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Research Day 2008 boasts record involvement

This year’s event featured 61 posters by OU-COM students and faculty

Sept. 23, 2008

Research Day 2008 featured a record-breaking 61 research posters by students and faculty, illustrating a rising trend: OU-COM students increasingly have engaged in research activity as undergraduates – and therefore are more likely to continue their scholarly pursuits into medical school.

According to John Schriner, Ph.D., director of admissions, this pattern may indicate a national trend of earlier research exposure, but it certainly reflects the priorities of OU-COM.

“I am noticing that our applicants have a lot more research background, and that is absolutely something we value during our admissions process,” Schriner said. “We’re always interested in students who can add to the synergy of scholarly activity here at the college.”

Peng Wang, OMS II, for example, had developed a research poster for a National Science Foundation presentation before starting medical school. He said he expanded the range of his research at OU-COM, working with Felicia Nowak, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences and specialty medicine.

“I learned more about biochemistry and biomedicine with this research. It was a lot harder because of the protocols and the lab work,” Wang said. His project, conducted with co-researchers Jennifer Yee, OMS I; Peng Wang, OMS II; and Zhenchao Wang, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Arts and Sciences, focuses on the role of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) on diabetic kidney disease.

Ten students entered the basic science poster category, and 19 students entered the clinical research category. The event also featured 32 posters by faculty members. 

Highlighting this year’s Research Day was keynote speaker Robert Biscup, D.O. (’80), a member of OU-COM’s first graduating class. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Biscup is internationally recognized for his developments in major reconstructive spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery and treating failed spine surgery.

Biscup focused on the physician as scientist in his lecture, noting that medicine is a life-long process of learning and investigation. He urged Research Day participants to examine and re-examine results critically and collaborate with colleagues.

“We are problem solvers, but how do we do that? We constantly look at what we do and how we are doing it,” Biscup said. “Education doesn’t stop when you leave this building.”


The following four student researchers each received a $200 prize for their projects.

  • Basic science category:
    • Jonathan Umbel, OMS II – “Delayed-onset muscle soreness and blood flow restricted exercise”
  • Clinical research category:
    • Cassandra Calabrese, OMS II – “Clinical spectrum of type 1 cryoglobulinemia: Retrospective analysis of eight-year Cleveland Clinic experience”
    • Laura Stachowicz, OMS II – “Cancer screening behaviors in HIV-infected older adults”
    • Molly Malone-Prioleau, OMS II – “The effects of an eight-week exercise intervention on parents’ perception of children’s body size”


Research Day featured the following three judging teams.

  • Clinical group 1:
    • Christopher Simpson, D.O., assistant professor and chair of family medicine
    • Randall Colucci, D.O. (’98)
    • Walter Lawrence, D.O., associate professor of family medicine
  • Clinical group 2:
    • Robert Biscup, D.O. (’80)
    • Gerald Rubin, D.O., associate professor of family medicine
    • Joseph Cook, D.O. (’05)
  • Basic science:
    • Susan Williams, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences
    • Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical sciences
    • Fabian Benencia, assistant professor, immunology


For more on recent student research at OU-COM, check out the summer research slide show at:

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Last updated: 01/28/2016