Annual Research Day Fosters Collaboration | Research at PCOM
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Annual Research Day Fosters Collaboration

May 14, 2018

The event showcases student and faculty studies covering a wide range of clinical topics.

Tomorrow’s approaches to prevention and treatment of diseases emerge from today’s research conducted by experienced investigators and the students they mentor. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (PCOM) annual Research Day brings together its campus wide research community to highlight scientific breakthroughs and promote collaborations.

Student and faculty researchers presented 85 posters detailing their studies of a wide range of clinically relevant topics such as: novel therapies for osteoarthritis; cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases; cancer; diabetes and vision loss; assessment of anxiety surrounding breast cancer testing; enhancing patient engagement in their care; and student perceptions of the role of research in medical education.

“This event showcases research that is happening at all levels, not just basic science,” said Denah Appelt, PhD, professor of neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology. “It allows faculty, students and staff from across departments to collaborate together.”

Dr. Appelt said she had worked closely with Sue Hingley, PhD, professor, microbiology, to pool data from their respective areas to work on a project studying neurodegeneration.

“You can see a disease in someone, but we’re all working towards novel ways on how to treat those diseases,” she said.

Firas Alsaid (MS/Biomed ’18) conducts research in the lab of Marina D’Angelo, PhD, professor, anatomy. His project involved testing a novel drug invented by Dr. D’Angelo and her colleagues for its ability to reduce the production of a mediator of inflammation in gingival cells. Mr. Alsaid said he was interested in working with Dr. D’Angelo because that work has applications in periodontal disease, and he hopes to become a dentist.

“This was right in line with what I want to do, career-wise,” he said.

“This year’s Research Day event was enormously successfully because of the intense effort of our organizers, judges and campus-wide presenters. The quality and breadth of research displayed in these posters was truly impressive,” said Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, chief research and science officer.

Prizes were awarded to the day’s top research projects. This year’s winners were:

David Miller DO ’60 Memorial Research Day Awards:

Best in Show: Dillon McCourt (MS/Biomed ’19)
Psychology: Rachel Allen (PsyD ’21)
Alzheimer’s: Aghilas Belkadi (MS/Biomed ’18)
Master’s in Biomedical Science: Anahi McIntyre (MS/Biomed ’18)
Excellence in Research: Zein Al-Atrache (DO/PhD '19)

Other Awards:

Camille DiLullo, PhD DO Research Award: Michael Bamimore (DO '21)
Excellence in Resident Research: Jillian Ploof, DO ’13, neurosurgery resident
Excellence in Research Staff Poster: Sarah Blizard, research technician, Division of Research

PCOM Library Young Investigator Award:

1st place: Ina Wyche
2nd place: Frantzia Jean
3rd place: Danisha Robledo


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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit or call 215-871-6100.

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