Nobel laureate Goldstein imparts lessons to participants in 50th Medical Student Research Forum

Participants in the 50th Annual Medical Student Research Forum included (front row, from left) Dr. Michael McPhaul, Associate Dean for Medical Student Research, Sagar Patel, Karla Miranda, Kimberly Nkemakolam, Megan Gilbert, Kathryn Bowman and Dr. Joseph Goldstein. On the back row are Salman Hirani, Tom Ju, Daniel Rigdon, Visante Avatu and Lauren Baker.

Seventeen UT Southwestern students were recognized for their work at the 50th Annual Medical Student Research Forum held recently.

Nobel laureate Dr. Joseph Goldstein, Chairman of Molecular Genetics, addressed the participants.

Dr. Goldstein, an alumnus of the medical school and a past oral presentation winner of the MSRF, imparted lessons that he has gleaned from his career in science, particularly his views on the importance of choosing important scientific problems to explore and selecting outstanding mentors and collaborators. He shared the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his colleague, Dr. Michael Brown, for the discovery of the basic mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism.

As they have for 50 years, medical students submit abstracts of their research for review. This year, eight students were selected to make oral presentations from among the 933 submitted abstracts. In addition to the oral presenters, 68 students presented posters at the poster session and reception held at the A.W. Harris Faculty and Alumni Center. 

An expert panel of judges selected the best oral presentation, and the eight most outstanding posters. The top presenters were recognized with  certificates and cash awards. In addition, this year an award went to the best poster in the area of global health. 

Lauren Baker, a second-year medical student, was named Best Oral Presenter for her discussion on “Diabetic Cardiomyopathy: Role of Metabolic Stress-Induced FoxO1 Activation.” Ms. Baker’s mentors were Dr. Pavan Battiprolu, postdoctoral researcher in internal medicine, and Dr. Joseph Hill, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology.

Helena Wojciechowski, MS2, won the first Global Health Award presented by the MSRF. Ms. Wojciechowski was recognized for “Community Outreach and Education Programs Are Effective at Improving Hepatitis B Knowledge Among Asian/Pacific Islander Adults.” Her mentor was Dr. Amit Singal, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine.

The other oral presenters, their medical school years, topics and mentors were:

Megan Gilbert, MS2, “Prophylactic Penicillin for Children Over 5 Years with Sickle Cell Disease:  A National Survey.” Mentors: Dr. Timothy McCavit, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. George Buchanan, Professor of Pediatrics.

Salman Hirani, MS2, “Fighting the Weekend Trend: Increased Mortality in Older Adult TBI Patients Admitted on Weekends.” Mentors: Drs. Eric Schneider and Adil Haider, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

 Tom Ju, HHMI Research Fellow, “Molecular Determinants of the Symbiont-to-Pathogen Transition.” Mentor: Dr. Lora Hooper, Associate Professor of Immunology in the Cancer Immunobiology Center.

Karla Miranda, MS2, “STIM1 Governs L-Type Calcium Influx In Cardiac Myocytes.” Mentors: Dr. Xiang Luo, Instructor in Internal Medicine; and Dr. Joseph Hill, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology.

Kimberly Nkemakolam, MS2, “Appendicitis: Is CT Imaging Essential for Diagnosis?” Mentor: Dr. A.C. Fischer, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Cancer Immunobiology Center.

Sagar Patel, MS2, “Acceleration of Fracture Healing in Mouse with Deficiency of G-Protein Coupled Estrogen Receptor 1.” Mentor: Dr. Chris Chen, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Daniel Rigdon, MS2, “Clinical and Immunological Response to Pneumococcal Vaccination in Pediatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.” Mentor: Dr. Tracey Wright, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

Poster session awards went to:

Kamran Ahmed, MS2, “Structural and Functional Studies of Novel Small-Molecule Inhibitors to Mitochondrial Branched-Chain α–Ketoacid Dehydrogenase Kinase,” Mentors: Dr. Richard M. Wynn, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry; and Dr. David T. Chuang, Professor of Biochemistry.

Ben Elsbernd, MS2, “Hypoglycemia in Calorie-Restricted Ghrelin-Deficient Mice Results from Shortage of Gluconeogenic Precursors.” Mentor: Dr. Joseph Goldstein, Chairman of Molecular Genetics.

Nicolle Fernandez, MS1, “The Association of Epicardial Adipose Tissue with Cardiovascular Performance During Exercise in Women with the Metabolic Syndrome.” Mentors: Dr. Susan Lakoski, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Samantha Thompson, research study coordinator in internal medicine; Dr. Susan Matulevicius, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Alice Y. Chang, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine.

Adolfo Flores, Doris Duke Fellow, “Assessment of Bleeding Severity in Children with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP),” Mentor: Dr. George Buchanan, Professor of Pediatrics.

Bryce Hoffman, MS2, “Targeting the DC-HIL Receptor on Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells for Increasing Efficacy of Anti-Melanoma Immunotherapy.” Mentor: Kiyoshi Ariizumi, Associate Professor of Dermatology.

Tom Ju, HHMI Research Fellow, “Molecular Determinants of the Symbiont-to-Pathogen Transition.” Mentor: Dr. Lora Hooper, Associate Professor of Immunology in the Cancer Immunobiology Center.

Karla Miranda, MS2, “STIM1 Governs L-Type Calcium Influx in Cardiac Myocytes.” Mentors: Dr. Xiang Luo, Instructor in Internal Medicine, and Dr. Joseph Hill, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology.

Keerthan Somanath, MS2, “Using the Derivative of Electroglottographic Signals to Distinguish Between Normal and Abnormal Phonation in Continuous Speech.” Mentor: Dr. Ted Mau, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

Jeffrey Sorelle, MS1, “Quantitative Comparison of Surface Modification Chemistries in Mouse and Human Islets.” Mentor: Bashoo Naziruddin, Baylor Medical Center.

Jessie Zhou, MS2, “Communication Between Asian-American Adolescents and Healthcare Providers about Sexual Activity, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Pregnancy Prevention: A Qualitative Study.” Mentors: Dr. Glenn Flores, Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. May Lau, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

 

Dr. Buchanan holds the Children's Cancer Fund Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology.

Dr. Flores holds the Judith and Charles Ginsburg Chair in Pediatrics.

Dr. Goldstein holds the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Hill holds the James T. Willerson, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases and the Frank M. Ryburn Jr. Chair in Heart Research.

Dr. Hooper holds the Wayne Streilein, M.D., Professorship in Immunology and is Nancy Cain and Jeffrey A. Marcus Scholar in Medical Research, in Honor of Dr. Bill S. Vowell.

Dr. Singal is Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. 

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