Chris Bao ’23
Princeton High School
Hi! I’m Chris, and I’m a third-year research student. My interests include neuroscience, biology, and education, with topics ranging from isopods to pedagogy. More specifically, I’m passionate about finding ways that scientists can influence public policy for the better.
In my free time, I enjoy reading books and writing short stories.
Here are ways to reach out!
Phone Number: 609-423-5415
Project 1: Isopods
Isopods are crustaceans that play a key role in many terrestrial ecosystems due to their ability to decompose organisms. However, this important animal group is threatened by the isopod iridescent virus (IIV). The mechanism of transmission in the wild is currently unknown, but it is suspected that environmental elements influence infectivity. As such, the hypothesis is that the presence of Wolbachia pipientis, a bacteria found in many insects and, more recently, in isopods, will increase the infectivity and mortality rates of isopods from IIV, as a weakened immune system will allow for greater lethality of the virus. Additionally, this project will aim to compare the different rates of infection of the IIV, depending on the presence or absence of Wolbachia, and the results will be modeled by epidemiological functions. The methodology will consist of comparing different groups of the Armadillidium vulgare isopod, measuring the infection rates, and using PCR to determine the level of both the bacteria and the virus in an isopod. Statistical analysis like the p-test, Tukey HSD test, and ANOVA will then be applied to determine the significance of data. This project is important because there has currently been little research on the impact of microorganisms on the spread of IIV in isopods. There is currently work with Wolbachia being performed in other insects, notably mosquitos (Utarini et al. 2021), but information gained from studying isopods could prove useful not only to future studies of IIV but also to studies of other viruses in other animals.
— excerpt from Isopod Project Grant Proposal
Project 2: Neuroscience and Psychology Education (NeuroPsyResearch)
Science education is highly important for education in the modern age, yet there are consistent gaps in knowledge. One area that is particularly lacking is knowledge about neuroscience and psychology, for which even basic information is not introduced until high school. To tackle this issue, I am currently working with various other PHS students, under the guidance of Dr. Sabine Kastner and Dr. Casey Lew-Williams, to develop material that is easily comprehensible and informative for students in grades K-8.
Below is a presentation about synesthesia, presented to 6th-graders at Princeton Middle School.
Isopods Venezillo sp. “Maya”, 2020
Understanding the brain is pivotal to our understanding of human nature!
“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.”Marie Skłodowska-Curie