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2020 Medical Student Research Day

The 3rd Annual Medical Student Research Day (MSRD) was held on Friday, July 17, 2020 at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine from 8:45am – 2:55 PM to honor our students. MSRD is an annual event that celebrates student research accomplishments and provides students with an opportunity to present their research projects to fellow peers and faculty. Due to the widespread pandemic, the 2020 MSRD was hosted virtually using online presentation methods.  A total of 32 student presentations were conducted.

General Information:

Keynote Speaker:

Meet our Keynote speaker!

Thomas Yorio is Provost Emeritus and a member of the North Texas Eye Research Institute at University of North Texas Health Science Center. He was Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at UNTHSC.

He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he remained for a brief Postdoctoral appointment as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a National Kidney Foundation Fellow. An ocular pharmacologist, Dr. Yorio has made many contributions to the area of glaucoma, with research over the last four decades focused in the areas on transport in aqueous humor dynamics, endothelin pharmacology in glaucoma and in identifying potential targets for neuroprotection. He has participated in numerous presentations at national and international symposia and has been a member of the Association in Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) for over 40 years. Dr. Yorio has had numerous grant awards for his work in glaucoma pharmacology from a variety of sources including, the Department of Defense (DoD), National Eye Institutes (NEI), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, pharmaceutical industry and foundations.

He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed research articles, reviews, and book chapters, and is co-editor of a textbook. He also serves as associate editor for several scientific journals and served as Editor in Chief of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and remains on its editorial board.

Dr. Yorio is a Fellow of ARVO, where he also served as the Physiology and Pharmacology Trustee and as ARVO Vice President. He was honored two times with ARVO’s Distinguished Service Award and in 2019, was the recipient of ARVO’s Joanne G. Angle Service Award. As an active member of ARVO he served on the Finance Committee while a Trustee, the Diversity Initiatives Committee, and the Annual Meeting Program Committee. Dr. Yorio is also a member of the ARVO Board of Governors and the Dowling Society of the ARVO Foundation. In addition to his ARVO membership he has also been an active member of the International Society for Eye Research (ISER) for more than 20 years and has chaired or helped organize several symposia for the ISER congress and is a recipient of the Ernst H. Barany Prize from ISER recognizing his contributions to ocular pharmacology. He has been selected as a Fellow in the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics where he served as President from 2015 to 2019 and now as Immediate Past President. He has been a member of AOPT since its inception and attended and presented at most of the AOPT conferences.


Presentations will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of the abstract (abstracts must be written by students)
  • Content of presentation
  • Organization of content
  • Delivery and clarity of presentation
  • Depth of knowledge of student presenters
  • Ability to respond to questions

2020 MSRD Award Winners:

Biomedical Research:
Abstract Number: 106S
Title: Investigating the Effects of Oleocanthal on in vitro Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation and Possible Links to Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease
Student Researchers: Dominique Rose Grayeb, OMS-II
Zoey Good, OMS-II
Mentor: Michael Woods, PhD

Clinical & OMT Research:
Abstract Number: 203S
Title: Splenic Pump Changes Circulating Immune Cell Profile Leading to Altered Cytokine Responses to Inflammatory Stimuli
Student Researchers: Jessica Daggett, OMS-II
Mikal Shankey, OMS-II
Matthew Horvath, OMS-II
Mentors: Harald Stauss MD, PhD and Gabor Szalai, PhD

Abstract Number: 204S
Title: Using Force Sensors to Establish Clinical Guidelines for the Abdominal Palpation Exam
Student Researcher: Derek Jezulin, OMS-II
Mentor: Adrienne Kania, DO

Population & Public Health Research:
Abstract Number: 302S
Title: Cancer Prevention in the Paso Del Norte Region: Assessing HPV Knowledge and Vaccination Rates in a Majority Hispanic Community
Student Researchers: Chinanu Chidi, OMS-II
Lindsay Muniz, OMS-II
Mentor: Kristin Gosselink, PhD