Strong science showcased at 20th USF Health Research Day

This year’s USF Health Research Day began with a thank you as the student oral presentation session was officially renamed the Annual Joseph Krzanowski, PhD, USF Health Invited Oral Presentations Session.

The gesture was meant to honor Dr. Joseph Krzanowski, who is an emeritus professor and former associate dean for the USF College of Medicine, and who was instrumental in expanding Research Day into its current form.

“Dr. Krzanowski was very influential in furthering the research programs at USF Health and throughout USF,” said Phillip J. Marty, PhD, associate vice president for USF Health Research. “Renaming the oral sessions after him is a way to recognize him for his generous contributions to Research Day, to the college and to the institution.”

Dr. Phil Marty and Dr. Joseph Krzanowski.

The oral presentations were only part of the day-long event that highlights the research of graduate and postgraduate students residents, and even faculty and staff, from throughout USF Health, as well as from across the USF campus.

Nearly 200 posters representing the work of these up-and-coming researchers filled bulletin boards that lined the Rotunda and College of Nursing foyer. Judges made their rounds to each presentation, asking the lead researchers to further explain their methods, results and conclusions before deciding on the award-worthy entrants.

The oral sessions at the beginning of the day showcased the outstanding work of eight researchers. From the College of Medicine: Jesse Arbuckle (PhD student), Dana Cruite (first-year medical student), Christina Drenberg (PhD student), Swathy Kolli, MD (resident), and Derrick Rowe (PhD student).
From the College of Nursing: Natalia Saunders (PhD student).
And from the College of Public Health: Natalie Hernandez (PhD student), and Matthew Tucker (PhD student).

CON graduate student Natalia Saunders and COPH graduate student Natalie Hernandez were among the eight invited to make oral presentations.

Jo Ann Moore checks in Research Day judges Dr. Byeong Cha and Dr. Jun Tan.

Dr. Robert Deschenes judges one of the poster presentations.

COPH doctoral student Christopher Wheldon sets up his poster with the help of COPH graduate student Rachel Williams.

The day also included a bake sale fundraiser for the Lab Rats. Enticing goodies were offered by Nhan Tu and Erica Fratz.

The day-long event, now in its 20th year, is a prime opportunity for collaboration and acts as a “practice run” for many of the presenters, whose work may garner spots at national research meetings.

Culminating the day was the Roy H. Behnke Disntinguished Lectureship, featuring Jean-Francois Rossignol, MD, PhD, FRSC, who presented “Translational Research: Myth or Reality or the Discovery of the Thiazolides.”

Dr. Jean-Francois Rossignol was this year’s keynote speaker.

As the day wound down, winners were announced at the Awards Ceremony.

This year’s winners.

Winning this year:



UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS: Christina Miller, Neurosciences; Jorge Fernandez

MEDICAL STUDENT AWARDS: Thomas Hayman, Cancer Biology; Qiyuan Liu, Basic Science; Tim Miller and Joshua Smith, Clinical Cases and Chart Review.

POST DOCTORAL FELLOWS: Elena Suvorova, Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Disease; Chetna Purohit, Cancer Biology; Anfernee kai-wing Tse, Cancer Biology; Thandavaray an Kathiresan, Molecular Medicine.

RESIDENT AWARDS: Steven Finkelstein, Cancer Biology; Abhishek Mathur, Cancer Biology; Rias Ali, Cardiovascular; Yvonne Pierpont, Clinical Medicine and Education; Kiran Turaga, Clinical Studies and Cases Reports.

GRADUATE STUDENTS: Josh Radke, Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Disease; Kenrick Semple, Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Disease; Rebecca Linger, Cancer Biology; Sandra Acosta, Neuro and Behavioral Science; Mibel Pabon, Neuro and Behavioral Science.

COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Jaime Myers, Community and Family Health; Janus Patel, Environmental and Occupational Health; Stephanie Kolar, Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Christen Mayer, Global Health.

Story by Sarah A. Worth, USF Health Communications
Photos and video by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications
Video editing by Klaus Herdocia, USF Health Communications