• I Believe: Lighting Spring Awakening

      Chiment, Marie Anne; Hoey, John S. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      This thesis examines, documents, and evaluates the process of designing the lighting for a production of Spring Awakening, produced by Temple University's Department of Theater. I will discuss the initial design process, the execution of the design, and evaluate the finished design.

      Toth, Paul D.; Lorenzino, Gerardo; Wagner, Elvis; Zuniga, Michael J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      Research has shown increasing interest in the influence of learner psychology on second language acquisition (e.g. Ellis, 2019; MacIntyre, Gregersen & Mercer, 2019). This research has demonstrated that motivation, focus, and feelings of autonomy and self-efficacy are particularly important in creating the necessary conditions for learning to occur (e.g. Dörnyei, 2009; Norton & Toohey, 2011; Piniel & Csizér, 2016; Robinson, 1995, 1997). When these factors converge, a learner can experience flow, which has been described as the “optimal experience” of engagement (Csíkszentmihályi, 1975, 1990, 2008) and has been linked to language learning success (Hong et al., 2017). Existing research has shown that student-centered, open-ended, authentic, and competitive activities tend to generate more flow than their opposites (Egbert, 2003; Zuniga & Rueb, 2018). However, these studies are scarce and have focused on a very limited quantity of immediate language-class activities, thus excluding many other possible flow experiences from consideration. To expand this line of research, this study seeks to determine what types of language-class activities generate the most flow, as well as which of the theorized psychological components of flow are most strongly associated with such experiences. Eighty-two North American undergraduate, intermediate-level (estimated CEFR B1/ACTFL intermediate mid-high) students of French, Italian, German, and Spanish completed a questionnaire about their lifetime language-learning experiences. First, the participants rated a list of activities on perceived overall flow using a Likert scale. Next, they rated the same activities on four theorized psychological components of flow (enjoyment, focused attention, control, positive challenges) also on a Likert scale (Csíkszentmihályi 1975, 1990, 2008; Egbert, 2003; Zuniga & Rueb, 2018). Finally, they answered open-ended questions about salient language-class experiences. The results of this study support the hypothesis that student-centered, open-ended, authentic, and competitive activities would generate more flow than their opposites (teacher-centered, closed-ended, inauthentic, and non-competitive). The results also revealed that enjoyment and challenges best predict flow. While competitive activities were shown to be particularly strong flow generators in the quantitative analysis, the qualitative analysis of the open-ended survey responses showed student-centered activities to be particularly associated with high-flow experiences, though usually in conjunction with other flow-generating categories. When taken together, these results suggest that, in order to create learning-favorable conditions through flow, teachers should use activities that belong to as many flow-generating categories as possible while also paying special attention to students’ perceptions of enjoyment and the challenges-skills balance.

      Bond, Karen E.; Welsh-Asante, Kariamu; Yalowitz, William C.; Giguere, Miriam (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      This dissertation research examines students’ lived experiences of dance improvisation in a 2014 Hampshire College course titled “Community Crossovers: Dance in the Community” taught by the author. Research methodology is informed by the hermeneutic phenomenology of educational philosopher Max van Manen, dance education research grounded in phenomenological methods by Karen Bond and Susan W. Stinson, among others, and researchers and writers of classroom action research. Sources of qualitative data include students’ reflective writings about their experiences of three selected dance improvisations—Human Puzzle, Mirror, and Approach/Avoid—in both college and community settings. Additional sources contextualizing students’ experiential meanings include course entry questionnaires, videotaped college and community dance sessions, written pedagogical and phenomenological reflections of both the researcher and a teaching assistant, and class discussions. Our Massachusetts community partners were the Treehouse Foundation, Easthampton and the Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, South Hadley. Student lived experience writings were coded over several cycles to identify categories of meaning in each of the three improvisations at both college and community sites, and these were analyzed for themes across four modes of student participation: self, partner, group and movement (an aesthetic mode). Findings revealed bodily-affective-social-aesthetic meaning making that foregrounds relationality, or connection, through embodied experiences. Students’ descriptions of connection can be understood as qualitatively distinct kinds of felt intersubjectivity: two-person, merged, and other-first. Findings are placed in conversation with literature from dance, community-based education, philosophy, and critical pedagogy.
    • "I Have My Mind!:" U.S.-Sandinista Solidarities, Revolutionary Romanticism, and the Imagined Nicaragua, 1979-1990

      Simon, Bryant; Simon, Bryant; Talton, Benjamin (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      This paper examines activists in the United States that supported the socialist Nicaraguan government of the Sandinista National Liberation Front and opposed efforts by the Reagan Administration to militarily undermine Nicaragua’s new government during the 1980s. Such scholarship examines the rise of a leftist political coalition organized around supporting Nicaragua’s government and this solidarity movement’s eventual demise after the Sandinistas lost their country’s 1990 Presidential election. The work ultimately asks how did U.S. leftists and progressives of the late 1970s and 1980s perceive Nicaragua’s new government and how did these perceptions affect the ways in which these activists rallied to support the Sandinistas in the face of the Contra War? In answering this question, this paper consults a variety of primary sources including articles from socialist newspapers, the meeting minutes and notes of solidarity organizations, and oral histories with former activists. “I Have My Mind!” also consults cultural sources such as the protest and art benefit flyers and the lyrics to punk rock songs of the period to make its claims. This Masters Thesis argues that U.S. Americans’ solidarity with the Sandinistas relied upon a romanticization of Nicaraguan revolutionary reforms representative of movement participants’ own political aspirations.

