Students take part in Summer Research Day

Posted on August 6, 2021 by Shelbey Ernest
Shelbey Ernest

USA College of Medicine second-year medical student Erik Herslebs works in a lab in July 2021. Herslebs is participating in the USA College of Medicine’s Summer Research Program.Download larger image

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine organized its 48th annual Summer Research Day on July 23, 2021, with oral presentations through Zoom and poster presentations at the USA College of Medicine.

The event featured Errol Crook, M.D., director of the Center for Healthy Communities and professor and Abraham Mitchell Chair of Internal Medicine, who presented the lecture “From Bench to Bedside to Community: The Path(s) for Medical Research to Effectively Address Health Disparities.”

“It was great to see all of the wonderful work of the medical students,” Crook said. “Their research was centered on important health problems that our patients face each day. Their engagement with their projects was evident in the quality of their oral and poster presentations and in the way they handled questions. It was great to see that much of the work was performed using team-science principles, which are principles that they will use in the care of patients.”

There were eight medical-student oral presenters and 44 medical-student poster presenters who took part. Presentations covered a multitude of topics. Arcole Brandon, a second-year medical student, presented “Side Effects After COVID-19 Vaccination in USA Students and Employees” while Cade Smelley, a first-year, presented research on the topic of “Analyzing Conformation-Sensitive Anti-P53 Antibodies in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.”

Ben Kimbell, another second-year, won the Clyde Huggins Award for his oral presentation, “Development of Novel Fluorescent-Linked Immunosorbent Assay to Measure Antibody Responses in Vaccinated Individuals.”

“I’m honored to have been chosen out of such a great group. All the oral presentations were incredible,” Kimbell said, noting the project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of faculty and staff in the labs of Jonathon Audia, Ph.D.; Robert Barrington, Ph.D.; and Brian Fouty, Ph.D. Kimbell also acknowledged Andrew Stokes, Brandon Webb, Peter Whitehurst, and Rachael Motamed for their support and contribution for the experiments.

There were four poster presentation winners:

  • “Barriers to the Retention of Human Mitochondrial DNA in Human-Mouse Hybrids,” presented by first-year medical student Anthony Fant
  • “Inactivation of Type 4 Cyclic-am Phosphodiesterase Subtypes 4B and 4D Induce Weight Loss and Improve Glucose Handling in Mice,” presented by second-year Daniel Irelan
  • “Proximity-dependent Biotinylation (BIO-ID) Identifies Histone Chaperone Nap-2 as a DNA Damage Dependent Methylpurine DNA Glycosylase Binding Protein,” presented by second-year Bailey Manning
  • “Racially Disparate Levels of Hormones and Cytokines in Breast Cancer Patients,” presented by second-year Claudia Stephens

For their accomplishments, the dean’s office presented each winner with a plaque and $100.

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