Graduate students compete for research honors

Top graduate students from each biomedical science interdisciplinary program competed during the 39th annual UF College of Medicine Medical Guild Research Symposium April 3.

The research competition was part of the annual College of Medicine Research Day, which was sponsored by the college’s Faculty Council and the Office of the Dean. Each of the six programs held departmental competitions and sent the top researchers to present at the symposium. Six students prepared 15-minute, oral research presentations, and a panel of faculty judges evaluated each presentation.

“The College of Medicine distinguishes itself with one of the strongest graduate and research programs of the university,” said Michael Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. “Success in research is an endeavor itself, but success in the program is really a team effort.”

Each student received “more than a pat on the back” thanks to the Medical Guild’s grant funding, said Paul Gulig, M.D., director of interdisciplinary in biomedical sciences. The gold award winner earned $2,000, two silver winners won $1,000 each and the three bronze finalists were given $500 each.

The following students were awarded based on their presentations:

  • Gold award – Amanda Sacino of neuroscience for “Modeling (Alpha)—Synuclein Proteinopathy.”
  • Silver award – Thomas Biel of physiology and pharmacology for “Sirtuin 1—Induced Autophagy Suppresses Ischemia/ Reperfusion Injury to Mouse Liver.”
  • Silver award – Tal Salz of biochemistry and molecular biology for “hSETD1A-mediated Epigenetics Oversees Tumorigenesis.”
  • Bronze award – Kamil Nowicki of molecular cell biology for “Role of Shear Stress —Mediated Inflammation, ELR+ CXC Chemokines and Peroxisomal Proliferator Activated Receptor (PPAR) Pathway in Cerebral Aneurysm Formation”
  • Bronze award – Harald Messer of immunology and microbiology for “Inhibition of H3K27me3—specific Histone Demethylases, JMJD3 and UTX, Effectively Inhibits Reactivation of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 in Neurons.”
  • Bronze award – Mini Manchanda of genetics for “Loss of Muscleblind Like Protein Functions Causes Mis—Regulation of Distinct mRNA Processing Steps In Myotonic Dystrophy.”

As part of the Medical Guild Research Symposium, the following persons received the 2013-2014 Doctoral Mentoring Award:

  • Brian Cain, Ph.D., biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Robert McKenna, Ph.D., biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Naohiro Terada, MD, Ph.D., pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine
  • Maurice Swanson, Ph.D., molecular genetics and microbiology

The following students were Advancement to Candidacy Award recipients:

  • Douglas Bennion, physiology and pharmacology
  • Colleen Cole-Jeffrey, physiology and pharmacology
  • Kimberly Hawkings, neuroscience
  • Monica Santisteban, physiology and pharmacology