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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2018


The ability to manipulate the interaction between small molecules and biological macromolecules towards the study of disease pathogenesis has become a very important part of research towards treatment options for various diseases. The work described here shows both the use of DNA oligonucleotides as carriers for a nicotine hapten small molecule, and the use of microsomes to study the stability of compounds derived to treat mitochondrial diseases. Nicotine addiction is a worldwide epidemic because nicotine is one of the most widely used addictive substances. It is linked to early death, typically in the form of heart or lung disease. A …

Contributors
Schmierer, Margaret Louise, Hecht, Sidney M, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2016

Multivalency is an important phenomenon that guides numerous biological interactions. It has been utilized in design of therapeutics and drug candidates. Hence, this study attempts to develop analytical tools to study multivalent interactions and design multivalent ligands for drug delivery and therapeutic applications. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has been envisioned as a means of nanodiagnostics due to its single molecule sensitivity. However, the AFM based recognition imaging lacks a multiplex capacity to detect multiple analytes in a single test. Also there is no user friendly wet chemistry to functionalize AFM tips. Hence, an uncatalyzed Click Chemistry protocol was developed to …

Contributors
Manna, Saikat, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

The bleomycins are a family of glycopeptide-derived antibiotics isolated from various Streptomyces species and have been the subject of much attention from the scientific community as a consequence of their antitumor activity. Bleomycin clinically and is an integral part of a number of combination chemotherapy regimens. It has previously been shown that bleomycin has the ability to selectively target tumor cells over their non-malignant counterparts. Pyrimidoblamic acid, the N-terminal metal ion binding domain of bleomycin is known to be the moiety that is responsible for O2 activation and the subsequent chemistry leading to DNA strand scission and overall antitumor activity. …

Contributors
Bozeman, Trevor, Hecht, Sidney M, Chaput, John, et al.
Created Date
2013

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of life on earth. The first part of the thesis focuses on understanding the mechanisms involved in regulation of light harvesting, which is necessary to balance the absorption and utilization of light energy and in that way reduce the effect caused by photooxidative damage. In photosynthesis, carotenoids are responsible not only for collection of light, but also play a major role in protecting the photosynthetic system. To investigate the role of …

Contributors
Pillai, Smitha Thulasi, Moore, Ana, Moore, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2011

A clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is solar energy. For efficient use of solar energy to be realized, artificial systems that can effectively capture and convert sunlight into a usable form of energy have to be developed. In natural photosynthesis, antenna chlorophylls and carotenoids capture sunlight and transfer the resulting excitation energy to the photosynthetic reaction center (PRC). Small reorganization energy, λ and well-balanced electronic coupling between donors and acceptors in the PRC favor formation of a highly efficient charge-separated (CS) state. By covalently linking electron/energy donors to acceptors, organic molecular dyads and triads that mimic natural photosynthesis …

Contributors
Arero, Jaro, Gust, Devens, Moore, Ana, et al.
Created Date
2014

For reading DNA bases more accurately, a series of nitrogen-containing aromatic heterocycles have been designed and synthesized as candidates of universal reader to interact with all naturally occurring DNA nucleobases by hydrogen bonding interaction and eventually is used to read DNA by recognition tunneling. These recognition molecules include 6-mercapto-1H-benzo[d]imidazole-2-carboxamide, 5-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1H-imidazole-2-carboxamide, 5-(2-mercaptoethyl)-4H-1,2,4-traizole-3-carboxamide and 1-(2-mercaptoethyl)-1H-pyrrole-3-carboxamide. Their formation of hydrogen bonding complexes with nucleobases was studied and association constants were measured by proton NMR titration experiments in deuterated chloroform at room temperature. To do so, the mercaptoethyl chain or thiol group of these reading molecules was replaced or protected with the more lipophilic …

Contributors
Biswas, Sovan, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

Scientists around the world have been striving to develop artificial light-harvesting antenna model systems for energy and other light-driven biochemical applications. Among the various approaches to achieve this goal, one of the most promising is the assembly of structurally well-defined artificial light-harvesting antennas based on the principles of structural DNA nanotechnology. DNA has recently emerged as an extremely efficient material to organize molecules such as fluorophores and proteins on the nanoscale. It is desirable to develop a hybrid smart material by combining artificial antenna systems based on DNA with natural reaction center components, so that the material can be engineered …

