Research Day 2009 brings scholarly inquiry to forefront

Click here for a list of Research Day 2009 Award Winners.
See below for more photos and audioclips of Research Day participants.


USF Health Associate VP Phillip Marty, PhD, says the quality of faculty and student presentations at this year’s Research Day were impressive, even as the event has expanded.

The Research Day 2009 posters wound throughout the lobby of the USF Health Rotunda continuing into the atrium and up onto the second floor of the College of Nursing

Amid the buzz, aspiring researchers — graduate and postgraduate students and residents from across USF Health — chatted with those who stopped at their posters to ask questions and explained their projects to faculty judges making the rounds to each presentation.

Research Day presenters and onlookers packed the USF Health Rotunda and adjacent College of Nursing.

L to R: Xiaoquin Wang, MD, explains her research investigating the role of Natriuretic Peptide Receptor A in the development and spread of prostate cancer to faculty judges Nagwa Dajani, PhD, and Robert Deschenes, PhD.

Investigators from seven different USF colleges participated Feb. 20 in the 19th Annual Research Day — with studies covering disciplines ranging from allergy and immunology and cancer biology to nursing and public health. Many of the 166 presentations displayed were the result of interdisciplinary collaborations.

“Every year Research Day grows and the presentations continue to increase in quality,” said USF Health Associate Vice President Phillip Marty, PhD, glancing around the crowded lobby. “It’s impressive to see the large number of students who have become involved in this event. This building is literally packed with poster presentations.”

Lindsey Boone, a doctoral student in Molecular Medicine, won the USF Health Vice President’s Award for Outstanding Oral Presentation.

The day included oral presentations by eight students, whose work was judged outstanding by faculty committees from their respective colleges. Lindsey Boone, PhD student in Molecular Medicine, received the USF Health Vice President’s Award for Outstanding Oral Presentation for her project titled In Vivo Analysis of the Thyroid Hormone Response Elements in HMG-CoA Reductase Promoter.

This year’s three USF Health Distinguished Professors — David V. Sheehan, MD, of the College of Medicine. C. Hendricks Brown, PhD, of the College of Public Health, and Susan McMillan, PhD, of the College of Nursing — were recognized by their respective deans.

Cardiovascular researcher Dr. John Carlos Burnett, Jr., featured speaker for the Behnke Distinguished Lectureship, is designing the next generation of natriuretic peptides to treat human disease.

John Carlos Burnett, Jr., MD, director of the Cardiorenal Research Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, was the featured speaker for the 13th Annual Roy H. Behnke, MD, Distinguished Lectureship. His talk was titled “Natriuretic Peptides and Drug Discovery for Cardiovascular Disease: Translation from Bench to Bedside.”

Wilbur Milhous, PhD (left), associate dean for research at COPH, and Kevin Kip, PhD, executive director of the CON Research Center, help judge the Oral Presentation sessions.

USF public health researcher Carol Bryant, PhD, told a community group attending Research Day that the U.S. obesity epidemic needs to be treated as a crisis.

Carol Bryant, PhD, professor of community and family health at the College of Public Health, spoke at a Research Day Donor Brunch about the public health threat of the nation’s obesity epidemic. Bryant described one campaign she worked on through the college’s Prevention Research Center that focused on making physical activity fun for tweens (kids who are not quite teenagers), rather than something they need to do to be healthy. It included a “scorecard” where kids could get discounts on such activities as laser tag, then turn the card in for prizes.

Research Day culminated with the much-awaited Awards Ceremony, which included accolades and cash awards for each of the winners.

LISTEN TO some Research Day participants talking about their projects:


Dr. Jorge Marcet (left), director of the Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery, with research fellow Dr. Jaime Sanchez. They worked with colleagues in Pathology &Cell Biology to create a 3-D male pelvis model with potential applications for surgical training and preoperative planning.


Mibel Pabon, MS, of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology and the Center for Excellence in Aging and Brain Repair, won a Neuroscience Award in the Graduate Student Category.


Nursing doctoral student Teresa Russo, MS, is studying the clinical decision-making processes used by emergency room nurses managing pediatric pain. Neurology resident Rachel Tabangcura, MD (left), presented a case report on treatment strategies for PAID Syndrome with dystonia.


Barbara Clark-Alexander, PhD, a faculty member in the College of Public Health, looked at dental hygienists beliefs and attitudes toward treating HIV/AIDS patients.


Kyle Austin represented a COM Center for Advanced Clinical Learning project investigating the effectiveness of combining high-fidelity simulators with traditional methods in teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

– Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications
– Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications/Media Ctr.
Carol Bryant photo by John Lofreddo