Medical Sciences Recent Award Recipients
A few of our medical sciences students recently earned Nationally Competitive Awards. We wanted to not only congratulate them, but also share their journey. Below is a review and supplemental article for each of the recipients. Please join us in congratulating Mohamed, Rishi, and Erika!
Mohamed Elzarka - Congratulations to Mohamed on being named a Knight Hennessy Scholar. Mohamed is UC's first recipient, and the scholarship will support his studies at the Stanford University School of Medicine starting this fall. For more information on Mohamed's achievement, click HERE.
Rishi Mehta - Congratulations to Rishi Mehta on being named a Goldwater Scholar. As a second year medical sciences student, Rishi has worked in the laboratory of Laura Ramsey, UC assistant professor of pediatrics and research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Fore more information on Rishi's achievement, please click HERE.
Erika Nguyen - Congratulations to Erika, one of four UC students to win a Fulbright grant. Erika will be an English Teaching Assistant in Vietnam. For more information on Erika's achievement, click HERE.
Medical Sciences Virtual Graduation Ceremony
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of traditional graduation ceremonies for the University of Cincinnati this spring. In response, the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program created a unique way to celebrate the accomplishments of the Medical Sciences Class of 2020. On Friday, May 8, the faculty and staff of the program, along with the graduating seniors and their families and friends, joined Anil Menon, PhD, Associate Dean and Director of the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program for a virtual graduation ceremony live via Webex.
Philip Diller, MD, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Medical Education for the College of Medicine gave the commencement address. University of Cincinnati President, Neville G. Pinto, PhD, appeared in a pre-recorded video congratulating the class. 53 students received the Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences degree.
The full ceremony can now be viewed on You Tube by clicking HERE
WCPO-TV Channel 9 did a story on the ceremony. This can be viewed HERE
Thank you to the faculty and staff of the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program for their support of these students through the years. Congratulations to the Medical Sciences Class of 2020!
Rishi Mehta Named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar
Rishi Mehta, a sophomore student in UC's medical sciences baccalaureate program (MSBP) in the college of medicine has been named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship recognizes college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. Rishi's research in gastrointestinal immunology in the laboratory of Marc Rothenberg, MD PhD, professor of pediatrics at UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, is aimed at translating basic science discoveries into personalized treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.
Lauren Styczynski's Research Receives "Student-Faculty Collaboration Award"
January 22, 2020: Lauren Styczynksi, a senior medical sciences student, has been working diligently on research to see if Vincristine, a common chemotherapy often used in treatment for leukemia, might prime and alter the pain perception if it's administered in adulthood. She collaborated with Dr. Mark Baccei. Their work produced a URC Grant and the Student-Faculty Collaboration Award through the University of Cincinnati Office of Research. To view their work, please visit this link. Congratulations Laura! Thank you for representing medical sciences so well!
MSBP Professor Appointed Deputy Editor of Advances in Physiology Education
January 1, 2020: Bryan Mackenzie, PhD, associate professor of physiology at UC's college of medicine, has been appointed Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the journal Advances in Physiology Education. The journal, which is published by the American Physiological Society, promotes and disseminates educational scholarship in order to enhance teaching and learning of physiology and medical sciences. Advances publishes peer-reviewed descriptions of innovations that improve teaching in the classroom and laboratory, essays on education, and review articles based on our current understanding of physiological mechanisms.
"It's great honor for the medical sciences program that Dr Mackenzie has been elected to be the deputy editor for Advances in Physiology Education," said Anil Menon, PhD, director of UC's medical sciences program. "It's an honor not only for the program but for Dr Mackenzie who has been a leader in undergraduate education in physiology. Not only has he performed incredible research in his own laboratory with undergraduate students, but those undergraduate students have been inspired and gone on to do great things, including winners of national awards. I think this recognition is long overdue, and it is fully and richly deserved."
"Few things match the excitement and satisfaction of teaching and mentoring in science—sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience—to students eager to learn," said Mackenzie. "At Advances, our goals are to explore the content that we should be teaching our students in the biomedical sciences and to identify teaching methodologies that best deliver that content to our students across a broad range of learning styles and preferences, making sure that no-one is left behind. I am thrilled to take on this new role as deputy editor."
Dr Mackenzie serves as director of research experiences for the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program and directs MSBP research courses as well as Statistics and Experimental Design, and Interprofessional Education.