Contributors
Dutta, Palash Kanti, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) or semiconductor nanocrystals are often used to describe 2 to 20 nm solution processed nanoparticles of various semiconductor materials that display quantum confinement effects. Compared to traditional fluorescent organic dyes, QDs provide many advantages. For biological applications it is necessary to develop reliable methods to functionalize QDs with hydrophilic biomolecules so that they may maintain their stability and functionality in physiological conditions. DNA, a molecule that encodes genetic information, is arguably the smartest molecule that nature has ever produced and one of the most explored bio-macromolecules. DNA directed self-assembly can potentially organize QDs that are functionalized …

Contributors
Samanta, Anirban, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2014

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a biopolymer well known for its role in preserving genetic information in biology, is now drawing great deal of interest from material scientists. Ease of synthesis, predictable molecular recognition via Watson-Crick base pairing, vast numbers of available chemical modifications, and intrinsic nanoscale size makes DNA a suitable material for the construction of a plethora of nanostructures that can be used as scaffold to organize functional molecules with nanometer precision. This dissertation focuses on DNA-directed organization of metallic nanoparticles into well-defined, discrete structures and using them to study photonic interaction between fluorophore and metal particle. Presented here are …

Contributors
Pal, Suchetan, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2012

As the genetic information storage vehicle, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules are essential to all known living organisms and many viruses. It is amazing that such a large amount of information about how life develops can be stored in these tiny molecules. Countless scientists, especially some biologists, are trying to decipher the genetic information stored in these captivating molecules. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, nanotechnologists in particular, have discovered that the unique and concise structural features of DNA together with its information coding ability can be utilized for nano-construction efforts. This idea culminated in the birth of the field of DNA …

Contributors
Han, Dongran, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Natural photosynthesis dedicates specific proteins to achieve the modular division of the essential roles of solar energy harvesting, charge separation and carrier transport within natural photosynthesis. The modern understanding of the fundamental photochemistry by which natural photosynthesis operates is well advanced and solution state mimics of the key photochemical processes have been reported previously. All of the early events in natural photosynthesis responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electric potential energy occur within proteins and phospholipid membranes that act as scaffolds for arranging the active chromophores. Accordingly, for creating artificial photovoltaic (PV) systems, scaffolds are required to imbue …

Contributors
Watson, Brian Lyndon, Gust, Devens, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2013

Solar energy is a promising alternative for addressing the world's current and future energy requirements in a sustainable way. Because solar irradiation is intermittent, it is necessary to store this energy in the form of a fuel so it can be used when required. The light-driven splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen (a useful chemical fuel) is a fascinating theoretical and experimental challenge that is worth pursuing because the advance of the knowledge that it implies and the availability of water and sunlight. Inspired by natural photosynthesis and building on previous work from our laboratory, this dissertation focuses on …

Contributors
Mendez-Hernandez, Dalvin D., Moore, Ana L, Mujica, Vladimiro, et al.
Created Date
2014

Alkali treated aluminosilicate (geopolymer) was functionalized by surfactant to increase the hydrophobicity for making Pickering emulsion for the first part of this work. In the first part of this study, alkali treated metakaolin was functionalized with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide ((C16H33)N(CH3)3Br, CTAB). The electrostatic interaction between this quaternary ammonium and the surface of the aluminosilicate which has negative charge has taken place. The particles then were used to prepare Pickering emulsion. The resulting stable dispersions, obtained very fast at very simple conditions with low ratio of aluminosilicate to liquid phase. In the second part, the interaction between geopolymer and glycerol was studied …

Contributors
Mesgar, Milad, Seo, Dong-Kuyn, Petuskey, William, et al.
Created Date
2012

Carboxylic acids are an abundant and reactive species present throughout our solar system. The reactions of carboxylic acids can shape the organic abundances within oil field brines, carbonaceous chondrites, and different ranks of coal. I have performed hydrothermal experiments with model aromatic carboxylic acids in the presences of different oxide minerals to investigate the reactions available to carboxylic acids in the presence of mineral surfaces. By performing experiments containing one organic compound and one mineral surface, I can begin to unravel the different reactions that can occur in the presence of different minerals. I performed experiments with phenylacetic acid (PAA), …

Contributors
Johnson, Kristin Nicole, Shock, Everett, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2017

The growing use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in classrooms has enabled a great amount of data to be collected about the study behavior of students. Previously, research has been conducted to interpret the collected LMS usage data in order to find the most effective study habits for students. Professors can then use the interpretations to predict which students will perform well and which student will perform poorly in the rest of the course, allowing the professor to better provide assistance to students in need. However, these research attempts have largely analyzed metrics that are specific to certain graphical interfaces, …

