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Alumni Dissertations

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  • Influences of the Female Reproductive Cycle on Inflammatory Induced Pain Resonses

    Author:
    Nicole Amador
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Vanya Quinones-Jenab
    Abstract:

    Abstract Influences of the Female Reproductive Cycle on Inflammatory Induced Pain Responses by Nicole J. Amador Advisor: Professor Vanya Quiñones-Jenab Clinical and preclinical studies have demonstrated significant sex differences in the perception of inflammatory pain; females display higher nociceptive responses to inflammatory stimuli than male rats. Additionally, the complex endocrinological profile of females has been shown to impact their nociceptive responses. For example, estradiol reduces Phase II behavioral-nociceptive responses after formalin administration. However, little is known about the specific biological pathway(s) and/or mechanisms in which cycling endogenous female sex hormones affect inflammatory pain responses. Current literature has established that cyclooxygenases and prostanoids are major pro-inflammatory mediators directly linked to inflammatory responses. Additionally, glucocorticoids, (i.e. corticosterone) negatively regulate inflammatory induced COX-2, resulting in attenuation of inflammatory responses. The objective of this study was to further understand how fluctuations of endogenous female sex hormones alter inflammatory-induced responses by examining two physiological pathways (i.e. NO/COX-2 regulation of the prostanoid biosynthetic pathway and corticosterone regulation of the NO/COX pathway) which may in part be responsible for these effects. Endogenous peaks of estrogen and progesterone during proestrus, were shown to significantly attenuate behavioral responses after formalin administration. This attenuation of behavioral responding was accompanied by a significant increase in PGD2 serum levels. Cortiscosterone serum levels were unaffected after formalin administration suggesting that regulation of behavioral responses by endogenous hormones may be occurring through a pathway independent of the corticosterone biosynthetic pathway. COX-2 and nNOS levels in the spinal cord were not significantly affected by the estrous cycle, suggesting that regulation of behavioral responses by endogenous hormonal fluctuations may be occurring through a pathway independent of the NO/COX biosynthetic pathway. Furthermore, although no estrous cycle effects were seen in paw withdrawal latency after carrageenan administration, we observed estrous cycle effects in the contralateral paw at baseline and one hour post-injection. Rats in proestrus showed a significant reduction in thermal- induced hyperalgesia as measured by increased paw withdrawal latency. Although no significant differences were seen in PGD2 serum levels, rats in estrus had significantly higher PGE2 serum levels after carrageenan administration. A significant decrease in PWL was observed in rats during estrus, a time of the lowest levels of fluctuating hormones. These results suggest that hormonal troughs during the cycle may affect inflammation through the PG biosynthetic pathway. Finally, during ages when animals are considered "middle aged" attenuation in inflammatory induced behavior was observed. This finding was accompanied by significant decreases in PGE2 and PGD2 levels and a significant increase in corticosterone serum levels. Taken together these results suggest a relationship between endogenous hormonal fluctuations, corticosterone release and PG activity. In summary, our results suggest that endogenous hormonal peaks and troughs effects on inflammation may be mediated through the regulation of the NO/COX-2/prostanoid biosynthetic pathway.

  • Race and Realism in Edward Harrigan's Mulligan Guards Series

    Author:
    Michael Aman
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Theatre
    Advisor:
    David Savran
    Abstract:

    In this dissertation I examine the written texts and performances of the original productions of Edward Harrigan's Mulligan Guard series as they intersected and embodied the presentation of race and Realism. My study considers the context of the period in which the plays premiered: 1879 - 1884, beginning with the first full-length piece from the series: The Mulligan Guard Ball. Using race performance theory and the theories and history of Realism, I show how Harrigan's work figured prominently at a key point in the history of American theatre, embodying a plethora of contradictions: racism and progressivism; Realism and melodrama. The two key terms to my study are "race" and "realism." Rather than imposing contemporary definitions onto these concepts, I examine the terms in their contemporaneous usages. I show how Edward Harrigan's work embodies the meeting point of Realism and the entertainments which held sway in America prior to the arrival of Realism. Harrigan, along with more "serious" dramatists, instilled an expectation for Realism on the stage, the ramifications of which are still felt in American theatre. Harrigan's works enacted particular cross sections of New York life in very specific neighborhoods - replete with the various denizens of these neighborhoods. Harrigan's Americans inhabit the poorer areas of working class New York and his portraits of these characters are extremely detailed in their wants, pursuits, peeves and drives. At the core of the Mulligan Guard series, and indeed most of Edward Harrigan's plays lies the depiction of the New York Irish community and, to a slightly lesser extent, the African American community. Surrounding these core groups stand a variety of ethnicities: German, Chinese, and Eastern European Jews. Harrigan's approach to Realism is explored thoroughly through reportage of his productions, specifically that of the Mulligan Guard series, in light of Harrigan's own assertions as to his approach to his craft. I examine the use of Realism in regard to the depiction of race. When considering the depiction of race, Harrigan's characters cannot literally be accepted as authentic because of the actors in the roles (White actors performing Black), but my study shows how authenticity of racial depiction was regarded in its own age. Methodology Because of the nature of this study, I combine research methods from a variety of scholars. I reconstruct the period in order to approach Harrigan's work historiographically. I examine not only the written text but the audience, demographics of New York City, other forms of entertainments at the time, critical writing, and illustrations. Of chief importance to this study are the various collections and scrapbooks of Harrigan's work. The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library has a vast collection of Harrigan's work, clippings, scripts, songs, and the like. Alicia Kae Koger's two-part exhaustive bibliography on Edward Harrigan is invaluable to this study. In addition to the collection in New York, Harrigan materials exist at various public and private libraries, particularly the Library of Congress.

  • Race and Realism in Edward Harrigan's Mulligan Guards Series

    Author:
    Michael Aman
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Theatre
    Advisor:
    David Savran
    Abstract:

    In this dissertation I examine the written texts and performances of the original productions of Edward Harrigan's Mulligan Guard series as they intersected and embodied the presentation of race and Realism. My study considers the context of the period in which the plays premiered: 1879 - 1884, beginning with the first full-length piece from the series: The Mulligan Guard Ball. Using race performance theory and the theories and history of Realism, I show how Harrigan's work figured prominently at a key point in the history of American theatre, embodying a plethora of contradictions: racism and progressivism; Realism and melodrama. The two key terms to my study are "race" and "realism." Rather than imposing contemporary definitions onto these concepts, I examine the terms in their contemporaneous usages. I show how Edward Harrigan's work embodies the meeting point of Realism and the entertainments which held sway in America prior to the arrival of Realism. Harrigan, along with more "serious" dramatists, instilled an expectation for Realism on the stage, the ramifications of which are still felt in American theatre. Harrigan's works enacted particular cross sections of New York life in very specific neighborhoods - replete with the various denizens of these neighborhoods. Harrigan's Americans inhabit the poorer areas of working class New York and his portraits of these characters are extremely detailed in their wants, pursuits, peeves and drives. At the core of the Mulligan Guard series, and indeed most of Edward Harrigan's plays lies the depiction of the New York Irish community and, to a slightly lesser extent, the African American community. Surrounding these core groups stand a variety of ethnicities: German, Chinese, and Eastern European Jews. Harrigan's approach to Realism is explored thoroughly through reportage of his productions, specifically that of the Mulligan Guard series, in light of Harrigan's own assertions as to his approach to his craft. I examine the use of Realism in regard to the depiction of race. When considering the depiction of race, Harrigan's characters cannot literally be accepted as authentic because of the actors in the roles (White actors performing Black), but my study shows how authenticity of racial depiction was regarded in its own age. Methodology Because of the nature of this study, I combine research methods from a variety of scholars. I reconstruct the period in order to approach Harrigan's work historiographically. I examine not only the written text but the audience, demographics of New York City, other forms of entertainments at the time, critical writing, and illustrations. Of chief importance to this study are the various collections and scrapbooks of Harrigan's work. The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library has a vast collection of Harrigan's work, clippings, scripts, songs, and the like. Alicia Kae Koger's two-part exhaustive bibliography on Edward Harrigan is invaluable to this study. In addition to the collection in New York, Harrigan materials exist at various public and private libraries, particularly the Library of Congress.

  • Referring and Describing: Three Essays on the Meaning and Use of Definite Descriptions and Complex Demonstratives

    Author:
    FELIPE AMARAL
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Philosophy
    Advisor:
    Michael Devitt
    Abstract:

    This dissertation is composed of three independent essays, and it investigates the meaning and use of definite descriptions and complex demonstratives and the form of complex demonstratives. In the first essay, I tackle the referential-attributive status of definite descriptions. I argue that these expressions are referential-attributive ambiguous in the sense of semantic polysemy - as opposed to homonymy or pragmatic polysemy. In the second essay, I turn to complex demonstratives and argue on methodological grounds that they are non-quantificational terms that refer and describe, descriptive designators I dub them. I also provide arguments against the idea that demonstratives, from a syntactic point of view, are articles in disguise. And in the third essay, I argue against `direct reference' theorists and quantificationalists alike, claiming that complex demonstratives and referential descriptions are descriptive designators. This hypothesis provides the simplest explanation of the full semantic significance of nominals in both expressions.

