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Participants in the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program

2012 Graduates

Jayshiv Badlani

Program Mentor: James Irrgang, PhD, PT, Director of Clinical Research in Orthopaedic Surgery; and Christopher Harner, MD, Medical Director of UPMC Center for Sports Medicine.

Background: Jayshiv Badlani graduated from Northwestern University in 2009 with a BA in economics and a certificate from the Kellogg School of Management in Financial Economics. During his undergraduate education, Jayshiv undertook research at the University of Pittsburgh Stem Cell Research Center with Dr. Johnny Huard. His research included projects investigating the impact of vascularity and neuromuscular electrical stimulation on the healing of injured skeletal muscle. He also spent a summer working with Dr. Robert Parker for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative on a project that involved developing ideal chemotherapy schedules.



Project Title:

  • Effects of meniscus injury on the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012–2013.
  • T32 Research Training Grant in Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-2013.

Vanessa Jamie Bennett Hux

Program Mentor: James M. Roberts, M.D., Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Professor of Epidemiology, Senior Scientist, Magee-Womens Research Institute

Background: Vanessa Hux graduated from Yale University in 2009 with a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, she worked as a Science, Technology, and Research Scholars II Fellow under Drs. Stephen Dellaporta and Maria Moreno studying genetics and the application of methylation filtration technology. Vanessa matriculated at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2009. Following her first year, she worked under Dr. Sabina Gesell on the recruitment of pregnant Latinos into an obesity prevention and social networking study. She is particularly interested in studying the impact of psychosocial and environmental stressors on perinatal health outcomes.

Project Title:

  • Determination of Allostatic Load as a Marker of Chronic Stress in Pregnancy and Its Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-2013
  • National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH) R25 Medical Student Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-2013

Igor Bussel

Program Mentors: Joel S. Schuman MD, FACS, Eye & Ear Foundation Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Director of UPMC Eye Center, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Gadi Wollstein MD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Director of Ophthalmic Imaging Research Laboratory.

Background: Igor Bussel graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and distinction for excellence in research. As an undergraduate, he worked in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology under Dr. Michael R. Rose to investigate the evolutionary genetics of aging as it pertained to the development of ovarian cancer in the fruit fly model organism. Following, he joined the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a research scientist and lab manager under Dr. Mahtab Jafari to develop and validate methods for anti-aging pharmacology using the fruit fly model organism. Igor matriculated at the Chicago Medical School at RFUMS as a dual-degree student and has earned an MS in Healthcare Administration and Management. During his basic science year at CMS he participated in medical education research to develop a weight-loss counseling educational module for the curriculum. Then during his clinical years he participated in retina clinical research in the Department of Ophthalmology at Cook County Hospital under Dr. Richard M. Ahuja.

Project Title:

  • Longitudinal detection of glaucoma progression using bridging of datasets from multiple iterations of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging devices.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012–2013.

Tatiana Deveney

Program Mentor: Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Biomedical Informatics and Clinical and Translational Science

Background: Tatiana Deveney was graduated from the University of Chicago in 2008 with a BA in Biology with a specialization in immunology and endocrinology. As an undergraduate, she engaged in various research endeavors including studying the genetics of age related macular degeneration and work on identifying novel small molecule platelet inhibitors with Dr. Barry Coller at Rockefeller University. Prior to matriculating at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2009, she worked on development and design of a multi-site double-blinded randomized clinical trial of omega 3 fatty acids for treatment of dry eye disease. During medical school, she has been involved in clinical endocrinology research on the relationship between low testosterone and diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Project Title:

  • The Prognostic Impact of Depression Among Patients with Congestive Heart Failure

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012-2013
  • National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) R25 Medical Student Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012-2013

Kyle Jackson

Program Mentor: Robert Kormos, MD, Professor of Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Artificial Heart Program, Co-Director of Heart Transplantation at UPMC, and Medical Director of Vital Engineering; Mary Amanda Dew, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science

Background: Kyle Jackson received a BS in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. While there, he spent several years in the laboratory elucidating the molecular pathway of gender determination in the red-eared slider turtle. Since entering the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he has been involved in various projects in the Division of Transplant Surgery.

Project Title: Right ventricular dysfunction following ventricular assist device implantation

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012–2013.

Albert Kim

Program mentors: William Klunk, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology; Oscar Lopez, MD, Professor of Neurology; Charles F. Reynolds III, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neuroscience, Julie Price, PhD, Professor of Radiology.

Background: Albert Kim graduated from Duke University in 2007 with a BS in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. After college, he completed a two-year research fellowship at the NIH Vaccine Research Center under Dr. Peter Kwong, where he worked on the structural analysis of gp120 (an HIV envelope protein) bound to various neutralizing antibodies by x-ray crystallography. This knowledge was used towards understanding how HIV evades the humoral immune system. Albert then matriculated at the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in 2009, where he has worked on multiple projects involving gene overexpression in rat neurons for genes implicated in schizophrenia neurobiology.

Project title:

  • Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Corpus Callosum to Follow Progression of Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease

Simiao Li

Program Mentor: Judy C. Chang, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Gynecologic Specialties; and Rachel P. Berger, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Child Protection Team, Child Advocacy Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and Associate Director in Child Abuse, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research.

Background: Simiao Li graduated from Pomona College in 2008 with a BA in molecular biology. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Clarissa M. Cheney researching the localization of novel Drosophila melanogaster vesicle transport proteins. Simiao also spent a semester abroad in China, where she interned at Beijing United Family Hospital and conducted ethnographic research on women in Beijing. Before entering the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2009, she taught as an Elite Instructor with Kaplan Test Preparation and Admissions and served as a patient advocate for the Community Crisis Center of Elgin, Illinois.

Project Titles:

  • Women Arrested for Intimate Partner Violence
  • Retinal Hemorrhages in Low-Risk Children Evaluated for Child Physical Abuse.

Publications:

  • • Li S, Mitchell EB, Fromkin J, Berger RP. Retinal Hemorrhages in Low-Risk Children Evaluated for Physical Abuse. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2011; 165(10):913-917.

Program Accomplishments:

  • First place, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Student Research Training Program Summer Poster Session 2010
  • Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Biomedical Science Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean's Summer Research Program 2010

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 2012–2013.
  • NIMH R25 Medical Student Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh 2012-2013.
  • Student Research Training Program Scholarship, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC 2010.

Paul J. McMahon Jr.

