USF Health celebrates 30th Research Day with record number of poster submissions

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The familiar sea of colorful research posters decorated the USF Tampa campus Marshall Student Center ballroom on the morning of Feb. 21. USF Health Research Day 2020 marked 30 years of showcasing the best interdisciplinary scholarly research from students, faculty and staff from across all health disciplines.

USF Health Research Day 2020 marked 30 years of showcasing the best interdisciplinary scholarly research from across all health disciplines.

More than 340 poster presentations out of over 400 submissions were on display representing the profound span of research conducted within the colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy, as well as health-related collaborations with other USF colleges and several hospital affiliates. Research Day is the largest interdisciplinary research event at the University of South Florida, and both spotlights existing collaborations and encourages the formation of new ones.

Presentations ranged from pilot, preliminary, empirical and case studies to systemic reviews and reviews of literature or charts.

The Roy H. Behnke keynote speaker was Allan Levey, MD, PhD, Betty Gage Holland Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, Emory University, and Director, Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Levey presented, “Racing to a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Dr. Levey was excited to participate in USF Health’s Research Day, saying that Emory University does not currently have an event like it.

The Roy H. Behnke keynote speaker was Allan Levey, MD, PhD, who presented on his Alzheimer’s disease research.

Dr. Levey is a neurologist and neuroscientist internationally recognized for his work in neurodegenerative disease. He has more than 270 research publications. His work has contributed to understanding the brain systems and mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and in identifying molecular targets for new therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Levey thinks about his passion for Alzheimer’s research at every graduation he attends. “If we don’t do something quickly, 1 out of every 2 of those graduates is going to develop Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Levey said.

The goal in the USA National Plan is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Dr. Levey urges interdisciplinary collaboration because he believes that what’s needed for Alzheimer’s research is “people from other fields to join and bring fresh ideas.”

Yingwei Yang, doctoral student at the College of Public Health and one of the 12 Joseph Krzanowski Invited Oral Presenters, explains her poster presentation on the co-occurring impact of individual and community risk factors on youth’s perceived safety.

Tampa General Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, ResearchOne and the USF Federal Credit Union, were the sponsors for USF Health Research Day 2020.

After attendees and the 124 volunteer judges had the chance to buzz around all the poster presentations and interact with the participants, the 11th Annual Joseph Krzanowski Invited Oral Presenters took their research to the Oval Theatre stage. Out of the 12 presenters, Kristi Miley, doctoral student, College of Public Health, won the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award for her presentation titled “Evaluation of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) Winter Activity in Florida.”

Kristi Miley (center), doctoral student, College of Public Health, won the Joseph Krzanowski, PhD Invited Oral Presentations Award. The USF Health Research Day TGH Presenting Sponsor Awards were presented by Sally H. Houston, MD (right), executive vice president and chief medical officer, and Matthew L. Anderson, MD, PhD (left), director of gynecologic oncology research.

The day-long celebration of research concluded with a ceremony announcing top award and certificate winners:

  • The Best Poster in the Field of:
    • Cardiovascular Biology
      • Julia Fedorova
    • Immunology and Microbiology
      • Ojas Natarajan
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology
      • Dante Deascanis
    • Neuroscience
      • Yan Yan
    • Other Clinical Research
      • Andrew Sephien
    • Nursing
      • Dorothie Durosier Mertilus
    • Other Basic Research
      • Olivia Hardy
  •  Medical Student Research:  
    • Year 1, 2 (Basic Science)
      • Vineet Nadkarni
    • Year 1, 2 (Clinical / Translational Science)
      • John Cheng
    • Year 3, 4
      • Alexander Shahin
    • Case Study / Review Award
      • Zachary Makovich
  • Student Basic Sciences:
    • Doctoral Student Research
      • Helena Hernandez-Cuervo
    • COPH Doctoral Student Research
      • Nisha Vijayakumar
    • Masters Student Research
      • Mitchell Farmer
    • COPH Masters Student Research
      • Jan Dahrendorff
    • Undergraduate Student Research
      • Alexander Llauget
  • Student Clinical / Translational Sciences:
    • Doctoral Student Research
      • Alexandra Cochrane
    • COPH Doctoral Student Research
      • Kenneth Taylor
    • Masters Student Research
      • Amrita Unnikumaran
    • COPH Masters Student Research
      • Emma Hume
    • Undergraduate Student Research
      • Aizara Ermekbaeva
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar Research Award
    • Jea-Young Lee
  • The Community Research Award (COPH):
    • Doctoral Student Research
      • Marshara Fross
    • Masters Student Research
      • Davies Toluhi
  • The USF Health Dean’s Interdisciplinary Research Award
    • Caitlin Wolfe
  • The Outstanding Innovations in Medicine Award
    • Zeinab Motawe
  • The Outstanding 4th Year Medical Student Poster Award (Presented by Watson Clinic)
    • Yumna Ahmad
  • The Dr. Christopher P. Phelps Memorial Fund Annual Morsani College of Medicine Neuroscience Student Travel Award
    • Sara Cazzaro
  • The USF Federal Credit Union Best Poster in the Field of Cancer Biology Award
    • Roukiah Khalil
  • The Tampa General Hospital Travel Award for Clinical Fellows
    • David Gajzer
  • The Tampa General Hospital Outstanding Medical Resident Research Award
    • Evelena Cousin-Peterson
  • The Joseph Krzanowski, PhD Invited Oral Presentations Award
    • Kristi Miley
USF bulls pride from the Research Day 2020 award winners

Excerpts from USF Health Communications and Research. Written by Torie Doll. Photos by Freddie Coleman and video by Zack Murray. Visit USF Health News for the full story.