Tag Archives: Research

American Heart Association honors Dr. John Spertus with Distinguished Scientist Award

John Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and Daniel J. Lauer, M.D., Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research, was honored with the American Heart Association’s 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award.

John Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and Daniel J. Lauer, M.D., Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research, received the American Heart Association’s 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award on Nov. 11 at the AHA Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

The award recognizes prominent scientists and clinicians who have made significant and sustained contributions to advancing the understanding, management and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

As clinical director of outcomes research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Spertus developed technology that guides physicians and patients in medical-decision making by using models to measure and predict the risk factors of various procedures. Many experts cite two tools he created — the Seattle Angina Questionnaire and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire — as the gold standards for measuring symptoms, function and quality of life in treating coronary artery disease and heart failure. Both have been translated into more than 95 languages.

“I am humbled by the honor to be recognized by the AHA for our work to improve the patient-centeredness of care,” Spertus said. “While traditionally the basic sciences are prioritized, to see the work of our community to improve care and outcomes is a terrific validation of the collective efforts of my entire team and colleagues.”

Spertus is the founder of two outcomes research organizations. The Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium and CV Outcomes is a non-profit corporation dedicated to advancing health care quality and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease. The Health Outcomes Sciences is an information technology company that implements precision medicine in clinical care.

He is currently leading a regional effort with BioNexus KC and the Frontiers CTSA to bring local hospitals together in collaboration to improve the value of health care in Kansas City.

This is Spertus’ third major award from the AHA. He previously received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Distinguished Achievement Award in 2013.

Student research office announces 12 Sarah Morrison awards

Top row: Yicheng Bao, Shannon Demehri, Abygail Dulle, Ankit Kadakia. Middle row: Cynthia Liu, Andrew Peterson, Amber (Lelia) Sarvestani, Som Singh. Bottom row: Kevin Varghese, Firas Al-Badarin, Kathryn Kyler, Ali O. Malik

The School of Medicine Student Research Program has awarded 12 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards for the Fall 2018 cycle. Recipients included nine medical students and three graduate students.

Sarah Morrison awards of up to $2,500 are presented to School of Medicine students each year in April and October. The awards help students become involved in and learn about a wide variety of research activities based on their interests. The research may be in the basic sciences or in clinical medicine.

Students may develop their own hypothesis and work plan or work on an established research project with their mentor. Winners of the awards are expected to present the results of the research at a School of Medicine student research event such as the UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit) or a similar venue as recommended by Research Administration.

More than 100 students have received Sarah Morrison awards since 2013 with an estimated $155,000 of financial support provided from the program to conduct research projects at the School of Medicine.

The next application deadline for students interested in receiving a Sarah Morrison research award is March 1 for the April award. Applicants are reviewed by a committee of faculty judges and processed through the Office of Research Administration.

For complete application information, visit the student research website.

Fall 2018 Sarah Morrison Research Awards
(Recipient / Faculty Mentor / Project title)
  • Yicheng Bao, MS 4 / Betty Drees, M.D., Professor, Dean Emerita / Prevalence and Risk Factors of Depression Among Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Shannon Demehri, MS 6 / John Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Westport Anesthesia/Missouri Endowed Chair for Research / Regulation of Src Family Kinases in the Rat Brain by Adenosine
  • Abygail Dulle, MS 5/ Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Dean for Research Administration / Prenatal Glucocorticoid Exposure for Preterm Birth: Investigating The Role Of Glucocorticoid Receptor Phosphorylation In The Development Of Neuropathology
  • Ankit Kadakia, MS 4 / Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Dean for Research Administration / Role of Synthetic Glucocorticoid Exposure in Ocular Development and Pathology
  • Cynthia Liu, MS 4/ Gary Sutkin, M.D., Professor and Associate Dean of Women’s Health, Victor and Caroline Schutte Chair in Women’s Health / The Prevalence and Effects of Ambiguous Language on Communication Errors in the Operating Room
  • Andrew Peterson, MS 5 / Xiangping Chu, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences / Modulation of Heteromeric Acid-Sensing Ion 1 a/3 Channels by Zinc
  • Amber (Lelia) Sarvestani, MS 6 / Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics / Long Term Outcomes and Survival Following Repair of Truncus Arteriosus With and Without Interrupted Aortic Arch Utilizing Linkage of the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium with the National Death Index and Organ Procurement Transplantation Network Datasets
  • Som Singh, MS 2 / Li Zhang, M.D., Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics / The Effect of GM26870 Gene Expression on Acetaminophen Hepatotoxicity
  • Kevin Varghese, MS 2 / Alain Cuna, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Effectiveness and safety of repeat use of postnatal steroids for bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Firas Al-Badarin, grad student / Tim Bateman, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Radiology / Cardiovascular Outcomes of Patients with Normal Positron Emission Tomography and Single Photon Computed Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
  • Kathryn Kyler, grad student / Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics / Variation in medication dosing and guideline adherence by weight status for commonly prescribed medications during pediatric asthma hospitalizations
  • Ali O. Malik, grad student / Paul Chan, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine / Association between hospital reimbursement models and rates of normal elective coronary angiograms

Sutkin receives NIH grant to develop technology for safer surgeries

Gary Sutkin, M.D., has received a $600,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop technology that will make surgeries safer.

