Subscribe to RSS Feed (Opens in New Window)

Thursday, April 27th
9:00 AM

Axial Chirality to increase selectivity of AIMs as anti-tumor agents

Michael Campbell

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

The focus of this project is to improve the efficacy of anthracenyl isoxazolyl amides (AIMs) by adding axial chirality via strategic halogenation. AIMs are a new class of antitumor agents specially synthesized to bind and interact with G-quadruplex (G4) DNA; binding G4 DNA has been shown to repress the replication of oncogenes in cancerous tumors. By using asymmetric halogenation our goal is to introduce axial chirality into the AIMs. Many biologically active molecules are chiral and the stereoisomers often display a significant difference in activity due to interactions with chiral targets, such as DNA. Methods of over halogenation of unsubstituted anthracenes, in synthetically useful yields, have been published by Cakmak. However, with the added complexity of a substituted anthracene, the addition of halogens has been a challenge. We have successfully isolated a 1,2,3,4,10-pentabromo-anthracenyl-isoxazole-ethylester. The methods that yielded the overbrominated product require consideration of the mechanism of the reactions, in which ionic and radical intermediates are expected to predominate. The current focus is the selective reductive elimination of the overbrominated compound. The future focus will shift to selective cleavage and subsequent substitution that will afford an axially chiral final product. The benefit of stereospecific activity is that a patient may be able to take less of the chemotherapeutic agent and achieve equally beneficial results with fewer side effects. Our progress will be described.

9:20 AM

Isoxazolo[3,4-d]pyridazinones are positive modulators of the 7TM metabotropic glutamate receptors, and selective for subtypes 2 and 4. Providing another potential treatment for central nervous system disorders (anxiety, Parkinson’s, ect) and cancer

Christina Gates, University of Montana - Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

9:20 AM - 9:35 AM

The seven transmembrane superfamily (7TM), or G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), is one of the largest superfamilies in the human genome. With approximately 30% of marketed drugs targeting the 7TMs, these proteins are among the most successful among therapeutic targets. Within 7TMs a subgroup called the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) exist each of which has a binding site named the Venus flytrap domain (VFT). Unlike other 7TMs, mGluRs act through the VFT to produce a cellular response, depending on the type of compounds that bind, a different response results. Compounds that target mGluRs are important for the treatment of a variety of central nervous system (CNS) disorders as well as cancer. Selectively targeting the VFT of the mGluRs is challenging due its similarity. There is another regulatory region in the 7TM, known as an allosteric site, which is more unique between the each mGluRs and presents a more selective target, which could lead to fewer side effects. Our isoxazolo[3,4-d]pyridazinones compounds were tested and found to have selective activity at mGluR 4 and 2. This selectivity along with other tests imply binding may not be at the VFT, but rather at the allosteric site. Activation of mGluR4 helps to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and may even slow progress of the disease. The mGluR 2 subtype is a target for treatment of anxiety, often helping to alleviate it. Additionally, both of these receptors have been implicated in the treatment of variety of cancers of the brain and other organs systems, such as giloma, medulloblastoma, or colorectal carcinoma, presenting another target to overcome these diseases. Modifications to our compounds to further optimized selectivity and activity will be by using a structure-based binding to the allosteric site as the working hypothesis. Based on this hypothesis, more compounds will be created to try to further access more binding regions in the receptor. Our progress on the new synthesis and biological evaluation will be described.

9:40 AM

Linguistic collision: a preliminary study of Spanish and Asturian in Spain

Lucia Hermo del Teso

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

9:40 AM - 9:55 AM

In this presentation, I will talk about language contact between Spanish and Asturian, a regional and endangered language spoken in Asturias, northwestern Spain. Language contact refers to an occurrence when two or more languages interact, and speakers of these languages communicate using both languages regardless of fluency (Thomason, 2001). The regional language Asturian is in contact with Spanish, the majority and prestigious language in the country. Asturian speakers are bilingual, and thus speak both Asturian and Spanish. These languages are typologically similar, both descending from Latin, with a high rate of mutual intelligibility. However, there are crucial grammatical and lexical differences that may cause misinterpretation if both are not learnt proficiently. Historically, Spanish has been the language used for written communication since the 14th century, when Asturian was relegated to spoken communication (Barnes, 2015). Currently, Asturian is a non-prestigious language, it is not an official language even in Asturias, and therefore it is not a compulsory language in schools. On the other hand, Spanish enjoys a prestigious status, and is the official language in entire country including Asturias, i.e. the language of schools and government.

