OSU Dissertations

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  • Publication
    Exploring value creation in ECHO Education Nigeria social learning space: A qualitative case study
    (2023-12) Egure, Dominic Siami
    This study utilized a qualitative case study design to explore participants' perspectives regarding the value of ECHO Education Nigeria (EEN) program. EEN is a social Learning Space created for educators in Nigeria in 2021. A survey on value creation was disseminated to all participants of EEN, and subsequent interviews were carried out with a subset of participants who achieved high scores on the survey. The data analysis process followed a constant comparative method, wherein gathering and analysis of data took place simultaneously. Data were coded; codes were consolidated into categories and subsequently themes emerged. Findings indicated that EEN had a noteworthy influence on the participants' professional development, career progression, and overall satisfaction with their jobs. The perception of value creation within the social learning space of EEN was derived from active engagement, the dissemination of knowledge to a broader audience, alignment of objectives and aspirations, and the fostering of empowerment and agency. Participants underscored the significance of collaboration, peer learning, and practical application of knowledge. This study makes a valuable contribution to the existing body of literature on effective professional development programs, highlighting the significance of customizing these programs to align with educators' specific needs and interests. Findings from this study have significant implications for further research, theoretical frameworks, and practical applications. These findings emphasize the importance of implementing professional development programs tailored to specific contexts. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that this study specifically concentrated on early impacts of EEN. Consequently, additional research is warranted to investigate the enduring transformative impacts of EEN.
  • Publication
    Understanding the impacts of stereotypes and/or labels on the academic self-efficacy of students who choose to attend HBCUs
    (2023-12) Eugene Cross, Kenyotta
    The aim of this qualitative study is to examine the perceived impacts that negative stereotypes and/or labels have on the self-efficacy of students who choose to attend historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This research will give insight into students’ perceptions of negative stereotypes and the influences that these perceptions have on their college experiences. The findings included six themes that were identified across all three focus groups: (a) tradition/culture, (b) family atmosphere, (c) scholarship/resources, (d) challenges/barriers, (e) cultural setbacks, and (f) people who look like me. Additionally, each individual focus group session yielded between 1-2 themes, which were unique to the attributes of its participants. Several limitations were identified as part of this study, which related to the approach in which the focus groups were facilitated, the limited number of follow-up interviews, and use of purposive sampling for data collection. Although this technique is widely used in qualitative research, it has been noted that the range of variation that this sampling method yields in the beginning of the data gathering process is strikingly unclear. The implications of this research take into account Bandura’s (1993) proposition that self-beliefs of efficacy are a significant contributor to the ways that persons motivate themselves and plan courses of actions based on these beliefs. As such, the current study found that the participants were motivated to make an ardent decision to attend an HBCU, and that their specific self-beliefs of efficacy were fostered throughout the time of their attendance.
  • Publication
    Student mental health crisis: Perceptions of collegiate flight students
    (2023-12) Clarke, Morgan Hunter
    Student mental health is worsening. On top of the mental health stressors that come with being a college student, collegiate flight students are introduced to an entirely different set of situations that can trigger mental health disorders. Because of these added stressors, poor mental health and suicide rates among flight students are becoming a more prominent issue today. The fear of being grounded by the FAA or having a medical certificate revoked contributes to the withholding of mental health symptoms of pilots. Therefore, many pilots feel as though they are unable to report their anxiety or depression and seek help without consequences that will ultimately threaten their career. Not only does this create a concern for suicide and self-harm, but it creates a safety concern regarding a pilot’s decision-making skills, putting themselves and others at risk. This study highlights collegiate flight students’ perceptions associated with mental health. Results of this survey are examined in the context of three research questions, which guided the researcher’s conclusions regarding collegiate flight student mental health. These conclusions focus on whether mental health is a prominent issue among flight students, which added stressors of flight training are a main source of poor mental health in collegiate flight students, and whether collegiate flight students find underreporting of mental health concerns to be more beneficial to their career than seeking treatment.
