Columbia Medical Students Recognized for Research

VP&S Student Research Day awardees
Twelve students, pictured here with medical school leaders, won awards at VP&S Student Research Day on March 30. Front row, from left: Yanglu Chen; Monica Lypson, vice dean for education; Elizabeth Shane, senior associate dean for student research; VP&S Dean Katrina Armstrong; Anil Lalwani, associate dean for student research; Michael Argenziano, Ashley Zhang, and Anna Vaynrub. Back row, from left: Laura Benoit, Ryan Huff, Alyyah Malick, Natasha Natarajan, Kira Tomlinson, Abhishek Rao, Frederick Lang, and Austin Chen.

At the 2022 Student Research Day of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) on March 30, 67 students presented their research to colleagues, fellow students, faculty, and leaders, including Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief executive officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center and dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. The event was again in person after two years of virtual presentations during the COVID pandemic.

Students stood by their research posters and explained their methodologies, results, and inspirations to judges. Top projects won awards.

A VP&S student presents his research.
Medical student Paul Lewis presents his research to Tania Genel, program director of Global Pop, the Program for Education in Global and Population Health at VP&S.

Themes and approaches explored included showing the breadth of research opportunities embedded in the VP&S curriculum. The four categories of projects: research year, scholarly projects, summer research, and MD/PhD research. Awards were presented in each category.

“The caliber of research presented by the Columbia medical students reflects the excellence of our students,” said Anil Lalwani, MD, associate dean for student research, “as well as the spectacular science conducted by our faculty and their commitment to mentorship.” The event also celebrated the contributions of Elizabeth Shane, MD, who is retiring as senior associate dean for student research at VP&S. Monica Lypson, MD, MHPE, vice dean for education at VP&S, thanked Dr. Shane for her dedication to students and noted the significant growth in student research under her leadership.

Research Day Winners

MD/PhD Research

1st Place: Kira Tomlinson, “Neutrophil-Derived Itaconate Regulates Inflammation and Phagocyte Function During Staphylococcus Aureus Lung Infection” (mentor: Alice Prince, MD)

2nd Place: Laura Benoit, “Adolescent Thalamic Inhibition Leads to Long-Lasting Impairments in Prefrontal Cortex Function” (mentor: Christoph Kellendonk, PhD)

Research Year

1st Place: Michael Argenziano, “Induction of Ferroptosis Promotes Anti-Tumor Immunity in the Glioma Microenvironment” (mentors: Peter Canoll, MD, PhD, and Jeffrey Bruce, MD)

2nd Place: Austin Chen, “Efforts to Generate a Human Thymus from Pluripotent Stem Cells” (mentors: Megan Sykes, MD, Remi Creusot, PhD, and Mohsen Khosravi Maharlooei, MD, MS)

Scholarly Projects

1st Place: Ryan Huff, “What Will Happen to Grandma? Drafting a Children’s Novel About Hospice and Anticipatory Grief” (mentor: Daniel Eison, MD)

2nd Place: Alyyah Malick, “Obesity Is Not Associated with Adverse Outcomes Among Hospitalized Patients with Clostridioides Difficile Infection” (mentor: Daniel Freedberg, MD)

2nd Place: Natasha Natarajan, “The Effect of Reduced Oxygen Tension on IVF Outcomes of Single, Euploid Frozen Embryo Transfers” (mentor: Eric Forman, MD)

2nd Place: Abhishek Rao, “The Impact of Large-Bore Access Complications on Outcomes of Patients Undergoing TEVAR” (mentor: Virendra Patel, MD, MPH)

Summer Research

1st Place: Yanglu Chen, “Clinical Impact of Secondary Genetic Findings in Patients with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease” (mentors: Hila Milo Rasouly, PhD, and Ali Gharavi, MD)

2nd Place: Frederick Lang, “Coronary Flow Capacity Derived from PET Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Can Non-Invasively Guide Revascularization Decisions to Only Physiologically Significant Lesions” (mentor: Michael Argenziano, MD)

3rd Place: Anna Vaynrub, “Acute Kidney Injury During Extracorporeal  Life Support in Cardiogenic Shock: Does Flow Matter?” (mentor: Koji Takeda, MD, PhD)

3rd Place: Ashley Zhang, “The Path to and Outcomes Following Myocardial Recovery After Extracorporeal Membrane Life Support for Cardiogenic Shock” (mentor: Koji Takeda, MD, PhD)

MD-MS students gathered at a symposium in March to present their research.
Students in the MD-MS Program in Biomedical Sciences participated in a March 25 symposium. Front row, from left: Madeleine Hunter, Kate Lee, Matthew Adan, Cibel Quinteros-Baumgart, and Latoya Stewart. Back row, from left: Allison Beers, Austin Chen, Joseph Grimes, Alexandria Irace, and Daniella Rogerson.

In a separate symposium on March 25, 10 members of the VP&S Class of 2022 in the MD-MS Program in Biomedical Sciences presented their master’s thesis research to faculty and students. The MD-MS Program in Biomedical Sciences offers students the opportunity to nurture a research interest and engage in a year of original research in a field relevant to medicine.