Journal Article Discusses the Benefits of Peer Teaching at the Undergraduate Level
December 19, 2019: A scholarly article published today in the journal Advances of Physiology Education provides new evidence that peer teaching at the undergraduate level raises student learning outcomes—and that's precisely the approach being taken in some of the more challenging courses within the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program (MSBP) at UC. The article discusses the role of undergradaute teaching assistants, referred to at UC as supplemental instruction leaders.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) engages students through weekly review sessions and office hours in "historically difficult courses". Several MSBP juniors and seniors currently serve as SI leaders in upper-level MSBP courses. Annually, six MSBP courses incorporate supplemental instruction, those are: MEDS3020 Introduction to Medical Biochemistry, MEDS3021 Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics, MEDS3023C Statistics & Experimental Design, MEDS3026 Human Physiology, MEDS4027 Principles of Biochemistry I, and MEDS4028 Principles of Biochemistry II.
The article by Douglas B Luckie and colleagues makes the point that undergraduate peer teachers "are perhaps uniquely qualified and positioned to be the optimal, the ideal, advocate to raise learning in their peers."
Medical Sciences Travels to Dayton for the Ohio Physiological Society Annual Meeting
September 21, 2019: Students and faculty from UC's undergraduate medical sciences program took part today in the Ohio Physiological Society (OPS) annual meeting at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Founded in 1975, OPS is a regional chapter of the American Physiological Society (APS). The OPS meeting featured the APS Keynote Lecture, “Why do mice run better with SOCCs?” delivered by Robert T Dirksen, PhD (University of Rochester), over 80 poster presentations, and a series of platform presentations given by students and early-career scientists/faculty. OPS is an ideal regional forum for students and trainees to present their work in biomedical and translational science.
Two medical sciences majors were recognized for research excellence. Rishi Mehta was awarded the AD Instruments Travel Award of the Ohio Physiological Society. This award provides $750 so that Rishi (class of 2022) can attend Experimental Biology 2020 in San Diego, California, and present the research he has been conducting in the laboratory of Marc Rothenberg, MD, professor of pediatrics at UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Rishi presented his poster titled "Loss of peptidyl-arginine deiminase 1-mediated citrullination drives esophageal epithelial barrier impairment in allergic inflammation".
Vighnesh Ramesh (class of 2020) won an OPS research excellence award ($50) for his poster presentation "Inhibition of TRAF6 signaling as a therapeutic approach in acute myeloid leukemia (AML)" Ramesh has been conducting research in the laboratory of Daniel Starczynowski, PhD professor of pediatrics and of cancer biology at UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Nami Tajima, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was elected President of OPS. CWRU will host the Ohio Physiological Society annual meeting in the fall of 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ohio Physiological Society President Andrew Voss, PhD (Wright State University) congratulates Rishi Mehta (class of 2022), on his being awarded the AD Instruments Travel Award of the Ohio Physiological Society at its annual meeting on September 21, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio.
Medical Sciences Poster Fair Caps Year of Research and Health & Community Successes
April 26, 2019: The second annual Medical Sciences Poster Fair today showcased the biomedical research and health & community service endeavors of students in the baccalaureate program in medical sciences. Some 57 students from the freshman through senior classes presented posters at the event, held in the CARE/Crawley Atrium. Among them were 31 capstone presentations from the graduating Class of 2019.
An outstanding cadre of 60 judges—comprised of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, community partners, and program professionals—evaluated the poster presentations. The MedSci program is especially grateful to the judges for sharing their time and expertise, and for providing valuable critical feedback. The judges noted that the presentations were broadly of the highest calibre and appreciated the hard work and intellectual contributions of our students.
First prizes, including an award certificate and $75 cash award, were given to the students judged top of the biomedical research and health & community posters. In each section, there were also three runners-up awards comprising an award certificate and $25 cash award. Congratulations!
Health & Community
The American Physiological Society (APS) sponsored an award for the best physiology presentation. The APS Local Undergraduate Research Award in Physiology for 2019 went to Farhan Ilyas (Class of 2020). Farhan's research, in the laboratory of Laura Conforti, PhD, professor of nephrology, explores the etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disorder. Farhan is studying how the functional properties of potassium channels contribute to T-cell hyperactivity in this chronic disease. The APS award comprised an award certificate, complimentary membership in APS for one year, and an APS T-shirt and lapel pin.
Farhan Ilyas receives the American Physiological Society's undergraduate research award in physiology, presented by Bryan Mackenzie, PhD (right), associate professor of physiology and APS member, at the Medical Sciences Poster Fair on April 26, 2019.
Two Medical Sciences Students Recipients of the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence
April 17, 2019: Medical Sciences seniors Scottie Emmert and Rahul Sandella have been named recipients of the 2019 Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence. Established in 2002, the medal is a prestigious honor awarded by the University President to exceptional graduating students who best exemplify scholarship, leadership, character, service and the ideals of the University of Cincinnati.
Emmert, a native of Cincinnati, and Sandella, from Mason, Ohio, will graduate Bachelor of Science this spring, having majored in medical sciences. You can read more about Scottie's story here. And read more of Rahul's story here.
Andrea Ori Awarded a 2019 Fulbright Study/Research Grant
April, 2019: Andrea Ori, a graduating senior in the Medical Sciences program, has been named a 2019 Fulbright Scholar in the study/research grant program for graduating seniors or recent graduates. Applicants for study/research awards design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education.
The study/research awards are available in approximately 140 countries. The grant supports the student's expenses such as travel, accommodation, and living expenses in the foreign country. Andrea will begin her research project in France in fall of 2019.
Nihar Rama Named a 2019 Barry Goldwater Scholar
April, 2019: Medical Sciences sophomore Nihar Rama has been named a 2019 Barry Goldwater Scholar. The award recognizes undergraduate sophomore or junior students majoring in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering and who show exceptional promise of becoming the nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields. Read More
Azucenas and Stone Awarded American Physiological Society Summer Research Fellowships
March 28, 2019: Medical sciences juniors Corbin Azucenas and Sydney Stone have each been awarded STRIDE summer research fellowships from the American Physiological Society.
The award includes a $4,500 summer stipend, a $500 contribution to the host laboratory for research costs, and travel expenses for the student to present their work at a national conference.
Corbin and Sydney are conducting research on iron transport and homeostasis in the laboratory of Bryan Mackenzie, PhD, associate professor of physiology and Medical Sciences Program director of research experiences. Sydney’s research project explores a potential mechanism of preventing iron overload. Corbin’s research focuses on the molecular physiology of ferroportin—a protein that is responsible for the export of iron from enterocytes and macrophages—and the role of extracellular calcium in activating ferroportin function in vitro and in vivo.
Scottie Emmert's Research Paper Describes a Novel Animal Model of Hydrocephalus
February 9, 2019: Medical Sciences senior Scottie Emmert has used a new genome-editing technology known as CRISPR to mutate in the rat a gene known as L1cam, creating a novel animal model of hydrocephalus, a severe and relatively common disorder in human infants. His first-author research article was published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery. Scottie has been working since his freshman year in the laboratory of June Goto, PhD, instructor of pediatric medicine, and Francesco Mangano, DO, professor of pediatrics, in the Division of Neurosurgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and UC College of Medicine. The novel animal model of hydrocephalus is expected to aid in the development of new surgical and medical treatment options that will improve patient outcomes and quality of life.
Zoha Mian Makes a Difference at Refugee Connect
December 17, 2018: Senior Medical Sciences student, Zoha Mian, is doing great things for our local community. She is currently an intern at Refugee Connect, serving as a mentor to refugee youth at Aiken High School. In this capacity, she serves as a leader of the girls empowerment group where she is working to implement a mental health literacy module. Additionally, she is in the process of starting a Latino Boys Support Group, implementing a mental health literacy module for Mount Airy Elementary, and starting a scholarship for refugees at UC. Last year, she started a pilot mentorship program at Roselawn Elementary and Withrow High School. With her hard work and guidance, Zoha is making our community stronger each and everyday. Thank you Zoha for giving so much back to our community.
To learn more about some of the students Zoha has had a hand in working with, click the following links to view two recent articles from the Cincinnati Enquirer: News Story 1 | News Story 2
Newsha Jahanpanah Selected for ASA Young Award
October 23, 2018: The Young Award selection committee has accepted a proposal from UC Medical Sciences student Newsha Jahanpanah as one of "high merit" and worthy of the Acoustical Society of Amerca's support. Newsha was awarded $500 and encouraged to present the results of her study at an upcoming ASA meeting. The project will focus on acoustic droplet vaporization and inertial cavitation. Congratulations!
Pictured below, left to right, are: Newsha Jahanpanah, Dr. Kevin Haworth and Dr. Karla P. Mercado-Shekhar. Dr. Haworth and Dr. Mercado-Shekhar worked with Newsha on the proposal.
Medical Sciences Research Students Compete in "Sharkathon"
October 2, 2018: On Saturday, July 27, University of Cincinnati Medical Sciences students Henry Greenberg and Scott Vennemeyer, along with fellow UC undergraduate student Alvin Mantey and their graduate student mentor Jim Reigle, participated in Sharkathon. The Sharkathon competition challenges teams of students to create an application and then present their invention to a group of judges. Their team, "The Managers of Mayhem" was named the winning group. The team's project focused on the failure of patients taking their medication as prescribed and the possible affects due to combining medications. In the Hackathon portion of the competition, they "partially implemented an Echo Spot Skill that both reminds patients to take their pills each day and informs them of possible adverse reactions". The team proposed targeting their product to insurers with the hope of reducing medical costs. Congratulations! | Read More
The winning Sharkathon team. Pictured (from left) are graduate student mentor Jim Reigle and undergraduates Henry Greenberg, Alvin Mantey and Scott Vennemeyer.
UC Hosts the Ohio Physiological Society Annual Meeting
September 29, 2018: Medical Sciences students participated in the annual meeting of the Ohio Physiological Society, hosted this weekend at the University of Cincinnati, with six of our students picking up research awards. Read More
Two Medical Sciences Students Selected for Homecoming Court
September 28, 2018: Congratulations go to Zoha Mian and Rahul Sandella, who have both been selected for the Homecoming Court 2018. Each year, 5 women and 5 men are chosen from the entire University to represent our institution on the Homecoming Court. The finalists will be announced at the Homecoming football game on Saturday, October 6.
Shivani Tumukuntala's Research Study Published
September 19, 2018: Medical Sciences student Shivani Tumukuntala (pictured below) is celebrating the publication of her research study in a paper out today in PLoS Biology. The work was conducted in partnership with Caitlin Dunn-Fletcher and others in the laboratory of Louis Muglia, professor of pediatrics, and their collaborators at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and National Institutes of Health.
Their paper, "Anthropoid primate-specific retroviral element THE1B controls expression of CRH in placenta and alters gestation length" describes how the endogenous retroviral long terminal repeat transposon-like human element 1B (THE1B) directs the placental expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) which then affects gestational length and birth timing. The work is expected to lead to new treatment options for the prevention of pre-term births.
Where Did Andrea Ori Spend Her Summer? In Paris, France!
September 17, 2018: Andrea Ori, a senior Medical Sciences major, just spent two months at the Pasteur Institute where she researched the Type 2 Secretion System of Klebsiella pneumoniae. She identified the antibiotic resistance of K. pneumonia ST258 and created clones using the Streptomycin resistance cassette to use for gene deletions. As a Medical Sciences and French major, this internship was a unique opportunity that combined both Andrea's passions. Working at a world-renowned research institute allowed her to expand her knowledge of microbiology and biochemistry, while also experiencing the culture, improving her language skills, and creating international connections. "This experience was beyond anything in my wildest dreams; given the chance, I would do it again in a heartbeat!", Andrea says.
Medical Sciences Major Graduates its First Class
April 27, 2018: The undergraduate program in medical sciences today celebrated the graduation of five students in the senior class—the first to graduate with a major in medical sciences from the University of Cincinnati. Pictured (below) at the 2018 Poster Fair on April 20 is the Class of 2018 (from left to right): Justin Smith, Bhargav Vemuri, Austin Songer, John Bonamer, and Anna Hopkins. Read More >>
2018 Goldwater Scholarship Awards Include a Medical Sciences Undergraduate from UC’s College of Medicine
March 30, 2018: Andrew "Scottie" Emmert, a University of Cincinnati medical sciences and honors student, was named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar today. The prestigious award is given to only 211 people nationwide. Read More >>
Program Director Talks with Channel 9 About In-Home DNA Tests
December 12, 2017: WCPO-TV, Channel 9 aired a segment featuring comments from Anil Menon, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology and director of the Medical Sciences Baccalaureate Program at the UC College of Medicine. Watch the segment here.