Carolinas HealthCare System
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System Trains Next Generation of Researchers through Scholars Program

For the sixth year, clinical and translational scientists at Carolinas HealthCare System spent their summer months helping train the next generation of researchers through the organization’s annual Summer Research Scholar Program.

Over 25 competitive applicants from nursing and medical schools around the country were selected and matched with Carolinas HealthCare System researchers for the 10-week program. Scholars completed research projects and shared them via poster and oral presentations on Research Day, which included a keynote address by Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, president of Levine Cancer Institute.

See the table below for a listing of the scholars’ presentations.

“We are thrilled to host students each year who are eager to learn from our world-renowned researchers and who contribute to the field through their own research developed and completed during their time with us,” said Michael A. Gibbs, MD, FACEP, the System’s interim vice president of research, chair of Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center and senior academic chair of the System’s Medical Group.

Mitchell Lynn, a nursing student from the UNC-Charlotte School of Nursing, worked with bariatric surgeon Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS, at the Carolinas Weight Management clinic. He took part in obesity-related research and learned about the continuum of care of bariatric surgery patients.

“I felt the knowledge I gained could be taken to the bedside and aid in patient care throughout my nursing career,” said Lynn, who interacted with patients and observed bariatric surgeries, among other opportunities. “I was encouraged to pursue my interests and enjoyed the program tremendously.” 

Dr. Stefanidis said it was refreshing to see scholars like Lynn acquire new research and clinical skills and mature over the course of only a couple of months. “They help advance many of our research projects and enjoy using the resources and capabilities that make Carolinas HealthCare System a national research leader. It is a win-win for scholars and the System.”

Katie Gray, from Medical University of South Carolina, worked with Hazel Tapp, PhD, associate director of research for the Department of Family Medicine, on the asthma shared decision-making toolkit for ambulatory care providers on electronic medical records (EMR). Gray said she became better acquainted with the EMR and learned techniques for helping patients to better treat chronic diseases. Her findings were submitted to the North American Primary Care Research group’s annual national meeting for presentation.

“Katie was instantly enthusiastic about the primary care research and evaluation we do,” Dr. Tapp said. “She developed her own idea to see if the toolkit we use was making a difference in management of other comorbid diseases. She added tremendous value to our goal of putting patients first, always.”

Anup Bhattacharya, a medical student at Temple University, worked with Jaspal Singh, MD, MHA, MHS, from Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine at CMC, to make clinical education more interactive for advanced clinical providers (ACPs). “He worked hard to improve the online curriculum at the Center for Advanced Practice, “Dr. Singh said. “The findings showed statistically significant differences in what ACPs learned when using a more interactive model.”

As scholars ended their program in July, they left with words of advice from Dr. Raghavan: “As you move forward in your careers and in your research, you have to know why it’s relevant and how it’s going to help patients. Don’t forget the human component of medicine – you have to learn to blend the precision of science with human touch.”

Scholar Name

Presentation Title

Primary Mentor Name/Title

Michael Alexander

(Ranked #1 oral presentation)

Effect of Cardiac Intramuscular Administration of SoluMedrol Solution and Nanoparticle-Encapsulated SoluMedrol on Acute Inflammatory Response after Myocardial Infarction

Charles Bridges, MD, ScD; Vice President, Vascular Research

Anup Bhattacharya

Effectiveness of a Novel Educational Curriculum for Advanced Clinical Practitioners

Jaspal Singh, MD, MHS, FCCP, Critical Care, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

Kate Bolling

(Ranked #3 poster presentation)

CT pelvis does not identify additional clinically-important intra-abdominal injuries beyond those seen on CT abdomen alone in children suffering blunt abdominal trauma

Michael Runyon, MD; Research Director, Emergency Medicine Research

Glenn Boyles

Validation of the Sit-to-Stand Rating Scale as an Outcome Measure in ALS Patients

Mohammed Sanjak, PhD, PT, MBA; Clinical Research Senior Scientist, Neuromuscular/ ALS Research Laboratory

Heidi Cope

(Ranked #2 oral presentation)

Investigating the Role of Tenascin C in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Mark Russo, MD, MPH; Transplant Hepatologist and Director of the Liver Center

Katherine Culbreath

Infiltrating Leukocytes in Liver Biopsies in Drug-Induced Liver Injury vs Other Etiologies of Acute Hepatitis

Herbert L. Bonkovsky, MD; Physician, Liver Center

Kaleigh Fetcko

MitoQ Effects on Cellular Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in a Rat Model of Hemorrhagic Shock and Reperfusion Injury

Iain McKillop, PhD; Research Group Director, General Surgery Research Laboratory

Christopher Gardner

A Novel Secondary Task Enables the Quantification of Workload Differences between Traditional and Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery

Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS; Medical Director, Carolinas Simulation Center

Vrushab Gowda

Porphyrinogenic Effects of Selected Anticonvulsants, Analgesics, and Sulfa Drugs

Herbert L. Bonkovsky, MD; Director, Liver, Digestive and Metabolic Disorders Laboratory

Katie Gray

The Effects of Asthma Shared Decision Making on the Management of Diabetes and Hypertension

Hazel Tapp, PhD; Associate Director of Research, Family Medicine

Pahul Hanjra

Dental Plaque Bacterial Profiles, Bacteremia, and Infective Endocarditis (IE)

Farah Mougeot, PhD; Microbiome Research-Oral Medicine Laboratory

Jade Harris

The Transcriptional Regulation of Fatty Acid Binding Protein 4 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line

Iain McKillop, PhD; Research Group Director, General Surgery Research Laboratory

Hayley Hatherly

Compliance to SOC for Ankle Contractures Survey

Susan Sparks, MD, PhD; Clinical Genetist, Pediatrics

Duy Huynh

Toll-like Receptor 3 and 9 Stimulation Increases Immunotherapy effectiveness Against Melanoma

David Foureau, PhD; Director, Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory

Marshall Lawler

(Ranked #3 oral presentation)

Cancer Therapy-Induced Oral Mucositis:  Interaction with the Oral Microbiome and Computational Drug Discovery

Jean-Luc Mougeot, PhD; Research Group Director

Caitlin Lindberg

(Ranked #2 poster presentation)

Timing of intrauterine insemination (IUI) after βHCG administration

Brad Hurst, MD; Director, Assisted Reproduction

Mitch Lynn

Does Preoperative Resting Energy Expenditure Predict Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery?

Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS; Surgeon, Carolinas Weight Management

Natalie Marsh

Gender and Hormonal Influence on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Outcomes

Janet Niemeier, PhD, ABPP; Research Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Sandy Mathurin

 Validation of the HOXC6 in Patients with Serous Ovarian Cancer

David Tait, MD; Physician, Gynecologic Oncology

Oshauna Morgan

Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy in the Evaluation of Lung Lesions: the Carolinas Medical Center Experience

Jaspal Singh, MD, MHS, FCCP, Critical Care, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

Megan Nanney

AAV9-FKRP Gene Therapy to Restore the Glycosylation of α-Dystroglycan in Dystrophic Mice

Qi-Long Lu, MD, PhD; Research Group Director, McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy

Presley Parkes

(Ranked #1 poster presentation)

Role of the Redox Signaling Pathway in Regulating Drug Sensitivity to Proteasome Inhibitors in Multiple Myeloma at Physiologic versus Atmospheric Oxygen Conditions

Ram Ganapathi, MD & Mahrukh Ganapathi, PhD; Cancer Pharmacology Laboratory

Bernice Sem

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ONE: Self-managing diabetes by individualizing nutrition education to improve patients nutrition knowledge

Andrew McWilliams, MD, MPH; Associate Director of Research, Family Medicine

Kenneth Shiao

Electronic Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test Validation for Falls Prevention Technology Development Project

Richard Peindl, PhD; Research Group Director, Orthopaedic Engineering Research Laboratory

Nathan Suskovic

Reducing The Triage Time for CMC’s Emergency Department (ED) during Plan A

D. Matthew Sullivan, MD; Director of Medical Infomatics and Emergency Medicine Physician

Jeremy Thompson

Operative vs. Non-operative Treatment of Humerus Fractures in the Polytrauma Patient: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Michael Bosse, MD, FACS; Director of Orthopaedic Clinical Research and Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon

Sarah Whitmire

The impact of medications on stimulated and unstimulated salivary flow

Michael Brennan, DDS, MHS; Chair, Department of Oral Medicine