KCU’s 2023 Research Symposium wraps up with several student award winners

By Haley Reardon Apr 18, 2023
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KCU’s 2023 Research Symposium took place April 4 – 7 on both the Kansas City and Joplin campuses. The four-day event offered students a platform to showcase their research endeavors and distinguish themselves with a more competitive edge when it comes to residency placement.

This year’s symposium featured more than 100 poster presentations. Twelve students along with 24 Summer Student Research Fellows were invited to give live presentations. Additionally, 11 osteopathic medical students currently on clinical clerkships rotation at core sites as well as 35 KCU Graduate Medical Education Consortium Residents gave virtual presentations. Ehab Sarsour, PhD, KCU assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology, served as chair for the Research Symposium.

The event hosted six speakers, all of whom are distinguished physicians and scientists from within and outside the KCU community. Joseph J. Cullen, MD, FACS, professor of surgery at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, was the keynote speaker. Cullen’s laboratory investigates pharmacological ascorbate as an adjuvant to standard-of- care treatments to treat pancreatic cancer. He holds the Investigational New Drug Application for seven clinical trials utilizing pharmacological ascorbate at the University of Iowa. Guest featured speakers included Rebecca Oberley-Deegan, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and Nukhet Aykin-Burns, PhD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Gautam Desai, DO, FACOFP, professor and chair of Primary Care; Jennifer Fugate, PhD, associate professor of health service psychology; and Bradley Creamer, PhD, associate professor of physiology represented KCU as featured speakers.

Thirty-six judges evaluated live, virtual and poster presentations and awarded six KCU Student Research Symposium Awards. A special panel of five judges evaluated several highly competitive applications for the coveted Yale U. Castlio, DO, Prize for Research. This prestigious award provides funds to support projects that significantly advance the osteopathic medical profession and the University’s position in the research community. Student Doctor Sarah Shapiro (COM ’25) claimed the prize for her presentation entitled Epidemiological and Demographic Characteristics Related to Social Determinants of Health in Patients with Anti-NMDAR.

“The Research Symposium amplifies how the innovative research and scientific discoveries of our faculty and students act as an important catalyst in fulfilling KCU’s vision—changing health care for good—and our mission of improving the well-being of the communities we serve,” said Sarsour. Learn more about the 2023 Research Symposium award winners here.

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