Two of the outcomes of language contact suggested by Thomason (2001) are language change and language mixture. This preliminary study aims to identify the outcomes of language contact between Asturian and Spanish, and the way language mixture occurs between the two languages. In order to accomplish these objectives, I linguistically examined an episode of a game show spoken in Asturian broadcasted by the Asturian TV channel in December 2015. Speech by all participants in the show was transcribed and annotated using ELAN, a linguistic annotation software (Wittenburg, 2006). The results showed a large amount of language mixture; and it revealed a significant influence from Spanish. The major findings are: (i) that mixture between the languages occurred on different constituent levels, i.e. conversation, intonation unit, clause, phrase, and word (ii) that some words mixed Asturian sentence structure and Spanish sound structure, and some vice versa, and (iii) that some Asturian sounds were lost in favor of the Spanish corresponding sounds.

Though it is a preliminary research, this study has the following significances. First, the study enhances the field of language contact, because it deals with two typologically similar languages, unlike most research. Second, this research contributes to the study of sociolinguistics because it explores outcomes of language contact between a prestigious international language and a non-prestigious regional language. Finally, this study bears broader impacts as it provides understanding of Asturian today, which can be helpful for language revitalization efforts, as it is an endangered language.

Works cited:

Barnes, S. 2015. Perceptual salience and social categorization of contact features in Asturian Spanish. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. Vol. 8. No. 2.: 213–241

Thomason, S. 2001. Language Contact: An Introduction. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.

Wittenburg, P., Brugman, H., Russel, A., Klassmann, A., Sloetjes, H. 2006. ELAN: a Professional Framework for Multimodality Research. In Proceedings of LREC 2006, Fifth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation

10:00 AM

Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Glucaric Acid-Based Hydrogels

Erik Johnston, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Research targeting the production and potential uses for glucaric acid has seen increased attention due to a 2004 US Department of Energy report naming it one of twelve "Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass". Glucaric acid can be produced through a one-step oxidation of glucose and its salt forms are currently being utilized in applications such as water treatment and as sequestering agents. One relatively unexplored area of immense potential for glucaric acid is in the production of biobased, nylon-like polymers. These biodegradable poly(glucaramide)s are of interest due to their ability to form hydrogels at low polymer concentrations. The gels appear to form via a network of polymer nanoparticles which aggregate to create the three-dimensional gel structure when above the minimum gelation concentration, as indicated by scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The rheological characterization indicates that the poly(glucaramide) hydrogels are thermoreversible and can gel in a wide range of environments. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that these novel materials could have potential applications as controlled release systems.

10:20 AM

Evaluating How Kinesthetic Learning Affects Skills and Attitudes of Fourth Grade Students in Montana Using the National Geographic State Giant Traveling Map of Montana

Rebecca Anne Kranitz, The University Of Montana

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

10:20 AM - 10:35 AM

The National Geographic Society actively promotes the idea that geographic education must become better established in public school curricula in the United States. To address this issue, the National Geographic Society continuously works on developing new and innovative ways to enhance geography education. Most recently, they established the State Giant Traveling Maps program to promote an interactive, hands-and-feet-on geographical learning experience for third and fourth graders in the United States. The National Geographic Society hopes that the State Giant Traveling Maps program will increase students’ map skills, inspire students to learn more about geography, and encourage teachers to focus more on geographic education. In Montana, the State Giant Traveling Map program was launched on January 1, 2017; therefore, the effectiveness of this new resource is not yet fully understood.

In order to fully assess the pertinence of the State Giant Traveling Maps to geography education, this project will address the following research question: How does the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana affect students’ attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills? The National Geographic Society anticipates that the State Giant Traveling Maps will inform and inspire young students to study geography and will also increase geographic education nationwide. This project aims to confirm their hypothesis by tracking the changes in attitude, self-efficacy, and map skills that occur after students interact with the State Giant Traveling Map of Montana. Additionally, this project aims to evaluate teacher perceptions on the benefits and associated challenges of implementing this new resource. If this project supports the hypothesis of the National Geographic Society, more teachers may be willing to shift their curriculum to focus more on geography and geographic illiteracy rates in the United States will begin to decrease.

To answer the research question, both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods will be used. Students will complete a quantitative assessment and their teachers will complete a qualitative survey. The student assessment was created by taking questions directly from the National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP) Geography Exam for Grade 4. Students that participate in this research will complete the assessment before and after completing lessons using the giant map. Student assessments will be graded out of seven points, and their responses will be compared to the national averages published by NAEP. This will reveal if students perform better when actively participating in geography lessons versus the more traditional, passive style of teaching. The teacher survey will help determine if this resource can be easily implemented into public school curriculum. Data collection for this project will begin during spring of 2017 and analysis will be completed during summer 2017.

