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School of Medicine discoveries

May 2, 2018

From ion channels to Twitter: Medical Student Research Day

The Class of 2020’s Hameeda A. Naimi

The Class of 2020’s Hameeda A. Naimi – Photo by Joseph V. Morris

With 54 medical students participating, the 2018 Medical Student Research Day showcased more posters than ever before.

“We saw everything from ion channels to Twitter,” says Michael Donnenberg, M.D., senior associate dean for research and research training.

View the 2018 Student Research Day Poster Titles >>

With topics covering both basic and clinical sciences, the students’ posters were reviewed by a panel of judges for originality, understanding, clarity and discussion. Three presentations emerged as the winners.

Top prize went to the Class of 2020’s Hameeda A. Naimi for her presentation, “Characterization of bladder sensation event descriptions during non-invasive oral hydration in healthy adults.” Her first place finish comes with an award of $1,000, made possible by the G. Watson James III, M.D. Scholarship Endowment.

The endowment carries the name of James, a 1943 graduate of the medical school who went on to become chairman of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Internal Medicine, explains retired professor Gordon Archer, M.D., who oversaw Medical Student Research Day during his tenure as senior associate dean for research and research training.

“Dr. James established the first Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at MCV,” says Archer, who personally knew James. “An outstanding scientist and the quintessential physician, clinician, scholar and teacher, he was also a fisherman, sailor and student of the piano. At his death in 2001, Dr. James’ friends and family established the scholarship that goes to the medical student who wins the research competition, a fitting legacy for the outstanding physician-scientist.”

Naimi conducted her research as part of the Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship Program. The student-initiated eight-week projects take place between students’ first and second years of medical school. The number of fellowships is limited, and the application process is, therefore, very competitive. Selected projects like Naimi’s are supported with a $2,500 research stipend.

Adam P. Klausner, M.D., professor of surgery in the Division of Urology, served as Naimi’s research mentor.

“Hameeda has been a superstar and a fantastic addition to my research team,” says Klausner, who holds the Warren Koontz Professorship of Urologic Research and also serves as the Department of Surgery’s associate chair for clinical and translational research.

“Her research project also won first prize in the clinical essay competition at our national meeting, the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction, beating out many established clinicians and scientists.”

The second place prize went to the Class of 2020’s Dong Jin Suh, who holds an Aesculapian Scholarship made possible by the School of Medicine’s Annual Fund. His presentation was titled “The Effects of Curcumin/Melatonin Hybrid on Synaptic Plasticity following Traumatic Brain Injury.”

The third place finisher was the Class of 2020’s Alvin J. Chang and his presentation, “Effects of Ruthenium Red on ligand-activated TRPV2 Channel Gating.”

In addition to the top prize of $1,000, the second and third place posters are awarded prizes of $500 and $250, respectively. The students were also recognized at the medical school’s Kinloch Nelson, M.D. Student Honors Day on April 20.

By Erin Lucero

Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Medical Center
School of Medicine
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Updated: 04/29/2016