  • MICROSTRUCTURAL ENVIRONMENTS AND REDOX STATES OF IRON IN RANDOM AND ORDERED POROUS SILICA MATRICES

    Author:
    Don Anton Amarasinghe
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Chemistry
    Advisor:
    Harry Gafney
    Abstract:

    In our previous studies we have shown that the refractive index of porous Vycor glass can be changed by doping with iron and at the lower end of the iron loading, the refractive index shows a fairly linear increase with the loading. This allows us to create refractive index patterns in porous Vycor glass. The exact mechanisms regarding image formation in the Vycor glass and the factors that affect the image quality are still being investigated. In this study we analyzed the cross-sectional distribution of iron and the lateral diffusion of iron during the heat treatment in order to understand the contrast variations. The study also focused on microstructural changes of iron particles from the surface to the interior of the porous Vycor glass. The other objective of the study is to understand microstructural variations of iron in regular pore structured materials such as MCM-41 and random pore networks such as xerogel and PVG. Results show that the maximum effective lateral diffusion length of iron in PVG is <10 μm at 650C. We conclude that the particle growth which occurs at 650C is due to a less than 10 μm diffusion length within the matrix. XANES results show that elemental iron found in the PVG immediately after photolysis is concentrated in the interior of the glass. Although some elemental iron is found on the surface of the glass they are covered with a protective layer of Fe(III) oxides. This protective layer seems to be robust enough to prevent further oxidation of elemental iron particles during the annealing process at 6500C but the elemental iron found in the interior of the glass did oxidize during the annealing process until the protective layer of Fe(III) oxide is formed. The results suggest that once the Fe(III) / Fe(0) ratio reach a critical value further oxidation is prevented. EXAFS data analysis along with EPR confirmed that the chemical nature of iron oxides formed on the surface and the interior of the PVG are identical and Fe(III) is in an octahedral environment. The Mössbauer data suggest that the Fe(0) particles in the PVG substrate are randomly oriented whereas Fe(III) has some orientation suggesting that particles are attached to the silica substrate through the oxide envelope. Unlike Fe(CO)5 doped PVG, when Fe(CO)5 doped MCM-41 is photolyzed, it leads to formation of octahedrally and tetrahedrally coordinated iron sites within the silica matrix. Mossbauer study shows that with the increasing temperature, iron migrates from octahedral sites to tetrahedral sites. Iron in xerogel behaves differently than iron in PVG or MCM-41. Iron migration into tetrahedral sites initiates at 650C and the number of tetrahedral sites increase with temperature. Neither xerogel nor MCM-41 shows any evidence of elemental iron before or after heat treatments. The Fe(0) formation in PVG seems to be a unique phenomenon.

  • MICROSTRUCTURAL ENVIRONMENTS AND REDOX STATES OF IRON IN RANDOM AND ORDERED POROUS SILICA MATRICES

    Author:
    Don Anton Amarasinghe
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Chemistry
    Advisor:
    Harry Gafney
    Abstract:

    In our previous studies we have shown that the refractive index of porous Vycor glass can be changed by doping with iron and at the lower end of the iron loading, the refractive index shows a fairly linear increase with the loading. This allows us to create refractive index patterns in porous Vycor glass. The exact mechanisms regarding image formation in the Vycor glass and the factors that affect the image quality are still being investigated. In this study we analyzed the cross-sectional distribution of iron and the lateral diffusion of iron during the heat treatment in order to understand the contrast variations. The study also focused on microstructural changes of iron particles from the surface to the interior of the porous Vycor glass. The other objective of the study is to understand microstructural variations of iron in regular pore structured materials such as MCM-41 and random pore networks such as xerogel and PVG. Results show that the maximum effective lateral diffusion length of iron in PVG is <10 μm at 650C. We conclude that the particle growth which occurs at 650C is due to a less than 10 μm diffusion length within the matrix. XANES results show that elemental iron found in the PVG immediately after photolysis is concentrated in the interior of the glass. Although some elemental iron is found on the surface of the glass they are covered with a protective layer of Fe(III) oxides. This protective layer seems to be robust enough to prevent further oxidation of elemental iron particles during the annealing process at 6500C but the elemental iron found in the interior of the glass did oxidize during the annealing process until the protective layer of Fe(III) oxide is formed. The results suggest that once the Fe(III) / Fe(0) ratio reach a critical value further oxidation is prevented. EXAFS data analysis along with EPR confirmed that the chemical nature of iron oxides formed on the surface and the interior of the PVG are identical and Fe(III) is in an octahedral environment. The Mössbauer data suggest that the Fe(0) particles in the PVG substrate are randomly oriented whereas Fe(III) has some orientation suggesting that particles are attached to the silica substrate through the oxide envelope. Unlike Fe(CO)5 doped PVG, when Fe(CO)5 doped MCM-41 is photolyzed, it leads to formation of octahedrally and tetrahedrally coordinated iron sites within the silica matrix. Mossbauer study shows that with the increasing temperature, iron migrates from octahedral sites to tetrahedral sites. Iron in xerogel behaves differently than iron in PVG or MCM-41. Iron migration into tetrahedral sites initiates at 650C and the number of tetrahedral sites increase with temperature. Neither xerogel nor MCM-41 shows any evidence of elemental iron before or after heat treatments. The Fe(0) formation in PVG seems to be a unique phenomenon.

  • Alien Spaces: Planning, Reform, and Preservation on the Lower East Side, 1880-2002

    Author:
    Rebecca Amato
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Gerald Markowitz
    Abstract:

    In this project, I trace the ways in which reform and urban planning discourses, shored up by a desire for ethnic and racial regulation, defined the Lower East Side as an "alien space," both removed from and problematic for the rest of New York City over the long twentieth century. I argue that this sustained discourse of "alienness" in the service of regulation - varying from Progressive reform efforts at the turn of the twentieth century to the racially-charged citizen participation efforts of the mid-twentieth century urban renewal era to the battle for community preservation in the face of increasing gentrification at the turn of the twenty-first century - had a direct impact on the built environment of the Lower East Side. This approach to the neighborhood's formation and development not only links language (the discursive production of the area) with action (its demolition, construction, reconstruction, and preservation), it also highlights the profound fissures that existed in liberal reform, particularly with regard to race and ethnicity. Even when ambivalence toward the Lower East Side's ethnic population was not readily apparent, as in the language of social science and the maps of urban planning, it was implied by ongoing questions about the fitness of Lower East Siders to determine the fate of their own neighborhood.

  • The Politics of Laughter in Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso" and Cervantes' "Don Quixote"

    Author:
    Rosa Amatulli
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Clare Carroll
    Abstract:

    Abstract The Politics of Laughter in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Cervantes' Don Quixote By Rosa Amatulli Adviser: Professor Clare Carroll This dissertation explores the function of laughter in the Orlando Furioso and Don Quixote. Contrary to those who consider laughter an emotional release devoid of social and political importance, this study will show that laughter is a very powerful social and political world view. For Ariosto and Cervantes laughter was a most appropriate literary vehicle with which to respond to the great social and political changes of their time. Embodying the political climate of their milieu, their characters are ridiculous because they fail to be political in the Platonic-Aristotelian sense of the word politiké and because they fail to engage with the political life of their communities. These characters are idions, that is to say, they are ridiculously unethical: they are irresponsible and apolitical, and as such they are ridiculed. In order to understand the social-political aspects of laughter, we will first have to answer the question, what is a system of ethics. A system of ethics aims to prescribe the right kind of social action according to different situations: political, military, economic, etc. Plato's and Aristotle's philosophies, and Pico della Mirandola's and Leonardo Bruni's theories, will demonstrate that systems of ethics are not transcendental but answer to different situations, and that an ethics is the prescription for social behavior and not merely individual behavior. For example, the knights in the Orlando Furioso are ridiculous for two main reasons: one, because they are swayed by their appetites and two, because they are not loyal to the principles of knighthood, and specifically to their political, ethical and moral duties. Don Quixote, on the other hand, is ridiculous for opposite reasons. Forgetful or, neglectful of the contemporary social and economic life-world around him, Don Quixote is obsessively loyal to a set of ethics relevant only to chivalry, and not to his contemporary society. Thus, while the knights in the Orlando Furioso are derided for being individualistic and devoid of any high ideals, for failing to behave in ways conducive to the common good, Don Quixote suffers ridicule for being too idealistic and for attempting to enforce certain ideals that have no relevance given the contemporary state of affairs--illustrative of the fact that moral values and ideology are historically bound. Four chapters constitute the main body of this dissertation: Chapter I is devoted to Plato and Aristotle's conceptualization of ethics and laughter and, Chapter II is dedicated to the Renaissance understanding of political and ethical agency in the philosophies of Leonardo Bruni and Pico della Mirandola. After proposing the relationship between politics and ethics in the first two chapters, Chapter III analyzes the ridiculous behavior of the idions in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Chapter IV analyzes the honorable--yet foolish conduct of the knight in Cervantes' Don Quixote.