  • Publication
    FgFHBe is a sporulation protein that interacts with TaHRC1s, resulting in susceptibility in wheat
    (2023-12) Zhai, Wenxuan
    Fusarium graminearum is a fungal pathogen that causes Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), a cancer-like disease in wheat. The international wheat community has made significant efforts to map and clone resistance genes in the past three decades, and the gene TaHRC1 was cloned from a locus on the short arm of chromosome 3BS in common wheat. However, there were two contrasting mechanisms of the same TaHRC1 gene, conferring wheat resistance or susceptibility to F. graminearum. Here, we report the fungal effector FgFHBe, a previously uncharacterized protein in the fungal kingdom, which targeted TaHRC1s protein to promote FHB disease. Mutation of the FgFHBe gene through clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated nuclease 9 (Cas9)-mediated genome editing resulted in the fungal strains incapable of producing asexual spores and spreading hyphal growth on wheat spikes, indicating that FgFHBe was required for sporulation and virulence of F. graminearum. We designed three wheat anti-TaHRC1 antibodies and revealed the actual start codon for translation of the TaHRC1s protein and the naturally mutated amino acids that caused a loss of its ability to interact with FgFHBe, solving the two contradictory mechanisms of TaHRC1 proteins conferring susceptibility and resistance to F. graminearum. The previously characterized allele in ‘Sumai3’ should not be resistant but non-susceptible to F. graminearum, and this allele is thus referred to as TaHRC1ns This study provides insights into precisely editing TaHRC1s to create mutants that FgFHBe cannot target and developing new fungicides to target FgFHBe to protect cereal crops from FHB.
  • Publication
    Toward autonomous mobile Mocap: Motion enhancement and robotic computing
    (2023-12) Zhou, Le
    Human motion capture (Mocap) has a variety of applications ranging from animation creation to entertainment, from biomechanical studies to clinical applications. There are three major Mocap technologies: marker-based optical systems, IMU-based sensors, and markerless vision-based ones. Especially the most recent depth sensor-based mocap (D-Mocap) has attracted tremendous attention due to its affordability and flexibility, as well as its potential to bring a practical mocap tool to a clinical or home setting. However, D-mocap data often suffers significant errors due to random noise, self-occlusion, and other algorithmic limitations, hindering its wider applications. In addition, most markerless mocap systems, including D-mocap, have a limited capture volume, which makes it hard to capture long-range motion, such as in clinical gait analysis where multiple walking cycles are necessary. In this dissertation, we are focused on two major research topics that will lead to the development of an innovative autonomous mobile mocap platform which supports robust and accurate multi-view motion capture “on-the-go” for clinical applications. The first is the computational approach to enhance the motion quality of D-Mocap data to be clinically and medically relevant, and the second is an omni-wheeled robotic platform and a virtual simulation tool that are to be used to study and develop multi-view and human-centric motion capture solutions. In the first study, we propose several novel motion enhancement methods to refine D-Mocap data: (1) We apply the Tobit model to model D-Mocap data at the joint level, and then we introduce a novel Tobit Particle Filter (TPF) to enhance the accuracy and robustness of joint-level position and angle estimation; (2) We apply the differential evolutionary algorithm (DE) to improve the stability and consistency of the skeleton structure from sequential D-Mocap data along the time; (3) We synergistically integrate joint-level TPF filtering with skeleton-level DE optimization to improve motion trajectories of body joints to be more kinematically admissible and the skeleton-level structure more anthropometrically stable. In the second study, we develop a new autonomous mocap platform that integrates a mecanum-wheeled robot, a mini-PC, an LCD display as well as 3D-printed shell. In addition, we develop a ROS-based mecanum-wheeled robot simulator environment that can be used to study multi-view human tracking and following along with optimized long-range mocap performance. These two hardware and software solutions pave the path for the future investigation and development of a low-cost autonomous mobile mocap system that has great potential to be used in many clinical and homecare applications.
  • Publication
    “A veneer of progress”: Examining the experiences of Black college graduates in a hyperlocal gap year program
    (2023-12) Williams , Andreya M.
    This case study aimed to examine the experiences of Black college graduates who completed a hyperlocal gap year program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Much of the literature presented about gap years often occurs between high school and college, when students take an intentional break before pursuing a college degree (GYA, 2020; O’Shea, 2013; Simpson, 2004). However, this study specifically looks at the gap year from college to career, and more specifically for Black college graduates. Without a disruption to the status quo, gap year programs will not only continue to ignore the richness of talent and multiplicity of perspectives that Black graduates offer; but moreover, the status quo will also continue to reinforce systemic racism, exclusion, and widen socioeconomic disparities. The research question that guides this study is: What are the experiences of Black college graduates in a hyperlocal gap year program in Tulsa, Oklahoma during 2020 and 2021? Given the hyperlocal focus of the program, this study seeks to not only understand their perception of Tulsa but examine how living in Tulsa affected their experience. The findings of this study are consistent with the literature on gap year benefits and CRT. For example, the findings suggest gap year programs helped participants develop professionally and personally. However, the findings of this study also yielded results that amplify the nuanced and intersecting factors that shape people's experiences in a city. As researchers, practitioners, and policymakers increase their understanding of how race, racism, and other forms of oppression contribute to belonging and mattering.
