Second Research Day celebration a success


On April 11, medical students, residents and future scientists from across the state gathered at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi for the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s second annual Research Day. The event, hosted by the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Statewide Campus System (SCS) and Research, Innovation and Scholarly Engagement (RISE) teams, was formally initiated by the college’s dean, Dr. Joyce deJong, who commenced the proceedings with a succinct speech, capturing the attention of more than 250 attendees.

Research Day featured more than 120 oral and poster presentations, a keynote speaker, more than 50 judges, and plentiful networking opportunities for medical students and trainees from the college, as well as SCS-affiliated member residents and fellows. All participants seized upon the opportunity to practice delivering basic science, clinical, quality improvement, and medical education research. Medical students and residents represented several of the 27 SCS Member Institutions in Michigan

“This is so important for physicians. You want to teach them the importance of research from the standpoint of evidence-based medicine and its application in clinical practice,” explained Rana Ismail, Ph.D., MSc, CPHQ, director of research for SCS. “Because they’ve done research themselves, they’ll be more able to appreciate and appraise the medical literature, and they will be able to understand and apply the literature better in clinical practice. We’re encouraging them to conduct research because this has a direct impact on patient care, and that’s what matters.”

Dr. Ismail noted that Research Day provides future physicians with both the platform and opportunity to showcase their work to a wide audience and receive constructive feedback while engaging in scholarly discussions. “Such conferences shape the practice of these physicians-in-training, as it helps validate their research contributions and promotes their sense of appreciation for evidence-based practices that are guided by the best available research,” she said.

Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health and Sciences University Bill Hersh, M.D., who presented “Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Clinical Practice, Research, and Education” for his keynote lecture, agreed that research-focused events are of high value for students.

“We have a similar event at our medical school, and I think it’s important for future physicians to develop the mindset of research, even if they’re going to be full-time practitioners – to think about questions they have from a research perspective,” Dr. Hersh said.


Second-year D.O. student from the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Detroit Medical Center site Elizabeth Montgomery presented her poster “Cascading Impact: Leveraging Medical Students as Catalysts for Stop the Bleed Training in Communities.” She plans to go into emergency medicine, and was recently interviewed by WILX News10 during an undergraduate student training session for Stop the Bleed, a government initiative by the American College of Surgeons and the Department of Defense to teach community members with no medical experience to recognize life-threatening bleeding.

Montgomery designed a course called Spartan Response, which trains medical students in the physiology of hemorrhage and how to treat with wound packing, tourniquet use and holding pressure. Once medical students complete the course, they can become Stop the Bleed instructors for other community members.

Montgomery was excited to share her work at Research Day. “I’m really passionate about (Stop the Bleed). I love this, I think it’s such an important initiative, so I will talk about it all day!” she shared.

Ph.D. student Andrew Roney from MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology presented his poster “Examination of Long-Term Injury Arising from Acute Cutaneous Exposure to Nitrogen Mustard.” He plans to complete a post-doctoral degree and then look for opportunities with a research university or within a government agency.

“Skin is interesting, but I’d also really like to look at the effects of early-life exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds,” shared Roney. “I found that to be very interesting, especially because of how significant those later-life effects of early-endocrine disruption can be and how little we know about some aspects of early-life endocrine activity.”

First-time Research Day participants D.O. student Tiffany Zheng and undergraduate student Jenus Shrestha share a primary investigator, Itziar Familiar-Lopez, M.D., MPH, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry at the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Zheng and Shrestha met throughout the past few months to write their abstract and put together their oral presentation while balancing busy schedules. Together, they shared “Demographic Correlates of Depression/Anxiety and Literacy in Female Caregivers Living with HIV in Uganda and Malawi.”

“I was excited to dive into more psych research because after taking psych (class), I really enjoyed it,” Zheng shared. “I don’t want to close my doors to any other specialties, but (psychology) is something I feel really passionate about.”

Shrestha, who is interested in pursuing neuropsychiatry, said his experience presenting at Research Day was a positive one. “As soon as I got up there, I was not that anxious and it went super well,” Shrestha said. “It was an awesome experience.”

Research Day concluded with an award ceremony, during which Dr. Patricia Obando, associate dean for SCS, announced the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Amalfitano's Excellence in Research Award on behalf of Dr. John Goudreau, the associate dean for Research at the college.


By E. LaClear