  • The Politics of Laughter in Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso" and Cervantes' "Don Quixote"

    Author:
    Rosa Amatulli
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Clare Carroll
    Abstract:

    Abstract The Politics of Laughter in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Cervantes' Don Quixote By Rosa Amatulli Adviser: Professor Clare Carroll This dissertation explores the function of laughter in the Orlando Furioso and Don Quixote. Contrary to those who consider laughter an emotional release devoid of social and political importance, this study will show that laughter is a very powerful social and political world view. For Ariosto and Cervantes laughter was a most appropriate literary vehicle with which to respond to the great social and political changes of their time. Embodying the political climate of their milieu, their characters are ridiculous because they fail to be political in the Platonic-Aristotelian sense of the word politiké and because they fail to engage with the political life of their communities. These characters are idions, that is to say, they are ridiculously unethical: they are irresponsible and apolitical, and as such they are ridiculed. In order to understand the social-political aspects of laughter, we will first have to answer the question, what is a system of ethics. A system of ethics aims to prescribe the right kind of social action according to different situations: political, military, economic, etc. Plato's and Aristotle's philosophies, and Pico della Mirandola's and Leonardo Bruni's theories, will demonstrate that systems of ethics are not transcendental but answer to different situations, and that an ethics is the prescription for social behavior and not merely individual behavior. For example, the knights in the Orlando Furioso are ridiculous for two main reasons: one, because they are swayed by their appetites and two, because they are not loyal to the principles of knighthood, and specifically to their political, ethical and moral duties. Don Quixote, on the other hand, is ridiculous for opposite reasons. Forgetful or, neglectful of the contemporary social and economic life-world around him, Don Quixote is obsessively loyal to a set of ethics relevant only to chivalry, and not to his contemporary society. Thus, while the knights in the Orlando Furioso are derided for being individualistic and devoid of any high ideals, for failing to behave in ways conducive to the common good, Don Quixote suffers ridicule for being too idealistic and for attempting to enforce certain ideals that have no relevance given the contemporary state of affairs--illustrative of the fact that moral values and ideology are historically bound. Four chapters constitute the main body of this dissertation: Chapter I is devoted to Plato and Aristotle's conceptualization of ethics and laughter and, Chapter II is dedicated to the Renaissance understanding of political and ethical agency in the philosophies of Leonardo Bruni and Pico della Mirandola. After proposing the relationship between politics and ethics in the first two chapters, Chapter III analyzes the ridiculous behavior of the idions in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Chapter IV analyzes the honorable--yet foolish conduct of the knight in Cervantes' Don Quixote.

  • NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF MULTIPHASE FLOWS IN MICROCHANNELS USING THE LATTICE BOLTZMANN METHOD

    Author:
    Luz Amaya-Bower
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Engineering
    Advisor:
    Taehun Lee
    Abstract:

    Dynamics of multiphase systems in micro-fluidic devices is a topic of great interest in many industrial applications such as chemical synthesis, DNA analysis, enhanced micromixing, and power generation. Due to the small transverse dimensions, microchannels provide a great surface to volume ratio, offering an enhanced heat and transfer efficiency. In addition, they provide a great alternative for many chemical reactions by minimizing the amount of reactants needed. Different from large scale channels, bubbles can create significant problems in micro-fluidic devices by altering or blocking the flow. On the other hand, controllable addition of bubbles is desired to improve mixing and heat transfer in microsystems. Therefore it is important to understand clearly the dynamic behavior of multiphase systems, from the point of formation to transport along the microchannel. Bubble formation dynamics is governed by the set-up geometry and ratio between interfacial and viscous forces in the system. Multiphase flow transport along microchannel is determined by wall surface wettability, initial fluid conditions, and velocities. A stable Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) based on the Cahn-Hilliard diffuse interface approach is used for the simulation of bubble formation and motion along the microchannel. Initial validation of the model is presented for the dynamics of a single bubble rising in unconfined and confined domains.