      Wood, Jennifer, 1971-; Shdaimah, Corey S.; Fader, Jamie J.; Groff, Elizabeth (Elizabeth R.); Manuel, Jennifer I., 1974- (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      Women engaged in street prostitution are among the most vulnerable populations, due to the conditions they work in, their often disadvantaged backgrounds, and their limited choices and agency. In order to surmount the multiple barriers that they encounter when trying to exit prostitution, both at the structural and the individual level, women need holistic support that addresses their diverse needs (Hester & Westmarland, 2004). Extant theoretical frameworks of exiting prostitution failed to incorporate this important element of support into the exiting process. Some of these frameworks are based on mixed samples of women in indoor and street prostitution, despite their different situations and needs. Furthermore, while researchers generally agree on the need for wrap-around holistic support of a range of services, it has not been sufficiently explored, neither in depth nor systematically. Questions remain as to what support looks like, what is its influence, and what is the best timing for offering support to women exiting street prostitution. This study set out to better understand the patterns of exiting street prostitution, to explore the role of support in facilitating successful and long-term disengagement from prostitution, and to determine the more effective time to offer support in the exiting process. The study employed a mixed-method design combining qualitative interviews with an Agent-Based Model (ABM), an innovative computerized simulation tool that has never been applied to street prostitution. In-depth interviews with 29 women from five recovery programs for women with substance abuse disorder who have exited prostitution were analyzed in ATLAS.ti to provide thorough responses to the research questions about support and helped refine the ABM. The ABM was designed based on the theoretical framework offered by Baker, Dalla, and Williamson (2010), enhanced by support and some additional elements incorporated into this framework. This framework conceptualizes exiting as a staged process, starting when women are immersed in prostitution, moving on to the Awareness stage, then to Deliberate Planning, then to Initial Exit and at last to the Final Exit stage. A simplified structure of the stages was applied in the ABM, whereby virtual agents representing women immersed in street prostitution made a series of decision to determine whether they eventually exited prostitution, first to the initial exit stage and later to the final exit stage. The ABM model was a computerized representation of a 10-year virtual longitudinal study, during which a support intervention was offered, first consistently to all agents and then in a second model only to agents who enter the Initial Exit stage. Two more interventions, suggested by the women’s narratives, were tested to determine the influence of spirituality on exiting and the impact of offering women more support when they were ready to exit. street prostitution. The qualitative findings of the study indicated the importance of peers over professionals as facilitators of women’s exiting journeys. Peers provided women with hope and a nonjudgmental understanding of women’s experiences in prostitution; helped alleviate guilt and shame by normalizing these experiences; and allayed women’s loneliness. Another important source of support for women was discovering their spirituality. Women often spoke of God in similar terms to their peers, as an entity that offers knowledge, love and experience. The qualitative findings informed the operationalization of several variables in the ABM and contributed a new variable, Spirituality, to the model. Another important qualitative finding was the importance of offering support at the moment women were ready to exit, which resulted in an interaction between women’s intention to exit and support in the ABM. Additional qualitative findings highlighted the importance of treating both substance abuse and prostitution to unravel the prostitution-drugs nexus in order to achieve a successful exit. Women described their relapse into drugs, which almost always preceded a return to prostitution, as a gradual internal process of a growing desire to use drugs which culminated in an opportunity to use drugs. Such a process mirrored their readiness to exit– an internal process of despair which ended with reaching out for support, or a “hook for change” (Giordano et al., 2002). However, while women were fully aware of both the moment of relapse and the moment of readiness to exit and could easily identify what had led to their relapse, the elements that led to being ready to exit remained nebulous. More research is warranted on this issue. The quantitative findings clearly demonstrated that once virtual women received support in the exiting process, more of them exited, their exit was more permanent (in other words, more of them moved from the Initial to the Final Exit stage and stayed there), and they exited earlier in the process. The more support we offered, the more these findings were pronounced. The best model fit to the data was the one including all support types– continuous support, additional support for the Initial Exit stage, spirituality, and the interaction between readiness and support. While the model without support was characterized by oscillating exiting trajectories regardless of the final outcome, offering support helped smooth the curve and prevented the back and forth movement that characterized women’s journeys in and out of prostitution, both in the quantitative and the qualitative data. This research elaborates the theoretical foundation of the process of exiting prostitution, and specifically, the impact of support, and what support means, in the exiting process. The findings of this study have important implications for service providers and policy makers in deciding on how much, when, and what type of support to offer women who are exiting street prostitution—for example, incorporating peer support in programs that assist women. The quantitative inquiry revealed the impact and benefits of offering support in the exiting process; the qualitative inquiry revealed the multidimensional nature this support. The ABM may be further applied to other exiting processes in related fields, such as recovery from substance abuse. The mixed-method design combining ABM with qualitative interviews should serve as a model to study vulnerable populations with simulation tools.

