Trio of Second-Year Students Takes Top Honors at Research Forum

Published February 19, 2016 This content is archived.

story by dirk hoffman

Aspiring physician-scientists showcased 38 original research projects at the 2016 Medical Student Research Forum. The displays showed work they conducted at the University at Buffalo, its partner health care agencies and institutions nationwide.


Overall, 39 medical students shared their projects with peers and faculty members through diverse poster presentations.

Three Class of 2018 students won top prizes for their presentations.

Promotes Understanding of Bench-to-Bedside Link

“This forum provides an excellent interactive opportunity for these dedicated young scientists to present and discuss their results with many of the local experts here at UB,” says Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate education.

He points out the high level of participation demonstrates that a significant number of medical students understands the importance of research to the practice of medicine.

“By participating in these scientific programs, these medical students have obtained a much better understanding of the essential link between the laboratory bench and the bedside," Campagnari says.

‘‘Their experience in performing medical research will serve them well into their professional careers.”  

Top Posters Study COPD, HIPPA, Klebsiella Pneumoniae

A faculty panel selected three outstanding projects for special recognition, all of which were conducted by second-year medical students.

Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, presented certificates to the award-winning students (listed below) during the Jan. 28 event in the atrium of the Biomedical Education Building.

First Place

Remon S. Bebawee, Class of 2018

“Dual IgA Protease Expression By Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae During Carriage In Adults With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)”

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a common cause of exacerbations in patients with COPD, contain IgA proteases that cleave the mucosal IgA1 antibody, rendering it ineffective for pathogen detection.  

Bebawee investigated the IgA protease expression of persistent NTHi strains isolated from longitudinally obtained sputum samples from two participants in the Buffalo VAMC COPD study clinic and found:

  1. IgA-B2 protease expression of NTHi fluctuates during lower airway persistence of adult COPD patients
  2. dIgA-A1B2 protease expression is present in persistent strains of NTHi
  3. Although the igaB2 gene is out-of-frame in dIgA-A1B2 isolates, functional IgA-B2 protease cleavage pattern is still observed

Mentors: Christian P. Ahearn, Charmaine Kirkham and Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine.

Second Place

Victor A. Janmey, Class of 2018

“Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: HIPAA Breach Vulnerabilities In De-Identified Data Sets Via Indirect Identifiers”

Janmey found that indirect, non-HIPAA identifiers pose a significant risk to patient privacy and that there are identifiable use cases such as motor vehicle accidents which can lead to breaches of patient privacy. His research showed that filtering location from these records made it very difficult for this information to lead to unwanted re­identification of de-identified clinical records.

Mentors: Christopher Crowner and Peter L. Elkin, MD, professor of biomedical informatics.

Third Place

Jeff Bulger, Class of 2018

“Evaluation Of A Potential Virulence Factor In Hypervirulent Klebsiella Pneumoniae”

A new, more dangerous strain of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) has emerged after first being described in the Asian Pacific Rim in 1986. Bulger's research team islolated a specific gene it believed could have an important role in the organism’s infection model and that without this gene product, growth of the bacterium would be impaired.

In order to test this hypothesis, they created a mutant strain of the bacterium in which this gene was deficient. By comparing the growth of this mutant with the original strain in various human fluids, they were able to show that there was no significant difference in growth between the two, thus indicating that this gene is not important in these specific environments.  

Mentors: Ulrike MacDonald and Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine.

Exploring Anemia, Infections, Breast Cancer and More

A complete list of participants, their projects and mentors follows:

