Tag Archives: Awards / Recognitions

Research fellowship yields award-winning results for UMKC medical student Carlee Oakley

Carlee Oakley was recognized for her research project.

UMKC medical student Carlee Oakley is one of only five students nationwide to win a TL1 Top Poster Award for her research. It was presented recently in Washington at a meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science.

Patients with chronic kidney disease have an increased risk for heart disease and heart attacks, and Oakley’s research identified a possible factor in that risk. She found that the chemical TMAO, trimethylamine-N-oxide, found in higher concentrations in kidney patients, increases the force and rate of cardiac contractions.

“I used a mouse model in my first series of experiments,” Oakley said. “To see if our findings translated to the human heart, we were able to test human atrial appendage biopsy tissue. This confirmed that TMAO directly influences human cardiac function.”

The Association for Clinical and Translational Science awarded blue ribbons to 60 research projects, and 57 of them were presented and judged at the conference. Oakley and four others were judged the best and received blue ribbon awards, significant of being in the top 10 percent of entrants.

The contest is part of the Frontiers CTSA TL1 program, a research fellowship. CTSA stands for clinical and translational science awards. Oakley took a year off between her fifth and sixth years of UMKC’s B.A./M.D. program for the fellowship.

“The Frontiers TL1 training fellowship seemed like an incredible opportunity to focus on my research and to supplement my traditional medical education with formal training in clinical research methodology, biostatistics and epidemiology through the Master of Science in Clinical Research program at the University of Kansas Medical Center,” Oakley said. “My research mentor, Dr. Mike Wacker, and my docent, Dr. Jignesh Shah, were both very supportive and encouraged me to apply.”

Oakley added, “We are taught that the best physicians practice evidence-based medicine. I hope to not only practice but to also contribute to evidence-based medicine. My goal is to become a clinician-scientist. I hope research is a vital part of my future practice, though I do not foresee ever giving up the clinical aspect.”

Her initial research used a mouse heart.

Oakley also recently defended her TL1 thesis, completing her fellowship work with honors. She did substantial work on her research with Wacker and other members of his lab team before going into the fellowship. She said David Sanborn, who is set to graduate and start a residency at the Mayo Clinic this summer, helped her with the project along with other members of the Wacker lab. She also collaborated with Dr. Jason Stubbs, a nephrologist and researcher at the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Kidney Institute, and a team of cardiac surgeons at the KU Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Oakley, who plans a career in neurology, said she was drawn to UMKC from Sioux City, Iowa, because she was impressed by the School of Medicine’s six-year program and docent system. She met Wacker during the Human Structure Function course he helps teach and joined his cardiovascular research lab shortly after.

The other top finishers receiving the poster award are from the University of Michigan, Duke University, the University of Colorado-Denver and Georgetown-Howard Universities.

SOM’s Berkley-Patton receives UM-System President’s Award

Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer (left) presented the University of Missouri System President’s Award to Jannette Berkley-Patton, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health informatics.

Interim Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer recently recognized Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health informatics, with the University of Missouri System President’s Award on behalf of University of Missouri System President Mun Choi.

Berkley-Patton received the President’s Award for Cross Cultural Engagement. It recognizes faculty who demonstrate success in promoting cross-cultural activities or understanding through classroom or student service activities, or through direct service to global or regional efforts that relate back to the university.

“Dr. Berkley-Patton is highly regarded by the community she serves,” said Daphne Bascom, medical director and senior vice president of Community Integrated Health for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. “She has established durable collaborations and relationships with churches, community clinics and other health related agencies to support cross-cultural activities in the region. As she has grown her research program she has been intentional in providing opportunities to involve her community partners in defining the goals and outcomes for each project.”

The majority of Berkley-Patton’s research funding supports her faith-based and health community partners with staff, equipment and training to improve the community’s capacity to address health. Berkley-Patton values collaborations within the community and has been a leader in researching community-based health interventions to reduce HIV, diabetes, heart disease and mental health disparities among the African-American community.

The UM System President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the UM System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university. Berkley-Patton will be formally recognized by UM System President Choi during an awards celebration in June.

 

Med school students, staff receive vice chancellor honor

Ravali Gummi, David Sanborn, Jennifer Tufts

Two of the School of Medicine’s May graduates, Ravali Gummi and David Sanborn, have been selected as UMKC Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipients. Staff member Jennifer Tufts, academic advisor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, also received the honor.

The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management takes nominations from each academic unit to recognize graduating students who have excelled in academic achievement, leadership and service to UMKC and the community.