      Sachs, Michael L.; Butcher-Poffley, Lois A.; DuCette, Joseph P.; McDowell, Jacqueline (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Barriers for women in athletics administration have been examined by researchers to understand such barriers through a multi-level approach (Cunningham, 2010; Taylor & Wells, 2017). Research suggests barriers exist at a macro-level with gender discrimination (Schull, Shaw, & Kihl, 2013), homologous reproduction and hegemony (Knoppers, 1989; Regan & Cunningham, 2012). Examples of occupational segregation (Whiteside & Hardin, 2010) define barriers at the meso-level, and variables, such as self-efficacy, exist at the micro-level for women in male-dominated fields (Marra, Rodgers, Shen, & Bogue, 2009). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-limiting behavior and the intent to pursue the athletics director position, as well as the relationship between motivational persistence and the intent to pursue the athletics director position. The potentially mediated relationship of self-efficacy between these relationships was also investigated. The target population was female senior-level administrators at FBS and FCS institutions. Additionally, the aim was to understand if race moderates the relationship among self-efficacy, self-limiting behavior, and motivational persistence for female senior-level athletics administrators at FBS institutions. Lastly, the research sought to understand the differences between African American and White female senior-level administrators and their perceptions of self-efficacy, self-limiting behavior, and motivational persistence and intentions to pursue the athletics director position. Ninety-seven female senior-level athletic administrators were surveyed with 11 of those participants completing an in-depth interview. Seventy-five percent of the women surveyed do not plan on becoming a director of athletics at an FBS institution; however, 44% indicated they would pursue an NCAA Division I FCS or Division I - AAA athletics director position at some point. In other words, there is more of an interest to pursue the athletics director position at a less powerful institution. The data also suggested African American women in senior-level administration positions report higher self-limiting behaviors and higher self-efficacy than White women. Moreover, race was found to be a moderator between self-efficacy and intention to pursue the FBS athletics director position. Qualitative interviews from 11 women were conducted for analysis of experiences. Four major themes emerged from the data: Assets, resources, micro-level challenges, and macro-level challenges. Limitations including small sample size as well as unreliable measures for self-limiting behavior were discussed. The current study suggests that self-efficacy is important when it comes to intentions to pursue the athletics director position. It is also important to note the racial differences between groups as it relates to self-efficacy and intentions. Keywords: athletic administration, self-efficacy, racial differences, women, career intentions

      Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield; Cucchiara, Maia Bloomfield; Levine, Judith Adrienne, 1965-; Price, Charles A.; Davis, James Earl, 1960- (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      This study examined school staff’s trauma-informed practices and experiences in an urban alternative high school that serves former high school dropouts, many of whom have experienced trauma. In light of the growing concern about trauma among students and the interest in trauma-informed education, this study offers a significant contribution by analyzing educators’ meaning-making, highlighting both what their practices look like “on the ground,” and identifying the consequences. Framed by Contemporary Trauma Theory as well as the concept of educational trauma (Sullivan, 2004), this study used ethnographic methods to examine the practices school staff used to create a schooling environment that was responsive to the needs of students with trauma histories. Observations and interviews were conducted with a total of 8 staff and 27 students over the course of one school year. The findings indicate that staff members’ trauma-informed practices centered on building relationships and using those relationships as a knowledge base in order to decipher and respond to negative student behavior. Together, these practices overlap with defining features of trauma-informed schools outlined in the literature. Staff practices had both positive and negative impacts on the school community.
    • "I'm not your Mammy": Unearthing the Racially Gendered Experiences of Undergraduate Black Women Resident Assistants at Predominantly White Institutions

      Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Jordan, Will J.; Keith, Novella Zett; Johnson, Jennifer M., 1970-; Archie, Tiffenia D. (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      This critical qualitative research study describes and explores undergraduate Black women Resident Assistant (RA) experiences in the context of Predominantly White Institutions (PWI). While serving in the capacities of both student and student affairs professional, this study explored how women navigate the responsibilities of their role and the intersections of race and gender. Given the influx of campus hate crimes motivated by race across the United States, and to ensure the success and support of Black women students serving in these roles, it is imperative that we understand their racially gendered experiences within predominantly White contexts. Phenomenological research methods and a series of semi-structured interviews were used to examine the lived experiences of nineteen Black undergraduate women. Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Thought, and Intersectionality were used as frameworks to examine how participants navigate their social identities and associated experiences as an employee and student. Findings from the study indicate that the intersection of Blackness (e.g. race), being a woman (e.g. gender), and serving in the leadership role as an RA, is influenced by oppressive conditions which presented themselves in the following seven themes: Institutional Oppression; Racism; Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Stress; Fear; The Outsider Within; Controlling Images; and Care through Counterspaces. This study’s findings and future recommendations have the potential to support and inspire Black and other minoritized undergraduate student RAs, illuminate the diverse experiences of undergraduate Black women, and to enhance professional leadership development of residential life practitioners at PWIs.
    • I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues: An Egoist Conception of Rights

      Gordon, Lewis R. (Lewis Ricardo), 1962-; Margolis, Joseph, 1924-; Alperson, Philip, 1946-; Gordon, Jane Anna, 1976- (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Rights today are a jumble of conflicting and incompatible claims. Without correction, the concept of rights will be eroded and eventually abandoned. The loss would be tragic, because rights are essential to our long-term planning and success. Incompatible claims have arisen from incommensurable conceptual foundations. Historically and essentially, rights are egoistic. Attempts to justify rights according to other criteria - divine command, human dignity, altruism, utilitarianism - fail on their own terms. Egoism or self-interest is fully compatible with social responsibility and with regard for the interests of others. The nature of rights is examined and ethical diversity is defended. The evolution of rights is traced from Roman antiquity through medieval developments through modern refinements, with particular attention paid to the rights theories of Gerson, Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke. A will theory of rights is proposed based on contract rather than on natural law and teleology. This will theory is explained using state of nature theory, with reference to Olson's logic of collective action. It is contrasted with the egoistic theories of Rand and Smith, with the utilitarian will theories of Hart and Wellman, and with the interest theories of MacCormick and Kramer.

