University of South Florida

Record number of students showcase research at MCOM’s 9th Annual Student Symposium

Medical students, staff and faculty gathered Nov. 30 at the USF Health Auditorium for the 9th Annual Student Symposium hosted by the Morsani College of Medicine Office of Research, Innovation and Scholarly Endeavors (RISE). With 52 presenters, a 67-percent increase from last year’s symposium, this was the largest student symposium in MCOM history.

“This event is a great way for the students to get some experience presenting their research in an environment that is more suited for learning and feedback,” said Roberta Collins, director of the Office of RISE. “Our job is to make our students better and more competitive for when they are applying for residencies.”

The students, judges and coordinators of the 9th Annual Student Symposium including Dr. Haru Okuda, keynote speaker for the event.

The annual event is an opportunity for medical students to showcase their research interests and highlight the benefits of lifelong scholarship. The format for this year’s event changed with the large number of student presenters – students were given just three minutes to explain the topic of their research, their findings and next steps.

“I enjoyed the chance to share the important things I’ve learned in the process of treating patients and reminding current practitioners of the importance of considering additional diagnoses to best benefit patients,” said Jordana Herr, third-year medical student who presented a case report for the first time.

CAMLS Executive Director Dr. Haru Okuda was the keynote speaker for the 9th Annual Student Symposium.

Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) Executive Director, Haru Okuda, MD, served as keynote speaker for the event. He spoke about how his passion for music was a driving force behind his passion to become a doctor and his career path to becoming the executive director of CAMLS.

This year’s winners are:

Joseph Balbona: 1st place Group A: “Oncologic Gastric Resection for Adenocarcinoma: Robotic approach is safe and reproducible”
Mathias Nittman: 1st place Group B: “Relationship between stimulus size and different components of the electroretinogram (ERG) elicited by flashed stimuli”


From left: Steven Malachowski, fourth-year medical student; Patricia Kruk, PhD; and Bryan Bognar, MD, MPH, vice dean for educational affairs, served as judges for one group at the 9th Annual Student Symposium.


Jordan Karsch and Leigh Hatch, third-year medical students, present during the 9th Annual Student Symposium.


Kapland Owens, third-year medical student, takes questions from the judges during the 9th Annual Student Symposium.

-Photos by Fredrick Coleman, USF Health Communications and Marketing




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