Gary Sutkin, M.D., director of the UMKC School of Medicine’s Surgical Innovations Laboratory, has received a three-year, $600,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop simulation technology that can be used to prevent surgical errors.

With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a 3-D printer, Sutkin plans to create a high-fidelity pelvic simulator and use motion analysis to identify surgical errors involved in Midurethral Sling surgery.

Sutkin, professor of surgery, serves as associate dean for women’s health and is Victor and Caroline Shutte Endowed Chair in Women’s Health at the School of Medicine. He chose this particular surgery for his research because it is common in older women and includes a high-risk step. During the procedure, the surgeon must blindly guide a sharp, pointed steel trocar past vital structures, including the bladder, bowel, and major blood vessels.

Performed to improve quality of life, the procedure also has the potential for catastrophic outcomes.

The project will use MRI to create a virtual model of a human pelvis of a patient with reproducible stress urinary incontinence. From that, a 3-D model will be printed, assembled and tested for fidelity to human tissue.

A group of five seasoned surgeon who are experts in Midurethral Surgery and five surgeons who are novices in the procedure will perform the surgery on the model. Motion analysis will collect kinematic data of shoulder, elbow, and wrist motions. The information will be combined into a 3-D model to analyze movements that lead to the most common errors: perforation of the bladder or bowel, and injury to the external iliac veins.

Sutkin’s groundbreaking research has the potential to have a major impact on the prevention of surgical errors by minimizing patient distress and health care costs. Once successful, Sutkin said he plans to incorporate the technology into the School of Medicine’s surgical residency program and apply the approach to reducing errors in other surgeries.

Two students selected for Children’s Mercy neurology research award

Shrushti Mehta, Andrew Williams

Shrushti Mehta and Andrew Williams, fourth-year students at the School of Medicine, have been selected to receive an award from the Children’s Mercy Hospital Philanthropy Fund to support research interests in neurology.

Recipients of the Neurology Research and Scholar Award work on research projects with Jennifer Bickel, M.D., and her research team in the Headache Research Group in the Division of Neurology at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. An associate professor of pediatrics, Bickel serves as director of the Comprehensive Headache Clinic at Children’s Mercy.

Students work closely with the research group to design, implement and present research findings in the area of pediatric headache assessment and management. They also attend the American Academy of Neurology annual conference where they can network with other professionals in the field, attend presentations and poster displays and other pertinent educational opportunities.

Research projects focus on headache treatment but also vary based on current studies being conducted at any given time within the group.

The research fellowship award is available to qualified fourth, fifth or sixth-year B.A./M.D. students or second, third or fourth-year M.D. students at the School of Medicine. Students must commit to at least 80 total research hours throughout a 12-month period. A medical school research elective with the Children’s Mercy Hospital Department of Neurology is highly encouraged.

Bao contributes to published articles relating Type 1 diabetes to autoimmune disease

Third-year medical student Yicheng Bao has co-authored two recent journal articles related to research on a link between Type 1 diabetes and autoimmune disease.

He was the first author of an article published in the September issue of Wiley Journal of Diabetes, “High prevalence of comorbid autoimmune diseases in adults with type 1 diabetes from the HealthFacts database.” He also is a co-author of an article published in October on the American Diabetes Association web site, “Diabetes Care, titled, Late-Onset T1DM and Older Age Predict Risk of Additional Autoimmune Disease.”

Bao began his research during a summer medical student research program at Washington University in St. Louis. The program was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Bao continued working on the study when he returned to school at UMKC for the fall semester.

The study showing that adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of developing additional autoimmune conditions has been reported in a number of health care and diabetes-related media outlets.

Pediatrics researcher receives humanitarian award

Richard Schwend, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics, received the Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award from the Scoliosis Research Society.

Richard Schwend, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics, was recently honored with the Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award by the Scoliosis Research Society.

The award recognizes outstanding service to patients with spinal deformities and generosity to the profession of scoliosis research. It was presented during the 53rd annual Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting in Bologna, Italy, in October.

Schwend serves as chief of orthopaedic research at Children’s Mercy Hospital, one of the UMKC School of Medicine’s partner teaching hospitals. He recently completed the Global Clinical Research Training Research Program at Harvard University.

For the past 18 years, Schwend has been active in a humanitarian effort in Ecuador for children with spinal deformities. He also serves as the medical director for Project Perfect World, Ecuador, a program that sponsors the Ecuador Spine Project.

The immediate past president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Schwend received the organization’s Humanitarian Award in 2014 and its Special Effort award in 2013. He also served as chair of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 2010-2014 and created a scholarship program to provide residents with international global experiences.

 

World-class researcher, internal medicine resident, presents on HIV prevention efforts

Thomas Odeny, M.P.H., Ph.D., an internal medicine resident at the UMKC School of Medicine, is also an international researcher focused on innovations to support HIV prevention efforts. He was invited to present his work on designing implementation strategies to prevent lapses in retention of HIV care at a national research symposium on Sept. 28 in San Francisco.

