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For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

SMHS celebrates annual Frank Low Research Day, announces awards

Late last week, the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) hosted its 44th annual Frank Low Research Day. Named in honor of the former SMHS anatomy professor who came to UND in the 1960s and pioneered a series of new techniques for the electron microscope, Frank Low Research Day is the culminating event of the academic year for many area researchers working in the biomedical and health sciences.

Featuring a keynote presentation by Susan Amara, Ph.D., scientific director of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health, this year’s FLRD featured oral and/or poster presentations by more than 180 faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, and students on a wide range of biomedical, health sciences, translational, and clinical topics.

Event organizers also presented awards to a number of participants whose posters or presentations caught the attention of a panel of judges organized by Dr. Masfique Mehedi, assistant professor in the SMHS Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Poster winners and Honorable Mentions included the following:

Basic Sciences Category

Graduate Students

Best Posters

  • Matthew Johnston – M. Johnston, S. Rakoczy, A. Irion, M. Murphy, H. Brown-Borg – Department of Biomedical Sciences: “Skeletal Muscle Characteristics of Long-Lived Dwarf Mice”
  • Eloho Ighofose  Eloho Ighofose, Aaron Mehus, Scott Garrett, Donald Sens, Sarmad Al-Marsoummi, Seema Somji – Department of Pathology: “Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Renal Progenitor and Differentiated Cells”

Honorable Mentions

  • Chidiebele S. Oraegbuna  Chidiebele S. Oraegbuna, Phani K. Kola, and Saobo Lei – Department of Biomedical Sciences: “Ghrelin Increases Synaptic Strength at the Perforant Path-Granule Cell Synapses and Facilitates Spatial Learning and Memory”
  • Nirmal Kumar – Nirmal Kumar, Braelyn Liang, Darius N.K Quansah, Pater W. Halcrow, and Jonathan D. Geiger – Department of Biomedical Sciences: “TRPML1-redox sensing regulates gp120-mediated changes to levels of cellular iron and reactive species”

Postdoctoral Fellow

Best Poster – Geetika Verma – Geetika Verma and Kumi Nagamoto-Combs – Department of Biomedical Sciences: “Prolonged allergen consumption sustains neuroinflammation independent of allergen-specific IgE levels in mice with subclinical food allergy”

Undergraduate Students

Best Poster – Odele Rajpathy  Odele RajpathyMaggie Dervis, Emily Lygre, Emilie Vomhof-DeKrey – Departments of Pathology/Surgery: “A novel drug-like small molecule FAK activator poses epithelial skin healing possibilities”

Clinical Sciences Category

Medical Students

Best Posters

  • Lauren A. Blum and Sarah D. Streed – Lauren A. Blum, B.S., Sarah D. Streed, B.A., James R. Beal, Ph.D., Abe E. Sahmoun, Ph.D. – “Association of Screen Time and Utilization of Mental Health Services in School-aged Children in the United States”
  • Brenna Hanson and Courtney Hanson – Brenna Hanson, B.S., Courtney Hanson, B.S., Megan Miller, M.D., and Parag Kumar, M.D. – “Delayed Diagnosis of Congenital Imperforate Hymen resulting in Obstructing Hematometrocolpos”
  • Claire Diede – Claire Diede, B.S., David R. Carr M.D., M.P.H., Kathryn T. Shahwan M.D. – “Impact of Completing Away Rotations During Dermatology Residency on the Mohs Fellowship Match”

Honorable Mentions

  • Courtney Hanson and Benjiman Wilebski – Courtney Hanson, B.S., Benjiman Wilebski, S., Abe E. Sahmoun, Ph.D., James R. Beal, Ph.D. – “Association of Rural-Urban Emergency Department Location and Management of Fractures in Elderly visits in United States”
  • Mikayla Sabella and Alexa Weninger – Mikayla Sabella, B.A., Alexa Weninger, B.S., Abe E. Sahmoun, Ph.D., James R. Beal, Ph.D. – “Association Between Rural Residence and Pregnancy Outcomes among North Dakota Women with Pre-eclampsia”
  • Trenton T. Bohan – Trenton T. Bohan, B.S. and Sri Krishna Arudra, M.D. – “Low-fat Spindle Cell Lipoma of the Eyelid”