  • Publication
    Part one: Recycled carpet-reinforced composites from post-consumer polypropylene and polyester carpets and recycled hdpe resin; Part two: Thermal analysis of poly(ethyl methacrylate) adsorbed on silica
    (2023-12) Youssefi Azarfam, Mohamadreza
    PART ONE: Carpets are a significant type of hard-to-recycle materials because of their complex structures. At the end of their life, these bulky wastes create over 3 million tons (approximately 1.2%) of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in the U.S. each year, while less than 10% are recycled. For this massive amount of waste going to landfills, so far, no practical solution has been provided to avoid its landfilling. Different from other types of polymers, such as plastic containers and bottles, no circular solution seems to be feasible for carpets. Even in conventional carpet recycling (mainly nylon carpets), only the carpet tuft is recycled, and the backing is still landfilled. Using whole carpets to make functional composites may be a practical solution to this problem.A method was introduced to fabricate recycled composites from the whole (or intact) post-consumer polypropylene and polyester carpets mixed with recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin using compression molding. The mechanical properties of the composites were determined by three-point flexural bend and creep compliance tests. Molding factors were screened to define applicable ranges for each parameter. For the polyolefin carpet and recycled HDPE resin, a three-level full factorial design of experiments was applied to determine the appropriate range of molding temperatures and resin:carpet compositions to optimize the mechanical properties. These composite materials, made of post-consumer carpets with almost no cost and minimal amounts of recycled resins, showed significant flexural strength and modulus values. The mechanical properties were comparable to those required for structural applications (such as wood species) and better than the average of thermoplastic products. The fabricated composites offer a solution to the landfilling problem of post-consumer carpets using minimal (or no) amounts of additives and recycled resins. This approach will help lower the embodied energy and carbon footprint of plastic materials and help society move towards more sustainable practices. It would embody the recovery and reuse of these post-consumer carpets, mainly found in domestic waste streams.
  • Publication
    False discovery rate estimation with publication bias
    (2023-12) Cao, Tianyu
    Recent replication studies have suggested that many pub-lished research findings (discoveries) may be false discoveries in some disciplines. This, in part, explains why results are not replicated in follow-up studies and hence contributes to the “replicability crisis”. However, the breadth and depth of this problem remains largely unknown since costly replication studies are not readily available in most scientific disciplines. This dissertation is aimed at providing tools for estimating the proportion of discoveries that are false discoveries using only published p-values. Consequently, the breadth and depth of the problem can be more readily understood without replication studies.
  • Publication
    Mechanics of nanomeshes for flexible and stretchable biosensors
    (2023-12) Vinnikova, Sandra
    Biology is soft, flexible, and curved, but conventional electronics components are rigid and brittle and therefore are not compatible with bio-sensing or bio-compatible medical applications. Electronics that can be easily stretched, bent, twisted, compressed, folded, and deformed into complex shapes for diagnosis and treatment is highly desirable in bio-sensing applications. For the past decades, scientists have achieved great progress in bio-inspired electronics, enabling flexible and stretchable electronic devices that mimic the features of natural bio-tissues or organs. Examples include electronic eye cameras and artificial sensitive skins, that are inherently compatible with biology, demonstrating promising features to overcome mechanically-incompatibility between rigid inorganic electronic components and soft bio-tissues. More recently, these next-generation flexible electronics are applied in neuroscience research in which both electrical and optical stimuli are applied, and electrophysiological responses are recorded. Stretchable and flexible electrodes represent a promising solution for neural sensing devices that have desirable features such as high mechanical compliance, transparency, and electrical conductivity. Transparent and stretchable electrodes should demonstrate fully elastic responses to large mechanical strain associated with mapping flat electrodes to complex biological tissue morphologies, as well as high levels of optical transparency.
  • Publication
    Injection of surface plasmon induced hot carriers into the wide band gap semiconductor Gallium Nitride
    (2023-12) Wagle, Phadindra
    The injection of Surface plasmon polariton (SPP) induced hot carriers into semiconducting film has potential applications in the field of optoelectronics. Gallium Nitride (GaN) is the semiconducting film employed for this study and nanoscale surface texturing of Au pyramids are utilized as a platform for exciting surface plasmons. This research begins with the growth of GaN using pulsed atomic layer deposition. The quality of the film is improved by ammonia pretreatment which converts interfacial native oxides of Si (100) into SiOₓNᵧ as evidenced by XRD and AFM studies. The optical properties of samples subjected to low and high temperature pretreatment are extensively studied.