Program Mentor: Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD. Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery; Clinical Director, Brain Trauma Research Center; Director, Neurotrauma Program; Director, Spinal Deformity Program

Background: Paul J. McMahon graduated from Colgate University in 2007 with a B.A. in Cellular and Behavioral Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, he participated with various research projects including helping with the development of an motor vehicle collision injury classification system under Dr. Jeffrey Augenstein, MD, PhD, at the University of Miami Ryder Trauma Center. He completed his thesis in Neuroscience with Dr. Jun Yoshino, PhD, investigating the effect of varying levels of nitric oxide in a rat model of multiple sclerosis. Paul was an active, volunteer firefighter/EMT during this time as well. Following graduation, Paul worked as a Research Associate in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Trauma Surgery with Dr. Kenneth Proctor, PhD, working on both animal models of injury and clinical investigations. He also helped to coordinate training sessions for the US Army’s Forward Surgical Teams. In 2009, he matriculated into The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and continued research with Dr. Allen Levi MD, PhD in the department of Neurosurgery.

Project Title:

  • Acute phase comorbidities during the treatment of mild to moderate TBI and psychiatric outcomes.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012-2013
  • National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Research Grant, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012-2013

Constantino Michaelidis

Program Mentor: Kenneth Smith, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine.

Background: Constantinos Michaelidis graduated from Swarthmore College in 2005 with a BA in biology and a BA in history. As an undergraduate, he conducted research on mechanisms of sexual selection and correlates of mating success in Photinus greeni fireflies. After graduation, he worked as a high school biology teacher and health care consultant before entering the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2009. Here, he has focused on developing Markov models to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of community-based vaccination programs to ameliorate racial disparities in influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates.

Research Interests:

  • Cost-effectiveness of vaccination programs
  • Cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce uneccessary antibiotic use
  • Societal costs of antibiotic resistance

Publications:

  • Michaelidis CI, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Smith KJ. Cost-effectiveness of a program to eliminate disparities in pneumococcal vaccination rates in elderly minority populations: an exploratory analysis. Value in Health. 2013;16(2):311-317.
  • Michaelidis CI, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Smith KJ. Estimating the cost-effectiveness of a national program to eliminate disparities in influenza vaccination rates among elderly minority groups. Vaccine 2011; 29(19): 3525-3530

Program Accomplishments:

  • Dean's Summer Research Program Arthur Mirsky prize, 2010
  • Oral presentation at 2010 Modeling for Public Health Action conference

Funding:

  • Medical Student Training Award, American Federation for Aging Research, 2010
  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012–2013.
  • T32 Research Training Grant in Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Pittsburgh, 2012-2013.

Jacqui Moreau

Program Mentor: Laura K. Ferris, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; R. Scott Watson, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Background: Jacqueline Moreau graduated from Boston University in 2006 with a BA in public health. During college, she conducted thesis research on the impact of being Latino on the US healthcare experience. In addition, she created and contributed to educational curricula for several national organizations. For nearly a year after graduating, Jacqueline worked as a research and content development assistant for the Science Education Division of the journal Nature. She subsequently spent nearly two years as the manager of a quality improvement research project in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. During medical school, Jacqueline has done health services and epidemiology research on a range of topics. Her goal is to be a clinician scientist who specializes in dermatology.

Research Interests:

  • Dermatoepidemiology
  • Melanoma prevention

Publications:

  • Moreau JF, Fink EL, Hartman ME, Angus DC, Bell MJ, Linde-Zwirble W, Watson RS. ICU use and mortality are higher among children with acute CNS disorders than children with other acute disorders. Critical Care Medicine 2010; 38(19S): A6.
  • Moreau JF, Fink EL, Hartman ME, Angus DC, Bell MJ, Linde-Zwirble W, Watson RS. ICU Use and Mortality are Higher among Children with Acute CNS Disorders than Children with Other Acute Disorders. Clinical and Translational Science 2011;4(2):132.
  • Moreau JF, Fink EL, Hartman ME, Angus DC, Bell MJ, Linde-Zwirble W, Watson RS. Children with Acute CNS Disorders Use More Hospital Resources than do Children with Other Acute Disorders. Clinical and Translational Science 2011;4(2):133.
  • Moreau JF, Ozolek JA, Lin PL, Green TD, Scholz S, Cassidy EA, Venkat VL, Buchert AR. Chronic granulomatous disease presenting as aseptic ascites and fever of unknown origin in a 2 year-old child. Case Reports in Immunology. Volume 2013 (2013).
  • Moreau J, Watson R, Hartman M, Linde-Zwirble W, Ferris L. US children with erythematous conditions are more frequently critically ill and consume more health care resources than children hospitalized for other reasons. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2013;68(4):AB96
  • Wolf J, Moreau J, Akilov O, Patton T, English J, Ho J et al. Diagnostic accuracy of smartphone application in evaluating pigmented skin lesions. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2013;68(4):AB151.
  • Cheng M, Moreau J, McGuire S , Ferris L. The effect of full body skin examinations on the prognosis of melanoma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2013;68(4):AB155.
  • Wolf J, Moreau J, Akilov O, Patton T, English J. Ho J, Ferris LK. Diagnostic Inaccuracy of Smart Phone Applications for Melanoma Detection. JAMA Dermatology. Online First January 16, 2013. In press.
  • Moreau JF, Winger DG, Ferris KL. Environmental and behavioral risk factors for melanoma among young women in the United States. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2013;133(S1): S89.
  • Moreau JF, Watson RS, Hartman ME, Linde-Zwirbe WT, Ferris LK. The epidemiology of ophthalmologic disease associated with erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis among hospitalized children in the United States. Pediatric Dermatology. In press
  • Moreau JF, Ferris LK. Should there be an app for that? Controversies of diagnosing melanoma with your smartphone. Expert Review of Dermatology. In press
  • Moreau JF, Fink EL, Hartman ME, Angus DC, Bell MJ, Linde-Zwirble W, Watson RS. Hospitalizations of children with neurological disorders in the United States. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. In press.
  • Moreau JF, Weissfeld JL, Ferris LK. Characteristics and survival of patients with invasive amelanotic melanoma in the USA. Melanoma Research. Online first July 23, 2013.
  • Brewer AC, Endly CD, Henley J, Mahsa A, Sampson BP, Moreau JF, Dellavalle RP. Mobile Applications in Dermatology. JAMA Dermatology. In Press.
  • Moreau JF, Conroy MC, Winger DG, Ferris LK. Predictors of advanced and lethal melanoma in young white adults in the United States. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2013. Accepted.
  • MK*, Moreau JF*, Opel D, Prevost N, Hastings M, Schwarz E, Ferris LK. Contraceptive non-compliance in women of childbearing potential during isotretinoin therapy. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2013. Accepted. *co-first authors

Program Accomplishments:

  • Oral presentation at the Research in Cutaneous Surgery Minisymposium, International Investigative Dermatology Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2013.
  • Oral presentation at Society of Critical Care Medicine Annual Congress, San Diego, CA, January 2011.
  • Poster presentations at 1 international, 2 national, and 3 local meetings.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012–2013.
  • T35 START-UP Research Training Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Eric Javier Vargas Valls

Program Mentor: David G. Binion, M.D, AGAF, Co-director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Director, Translational Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Visiting Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Background: Eric Vargas graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009 with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology after moving from Puerto Rico in 2005. As an undergraduate, he undertook various research endeavors during the summer terms with Dr. Kerppola at The University of Michigan studying Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins and their role in gene expression as well as with Dr. Steven DiNardo, at the Perelman School of Medicine on a novel factor involved in the maintenance of the Germ Line Stem Cells. Eric also worked part-time as an assistant manager for 3 years during his undergraduate training. In 2009, Eric matriculated at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine where he began working on a quality study involving prenatal toxicology screening at the institution with Dr. Andrew S. Freiberg. During this second year, he also began working with Dr. Robert Zelis on a nutritional assessment of medical students using a novel educational tool. On his spare time he teaches fellow medical students the Medical Interview and Physical Exam in Spanish. He was also a co-chair in a community outreach program created to provide education and health care to the underserved in the Harrisburg, PA area.