Contributors
Beerman, Eric, VanLehn, Kurt, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2015

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the universal chemical energy currency in most living cells, used to power many cellular reactions and generated by an enzyme supercomplex known as the ATP synthase, consisting of a hydrophilic F1 subcomplex and a membrane-bound FO subcomplex. Driven by the electrochemical gradient generated by the respiratory or photosynthetic electron transport chain, the rotation of the FO domain drives movements of the central stalk in response to conformational changes in the F1 domain, in which the physical energy is converted into chemical energy through the condensation of ADP and Pi to ATP. The exact mechanism how ATP …

Contributors
Yang, Jay-How, Fromme, Petra, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2015

Charge transport in molecular systems, including DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), is involved in many basic chemical and biological processes. Studying their charge transport properties can help developing DNA based electronic devices with many tunable functionalities. This thesis investigates the electric properties of double-stranded DNA, DNA G-quadruplex and dsDNA with modified base. First, double-stranded DNA with alternating GC sequence and stacked GC sequence were measured with respect to length. The resistance of DNA sequences increases linearly with length, indicating a hopping transport mechanism. However, for DNA sequences with stacked GC, a periodic oscillation is superimposed on the linear length dependence, indicating a …

Contributors
Xiang, Limin, Tao, Nongjian, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2016

Single-cell proteomics and transcriptomics analysis are crucial to gain insights of healthy physiology and disease pathogenesis. The comprehensive profiling of biomolecules in individual cells of a heterogeneous system can provide deep insights into many important biological questions, such as the distinct cellular compositions or regulation of inter- and intracellular signaling pathways of healthy and diseased tissues. With multidimensional molecular imaging of many different biomarkers in patient biopsies, diseases can be accurately diagnosed to guide the selection of the ideal treatment. As an urgent need to advance single-cell analysis, imaging-based technologies have been developed to detect and quantify multiple DNA, RNA …

Contributors
Mondal, Manas, Guo, Jia, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2018

The biological and chemical diversity of protein structure and function can be greatly expanded by position-specific incorporation of non-natural amino acids bearing a variety of functional groups. Non-cognate amino acids can be incorporated into proteins at specific sites by using orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pairs in conjunction with nonsense, rare, or 4-bp codons. There has been considerable progress in developing new types of amino acids, in identifying novel methods of tRNA aminoacylation, and in expanding the genetic code to direct their position. Chemical aminoacylation of tRNAs is accomplished by acylation and ligation of a dinucleotide (pdCpA) to the 3'-terminus of truncated …

Contributors
Nangreave, Ryan Christopher, Hecht, Sidney M, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2013

The first chapter reviews three decades of artificial photosynthetic research conducted by the A. Moore, T. Moore, and D. Gust research group. Several carotenoid (Car) and tetrapyrrole containing molecules were synthesized and investigated for excitation energy transfer (EET), photoregulation, and photoprotective functions. These artificial photosynthetic compounds mimicked known processes and investigated proposed mechanisms in natural systems. This research leads to a greater understanding of photosynthesis and design concepts for organic based solar energy conversion devices. The second and third chapters analyze the triplet energy transfer in carotenoid containing dyads. Transient absorption, time-resolved FTIR and resonance Raman spectra revealed that in …

Contributors
Wongcarter, Katherine, Moore, Ana L, Gust, Devens, et al.
Created Date
2014

Wide spread adoption of photovoltaic technology is limited by cost. Developing photovoltaics based on low-cost materials and processing techniques is one strategy for reducing the cost of electricity generated by photovoltaics. With this in mind, novel porphyrin and porphyrin-fullerene electropolymers have been developed here at Arizona State University. Porphyrins are attractive for inclusion in the light absorbing layer of photovoltaics due to their high absorption coefficients (on the order of 105 cm-1) and porphyrin-fullerene dyads are attractive for use in photovoltaics due to their ability to produce ultrafast photoinduced charge separation (on the order of 10-15 s). The focus of …

Contributors
Bridgewater, James Ward, Gust, Devens, Tao, Nongjian, et al.
Created Date
2014

DNA is a unique, highly programmable and addressable biomolecule. Due to its reliable and predictable base recognition behavior, uniform structural properties, and extraordinary stability, DNA molecules are desirable substrates for biological computation and nanotechnology. The field of DNA computation has gained considerable attention due to the possibility of exploiting the massive parallelism that is inherent in natural systems to solve computational problems. This dissertation focuses on building novel types of computational DNA systems based on both DNA reaction networks and DNA nanotechnology. A series of related research projects are presented here. First, a novel, three-input majority logic gate based on …

