2021 Research Symposium Awards & Highlights

Catherine Bennett
April 30, 2021
Research Day graphic

 

On Friday, April 30, we held our 14th Annual Department of Medicine Virtual Research Symposium. The annual Research Symposium uses oral and poster presentations to showcase current research by the Department of Medicine’s junior faculty, fellows, residents, graduate, and medical students. A total of 52 abstracts were presented at this year’s virtual program, including 4 from junior faculty, 4 from postdoctoral fellows, 24 from residents/fellows, 8 from graduate students, and 17 from medical students. Of those abstracts, five were selected for oral presentation awards (highlighted below).

Additionally, our keynote speaker, Jeremy Reiter, M.D., Ph.D., gave a wonderful presentation on his research on “How Cilia Signal, and How I Got so Fascinated by this Organelle.” He is the chair of the Department of Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.

I would like to thank all of the participants for sharing their innovative research as well as those who attended this year’s event and gave constructive feedback. I want to give special thanks to Catherine Bennett, MHA, Natalie Wilson, and Phallan Robbins, MHA, for their tireless efforts toward making this symposium a success despite difficult circumstances.

In addition, I would like to especially thank and recognize this year’s judges (listed below) who contributed their time and effort to make the 14th Annual Department of Medicine Research Symposium a successful event. They include the following:

Ruth Adekunle, M.D.
Emily Brennan, MLIS
Thomas Di Salvo, M.D., MBA
Gary Gilkeson, M.D.
Hamza Hashmi, M.D.
Joshua Lipschutz, M.D..
Diane Kamen, M.D., MSCR
Margaret Markiewicz, M.D.
Paul McDermott, Ph.D.
William Moran, M.D., MS
Zengdun Shi, M.D.
Charlie Strange, M.D.

Oral Abstract Presenters

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli

Krutika Kuppalli, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases

Category: Junior Faculty
Mentor:
Cassandra Salgado, M.D., MS
Title:
Epidemiology of COVID-19 Illness among Employees, Trainees, and Faculty (ETF) of an Academic Health System (AHS)


Denisha Spires

Denisha Spires, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Division of Nephrology

Category: Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor:
Daria Ilatovskaya, Ph.D.
Title:
The Role of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide in Glomerular Damage in Salt- Sensitive Hypertension

"My research focused on determining the contribution of mitochondrial calcium to podocyte injury in the absence of the atrial natriuretic peptide during salt-sensitive hypertension."- Dr. Spires

Christina Mingora, M.D.

Christina Mingora, M.D.
Fellow, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy & Sleep Medicine

Category: Resident/Fellow
Mentors:
Patrick Flume, M.D., and Susan Dorman, M.D.
Title:
Time-to-detection as a pre-treatment predictor for culture conversion in patients with non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease

Nour Hijazi
M.D./ Ph.D. Candidate, MUSC

Category: Graduate Student
Mentor: Don Rockey, M.D.
Title: The role of paxillin in hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrogenesis

"My research focuses on the role of paxillin (a focal adhesion protein) in the regulation of hepatic stellate cells and the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. It was a great honor to share my research with over 60 attendees (my biggest talk yet!). I was also happy to see all the exciting research happening at MUSC."- Nour Hijazi

Sarah Smith
4th Year Medical Student

Category: Medical Student
Mentor:
Paula Ramos, Ph.D.
Title:
Genome-wide DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Signatures in Classical Monocytes from African Ancestry Patients with Systemic Sclerosis

"My research aimed to further assess pathogenesis of scleroderma in patients of African ancestry by evaluating DNA methylation profiles and gene expression signatures in classical monocytes from scleroderma patients and controls. This study, to our knowledge, is the first of its kind to assess differential methylation and gene expression patterns in circulating classical monocytes from African ancestry patients with scleroderma."- Sarah Smith

Poster Awards

Dr. Meghan Thomas

Meghan Thomas, M.D., MS
Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine

Category: Junior Faculty
Mentors:
William Moran, M.D., MS, Marc Heincelman, M.D., Ben Kalivas, M.D., Patrick Mauldin, Ph.D., and Jingwen Zhang, MS
Title:
Understanding the Association between Admission Source and In-Hospital Delirium: A Retrospective Cohort Study

"I was extremely humbled by some of the medical student and resident research that is going on in the department. They are outstanding! My research focused on the risk of delirium based on admission source. Specifically we focused on the association of interhospital transfer and the risk for delirium when compared to admission from the emergency department."- Dr. Thomas


Halim Bou Daher, M.D.
Postdoctoral Fellows, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Category: Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor:
Don Rockey, M.D.
Title:
Development of a risk scoring system to predict in-hospital mortality in patients with cirrhosis admitted with upper gastrointestinal bleeding

"I have been involved in gastroenterology and Hepatology research for several years with special interest in clinical practices focused on improving patient outcomes and healthcare utilization. This project sheds light on cirrhotic patients and the special considerations they deserve when being treated in emergency situations. Upper Gastrointestinal hemorrhage is a particular concern in cirrhotic patients, and we wanted to provide everyday clinicians with the tools necessary to know what to expect when dealing with this particularly at risk population. By comparing all known parameters and testing their validity in this subgroup of patients, we showed that not all scores are created equal!"- Dr. Bou Daher

Michelle Spiegel, M.D.

