Leaders from the University of Missouri Health System and MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (iCATS) announced the winners of 15 student research awards and the faculty Dorsett L. Spurgeon, MD, Distinguished Medical Research Award during its annual Health Sciences Research Day held Thursday, Nov. 14, 2014.
“This event allows MU’s best and brightest students an opportunity to showcase the exceptional research that’s happening within our health system,” said Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., executive vice chancellor of health affairs. “We take great pride in our students’ novel studies in health sciences research, which might ultimately develop new treatments and better lives for patients.”
In addition to student research awards, the Spurgeon award is presented annually to an MU School of Medicine researcher for outstanding accomplishments early in his or her career. This year’s award winner, Heather Leidy, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the MU School of Medicine. Leidy’s research examines the mechanisms by which several dietary factors improve weight management. This line of research has led to the development of novel dietary strategies and recommendations for the prevention and treatment of obesity across the lifespan. The winner receives a plaque and $5,000.
“The Spurgeon Award allows the School of Medicine to highlight world-class research from our newest scientists as it follows a pathway from scientific labs to medical treatments for patients,” said Jamal Ibdah, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for research at the School of Medicine and director of the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. “Dr. Leidy’s collective research suggests that the consumption of a higher-protein breakfast might be a potential dietary strategy to improve appetite control, diet quality and weight management in overweight young people. This line of research is important in combating obesity and the associated health complications of obesity.”
Three Dean’s Awards were presented to health sciences students for their research abstracts. The winners receive plaques and $500.
Sara Tepe, a second-year medical student mentored by Aneesh Tosh, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Child Health, won the MU School of Medicine Dean’s Award for Outstanding Student Research for her project, “Adenovirus-36 Antibody Status and BMI Comparison Among Obese and Healthy-Weight Missouri Adolescents.”
Andrew Hathaway, a graduate student in health psychology mentored by Victoria Shaffer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences, won the MU School of Health Professions Dean’s Award for Outstanding Student Research for his project, “Predictors of Accuracy in Choosing a Healthcare Plan.”
Colleen Becker, MSN, RN, CCRN, a nursing Ph.D. student mentored by Deidre Wipke-Tevis, Ph.D., RN, associate professor and director of the nursing school’s PhD program, and Lorraine Phillips, Ph.D., RN, associate professor and John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellow, won the MU Sinclair School of Nursing Dean’s Award for Outstanding Student Research for her project “Meta-Analysis of Risk Factors Contributing to Surgical Patient Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers.”
Awards also were presented to students for basic science and clinical research in two categories, including Category I, for undergraduate students, medical students and summer research fellowship participants; and Category II, for graduate students, resident physicians, medical fellowship physicians and post-doctoral researchers.
Research Day Award Recipients
Category I Clinical
- 1st place – Samiat Agunbiade, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “Outcomes of the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit”
- 2nd place – Jay Patel, first-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “Using Spectral Analysis of Electroencephalogram to Detect Changes in Cortical Activity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea”
- 3rd place – Paige Kuhlmann, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “Short-Term DPP4 Inhibition Improves Glucose Tolerance, Reduces an Inflammatory Marker and Liver Enzymes in HIV+ Adults with Glucose Intolerance”
Category I Basic
- 1st place – Rindi Uhlich, medical student in the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Stephen Barnes, MD, professor of surgery at the medical school, for her research project, “Novel MicroRNA Correlations in the Severely Injured”
- 2nd place – Dominic Zanaboni, medical student in the MU School of Medicine, mentored by John Thyfault, PhD, associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the medical school, for his research project, “Rats Bred for Intrinsically High or Low Aerobic Capacity Display Different Responses to High-Fat Diets”
- 3rd place – Rachel Waller, medical student in the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Rajiv Mohan, PhD, professor of ophthalmology at the medical school, for her research project, “Cellular and Molecular Toxicity of Hybrid Gold Nanoparticles to Human Corneal Fibroblasts”
Category II Clinical
- 1st place – Elizabeth Focella, postdoctoral research fellow at the MU School of Health Professions, for the research project, “Breast Cancer Awareness Advertisements Impact Women’s Self-Objectification and Health Behavior”
- 2nd place – Ashely Bartels, MD, third-year surgery resident at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “Catch Me if you Can: Missing Antiplatelet Agents in Traumatic Brain Injuries with the PFA — What are the Consequences?”
- 3rd place – Jennifer Bickhaus, MD, resident physician at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “The Feasibility of Clean Intermittent Self-Catheterization Teaching in an Outpatient Setting”
Category II Basic
- 1st place – Chady Hakim, postdoctoral research fellow at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “Engineering Micro-Dystrophin AAV Vector for Clinical Translation”
- 2nd place – Ryan Sheldon, graduate student at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “eNos as a Governor of Hepatic Mitochondrial Function in Lean but not Obese Mice”
- 3rd place – Kasun Kodippili, graduate student at the MU School of Medicine, for the research project, “AAV Mediated Overexpression of Skeletal Muscle Serca2a Ameliorates Dystrophic Pathology in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Dogs”