Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, with first-place poster winners Ashley Alex and Sakina H. Sojar.

Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD (center), congratulates first-place winners Ashley Alex (left) and Sakina H. Sojar on their outstanding medical research projects.

Medical Students Share Original Research Results

Published February 4, 2014

At the 2014 Medical Student Research Forum, aspiring physician-scientists showcased 34 original research projects they conducted at the University at Buffalo, its partner health care agencies and institutions nationwide.

“This forum provides an excellent venue for these talented medical students to present and discuss their projects. In addition, the opportunity to participate in a research experience early in their training could help shape their future careers.”
Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD
Senior associate dean for research and graduate education

A record number of participants — 35 students — shared their projects with peers and faculty members through diverse poster presentations.

Often working as part of interdisciplinary teams, the students explored an array of topics, including innovative treatments, molecular mechanisms of disease, preventive care and quality-of-life issues.

Top Posters Explore Dry Eye, Caffeine Use

A panel of 23 faculty judges evaluated the students’ projects, which were funded by various sources.

First Place (tie)

Ashley Alex, Class of 2016

Meibum Composition in Dry Eye Disease”

Alex explored the use of MAIR-IR spectroscopy in monitoring Meibomian gland dysfunction in patients at the Ross Eye Institute in the Buffalo area.

Mentor: Sangita P. Patel, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of ophthalmology

Sakina H. Sojar, Class of 2015

“Adolescent Caffeine Use and Dependence”

Sojar conducted her study of the associations between caffeine dependence and other substance use at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Second Place

Timothy E. Thayer, Class of 2014

“Inhibition of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling Reduces Weight Gain and Hepatic Lipid Accumulation in a Murine Model of Obesity”

Thayer’s research, conducted as a Sarnoff fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, was funded by the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Third Place

Madison Galasso, Class of 2016

“Role of ABC Transporters in the Pathogenesis of Moraxella catarrhalis Infections”

Galasso’s study of a human respiratory tract pathogen involved in exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was supported by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Mentor: Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine and senior associate dean for clinical and translational research

Active Research Offers ‘Career-Shaping’ Experience

Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, notes that all students benefit far beyond this event from their participation in medical research.

“The importance of medical research cannot be underestimated, as there is a growing concern over the decline in physician-scientists being trained in the United States,” he says.

“This forum provides an excellent venue for these talented medical students to present and discuss their projects. In addition, the opportunity to participate in a research experience early in their training could help shape their future careers.”

The event took place Jan. 30 in the atrium of the Biomedical Education Building.