Michelle Spiegel, M.D.
Third Year Fellow, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy & Sleep Medicine

Category: Resident/Fellow
Mentor:
Andrew Goodwin, M.D.
Title:
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Innovative Re-Design of Computerized Provider Order Entry to Drive Evidence-Based Fluid Prescribing

"My multi-disciplinary team used implementation science and quality improvement principles to improve evidence-based fluid prescribing at our institution. In the past two decades, there has been a growing appreciation for the need to focus on patient safety and quality improvement. Translating evidence-based best practices derived from clinical trial data into actual clinical practice often takes many years, potentially to the detriment of our patients. Research has consistently found providing clinician education to be insufficient to bridge this gap, and has inspired more innovative approaches such as use of clinical decision support systems. We re-designed the fluid ordering panel within Epic's computerized provider order entry system to include clinical decision support and were able to successfully standardize and improve evidence-based prescribing. Though this type of research is, perhaps, less conventional, we have proven that it serves an incredibly important role in bridging the research-to-practice gap."- Dr. Spiegel

Shaurya Prakash

Shaurya Prakash, M.D.
PGY-3, Internal Medicine

Category: Resident/ Fellow
Mentor:
Don Rockey, M.D.
Title:
Fibrosis Regression after Direct Acting Antiviral Therapy in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Cirrhosis

 

Prarthana Jain

Prarthana Jain, D.O.
PGY-2, Internal Medicine

Category: Resident/ Fellow
Mentor:
Diane Kamen, M.D., MSCR
Title:
Factors that Impact Medication Adherence in Hospitalized Patients with Lupus

"It was wonderful to be able to present our research projects and hear about everyone else's work. My favorite part of research day was getting to interact with the faculty and colleagues from various subspecialties."- Dr. Jain

Ryan Schibalaski

Ryan Schibalski, BSc
Research Specialist , Division of Nephrology

Category: Graduate Student, 1st Place
Mentor:
Daria Ilatovskaya, Ph.D.
Title:
Sex differences in renal mitochondrial function of young healthy rats

"Our research focused on sex differences in renal mitochondrial function, the goal was to have a baseline experiment comparing differences in healthy animals. From here, we can track changes in mitochondrial performance from a healthy mitochondria to a diseased mitochondria. This research will help people find better, more personalized treatments."- Ryan

Cameron Leyers
Biomedical Sciences, MUSC College of Graduate Studies

Category: Graduate Student, 2nd Place
Mentor:
Melissa Cunningham, M.D.
Title:
Altered ER localization differentially modulates immune cell subsets

"By having the ability to present I was able to practice my skills presenting a clear story to a varied audience and it really builds my confidence in my abilities to do so. Events like this continue to drive my motivation in becoming the best scientist that I can be. "- Cameron

Andraia Li
Medical Student, MUSC

Category: Medical Student, 1st Place
Mentors:
John Kaczmar, M.D. and Terry Day, M.D.
Title:
Safety of novel targeted therapies and immunotherapy in recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer: a meta-analysis

"Department of Medicine Research Day provided me a platform to be able to talk about my research, as well as learning from others. I think these events are very important to medical trainees to build confidence in their scientific practice, and allows them to be engaged in clinical research earlier in their careers. My research focused on assessing the safety of novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer. Multimodal regimens are common in this population, but this disease disproportionately impacts elderly patients. Therefore, we thought it was important to perform a comparative meta-analysis of phase II and III randomized-controlled trials in order to understand how novel targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and combination administration of these agents with standard of care therapies impacted rates of adverse events."- Andraia

Wayne Bauerle
Medical Student, MUSC

Category: Medical Student, 2nd Place
Mentor:
Heather Evans, M.D.
Title:
Improving antibiotic stewardship in acute appendicitis through risk-based empiric treatment selection

"My research was focused on reducing broad spectrum antibiotic usage for the treatment of adult cases of uncomplicated appendicitis, and this project was specifically a quality improvement project."- Wayne

Andrew Wortham
Medical Student, MUSC

Category: Medical Student, 3rd Place
Mentor:
Don Rockey, M.D.
Title:
Prognosis and outcomes in compensated and decompensated cirrhosis in correlation to hepatic venous pressure gradient

"My favorite part of the research day was seeing my colleagues present. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their presentations and asking questions. Seeing everyone's hard work really enlightened me to how much research the MUSC community produces and how willing everyone is to collaborate and encourage each other in their research pursuits."- Andrew

 

About the Author

Catherine Bennett

Keywords: Awards, Research