating not only the psychological complications but also the physical complications that chronic disease patients face. The findings of this literature review suggest that nonmedical and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mindfulness practice could play a significant role in the future treatment of many chronic conditions.

Poster Number: 022

Impacts of Physical Activity on Sexual Health and Experiences

Holly Ellis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Shelley Hamill, Ph.D.

Health and exercise are popular topics in today's media. One aspect not always considered when working to improve overall health is sexual health. Engaging in sexual activity can improve the quality of life and is a core component of developing an intimate relationship. This literature review shows how being physically active impacts sexual health. Exercising and participating in sexual experiences have both been shown to help regulate the cardiovascular system and improve overall mood while decreasing the chance for certain illnesses. Studies analyzed the impact of body weight and body image, the influence of activity levels on body functions, and what influence, if any, exercise has on men’s health. Another component of this review focused on the repercussions physical activity has on sexual function. Studies revealed that a positive body image is linked to more enjoyable encounters, particularly in women. Various studies also reinforced the idea that frequent positive sexual encounters can improve internal bodily functions. While one study noted that individuals with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) have more sexual encounters, those encounters were found to be less enjoyable. Women were found to be less sexually satisfied due to poor body image perceptions, while men were determined to lack cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. Sexual activity is present in many peoples’ lives. Knowing how being physically active can improve one’s sexual health is important.