      Buynevich, Ilya V. (Ilya Val); Terry, Dennis O., 1965-; Grandstaff, David E. (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Most major Phanerozoic mass extinctions induced permanent or transient changes in ecological and anatomical characteristics of surviving benthic communities. Many infaunal marine organisms produced distinct suites of biogenic structures in a variety of depositional settings, thereby leaving an ichnological record preceding and following each extinction. This study documents a decrease in burrow size in Thalassinoides-dominated ichnoassemblages across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary in shallow-marine sections along the Atlantic Coastal Plain (Walnridge Farm, Rancocas Creek, and Inversand Quarry, New Jersey) and the Gulf Coastal Plain (Braggs, Alabama and Brazos River and Cottonmouth Creek, Texas). At New Jersey sites, within a regionally extensive ichnoassemblage, Thalassinoides ichnospecies (isp.) burrow diameters (DTh) decrease abruptly by 26-29% (mean K=15.2 mm, mean Pg=11.2 mm; n=1767) at the base of the Main Fossiliferous Layer (MFL) or laterally equivalent horizons. The MFL has been previously interpreted as the K-Pg boundary based on last occurrence of Cretaceous marine reptiles, birds, and ammonites, as well as iridium anomalies and associated shocked quartz. Across the same event boundary at Braggs, Alabama, DTh of simple maze Thalassinoides structures from recurring depositional facies decrease sharply by 22% (mean K=13.1 mm, mean Pg=10.2 mm; n=26). Similarly, at the Cottonmouth Creek site, Texas, Thalassinoides isp. occurring above the previously reported negative £_13C shift and the first occurrence of Danian planktonic foraminifera are 17% smaller in diameter (mean K=21.5 mm, mean Pg=17.9 mm; n=53) than those excavated and filled prior to deposition of a cross-bedded, ejecta-bearing sandstone complex commonly interpreted as the Chicxulub ¡¥event deposit¡¦. At both of these impact-proximal regions, the Cretaceous and Paleogene burrows were preserved in similar lithologies, suggesting that a reduction in size cannot be attributed to sedimentological factors. At all localities, up-section trends in DTh are statistically significant (fÑfnf¬0.05; non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test). Using the burrow diameter as a proxy for tracemaker body size, a reduction in DTh above the K-Pg boundary likely reflects dwarfing within the post-extinction community of decapod crustaceans. Dwarfing during the early recovery stages of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as recorded by ichnofossils, occurred within glauconite-producing (New Jersey), carbonate (Alabama), and siliciclastic (Texas) depositional environments and appears to be widespread. Because this ichnological signal appears to be a general phenomenon across the crisis interval, trace-fossil analysis provides a potential in-situ field method for constraining and correlating the stratigraphic position of the K-Pg and other extinction events, particularly in the absence of other macroscopic, microscopic, and geochemical indicators. Whereas overprinting of the original marine ichnofabric by morphologically similar continental traces is not a concern in lithified sections of Alabama and Texas, such an occurrence must be considered within unconsolidated sections. Within the Hornerstown Formation of New Jersey, a pervasive Thalassinoides framework contains traces of burrowing bees and wasps. Due to their penetration of up to 1 m, excavations just beyond the weathering front are insufficient for exposing the original marine ichnofabric. Insect burrow diameters (7-25 mm) are within the range of Thalassinoides traces (4-31 mm), exhibit occasional branching, and lack of ornamentation (bioglyphs) on the burrow walls. Therefore neither size nor gross morphology are adequate for distinguishing these widely diachronous and unrelated ichnites, especially when the insect burrows have been filled. However, the presence of backfill menisci and a beige clay halo help distinguish the ancient marine burrows, whereas highly oxidized fill and the occurrence of a terminal brooding chamber are diagnostic of modern insect burrows.
    • Identidad, género y valores socioculturales: Estrategias comunicativas y el contexto temático en la conversación de los puertorriqueños de Filadelfia

      Holmquist, Jonathan Carl; Lorenzino, Gerardo; Aldarondo, Hiram; Espinal, Rosario (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      El presente estudio está dividido en tres partes principales, 1- la historia migratoria de los puertorriqueños a los Estados Unidos, 2- el análisis cualitativo y cuantitativo de cinco estrategias comunicativas presentes en la interacción conversacional femenina y masculina de los puertorriqueños de Filadelfia, y 3- el análisis temático de la conversación y su relación con el trasfondo histórico y el género. El primer foco de estudio se concentra en la historia migratoria de los puertorriqueños a los Estados Unidos. A partir del 1898 Puerto Rico pasó a ser territorio estadounidense, realidad que permitió flexibilidad territorial entre la isla y la metrópoli. A partir de ese entonces, se inició el movimiento migratorio entre ambos lugares y surgieron comunidades puertorriqueñas en distintas ciudades de los Estados Unidos, expandiendo la diversidad cultural en la metrópoli. El segundo foco de estudio evalúa el uso de cinco estrategias comunicativas, presentes en la interacción conversacional de la comunidad urbana puertorriqueña de la cuidad de Filadelfia. Se analizaron cualitativa y cuantitativamente las siguientes estrategias: 1- los turnos, 2- los temas, 3- la intervención cooperativa, 4- las interrupciones y 5- el promedio de palabras por turno. El análisis enfatiza en cómo se manifiestan las cinco estrategias en la interacción de hombres y mujeres puertorriqueños, y las posibles intenciones de sus usos, colaboración o dominio en la conversación. El último foco de estudio se concentra en los aspectos temáticos presentes en el discurso puertorriqueño y su relación con la historia migratoria. También se compara la temática masculina y femenina para observar si existen temas particulares asociados con uno de los dos géneros.

