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

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Judith Tintinalli, M.D. M.S. Guest of Honor at Resident Research Day

The Class of 2018 and Dr. Tintinalli
The Class of 2018 and Dr. Tintinalli

On April 5th our senior residents all presented their research projects.  Dr Tintinalli was guest of honor and speaker as well as one of the judges of the event.

Dr. Tintinalli is a professor and founding chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health, and in Medical Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina. She received her medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed residency training and received her Master’s in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Tintinalli was president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (1989-1990), was the founding president of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors and was chair of the Liaison Residency Committee (forerunner of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-sponsored Residency Review Committee). She is editor in chief of the world’s largest selling emergency medicine textbook, “Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine,” now developing the ninth McGraw Hill edition. The seventh edition received the Best Surgical Book of 2011 title from the British Medical Association.

The residents had excellent presentations and 5 had abstracts accepted to the UMKC annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day.  Tony Toigo, D.O. won the Elenbaas Award for best project.  Dr Tintinalli generously signed and “personalized” a copy of Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine for each resident and presented them at a dinner after the presentations.

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.

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 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.