Best Visual Presentation Award winners (from left) D’Angelo Stokes (DO ’26), Youmna
Elkamhawy (DO ’26), Britany Dyer (DO ’26), Makayla Farr (DO ’26), Drew Fidler (DO
’26) and Sammy Elmor (DO ’26). Joined by Jennifer Shaw, PhD, chair of the dept. of biomedical sciences.
PCOM South Georgia students, area medical residents and physicians gathered on campus May 9 to share
information about their most current research and case studies at the 2023 Research
“Scholarly activities are integral to the development of analytical and presentation
skills,” Jennifer H. Shaw, PhD, chair of the department of biomedical sciences, said. “Involvement in these projects prepares our medical students to become physicians
equipped to critically evaluate the strength of medical findings to provide comprehensive
Research Day began with keynote speaker Herman Staats, PhD, professor of pathology,
immunology & medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Human Vaccine Institute,
who presented “Development of Intranasal Vaccines for Infectious Agents, Drugs of
Abuse & Food Allergy.” Dr. Staats presented his research in classroom A to a standing-room-only
Residents and medical students presented posters and answered questions about their research projects. Some were
selected to present 10-minute podium talks.
For some students, the experience provided them with the basic research skills they’ll
need in the future.
“What I’ve gained from this research experience was basically just the organization
and planning that it takes to present a poster,” student researcher Emeka Ikeakanam
(DO ‘26) said. “How this will help me going forward in my career is now I actually
have the tools necessary to create more posters and actually try to see if I can get
published as well.”
Other students found the research projects to be an eye-opening experience.
“I’ve gained a respect for research in general and how much effort and how much work
goes into it,” student researcher Sarah Amaris (DO ’25) said. “I respect the dedication that our professors have to
expanding the profession, enriching current research and medicine, and how willing
our professors are to show us more about medicine. We still have so much to learn
about improving patients’ lives and treatment in medical care.”
Other students acknowledged how essential research would be in their future careers.
“As doctors, we’re always going to need to be doing our research, whether it’s formal
research or just learning about new things, because there are always new inventions,
always new information that we didn’t know about before,” student researcher Itza
Garcia (DO ’26) said. “Medicine is just very progressive, and we always have to keep
PCOM South Georgia students weren’t the only ones who benefited from Research Day.
Residents and practicing physicians who participated also gained insight into new
research that might affect them as well.
“One of the challenges of medical education in a rural area is research and scholarly
activity,” said Woodwin Weeks, DO, chief academic officer for Georgia South Graduate
Medical Education. “Partnering with PCOM South Georgia’s Research Day exposes our
residents to local, relevant and high-quality scholarly activity right here in our
Dr. Shaw said, “PCOM South Georgia Research Day is an opportunity for our students
to practice presenting data to our faculty and visiting medical professionals. This
prepares students for future presentations at regional and national conferences. It
is a privilege for our campus to serve as an academic hub to foster collaborations
between students, neighboring academic institutions, and graduate medical education
residency programs in rural South Georgia.”
PCOM South Georgia Research Day Winners
Excellence in Research Award
Student researcher Itsa Garcia (DO ’26) won the Excellence in Research Award for her
project with department of pediatrics associate professor Winston Price, MD, entitled Prevalence of Bacterial Vaginosis by Demographics and Its Connection to Fertility
Best Visual Presentation Award
Best Visual Presentation Award went to the project Widespread cutaneous metastasis of oropharyngeal cancer, which was developed by the team of student researchers D’Angelo Stokes (DO ’26),
Youmna Elkamhawy (DO ’26), Britany Dyer (DO ’26), Makayla Farr (DO ’26), Drew Fidler
(DO ’26) and Sammy Elmor (DO ’26). The team worked with Savita Arya, MD, professor, department of biomedical sciences.
Best Oral Presentation Award
Student researcher Brigitte Cochran (DO ’25) won the Best Oral Presentation Award.
She was the presenting author for the project Single cannabidiol administration affects anxiety-, obsessive compulsive-, object
memory-, and attention-like behaviors in mice in a sex and concentration dependent
manner. Cochran worked on the project while a graduate student at Florida State University
along with Carley Marie Huffstetler, Camilla Ann May, Nicholas Maykut, Claudia Rose
Silver, Claudia Cedeno, Ezabelle Franck, Alexis Cox, and Debra Ann Fadool.
Best in Show Award
Best in Show Award was presented to the project A combined radio-immunotherapy regimen eradicates late-stage melanoma in mice, which was developed by the team of Sritha Moram (DO ’25), Alexander Rakhmilevich
(DO ’25), Noah Tsarovsky (DO ’25), Mildred Felder (DO ’25), Amy Erbe (DO ’25), Alex
Pieper (DO ’25), Jen Zaborek (DO ’25), Emily Cheng (DO ’25), Cole Witt (DO ’25) and
Paul Sondel (DO ’25).
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the
Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both
a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit
institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields.
Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state,
PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The
medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019,
has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission
on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.
For more information, contact: Cindy B. Montgomery Public Relations and Social Media Manager Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Office:229-668-3198 | Cell:229-873-2003