Students Take the Floor with Summer Research

From cadavers and computers to improving adherence for colorectal cancer screenings, nearly 90 NEOMED students from the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Graduate Studies presented their projects at the annual Summer Research Fellowship Program Poster Day, Friday, Aug. 24.

Students with posters filled the NEW Center Ballroom, sharing their summer’s work with peers, faculty and staff. Paul DiCorleto, Ph.D., vice president for research and sponsored programs at Kent State University, joined the students to learn more about their projects before delivering the keynote address, “How Heart Disease Develops.”

Easing Students into Anatomy

“I wanted to develop electronic resources for students to use during their first-year Human Development and Structure (HDS) course, to make the transition from undergrad to medical school easier. These resources help alleviate the stress and also help solidify students’ interest in anatomy,” said second-year College of Medicine student Pranav Bollavaram (shown at left in photo above).

“The TV screens were actually there last semester when I was an M1, but they weren’t fully utilized. We wanted to develop resources that were specifically in tune with the HDS lab.

“This year, the dissector was rebuilt to include links to resources that can be viewed in or outside of the anatomy lab. The links include pre-made, third-party dissection videos that will give students a rough idea of what they should be doing. They include fully colored and selectively labelled images, clinical correlates, and some video tutorials of hard dissections created by Catherine Mattinson, Ph.D. (an assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology) and me. Students will also have access to interactive quizzes that they can use to quiz each other in the lab, or to study on their own time,” Bollavaram explained.

“The new dissector will be more interactive and engaging for students. It will give them options to find more relevant and useful resources without sifting around Google and wasting valuable lab time,” the second-year College of Medicine student noted.  

He added, “One of our major goals was to make students less dependent on lab TAs and faculty for the procedures, because although the staff down in the lab are immensely helpful and more than willing to assist, waiting for them to be free to come over and help takes a lot of time. We hoped to streamline students’ lab experience so they can spend more time working through the lab procedures and less time trying to figure out what to do.”

Comparing Characteristics of Diabetes Patients

“I had the opportunity to look at the characteristics of diabetes patients at the Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Boardman Primary Care Clinic, compared with characteristics of other diabetes patients in the United States. It was cool because Mercy Health Boardman also has a new residency program and will graduate its first class in 2019.  My favorite part was just working with the people there,” said second-year College of Medicine student Kathryn Borthwick.

Achievements recognized

Every year, the College of Medicine recognizes three students for outstanding presentations. The Colleges of Pharmacy and Graduate Studies each recognize one student.

Congratulations to the following students, who were honored for outstanding presentations in 2018:

  • Austin Hilt, College of Medicine Class of 2020
  • Ryan Edelbrock, College of Medicine Class of 2021
  • Emily Sullivan, College of Medicine Class of 2021
  • Peter Palmer, College of Medicine Class of 2022
  • Nazar Hussein, College of Graduate Studies Ph.D candidate

Fun fact: Students from all three colleges are eligible for the College of Pharmacy award, as long as they conduct their research under the auspices of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This year’s College of Pharmacy award recipient was Peter Palmer, a first-year College of Medicine student. 


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