Project Title:

  • Silent Crohn’s Disease: Correlation of Objective Markers of Inflammation with the SIBDQ, a Health-Related Quality of Life Assessment Tool.
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Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2012-2013
  • NIMH R25 Medical Student Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh 2012-2013
2011 Graduates

Gillian Harrison

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors:Douglas Kondziolka, MD, MS, FRCS(C), Department of Neurological Surgery and Peter J. Jannetta Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiation Oncology, Vice Chairman, Education, Director, Center for Brain Function & Behavior, Co-Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery

Background: Gillian Harrison graduated from Bucknell University in 2007 with a BS in Cell Biology/Biochemistry and Philosophy. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research fellow in the Biology Department under Dr. Emily Stowe-Evans studying the genetics and physiologic light-response of cyanobacteria. She also worked under Dr. Gillian Barker to complete a senior philosophy thesis focusing on philosophy of mind and the existence of free will. Gillian matriculated at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2008, where she has worked on various studies within the Department of Neurological Surgery.

Project Title:

  • A phase 1/2A study of safety and efficacy of modified stromal cells (SB623) in patients with stable ischemic stroke.

Publications:

  • Kondziolka D, Kano H, Harrison GL, Yang HC, Liew DN, Niranjan A, Brufsky AM, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Stereotactic radiosurgery as primary and salvage treatment for brain metastases from breast cancer. J Neurosurg. 2011 March; 114(3):790-1; discussion 791.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011-2012

Ryan Li

Program: CSTP (2008 entering class) and Doris Duke

Program Mentors: James Irrgang, PhD, PT, Director of Clinical Research in Orthopaedic Surgery.


Background: Ryan Li graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2008 with a BA in chemistry and a BSE in biomedical engineering. During his undergraduate education, he researched chemical morphogen gradient effects on human mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) chemotaxis and differentiation with Dr. Harihara Baskaran. Ryan also completed research internships under Dr. Adam Hsieh at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Dr. Robert Mauck at the University of Pennsylvania. Both internships involved MSC chondrogenesis.

Project Title:

  • Predictors of knee osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Publications:

  • Erickson IE, Huang AH, Chung C, Li RT, Burdick JA, Mauck RL. Differential maturation and structure-function relationships in mesenchymal stem cell- and chondrocyte-seeded hydrogels. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2009;15(5):1041-52.
  • Erickson IE, Huang AH, Chung C, Li RT, Burdick JA, Mauck RL. Biomaterial-dependent mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis in 3D hydrogel culture. Tissue Engineering. In press.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

Rachael Maciasz

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Yael Schenker M.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Medicine; Doug White M.D. MAS Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Medicine Director, Program on Ethics and Decision Makeing in Critical Illness, Core Faculty Member, Center for Bioethics and Health Law; Amber Barnato M.D. M.P.H, M.S Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Professor of Clinical and Translational Science ,Director, Clinical Scientist Training Program, Co-Program Leader, Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship; and Robert Arnold M.D Professor of Medicine Chief, Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, Assistant Director, Institute to Enhance Palliative Care, Director, Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication, Leo H Criep Chair in Patient Care.

Background: Rachael Maciasz graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a B.S. in Cultural Anthropology. She then worked for a comprehensive health education program, HealthCorps in public schools in New York City until she matriculated in SUNY Downstate Medical Center to pursue medical school. At SUNY Downstate she studied Medical Pluralism and Health trajectories in Zimbabwe and became interested in medical humanities, decision making, end of life care, and doctor patient communication.

Project Title:

  • Framing Palliative Care in Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

Brian Nolan

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Raphael Hirsch, MD. Titles: Aldo V. Londino Professor of Pediatrics, Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Professor of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Background: Brian Nolan graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Chemistry in 2005. As an undergraduate he worked in the lab of Edward Gooding where he studied infrared spectroscopic signatures of peptide folding. After college he took a research technician position in the Hepatitis C Virus group at the Partners AIDS Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital. In his three years there he worked under Georg Lauer, MD and Arthur Kim, MD investigating the effects of the adaptive immune response and host immunogenetics on viral resolution versus persistence in patients with acute HCV infection. In 2008 Brian matriculated at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In his first year he worked in the lab of James Finke, PhD where he studied the induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in blood samples of healthy patients by supernatant derived from renal cell carcinoma cell lines. Prior to his second year he worked with Medhat Askar, MD, PhD evaluating the effect of polymorphisms in genes coding for Th-17-related cytokines on response to antiviral therapy for recurrent HCV infection in liver transplant recipients.

Project Title:

  • Are 3-dimensional and thermal imaging able to provide earlier, more accurate assessment of response to anti-inflammatory therapy in pediatric and adult patients with Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than current measures?

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011-2012.

Michael Schowalter

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Louis D. Falo, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology; and Larisa Geskin , M.D. Assistant Professor of Dermatology.

Background: Mike graduated from Dartmouth College in 2007 with an AB in anthropology. As an undergraduate, he spent time with the Maori of New Zealand researching the role of sports in post-colonial Maori culture. Since college, he has worked on research projects at both the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jefferson Medical College, focusing primarily upon lymphocyte immunology and gene therapy with investigators Dr. Stefanie Sarantopoulos and Dr. Rene Daniel, respectively.

Project Title:

  • Proteomic Analysis of Pure and Mixed Type Desmoplastic Melanoma.

Publications:

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

Ben Sprague

Program: CSTP (2008 entering class) and Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Flordeliza Villanueva, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging, and Director of the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics.


Background: Ben Sprague graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 2006 and 2008 with a BS and MS in biomedical engineering. During this time, he worked with Dr. Naomi Chesler, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Dr. Ronald Magness, professor of obstetrics and gynecology. For his master's thesis, Ben measured hemodynamics and mechanical properties of vascular tissues within various ovine models of pregnancy. The goal was to improve our understanding of factors that cause maternal cardiovascular maladaptations, such as preeclampsia.

