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40th annual Research Forum hosted by GME office

Apr. 13, 2022, 1:37 PM

by Bill Snyder

Patrick Kelly, MD, right, presents the 2022 Grant W. Liddle Research Appreciation Award to Dario Englot, MD, PhD, during the 40th annual Research Forum. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Matthew Clark, MD, clinical fellow in Pediatric Rheumatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, won the Elliott V. Newman Prize for best abstract during the 40th annual Research Forum hosted April 5 by the VUMC Office of Graduate Medical Education and House Staff Advisory Council.

His study, co-authored by Danielle Rankin, MPH, a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at Vanderbilt University, described a prediction model to distinguish Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) following COVID-19 from other inflammatory conditions with similar symptoms that can include fever, rash, and circulatory compromise. Making the diagnosis early in these patients is crucial.

“They get healthy pretty quick once we start treatment (with antiinflammatory medications),” Clark said, “but they also get sick pretty quick if we don’t.” Clark conducted a retrospective chart review of 127 inpatients evaluated for MIS-C at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at

Vanderbilt between June 2020 and April 2021. By identifying correlating clinical variables, Rankin was able to build a model that accurately diagnosed MIS-C with a high degree of certainty. The study, they said, was made possible by the support and mentorship of VUMC faculty members including Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH, the Craig Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, and James Connelly, MD, and Sophie Katz, MD, MPH, both assistant professors of Pediatrics.

Clark’s abstract was one of 80 submissions to this year’s Research Forum. The abstracts were reviewed and scored by a panel of faculty members who are actively involved in clinical and basic science research. The top six abstracts were presented at the forum. Also at the forum, the VUMC House Staff presented Dario Englot, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Neurological Surgery and Surgical Director of Epilepsy, with the Grant W. Liddle Award for his “commitment and leadership in promoting an interest in research among young physicians.”

Englot, also assistant professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Neurology, and Radiology & Radiological Sciences, is nationally recognized for his investigations of brain network abnormalities using neuroimaging and electrophysiology, with a focus on epilepsy.

This year’s forum was moderated by Gautam (Jay) Bhave, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and the 2020 Liddle Award recipient. The award is named for the late Grant W. Liddle, MD, an internationally known endocrinologist who chaired the Department of Medicine from 1968 to 1983. The Newman Prize is named for Elliot Voss Newman, MD, a distinguished cardiologist, scientist, and clinical teacher who founded the VUMC Clinical Research Center in 1961. The finalists for top abstract were Hematology/Oncology fellow Hesham Yasin, MD, Cardiovascular Medicine fellow Debra Dixon, MD, MS, General Surgery resident Megan Shroder, MD, and medical students Jackson Allen and Marshall Wallace.

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