April 27, 2007

Research efforts of residents, fellows, students honored

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Fred Kirchner, M.D., left, shares a laugh with Carol Whiteneck and her husband, James Whiteneck, M.D., at last week’s Research Forum. (photo by Mary Donaldson)

Research efforts of residents, fellows, students honored

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's 25th Annual Research Forum, held last week, provided an opportunity for residents, clinical fellows, and medical students to present research conducted at Vanderbilt — and also to meet the originator of the forum.

Fred Kirschner, M.D., associate dean of Graduate Medical Education, honored the former Vanderbilt general surgery resident who conceptualized the yearly event — James M. Whiteneck, M.D. — during a special presentation.

This year, a total of 60 abstracts were submitted for the forum, which was established and is sponsored by the VUMC House Staff Advisory Council. Volunteer faculty evaluated the abstracts and selected the six most meritorious — three in basic science research and three in clinical research — to make oral presentations at the forum.

Faculty judges chose the best oral presentation in each category to receive the Elliott V. Newman Awards.

This year's award for the best basic science presentation went to Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., a first-year resident in Psychiatry, who detailed his investigation of how endocannabinoid signaling affects neuronal morphology in the prefrontal cortex, which has implications for understanding schizophrenia.

Eitan Friedman, a fourth-year medical student, received the award for best clinical science presentation. He discussed his work toward understanding how tadalafil, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, may provide benefit to patients with Raynaud's syndrome.

Two awards were also given for the best poster presentations: Diego Porras, M.D., a clinical fellow in Pediatric Cardiology, received the best poster award in the basic science category; and Robert Huang, M.D., quality scholars fellow in the Division of Internal Medicine, in the clinical science category.

Nancy Brown, M.D., associate dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development, was chosen to receive this year's Grant W. Liddle Award, which honors “exemplary leadership in the promotion of scientific research.”

Also, several faculty and residents were chosen for teaching awards by the third- and fourth-year medical students:

• Joseph Awad, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, 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;

• Lesley French, M.D., a second-year resident in Otolaryngology was awarded the Jay W. Hillman House Officer Teaching Award.

House staff teaching awards also were presented to Bryan Ludwig, M.D., fourth-year resident in Neurology; Clark Files, M.D., chief resident for Internal Medicine, and — for the second year in a row — Patti Scott, M.D., chief resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chris Sizemore, D.O., second-year resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology.