Medical education research on display at Research Day 2012
the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s 11th
annual Research Day on Sept. 27, students and faculty members showcased
growing achievements in medical research—accomplishments recognized by
Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O.
experiencing a staggering advancement in our medical knowledge, and you are
helping to push that knowledge forward. I’m so proud of you,” said Johnson
to a crowd of energetic students, faculty and guests gathered on the Irvine
44 posters represented researchers’ broad interests and the influential role
that early mentorship can play in medical education.
Each student gave a presentation, and 13 judges rated their
research and presentations against set criteria and offered advice.
feedback is intended to help them prepare their cases if they choose to take
the presentations to other events. For example, this year several students
will be taking their projects to the American Osteopathic Association, and
the judges gave them valuable information,”
said Jessica Wingett, CAP-OM,
manager of the Office of Research and Grants and organizer of the event.
Heine, OMS II,
presented research on diabetic nephropathy, currently the most common
cause of chronic renal failure in the United States. Working with
Karen T. Coschigano, Ph.D.,
associate professor of molecular/cellular biology, they submitted “Increased
Macrophage Infiltration and NGkB Activity in Diabetic SKO Mouse Kidneys.”
“Increasingly we are seeing more of the immune system implicated in the
pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy,” Heine said. “If there was some way we
could limit these immune cells from infiltrating the kidneys that would
perhaps lead to a better prognosis . . . This may eventually even translate
into human research.”
started the project during his first year in medical school, which he then
continued in a Research and Scholarly Advancement Fellowship this past
summer. Heine presented the research at the
Student Research and Creative Activity Expo
in May and at a Diabetes Institute meeting in September.
“This has really helped supplement my learning in
medical school. I’ve been immensely immersed in lectures and also research,
and that kind of 'mesh' between the two has really helped spark more
interest and helped my learning,” said Heine, who will go to
OhioHealth/Doctors Hospital in Columbus for third- and fourth-year rotations
and would like to “translate some of this to a more clinical approach to
looking at diabetes.”
Valentic, OMS II,
started working on her research project, “Individualized Breast Milk
Analysis: A Paradigm Shift in Fortification for Preterm Newborns,” in the
summer of 2010 through a program with MetroHealth Medical Center called
Chester Center Scholars. It was supposed to be just a summer opportunity,
but she continued to work on it during what she called her “year off” before
with primary investigator Sharon Groth-Wargo, Ph.D., R.D., neonatal
nutritionist for MetroHealth Medical Center and
associate professor of nutrition and pediatrics at the Cleveland Clinic
Lerner School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve
University, Valentic analyzed changes in the macronutrient content of
human milk over time from mothers of preterm infants weighing less than 2
kilograms at birth.
that breast milk is often inadequately dense in nutrients to support the
growth and development preterm babies. Yet in practice, there is a working
assumption that all breast milk is the same, so mother’s milk is often
fortified the same way.
infrared milk analyzer, Valentic and Groth-Wargo analyzed their subject’s
milk for fat, protein, lactose and calories to determine how to add milk
found is that babies were actually getting a lot less protein and calories
than we thought. They essentially accumulated a huge protein debt over time
during their hospital stay,” Valentic said, who is going to St. John Medical
Center in Westlake for clinical rotations next year. “They already have so
many challenges stacked up against them.”
steps for the researchers, Valentic said, include determining how infrared
milk analyzers can fit into hospital settings. She and Groth-Wargo would
like to develop a way for health care providers to use this machine to
design individualized plans for mothers and their infants.
quite encouraging that a 'Research Day' is in its 11th year—it
was quite successful and with terrific support from the medical school
administration,” said first time judge,
Russell E. Savage Jr., M.T.S.C.,
Ph.D., grant writer at the Diabetes Institute at Ohio University.