  • Publication
    Capturing temporal components for univariate time series classification
    (2023-12) Vavilthota, Venkata Ragavendra
    Analyzing sequential or time series data is crucial in many domains, particularly due to the abundance of data collected from the Internet of Things paradigm. Time series classification, the task of categorizing sequential data, has gained prominence, with machine learning, particularly deep learning approaches, demonstrating remarkable performance on benchmark datasets. However, progress has primarily been in designing architectures for learning representations from raw data at fixed (or ideal) time scales, which can fail to generalize to complex sequences. This thesis introduces a compositional representation learning approach based on statistically coherent components extracted from sequential data. Using a multi-scale change space, we propose to segment the sequential data into chunks that share statistical properties without supervision. A sequence-based encoder model, trained in a multi-task setting, is used to learn composition representations for classification. We demonstrate its effectiveness through extensive experiments on publicly available time series classification benchmarks.
  • Publication
    Bridging two worlds: Action toward a healing-centered curriculum in dual credit spaces
    (2023-12) Urie, Jeanne
    The purpose of this study was to understand the unique mental health challenges of dual credit high school students, examine my contributions to these challenges, and explore possibilities for a curriculum to address those unique challenges to foster growth and healing in response to the escalating mental health crisis affecting high achieving students. In 2019, the National Academies of Science and Math released a report labeling high achieving youth an at-risk group for significant mental health events, placing them at the same level of risk as kids living in poverty and foster care, recent immigrants, and those with incarcerated parents. This combined teacher action research and autoethnographic study used writing prompts, past student essays, and focus groups, along with my own memory work and reflection to reveal the possibilities for healing and growth in future dual credit spaces.
  • Publication
    How customer entitlement shapes self-service technology adoption?
    (2023-07) Teymouri Athar, Hesam
    This research investigates how consumers' sense of entitlement influences self-service technology (SST) adoption. Across seven scenario-based experiments (three pilot and four main studies), this research predicted and showed that consumers with a higher sense of entitlement are less willing to use technology-based service providers (e.g., self-service kiosks), and this relationship is mediated by their decreased willingness to exert effort as part of their service journey (effort willingness). This research contributes to the literature by introducing customer entitlement as a novel explanation for SST adoption and introduces effort willingness as the underlying mechanism explaining this relationship. Results were found across different contexts, including a grocery store, restaurant, café, and a car rental scenario. The effect of entitlement on SST usage was also robust to interventions designed to attenuate it. Framing the technology as offering an incentive (i.e., discount) to use the technology-based option did not attenuate the effect (pilot 2) nor automation (pilot 3). Even though it was expected that special treatment (Study 2) and anthropomorphism of technologies (Study 3) would change the main effect, the effect remained unchanged. Alternative explanations have been ruled out, and managerial implications discussed.
  • Publication
    Lenses for leadership: How White student leaders make meaning of the intersection of race and leadership
    (2023-12) Taylor, Joshua Kent
    This dissertation explores how White undergraduate student leaders in formal, institutional leadership positions perceive the influence of race within their roles. With 18 participants and utilizing participant-generated photo-elicitation, focus groups, and participant narratives, this study revealed that White student leaders often adopted a colorblind approach, downplaying the significance of race in their identity and leadership. Despite identifying major sociopolitical events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd's murder, as formative moments in developing their racial understanding, these student leaders tended to minimize the influence of race in leadership and avoided discussions about race. Adding to the importance of the findings, some participants even named their leadership experiences as “segregated.” They conceptualized race as something pertinent to others but not themselves, feared talking about race due to the possibility of public scrutiny, and demonstrated a lack of systems thinking in their leadership work.
  • Publication
    Heterogeneous graph learning and application to biomedicine
    (2023-12) Tanvir, Farhan
    Computational biomedicine is a critical field for improving our understanding of biological systems and drug discovery and development. Existing computational models address several problems on this domain such as drug-drug interaction (DDI) prediction, drug-target interaction prediction, drug-disease association prediction, and drug-target-disease association prediction. Heterogeneous biomedical graphs are gaining attention to address different problems because of their ability to model distinct biomedical entities including drug and protein and ability to capture complex relationships between these distinct entities.
