MSSRP available projects – 2021

DEADLINE FOR MATCHES TO BE COMPLETE IS 4/30/2021


Faculty:  Francine G-Bakelman, MD, PhD
Department:  Medicine and BMG
Contact: 
924-9220, email: fg5q@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Study of oncogenic pathways in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Project description: 
Our laboratory is focused on the cellular events that underlie the establishment and progression of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Our hypothesis is that gene expression changes during disease establishment and progression facilitate the leukemic phenotype. The gene expression changes are associated with epigenomic changes within gene promoters and other distal regulatory elements in cooperation with pathogenic somatic events (mutations and copy number aberrations). We have several available projects that interested students can participate in.

Projects in the lab can be one of two options:
1. Data analysis to identify oncogenes or tumor suppressors in AML, and assess for gene expression regulatory mechanisms that play a role in AML pathogenesis. This project could be pursued using remote work arrangements. This work will be performed in collaboration with a computational biology faculty member.
2. Experimental approaches utilizing CRISPR technology, cell biology and molecular biology techniques to assess for oncogenic roles of candidate genes in AML cell models.


 

Faculty:  Keith Littlewood, MD (2 students requested)
Department:  Medical Simulation
Contact: 
Phone (434) 924-9509, email: kel2n@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Introduction to Foundations of Simulation Education and Investigation of EEG Measurement of Cognitive Load There are two goals of the MSSRP session:
Project description:
1) Provision of an experience that allows understanding of current standard practices in healthcare simulation education. In past years, this has included observation of sessions, review of established scenario designs and introduction to emerging technologies in AR and VR systems. There has been previous collaboration with the Health System Library, School of Education, and/or School of Engineering depending upon the needs of the project and interests of the student.
2) Advancement of a project investigating the feasibility of cognitive load measurement with a consumer-level eeg wireless wearable, probably the Emotiv EPOC device. This will be a long term project and the student will be involved in the early stages but not see its completion during the MSSRP term. The phases of the project are proposed to be: Simultaneous trialing of the device with MATLab EEGLab processing for feasibility while submitting IRB proposal, followed by tabletop evaluation of device performance and data implications from escalating task challenges, and deployment to the simulation environment to follow cognitive loading characteristics of clinical decision making. In the past, our MSSRP students have typically produced a poster for the International Meeting for Simulation of Healthcare.


 

Faculty:  Christopher Kramer MD
Department:  Medicine
Contact:  Phone: 
982-0853, email:  ckramer@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Comprehensive Magnetic Resonance in Peripheral Arterial Disease
Project description:  
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects 8.5 million in the U.S. and techniques to evaluate potential benefits of new treatments are sorely lacking. This study aims to further develop and test new techniques using magnetic resonance imaging. We will use these techniques to compare the benefits of stents versus surgery in improving leg muscle blood flow and energy levels. In addition, we will aim to understand whether leg muscle blood flow and energy levels can predict how patients with the severest forms of PAD do over time.


 

Faculty:  Robin LeGallo, MD (2 students requested)
Department:  Pathology
Contact: Phone
(434) 409-0069, email: rdl3s@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Clinical and Research Opportunity in Pathology
Project description: 
The summer internship in pathology is open to 2 students and will be provide clinical and research opportunities in areas of anatomic and clinical pathology. The students will work closely with residents and faculty in patient care areas and have both observational and active roles in surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, neuropathology and cytopathology across organ systems. Students will also rotate through the clinical labs including hematopathology, blood bank, microbiology, cytogenetics and molecular pathology. The students will be included in appropriate didactic sessions held for residents but will also have separate interactive instructional activities given by both faculty and residents. Research will be encouraged in the form of either case reports or as a part of a translational research project with expectation of co-authorship. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to more exposure to pathology as they are considering it as a career but also for any student who wants to apply skills learned in the first year and to get exposure to the organ systems not yet covered in the curriculum.


 

Faculty:  Fern R. Hauck, MD, MS
Department:  Family Medicine
Contact: 
Phone (434) 924-1608, email: frh8e@virginia.edu
Project title:
Assessing Barriers to COVID-19 Prevention Guidance among Refugees
Project description:  

Resettled refugees are vulnerable to COVID-19 and complications due to several factors including socioeconomic status, lack of access to healthcare and language barriers. There is a need to understand refugees’ experience during the pandemic to improve future outreach and communication. The International Family Medicine Clinic (IFMC) was established at University of Virginia in 2002 and has served over 4,000 refugees in the Charlottesville areas. This project involves in-depth interviews with active refugee patients regarding their experience with patient-provider communication, fear/stigma surrounding COVID-19, barriers to following COVID-19 prevention guidelines and perceptions and experience regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. Student will be involved in conducting qualitative interview, analyzing qualitative data and preparing manuscripts for publication.