Student(s) Project Mentor(s)
Alvie Ahsan Primary Care Physicians & Lung Cancer Early Detection: A Qualitative Study Deborah O. Erwin, PhD
Martin C. Mahoney, MD, PhD
Anna Mascucci, MPH
Frances Saad-Harfouche, MSW
Christy Widman, MPH
Chelsea Anderson Prevalence And Consequences Of Anemia In A High-Risk Pediatric Population Lucy C. Holmes, MD
Amy Beattie Investigating MIS416 As A Vaccine Adjuvant For The Treatment of Ovarian Cancer AJ Robert McGray, PhD
Adekunle O. Odunsi, MD
Remon S. Bebawee Dual IgA Protease Expression By Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae During Carriage In Adults With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Christian P. Ahearn
Charmaine Kirkham
Timothy F. Murphy, MD
Caroline Brotzki
Anna-Claire Marrone
Vincenzo Polsinelli
Vaginal Discharge In Rural Haiti: A Pilot Study From A Mobile Clinic David M. Holmes, MD
Jeff Bulger Evaluation Of A Potential Virulence Factor In Hypervirulent Klebsiella Pneumoniae Ulrike MacDonald
Thomas A. Russo, MD
Bryan E. Bunnell Zinc Inhibits Multiple Aspects Of The SOS Response In Escherichia Coli Jacqueline Broome
John K. Crane, MD, PhD
Jillian F. Escobar
X. Tracy Chen Relationships Between Breastfeeding And Maternal Mental Health Faye E. Justicia-Linde, MD
Natalie Czuczman Comparison Of Physical Examination Findings In Acute Sport Related Concussion (SRC) And Among Normal Adolescents John Baker, PhD
Andrea Hinds, PhD
John J. Leddy, MD
Kevin Lesh, MD
Barry S. Willer, PhD
Rachel Engelberg Il-21 Elevation Is An Inadequate Marker Of Kawasaki Disease When Assessed In A Cohort Of Febrile Children Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD
Meghan Martin, MD
Haiping Qiao, MBBS
Brian Wrotniak, PhD
Samantha Frank Levetiracetam Versus Phenytoin for Seizure Prophylaxis In The Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Population: Effects On Seizure Incidence And Outcome Simon Morr, MD
Renee M. Reynolds, MD
Camille A. Gutierrez Surgically Treated Gastrointestinal Complications Of Graft Versus Host Disease In The Pediatric Population Mehul V. Raval, MD
David H. Rothstein, MD
Hannah R. Vester
Daniel von Allmen, MD
Adrienne Hezghia Diffuse Axonal Injury In The Corpus Callosum Relates To Long-Term Neuropsychological Functioning And Clinical Outcome In Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Habib Benali, PhD
Elsa Caron
Clara Debarle, MD
Sebastien Delphine
Damien Galanaud, MD, PhD
Blandine Lesimple
Melanie Pelegrini-Issac, PhD
Vincent Perlbarg, PhD
Pascale Pradat-Diehl, MD, PhD
Louis Puybasset, MD, PhD
Joseph Iluore Understanding How Infection-Induced Thymic Atrophy Affects Development Of T Regulatory Cells Sarah J. Blair
Richard M. Jin
Elizabeth Schiavoni
Elizabeth A. Wohlfert, PhD
Victor A. Janmey Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: HIPAA Breach Vulnerabilities In De-Identified Data Sets Via Indirect Identifiers Christopher Crowner
Peter L. Elkin, MD
Gaurang Joshi Factors Affecting Aneurysm Recanalization Following Endovascular Treatment: A Comprehensive Analysis Of 2,376 Patients’ Demographic, Morphological And Computational Fluid Dynamic Parameters Hui Meng, PhD
Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD
Ashish Sonig, MD
Nicole Varble
Tingting Zhuang
Rahul Kapoor Selective Patch Angioplasty And Intraoperative Shunting In Carotid Endarterectomy: A Single­ Center Review Of 141 Procedures Alexander I. Evins, MD
Mayumi Kubota, MD
Joshua Marcus, MD
Luigi Rigante, MD
Philip E. Stieg, MD, PhD
Scott Ketcham Investigating Scaffold RNA Support Of A Lead Hammerhead Ribozyme Therapeutic For RHO Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa John M. Sullivan, MD, PhD
