PCOM Georgia Hosts Its Largest Research Day
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PCOM Georgia Hosts Its Largest Research Day

May 22, 2023

Students smile and talk in front of a row of research posters at PCOM Georgia's Research Day 2023 eventSixty-five poster presentations filled the Atrium of PCOM Georgia recently representing hours of work for students and an opportunity to dive deep into an area of interest.

Students earning doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy, in addition to biomedical sciences graduate students were able to present their work, according to Research Officer Ahmad Cader, MS.

To kick off the event, Veena N. Rao, PhD, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar, and a professor and co-director of the cancer biology program in the Department of OB/GYN at Morehouse School of Medicine, delivered an address entitled “BRCA1 and Women’s Cancer: a 28 Year Journey from Discovery to Precision Medicine Leading to Health Equity.” Avadhesh C. Sharma, PharmD, PhD, chair and professor of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, introduced Dr. Rao, saying he felt “very proud” to have her at PCOM Georgia. Dr. Rao's daughter, Vaishali Reddy, DO '19, a PCOM Georgia alumnus and now a hospitalist at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, also attended the event.

A cadre of judges evaluated the poster presentations and four projects were recognized. Award winners included:

  • Best Visual Presentation - Ji H. Choi, Amygdala projections to auditory cortex: retrograde tracing study 
  • Best Oral Presentation - Jeannel T. Miclat, Pustular psoriasis and the potential therapeutic usage of an IL-36 receptor monoclonal antibody
  • Excellence in Research - Tu Dang, Evaluating the effects of novel calcineurin inhibitor voclosporin on calcineurin isoform activity and nephrotoxicity in comparison to cyclosporine and tacrolimus
  • Best in Show - John Matechak, Madison Cohen and Meagan Sherrington, Evaluation of using 3D printing to design and build OMM spinal models for teaching and education

Among the poster presenters were Kevin Wang (DO '25), who worked with Madison Cohen (DO '25) and Julienne Ryland (DO '25) to study concussion management and novel diagnostic testing with faculty member Donald Penney, MD, MSC, FACEP, chair of clinical education.

He said, “Finding time for research is a little difficult. You have to balance it with school, club work and other activities, but overall, it's very rewarding because it helps you dive deep into a topic that you may not be familiar with. You can learn to become almost an expert in the field.”

Karlee Chandler (DPT '24) said that she and Riley Robinson (DPT '24), under the guidance of Ruth Maher, used technology to measure the depth and stiffness of tissues.

“We used it to measure the range of motion of the low back musculature and how the stiffness changed after treatment.”

Robinson said, “With changing the physical therapy degree to a doctorate, research has been a more important part of the process. It has helped expand our field, which I think is very important.”

Faculty and guests smile in the PCOM Georgia atrium during Research DayResearch Day judges included Barbara Wood, MLIS; Kevin Bradford, MLS; Catherine Delaney; Jennifer Wiley, PT, DHSc; DPT, associate professor; Melisa Smith, PT, DPT, assistant professor; Phillip Pearson; Shu Zhu, MD, PhD, associate professor of physiology; Francis Jenney, Jr., PhD, professor of biochemistry; Irandokht Khaki, PharmD, MS, assistant professor; Sonia Thomas, PharmD, BCOP, associate professor; Naushad Ghilzai, BPharm, MPharm, PhD, professor; Xinyu Wang, PhD, associate professor; Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, professor.

Learn more about research and student research opportunities at PCOM's three locations.

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science, and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

    For more information, contact:
    Barbara Myers
    Senior Public Relations Manager
    Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu
    Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 770-309-0613

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