Medical Students Showcase Research as Annual Research Forum Returns to In-Person Event
Students Parade Their Research In-Person For The First Time Since Before The Pandemic At The 27th Annual Medical Student Research Forum
Nearly 100 School of Medicine (SOM) students filled the halls of the Medical Education Center and Basic Sciences Building to present their research on a wide range of basic and clinical science topics on January 5 for the 27th Annual Medical Student Research Forum (MSRF). Planned exclusively by SOM students, the forum, which was held in-person for the first time since before the pandemic, included oral and poster presentations by medical students, as well as a keynote address by Joseph T. English, M.D., chair emeritus and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
“MSRF provides students a unique opportunity to showcase their research accomplishments to both peers and faculty. It serves to highlight the relationship between research, medical education and clinical practice, encouraging the exploration of basic and clinical science that students can take with them into their future careers as physicians,” said Doria Weiss, SOM Class of 2025 and a member of the MSRF planning committee.
“We were so excited to be able to have the MSRF in-person for the first time since 2020. The forum gives students an opportunity to mingle with faculty and receive meaningful feedback on their presentations in a welcoming environment. We hope that the forum will only continue to grow as more students become actively involved in research,” said Kathleen Harwood, SOM Class of 2025 and a member of the MSRF planning committee.
During his keynote address, Dr. English described what he called his “adventures in psychiatry” throughout his long and prestigious career, which included serving as the first chief psychiatrist of the U.S. Peace Corps; director of health affairs in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under John F. Kennedy, president of the American Psychiatric Association and as the founding CEO of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation’s largest public hospital system, which includes longtime New York Medical College (NYMC) affiliate, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.
Five students were selected to present their research via oral presentations. Christian Rajkovic, SOM Class of 2026, presented on a novel model for chronic spinal implant-associated infection, while Tom Zhang, SOM Class of 2025, reported on potential treatment options for fusion-driven cancers. Kaleb Noruzi, SOM Class of 2025, shared research on treatments that target degradation of cartilage matrix in osteoarthritis. Aditya Gandhi, SOM Class of 2024, presented on cognitive behavioral therapy for people with HIV, depression and virologic failure in South Africa, and Michelle You, SOM Class of 2025, shared research on predicting cognitive and brain aging trajectories in older adults.
“The MSRF is the biggest event at NYMC highlighting the wide variety of research our student body is engaged in,” said Leah Sittenfeld, SOM Class of 2025 and a member of the MSRF planning committee. “One of the best parts of being on the planning committee is working with and learning from the students presenting, giving us a sneak peek into the impressive work our peers are a part of.”
“The MSRF is a really important student research event that we started planning back in September,” said Michelle Klausner, SOM Class of 2025 and a member of the MSRF planning committee. “It takes a lot of work and involves a lot of moving parts, including the availability and support of faculty, but seeing the MSRF come together, especially in-person for the first time since the pandemic was a really great experience to be a part of. It’s something very special to NYMC and is a nice way of supporting peers and seeing all the great research going on.” Additional members of the MSRF planning committee include Sam Beber, Shelcie Fabre, Aarti Jain and Matt Weiss, all members of the SOM Class of 2026.
The day concluded with the awards ceremony at which oral presentation winners were announced with Zhang taking first place, You taking second place and Noruzi taking third place. Mary Petzke, Ph.D., assistant dean for medical student research, also expressed gratitude to the Karmen Family for their generous support of the MSRF, which includes the establishment of the Arthur Karmen, M.D., Award for Outstanding Scientific Research in 2020 by Carol L. Karmen, M.D., clinical professor of medicine, in honor of her late father, who served as a mentor to countless students, residents, paramedical professionals and colleagues pursuing scientific and medical careers.
27th Annual Medical Student Research Forum Award Recipients
Arthur Karmen, M.D., Awards for Outstanding Scientific Research
David Haner Wasserstein, SOM Class of 2026
Improvement in right ventricular function after balloon pulmonary angioplasty treatment
Rebecca Strafella, SOM Class of 2026
Identifying neuropsychological markers of intermittent theta-burst stimulation in treatment-resistant depression
Avery Morrison, SOM Class of 2025, and Hugh Thompson, SOM Class of 2024
Analyzing the accessibility and utility of New York state chargemasters
Tom Zhang, SOM Class of 2025
HER3R426W as a mechanism of resistance to zenocutuzumab in NRG1 fusion-driven cancers
Michelle You, SOM Class of 2025
Subjective cognitive concerns at baseline predict cognitive and brain aging trajectories in cognitively normal older adults
Kaleb Noruzi, SOM Class of 2025
Effect of uniform capacitively coupled electric fields on matrix metabolism of osteoarthritic cartilage
Basic Science Poster Presentations
Isabelle Chau, SOM Class of 2025
Myelin plasticity in ventral tegmental area is required for opioid reward
Alexandra Jellinger, SOM Class of 2026
Chronic GQ activation of neurons and astrocytes in ventral hippocampus induces cellular and behavioral impairments
Carrighan Perry, SOM Class of 2025
Systemic ablation of noradrenaline does not impact bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in the murine lung
Clinical Science Poster Presentations
Shoaib Syed, SOM Class of 2026
Middle meningeal artery embolization to treat chronic subdural hematomas - Retrospective correlation of morphological parameters
Second Place (tied)
Rahim Hirani, SOM Class of 2025
Impact of postoperative morbidity on oncologic in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer undergoing intestinal surgery at the time of primary or interval cytoreductive surgery
Madison Thompson, SOM Class of 2025
Impact of COVID-19 on employment sociodemographic, medical, psychiatric and neuropsychological correlates
Michael Cisneros, SOM Class of 2025, and Lauren Grobois, SOM Class of 2025
A multicase interprofessional simulation to enhance the preparation of incoming neurology residents
Honorable Mention for Outstanding Research
Dharani Rao, SOM Class of 2025
UCHL1 in the immunology of lung adenocarcinoma