10:40 AM

SMS Parent Action Intervention (SPAN): Using text messaging to promote child health on an American Indian Reservation

Julia M. Malich, University of Montana, Missoula
Kari Jo Harris PhD, MPH, University of Montana, Missoula
Laura Dybdal PhD, University of Montana, Missoula
Brenda Bodnar RD, CS&KT Tribal Health
Johnson Caye, Salish Kootenai College
Emily Hall DO, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
Blakely Brown PhD, RD, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

10:40 AM - 10:55 AM

SMS Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN): Using text messaging to promote child health on an American Indian Reservation

Purpose: Childhood obesity and its associated health risks are widely recognized as a major public health crisis in the United States (Johnson & Johnson, 2014; Proctor, 2008; Rogers et al, 2013; Vinci et al, 2016). Prevention efforts include focusing on educating parents with young children on healthy habits. Text messaging is an attractive means of communication because it is portable, cost-effective, accessible, and able to reach across demographic spheres to serve underserved and rural populations (Terry, 2008). The primary purpose of the SMS (Short Messaging System or text messaging) Parent Action iNtervention (SPAN) trial was to assess the feasibility of a texting intervention to improve obesity-related health behaviors in young children living on or near an American Indian reservation.

Methods: SPAN trial is a 5-week, one-group, pre- to post- test pilot study. Cluster and snowball sampling was used to recruit parents with children aged 3 to 5 to participate in the study. At the beginning of the intervention, participants completed a survey about their child’s behaviors, they then received three text messages focused on establishing healthy childhood habits each week for 5 weeks. Topics included childhood nutrition, physical activity and sleep requirements, and recommendations for limiting screen time and sugary beverage consumption. Each week participants were prompted to respond to one question about their child’s behavior specific to the weekly topic. At the end of the 5-week intervention, participants completed a survey about the timing, frequency and content of the text messages, as well as their child’s behaviors. Participants were given $50 cash upon completion of the study.

Results: Recruitment yielded 17 parents who enrolled in the study (mean age = 34 years, 88% female, 47% Native American). Each participant received 17 intervention text messages over 5 weeks. No participant opted out of receiving intervention messages. For each participant, 5 of the text messages were survey questions that requested a response. For all participants, of the 85 text messages that requested a response, 78 (91%) were returned with a response that answered the survey question. Follow up assessments are on-going, with 12 out of 17 (71%) participants completed.

Discussion: Texting is a feasible and acceptable intervention medium for sending and receiving messages related to diet and exercise (Shaw & Bosworth, 2012); however, there has been minimal research conducted on text messaging obesity prevention health topics to parents of young children living on or near American Indian reservations in rural settings. Our study targets this gap in the literature and helps guide future research using text messaging to promote child health and prevent obesity.

1:05 PM

An Outlay Equivalence Analysis of South African Households

Samuel Peevey

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

1:05 PM - 1:20 PM

An overwhelming amount of research (Saha 2013 Kingdon 2005 Parpiev et. al. 2012 and Gibson and Rozelle 2004) supports that gender inequality persists in the developing world. In addition, a considerable amount of evidence also suggests that gender inequality in the developing world negatively impacts women and girls’ health, education and future wage potential (Baliamoune-Lutz et. al. 2009 Garg et. al. 1998 Agbodji et. al. 2013 and Dickerson et. al. 2013). This thesis investigates whether households in South Africa discriminated against their female children, in favor of their male children. Additionally, I investigated whether a head of household’s gender significantly affected how they apportioned resources amongst their children. Using the 1st wave of the National Income Dynamics Study and Angus Deaton’s outlay-equivalence ratio method, I estimate the impact, 8 age and gender categories have on their household’s adult goods expenditure. I found evidence, in poor female headed households, suggesting a preference for 0-4 year old boys over 0-4 year old girls.

1:25 PM

Examining the Validity of Mental Health Clinicians' Self-Reported Treatment Targets on a Measure of Usual Care

Allison K. Powell, University of Montana - Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