  • Publication
    Reproductive cycles, activity patterns, and distribution of the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
    (2023-12) Thompson, Denise M.
    Understanding the life-history and ecology of species of conservation concern is critical for making informed decisions that have the highest probability of leading to successful recovery of populations. The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is a large-bodied, bottom-dwelling aquatic turtle endemic to the Gulf of Mexico river drainages of the southeastern United States. The species is currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and as CITES Appendix III. In this dissertation, I sought to understand the reproductive cycles, activity patterns, and distribution of the Alligator Snapping Turtle. Briefly, I defined the seasonal reproductive cycles and viable mating periods for Alligator Snapping Turtles using a combination of sex steroid hormone assays and automated radiotelemetry. I found that turtles exhibited a dissociated reproductive cycle with a potentially extended mating season from fall through early spring. Automated radiotelemetry data paired with environmental temperature and photoperiod data revealed novel insights into the diel activity patterns of Alligator Snapping Turtles and sex-based differences in relation to temperature. Seasonal activity patterns suggested that males and females have different thermal preferences that are likely attributable to the different selective pressures that influence male and female reproductive priorities. Turtles exhibited seasonal changes diel cycles in which there was pronounced diurnal and early evening activity during the colder months of the year and a tendency toward nocturnal activity was detected during the warmer months of the year––except for the hottest month, under which turtles’ activity patterns appeared cathemeral (arrhythmic). Using ecological niche modeling, I elucidated the probable environmental factors constraining the distribution of Alligator Snapping Turtles. Soil temperatures likely imposed the greatest constraints on the northern distribution of the species, while annual precipitation imposed the most significant constraints on the western distribution of the species. These results suggest that the northern half of Illinois does not have the necessary environmental conditions to support reproductively viable populations of Alligator Snapping Turtle.
  • Publication
    Capacity based performance predictions for positive displacement compressors with low-GWP refrigerants through compressor modeling
    (2023-12) Tanveer, Muhammad Mohsin
    Regulatory changes aimed at mitigating climate change require compressor manufacturers to replace current refrigerants with those having low Global Warming Potential (GWP). To select suitable refrigerants for different applications, low-GWP refrigerants' performance evaluation in various positive displacement compressors is crucial. A carefully designed simulation model can provide similar outcomes to heuristic evaluation for a significantly reduced cost. A literature review of sub-models for mass flow, valves, and heat transfer is conducted to identify suitable approaches for the current analysis. PDSim is used to evaluate the scroll compressor performance, as it possesses more desirable qualities for performance evaluation study.
  • Publication
    Improving human-vehicle interaction strategies for unmanned aircraft system operations in uncertain environments
    (2023-12) Tabassum, Asma
    This thesis aims to examine critical components in human-vehicle interaction for unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and develop strategies for improved interaction during uncertain events in the operations. Human-vehicle interaction paradigm for the UAS poses unique challenges than other vehicle platforms. To maintain an “equivalent level” of safety and awareness in the presence of sensory and vestibular isolation, a human pilot is required to exhaust their cognitive ability in many cases, especially in the event of uncertainty. In aviation operations, uncertainty is certain. In this work, we consider both visual line of sight (VLOS) and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. We identify two unique uncertain events that affect these two unique unmanned aerial operations and aim to investigate and improve the interaction strategies. In particular, for BVLOS large UAS operations, we take the Detect and Avoid (DAA) application and recognize that the command and communication link plays the most critical role in the remote pilot’s situational awareness as well as decision-making. We implement a decision-theoretic approach to effectively increase the remote pilot’s contribution within safe operating conditions and enhance the human-machine user experience. Our results demonstrate noteworthy improvement in the pilot command reception without inducing any near-mid-air collision (NMAC) instances and enhancement of pilot involvement in decision-making in the encounter resolution. For small UAS VLOS operations, we address the rising operational and navigational challenges due to turbulent wind. We introduce a wind-aware small unmanned aircraft system human-in-the-loop simulation pipeline for operations in low-altitude urban airspace. We design the wind-aware user interface and extend a simulator to integrate spatial-temporal atmospheric boundary layer wind data. Human-in-the-loop experiments are conducted to assess the usability of wind information displays. Results from the ANOVA analysis indicate that wind-aware display significantly reduces (p − value < 0.05) pilot cognitive workload and significantly improves situational awareness in all wind conditions. We also observe significant improvement in mission and performance with wind-aware user interface. Motivated by the responses from subject matter experts we also design disturbance rejection controllers to mitigate wind effects on sUAS navigation. We integrate high-fidelity rotor dynamics into the simulator and learn error dynamics due to the turbulent effect using a Koopman operator. The Koopman-based model captures the highly nonlinear dynamics in quadcopter trajectory tracking in a linear form. We then employ MPC controllers with the learned dynamics and evaluate their performance using Monte Carlo simulations. The stochastic MPC, which treats the wind as a combination of a mean component and a random component, performs the best and reduces the mean tracking error significantly.
  • Publication
    Analysis and modeling of temporal dispersion in terahertz wireless channels with applications for communication and sensing
    (2023-07) Strecker, Karl L.
    This work describes a framework for predicting the error rate of high-capacity wireless communication links operating above 100 GHz, commonly referred to as terahertz links. The study focuses on time-dispersive channels, with specific models constructed for the atmosphere and rough scattering surfaces, both based on experimental characterization. The framework enables the prediction of symbol error rates for quadrature amplitude modulated links, accounting for link distance, signal bandwidth, signal-to-noise ratio, modulation order, and atmospheric conditions. Interestingly, the predictions reveal that in practical scenarios, inter-symbol interference due to uncompensated group delay dispersion (GDD) may limit broadband terahertz communication systems more significantly than attenuation. Furthermore, the models suggest that for some channels, optimizing the modulation order of the link can mitigate temporal dispersion and lead to reduced error rates.In addition to the development and analysis of theoretical models, a high-performance sub-millimeter-wave testbed based on commercial test equipment is also developed and presented. This system is capable of generating and analyzing arbitrary waveforms with up to 25 GHz bandwidth in the frequency range of 75-500 GHz. This platform fills a critical need for such testbeds, and facilitates experimental validation of the proposed terahertz communication channel models using real-world data streams. The measured data obtained from the system in real-world experiments is presented, and validates the accuracy of the developed error rate prediction models.The dissertation concludes by addressing the challenges of managing GDD in next-generation terahertz communication systems. This work argues that GDD will be amplified by the proposed standards for throughput, latency, and energy efficiency in next-generation communication systems, and that legacy mitigation strategies have limitations that will likely hinder their effectiveness in compensating GDD in high-capacity terahertz links. Consequently, the article advocates for a combination of mitigation strategies, including the utilization of photonic devices, to optimize system performance.
  • Publication
    Determine the role of senescent cells in the Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla (RVLM) in mediating neuroinflammation and sympathoexcitation in obesity
    (2023-12) Sivasubramanian, Mahesh Kumar
    Obesity is the major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and chronic heart failure. It is estimated that 65-78% of obese adults are hypertensive, however the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Accumulating evidence suggests that increase in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of obesity-induced hypertension. Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla (RVLM) is a key region within the brainstem that is responsible for basal and reflex control of sympathetic activity associated with cardiovascular function. Cellular senescence is a state of the cells that is characterized by a permanent, irreversible cell cycle arrest in proliferative cells in response to various stress-inducing stimuli and can produce inflammation. In high fat diet (HFD) fed obese mice, we have observed increased cellular senescence at the level of RVLM along with elevated sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure. The major goal of my Ph.D. is to understand the role of senescent cells in the RVLM in mediating neuroinflammation and sympathoexcitation in obesity. Based on this preliminary data, in our first set experiment, we treated the HFD fed animals with a senolytic drug combination (dasatinib and quercetin) and found that this senolytic treatment attenuated the sympathoexcitation and systolic blood pressure. In the second set of experiments, we employed a transgenic mice model (p16-3MR) to specifically target the p16 senescent cells and study its role on sympathoexcitation in obesity. We found that with the removal of senescent p16 cells using ganciclovir attenuated obesity-induced sympathoexcitation. Lastly, we employed a cell culture model with human brainstem astrocytes to determine the molecular mechanisms behind obesity-induced sympathoexcitation. We treated the cells with the primary saturated fatty acid palmitic acid) in most diets to mimic obesity and found that it induced cellular senescence and in addition reduced glutamate transporter expression (EAAT1 and EAAT2) suggesting a possible mechanism for sympathoexcitation in obesity. Taken together our results shed light on the important role of senescent cells in the RVLM and the harmful effects of sympathoexcitation in obesity. The senolytic treatments could be a new therapeutic strategy will break new ground in the development of novel interventions against hypertension in obese individuals.