He gave an oral presentation on “Design of Implementation Strategies: Promising Strategies in Diverse Contexts.”

The research conference on “Closing the Gap between Rigor and Relevance: Methodological Opportunities for Implementation Science to Address the HIV Epidemic” took place at the University of California-San Francisco’s Center for AIDS Research.

Odeny has been a research scientist and principal investigator at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. He came to the United States and received his Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Washington and was an international scholar at school’s International AIDS Research and Training Program prior to beginning his medical residency at UMKC.

 

 

 

 

 

Bioinformatics grad wins travel grant to present research at clinical chemistry meeting

Shivani Sivasankar

Shivani Sivasankar has been awarded a travel grant from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. She is a 2018 graduate of the School of Medicine’s master’s program in biomedical and health informatics.

The honor is a competitive award given to students who are the lead authors of research abstracts accepted for presentation at the association’s annual meeting. The association is an organization of more than 10,000 world-wide scientific and medical professionals dedicated to clinical laboratory science and its application to health care.

Sivasankar will present her research at the organization’s 2018 national meeting in Chicago on July 29. She is one of only 15 students selected from an international pool of applicants for the grant.

Her research abstract is titled “Use of National EHR Data Warehouse to Identify Inappropriate HbA1C Orders for Sickle-Cell Patients.” The project used information culled from Health Facts, a database of big data provided by Cerner in collaboration with UMKC and Truman Medical Centers.

Sivasankar plans to continue her research studies at the School of Medicine in the fall when she enters the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program with a primary discipline in bioinformatics.

Sarah Morrison research award recipients announced

Sarah Morrison Student Research Award recipient for Spring 2018: (left to right, first row) Taylor Carter, Keerthi Gondi, Rishabh Gupta, Debolina Kanjilal; (second row) Shrusti Mehta, Nikitha Potturi, Hussain Rao, Alisha Shah; (third row) Garth Sherman, Siddhant Thukral, Jeremy Provance.

The School of Medicine Student Research Program has awarded 11 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards for the Spring 2018 cycle. Recipients included 10 medical students and one graduate student.

Sarah Morrison awards of up to $2,500 are presented each year in April and October. More than 100 students have received an estimated $104,669 in financial support from the program to conduct research projects at the School of Medicine.

The deadlines for students interested in research who wish to be considered for one of the Sarah Morrison awards are March 1 and September. 1 each year. Applicants are reviewed by a committee of faculty judges and processed through the Office of Research Administration.

For complete application information, visit the student research website.

Spring 2018 Sarah Morrison Research Award
(Recipient / Faculty Mentor / Project title)

  • Taylor Carter, MS 5 / Miranda Huffman, M.D., associate professor of community and family medicine / The Need for Diversity: Narrative Review of Learning and Social Environment of Underrepresented Minority Medical Students at an U.S. Medical School
  • Keerthi Gondi, MS 4 / Sean Gratton, M.D., assistant professor of neurology / Prevalence, Treatment, and Outcomes of Asymptomatic Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in a Pediatric Population
  • Rishabh Gupta, MS 3 / Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / Disease-mediated changes in Ca2+ channels during optic neuritis
  • Debolina Kanjilal, MS 3 / Gary Sutkin, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Endowed Chair in Women’s Health / The Pursuit of Error-Free Surgery
  • Shrusti Mehta, MS 3 / Paula Nichols, Ph.D., professor and chair of basic medical science / Molecular and Cellular consequences of Necrotizing Enterocolitis on neurodevelopment
  • Nikitha Potturi, MS 5, David Mundy, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology / Fetal Structural Cardiac Disease: Maternal & Neonatal Outcomes
  • Hussain Rao, MS 3, / Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / Pharmacological control of oxidative stress-mediated effects on endocannabinoid signaling
  • Alisha Shah, MS 3 / Peter Koulen Ph.D., professor of basic medical science, Sabates Endowed Chair in Vision Research / The role of MAPKs in innate immune system signaling in age-related macular degeneration pathogenesis
  • Garth Sherman, MS 5 / Fariha Shafi, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine / The effectiveness of BCG after local radiation therapy for Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
  • Siddhant Thukral, MS 4, Paul Reicherter, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine / Serum Zonulin levels as measured during a Psoriasis Flare
  • Jeremy Provance, I.Ph.D. student / Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical and health informatics / Studying Amputations in the Cerner Health Facts Database: Overlap with Peripheral Artery Disease, Diabetes, and Prognostic Outcomes

SOM researchers recognized for outstanding journal article

Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics, and Daniel Heruth, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, are co-authors of a paper published in Cell and Bioscience that was selected as one the journal’s outstanding papers published in 2017.

The paper, “Epigenetic regulation of Runx2 transcription and osteoblast differentiation by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase,” was published in the May 23, 2017 edition of Cell and Bioscience. It was chosen for the 2017 Ming K Jeang Award for Excellence in Cell & Bioscience.

Ye also serves as the William R. Brown Endowed Chair in Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the School of Medicine.