Project Title:

  • The use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging to identify human carotid vasa vasorum in vivo and the correlation of results with acute coronary events.

Publications:

  • Sprague BJ, Phernetton TM, Magness RR, Chesler NC. The effects of the ovarian cycle and pregnancy on uterine vascular impedance and uterine artery mechanics. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology. 2009;144(Suppl 1):S170-8.
  • Zhu Y, Sprague BJ, Phernetton TM, Magness RR, Chesler NC. Transmission line models to simulate the impedance of the uterine vasculature during the ovarian cycle and pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology. 2009;144(Suppl 1):S184-91.
  • Sprague B, Chesler NC, Magness RR. Shear stress regulates nitric oxide production in uterine and placental artery endothelial cells: experimental studies and hemodynamic models of shear stresses on endothelial cells. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 2010;54(2-3):331-9.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

Ryan Stephenson

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Dr. Robert Ferris, MD PhD FACS.



Background: Ryan Stephenson studied Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Weber State University in Ogden, UT and graduated with a BS in 2009.

Project Title:

  • Role of Toll like receptor agonists in cetuximab-mediated cytotoxic activity in head and neck cancer.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

Lisa Tseng

Program: CSTP (2008 entering class) and Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Anne Newman, MD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Director of the Center for Aging and Population Health, Department of Epidemiology.

Background: Lisa Tseng graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2008 with a BA in molecular and cell biology (MCB) and psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked under Dr. Paola S. Timiras to complete an MCB thesis on growth factor–induced neurogenesis in neuroglial cells. Lisa also worked with the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute under Dr. Robert T. Knight to complete a psychology thesis about the effects of aging and stroke on visual working memory networks.

Project Title:

  • Evaluating the relationship between weight change and physical function during the menopausal transition.

Publications:

  • Tseng, L. The Association of Menopausal Status with Physical Function: The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Menopause - The Journal of The North American Menopause Society. 2012; 19 (11). In press.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012

Jacky Yeung

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Hideho Okada, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Surgery, and Co-Leader of the Brain Tumor Program; Ian Pollack, MD, Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurological Surgery, Vice Chairman of Academic Affairs, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Co-director, Neurosurgical Oncology.

Background: Jacky Yeung graduated from University of British Columbia in 2008 with a BSc degree in Honours Physiology. As an undergraduate, he engaged in various research endeavors, including studying the modulation of different Toll-like Receptors during influenza infection, screening for virulent factors in M. tuberculosis using yeast, and completing his undergraduate thesis on the cellular localization of Bcl-family proteins in pancreatic beta cells. After matriculating at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, he continued to participate in various basic and clinical science research projects.

Project Title:

  • Molecular Defects causing Major Histocompatibility Complex I Downregulation in Glioblastoma Multiforme.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2011–2012.

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2010 Graduates

Tanner Bartholow

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2011 graduate)

Program Mentors: Anil Parwani, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Pathology Informatics; and Michael Becich, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Pathology, Information Sciences, and Telecommunications.


Background: Tanner Bartholow graduated from Juniata College in 2007 with a BS in biology. During his undergraduate education, he worked with Dr. Jeff Demarest in research focusing on the electrophysiologic and morphologic properties associated with gastric secretory processes in Necturus maculosus. He also completed a research internship in the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Stahl and studied complement.

Project Title:

  • Analysis of potential immunohistochemical markers for assessing prognosis in patients with prostate cancer metastasis.

Publications:

  • Bartholow TL, Chandran UR, Becich MJ, Parwani AV. Immunohistochemical profiles of claudin-3 in primary and metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma. Diagnostic Pathology. 2011;6:12 (doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-12).
  • Bartholow TL, Chandran UR, Becich MJ, Parwani AV. Immunohistochemical staining of radixin and moesin in prostatic adenocarcinoma. BMC Clinical Pathology. 2011;11:1 (doi:10.1156/1472-6890-11-1).
  • Bartholow TL, Becich MJ, Chandran UR, Parwani AV. Immunohistochemical analysis of ezrin-radixin-moesin-binding phosphoprotein 50 in prostatic adenocarcinoma. BMC Urology. 2011 Jun 14;11:12.
  • Bartholow TL, Becich MJ, Chandran UR, Parwani AV. Immunohistochemical staining of Slit2 in primary and metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma. Translational Oncology. In Press
  • Bartholow TL, Parwani AV. Primitive renal neuroectodermal tumors. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. In Press

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentations at 2 national meetings.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.
  • T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2010–2011.

Tiffany Behringer

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2011 graduate)

Program Mentor: Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.


Background: Tiffany Behringer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a BA and MS in anthropology. While at Penn, Tiffany performed qualitative research under the auspices of Dr. Fran Barg. Her undergraduate thesis investigated Chinese immigrant women's perceptions of the one-child policy and their reproductive decision making. For her master's thesis, Tiffany used participant observation and semistructured interviewing to better understand the psychosocial experience of female factor infertility and doctor-patient communication about in vitro fertilization treatment. After college, she spent 2 years working with Dr. Kevin Volpp on a study examining the impact of the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) work hour policy on mortality in the VA and Medicare population.

Project Title:

  • Understanding contraceptive decision making in women who seek to avoid pregnancy.

Publications:

  • Behringer T, Rollman BL, Herbeck-Belnap, Houck PR, Mazumdar S, Schwarz EB. Impact of physician counseling and perception of teratogenic risks: A survey of 96 nonpregnant women with anxiety. Prim Care Companion CNS Disorders. 2011; 13(2): e1-e5).
  • Behringer T and Schwarz EB. Pregnancy, Unintended. Chapter in The 5-Minute Consult Clinical Companion to Women's Health, second edition. Eds. Kelly A. McGarry and Iris L. Tong. In Press.
  • Behringer T, Reeves M, Rossiter B, Chen BA, Schwarz EB. Duration of use of a levonorgestrel IUD amongst adolescent and nulliparous women. Contraception. In Press.
  • Volpp KG, Rosen AK, Rosenbaum PR, Romano PS, Even-Shoshan O, Canamucio A, Bellini L, Behringer T, Silber JH. Mortality among patients in VA hospitals in the first 2 years following ACGME resident duty hour reform. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2007;298(9):984-92.
  • Volpp KG, Rosen AK, Rosenbaum PR, Romano PS, Even-Shoshan O, Wang Y, Bellini L, Behringer T, Silber JH. Mortality among hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries in the first 2 years following ACGME resident duty hour reform. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2007;298(9):975-83.
  • Behringer T, Rollman BL, Herbeck-Belnap B, Houck P, Mazumdar S, Schwarz EB. Physician counseling and perception of teratogenic risks among women with anxiety. Primary Care Companion of the Journal for Clinical Psychiatry. In press.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentations at 2 national meetings.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.
  • T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2010–2011.

