Comron Hassanzadeh plans to pursue a career in radiation oncology. Next fall, he’ll start applying for a residency position that will propel him in that direction.
In the meantime, the fifth-year student is taking time away his UMKC classes to collaborate on a research study. Hassanzadeh is working full-time for five months on a project with two leading radiology researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
With Perry Grigsby, M.D., an accomplished radiation oncologist, and Farrokh Dehdashti, M.D., a nationally renowned leader in nuclear medicine imaging, Hassanzadeh is exploring the use of pre-treatment PET/CT scans to predict clinical outcomes for cervical cancer patients. He recently received the 2016 Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship, a $5,000 award to help with his research effort. John Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine, assistant dean for faculty development, and a mentor for student and resident research, assisted Hassanzadeh in receiving the award.
“I am currently conducting several studies, however, the PET/CT study was my first project and I was grateful to have received the award to support my research,” he said.
If the researchers can adequately demonstrate the PET/CT scans’ ability to measure cervical tumor heterogeneity, Hassanzadeh said it could provide physicians a new tool to guide future cervical cancer management and treatment.
“Upon completion of the study, I hope to submit the final results to a scientific journal for publication,” Hassanzadeh said. “All in all, I hope to use this experience as a stepping stone to a future in academic medicine.”