Gummi was nominated by her faculty mentor, Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research at the school’s Vision Research Center. Gummi gave a presentation on the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic and was invited to speak during the opening ceremony of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative.

Sanborn, who has served on the school’s Council on Evaluation and Coordinating Committee, was nominated by his docent, Fariha Shaffi, M.D. He is a member of the Gold Humanism Society and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Sanborn also led an independent student analysis in preparation for the school’s recent evaluation visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Tufts is completing a Master’s of Arts degree through the School of Liberal Arts with a focus on public history and urban planning. While studying for her degree and working, she has served as president of her local community organization for the past two years. Tufts was nominated by her faculty mentor Sandra Enriquez, Ph.D., a professor of history.

SOM researcher Peter Koulen honored by international vision research organization

Koulen, Peter
Peter Koulen, Ph.D.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology has recognized Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research at the School of Medicine’s Vision Research Center, as a member of is 2018 Fellows Class.

Koulen received the honor and was invited to give a research presentation during the organization’s annual meetings April 29-May 3 in Hawaii.

The fellowship recognition acknowledges the accomplishments, leadership and contributions of association members. ARVO Fellows are role models and mentors for scientists pursuing careers in vision research and ophthalmology.

ARVO is a world-wide organization of nearly 12,000 researchers from more than 75 countries. It serves to promote and enhance the understanding of the visual system and the prevention, treatment and curing of its disorders. It is also a leading international forum for the advancement of basic and clinical knowledge among vision researchers.

Koulen serves as the Felix and Carmen Sabates-Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research. His studies focus on basic research and therapy development for chronic diseases of the eye and brain.

Resident presentation selected for special session at 2018 Experimental Biology

Farnaz Khalafi, M.D., pathology resident, presented a research posted during a special session of the 2018 Experimental Biology conference.

Third-year pathology resident Farnaz Khalafi, M.D., presented a research poster at a special session of the 2018 Experimental Biology conference that took place in San Diego.

Khalafi’s poster was one of the top 20 posters selected from more than 200 submitted to the American Society for Investigative Pathology for presentation during a session on Next Generation Scientists: New Discoveries of Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows and Rising Stars.

She is the first-author of “Minimal effect of Aliskiren on mast cells count and renal vascular damage in acute rat model of Triolein induced pulmonary fat embolism.” Co-authors include Elizabeth Onishchenko, Mohammad Pour, Dauod Arif, Paula Monaghan, Alan Poisner and Agostino Molteni.

Six medical students from the School of Medicine are co-authors of research abstracts or posters accepted for presentation at the conference. The students include Ariana Fotouhi, Thomas Haferkamp and Taylor Lind, Elizabeth Onishchenko, Abigail Spaedy and Michael Van Dillen.

Experimental Biology is an annual invitation-only meeting of five scientific societies made up of more than 14,000 scientists who focus on anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, investigative pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.

School of Medicine inducts new members to AOA honor society

The School of Medicine welcomed its 2018 class of Alpha Omega Alpha members during a banquet on May 3.

The School of Medicine chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society has added 21 new students and three residents/fellows to its roster. The new AOA members were inducted during a reception on May 3 at Diastole.

Two sixth-year senior students recently selected for membership are Sean Bonanni and Mitchell Solano. Fifth-year junior students Miracle Amayo, Taylor Carter, Jonah Graves and Imran Nizamuddin, were also recently elected.

Senior students who were elected in the Fall of 2017 for induction include: Gaurav Anand, Tiffany Bland, Dorothy Daniel, Michael Kiersey, Brooks Kimmis, Margaret Kirwin, Nidhi Reddy, Shiva Reddy, Alexandra Reinbold, Elina Sagaydak, David Sanborn, Sumita Sharma, Ryan Sieli, Meghna Singh, Christopher Tomassian.

Hanna Alemayehu, M.D., pediatric surgeon at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Samantha Heretes, M.D., chief ophthalmology resident, and Shuba Roy, M.D., internal medicine resident, were also elected to the AOA in April.

Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.

Steve Miller, M.D. ’83, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Express Scripts, Inc., gave the annual AOA lecture on May 4 at the School of Medicine. Miller spoke on “A new vision for health care,” describing the business and changes that are needed in the pharmaceutical industry.

This year’s AOA student officers include Danielle Cunningham, Sanju Eswaran, Carlee Oakley and Vishal Thumar. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.

