Medical students show off nearly 100 research projects at annual symposium

January 25, 2019

First-year medical student Rafael Ramos won the event’s Dr. Hershel and Lois Sandberg Travel Award.

Details of 97 research projects were displayed in poster form at the annual Medical Student Research Symposium, held Jan. 16 in the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Scott Hall cafeteria.

Poster categories included basic science studies, prospective clinical science studies, clinical retrospective studies, and prospective and retrospective public health studies.

Freshman medical student Rafael Ramos won the event's coveted Dr. Hershel and Lois Sandberg Travel Award, given to the poster with the highest total score from judges, for “Mineral deposition within cell-laden hydrogels influence electrical impedance.” He also won first place in the Basic Science category. (See end of article for all winners).

Ramos is one of six freshman enrolled in the school’s M.D./Ph.D. program, which combines scientific training with clinical medicine to train individuals as physician-scientists. His winning research made up 50 percent of his master’s thesis, which he defended at Syracuse University two weeks before medical school orientation began at WSU last summer.

“My transition to medical school has been interesting. Getting these awards is a confidence booster, and this is hopefully my first step in a research career at Wayne. I will be here a while. This is reassurance that I want to continue along a research track,” he said.

The symposium gives students an opportunity to discuss and deliberate research and accompanying results with fellow students and faculty, and strengthens the message that clinicians can also have fulfilling research careers. All WSU medical students were eligible to submit abstracts on a research project to which they made a significant contribution in their undergraduate or graduate years.

The event is organized by Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences Dennis Goebel, Ph.D.; Professor of Internal Medicine Noreen Rossi, M.D.; and the Office of Medical Student Research and Innovation Assistant Gini Gilchrist. The organizers acknowledged Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D.; Vice Dean of Medical Education Richard Baker, M.D.; Henry Ford Health Systems Director of Research Margot LaPointe, Ph.D.; and Office of Medical Student Research and Innovation Director Joseph Dunbar, Ph.D., and especially the symposium judges, for their support.

Award winners included:

Sandberg Travel Award: Rafael Ramos, for “Mineral deposition within cell-laden hydrogels influence electrical impedance”

Basic Science

First place: Rafael Ramos. Mentor: Pranav Soman, for “Mineral deposition within cell-laden hydrogels influence electrical impedance”
Second place: Daniel Quan. Mentor: Andrew Fribley, for “The role of Long-Term non-coding RNAs in Head and Neck Cancer”
Third place: Jahmal Brooks. Mentor: Daniel Moore, for “Variable Intensity Exercise Increases Protein Requirements in Active Male and Female Adolescents as Determined by the Indicator Amino Acid Oxidation Technique”
Honorable Mentions: Rami Beydoun. Sean Jones and James Matchynski

Prospective Clinical Science

First place: Lakshmi Akhila. Mentor: P. Tyler Roskos, for “Evaluation of olfactory dysfunction in stroke patients compared to controls undergoing inpatient rehabilitation: Implications for dietary care, quality of life and rehabilitation outcomes”
Second place (tie): Harshita Pinnamaneni. Mentor: Jason Meteika, for “Mild intermittent hypoxia increases loop gain and the arousal threshold in participants with obstructive sleep apnea”
Second place (tie): Jaafar Elmenini. Mentor: Mohammed Macki, for “The Effect of Physical Therapy on Time to Discharge After Lumbar Interbody Fusion”
Honorable mentions: Geoffrey Ginter and Sherwin Azad

Clinical Retrospective Studies

First place: Chandler Bronkema. Mentor: Sohrab Arora, for “Feasibility of omitting outer (cortical) renorrhaphy during robotic partial nephrectomy - A multi-institutional analysis”
Second place: Bhavana Tetali. Mentor: Vinay Shah, for “Routine Cancer Screening After Unprovoked DVT”
Honorable mention (tie): Joshua Brady, Samantha Rea and Adam Gorman, and Hassan Mouzaihem
Honorable mention: Jenny Jan

Prospective and Retrospective Public Health Studies

First place: Arif Musa. Mentor: Ramon Ter-Oganesyan, for “Assessment and Management of Pre-procedural Patient Anxiety According to Interventional Radiologists”
Second place: Anjali Sundar. Mentor: April Carcone, for “Enhancing Parental Motivation to Monitor African American Adolescents’ Diabetes Care: Continuation of Beta Test of a Brief Computer-Delivered Intervention”
Honorable mentions: Julie Fynke, Oluseyi Obadeyi, Jody Chou, Emily Yagihashi and Inara Ismailova, and Sharath Kumar Anand