JUNE 6, 2006 | The annual Student Research Week at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) attracted the most entries ever, with students showcasing work on topics ranging from breast cancer to hepatitis.
During the week of April 3-7, more than 60 presentations from graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents were on display in the atrium of the Biomedical Research Building at UAMS. The student researchers were present to discuss their experiments and work with visitors as well as anonymous judges.
The presentations were part of a week’s activities that included a scientific trade show and visiting speakers, but Charles Winter, Ph.D., associate dean for medical research in the UAMS College of Medicine, said that the presentations benefit the students.
“Not only must these budding researchers learn how to think scientifically and design and execute experiments but they must also develop the skills needed to inform other scientists and the public about the significance of their work,” Winter said. “For UAMS, as a nationally recognized research institution, we must provide an infrastructure that supports and fosters research.
“This infrastructure includes strong graduate and postdoctoral training programs to develop the young researchers that will generate tomorrow’s exciting research results and potential medical treatments.”
Thomas Jennings, a student in the M.D./Ph.D. program at UAMS, was one of those exhibiting his research, a project aimed at determining the potential for a gene therapy of Hepatitis C. Unfortunately, he said, the procedure did not work in this case.
“It was one year of work. But research is often high risk, high gain,” he said. “We did learn about how a virus keeps itself protected, which will be useful in future research.”
Winter noted that the College of Medicine Class of 1955 has been a sponsor of Student Research Week for the past few years.
“Those alumni recognized the importance of this activity and have been faithfully providing us with funding to bring in a nationally recognized speaker and carry out other activities during the week,” he said.
Each research poster was evaluated by judges and prizes were awarded. The overall poster winner and each division first place received a $300 cash prize. Travel awards of $500 also were handed out to cover travel expenses for students to present their work at research conferences.
Research poster winners and the poster titles included:
• Overall winner – Anand Mangu, “Glucose Stimulates Cisplatin Induced Necrosis in Renal Proximal Tubular Cells”
• Medical Student Division, first place – Christopher Ross, “Direct Inactivation of Thrombomodulin by Radiation”
Second place – Nadeem Ali Akbar, “Considerations in Incorporating Office Based Ultrasound of the Head and Neck”
• House Staff Division, first place – Senthil K. Raghavan, “Osteoporosis Screening-Performance Report and Recommendations”
Second place – Aaron Margulies, “IL-8 is Involved in the Development and Growth of Osteolytic Bone Lesions”
• Graduate Student Division, first place – Anand Mangu, “Glucose Stimulates Cisplatin Induced Necrosis in Renal Proximal Tubular Cells”
Second place – Kristy Nicks, “Inhibin A Regulation of Osteoblastogenesis and Bone Formation: Timecourse Reveals Bimodal Mechanism of Action”
• Post Doctoral Fellow Division, first place – Nilufer Esen, “Central Role for MyD88 in the Responses of Microglia to Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs)”
Second place – Meenakshi Upreti, “Vinblastine-Induced Apoptosis is Mediated by Discrete Alterations in the Subcellular Location of Oligomeric Structure of Bcl-2 Family Proteins”
Of the three travel awards, the Center for Orthopaedic Research Award went to Michael Velarde of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, for his presentation, “Proliferative Response of Uterine Endometrium to Estrogen Involves Basic Transcription Element Binding Protein-1.”
The Arkansas Cancer Research Center’s travel award went to Robit Singhal in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, for “Reduction in Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Expression and Cytochrome P450-1A1 Induction Following Soy Consumption.”
The Graduate School’s travel award went to Cindy Zhang of the Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, for “Liver X Receptor Regulation of Glial Activation: Revelance to CNS Inflammatory Disorders.”
Sarika Saraswati of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Bhuvaneswaran Endowment for Excellence in Biochemistry Award for his work, “Galectin-3 Proteolysis in Human Seminal Plasma and Prostasomes: Identification of a Potential Regulatory Mechanism of Galactin-3 Function in Semen.” This award included $500.