      Nelson, Deborah B.; Carr, Brendan G.; Rising, Kristin L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2016)
      Background & Objective: Higher levels of institutional trust have been associated with increased health care utilization, greater adherence to treatment plans, better treatment outcomes, and improved overall health. Though numerous studies have documented the influence of institutional trust on important outcomes, there has been little attention to understanding approaches to improve patient institutional trust. This project sought to identify approaches to improve patient trust in health systems. Methods: The project used group concept mapping (GCM) to directly engage 18 insured individuals living within the Upper Darby community with at least one visit to a primary care provider within the last two years to elicit their perspectives on ways to improve patient trust. Participants first brainstormed in a group setting to develop a list of ideas about how systems could improve trust, then each participant sorted the idea into thematic domains and rated the statements based on both importance and feasibility. Results: Four primary domains for improving institutional trust emerged: privacy, patient-provider relationship, respect for patients, and health system guidelines. Overall, participants rated the “privacy” domain as the most feasible and important. The average overall cluster rankings varied based on age, where the aggregate importance ratings for individuals below the age of 40 rated were higher for the “respect for patients” cluster. Conclusion: We identify four domains that are important to our population for improving patient trust of health systems, with multiple actionable items within each domain. We suggest that efforts to improve trust of health systems will be most effective if designed to directly impact these domains. Next steps involve exploring the importance of these domains across other populations and developing interventions.
    • Identification of Heme Binding Loci using Heme-Seq

      Gerhard, Glenn S; Chitrala, Kumaraswamy-Naidu; Engel, Nora (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      G-quadruplexes, a type of nucleic acid secondary structure consisting largely of folded quartets of guanines, appear to play a regulatory role in the human genome. Heme has been shown to interact with G-quadruplexes. The ChIP-Seq-like Heme-Seq assay was developed to identify heme binding G-quadruplex loci. Using Heme-Seq, 3 primary heme binding loci and 4 secondary minor heme binding loci were identified on six chromosomes. Two of the primary heme binding loci were found at the centromeric boundaries of the long arms of metacentric chromosomes with the majority of reads from the primary heme binding loci consisting primarly of Human Satellite II (HSATII) nucleotide repeat sequences. Numerous putative G-quadruplex forming sequences were found in the heme-binding locus on Chromosome 2. Comparison of Heme-Seq results with available data from a G-quadruplex ChIP-Seq study in live cells, revealed that the regions which exhibited binding at the three peaks from the Heme-Seq data also showed binding coverage in the CHIP-Seq data. In addition to the known association with G-quadruplexes, heme also appears to bind to HSATII repeats,. The biological role and importance of this binding is not known.

      Yingling, Vanessa R.; Kendrick, Zebulon V.; Safadi, Fayez F.; Popoff, Steven N. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      Osteoporosis which is frequently referred to as a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences (Golden, 2000) can result from a lack of optimal bone accrual during the development (NIH Consensus Development Panel on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy, 2001). Pubertal timing is a key factor that contributes to optimal bone accrual and strength (Bonjour et al., 1994; 21 Warren et al., 2002). Bone mass doubles during the onset of puberty and young adulthood (Katzman et al., 1991) with more than 90% of peak bone mass being accrued at the end of second decade of life (Schneider & Wade, 2000). The rate of periosteal expansion is elevated during the pubertal period (Specker et al., 1987; Bradney et al., 2000) and this expansion parallels longitudinal growth (Parfitt, 1994). Irrespective of other changes, periosteal expansion lowers fracture risk by improving the strength of long bones by increasing the moment of inertia (Orwoll, 2003). Therefore, a delay in puberty may actually increase the time available for periosteal development and positively affect bone strength. Previous animal studies have shown decreases in strength, endocortical bone formation and increases in periosteal bone formation with delayed puberty. Clinical studies report negative effects of delayed puberty on bone mass accrual suggesting that delayed puberty is a multifactorial problem affecting bone strength development. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of delayed puberty on mechanical strength and endocortical bone marrow cells in two models: female rats treated with gonadatropin releasing hormone antagonists (GnRH-a) and energy restriction (30%). Thirty-two female Sprague Dawley rats (21 to 22 days-of-age) were received from (Charles Rivers Laboratories, Wilmington, MA, USA) and housed individually at the Temple University Central Animal Facility (Temple University Weiss Hall). Animals were randomly assigned to one of three groups; control (n=10), GnRH-a (n=10) and energy restriction (ER) (n=12). The GnRH-a group was injected with gonadotropin releasing antagonist injections (GnRH-a) (Antide, Bachem, Torrance, Ca. USA) at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg/BW. The ER group received a 30% energy restricted diet (0pen Source diet (D07100606)(Research Diets, New Brunswick, NJ). All animals were sacrificed on Day 51. One way analysis of variance testing (ANOVA) with a significance level of 0.05 was used to assess group differences. Following the two protocols the uterine weight in the GnRH-a group was 80.6% lower than control; no change in the ER group. Ovarian weight was significantly lower in the GnRH-a group (83.3%) and in the ER group (33.3%) as compared to controls. A 22.7% lower muscle weight was found in the ER group but was equal to control and GnRH-a when normalized by body weight (BW). The retro-peritoneal fat pad weight was significantly decreased by 64.95% in the ER group as compared to controls. Energy restriction did not result in any deficit in bone strength when normalized by body weight however the GnRH-a group had a 26.2% lower bone strength compared to control. Histomorphometric changes were not significantly different between groups, but the ratio for periosteal versus endocortical bone formation rates for the control group was 1.38, GnRH-a was significantly higher with a ratio of 5.54 and for ER was 3.02 indicating that periosteal BFR are almost twice endocortical BFR in the experimental groups. There was a significant decrease in the trabecular percent bone volume (BV/TV) of the lumbar vertebra in the GnRH-a group (20.2%) compared to control. However BV/TV was significantly higher in the ER (18.4%) compared to the control group. Proliferation was suppressed to 59.6% of control in the GnRH-a group but only 85.5% of control in the ER group. The alkaline phosphatase activity was 31.2% lower in the GnRH-a group and 63.9% lower in the ER group. The relative quantification (RQ) of RUNX2 gene expression was lowest in control followed by GnRH-a and highest in ER group although no statistical significance was observed between any groups. Thus our data infers that 30% energy restriction does not negatively impact bone health. Thirty percent food restriction with no deficits in micronutrients or hormone suppression may just suppress growth as indicated by the maintenance of bone strength per body weight and equivalent muscle mass per body weight in the ER group compared to control. The GnRH-a injections resulted in decreased bone strength and trabecular bone volume. Female Athlete Triad or Anorexia Nervosa are the two clinical conditions hypothesized to result from a combination of ER and estrogen deficient environment. Studies replacing estrogen in hypothalamic amenorrhea or IGF-1 in anorexia alone have failed to improve bone mineral density (BMD), but a combination of IGF-1 and estrogen has been successful in improving BMD. This suggests that estrogen dependant and independent mechanisms work in combination to protect bone. Our study investigated both mechanisms separately and indicates that ER at 30% may be protective for bone health. Since estrogen deficiency may be the extreme end of the spectrum affecting trabecular bone, treatment therapies may have to be based on age, magnitude and severity of energy restriction and presence or absence of menstrual status.