Faculty:  Rebecca Dillingham MD/MPH (3 students requested)
Department:  Medicine – ID
Contact: Phone
(434) 924-5242, email:  rd8v@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu
Project title:
Improving Clinical Outcomes
Project description: 
Our group focuses on improving clinical outcomes and well-being for people living with HIV, those with hepatitis C, and those at risk for acquiring these infections, including LGBTQ individuals, incarcerated or previously incarcerated individuals, and people who use drugs. Our current projects include development and testing of mobile health interventions to improve outcomes and well-being for our priority populations, assessment of telehealth strategies (both clinical care and education) to improve care for rural communities with high prevalence of hepatitis C infection, and development and evaluation of protocols to link those recently released from incarceration to treatment for hepatitis C.


Faculty:  Nick Teman, MD
Department:  Department of Surgery
Contact: 
Phone (786) 395-1981, email:  nrt4c@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Survey of perioperative DVT prophylaxis in cardiac surgery patients
Project description: 
The student will assist in the development of a survey which will be administered to all cardiac surgery programs in Virginia. This survey will assess the practice of each institution in regards to perioperative DVT prophylaxis, including the timing of administration, medications used, etc. Through the Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative, these survey responses will then be linked with post-operative outcomes, including bleeding events, venous thromboembolism, and other morbidity and mortality to determine best practices.


 

Faculty:  Julia Scialla, MD, MHS
Department:  Medicine/ PHS
Contact:
Phone 243-3670, email:  js7rk@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu
Project title:
Prevention and treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease
Project description: 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects >30 million adults and increases risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Our research group studies prevention and treatment of CKD. We have several active projects focused on identifying, treating and preventing early CKD. Opportunities for students include: (1) participation in our telementoring outreach through the ECHO program to improve primary care detection of CKD; (2) formative qualitative interviews with providers to define CKD diagnostic pathways; and (3) studies of high protein and phosphate diets and kidney-related risks. 


 

Faculty:  David Rapp, MD
Department:  Urology
Contact:  Phone (804) 385-9511, email:  der4m@virginia.edu
Project title: 
The Summer experience consists of work across multiple projects described below
Project description: 
The Urology Department has several projects available for MSSRP and the summer experience consists of work across multiple projects described below. In addition, educational opportunities are available tailored to student interests to include statistics, scientific writing and analysis. The goal of this summer experience is to pursue a project that results in abstract writing, submission and presentation as well as subsequent manuscript preparation.

1. Assessment of outcomes related to bladder catheterization.
Dr. Rapp supervises a database related to bladder catheterizations at the University of Virginia. This project will involve assessment of clinical complications (trauma, infection) and cost assessment related to catheterization.

2. Assessment of outcomes related to artificial urinary sphincter placement.
Artificial urinary sphincter placement is the gold standard for urinary incontinence following prostatectomy. This project will involve assessing outcomes of patients undergoing AUS placement at UVA.

3. Survey assessment of global surgery education in urology residency.
Original study designed to assess opinions regarding global surgery education in US residencies.


Faculty:  Quanjun (Trey) Cui, MD
Department:  Orthopaedic Surgery
Contact:
Phone 243-0266, email:  qc4q@hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu
Project title: 
3-D printed bio-scaffolds for tissue engineering and treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head
Project description:   Osteonecrosis (Bone death) of the femoral head (ONFH) is a devastating disease affecting young patients at their most productive age (average 38 years), causing significant health and socioeconomic problems. Outcomes of treatments are generally poor and the need for innovative treatments is urgent. With the advancement of three-dimensional (3D)-printing as a vital tool in tissue engineering, we are able to design and develop new biomaterial scaffolds that can be 3D-printed and used for bone repair/regeneration, including treatment of ONFH. In the past decade, fullerene (C60), a nano chemical molecule with outstanding ROS scavenging activity, has been implicated to have a strong potential in treatment of several bone diseases, such as osteonecrosis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. This MSSRP is to develop a novel 3D printed antioxidative biomaterial scaffold which can be combined with bone marrow stem cells for repair of bone fractures and osteonecrosis.


Faculty:  Shrirang M Gadrey, MBBS MPH (2 students requested)
Department:  Medicine
Contact: 
Phone 243-4288, email:  smg7t@virginia.edu
Project title: 
Analysis of Respiratory Kinematics (ARK) for quantitative characterization of breathing motion
Project description: 
Respiratory kinematics, i.e. features of breath related motion rate, regularity, depth, pattern and overall work of breathing, are important indicators of respiratory health. These parameters inform crucial medical decisions in a wide variety of clinical settings. Clinicians conduct periodic bedside visual assessments of these features and record the findings qualitatively. We have developed the ARK (Analysis of Respiratory Kinematics) method that can quantitatively characterize a wide variety of respiratory kinematic features. The device is closest in form factor to an ECG machine. The role of MSSRP students will be (a) recruit and consent patients admitted to UVA Special Pathogen Unit for COVID-19 (if there are insufficient eligible candidates, non COVID pneumonias will be recruited); (b) apply the sensors to the chest wall (like ECG leads, but wireless) and collect 30 seconds of data every 4 hours for each recruited patient.; (c) Transfer data from device to pre-specified locations after each collection. An engineering PhD student will be available in case of technical trouble. Additionally, if the MSSRP candidate has biomedical engineering or signal processing background and proficiency with MATLAB, a pathway to get involved in the signal analysis can be discussed.

 


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