Maria Fan

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Sharon Hillier, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, Reproductive Sciences, Molecular Genetics, and Biochemistry, Director of Reproductive Infectious Diseases Research at Magee-Womens Hospital, and Director of the Magee-Womens Hospital Center of Excellence in Women's Health.


Background: Maria Fan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005 with a BS in molecular environmental biology. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Isao Kubo and studied the effect of tyrosinase inhibitors on melanoma cells. In 2006, Maria entered the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she worked with Dr. Nanette Santoro and Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum on the characterization of reproductive hormones in middle-aged HIV-infected women.

Project Title:

  • Acceptability and preferred physician characteristics of vaginal film microbicides used to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Publications:

  • Fan M, Ferguson L, Rohan L, Meyn L, Hillier, SL. Vaginal film microbicides for HIV prevention: A mixed methods study of women's preferences. Abstr. Ann Meeting. 19th International Society for STD Research (ISSTDR) Scientific Meeting: P2-S9.06, p. A263, July 10-13, 2011, Quebec City, Canada.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentation at 1 national meeting.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.

Aditya Iyer

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Mark S. Roberts, MD, MPP, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Medicine, Industrial Engineering, and Clinical and Translational Science; and Andrew Schaefer, PhD, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering.


Background: Aditya Iyer graduated from Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2006 with BA degrees in mathematics and economics. As an undergraduate, he focused on using a game-theoretic approach to analyzing outsourcing. After receiving an MS in operations research and information engineering from Cornell University's College of Engineering, he entered the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2008 as a member of the Physician Scientist Training Program.

Project Title:

  • Simulation modeling of pediatric acute liver failure to optimize transplant decision making.

Publications:

  • Iyer A, Zenarosa G, Bryce C, Chang CH, Schaefer AJ, Roberts MS, A Discrete-Event Simulation of End-stage Liver Disease in Pediatric and Adult Patients, In: Proceedings of the 2011 Winter Simulation Conference.
  • Iyer A, Zenarosa GL, Schaefer AJ, Roberts MS, Simulation Based Estimates of the Effect of Presumed Consent on the U.S. Liver Allocation System (2010-2011)
  • Bryce C, Chang CH, Iyer A, Zenarosa G, Ren Y, Schaefer AJ, Roberts MS, Pre-transplant Survival in Children with Chronic and Acute Liver Failure (2011)
  • Bryce C, Chang CH, Iyer A, Zenarosa G, Ren Y, Schaefer AJ, Roberts MS, Post-transplant Survival in Children with Acute and Chronic Liver Failure (2011)

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.

Jessica Lee

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Jennifer Grandis, MD, Vice Chair for Research, Professor of Otolaryngology and Pharmacology, and Leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Program.


Background: Jessica Lee graduated from Princeton University in 2005 with an AB in ecology and evolutionary biology. As an undergraduate, she studied collective decision making in ants and devised experiments in the wild jungles of Panama. Following graduation, she spent 2 years as a research assistant in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University, where she focused on clinical studies of the shoulder.

Project Title:

  • Targeting STAT3 in head and neck cancer.

Publications:

  • Lee JA, Sok, J, Joyce, SC, Grandis JR. Upregulation of Collagen11alpha1 in Head and Neck Cancer, In preparation.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.

Sarah Ramer

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2011 graduate)

Program Mentors: Mark Unruh, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine; and Anne Germain, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry.


Background: Sarah Ramer graduated from Harvard College in 2003 with an AB in folklore and mythology, specializing in Chinese studies. Although she originally did not plan on a career in medicine, her first job out of college, as a clinical research coordinator in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, convinced her that she wanted to become a doctor. She then took her premedical courses at Harvard Extension School while also working as an interviewer on a National Institutes of Health–funded study of massage for symptom relief in patients with metastatic cancer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Sarah subsequently ran several premarketing trials of new compounds for diabetic nephropathy under Dr. Mark Williams at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Project Title:

  • Psychosocial impact of witnessed critical events in the hemodialysis center.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Manuscript submitted for publication: Ramer S, Germain A, Dohar S, Unruh M. Event-related distress in kidney disease patients.
  • Presentation at 1 national meeting.

Publications

  • Ramer S, Germain A, Dohar S, Unruh M. Event-related distress in kidney disease patients. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2011 May 30. [Epub ahead of print] – PubMED Citation
  • Jhamb M, Pike F, Ramer S, Argyropoulos C, Steel J, Dew MA, Weisbord SD, Weissfeld L, Unruh M. Impact of fatigue on outcomes in the hemodialysis (HEMO) study. Am J Nephrol. 2011;33(6):515-23. Epub 2011 May 9.
  • Ramer S, Cohen E, Unruh M, Barnato AE. The epidemiology of acute hemodialysis in Pennsylvania 2005-2007. In preparation.
  • Ramer S, Cohen E, Unruh M, Barnato A. The epidemiology of acute hemodialysis in Pennsylvania, 2005-2007. In preparation.
  • Kang E, Pike F, Ramer S, Abdel-Kader K, Myaskovsky L, Dew MA, Unruh M. The effect of longitudinal change in mental health on cardiac outcomes in the HEMO study patients. In revision.
  • Ramer S. Humanism at heart: Preserving empathy in third-year medical students (letter). Academic Medicine. 2011 Oct. In press.
  • Ramer S, Germain A, Dohar S, Unruh M. Event-related distress in kidney disease patients. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2011 May 30. (Epub ahead of print.)
  • Jhamb M, Pike F, Ramer S , Argyropoulos C, Steel J, Dew MA, Weisbord SD, Weissfeld L, Unruh M. Impact of fatigue on outcomes in the hemodialysis (HEMO) study. American Journal of Nephrology. 2011 May 9;33(6):515-523. (Epub ahead of print.)

Funding:

  • T32 Grant MH016804, National Institutes of Health, 2008.
  • T32 Grant MH19986, National Institutes of Health, 2010–2011.
  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.

Rachel Reid

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Health Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation; and Ellerie Weber, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University and RAND Corporation.


Background: Rachel Reid graduated from Harvard University in 2007 with a BA in biochemical sciences and a certificate in health policy. As an undergraduate, she was engaged in research, working in basic science laboratories at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital and performing health services research at Harvard. She joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2007 and has been working with Dr. Ateev Mehrotra on projects that examine physician characteristics as predictors of health care quality and cost.

Project Title:

  • Analysis of the effect of retail clinic utilization on primary care relationships.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentations at 1 local and 4 national meetings.

