Students, residents, faculty showcase their talents at 35th Annual Research Day

Dr. Richard Miller, Research Day 2017
Dr. Richard Miller was the keynote speaker at the 35th Annual Kalamazoo Community Medical and Health Sciences Research Day.

Brittany Chow, Megan Cibulas, Xavier Jean, Sarah Khalil and Maria Mason were first-year students at WMed in 2015 when they began a study examining the feasibility of having volunteer medical students work with Kalamazoo County Probate Court to conduct annual visits with adults with developmental disabilities.

Their work with the Probate Court was part of the medical school’s Active Citizenship program and it grew into a project that, on Tuesday, May 2, was named the top poster presentation at the 35th Annual Kalamazoo Community Medical and Health Sciences Research Day.

“We were definitely very surprised,” Khalil, a member of WMed’s MD Class of 2019, said of the first-place finish. “I think it’s awesome.”

The winning poster presentation, “Feasibility Study to Assess Medical Student Visits to Developmentally Disabled Adults,” was a collaboration of the five medical students and Dr. Ransome Eke, an assistant professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a division of WMed’s Department of Biomedical Sciences.

The group’s poster was one of 73 that were displayed during Research Day, which attracted a large crowd to the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in downtown Kalamazoo. The annual event recognizes what is a proud tradition of medical and health sciences research in the Kalamazoo community.

Research Day also offers time to take a step back and celebrate, to develop and promote the richness and diversity of research in the local medical community.

The crowd at Research Day on Tuesday included students, residents and faculty from WMed, as well as students, graduate students and faculty from WMU and Kalamazoo College. The commitment and participation of WMed faculty and the Kalamazoo scientific community continued at this year’s event with more than 130 abstracts submitted for consideration.

“I appreciate its significance,” Dr. Shama Tareen, an associate professor for Psychiatry at WMed, said of Research Day. “We’re not just clinicians, you have to be a clinician and a scholar. To share scholarly work with your community and your peers, and having a place to do that is outstanding.”

Dr. Tareen partnered with several people, including WMed’s Dr. Catherine Kothari, on the poster presentation, “Substantial Recovery Gains Seen by Utilizing Mental Health Court in Treating and Maintaining Recovery in Psychiatry Patients,” which took second place at Research Day.

“We were very happy about it,” Dr. Tareen said of the group’s second-place finish. “I think it’s recognizing that this is an important aspect of physicians’ work in the community, and part of our outreach.”

Richard A. Miller, MD, PhD, a professor of Pathology and associate director for Research of the Geriatrics Center at the University of Michigan, was the keynote speaker for this year’s Dr. Robert P. Carter Research Lecture, which has been a part of Research Day for the last nine years.

Dr. Miller presented “The Search for Real Anti-Aging Medicines: Are We There Yet?” and his talk drew applause and, at times, laughter from the audience. Dr. Miller discussed his extensive research in the field of biogerontology. Dr. Miller said that ongoing work has led to the slowing of aging and an extension of a healthy life in lab animals through caloric restrictions and single-gene changes.


Research Day 2017 Winners
The poster and oral presentation winners gathered for a photo at the conclusion of Research Day 2017.


“We have clues about how to do this in people,” Dr. Miller said. “… That’s where I think medical research deserves to be focused.”

Research Day concluded with presentations from the six oral abstract winners in the categories of Basic Sciences Research, Clinical Research, Community Research, Education Research, Medical Humanities Research and Quality Improvement Research.

The winning abstracts covered several topics from burnout in healthcare professions and treatment of headache in the Emergency Department to the design and evaluation of a more realistic tube thoracostomy task trainer and an analysis of risk factors affecting low birth weight infant mortality in Kalamazoo County.

“I was impressed by the level of excitement and engagement, and the participatory spirit,” Dr. Dale D. Vandre, WMed’s associate dean of Research, said of this year’s Research Day. “It allows everyone to show their interests and spirt outside of the classroom, and it provides our students and residents with an opportunity and showcase to show their talents.”

Here is a complete list of the winners at the 35th Annual Research Day. Congratulations to each of them:

Poster Presentations

First Place: Feasibility Study to Assess Medical Student Visits to Developmentally Disabled Adults. Maria Mason; Ransome Eke, MD, PhD; Brittany Chow; Xavier Jean; Sarah Khalil; Megan Cibulas

Second Place: Substantial Recovery Gains Seen by Utilizing Mental Health Court in Treating and Maintaining Recovery in Psychiatric Patients. Ruqiya Shama Tareen, MD; Catherine L. Kothari, PhD; Meagan Maas, MD; John Jacob, MD, Olivia Fournier, Bob Butkiewicz, MA, LPC; Jeff Getting, JD

Third Place: First 100 Cases of BLS First Responder Administered Naloxone in a Statewide EMS System. James Markman, MBA; Tyler Koedam, MD; Joshua Mastenbrook, MD; William Fales, MD, FACEP, FAEMS

Oral Presentations

Basic Sciences Research: Deafferation and Direct Injury Case Different Microbial Response Profiles in the Adult Zebrafish Olfactory Bulb Susanna R. Var; Christine A. Byrd-Jacobs, PhD

Clinical Research: Treatment of Headache in the ED: Haloperidol in the Acute setting (THE-HA Study) Kim Aldy, DO; Jessica McCoy, MD; Elizabeth Arnall, DO; Joshua Petersen, PharmD

Community Research: A Multivariable Analysis of Risk Factors Affecting Low Birth Weight Infant Mortality in Kalamazoo County. Teresa Evans; Jennifer Kim; Samuel Lai; Dart Newby; Duncan Polot; Terra Bautista, BA; Duncan Vos, MS; Catherine L. Kothari, PhD

Education Research: Design and Evaluation of a More Realistic Tube Thoracostomy Task Trainer. Mark Williams; Richard Lammers, MD

Medical Humanities Research: Burnout in Healthcare Professions: Reigniting the Flame. Tyler Gardner; Auditi Kundu; Amrith Shettigar; Daphne Darmawan; Yen-Yu Tina Chen

Quality Improvement Research: Assessment of the Accuracy and Effectiveness of Pediatric Drug Dosing Tools used by Paramedics. Maria Willoughby-Byrwa, M.Ed, E; Donald Sefcik, DO, MBA; William Fales, MD, FACEP, FAEMS