Innovative scientific research was on display at University of Missouri’s 2018 Health Sciences Research Day.
Health Sciences Research Day provides an annual forum for MU undergraduate, medical, nursing and health professions students, as well as pre and postdoctoral trainees, to showcase their research. The public event featured research with a wide range of health topics, including autism, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, ophthalmology and orthopaedics. Students displayed their work in the School of Medicine’s Acuff Gallery and Patient-Centered Care Learning Center at the day-long event.
“Our students are making important research contributions that have the potential to help improve the lives of patients across Missouri and beyond,” said Jerry Parker, PhD, associate dean for research at the MU School of Medicine. “Health Sciences Research Day is an opportunity to recognize the excellent work in research and mentoring that takes place each day at the University of Missouri. The day also serves a vital role in training future scientists to present their research results and also fosters new research collaborations.”
During the event, the Dorsett L. Spurgeon, MD, Distinguished Medical Research Award is presented annually to an MU School of Medicine researcher for outstanding accomplishments early in his or her career. This year’s award recipient was Richard Ma, MD, the Gregory L. and Ann L. Hummel Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the MU School of Medicine. He is a clinician-scientist who specializes in sports medicine injuries, surgical repair and healing, and sports injury prevention. Ma directs an ACL injury research program at the Thompson Center for Regenerative Orthopaedics and also directs a national sports injury research and prevention program in amateur rugby.
Three Dean’s Awards were presented to health sciences students for their research abstracts.
- Sinclair School of Nursing Dean’s Award — Donna Prentice, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, FCCM, won for her study of carbon dioxide levels to determine if a patient has a blocked artery in the lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. Yang Li, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, also received special recognition for her research into how chronic stress may impact health outcomes.
- School of Medicine Dean’s Award — Catharine Bernal, MS, won for her research identifying a gene that plays a role in the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.
- School of Health Professions Dean’s Award — Molly Sifford won for research into early detection of speech declines in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Awards also were presented to students for basic science and clinical research in two categories: Category I for undergraduate students, medical students and summer-research fellowship participants, and Category II for graduate students, resident physicians, medical physician fellows and post-doctoral researchers.
Research Day Award Recipients
Category I Clinical
- First place — Daniel Bristow, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Jussuf Kaifi, MD, assistant professor of surgery, for the research project, “Role of PD-L1 Knockout Studies and Macrophage Polarization Associated with Pancreatic Cancer”
- Second place — Jacob Hartwig, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Todd Vogel, MD, associate professor of vascular and endovascular surgery, for the research project, “Trends in Management and Outcomes of Vascular Emergencies in the United States”
- Third place — Daniel Shyu, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Zezong Gu, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences, for the research project, “Cerebral Spinal Fluid Mmp-9 as a Surrogate for Severity of Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries: Identifying Associations Among Biofluid Test and Clinical Data by Deep Exploratory Data-mining”
Category I Basic
- First place — Taylor Ross, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Ali Ellebedy, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine, for the research project, “Human Antibody Response to H3N2 Influenza Vaccination”
- Second place — Breanna Tuhlei, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Guangfu Li, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and surgery, for the research project, “Development of a Peptide-siRNA Nanoparticle for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy”
- Third place — Christopher Tipton, second-year medical student at the MU School of Medicine, mentored by Mark Daniels, PhD, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and surgery, for the research project, “Novel Inhibition of the POSH Scaffold Complex Demonstrates a Robust Mechanism to Combat Leukemia”
Category II Clinical
- First place — Kelly Bowers, MD, resident physician, mentored by Richard Hammer, MD, associate professor of clinical pathology, for the research project, “Geospatial Analysis of Risk Factors in Myeloid Leukemias with Monocytic Differentiation”
- Second place — Lila Wahidi Nolan, MD, resident physician, mentored by Bindu Sathi, MD, assistant professor of clinical child health, for the research project, “Hemolytic, Vaso-occlusive and Renal Complications of SCD: Report from the Central Missouri Cohort”
- Third place — Elizabeth Ott, graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, mentored by Jacqueline Limberg, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology, for the research project, “Effect of Voluntary End-expiratory Apnea During Varying Chemoreflex Stress on Sympathetic Neural Recruitment Strategies”
Category II Basic
- First place — David Porciani, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, mentored by Donald Burke, PhD, professor of biochemistry and interim chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, for the research project, “Modular Cell-internalizing Aptamer Nanostructure Enables Targeted Delivery of Large Functional RNAs in Cancer Cell Lines”
- Second place — Christy Waranch, MD, resident physician, mentored by Ayman Gaballah, MD, assistant professor of clinical radiology, for the research project, “IGG4-related Disease in the Abdomen and Pelvis: Atypical Findings, Pitfalls and Mimics”
- Third place — Ryan Knigge, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, mentored by Emily Leary, PhD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, for the research project, “Identifying Predictors of Adult Facial Type”
Health Sciences Research Day is sponsored by the MU School of Medicine, MU Sinclair School of Nursing, MU School of Health Professions, MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital.