College of Medicine Research Forum

2016 College of Medicine Research Forum Winners

Medical Student Competition


Gold Prize Winner:  John Elue (Orthopaedics)

Title: Prevalence of the Linburg-Comstock Anomaly in Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Co-Authors: Donald Chuang, MD; Olivia Wang, MD; Mark Gonzalez, MD, PhD; Bonnie S. Mason, MD


Silver Medal honors: Mamatha Challa (Psychiatry)

Title: “Mental Health and Healthcare Satisfaction in the Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Community”

Co-Authors: Paul Choi; Kieran Hozhauser; Julia Kohn; Lisa Razzano


Honorable Mentions: 

Henry-Robert Thomas (Pediatric Oncology)

Title:  “CCL 3 Enhances Immune Cell Trafficking to Lymph Nodes”

Co-Authors: Dr. Agne Petrosiute, Dr. Alex Huang. Frederick Allen, Alice Wu


Maximilian Evers (Radiology)

Title:  “Pre-procedural bilirubin level is associated with survival in patients undergoing conventional TACE for hepatocellular carcinoma”

Co-Authors: Jan Hasmann; Benjamin McDowell; Ron Gaba; Charles Ray


Raman Michael (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences) 

Title: “Self-Adhering Magnetic Device to Treat Corneal Exposure”

Co-Authors: Mark Rosenblatt; Charles Yu; Peter Pfanner


Andrew Donaldson (College of Medicine)

Title: “Quantifying Bowel Microperfusion During Anastomosis by Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy”

Co-Authors: Leo Chen; Weiqiao Zeng; Dr Pier Giulianotti


Ronak Patel (Generial Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery) 

Title:  “Minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair: comparison of laparoscopic and robotic approach in an academic institution”

Co- Authors: Francesco Bianco; Luis Fernando Gonzalez-Ciccarelli; Sofia Esposito: Pier Giulianotti


Timothy Carroll  (Medicine) 

Title:  “Activin A, Severe Pancreatitis, and Risk Stratification”

Co- Authors: Jonas Staudacher; Cemal Yazici; Giamila Fantuzzi; Barbara Jung


Gardner Yost  (Bioengineering) 

Title:  “Acoustic Detection of Acute Chest Syndrome Using Breath Sounds in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease”

Co- Authors: Thomas Royston; Zaid Zayyad, Robert Molokie


Erik Liederbach  (Oncology) 

Title:  “Communication about Quality of Life in Pediatric Palliative Care: A multi-institutional study of pediatric oncology patients and their parents”

Co- Authors: Denna Levine; Heather Symons; Dave Wednler; Justin Baker


Mansoor Burhani  (Physiology and Biophysics) 

Title:  “Caveolin-1 as an anchor protein for Gαs in lipid rafts and as a potential target for antidepressant therapy

Co- Authors: Harinder Singh; Mark Rasenick


Natalia Hajnas   (Psychiatry) 

Title:  “T3 augmentation in Major Depressive Disorder: gender and age differences”

Co- Author: Olusola Ajilore


Graduate Student and MD-PhD Student Competition

Gold Medal honors:  Evan Kyzar (Psyhciatry)

Title: “Adolescent alcohol exposure causes increased repressive H3K27 trimethylation in the adult amygdala to drive increased anxiety-like behaviors”

Co-Authors: Huaibo Zhang; Subhash Pandey


Silver Medal honors: Sarah Schram ( Neurology)

Title: : “Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Disease Onset and Progression in a Nerve Injury Model in the SOD1 ALS Rat”

Co-Authors: H. Piponov, C. Helder, G. Schmidt, D. Chuang, R. Michael, J. Kerns, M. Gonzalez, and J. Loeb


Honorable Mentions:


Felecia Marottoli (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Title:“The Interactive Effects of Peripheral Inflammation and APOE4 on AD Pathology in the Novel EFAD Mouse”

Co-Authors: Kevin Koster; Riya Thomas; Leon Tai


Kayleigh Tovar (Microbiology and Immunology)

Title:  “Elucidating Rgg-mediated quorum sensing networks in Streptococcus pneumoniae”

Co-Author: Michael Federle


Kevin Kruse (Pharmacology)

Title: “N-cadherin strengthens VE-cadherin adhesion through a Rac1/Trio signaling axis”

Co-Author: Fei Huang; Ying Sun; Stephen Vogel; Yulia Komarova


Benjamin Turturice (Medicine)

Title: “Disordered Immune Responses to Airway Microbiota in Atopic Asthmatics Mediates Obstructive Phenotypes”

Co-Authors: Halvor McGee; Grian Oliver; David Perkins; Patricia Finn


Chuck Blajszczak (Pathology )

Title: “Hepatocyte-derived osteopontin promotes the development of hepatocellular carcinoma”

Co-Authors: Xiaodong Ge; Ioana Abraham-Enachescu; Yujin Hoshida; Natalia Nieto


Zachary Richards – (Pathology)

Title: “Analyses of the prostate vitamin D axis in African American and Caucasian men reveals that ancestry associates with differences in local regulation of the active hormone in the prostate”

Co-Authors:  Ken Batai; Rachael Farhat; Rick Kittles: larisa Nonn

Postdoctoral fellows and residents Competition


Gold Medal honors:  Nichole Mesnard-Hoaglin (Anatomy & Cell Biology)

Title: “Primary neuron axonal outgrowth assay using a novel microfluidic chamber system reveals neuronal subpopulations”

Co-Authors: H. Hugo Caicedo; Rodolfo Gatto; Gerardo Morfini; Scott Brady


Silver Medal honors: Deebika Balu (Anatomy & Cell Biology)

Title: “The effect of aging on APOE-modulated AD pathology in EFAD mice.

Co-Authors: E Ana Valencia-Olvera; Nicole Collins; Ryan Salzman; Mary Jo LaDu


Honorable Mentions: 

Jennifer Kwan (Medicine)

Title: “Differential Visceral Adipocyte exosomal miRNA expression between normal and diabetic subjects”

Co-Authors: Ben King; Patricia Finn; David Perkins


Thomas Gerber (Anesthesiology)

Title: “The inhalation anesthetic sevoflurane differentially influences the proinflammatory response of murine macrophages to endotoxin in vitro”

Co-Authors: Suellen D. Oliveira; Marcel G Bonin; Beatrice Beck Schimmer; Richard D. Minshall


Fernando Magdaleno Verduzco (Pathology)

Title: “Osteopontin ablation drives hematopoietic stem cell mobilization to the liver and increases hepatic iron contributing to alcoholic liver disease”

Co-Authors: Xiaodong Xe; Holger Fey; Chuck C. Blajszczak; Natalia Nieto


Jonathan Stange (Psychiatry)

Title: “Attenuated Intrinsic Connectivity within Cognitive Control Network Among Individuals with Remitted Depression: Temporal Stability and Association with Negative Cognitive Styles”

Co-Authors: Lisanne Jenkins; Olusola Ajilore: Rachel Jacobs; Scott Langenecker



Research Assistant Professors and Scientific Staff Competition


Gold Prize Winner:  Pei-Ying Wu (Medicine)

Title: “PRMT6 promotes lung tumor growth via modulation of ILF2 expression”

Co-Authors: Sreedevi Avasarala; Michelle Van Scoyk; Robert A. Winn; Rama Kamesh Bikkavilli


Honorable Mentions:  


Riya Thomas (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

 Title: “Epidermal growth factor prevents amyloid-beta-induced cognitive and cerebrovascular deficits in AD-Tg mice.”


Asha Rani (Medicine )

Title: “Urinary resistome: A vivid array of antibiotic resistance genes in urine following kidney transplantation”

Co-Authors: Ravi Ramjan; Daniel Brennan; Patricia Finn; David Perkins


Weiaiao Zeng (Surgery)

Title: “Intraprocedural spectroscopy and imaging: unveiling nerve location during surgery”

Co-Authors: Pablo Quadri; Raquel Gonzalez-Heredia; Peir Cristoforo Giulianotti; Liaohai Chen


Kaori Yamada (Pharmacology)

Title:“Anti-angiogenic Peptide Derived from Kinesin KIF13B Inhibits Trafficking of VEGFR2 to Endothelial Cell surface”

 Co-Author: Asrar Malik