1:25 PM - 1:40 PM

Several decades of research have been spent identifying and testing evidence-based therapies (EBTs), but there is currently very little research that examines therapeutic practices within usual care. The lack of understanding in this area has been implicated as a barrier to the successful implementation of EBTs into usual mental health care settings. The Monthly Treatment Progress Summary (MTPS) is a measure developed to enable monthly tracking of intervention strategies and content within a statewide system of children’s mental health care. Although a growing body of research exists examining the reliability and validity of the treatment practice and treatment progress sections of the MTPS, less research has been conducted on the treatment target section. Specifically, no information exists on the validity of the treatment target section, which is a significant limitation of the measure and has implications for gaining a full picture of usual care treatment. The purpose of the current study is to assess the validity of the treatment target section of the MTPS. The study aims to evaluate whether clinicians’ self-reported treatment targets are consistent with their treatment objectives in session, as judged by trained coders reviewing audiotapes of therapy sessions. The current study also examines patterns of clinicians’ self-reported treatment targets in order to examine tendencies to over- or underreport targets. Data for this project are a set of 47 audio-recorded therapy sessions and the corresponding MTPS’s that were completed for each case, as part of a larger treatment effectiveness project (Weisz et al., 2012). The sessions are coded for therapist focus on treatment targets and the results will be compared to the therapist-endorsed targets on the MTPS. Although analyses are currently underway, preliminary analysis of interrater reliability among coders is high, with 79% of endorsed targets coded at a reliability of .60-1.0 (moderate to excellent). The findings of this study will add to our current knowledge of the validity of the MTPS as a measure of specific targets on which therapists focus in treatment. The need for valid, reliable, and pragmatic measures of mental health services is high (Glasgow & Riley, 2013), given the increased demand for accountability within mental healthcare settings. Although the MTPS has the potential to shed light on therapeutic practices and foci of usual care, it is important to understand therapists’ tendencies to over- or underreport specific treatment targets on such a measure. Thus, by providing insights into the accuracy of therapists’ self-reported treatment content, the results of this study could help to inform the structure and goals of future service delivery efforts.

1:45 PM

Descriptive Analysis of Injuries Sustained by Wildland Firefighters

Taylor Purchio, University of Montana, Missoula
Valerie Moody, University of Montana, Missoula
Charles Palmer, University of Montana, Missoula
Steven Gaskill, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM


Purchio TJ, Moody VJ, Palmer, CG, Gaskill, SE: The University of Montana

Context: Due to an incredibly dynamic work environment, Wildland Firefighters (WLFFs) find themselves at an increased risk for injury while on the job. In order to decrease the risk of injury amongst WLFFs, a thorough evaluation of equipment, terrain, work shifts, environmental factors, and mechanism of injury is necessary to address the most prominent threats to WLFF safety during physical training and on the fire line. Objective: The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of the types of injuries WLFFs sustain during Physical Training (PT) and while out on the fire line, and if there are any discernible trends or patterns that can be addressed through the implementation of a more focused PT program. Design: This study is a web-based cross-sectional survey. Setting: Internet survey of US Forest Service WLFF Participants: Snowball sampling was used to reach WLFFs, including both seasonal and fulltime employees, of the US Forest Service. 360 WLFFs responded to the survey but were not required to answer every question. Respondents included 239 males, 32 females and 2 identified as other. A majority of the participants were between the ages of 35-44 (n=103). 233 were full time WLFFs and a vast majority were on engine crews (n=142). Interventions: The WLFF Injury Survey was developed by the researchers using open and closed ended questions to obtain information on WLFF demographics, crew types, injuries sustained in the past five fire seasons, treatment of injuries, work shifts, and environmental factors such as terrain and region working when injury was sustained. Twelve panelists including WLFF, academic faculty, and athletic trainers reviewed the survey to establish face and content validity and to provide feedback regarding clarity, readability, and completion time. Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative data from the questionnaire was analyzed using Microsoft excel to determine WLFFs demographics, types of injuries sustained and environmental factors potential influence on injuries sustained. Thematic analysis was conducted on the open ended questions where WLFFs could offer further explanation to a closed ended question. Results: Most WLFFs (n=238) sustained at least one injury in the past 5 fire seasons with 91% of those injuries occurring on the fire line on rocky mountainside terrain. Half of the injuries reported were sprains and strains occurring to the lower back, knee and ankle. 68% of injured WLFFs (n= 139) were unable to continue with normal duty as a result of injury. Conclusions: Most of the injuries reported by WLFFs were to the lower extremity and occurred while working on the fire line. In order to reduce the cost of time lost due to injury, further investigation into implementing specific injury prevention strategies in WLFFs is warranted.

