Student Research and Innovation Inspires on Medical Student Research Day   

Student Research and Innovation Inspires on Medical Student Research Day

Med Student Research Day

Students from across the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine (HMSOM) showed off their new ideas and long hours of inquiry during the school’s third annual Medical Student Research Day.

The some 130 abstracts spanned a wide gamut of health related topics, from how certain diseases affect groups across America differently due to the social determinants of health, down to the level of single molecules in other pathologies.

Welcome and introductions were made by Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., president and dean of HMSOM; and also Vice Dean Stanley R. Terlecky, Ph.D. and Assistant Dean Zhiyong Han, Ph.D.

The keynote speaker was Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School and longtime biotech researcher. His talk “Developing an Atlas of the Substrate Specificity of All; Human Protein-Tyrosine Kinases” introduced a new technology which allowed clinicians to determine key proteins in tumor biopsies, allowing better targeting of key drugs.

Two featured student presentations were offered by second-year students. Shady Barsoom described the “Demographic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Acute Pancreatitis Stratified by Etiology” - a project showing how different racial and socioeconomic factors among groups manifested differently in the condition. Mai Hatazakis presented work showing that retinoic acid may be an important new treatment option for tracheal stenosis, a pathological accumulation of granulation tissue in the airway. Both students worked extensively with clinical mentors from within the Hackensack Meridian Health network.

The poster session took place in five separate sessions spanning the afternoon. Among the highlights of the 130-plus research posters:

-“A Case of Transient Brain Death” by student Liem Pham working with mentor Haralabos Zacharatos, D.O., explored a case history of a patient who appeared to have lost all brainstem reflexes - but then spontaneously regained a cough and gag reflex later that same day.

-“A Novel Technique for Transabdominal Cerclage with an Endoscopic Suturing Device” was produced by student Kiana Cruz working with mentor Antonia Oladipo, M.D., MSCI. Together they determined that cervical cerclage, a surgery to prevent mid-trimester pregnancy loss, could better be supplemented by using an endoscopic suturing device.

-Multiple projects focused on injury reports from the National Football League, including: video analysis of reported concussions; the impact of spinal surgery on NFL player career length and performance; assessing the impact of concussions on offensive performance using fantasy football point; and other questions.

-“Does AI Have Utility in Surgical Medical Education? A Comparative Analysis of Chatbots in Answering Standardized Surgical Multiple Choice Questions” assessed whether ChatGPT can assist medical education. It was a collaboration between student Natalia DaFonte working with mentor Burton Surick, M.D., and multiple other colleagues from HMH.

-“Effectiveness of Calcium Channel Blockers in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury Requiring Operative Intervention” calls for a reevaluation of calcium channel blockers preoperatively for traumatic brain injury treatment, based on data showing poorer outcomes. The project brought together student Tianrun Pan with mentor Stephanie Bonne, M.D., and colleagues.

-“Quick Service Restaurant Prevalence and its Relation to Obesity and Chronic Comorbidity Rate” drew connections between the availability of fast food and other potentially-unhealthy restaurant choices, and the rates of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in certain areas. The student researcher was Patrick Adly-Gendi, and the clinical mentor was Aziz Merchant, M.D., FACS.

-“The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Emergency General Surgery Outcomes: A Retrospective Analysis of Seven Procedures” found a rise in complications for emergency general surgery coinciding with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results were based on data from the American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program, spanning from 2018 to 2021. The student researcher was Nihal Sriramaneni, in collaboration with mentor Aziz Merchant, M.D., FACS.

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