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AΩA SLU Student Research Forum

Started in 1966, each year the Alpha Omega Alpha Saint Louis University Student Research Forum provides SLU medical students who have performed research with the opportunity to present their findings. Participants will present a poster on their research to faculty and fellow medical students.

The poster presentations will then be judged and winners selected. Two weeks later, five to six finalists will give short (15-minute) talks before fellow students and faculty. Prize money is awarded for the best presentations. The first prize winner is sent to the National Student Research Forum in Galveston, Texas, to compete nationally for additional honors. Finally, participants will also be eligible for the Distinction in Research Award presented at commencement.

Student abstract submissions are typically due at the end of November, with the poster session in mid-January and the final platform presentations at the end of January.

Drs. Theodore K. Malmstrom (Director of Medical Student Research) and Lauren Schwarz (Assistant Dean of Student Affairs) are co-organizers of the program.

SLU Project Earns National Student Research Forum Award

Luke Vest was awarded first place for “RNA sequencing in a mouse model of gastric adenocarcinoma to understand the role of cytokines in metaplastic transformation” [SLU Faculty Advisor: Richard J. DiPaolo, Ph.D.] at the 2021 SLU AΩA Medical Student Research Forum (February 1, 2021, via Zoom). The winning project was submitted to the National Student Research Forum and selected for an oral presentation (May 14, 2021, via Zoom). We are delighted to announce that Luke Vest received the 2021 National Student Research Forum award “Excellence in Infectious Disease & Immunology Research, Oral Presentation” for this research. Congratulations, Luke!

SLU AΩA Medical Student Research Forum Awardees

2021 Winners

1st Place: Luke Vest (“RNA sequencing in a mouse model of gastric adenocarcinoma to understand the role of cytokines in metaplastic transformation”)

2nd Place: Anika Mazumder (“Assessment of the burden of constipation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and possible relationship to dysautonomia”)

3rd Place: Johnny Mollman (“IL-4Rα promotes autoantibody production in chronic gastritis”)

Honorable Mention: Vruta Kansara, Erika M. Schmidt

2020 Winners

1st Place: Rebecca Audette (“Investigation into the Mechanism of Th17-Mediated Mucosal Immunity Against Trypanosoma cruzi”)

2nd Place: Paul Hahn (“CTLA-4 Protects Against Inflammation Induced Gastric Cancer Via Suppression of IL4/IL13”)

3rd Place (Tie): Loren Roustio (“Comparison of Adolescent and Caregiver Perception of Social Skills in the Neurodevelopmental Clinic”)
3rd Place (Tie): Luke Vest (“MicroCT Vascular Network Analysis Program: Validation and Comparison to Manufacturer Software”)

Honorable Mention: Daphne Cheng, Shannon Kurian

 2019 Winners

1st Place: Anna Sescleifer (“Hearing Hypernasality: Online Crowdsourcing of Cleft Speech”)

2nd Place: Samuel Yu (“IL-28A induces gastric epithelial atrophy through apoptosis mediated pathways”)

3rd Place: Daniel Cancilla (“Exploring Novel Drug Combinations for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant”)

Honorable Mention: Matthew Gaubatz, Umar Sheikh, Yuqian Tian

2018 Winners

1st Place: Alysia Johnson (“Perspectives on Reproductive Health Decision-Making Among Formerly Incarcerated Women: A Qualitative Study”)

2nd Place (tie): Samiksha Tarun (“Pre-Clinical Evaluation of Potency and Efficacy of Anti-CD33 and Anti-CD123 Chimeric Antigen Receptor Expressing T Cells for Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia””) and Emily Cybulla (“Mechanisms of Replication Fork Rescue in BRCA1-Deficient Cancer Cells”). Ms. Cybulla was also a finalist last year.

Honorable Mention: Caressa Hui, Amisha Patel and Nicole McLaughlin

2017 Winners

1st Place: Kevin Bockerstett (“Interleukin-17A Acts Directly on Gastric Epithelium and Promotes Atrophy and Metaplasia” under the guidance of Rich DiPaolo Ph.D.)

2nd Place: Ariel Axelbaum (“A Mechanism by which Menopause Promotes Low-Grade Chronic Inflammation”, under the guidance of Rajeev Aurora, Ph.D.)

3rd Place: Emily Cybulla (“Inflammatory Response in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome: Implications for Normal Aging Progression”, under the guidance of Susana Gonzalo Ph.D.)
Honorable Mention: Wint Yan Aung, Natalie Gaio and Taryn White.

2016 Winners

1st Place: Rebecca Rohde ("Assessing university students’ sexual risk behavior and knowledge of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccine")

2nd Place (tie): Amanda Waltos ("Evaluation of text messaging as an educational method to improve healthcare utilization") and Shiragi Patel ("Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA: Gene Expression Analysis of Extracellular Matrix in Mice")

Honorable Mention: Jahnavi Trivedi ("TcREG regulate osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast resorption activity through IFN? induced by T-bet and Eomesodermin") and Rusdeep Mundae ("Peripapillary Choroidal Thinning in Healthy and Glaucoma" Perry Xu "Investigating a thickened pituitary stalk in children: A retrospective review and prospective treatment paradigm")