Publications

(Mehrota, Weber)

  • Ashwood, JS, Reid, RO, Setotdji, CM, Weber, E, Gaynor, M, Mehrotra, A. Trends in Retail Clinic Use Among The Commercially Insured, American Journal of Managed Care, In Press.
  • Reid, RO, Friedberg, M, Ashwood, JS, Setotdji, CM, Weber, E, Gaynor, M, Mehrotra, A. The Impact of Retail Clinics on Primary Care Relationships, Under review.
  • Ashwood, JS, Gaynor, M, Reid, RO, Setotdji, CM, Weber, E, Mehrotra, A. The Impact of Retail Clinics on Utilization for Acute Reasons, In preparation.

Susan Shyu (Dew, Pilewski)

  • Shyu S, Dew MA, Pilewski JM, DeVito Dabbs AJ, Zaldonis DB, Studer SM, Crespo MM, Toyoda Y, Bermudez CA, McCurry KR. Five-year outcomes with alemtuzumab induction after lung transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2011 Jul;30(7):743-54. Epub 2011 Mar 21

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.
  • T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2010–2011.

Sanithia Williams

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.


Background: Sanithia Williams graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in 2007 with a BS in biochemistry. As an undergraduate, she explored various research interests. In 2007, she went to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she became interested in clinical research and began working on a project that examined clinical decision making in infertility treatment, with a focus on in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination.

Project Title:

  • Associations between contraceptive use and quality of life among women of reproductive age.

Publications

  • Kavanaugh M, Williams S, Schwarz EB. Emergency contraception use and counseling following changes in United States prescription status. Fertility Sterility. 2011 Mar 31. PMID: 21457957
  • Williams SL, Parisi SM, Hess R, Schwarz EB. Associations between recent contraceptive use and quality of life among women. Contraception. Forthcoming 2012
  • Schwarz EB, Parisi SM, Williams SL, Shevchik G, Hess R. Promoting Safe Prescribing in Primary Care with a Contraceptive Vital Sign: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial (under review by the Annals of Family Medicine)
  • Williams SL, Kavanaugh ML, Parisi SM, Borrero S, Schwarz EB. Contraceptive use among obese women: results from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth (in preparation)

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010–2011.

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Graduates of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program and Clinical Scientist Training Program
2009 Graduates

Lara Cox

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2010 graduate)

Program Mentors: David A. Brent, MD, MS Hyg, Professor of Psychiatry; and Lisa A. Pan, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.


Background: Lara Cox graduated in 2006 from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. She received a BA with high honors in neuroscience and with distinction in psychology. Throughout her 4 years at Kenyon, she conducted a variety of research projects in cognitive psychology and behavioral neuroscience, including independent research on the effects of methylphenidate on social behavior and ultrasonic vocalizations in rats.

Project Title:

  • Self-injurious behavior in the offspring of mood-disordered parents.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Manuscript submitted for publication: Cox LJ, Stanley B, Melhem NM, Oquendo M, Birmaher B, Burke A, Kolko DJ, Zelazny JM, Mann JJ, Brent DA. Familial and individual predictors of nonsuicidal self-injury in the offspring of mood-disordered parents.

Funding:

  • Multidisciplinary Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education and Clinical and Translational Science Institute, 2009–2010.
  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

Anthony Deo

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Robert A. Sweet, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Background: In 2001, Anthony (Tony) Deo graduated from Boston College with a BS in biology. In 2007, he completed a PhD in biology from New York University. His dissertation research involved developing a new methodology for identifying genes associated with particular subsets of symptoms of schizophrenia. He completed this research under the supervision of Dr. Fatemeh Haghighi, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, and Dr. Rob DeSalle, Institute of Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History. After completing his PhD work, Tony entered the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as a member of the Physician Scientist Training Program.

Project Title:

  • The role of mediators of the structural effects of long-term potentiation in the auditory cortex of individuals with schizophrenia.

Publications:

  • Sweet, RA, Deo, AJ, Cahill, CE, Li, S, Goldszer, I, Henteleff, R, VanLeeuwen, J, Rafalovich, I, Gao, R, Stachowski, EK, Sampson, AR, Lewis, DA, Penzes, P. Increased Expression of Kalirin-9 in the Auditory Cortex of Schizophrenia Subjects: its Role in Dendritic Pathology Corresponding, Neurobiology of Disease, In Press.
  • Fish KN, Sweet RA, Deo AJ, Lewis DA. An automated segmentation methodology for quantifying immunoreactive puncta number and fluorescence intensity in tissue sections. Brain Research. 2008;1240:62-72.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

Anna Evans

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: David C. Whitcomb, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics, and Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, and Human Genetics.


Background: Anna Evans graduated from Harvard University in 2004 with a BA in history. She worked with Dr. Frank Sacks in nutrition research at Brigham and Women's Hospital before attending the postbaccalaureate premedical program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Anna entered the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2006 with an interest in gastroenterology.

Project Title:

  • The role of leptin in the severity of acute pancreatitis.

Publications:

  • Evans AC, Papachristou GI, Whitcomb DC. Obesity and the risk of severe acute pancreatitis. Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica. 2010;56(2):169-79.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

Elizabeth Genovese

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2010 graduate)

Program Mentors: Mary Amanda Dew, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science; and Robert Kormos, MD, Director of the Artificial Heart Program, Co-Director of Heart Transplantation at UPMC, and Medical Director of Vital Engineering.

Background: Elizabeth Genovese received a BS from the University of Notre Dame in 2006, with a major in preprofessional studies and a minor in gender studies. While attending Notre Dame, she worked for 2 years under Dr. JoEllen Welsh, researching the use of natural and synthetic vitamin D as a treatment for breast cancer.

Project Title:

  • Predictors of acute adverse events in the early months after ventricular assist device implantation.

Publications:

