SLU's School of Medicine held its 46th annual Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society medical student research forum, showcasing medical students' research and honoring the top contributions.
Earlier in January, 35 medical students presented posters on their research, and on Jan. 26, six finalists gave oral presentations.
Brandon Szeto was awarded first prize with his paper "Genome-Wide Amino Acid Covariance in Hepatitis B Virus;" Eric Appelbaum won second prize with "Functional Studies of Thrombin Mutant G219P;" and Leon Vorobeichik won third prize with "High Molecular Weight Adiponectin as a Novel Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in South Asian Kidney Transplant Recipients."
Three student papers were given honorable mentions: Anne Godbout for her paper "Emergency Physician Response to Geriatric Technician Screening Results: A Randomized Control Trial;" Matthew Hoegh with "Prevalence of Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD) in Community Long-Term Care Facilities;" and Brandon Richland with "Early Degeneration in the Aging and Osteoarthritic Knee."
Top winner Brandon Szeto conducted his research in the laboratory of John Tavis, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology. He will present his paper at the National AOA Annual Student Research Forum in Galveston, Texas in April where he will compete with students from all over the country for additional prizes.
"We are proud of the research by our participants," said Carmine J. Coscia, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, who is the faculty coordinator of the forum.
"It is admirable that these students have been able to conduct important research, even before completing medical school," said Coscia "We sent Stephanie Jackson, our first prize winner in 2010, to the 51st Annual National Student Research Forum and she won best oral presentation in microbiology and immunology and outstanding oral presentation with third place overall."
AOA, the National Honor Medical Society, hosted the forum. Students are elected into membership based on scholastic achievement, personal integrity, ability to work well with their peers and promise for significant contributions to the medical profession. Approximately 15 percent of each class is chosen for membership.
The research forum is an annual event sponsored by Saint Louis University School of Medicine. All SLU medical students can participate, but they may only present research that they have done while in medical school.
Serving as judges along with Coscia were Michael Green, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology; Paul Hauptman, M.D., professor of cardiology; Michael Rauchman, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and biochemistry and molecular biology; Thomas Westfall, Ph.D., chairman of the department of pharmacological and physiological science.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disease and heart/lung disease.