Contributors
Li, Wei, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2014

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has emerged as an excellent molecular building block for nanoconstruction in addition to its biological role of preserving genetic information. Its unique features such as predictable conformation and programmable intra- and inter-molecular Watson-Crick base pairing interactions make it a remarkable engineering material. A variety of convenient design rules and reliable assembly methods have been developed to engineer DNA nanostructures. The ability to create designer DNA architectures with accurate spatial control has allowed researchers to explore novel applications in directed material assembly, structural biology, biocatalysis, DNA computing, nano-robotics, disease diagnosis, and drug delivery. This dissertation focuses on developing …

Contributors
Zhang, Fei, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2015

The manipulation of biological targets using synthetic compounds has been the focal point of medicinal chemistry. The work described herein centers on the synthesis of organic small molecules that act either as probes for studying protein conformational changes or DNA–protein interaction, or as multifunctional radical quenchers. Fluorescent labeling is of paramount importance to biological studies of proteins. For the development of new extrinsic small fluorophores, a series of tryptophan analogues has been designed and synthesized. Their pdCpA derivatives have been synthesized for tRNA activation and in vitro protein synthesis. The photophysical properties of the tryptophan (Trp) analogues have been examined, …

Contributors
TALUKDER, POULAMI, Hecht, Sidney M, Woodbury, Neal, et al.
Created Date
2016

The ribosome is a ribozyme and central to the biosynthesis of proteins in all organisms. It has a strong bias against non-alpha-L-amino acids, such as alpha-D-amino acids and beta-amino acids. Additionally, the ribosome is only able to incorporate one amino acid in response to one codon. It has been demonstrated that reengineering of the peptidyltransferase center (PTC) of the ribosome enabled the incorporation of both alpha-D-amino acids and beta-amino acids into full length protein. Described in Chapter 2 are five modified ribosomes having modifications in the peptidyltrasnferase center in the 23S rRNA. These modified ribosomes successfully incorporated five different beta-amino …

Contributors
Maini, Rumit, Hecht, Sidney M, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2013

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become an important tool to characterize and image surfaces with nanoscale resolution. AFM imaging technique has been utilized to study a wide range of substances such as DNA, proteins, cells, silicon surfaces, nanowires etc. Hence AFM has become extremely important in the field of biochemistry, cell biology and material science. Functionalizing the AFM tip made it possible to detect molecules and their interaction using recognition imaging at single molecule level. Also the unbinding force of two molecules can be investigated based on AFM based single molecule force spectroscopy. In the first study, a new chemical …

Contributors
SENAPATI, SUBHADIP, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2015

Photosynthesis, one of the most important processes in nature, has provided an energy basis for nearly all life on Earth, as well as the fossil fuels we use today to power modern society. This research aims to mimic the photosynthetic process of converting incident solar energy into chemical potential energy in the form of a fuel via systems capable of carrying out photo-induced electron transfer to drive the production of hydrogen from water. Herein is detailed progress in using photo-induced stepwise electron transfer to drive the oxidation of water and reduction of protons to hydrogen. In the design, use of …

Contributors
Bergkamp, Jesse J, Moore, Ana L, Mariño-Ochoa, Ernesto, et al.
Created Date
2013

A potential new class of cancer chemotherapeutic agents has been synthesized by varying the 2 position of a benzimidazole based extended amidine. Compounds 6-amino-2-chloromethyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1A) and 6-amino-2-hydroxypropyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1B) were assayed at the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Developmental Therapeutic Program (DTP) and found to be cytotoxic at sub-micromolar concentrations, and have shown between a 100 and a 1000-fold increase in specificity towards lung, colon, CNS, and melanoma cell lines. These ATP mimics have been found to correlate with sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), a protein implicated in drug resistance and cell survival in various cancer cell lines. Using the DTP COMPARE algorithm, compounds …

Contributors
Darzi, Evan Rashied, Skibo, Edward, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2011

Mitochondria produce the majority portion of ATP required in eukaryotic cells. ATP is generated through a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, through an pathway consisting five multi subunit proteins (complex I-IV and ATP synthase), embedded inside the mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction increases reactive oxygen species in the cell and causes several serious disorders. Described herein are the synthesis of antioxidant molecules to reduce the effects in an already dysfunctional system. Also described is the study of the mitochondrial electron transport chain to understand the mechanism of action of a library of antioxidants. Illustrated in chapter 1 is …

