Chk1 Target Validation in Recurrent Mutant p53 Pediatric Tumors
Jeremiah Shultz
Many recurrent pediatric solid tumors express mutant forms of the tumor suppressor protein p53, which correlates with poor prognosis in cancer patients. Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), a serine-threonine protein kinase, regulates proliferation, and is activated by standard-of-care (SOC) induced DNA damage. In mutant p53 cells, Chk1 plays a prominent role in G2 and S cell cycle arrest following DNA damage. Pharmacological inhibition of Chk1 has been shown to stall tumor growth, especially when combined with SOC DNA-damaging agents. To understand the underlying mechanisms of Chk1 inhibition in the context of SOC therapy, glioblastoma and Ewing’s sarcoma cell lines were used to evaluate drug effects on cell cycle arrest and Chk1 activation.

Species-level Assessment of Stormwater Processing in Curb-Cut Rain Gardens
Jon Walt, Rachel Warners
We evaluated the stormwater processing potential (via transpiration) of a variety of native plants in curb cut rain gardens throughout Grand Rapids. This study was done in 10 of the 60 rain gardens that Plaster Creek Stewards has installed throughout the Oakdale and Alger Heights neighborhoods. The purpose of the study is to better understand how transpiration rates vary among the different species and across time. This work generated some surprising data and has inspired several future research questions.