PCOM South Georgia Students Share Their Work During Research Day
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Students Share Their Work During Research Day

May 18, 2023

Group of PCOM South Georgia studentsBest 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 Day.

“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 patient care.”

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 crowd.

PCOM South Georgia medical student Sritha Moram (DO ’25) stands with her research poster
Sritha Moram (DO ’25) and her research team won Best in Show

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 learning.”

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 community.”

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

Professional headshot photograph of PCOM South Georgia DO student Itza Garcia
Itza Garcia (DO ’26) won the Excellence in Research Award
Excellence in Research Award

Student researcher Itza 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 Issue.

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.

Headshot photograph of PCOM med student and student researcher Brigitte Cochran (DO ’25)
The Best Oral Presentation Award was given to Brigitte Cochran (DO ’25)
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).

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  • About PCOM South Georgia

    In 2019, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied 125-year history, 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. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution that 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 region. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 229-668-3110.

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