2017 College of Medicine Research Forum

Winners and Honorable Mentions


Medical Student Competition

Gold Prize Winner:  Dmitriy Peresada (Orthopaedics)

Title: The importance of patellar button positioning in total knee arthroplasty

Co-Authors: Farid Amirouche, Giovanni Francesco Solitro, Mark Gonzalez


Silver Medal honors: Kimberly Hu (Neurosurgery)

Title: Classification of Thalamic Hemorrhages using a Six-Category Zoning Scheme

Co-Authors: Brandon Neisewander, Zachary Tan, Jack ZakrzewskI, Ankit Mehta


Honorable Mentions: 

Jonathan Lee (Medicine)

Title:  Combined Immune Score of Lymphocyte to Monocyte Ratio and Immunoglobulin Levels Predicts Progression-Free Survival of Myeloma Patients after Autologous Transplant

Co-Authors: Karen Sweiss, Annie L. Oh, Gregory Sampang Calip, Nadim Mahmud


Abhiraj Bhimani (Neurosurgery)

Title:  Magnetic Drug Targeting: A Novel Treatment for High-grade Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumors

Co-Authors: Pouyan Kheirkhah, Steven Denyer, Darian Esfahani, Ankit Mehta


Manual Fernandez (College of Medicine) 

Title: High cytotoxic lymphocyte to tumor-associated macrophage ratio is associated with decreased recurrence of colorectal cancer

Co-Authors: David Rosenberg, Ajay Maker


Felicia Sun (Neurosurgery)

Title: Gender Differences in Traumatic Brain Injury: Gendered Atrophy Implicated In Chronic Symptomology

Co-Authors: Maheen Adamson


Jack Zakrzewski (Neurosurgery):

Title:Novel Use of Targeted Magnetic Nanoparticles as Potential Treatment of Prostate Cancer Metastasis to the Vertebral Spinal Column

Co- Authors: Steven Papastefan, Steven Denyer, Abhiraj Bhimani, Ankit Mehta


Alex Park (Medicine)

 Title: Concomitant TGFBR1 and PD-1 Inhibition Enhances Anti-Tumor Cytotoxicity in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer”

Co- Authors: Daniel Principe, Carolina Torres, Matthew Dorman, Ronald McKinney, Ajay Rana, Paul Grippo Jung


Luke Zabawa (Orthopaedic Surgery) 

Title:  “Patient Dissatisfaction Following Total Knee Arthroplasty: External Validation of a New Prediction Model

Co- Authors: Keren Li, Samuel Chmell


Ravand Samaeekia (Medicine) 

Title:  “The Effect of Human Corneal-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Secretome on Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing

Co- Authors: Medi Eslani, Ilham Putra, Behnam Rabiee,      Ali Djalilian


Flavius Beca  (College of Medicine) 

Title:  “An in vitro Study into Pathogenic Insulin Gene Mutations Which Disrupt the B20/A19 Disulfide Bond”

Co- Authors: Graeme Bell, Soo-Young Park


Graduate Student and MD-PhD Student Competition

Gold Medal honors:  Jugajyoti Baruah (Pharmacology)

Title: Small Molecule, NP12, mitigates Myocardial Fibrosis and Restore Coronary Blood Supply

Co-Authors: Ryan Hitzman, Suhnrita Chaudhuri, Victoria Mastej, Kishore Wary


Silver Medal honors: Ryan Clarke (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics)

Title: Enhanced bacterial immunity and mammalian genome editing via RNA polymerase-mediated dislodging of Cas9 from double strand DNA breaks

Co-Authors: Robert Heler, Matthew S. MacDougall, Nan Cher Yeo, Alejandro Chavez, Maureen Regan, Leslyn Hanakahi, George M. Church, Luciano A. Marraffini, Bradley J. Merrill


Honorable Mentions:

Kilian Sottoriva (Pharmacology)

Title: Targeting the Notch1 Transcriptional Activation Domain in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Co-Authors: Lijian Shao, Kostandin Pajcini


Daniel Principe (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics)

Title:  Galunisertib Augments Immune Checkpoint Inhibition to Promote T Cell Clearance of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Co-Author: Alex Park, Carolina Torres, Matthew Dorman, Paul Grippo


Rachael Smith (Anatomy & Cell Biology)

Title: Role of Lysosomal Autophagy in the Regional Deposition of Amyloid in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Co-Author: Michael Marshall, Yazan Issa, Duc Nguyen, Ernesto Bongarzone


Tara McCray (Pathology)

Title: Vitamin D Promotes Differentiation of Human Prostate Organoids in a microRNA-Dependent Manner”