  • Genovese EA, Dew MA, Simon MA, Teuteberg JJ, Kay J, Siegenthaler MP, Bhama JK, Bermudez C, Lockard KL, Winowich S, Kormos RL. Cumulative incidence and pattern of adverse events in the first 60 days after ventricular assist device implantation [abstract]. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2008;27(2 Suppl 1):S159.
  • Kay J, Teuteberg JJ, Simon MA, Siegenthaler MP, Genovese EA, Bermudez C, Bhama JK, Dew MA, Lockard KL, Winowich S, Kormos RL. Ventricular assist device (VAD) adverse events (AEs) affect not only VAD survival but subsequent survival after cardiac transplantation (CTX) [abstract]. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2008;27(2 Suppl 1):S169.
  • Genovese EA, Dew MA, Teuteberg JJ, Simon MA, Kay J, Siegenthaler MP, Bhama JK, Bermudez CA, Lockard KL, Winowich S, Kormos RL. Incidence and patterns of adverse event onset during the first 60 days after ventricular assist device implantation. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2009;88(4):1162-70.
  • Kormos RL, Teuteberg JJ, Siegenthaler MP, Marc SA, Kay JJ, Genovese E, Bermudez C, Toyoda Y, Lockard KL, Winowich S. Pre-VAD implant risk factors influence the onset of adverse events (AEs) while on a VAD [abstract]. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2009;28(2 Suppl 1):S153-4.
  • Rayappa S, Teuteberg JJ, Siegenthaler MP, Kay J, Genovese E, Simon M, Dew MA, Bhama JJ, Lockard KL, Kormos RL. Pre-implant risk for VADs and VAD AEs influences the onset of adverse events (AEs) following cardiac transplantation (CTX) and ultimate survival [abstract]. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2009;28(2 Suppl 1):S165.
  • Bhama JK, Rayappa S, Zaldonis D, Adusumilli PS, Bansal A, Genovese EA, Teuteberg JJ, Toyoda Y, Siegenthaler MP, Bermudez CA, McCurry KR, Kormos RL. Impact of abdominal complications on outcome after mechanical circulatory support. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2010;89(2):522-8; discussion 528-9.
  • Genovese EA, Dew MA, Teuteberg JJ, Simon MA, Bhama JK, Bermudez CA, Lockard KL, Winowich S, Kormos RL. Early adverse events as predictors of 1-year mortality during mechanical circulatory support. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2010;29(9):981-8.
  • Horai T, Ku NC, Genovese EA, Bermudez CA, Bahma JK, Teuteberg JJ, Winowich S, Weimer A, O'Shea GC, Toyoda Y, McNamara DM, Kormos RL. Major neurological events after ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation are device-specific but are also related to pre-implant factors [abstract]. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2010;29(2 Suppl 1):S174.
  • Kormos RL, Bonde P, Bermudez CA, Lockard KL, Genovese EA, Teuteberg JJ, Bhama JK, Simon MA, Yoshiya T, Tetsuya H, McNamara DM. The ventricular assist device (VAD) driveline: what is the price of living with this technology [abstract]? Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2010;29(2 Suppl 1):S89.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Travel Award, Gordon Research Conference on Assisted Circulation, Big Sky, Montana, 2007.
  • Merit Award for Excellence in Biomedical Science Research, University of Pittsburgh, 2007.
  • Travel Award, Annual Meeting of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Denver, Colorado, 2009.
  • Presentations at 1 local meeting and 1 national meeting.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.
  • T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2009–2010.

Erin Ohmann

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2010 graduate)

Program Mentor: Steven A. Webber, MBChB, MRCP, Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical and Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Co-Director of the Heart Center, and Medical Director of Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplantation, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Background: Erin Ohmann graduated from Cornell University in 2004 with a BS in food science. She worked for 2 years as a research assistant and coordinator of genetic studies of dystonia and Parkinson's disease with Drs. Susan Bressman and Rachel Saunders-Pullman and with Deborah Raymond, MS, at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York.

Project Title:

  • Genetic contribution to graft and patient outcomes following pediatric cardiac transplantation.

Publications:

  • Ohmann EL, Brooks MM, Webber SA, Girnita DM, Ferrell RE, Burckart GJ, Chinnock R, Canter C, Addonizio L, Bernstein D, Kirklin JK, Naftel DC, Zeevi A. Association of genetic polymorphisms and risk of late posttransplantation infection in pediatric heart recipients. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2010;29(12):1342-51.
  • Ohmann EL, Burckart GJ, Brooks MM, Chen Y, Pravica V, Girnita DM, Zeevi A, Webber SA. Genetic polymorphisms influence mycophenolate mofetil-related adverse events in pediatric heart transplant patients. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2010;29(5):509-16.
  • Ohmann EL, Burckart GJ, Chen Y, Pravica V, Brooks MM, Zeevi A, Webber SA. Inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase 1 haplotypes and association with mycophenolate mofetil gastrointestinal intolerance in pediatric heart transplant patients. Pediatric Transplantation. 2010;14(7):891-5.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Arthur Mirsky Student Research Award, Summer Research Program Symposium, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2007.
  • Presentations at 2 local, 5 national, and 2 international meetings.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.
  • T32 Predoctoral Fellowship, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2009–2010.

David Panczykowski

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: David Okonkwo, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Clinical Director of the Brain Trauma Research Center, Director of the Neurotrauma Program, and Director of the Spinal Deformity Program.

Background: David Panczykowski graduated in 2005 from Clemson University. During his undergraduate years, he was a career fire fighter with the City of Clemson Fire Department and performed sleep deprivation research with Dr. June Pilcher in the Department of Psychology. David continued as a firefighter until matriculating to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2006. He later performed basic science and clinical research with Dr. Alan Levi at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and he was named the Campagna Scholar in Neurological Surgery at Oregon Health and Science University, where he conducted clinical research in subarachnoid hemorrhage under Drs. Nathan Selden, Valerie Anderson, and Stan Barnwell.

Project Title:

  • Impact of early nutrition on calorimetry and outcome following traumatic brain injury.

Publications:

  • Panczykowski DM, Okonkwo DO. Premorbid oral antithrombotic therapy and risk for reaccumulation, reoperation, and mortality in acute subdural hematomas. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2011;114(1):47-52.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentations at 2 local, 5 national, and 1 international meeting.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

Anthony Paravati

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Dwight Heron, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology at UPMC Shadyside, Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Director of Radiation Oncology Services at UPMC Cancer Centers, and Professor of Radiation Oncology, Otolaryngology, and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Background: Anthony Paravati graduated from Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 2006 with a BS in neuroscience. He then went to Dartmouth Medical School, where he took a strong interest in neuro-oncology and radiation therapy. While at Dartmouth, he conducted research with Dr. Candice Aitken on the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy for early-stage lung cancer and with Dr. Alan Hartford on the use of stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases. During his fellowship year, Anthony conducted a study to determine if changes to a previously developed prognostic index improved its predictive power for high-grade glioma patients who were treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with or without temozolomide. He also studied the use of CyberKnife radiosurgery as an adjuvant treatment modality in the corridor-based surgical management of complex base of skull tumors.

Project Title:

  • Dynamic tumor regression and posttreatment serum protein and peptide profiles for inoperable non–small cell lung cancer treated with fractionated thoracic radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy.

Publications:

  • Paravati AJ, Heron DE, Gardner PA, Snyderman C, Ozhasoglu C, Quinn A, Burton SA, Seelman K, Mintz AH. Combined endoscopic endonasal surgery and fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (fSRS) for complex cranial base tumors: early clinical outcomes. Technology in Cancer Research Treatment. 2010;9(5):489-98.
  • Paravati AJ, Heron DE, Landsittel D, Flickinger JC, Mintz A, Chen YF, Huq MS. Radiotherapy and temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma: validation of radiation therapy oncology group-recursive partitioning analysis in the IMRT and temozolomide era. Journal of Neuro-oncology. In press.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Presentations at 4 national meetings.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

Roy Sriwattanakomen

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Charles F. Reynolds, MD, UPMC Endowed Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry and Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, and Clinical and Translational Science.

