Class of 2005 medical students recognized for research efforts at annual symposium

April 28, 2005

Medical students from the Penn State College of Medicine Class of 2005 were recognized today for their research efforts at the annual Medical Student Research Symposium. The top 12 research projects were presented to an audience of parents, faculty, staff and students.

"Research training develops critical thinking skills that are invaluable to all future clinicians," said Richard Simons, vice dean for educational affairs, Penn State College of Medicine. "For some students, these research projects are the impetus for their development into physician scientists."

The medical student research program gives students an opportunity to participate in mentored medical research, providing an understanding of the research process and how research is applied to clinical practice. Research projects have been a requirement for medical degree completion since the inception of the College of Medicine.

Students usually start their projects during the first two years of medical school. They may choose a project in clinical, social or basic medical sciences and may conduct their research at the College of Medicine or at other U.S. or international institutions.

Three students made oral presentations:

-- Sara Kennedy, "Innate Immune Protein Surfactant Protein-A in Pre-term Placenta and Placenta with Chorioamnionitis" (sponsor: Colin MacNeill, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Michael Prematta, "Effects of Total Sleep Deprivation and Daytime Napping on Daytime Sleepiness, Performance and Sleep-related Hormones in Men and Women" (sponsor: Alexandros N. Vgontzas, Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Carmella Shemansik, "Predictors of Opioid Variability in Postoperative Patients" (sponsor: Rosemary Polomano, University of Pennsylvania).

Several students presented posters:

-- Amy Bridgeman, "Impact of an Animated Interactive Cranial Nerve Tutorial on Medical Student Learning in Human Gross Anatomy" (sponsor: Loren A. Evey, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Monika Burness, "Selective Activation of Endothelium by Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Sensitive but Not TNF Resistant Melanoma Cell Lines" (sponsor: H. Richard Alexander Jr., National Cancer Institute).

-- Curtis Coley, "Cardiac Health Status of New York Police Officers Following Sept. 11, 2001" (sponsor: Rebecca Bascom, Department of Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Sara Eleoff, "Effect of Year-round Scheduling on Influenza Vaccination Rates in At-risk Pediatric Populations" (sponsors: Maryellen E. Gusic and Ian M. Paul, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Matheson Harris, "A Model to Understand the Role of Retinal Insulin Receptors" (sponsor: Thomas W. Gardner, Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Laura Shank, "Availability of Emergency Contraception at Rural and Urban Pharmacies in Northeastern Pennsylvania" (sponsor: Cynthia H. Chuang, Department of Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Tracy Stoughton, "Prevalence of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children: A Look at the Relationship Between Clinically Assessed Tonsil Size and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Sponsor: Edward O. Bixler, Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- David Widitz, "Osmotic Stimulation Increases Interleukin-1-Beta Release in the Supraoptic Nucleus of Conscious and Anesthetized Rats" (sponsor: Joan Y. Summy-Long, Department of Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine).

-- Katharine Yoder, "Effect of Dextromethorphan, Diphenhydramine and Placebo on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality for Coughing Children and Their Parents" (sponsor: Ian M. Paul, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine).

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Last Updated March 19, 2009