Co-Authors: Giovanni Lugli, Larisa Nonn


Allison Kirchner (Neurology & Rehabilitation)

Title: DUSP4 forms an endogenous, activity-dependent feedback loop in human epileptic brain

Co-Authors: Shruti Bagla, Fabien Dachet, Jeffrey Loeb


Ryan Patwell – (Psychiatry)

Title: A Novel Role for FGF21 Signaling in Alcohol Use Disorder

Co-Authors:  Huaibo Zhang, Subhash C.Pandey


Tiffani Berkel – (Psychiatry)

Title: Histone Methyltransferase, G9a, and its Epigenetic Manipulation of Rapid Ethanol Tolerance

Co-Authors:  Huaibo Zhang, Tara Teppen, Subhash Pandey


Mark Shaaya –   (Pharmacology)

Title: Engineered Allosteric Regulation of Protein Kinases by Light

Co-Authors:  Vincent Huyot, Viswanathan Natarajan


Ahmed Metwally – (Bionengineering)

Title: Pediatric Lung Transplant: Analysis of Lower Airway Virome

Co-Authors:  Thomas Ferkol, Patricia Finn, David Perkins


Postdoctoral fellows and residents Competition

Gold Medal honors:  Deebika Balu (Anatomy & Cell Biology)

Title: Toll-like receptor-4 antagonism as a therapeutic for AD-associated neuroinflammation

Co-Authors: Jason York        , Jazmin Diaz, Nur Allababidi, Mary Jo LaDu


Silver Medal honors: Danika Bakke (Gastroeneterology and Hepatology)

Title: Myeloid vitamin D receptor signaling regulates Paneth cell function and intestinal homeostasis

Co-Authors: Rong Lu, Yongguo Zhang, Jun Sun


Honorable Mentions: 

Dheeraj Soni (Pharmacology)

Title: DUB activity of Endothelial A20 is essential for stabilizing VE-cadherin junctions after inflammatory lung injury

Co-Authors: DongMei Wang, Sushil Regmi, Chhinaswamy Tiruppathi


Hao-Liang Xu (Pathology)

Title: Correlation of stromal reactivity and heparanase expression in prostate adenocarcinoma

Co-Authors: Osama Elfituri, Rami Hayajneh, Vicky Macias, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla


John Bohnsack (Psychiatry)

Title: Novel role of the human long non-coding RNA BDNF-Antisense in early onset of alcohol use disorders

Co-Authors: Svetlana Diztoyeva, Subhash Pandey


Natania Crane (Psychiatry)

Title: Neural Response to Errors is Associated with Problematic Alcohol Use Over Time in Combat-Exposed Returning Veterans: An Event-Related Potential Study

Co-Authors: Stephanie Gorka, Katie Burkhouse, Kaveh Afshar, K. Luan Phan


Anoop Kumar (Medicine)

Title: Cryptosporidium parvum infection disrupts intestinal epithelial barrier function via decreasing expression of specific tight junction and adherens junction proteins”

Co-Authors:  Ishita Chatterjee, Arivarasu Natarajan, Pradeep Dudeja, Alip Borthakur


Harriet Gaskell – (Pathology)

Title: The role of gut derived HMGB1 in the pathogenesis of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Co-Authors:  Xiaodong Ge, Daniel Lantvit, Daniel Antoine, Natalia Nieto


Research Assistant Professors and Scientific Staff Competition

Gold Prize Winner:  Michelle Van Scoyk (Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy)

Title: Ras-like Estrogen-Regulated Growth-Inhibitory Gene (RERG): A Novel Biomarker and Potential Therapeutic Target for Women with Lung Cancer

Co-Authors: Sreedevi Avasarala, Yanlin Su, Kamesh Bikkavilli, Robert Winn


Honorable Mentions:  

Tyler Rivera (Emergency Medicine)

Title: Hypertension Knowledge and Patient Engagement in a Hypertensive Minority Population Screened in Community Churches.”

Co-Authors: Sandra Escobar-Schulz, Maya Jackson, Marina Del Rios, Heather Prendergast


Apoorva Tummala (Medicine)

Title: Impact of Dietary trans10 cis12 Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Hepatic Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Adult Male Mice

Co-Authors: Zachary White, Poorna Chandra Rao Yalagala, Sugasini Dhavamani, Jose Cordoba-Chacon, Toshiro Nagao, Rhonda D. Kineman, Papasani V. Subbaiah


Mohansrinivas Chennakesavalu (Anesthesiology)

Title:Mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles in retinal ischemia

Co-Authors Sriram Ravindran,        Jasmine Lopez, Leianne Torres, Steven Roth