      Sciote, James J.; Godel, Jeffrey H.; Horton, Michael J.; Barton, Elisabeth R. (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are comorbid conditions. Most are related to anxiety-induced muscular pain, but some are associated with facial asymmetry resulting from condylar resorption (CR) or condylar hyperplasia (CH). The etiology of the most common forms of CH and CR are still unknown. CR can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or more commonly osteoarthritis (OA) of the TMJ, and inflammatory mediators have been previously implicated. Previous studies have identified pain/inflammatory genes related to chronic TMD while others have demonstrated potential genetic markers for RA. Similarly, genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified genes associated with height, some of which may participate in craniofacial growth, CH, and the development of asymmetry. Masseter muscle is frequently involved in TMD of muscular origin, and left/right fiber-type differences have been previously found in subjects with facial asymmetry. A human transcriptome microarray was used to evaluate whether genes involved with height, pain, or inflammation were differentially expressed in masseter muscle from facially asymmetric patients with and without TMD. This study evaluated orthognathic surgery patients with varying skeletal malocclusions, including subjects with and without facial asymmetry and TMD (n= 93). Masseter muscle samples were collected from ten orthognathic surgery patients treated to correct skeletal malocclusions. Two of whom were classified with facial asymmetry with or without TMD, with one of the two showing positive evidence of CR. Samples were disrupted in QIAzol Lysis Reagent, RNA was isolated using a Qiagen miRNeasy Mini Kit according to the manufacturer's instructions, and quality of the total RNA was tested by Agilent Bioanalyzer and Nanodrop spectrophotometry. Samples were used for quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and protocols for microarray analysis were conducted as described in the Ambion WT Expression Manual and the Affymetrix GeneChip Expression Analysis Technical Manual. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was completed to detect fold-changes for each transcript to determine differences in global gene expression between the two asymmetric and eight remaining subjects. To find differentially expressed transcripts step-up t-tests were performed to correct for false discovery rate (FDR) comparing the two asymmetric samples to the eight symmetric samples. Differences were considered significant if step-up p-values were ±2 between groups. This study evaluated 847 height-related genes and 551 genes associated in pain/inflammatory processes. Genes of interest were determined a priori from GWA studies and the Algynomics Pain Research Panel v.2.0 partially derived from the Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment (OPPERA) study. Two hundred and eight transcripts of 847 height associated genes and 132 of 551 pain/inflammatory genes were significant for expression (P±2.0 fold differences in facial asymmetry and/or TMD specimens. Among genes specifically reported to be associated with pain/inflammation, NPY5R (+2.11 fold), GABRA6 (+2.14 fold), CACNA2D1 (-12.51 fold) and EREG (+2.12 fold) showed significantly different (P<0.001) expression levels in the two asymmetric versus the remaining eight symmetric patients. CACNA2D1 expression was significantly increased in symmetric male subjects versus symmetric females (P < 0.05) as well as in asymmetric females versus asymmetric males (P < 0.05). CACNA2D1 expression was also significantly increased in symmetric male subjects versus symmetric females (P <0.05) and was differentially expressed at lower levels, however not significantly, in asymmetric males (p = 0.51). Based on the results collected, the following conclusions were drawn. These methods provide a novel approach to study TMD and/or facial asymmetry in human subjects. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that significant expression variation in human height genes may contribute to facial asymmetry with or without TMD, possibly through decreased expression of CACNA2D1. These data suggest TMD patients with facial asymmetry associated with condylar resorption may show significant differential expression of certain inflammatory marker genes such as EREG and CACNA2D1. These data support that gender may play a key role in the development of TMD, possibly through increased CACNA2D1 expression providing protective effects in TMD-free males but deleterious effect in females with TMD. These results support previous findings of pain/inflammatory genes associated with TMD derived from muscular pain. Further studies are needed to understand the genetic contributions to TMD, which may play an important role in future clinical intervention.