School of Medicine IPE team wins regional competition

UMKC School of Medicine students (left to right) Saber Khan, Becky Kurian, Yicheng Bao, Creighton University  pharmacy students Caressa Trueman and Amy Cimperman, and UMKC med student Diana Jung combined to win an interprofessional education reasoning regional competition at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

A team students from the UMKC School of Medicine showed its mettle in winning an interprofessional education reasoning competition at Creighton University on March 24 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Fourth-year students Diana Jung and Saber Khan, and third-year students Yicheng Bao and Becky Kurian teamed with Creighton pharmacy students Amy Cimperman and Caressa Trueman to present the winning case in the 2018 Regional Interdisciplinary Clinical Reasoning Competition.

Teams were comprised of a mix of medical, pharmacy and nurse practitioner students.

Each team was presented a patient case, similar to a real-life encounter. They then had two and a half hours to evaluate the chief complaint and medication list, make a working diagnosis, and order needed lab tests and treatments. Teams that advanced to the final round then presented their case to a panel of judges to defend their reasoning and gain feedback.

The UMKC team ranked first among four competing schools in team work and collaboration, concise and professional presentation, and demonstration of appropriate clinical judgement and management.

“I attribute this largely to the early exposure that we get in patient interaction and the presentations we get during our curriculum through clinic, rotations and DoRo,” Jung said. “It was fun and a great learning opportunity.”

Jung said the experience drove home the need for teamwork among health care providers in giving patient care.

“Being able to rely on our pharmacy students for their expertise, played a huge role,” she said. “And having medical students in different years of study allowed us to approach the patient case in a broader point of view.”

Baghdikian selected as Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipient

Caroline Baghdikian

Sixth-year medical student Caroline Baghdikian has been selected as a UMKC Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipient for the 2017 fall semester.

The vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management takes nominations for the honor from each academic unit to recognize graduating students who have excelled in academic achievement, leadership and service to UMKC and the community.

Baghdikian was nominated by School of Medicine Education Team Coordinator Brent McCoy.

Robynn Shines, a student in the School of Nursing and Health Studies working in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics’  community health lab, is also among the recipients.

Recipients are invited to attend an annual awards breakfast to celebrate their achievements. This year’s breakfast will take place on Dec. 15 at the Student Union.

AAMC journal recognizes Dr. Louise Arnold

Louise Arnold, Ph.D.

Retirement hasn’t stopped Louise Arnold, Ph.D., from being a major proponent for medical education and research. The School of Medicine’s former associate dean recently joined the list of master reviewers for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ journal, Academic Medicine.

A long-time volunteer peer reviewer for the journal, Arnold has received the publication’s annual Excellence in Reviewing Award three times. The journal’s editor in chief, David Sklar, said that Arnold’s consistently superior reviews have demonstrated her commitment to the peer-review process.

Because of her excellent performance, Arnold has earned the title of “Master Reviewer,” which recognizes the best of the best in Academic Medicine’s reviewer pool, Sklar said.

Arnold will receive special recognition as a master reviewer at the Academic Medicine’s annual MedEdPORTAL Reviewer Reception, as well as in the January issue of the journal and on the journal’s “For Reviewers” web page.

The journal’s editors also offer Master Reviewers the opportunity to become more involved in the review process. As a master reviewer, Arnold will have the opportunity to meet and consult with other master reviewers on needed changes to the review process, participate in peer-review webinars, and serve as a peer review mentor.

Arnold served on the School of Medicine faculty from 1971 through 2012. As director of the Office of Medical Education and Research, she championed on a national stage the school’s docent system and the large role it played as a learning community within the six-year program. She served as founding chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs. The group now represents more than 100 medical schools across the country.

SOM students place second, third in Missouri ACP research competition

Fifth-year medical student Hunter Faris won second place in the student research competition at the 2017 meeting of the Missouri Chapter of American College of Physicians.
Ravali Gummi, sixth-year medical student, placed third in the Missouri-ACP student research competition.

Hunter Faris, MS 5, and Ravali Gummi, MS 6, received two of the top student research awards from the Missouri Chapter of the American College of Physicians. The UMKC students earned the honor during the association’s 2017 meetings at Osage Beach, Missouri.

Faris received the second-place award for his poster on “Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors Inhibit Src Family Tyrosine Kinase Phosphorylation in the rat striatum.”

Gummi placed third in the competition with her poster on “Intracellular calcium channel expression in autoimmune encephalomyelitis.”

Hunter and Gummi were among five students and 15 residents who made presentations at the annual meeting. The Missouri ACP competition drew 20 student posters and 80 posters from residents and fellows of medical schools throughout the state.