2:05 PM

BEAR Theory: Moving Forward for Public Universities

Shane St. Onge

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

2:05 PM - 2:20 PM

2:25 PM

An Investigation of the Relations Between Stress and Prospective Memory

Brandon T. Stewart, University of Montana - Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

2:25 PM - 2:40 PM

Prospective memory (PM) is a future-oriented memory system that entails “remembering to remember” intentions, or to perform actions in the future. People spend significant portions of their day-to-day lives forming and acting on intentions, and the ability to successfully generate, retain, and complete these intentions has important implications for one’s daily functioning and quality of life. PM further divides into two differing types: Time-based and event-based PM. Time-based PM entails performing an action at a specific time in the future, or following the passage of a certain amount of time. Common examples of time-based PM include remembering to attend an appointment at 9:00 am, or remembering the take cookies out of the oven after 20 minutes. In contrast, event-based PM involves performing an action following the appearance of an environmental cue that signals the appropriateness of executing a previously formed intention. An example of event-based PM is remembering to tell a friend or colleague an important message when you see that person next. In that context, the presence of the friend serves as a cue that may remind one to deliver the intended message. Besides PM, another common human experience is stress, whether that be short-term, acute stress, or long-term, chronic stress.

Despite how common and important both stress and PM are in everyday life, the research base documenting the relations between them is lacking. This topic area requires additional research to specify how stress interacts with PM. The current study provides novel data towards that effort, assisting to disentangle the ways in which stress influences PM performance. To answer the question of interest, those in the experimental group underwent stress-induction procedures (i.e., they completed an oral presentation and mental arithmetic task), while participants in the control group completed a word search activity. After these tasks, all participants completed a computerized PM task. This task entailed pressing the left shift key on a keyboard when a target word appeared (the word “can”) in the context of another word (e.g., "Canada"), and pressing the right shift key after every four minutes elapsed since the start of the task. Participants could press the enter key to display a clock that tracked the total time elapsed.

The results demonstrated that generally, there were no were no significant group differences on event-based PM performance, or time-based PM performance in any accuracy window. Yet, among a smaller subset of those in the experimental group who reported the highest amounts of stress, acute stress levels correlated significantly with higher event-based PM performance. In addition, higher reported stress at the outset of the study correlated significantly with enhanced time-based PM accuracy as well as clock-checking behavior. These novel results have important implications surrounding how stress might impact one’s ability to carry out intentions in the future, and highlights the adaptive nature of stress. It appears that under certain conditions, stress may enhance one’s ability to detect more “covert” cues with associated intentions, as well as better monitor and carry out intentions based on time.

2:45 PM

I am the Madwoman: Anti-Capitalist Art in a Post-Truth Era

Natasha J. Conti, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom, Pod #1

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Call it kismet or prescience, but when the University of Montana’s School of Theatre and Dance chose Maurice Valency’s adaptation of Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of Chaillot for production in the spring of 2017, the current political climate was only an unlikely glimmer on the horizon. The play, described by the publisher as “a kind of poetic and comic fable set in the twilight zone of the not-quite-true,” revolves around the Parisian district of Chaillot, presided over by the Madwoman Countess Aurelia and her band of vagabonds. When their happiness is threatened by the “invasion” of a President of Eleven Companies, accompanied by his brokers, his prospectors, his news agents, and “a forest of derricks and drills” determined to dig up Paris to find oil and make war, the Countess holds a trial in absentia and sentences them to death. She lures them down the bottomless stairway in her cellar, where they vanish—and the world is subsequently saved.

Giraudoux began writing the play in 1942 in Nazi-occupied France, and parallels to that invasion remain clear. What scholarship exists in English on the play illuminates these parallels. Significantly more surprising, however, are the ways in which the dialogue seems relevant in America today, nearly seventy years after the play first premiered.

When I was cast as the Countess Aurelia, in December of 2016, some of the challenges of the role were readily apparent: playing old age (or a kind of ageless immortality – the play is set, according to the playwright, in “the Spring of next year,” though the Countess has first-hand recollections of events in 1881); the sheer number of lines the Countess has; and speaking those lines in a way that is poetic and stylized yet still accessible and genuine. However, as the New Year dawned and our rehearsals commenced, additional challenges presented themselves. To what extent should a performer allow the audience to draw its own connections to current events, or emphasize those connections so that they even more apparent? What does it mean to produce a piece of art that is so clearly counter-culture – and, in some ways, revolutionary – particularly at a time when art is being de-funded and the public turns to news outlets for entertainment? How does one reconcile a dramatic resolution that can be interpreted as anything from sweeping the problem under the rug to all-out genocide? Is the Madwoman—a kind of eccentric patron saint personified—an outdated trope, or does she provide answers relevant to a contemporary audience?

These questions cannot be answered through an abstract hypothetical analysis; they require the embodiment of the role. Using the rehearsal and performances of The Madwoman of Chaillot as my primary research method, I propose to answer these challenges in a formal research presentation. It is my working hypothesis that, while her methods could not translate to a world outside of the fantastical Chaillot, Countess Aurelia offers a madness that our world still desperately needs.