Medical Residents

Best Posters

  • Ramiz Kirmani – Ramiz Kirmani, Arman Saied, Edjay Hernandez, Dane Breker – “Clinical Reasoning: Elderly male with isolated bitemporal hemianopsia”
  • Hallie Thompson – Hallie Thompson, M.D., Anu Gaba, M.D., and Abe E. Sahmoun, Ph.D. – “Incidence and Risk Factors of Brain Metastasis in HER-2 Positive Primary Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis”

Honorable Mentions

  • Wade Hopper – Wade Hopper, D.O., Alessandra Spagnolia, M.D., Alexander Drofa, M.D., Andrew Terrell, M.D. – “Penetrating Intracranial Carotid Artery Trauma: Case Report of a Rare Injury”
  • Shubhangi Gupta – Shubhangi Gupta, M.D., and Avish Nagpal, M.D., M.P.H. – “CNS Blastomycosis presenting as a Space Occupying Lesion”
  • Valerie J. Pendleton – Valerie J. Pendleton, D.O., and Stefan Johnson, M.D., FACS – “Post-Graduation Outcomes in a Dedicated Rural Surgery Training Program; a Program Review”

Physician Assistants

Best Posters

  • Justis Caldwell – Justis Caldwell and Jay Metzger, Ph.D., PA-C – “Viral Bronchiolitis: High Flow Nasal Cannula versus Non-Invasive Ventilation Management’s Effect on Length of Stay, Prevention of Mechanical Ventilation, and Mortality”
  • Chelsea Scheil – Chelsea Scheil and Julie S. Solberg, M.P.A.S., PA-C – “Probiotic Therapy for the Treatment and Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis”
  • Rachel Kisse – Rachel Kisse and Mindy Staveteig, M.M.S., PA-C – “Efficacy of Platelet Rich Plasma Injections to Combat Chronic Tendinopathies”

Honorable Mentions

  • Tania Schnepf – Tania Schnepf and Kristen Carr, P.A.S., PA-C, DipACLM – “Poly adenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase (PARP) Inhibitors versus Traditional Therapy in BRCA positive HER2 Negative Breast Cancer”
  • Allison M. Stoeffler – “Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on PCOS Outcomes”

Health Sciences Category

Occupational Therapy

Best Posters

  • Monicah Nyakoe – Monicah Nyakoe, OTS, and Jessa Hulteng, Ph.D., M.O.T., OTR/L, CLT – “Addressing Classroom Behaviors through Sensory-Informed Design and Instruction to Support Performance and Participation”
  • Jace Allard – Jace Allard and Jane Loscheider, O.T.D., OTR/L, ATP, CLT – “Addressing Psychosocial Factors in Upper Extremity Injuries to Improve Outcomes and Quality of Life”
  • Emmalee Burtsfield  Emmalee Burtsfield and Jessa Hulteng, Ph.D., M.O.T., OTR/L, CLT – “Promoting Physical and Psychosocial Wellness for Individuals with Neurological Impairments”
  • Makayla Tucker – Makayla Tucker and Karrianna Iseminger, O.T.D., OTR/L, CHT – “An Occupational Therapy Approach to Chronic Condition Self-Management”

Honorable Mentions

  • Emily Ray – Emily Ray, Mandy Meyer, Ph.D., and Cassandra Bennett – “The WYld Outdoors: A Community-Based Occupational Therapy Program to Address Mental Health Strategies in Rural Wyoming”
  • Hannah Leisenheimer – Hannah Leisenheimer and Nicole Harris, Ed.D., OTR/L – “Providing Occupation-Based Mental Health Care for LGBTQ+ Youth Through Telehealth Service Delivery”
  • Alyssia Pucel – Alyssia Pucel and Julie Grabanski, Ph.D., OTR/L – “Success With Sensory: A Sensory Processing Guide for Individuals Who Work with Children in Community Settings”

Public Health Students

Best Poster

Mary Labuhn – Mary Labuhn and Andrew Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H. – “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Utilization of Preventive Healthcare among Children in Rural Communities in the United States (NHIS 2022)”

Honorable Mention

Olivia Rajpathy – Olivia Rajpathy, M.P.H., and Amber Lyon-Colbert, Ph.D., M.S. – “Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics in Medicaid and Medicare: Improved Healthcare Decision-making and Efficiency”

“We were excited as always about Frank Low Day,” said Jamie Foster, Ph.D., associate professor in the SMHS Department of Biomedical Sciences, who helped organize the event. “Not only was participation back to what it was pre-pandemic, but we’re expanding. There were more health sciences participants than ever and we’re already looking forward to our 45th year in 2025.”