Irene Lainiotis Longitudinal Tracking Of Autoantibody Levels In A Pemphigus Vulgaris Patient: Support For A Role Of Anti-Desmoglein1 Autoantibodies As Predictors Of Disease Progression Nadia Abidi, MD,
Gretchen DeLuke, MD
Kristina Seiffert-Sinha, MD
Animesh A. Sinha, MD, PhD
Peter J. Laub Trends In The Number Of Academic Basic Science And Clinical Departments Among American Medical Schools Terence R. Flotte, MD Sofia Mueller, MBA
Nicholas Lewandowski Role Of Estrogen Receptor ß And p53 In Triple Negative Breast Cancer Metabolism Gokul Das, PhD
Nishant Gandhi
Matthew Loecher In Vivo Assessment Of The Efficacy Of Chitosan-shRNA Nanoplexes In Therapeutic Influenza A Treatment Ravi Alluri, MD
Bruce A. Davidson, PhD
Paul R. Knight III, MD, PhD
Barbara Mullan
Michael Mezzadri Evaluation Of Neuroimaging Use Among Elderly Adults Presenting To The Emergency Department With Acute Mental Status Change Angela Bosinski, PharmD,
Bruce Naughton, MD
 Lisa Mogil Advanced Neuroimaging In The Clinic: Critical Appraisal Of The Evidence Base (Accepted With Revision) Avi Fink
Michael Lipton, MD, PhD
Alexandra J. Morell Effects Of Amantadine On Corneal Endothelium Sangita P. Patel, MD, PhD
Nicholas Pantano CRAFFT Detection Of Adolescent Substance Use In The Emergency Department At The Women And Children’s Hospital Of Buffalo (WCHOB) Kathyrn Bass, MD
Priya Patel Exosomal Survivin Detection Related To Immunotherapeutic Mechanisms In Malignant Glioma Michael Ciesielski, PhD
Robert A. Fenstermaker, MD
Cheryl Frank
Phillip Galbo
Adam Perez Nil Per Os: To Be Or Not To Be?  Bonnie L. Cass
Weidun Alan Guo, MD,PhD, FACS
Jonathan Peters Secondhand Yield Of Tobacco Products: E-Cigarettes, Cigarettes, Cigarillos, And Hookah Mark J. Travers, PhD
Lisa Vogel, MPH
Joseph Pittari Evaluation Of The Use Of Imaging Versus Clinical Exam Alone In The Cervical Spine Clearance Of Isolated Skull Fractures In Patients Less Than Three Years Old: A Retrospective Chart Review Study Scott M. Bouton, MD
Kunal Chadha, MD
Renee M. Reynolds, MD
Hakeem Shakir, MD
Vincenzo Polsinelli Hypertension And Aging In Rural Haiti: Results From A Preliminary Survey David M. Holmes, MD
Joseph L. Izzo Jr., MD
Pierre-Louis Joizil
Joseph Morvillo
Nikhil Satchidanand, PhD
Robert Scagnelli
Ranjit Singh, MBBS
Kathyrn Williams
Chelsea Recor Optimal Choice Of Vasopressor In Term And Preterm Newborn Praveen K. Chandrasekharan, MD
Sylvia Gugino
Justin Helman
Carmon Koenigsknecht
Satyan Lakshminrusimha, MD
Lori Nielsen
Munmun Rawat, MD
Kaci L. Schiavone Incidence Of Shoulder Arthroplasty In The State Of Wisconsin Robert H. Ablove, MD
Geoffrey S. Baer, MD, PhD
Jonathon L. Tueting, MD
Jiho Sohn Early Life Disruption Of Microbiota In Mice Leads To Long-Lasting Metabolic Consequences Martin J. Blaser, MD
Laura M. Cox, PhD
Joseph Tanbakuchi SR-BI Reduces Atherosclerosis By Controlling Autophagic Flux To Limit Macrophage Foam Cell Formation And Death MacRae F. Linton, MD
Huan Tao, MD, PhD
Patricia G. Yancey, PhD
Erika Valentine Allogeneic Cardiosphere-Derived Cells From An Aged Donor Elicit Long-Term Improvements In Left Ventricular Function In A Mini- Swine Model Of Chronic Myocardial Ischemia John M. Canty, Jr., MD
Andrew Goelz
Merced M. Leiker
Gen Suzuki, MD, PhD
Brian R. Weil, PhD
Shante White Analysis Of A Novel Treatment For Orthopedic-Related Infections Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD
Mark Ehrensberger, PhD
Lisa Hansen
Nicole R. Luke-Marshall, PhD
Menachem Tobias
Travis E. Wright Antibiotic Susceptibility Of Propionibacteriumacnes From Sterile Body Sites And Correlation With Hemolysis K. Keely Boyle, MD
John K. Crane, MD, PhD
Thomas R. Duquin, MD