      Kiani, Mohammad F.; Hu, Wenhui; Dunbrack, Roland L.; Lelkes, Peter I. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      NIBP is a prototype member of a novel protein family. It forms a novel subcomplex of NIK-NIBP-IKKB and enhances cytokine-induced IKKB-mediated NFKB activation. It is also named TRAPPC9 as a key member of trafficking particle protein (TRAPP) complex II, which is essential in trans-Golgi networking (TGN). The signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms for NIBP actions remain largely unknown. The aim of this research is to identify potential proteins interacting with NIBP, resulting in the regulation of NFKB signaling pathways and other unknown signaling pathways. At the laboratory of Dr. Wenhui Hu in the Department of Neuroscience, Temple University, sixteen partner proteins were experimentally identified that potentially bind to NIBP. NIBP is a novel protein with no entry in the Protein Data Bank. From a computational and bioinformatics standpoint, we use prediction of secondary structure and protein disorder as well as homology-based structural modeling approaches to create a hypothesis on protein-protein interaction between NIBP and the partner proteins. Structurally, NIBP contains three distinct regions. The first region, consisting of 200 amino acids, forms a hybrid helix and beta sheet-based domain possibly similar to Sybindin domain. The second region comprised of approximately 310 residues, forms a tetratrico peptide repeat (TPR) zone. The third region is a 675 residue long all beta sheet and loops zone with as many as 35 strands and only 2 helices, shared by Gryzun-domain containing proteins. It is likely to form two or three beta sheet sandwiches. The TPR regions of many proteins tend to bind to the peptides from disordered regions of other proteins. Many of the 16 potential binding proteins have high levels of disorder. These data suggest that the TPR region in NIBP most likely binds with many of these 16 proteins through peptides and other domains. It is also possible that the Sybindin-like domain and the Gryzun-like domain containing beta sheet sandwiches bind to some of these proteins.
    • Identification of putative antigens in Systemic Sclerosis utilizing in vivo clonally expanded T cells

      Platsoucas, Chris D.; Tsygankov, Alexander Y.; Oleszak, Emilia; Soprano, Kenneth J.; Skorski, Tomasz; Henderson, Earl E.; Monos, Dimitrios (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. Immune system dysregulation, excessive deposition of collagen and microvascular damage in the skin and multiple internal organs are the main pathologic characteristics of the disease. Little is known about the mechanisms that are responsible for the pathogenesis of SSc. However, evidence has been accumulated demonstrating that T cells play a key role in the initiation and propagation of the disease. Previous studies in our laboratory have identified the presence of high proportions of identical β–chains TCR transcripts, demonstrating the presence of clonal expansion of T cells in skin biopsies from patients with SSc of recent onset. These T cells have undergone proliferation and clonal expansion in response to as yet unidentified antigen(s). The hypothesis that has been tested in this study is whether clonally expanded T cells in skin biopsies of patients with SSc of recent onset recognize self or non–self (possibly viral) putative SSc antigens, including DNA topoisomerase I, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and parvovirus. With the objective to identify the antigens recognized by clonally expanded T cells in skin biopsies of patients with SSc, we examined the presence of α– and β–chain TCR transcripts. Amplification of α–chain TCR transcripts by the non–palindromic adaptor PCR (NPA–PCR)/Vα specific PCR followed by cloning and sequencing revealed the presence of several clonally expanded α–chain TCR transcripts in skin biopsies from four patients with SSc and peripheral blood from one of these patients. Additionally, several clonally expanded β–chain TCR transcripts were identified in skin biopsies from all three of these patients with SSc examined, after NPA–PCR/Vβ specific amplification followed by cloning and sequencing. To identify the antigens recognized by these in vivo clonally expanded α– and β–chain TCR clones, full length α– and β– chain TCR transcripts containing the identified CDR3 regions from the clonally expanded TCR clones from the patients SSc–21 and SSc–22 were constructed. Pairs of clonally expanded, full length α– and β–chain TCR transcripts and appropriate controls were expressed in mutant TCR negative cells of the Jurkat T cell line (J.RT3–T3.5) by using a retroviral gene transfer and expression system. Each clonally expanded α–chain TCR transcript was combined with each clonally expanded β–chain TCR transcript from the same patient, generating T cells lines containing all pairing combinations of the clonally expanded TCR transcripts for each SSc patient. A total of 52 T cell lines were generated, including 10 control T cell lines. The surface expression of the TCR complex on these T cell lines was verified by flow cytometric analysis using antibodies against the α/β TCR and CD3epsilon. We employed an intracellular calcium mobilization assay to examine whether the Jurkat T cell lines transduced with the clonally expanded TCR transcripts from skin biopsies from patients with SSc (SSc–21 and SSc–22) recognize putative SSc antigens or their peptides presented by autologous EBV–transformed B cell lines. The putative SSc antigens that were tested are the self–antigen, DNA topoisomerase I and the viral antigens, cytomegalovirus and parvovirus which have been previously suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of SSc. Significant intracellular calcium mobilization was observed in response to 3 DNA topoisomerase I and 2 CMV peptides by 5 T cell lines transduced with clonally expanded α– and β–chain TCR transcripts from patients SSc–21 and SSc–22.

