May 14, 2004

Student research awards presented during 22nd annual research forum

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Elisabeth Riviello and her husband, Robert Riviello, M.D., each won awards at last week's 22nd Annual Research Forum. Elisabeth, a second-year medical student, won the Newman Prize for best oral presentation of clinical research. Her husband, a third-year resident physician in General Surgery, won a resident teaching award. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Student research awards presented during 22nd annual research forum

A medical student who tested Botswana diamond-mine workers for HIV, and a resident physician who helped develop a way to grow new bone were among the winners last week during Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s 22nd Annual Research Forum.

Also during the forum, Denis M. O’Day, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received the Grant W. Liddle Award for “exemplary leadership in the promotion of scientific research at Vanderbilt.”

The forum, sponsored by the VUMC House Staff Advisory Council, encourages residents, clinical fellows and medical students to present research conducted at Vanderbilt.

Volunteer faculty evaluated 80 abstracts this year, and selected the most meritorious for oral or poster presentations.

Six oral presentations — three in basic science research and three in clinical research — were delivered. Faculty judges chose the best presentation in each category to receive the Elliott V. Newman Prize of $500. This year’s winners were:

For clinical research, Elisabeth D. Riviello, a second-year medical student who conducted a study of HIV incidence and prevalence last summer with the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership; and

For basic science research, Jennifer Halpern, M.D., a third-year resident in Orthopedic Surgery, for her presentation on a “bioreactor,” a vascularized coral scaffold that she and her colleagues used to generate new bone in a rat model.

Winners of the best poster presentations were, for basic science, Carmen Perez, an M.D./Ph.D. student, and, for clinical research, Jose E. Hagan, M.S., a third-year medical student.

The third- and fourth-year medical students also voted on several teaching awards, which were presented during the forum by third-year student Kathryn Koepke. They included:

• The Jack Davies Award for “teaching excellence in basic science” in the pre-clinical years — Luc Van Kaer, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology and Immunology;

• The Thomas E. Brittingham Clinical Teaching Award —Scott M. Rodgers, M.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry;

• The Jay W. Hillman House Officer Award — William Bradley Boyd, M.D., chief resident in Pediatrics.

• Resident teaching awards were given to:

Eva Kathryn Miller, M.D., second-year resident in Pediatrics; Robert Riviello, M.D., third-year resident in General Surgery; Sean Patrick Whalen, M.D., chief resident in Internal Medicine; and Leonard James Wudel, M.D., chief resident in General Surgery.

This year’s forum was chaired by Michelle Khoo, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., clinical fellow in Cardiology, and moderated by Herbert S. Schwartz, M.D., professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, and recipient of last year’s Liddle Award.

Members of the voluntary review committee were Mark E. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., Ravi S. Chari, M.D., Mary Ellen Dees, M.D., Ginger E. Holt, M.D., Joyce E. Johnson, M.D., Ivan M. Robbins, M.D., and William Schaffner, M.D.