Residents jump into Shark Tank for research funding

In June of 2017, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation held its second annual Shark Tank competition for residents interested in research. Seven proposals were presented to judges Una Makris, M.D., Greg Fitz, M.D., and Christopher Madden, M.D., and five were awarded funding.

residency research contest participants
2017 Shark Tank Winners (l-r) Drs. Jason Hunt, Joseph Ostler, Alexa Royston, Donald Kasitinon, Charles Taylor, Brian Kelly, Ugo Bitussi

The goal of this program is to encourage residents to develop their ideas into achievable research protocols. With help from their mentors, residents prepare presentations and compete for a portion of $5,000 in total funding.

Winning Projects

  • Charles Taylor II, M.D., PGY-2: “Biomarkers in lumbar spinal stenosis: finding the ‘right’ patient” – awarded $2,500
  • Jason Hunt, M.D., PGY-3: “A quality improvement project to assess if it would be cost effective for Parkland to give below knee amputation (BKA) prostheses to uninsured or undocumented Dallas county residents" – awarded $200
  • Joseph Ostler, M.D., Ph.D., PGY-2, and Alexa Royston, D.O., PGY-1: “Maternity leave for female physicians” – awarded $1,000
  • Donald Kasitinon, M.D., PGY-1: “PM&R residency program directors’ perceptions and practices towards social media” – awarded $800
  • Ugo Bitussi, D.O., PGY-3: “Protocol for opioid weaning: can effective opioid weaning be achieved with an algorithmic protocol?” – awarded $500