May 2, 2008

Forum recognizes best in research

Featured Image

Dennis Hallahan, M.D., recipient of this year's Grant W. Liddle Award, introduces Donald Brady, M.D., Medical Education Administrator (left) to Richard Treadway, M.D., board member of the Camby Robinson Society, after the 26th Annual Rsearch Forum. (photo by Mary Donaldson)

Forum recognizes best in research

Research conducted by medical students, resident physicians and clinical fellows at Vanderbilt Medical Center was recognized last week during the 26th annual Research Forum.

“You are the future of research at Vanderbilt and across the country,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research. “We are indebted to you for … helping us prepare for the formidable health care and scientific challenges of the 21st century.”

This year, nearly 60 abstracts were submitted for the forum, sponsored by the House Staff Advisory Council.

Josh Smith, M.D., a General Surgery resident and graduate student in Cell and Developmental Biology, chaired the forum. Nancy Brown, M.D., associate dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development and last year's Grant W. Liddle Award winner, served as moderator.

Volunteer faculty evaluated the abstracts and selected three each in basic science and clinical science to be presented orally during the forum. The best oral presentation in each category, as determined by a panel of faculty judges, received the Elliott V. Newman Prize.

This year's award for the best basic science presentation went to Shih-Hsin Eddy Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a resident in Radiation Oncology. Yang described findings from his study in mice that suggested lithium may protect hippocampal neurons but not cancer cells from radiation-induced cell death through enhancing DNA repair.

Bradley VanSickle, M.D., Ph.D., a fellow in Pediatric Endocrinology, received the Newman award for best clinical science presentation. He discussed evidence that poor glucose control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes may promote systemic inflammation, which decreases a hormone important for normal bone health.

Three awards were given for the best poster presentations.

Julia McHugh, a graduate student in Pharmacology, and Leslie Gewin, M.D., a fellow in Nephrology, received best poster awards in the basic science category. The award for best clinical science poster went to Truc Le, M.D., a fellow in Pediatric Critical Care.

Dennis Hallahan, M.D., professor and chair of Radiation Oncology, received this year's Grant W. Liddle Award in honor of his “exemplary leadership in the promotion of scientific research.”

The third- and fourth-year medical students also selected several faculty members and residents for teaching awards:

• Joyce Johnson, M.D., associate professor of Pathology, received the Jack Davies Award for teaching excellence in basic science;

• Charles Rush, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, received the Thomas E. Brittingham Clinical Teaching Award; and

• Robert Carpenter, M.D., M.P.H., chief resident in Surgery, received the Jay W. Hillman House Officer Teaching Award.

House staff teaching awards also went to Erik Hansen, M.D., M.P.H., chief resident in Surgery; Benjamin Heavrin, M.D., a resident in Emergency Medicine; Christopher Sizemore, D.O., a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Charles Upchurch, M.D., chief resident in Medicine.

Donald Brady, M.D., associate dean of Graduate Medical Education, reported that Vanderbilt house staff presented at national meetings more than 250 times this year, and contributed to 180 scientific publications.

Citing a preliminary survey of residency and fellowship program directors, Brady said Vanderbilt residents and fellows were awarded more than 54 research grants this year, amounting to nearly $2.4 million.