Contributors
Dey, Sriloy, Hecht, Sidney M, Angell, Charles A, et al.
Created Date
2015

Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a photoprotective regulatory mechanism essential to the robustness of the photosynthetic apparatus of green plants. Energy flow within the low-light adapted reaction centers is dynamically optimized to match the continuously fluctuating light conditions found in nature. Activated by compartmentalized decreases in pH resulting from photosynthetic activity during periods of elevated photon flux, NPQ induces rapid thermal dissipation of excess excitation energy that would otherwise overwhelm the apparatus’s ability to consume it. Consequently, the frequency of charge separation decreases and the formation of potentially deleterious, high-energy intermediates slows, thereby reducing the threat of photodamage by disallowing their …

Contributors
Pahk, Ian J., Gust, Devens, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2015

Changes to a cell's DNA can result in cancer, which is permanently sustained cellular proliferation. When malfunctioning genes, oncogenes, were verified to be of human origin in the 1970s, drugs were designed to target their encoded, abnormal enzymes. Tyrosine kinases have been established as an oft-modified oncogene enzyme family, but the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) were not investigated as thoroughly. PTPs have gradually been established as relevant enzymes that work in tandem with tyrosine kinases in cell signaling and are not just "house-keeping" enzymes. Some PTPs are thought to initiate tumorigenesis, and others may play a complementary role after the …

Contributors
Fadgen, Casey, Rose, Seth D, Francisco, Wilson, et al.
Created Date
2012

The energy required in a eukaryotic cell is provided by mitochondria. Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) coupled with oxidative phosphorylation generates ATP. During electron transport, electron leakage from the ETC produces reactive oxygen species (ROS). In healthy cells, there are preventive and defense mechanisms in place to manage ROS. Maintaining a steady balance of ROS is very important because overproduction of ROS can lead to several pathological conditions. There are several strategies to prevent ROS production. Addition of external antioxidants is widely used among them. Discussed in the first part of Chapter 1 is the mitochondrial ETC, ROS production and …

Contributors
Roy Chowdhury, Sandipan, Hecht, Sidney, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2016

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a series of molecules, ions, and radicals derived from oxygen that possess remarkable reactivity. They act as signaling molecules when their concentration in cells is within a normal range. When the levels of ROS increase, reaching a concentration in which the antioxidants cannot readily quench them, oxidative stress will affect the cells. These excessive levels of ROS result in direct or indirect ROS-mediated damage of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Excessive oxidative stress, particularly in chronic inflammation, has been linked with mutations and carcinogenesis. One of the main targets of ROS in severe oxidative stress …

Contributors
Armendariz Guajardo, Jose Israel, Hecht, Sidney M, Moore, Ana, et al.
Created Date
2014

Biomolecules can easily recognize its corresponding partner and get bound to it, resulting in controlling various processes (immune system, inter or intracellular signaling) in biology and physiology. Bonding between two partners can be a result of electrostatic, hydrophobic interactions or shape complementarity. It is of great importance to study these kinds of biomolecular interactions to have a detailed knowledge of above mentioned physiological processes. These studies can also open avenues for other aspects of science such as drug development. Discussed in the first part of Chapter 1 are the biotin-streptavidin biomolecular interaction studies by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and surface …

Contributors
Biswas, Sudipta, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2016

DNA nanotechnology is one of the most flourishing interdisciplinary research fields. Through the features of programmability and predictability, DNA nanostructures can be designed to self-assemble into a variety of periodic or aperiodic patterns of different shapes and length scales, and more importantly, they can be used as scaffolds for organizing other nanoparticles, proteins and chemical groups. By leveraging these molecules, DNA nanostructures can be used to direct the organization of complex bio-inspired materials that may serve as smart drug delivery systems and in vitro or in vivo bio-molecular computing and diagnostic devices. In this dissertation I describe a systematic study …

Contributors
Wei, Xixi, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Since the discovery of graphene, two dimensional materials (2D materials) have become a focus of interest for material research due to their many unique physical properties embedded in their 2D structure. While they host many exciting potential applications, some of these 2D materials are subject to environmental instability issues induced by interaction between material and gas molecules in air, which poses a barrier to further application and manufacture. To overcome this, it is necessary to understand the origin of material instability and interaction with molecules commonly found in air, as well as developing a reproducible and manufacturing compatible method to …

Contributors
Yang, Sijie, Tongay, Sefaattin, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2017