Student research announces Sarah Morrison award winners

Sara Morrison Awards_April2016
Recipients of the April 2016 Sarah Morrison student research awards are (left to right) Kayla Briggs, Gustavo Vilchez Lagos, Ahsan Hussain, and Hima Veeramacheneni.

Four students have been selected by the Office of Student Research to receive the April 2016 Sarah Morrison Student Research Award. They are medical students Kayla Briggs, Ahsan Hussain, Hima Veeramacheneni, and bioinformatics student Gustavo Vilchez Lagos.

Awards of up to $1,500 each are presented twice a year at the School of Medicine to provide financial support for student research efforts. The prize helps recipients learn the value and application of research in the study of medicine.

“We are pleased to see that these awards were given in a number of very different  research areas,” said Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D., director of student research and professor of pathology.

Students receiving the award are expected to present the results of their research study at the annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit in April. Many are invited to present at other state and national meetings, as well.

Each winner of the medical school section of this year’s research summit was a previous recipient of the Sarah Morrison award.

Those students interested in the Sarah Morrison Research awards are encouraged to apply prior to the April 1 and Oct. 1 deadlines each year. For complete application information, visit the Office of Research Administration’s student research website at

Award winners, abstract titles and faculty mentors

  • Kayla Briggs, “The Impact of the Formation of a Hepatopancreatobiliary Cancer Treatment Center of Excellence at a VA Medical Center,” Farzad Alemi, M.D., assistant professor of Surgery
  • Ahsan Hussain, “Medicinal chemistry approaches to achieving pharmacological control of endocannabinoid signaling pathways for therapy development in glaucoma,” Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of Basic Medical Science and Felix and Carman Sabates/Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research
  • Hima Veeramacheneni, “Evaluating Medical Student Pre-Diabetes Knowledge Before and After Implementation of Educational Intervention in the Ambulatory Care Setting,” Betty Drees, M.D., dean emerita and professor of Internal Medicine
  • Gustavo Vilchez Lagos, “Psychosocial Markers of Mental Health Disorders and Adverse Outcomes in Pregnant Women,” David Mundy, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology