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2019 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowships


In 1982, the board of directors of Alpha Omega Alpha established five student research fellowship awards to encourage and support student research. Since then, the awards have grown in number to more than fifty each year. The fellowship emphasizes a student-designed and ¬-intiated project with an academic mentor. Recipients of the fellowship tell us that the awards have helped them to learn about the joys of scientific and scholarly discovery, and increase their critical understanding of scholarship and research in health care and science. Many recipients of the fellowship have followed up their work as student- researchers to become physician- scientists. The student receives a $5000 award, with $1000 available for travel to a national meeting to present the research results. In 2004, the name of the fellowship program was changed to the Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship awards in honor of Carolyn L. Kuckein, AΩA’s longtime administrator, who died in January 2004.


Evaluations of the fellowship proposals were made by the following reviewers: Ralph Amato, MD; Arun Antony, MD; Carola Arndt, MD; Robert Atnip, MD; Deanna Attai, MD; Jeremiah Barondess, MD; David Bennahum, MD; John Benson, MD; Nathan Beucke, MD; Syamal Bhattacharya, PhD, CLD; Jeremy Bolin, MD; Richard Bronson, MD; John Brust, MD; Paul Bunn, MD; Richard Byyny, MD; Dick Byyny, MD, FACP; Stephen Chan, MD; James Chandler, MD, MS; Scott Christensen, MD; Sean Christensen, MD; Keith Churchwell, MD; Mark Clapper, MD; Harry Clarke, MD; Lynn Cleary, MD; Alison Conlin, MD; Paul Contorer, MD; Jack Coulehan, MD; Gregory Davis, MD; Ivor Douglas, MD; Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS; Lawrence Faltz, MD; Jonathan Fish, MD; Brooke French, MD; Jack Friedland, MD, FACS; Paul Gaglio, MD; James Gamble, MD; Michael Gerber, MD; Mohammad Gol, MD; Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, MD; Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD; Ranjan Gupta, MD; Suzanne Harrison, MD; David Hellmann, MD; Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD; Van Hubbard, MD, PhD; Bruce Hudkins, MD; Melissa Hudson, MD; Trent Hummel, MD; Holly Humphrey, MD, MACP; Pascal Imperato, MD, MPH&TM, MACP; Shahram Izadyar, MD; Donald Kamerer, MD; Stephen Kates, MD; Mark Kinzie, MD, PhD; Heidi Kirsch, MD; Susan Lane, MD; Sharon Langendoerfer, MD; Renato LaRocca, MD; Michael Levy, MD; Carlin Long, MD; Kenneth Ludmerer, MD; Michele Manahan, MD; Daniel Matlock, MD; Terre McGlothin, MD; Mark Mendelsohn, MD; Fassil Mesfin, MD; Carl Nechtman, MD; Mark Nehler, MD; Gary Nishioka, MD; Doug Paauw, MD, MACP; Suzann Pershing, MD; Sheryl Pfeil, MD; James Plumb, MD; Susan Rakfal, MD; Steven Ringel, MD; William Robinson, MD; Alan Robinson, MD; Bill Robinson, MD; Giovanni Romeo, MD; Paul Rozance, MD; Kathleen Ryan, MD; Shashikumar Salgar, MD; Michael Samuels, MD; Oliver Sartor, MD; Mya Schiess, MD; Harvey Schipper, MD; Anil Seetharam, MD; Lawrence Shuer, MD; Gary Simonds, MD; Mark Smith, MD; Eric Snyder, MD; Wiley Souba, MD, DSc, MBA; Joe Stubbs, MD, FACP; Jolyn Taylor, MD; Alan Thong, MD; John Tooker, MD, MBA, MACP; Andrew Tsung, MD; Evan Unger, MD; John Ward, MD; Alan Wasserman, MD; Edwin Watkins, MD; Gene Wolfel, MD; and Mary Zupanc, MD.


The fifty recipients of the 2019 fellowships are:


Nyle Almeida
Class of 2022, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Synaptogenic Glioma Cell Enrichment in High Connectivity Regions of Adult Glioma
Mentor: Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, MD (AΩA, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2006)
Councilor: Lisa M. Landrum, MD, PhD (AΩA, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, 2002)

Scott Anjewierden
Class of 2021, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Ultrasound Spectral Parameter Analysis for the Assessment of Myocardial Tissue Viability
Mentor: Russell J. Fedewa, PhD
Councilor: Jonathan Fanaroff, MD, JD (AΩA, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 1998)

Rahul Annabathula
Class of 2020, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Evaluating the Value of a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) and Catheter-Directed Thrombolytic (CDT) Therapy for Acute Submassive and Massive PE: Clinical Outcomes and Cost
Mentors: Susan Smyth, MD, PhD; Vedant Gupta, MD
Councilor: Christopher G. Pelic, MD (AΩA, University of Toledo, 2000)

Brian Ayers
Class of 2020, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Novel Machine Learning Algorithm to Predict Survival After Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
Mentor: Daniel Chow, MD
Councilor: Jane L. Liesveld, MD (AΩA, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, 1979)

Michelle Bardis
Class of 2021, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Prostate Cancer Detection, Quantification, and Characterization with Artificial Intelligence
Mentor: Michele Marcolongo, PhD, PE
Councilor: Ranjan Gupta, MD (AΩA, Albany Medical College, 1992)

Shiv Bhandari
Class of 2020, University of Washington School of Medicine
ECG features that Predict Return of Spontaneous Circulation during Cardiac Resuscitation in Patients Undergoing Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Mentor: Thomas D. Rea, MD, MPH (AΩA, University of Michigan Medical School, 1992)
Councilor: Douglas S. Paauw, MD (AΩA, University of Michigan Medical School, 1983)

Theodora Bruun
Class of 2022, Stanford University School of Medicine
Engineering the HIV-1 gp41 Pocket to Increase Rigidity and Enable Small-Molecule Drug Discovery
Mentor: Peter S. Kim, PhD
Councilor: Suzann Pershing, MD, MS (AΩA, Medical University of South Carolina, 2005)

Lindsey Burleson
Class of 2021, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine
The Impact of High Fat Diet in Female Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Mentor: Johanna Hannan, PhD
Councilor: Danielle S. Walsh, MD (AΩA, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 1994)

Dylan Dean
Class of 2021, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles
Aberrant DDR1 Expression Within Liposarcoma and the Therapeutic Potential of its Selective Inhibition With 7RH
Mentor: Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD
Councilor: Jessica O'Connell, MD (AΩA, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, 2000)

Alexis del Vecchio
Class of 2020, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Facilitate: A Novel Theater-Based Approach to Improve the Communication Skills of Healthcare Professionals
Mentor: Phillip Moschella, MD, PhD
Councilor: Robert L. Gates, MD (AΩA, Marshall University School of Medicine, 2000)

Christopher Flud
Class of 2020, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine
Real-time Volume Status in the Volume-Volatile Patient: New Technology to Bridge the Gap Between Paracentesis and Fluid Resuscitation
Mentor: Kevin W. Sexton, MD (AΩA, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 2006)
Councilor: Molly M. Gathright, MD (AΩA, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, 2003)

Kathryn Fowler
Class of 2021, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
The Intestinal Extracellular Microenvironment and Hirschsprung’s Disease: A Novel Rose for Laminin-B1 Supplementation in the Rescue of Aganglionosis
Mentor: Ankush Gosain, MD, PhD
Councilor: Susan C. Brewer, MD (AΩA, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 1990)

Jennifer Good
Class of 2022, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
Viral Infection of the Skin as a Mechanism of Ebola Transmission
Mentor: Kelly Messingham, PhD
Councilor: Christopher S. Cooper, MD (AΩA, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, 1990)

Sricharan Gopakumar
Class of 2021, Baylor College of Medicine
Biocompatible Scaffold-based Delivery of Therapeutic Stem Cells Following Surgical Resection for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme in a Murine Model
Mentor: Frederick F. Lang, MD (AΩA, Yale University School of Medicine, 1988)
Councilor: Daniel C. Chelius, MD (AΩA, Baylor College of Medicine, 2004)

Caleb Gulledge
Class of 2021, Wayne State University School of Medicine
Longitudinal Analysis of the Healing Human Patellar Tendon Following ACL Reconstruction: A Shear Wave Elastography Study
Mentor: Michael J. Bey, PhD
Councilor: Michael T. White, MD (AΩA, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 1990)

Alexandra Hernandez
Class of 2020, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
The Effect of Race, Ethnicity and Occupation on Multimorbidity and Chronic Disease Patterns Among Middle-aged and Older Americans
Mentor: Ana R. Quinones, PhD
Councilor: J. Mark Kinzie, MD, PhD (AΩA, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, 1999)

Kellen Hirsch
Class of 2020, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Postnatal Stabilization of Hypoxia Inducible Factor with Daprodustat Improves Lung Structure and Function and Prevents Pulmonary Hypertension in an Antenatal Model of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Mentor: Steven Abman, MD
Councilor: James M. Beck, MD (AΩA, Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 1983)

Andrew Homere
Class of 2021, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Role of Endocannabinoid System in Fructose-induced Fatty Liver Disease
Mentor: Joyce Richey, PhD
Councilor: Eric P. Hsieh, MD (AΩA, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, 2009)

Itisha Jefferson
Class of 2021, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
Preferentially Expressed Antigen in Melanoma (PRAME) Antibody as Cost-effective Screening Tool in Ambiguous Melanocytic Lesions
Mentor: Jodi J. Speiser, MD (AΩA, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, 2018)
Councilor: Vikram C. Prabhu, MD, MS (AΩA, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, 2009)

Jacquelyn Kemmer
Class of 2020, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
The Immune Impact of Targeted Inhibition of STAT3 in HNSCC-bearing Immunocompetent Murine Models (Head & Neck Cancer)
Mentor: Jennifer R. Grandis, MD (AΩA, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1987)
Councilor: Elizabeth Harleman, MD (AΩA, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, 2013)

Kevin Kim
Class of 2022, University of Maryland School of Medicine
A Direct Comparison of Physical and Drug-Induced Hypothermia as Therapeutic Treatments in a Rat Model of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
Mentor: J. Marc Simard, MD, PhD
Councilor: Donna L. Parker, MD (AΩA, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1999)

Dongyeon (Joanna) Kim
Class of 2022, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Investigation of Potential Therapeutic Effects of Abat Inhibition in Osteoarthritis in Dnmt3b Knockout Mice
Mentor: Regis J. O'Keefe, MD, PhD (AΩA, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, 2019)
Councilor: Morton E. Smith, MD (AΩA, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1959)

Kevin Lau
Class of 2022, Albany Medical College
Role of Endothelial Transcription Factors in Uveitis
Mentor: Alejandro Adam, PhD
Councilor: Neil Lempert, MD (AΩA, Albany Medical College, 1978)

Randy Lesh
Class of 2022, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Developing Biomarkers of Therapeutic Response in Rectal Carcinoma
Mentors: Sanjeevani Arora, PhD; Joshua E Meyer, MD
Councilor: Margrit M. Shoemaker, MD (AΩA, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1983)

Jennifer Li
Class of 2021, University of Kansas School of Medicine
Affordable Rapid Olfaction Measurement Array for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Neurocognitive Disease
Mentor: Jennifer Villwock, MD (AΩA, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 2011)
Councilor: Bradley E. Barth, MD (AΩA, University of Kansas School of Medicine, 1994)

Tristan Lim
Class of 2022, Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
The Role of Germline Mutations in POT1 Gene in Myeloid Neoplasms
Mentor: Daria Babushok, MD, PhD (AΩA, Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2008)
Councilor: Jon B. Morris, MD (AΩA, Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 1998)

Jeremy Lynn
Class of 2022, University of Michigan
The Role of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Irradiated Bone Healing: A Translatable Processing Technique Defined
Mentors: Steven R. Buchman, MD; Kavitha Ranganathan, MD (AΩA, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 2011)
Councilor: Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH (AΩA, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, 1992)

Gabriel Makar
Class of 2020, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Clinical Characteristics and Genetic Profiles of Patients with Mullerian Anomalies
Mentor: Saifuddin T. Mama, MD, MPH (AΩA, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2013)
Councilor: Michael E. Chansky, MD (AΩA, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1980)

Caya McFalls
Class of 2022, Drexel University College of Medicine
The Role of IL-11 in the Induction of Collagen Deposition in Scleroderma and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Mentor: Carol Artlett, PhD
Councilor: Kathleen F. Ryan, MD (AΩA, MCP Drexel University College of Medicine, 1994)

Matthew McIntyre
Class of 2020, New York Medical College
The Impact of Multi-system Abnormalities on Injury Outcomes in Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department with Alcohol Intoxication
Mentor: Rifat Latifi, MD
Councilor: William Frishman, MD (AΩA, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, 1978)

Sina Mehraban Far
Class of 2021, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Efficacy of Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) in The Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)
Mentor: Jason M. Kim, MD (AΩA, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, 2009)
Councilor: Jack Fuhrer, MD (AΩA, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, 1997)

Matthew Miller
Class of 2022, Boston University School of Medicine
Development of a Deep Learning Model for the Identification of Complicated Acute Appendicitis: An Artificial Intelligence Approach to Surgical Management
Mentor: Vijaya B. Kolachalama, PhD
Councilor: David McAneny, MD (AΩA, Boston University School of Medicine, 2008)

Sarah Miller
Class of 2021, University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Prospective Comparison of Color-enhanced Detection Bone Density Screening Method and Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry
Mentor: Candace Howard-Claudio, MD, PhD
Councilor: Scott Rodgers, MD (AΩA, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 1994)

Emily Myers
Class of 2021, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Identifying Genetic Drivers of Uterine Serous Carcinoma Patient Prognosis
Mentor: Jin-Xiong She, PhD
Councilor: Laura D. Carbone, MD, MS (AΩA, Medical College of Wisconsin, 1989)

Linh Ngo Khanh
Class of 2020, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Modulation of Tissue Fibrosis by Gut Microbe-Derived Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) From Dietary Choline in Systemic Sclerosis
Mentor: Karen J. Ho, MD (AΩA, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 2019)
Councilor: Shilajit D. Kundu, MD (AΩA, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, 2000)

James Nguyen
Class of 2021, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Characterizing the Visual Pathway in Epilepsy
Mentor: Vinita Acharya, MD
Councilor: Ian R. Schreibman, MD (AΩA, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2008)

Kristen Pan
Class of 2020, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Genetic Analyses of Malignant Transformation of Fibrous Dysplasia
Mentors: Alison M. Boyce, MD (AΩA, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 2006), Michael T. Collins, MD
Councilor: David L. Steward, MD (AΩA, University of Cincinnati, 2017)

Tina Seidu
Class of 2021, Howard University College of Medicine
Mechanisms By Which Androgens and Androgen Receptor Regulate De Novo Lipogenesis in Female Mice
Mentor: Stanley Andrisse, MBA, PhD
Councilor: Debra H. Ford, MD, (AΩA, Howard University College of Medicine, 1985)

Anne Sescleifer
Class of 2020, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Innovative Cleft Speech Assessment with Online Crowdsourcing
Mentor: Alexander Y. Lin, MD (AΩA, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2002)
Councilor: Matthew A. Broom, MD (AΩA, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 2015)

Christian Shigley
Class of 2022, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Investigating SHP2 Regulation of the Multipotency of Cathepsin K+ Osteochondral Progenitors
Mentor: Wentian Yang, MD, PhD
Councilor: Rachel L. Fowler, MD, MPH (AΩA, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, 2004)

Andrew Sobczak
Class of 2022, Medical College of Wisconsin
Consequence of VDAC Modulation on Cardiac Mitochondrial Respiration
Mentor: Wai-Meng Kwok, PhD
Councilor: Michael Lund, MD (AΩA, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, 1996)

Ellen Spartz
Class of 2021, University of Minnesota Medical School
Mechanisms of Engineered T Cell Migration and Accumulation in Pancreatic Cancer
Mentor: Ingunn Stromnes, PhD
Councilor: Charles Billington, MD (AΩA, University of Kansas School of Medicine, 1978)

James Sun
Class of 2022, New York University School of Medicine
Targeting a Novel Cell Surface Receptor Critical for Glioblastoma Progression
Mentor: Dimitris G. Placantonakis, MD, PhD (AΩA, New York University School of Medicine, 2003)
Councilor: Linda Tewksbury, MD (AΩA, New York University School of Medicine, 1990)

Meyha Swaroop
Class of 2021, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Radial Versus Femoral Secondary Access in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (R-TAVI): A Randomized Pilot Study
Mentor: Rahul Sharma, MD
Councilor: Gary Simonds, MD (AΩA, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1983)

Samuel Taylor
Class of 2020, Weill Cornell Medical College
Characterizing the Effects of Fructose on Colorectal Cancer Growth and Metabolism
Mentor: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD
Councilor: O. Wayne Isom, MD (AΩA, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 1965)

Jessica Terrell
Class of 2020, University of California Davis School of Medicine
Melanoma in Pregnancy – A Population-Based Evaluation and a Pilot Study Profiling the Immune Microenvironment
Mentor: Maija Kiuru, MD, PhD
Councilor: W. Suzanne Eidson-Ton, MD, MS (AΩA, University of California Davis School of Medicine, 2013)

Elise Timtim
Class of 2020, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Long-term Ocular and Systemic Complications Following Treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity Using Medicaid Claims Database
Mentor: Sarah Hilkert Rodriguez, MD, MPH (AΩA, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2011)
Councilor: Adam Cifu, MD (AΩA, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1993)

Ogul Ersin Uner
Class of 2021, Emory University School of Medicine
Comparative Proteomic and Genomic Characterization of Exosomes from Human Metastatic Uveal Melanoma Against Normal Human Choroidal Melanocytes
Mentor: Hans Grossniklaus, MD, MBA; Mohammad K. Khan, MD, PhD
Councilor: Thomas C. Pearson, MD, DPhil (AΩA, Emory University School of Medicine, 2004)

Catherina Yang
Class of 2020, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center
Nitric Oxide-releasing Nanoparticle in Chronic Rhinosinusitis
Mentor: Waleed M. Abuzeid, MD
Councilor: Ellie Schoenbaum, MD (AΩA, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1979)

Saif Zaman
Class of 2021, University of South Florida College of Medicine
Mutant Extracellular Matrix Peptides at Protease Cleavage Sites and the Potential Implications for Responses to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Cancer Therapy
Mentor: George Blanck, PhD
Councilor: Catherine M. Lynch, MD (AΩA, University of South Florida, 1990)

Updated on December 19, 2019.