      Drabick, Deborah A.; Kendall, Philip C.; McCloskey, Michael S.; Heimberg, Richard G.; Giovannetti, Tania; Xie, Hongling (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
      There is a particularly robust relation between neighborhood disadvantage and youth conduct problems. Given conduct problems are heterogeneous, it is likely that distinct subgroups of youth who differ in conduct problems and related correlates may be identifiable. The present study identified profiles of youth from a low-income, urban community participating in the Coping Power Program. Profiles were characterized by teacher-reported psychosocial and behavioral functioning assessed at pre-intervention among a sample of 61 fourth-grade students (98% Black/African American; M age = 9.87 ± 0.50; 58.3% female). Auxiliary analyses investigated whether and how these profiles differ on concurrent child-reported conduct problems and contextual (i.e., neighborhood, peer) factors and whether profile membership was associated with post-intervention teacher-reported outcomes. Latent profile analysis identified four profiles: (1) Moderate Conduct Problems (Mod CP; n = 6); (2) Moderate Conduct Problems/Callous-Unemotional Behavior with Moderate Peer Victimization (Mod CP/CU+Mod PV; n = 9); (3) High Conduct Problems/Callous-Unemotional Behavior with Low Prosocial Behavior (High CP/CU+Low Pro; n = 7); and Typically Developing (TD; n = 37). Profiles differed on child-reported outcome expectations for aggressive behavior, such that Mod CP/CU+Mod PV and High CP/CU+Low Pro were more likely to expect aggression to reduce aversive treatment from others. The High CP/CU+Low Pro profile had the most consistent post-intervention improvement across outcomes, though profile responsiveness to the intervention was variable and differed based on how outcomes were operationalized. Findings inform identification of youth from low-income, urban communities who may be at risk for negative outcomes and/or more amenable to preventive interventions for conduct problems.

      Feitelson, Mark; Kulathinal, Rob J.; Pond, Sergei; Jelinek, Jaroslav (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      The hepatitis B virus (HBV), chronically infecting ~360 million people worldwide, accounts for over half of the cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and contributes to over 650,000 deaths per year making HCC is the fifth most common and second most deadly form of cancer.1-3 Many genes deregulated by the hepatitis B x-antigen (HBx), the oncogenic protein encoded by HBV, are known drivers of HCC.4,5 The timing of these alterations in the initiation and progression of disease, however, are poorly understood and the treatment options for HCC are extremely limited. Here, RNA-Seq expression data originally from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project were used to compare truly healthy liver tissues, a base-line level often excluded from cancer studies, to both non-tumor and tumor tissues of patients with HBV associated HCC. This illuminated inflammation and immune response process as dysregulated prior to tumor formation followed by disruption of cell cycle and cell survival processes once tumors have arisen. Connecting these processes are UBD, BCL6, METTL24, CHRNA4, and NFKBIZ which putatively serve as crucial early drivers in the progression from HBV infection to the development of HCC and affect the serum level of downstream targets which could serve as biomarkers for earlier disease detection. Differential methylation analysis was also carried out on samples directly from TCGA and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) to determine if the differentially expressed genes were potentially deregulated due to reversible epigenetic alterations. Enriched pathways for differential methylation in non-tumor samples included the immune system and the cell cycle but none of the genes of interest from differential expression analysis were differentially methylated until stage 1 indicating that methylation is involved in the progression of disease and not initiation.
    • Identifying Pathways to Disease Using Data Mining: Understanding the Combined Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Health Indicators of Diabetes Mellitus and Asthma among High-Risk Philadelphians

      Murphy, Heather; Branas, Charles; Coffman, Donna L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      Introduction: Disadvantaged urban neighborhoods suffer disproportionate chronic illness burden related to social determinants of health. Studies have shown that socioeconomic characteristics and factors related to poor neighborhood conditions, such as physical inactivity and neighborhood disorder, to be associated with an increased risk of asthma and diabetes. Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to determine the hierarchy of individual and combined neighborhood health indicators that are predictive of asthma and diabetes in a population of high-risk Philadelphians, in order to make actionable recommendations that promote disease prevention. The secondary aim was to illustrate the relevance of using decision trees (data mining) to understand multilevel relationships among the predictors of complex health outcomes. Methods: Secondary data on individual health measures and neighborhood characteristics (N = 450) and vacant lot data (N = 676) was obtained from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. RapidMiner data science software was utilized to perform decision tree analyses, illustrating the levels of influence and patterns between individual and neighborhood characteristics predicting asthma and diabetes. Results: Individual- and neighborhood-level factors were intricately related and demonstrated significant trends of influence on the outcomes of asthma and diabetes. The decision trees created in this study had high specificity, accurately classifying the factors that are protective of each disease. Factors that emerged as influential across all decision trees were those involving non-demographic variables: hours outside, psychological distress, recreational walking, walk to work, social and physical disorder, and certain vacant lot characteristics (primarily lot trash). Understanding the complex relationships that exist between individual- and neighborhood-level factors are vital for creating disease prevention programs, particularly within low socioeconomic populations, who have limited access to other prevention resources Conclusion: Improved neighborhood-level conditions related to social and physical disorder were consistently found to be protective of both asthma and diabetes in this urban population. This study illustrates the practicality of applying machine learning techniques for understanding complex public health issues.