VP&S Students Honored for Research Achievements

Twelve students, pictured here with medical school leaders, won awards at VP&S Student Research Day on April 3. Front row, from left: Amy Shteyman, Madison Heath, Aleksandra Recupero, Paul Lewis, Meghana Giri, William Britton, Guillermo Almodovar Cruz. Back row, from left: Kavya Rajesh, Alice Vinogradsky, Anil Lalwani, Katrina Armstrong, Monica Lypson, Prashanth Kumar, Frederick Lang. Not pictured: Damian Teasley. Photo by Diane Bondareff.

Students at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons were honored recently for their achievements in research.

At the 2024 Student Research Day on April 3, 74 students presented their research to colleagues, fellow students, faculty, and leadership. The presentations included research posters with explanations of the students’ methodologies, results, and inspiration. Twelve projects won awards in four categories: MD/PhD, Research Year, Scholarly Project, and Summer Research. See more photos from the event.

“The quality of research showcased by VP&S medical school students mirrors their excellence and our faculty’s dedication to mentoring,” says Anil Lalwani, MD, associate dean for student research and professor of otolaryngology/head & neck surgery.

Student Research Day also recognized a Scholarly Projects Faculty Mentor of the Year, an award celebrating mentors who have shaped the scholarly project experience. The 2024 winner is Syed Ali Husain, MD, assistant professor of medicine.

Syed Ali Husain, center, pictured with Anil Lalwani, left, and Utpal Pajvani, won the 2024 Scholarly Projects Faculty Mentor of the Year. Photo by Diane Bondareff.

VP&S Student Research Day Winners


  • 1st Place: Aleksandra Recupero, “Optimization of an Automated Behavioral Platform to Assess the Developmental Timing of Behavioral Maturation” (mentor: Franck Polleux, PhD) 

Research Year

  • 1st Place: William Britton, “Interrogating a Partial Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Program in 3D Patient Derived Organoids of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma” (mentors: Anuraag Parikh, MD; Hiroshi Nakagawa, MD)
  • 2nd Place: Paul Lewis, “Adolescents Caring for Community by Promoting Literacy on Insurance, Stroke, Health Education, Emergencies, and Dementia (ACComPLISHED): A Community Health Worker (CHW) Program” (mentors: Olajide Williams, MD, MS; James Noble, MD, MS)
  • 3rd Place (tie): Kavya Rajesh, “Development and In Vivo Characterization of Biohybrid Conduits for Growing Heart Valve Replacements” (mentor: David Kalfa, MD, PhD) and Damian Teasley, “Local Delivery of Topotecan Induces Immunogenic Cell Death and Associated Myeloid Response in GBM” (mentors: Peter Canoll, MD, PhD; Jeffrey Bruce, MD)

Scholarly Project

  • 1st Place: Frederick Lang, “SGLT2 Inhibitors for Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy: Short-Term Analyses of Efficacy and Safety” (mentor: Mathew Maurer, MD)
  • 2nd Place: Alice Vinogradsky, “Long-Term Outcomes of Heart Transplantation in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease: The Impact of Single-Ventricle Versus Biventricular Physiology” (mentor: Koji Takeda, MD, PhD)
  • 3rd Place: Madison Heath, “Gut Colonization with Multidrug Resistant Organisms in the Intensive Care Unit: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” (mentor: Daniel Freedberg, MD, MS)

Summer Research

  • 1st Place: Amy Shteyman, “Characterizing the Effects of Focused Ultrasound Therapy in Healthy and Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons” (mentor: Elisa Konofagou, PhD)
  • 2nd Place: Guillermo Almodovar-Cruz, “Impact of heart transplant allocation policy change on outcomes of extracorporeal life support for cardiogenic shock with acute decompensated heart failure versus acute myocardial infarction” (mentor: Koji Takeda, MD, PhD)
  • 3rd Place (tie): Prashanth Kumar, “Association of MGMT Promotor Methylation with Survival in Low-grade and Anaplastic Gliomas After Alkylating Chemotherapy” (mentor: Connor Kinslow, MD) and Meghana Giri, “Engaging Youth in Pollution and Lung Health Monitoring in Washington Heights, New York City: A Pilot Study” (mentor: Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD)

In a symposium on March 22, 14 members of the VP&S Class of 2024 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.

Students in the MD-MS Program in Biomedical Sciences participated in a March 22 symposium. Back row, from left: Anil Lalwani, Halil Beqaj, Nicholas Waring, Ogoegbunam Okolo, Alexander Northrop, Colin Sperring, Adithya Kannan, Michael Denham, Benjamin Redenti, Christian Pearsall, Monica Lypson. Front row, from left: Sharon Feng, Celine Schreidah, Cole Chokran, Averill Clapp. Not pictured: Zainab Aziz. Photo by Brandon Vallejo.