Background: Roy Sriwattanakomen graduated from Swarthmore College in 2005 with a BA in biology. As an undergraduate, Roy participated in basic science research involving fruit fly courtship and hamster food preference. After graduation, he spent a year as a research assistant investigating mental health access in underserved communities.

Project Title:

  • Prevention of depression in subsyndromal elderly patients and the effects of depression and anxiety on patients following coronary artery bypass grafting.

Publications:

  • Sriwattanakomen R, Ford AF, Thomas SB, Miller MD, Stack JA, Morse JQ, Kasckow J, Brown C, Reynolds CF 3rd. Preventing depression in later life: translation from concept to experimental design and implementation. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2008;16(6):460-8.
  • Sriwattanakomen R, McPherron J, Chatman J, Morse JQ, Martire LM, Karp JF, Houck PR, Bensasi S, Houle J, Stack JA, Woods M, Block B, Thomas SB, Quinn S, Reynolds CF 3rd. A comparison of the frequencies of risk factors for depression in older black and white participants in a study of indicated prevention. International Psychogeriatrics. 2010;22(8):1240-7.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009–2010.

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2008 Graduates

Alison Goldberg Rubin, MD, MS

Program: CSTP and Doris Duke (2009 graduate)

Program Mentors: Melanie Gold, DO, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics; and Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.

Background: Alison Goldberg Rubin graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001 with a BA in English literature and psychology. She worked as a research associate with Drs. Charles Irwin, Elizabeth Ozer, and Mary-Ann Shafer for 3 years at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, where she focused on screening and counseling for risky behaviors and Chlamydia screening among adolescents. She entered the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2005 after completing a postbaccalaureate premedical program at Scripps College.

Project Titles:

  • Use of emergency contraception in U.S. teens: methods of access and perceived barriers.
  • The relationship between depressive symptoms and risk-taking behavior in female adolescents.

Publications:

  • Goldberg AD, Chiappetta L, Gold MA. The relationship between depressive symptoms and risk-taking behavior in female adolescents [abstract]. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2007;20(2):S131.
  • Rubin AG, Gold MA, Primack BA. Associations between depressive symptoms and sexual risk behavior in a diverse sample of female adolescents. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 2009;22(5):306-12.
  • Manuscript submitted for publication: Rubin AG, Gold MA, Kim Y, Schwarz EB. Teen use of emergency contraception: methods of access and perceived barriers.

Program Accomplishments:

  • Sally E. Perlman Award for Best Poster, North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Atlanta, Georgia, 2007.
  • Oral Presenter for University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Meeting, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2009.
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarly Project, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2010.
  • Presentations at 1 local and 3 national meetings.

Funding:

  • T32 Predoctoral Research Funding, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2006.
  • Dean's Summer Research Project Funding, Office of the Dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2006.
  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, 2008–2009.

Current Position: Pediatrics Resident, Jefferson Medical College and DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware.

Priya Gursahaney, MD, MS

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentor: Harold Wiesenfeld, MD, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.

Background: Priya Gursahaney graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 2004 with a BS in biochemistry. She then worked for 1 year as a research associate in the laboratory of Dr. Josephine Adams at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. In 2005, Priya entered the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Project Title:

  • Factors influencing notification of partners of patients with sexually transmitted diseases.

Publications:

  • Gursahaney PR, Meyn LA, Hillier SL, Sweet RL, Wiesenfeld HC. Combined hormonal contraception may be protective against Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2010;37(6):356-60.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2008–2009.

Mari Stephanie Machi, MD

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Donald M. Yealy, MD, Professor and Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine; and Clifton W. Callaway, MD, PhD, Executive Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine and Ronald D. Stewart Endowed Chair of Emergency Medicine.

Background: Mari Stephanie Machi graduated from Cornell University in 2005 with a BA in biology. During her undergraduate years, she participated in various basic science research projects, including the study of nucleosomal stability in the Department of Biophysics and the study of the cysteine dioxygenase enzyme in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She also had some exposure to clinical research during a summer in which she examined the effect of pneumatic compression devices on the prevention of deep vein thrombosis during air travel. In medical school, Stephanie was involved in some basic research, but she began to take an interest in clinical research, and this led her to apply for the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship.

Project Title:

  • Detecting cognitive fatigue, impulsiveness, and changes in executive function after an overnight shift in emergency medicine attending physicians.

Publications:

  • McCausland JB, Machi MS, Yealy DM. Emergency physicians' risk attitudes in acute decompensated heart failure patients. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2010;17(1):108-10.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2008–2009.

Arvind Raina, MD

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: Naftali Kaminski, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Human Genetics, and Computational Biology, Director of the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases, and Director of the Lung, Blood, and Vascular Center for Genomic Medicine.

Background: Arvind Raina received an MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. During the 2008–2009 academic year, Arvind conducted research focused on the pathophysiology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Arvind's research interests include the clinical application of analytic techniques used in genomics and metabolomics.

Project Title:

  • Modulation of cellular responsiveness to tumor growth factor beta stimulation by let-7d.

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2008–2009.

Nikhil Thaker, MD

Program: Doris Duke

Program Mentors: John Lazo, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology; and Ian Pollack, MD, Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurological Surgery, Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Co-Director of Neurosurgical Oncology.

Background: Nikhil Thaker graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2007 with a BS in biology. As an undergraduate, He worked with Dr. Robert Nagele from the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), where he investigated autoimmune mechanisms of Alzheimer disease. As a student in the 7-year accelerated combined BS/MD program, Nikhil entered the UMDNJ–New Jersey Medical School in 2006.

Project Titles:

  • A small interfering RNA (siRNA) screen identifies isocitrate dehydrogenase 3 beta as an essential protein for glioma cell survival.

Publications:

  • Thaker NG, Pollack IF. Molecularly targeted therapies for malignant glioma: rationale for combinatorial strategies. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2009;9(12):1815-36.
  • Thaker NG, Zhang F, McDonald PR, Shun TY, Lewen MD, Pollack IF, Lazo JS. Identification of survival genes in human glioblastoma cells by small interfering RNA screening. Molecular Pharmacology. 2009;76(6):1246-55.
  • Thaker NG, McDonald PR, Zhang F, Kitchens CA, Shun TY, Pollack IF, Lazo JS. Designing, optimizing, and implementing high-throughput siRNA genomic screening with glioma cells for the discovery of survival genes and novel drug targets. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2010;185(2):204-12.
  • Thaker NG, Zhang F, McDonald PR, Shun TY, Lazo JS, Pollack IF. Functional genomic analysis of glioblastoma multiforme through short interfering RNA screening: a paradigm for therapeutic development. Neurosurgical Focus. 2010; 28(1):E4 (doi:10.3171/2009.10.focus09210).

Funding:

  • Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2008–2009.