Five University of Florida College of Medicine students have chosen to work under the mentorship of HOP faculty in the 2016 Medical Student Research Program (MSRP). The program allows first-year medical students to conduct a 10-week research project while receiving academic course credit. Participating students also receive a scholarship of approximately $2,000 to help them during the course of the program, which takes place in the summer.
“I participated in extensive undergraduate research and appreciated being part of the process,” said Sama Ilyas, a student in the program. “UF is a huge research institution and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Research just really allows you to broaden your academic experience outside the classroom setting.”
Students who will work with HOP faculty include Andrew Hallmark, Jay Hogan, Sama Ilyas, Anthony Rainho, and Natalie Rich.
Chris Delcher, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, and Jaclyn Hall, Ph.D., assistant research scientist in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, will work with Andrew Hallmark on his research project, “Using Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis to Study Extremely Frequent Emergency Department Users.” Hallmark received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in public health from the University of South Florida before attending the College of Medicine at UF.
“I found Dr. Delcher’s and Dr. Hall’s research to be very interesting because they incorporate spatial analysis techniques into their research,” Hallmark said. “Looking at health outcomes on a spatial level allows us to discover where there are holes in our deployment of medical resources, whether that be physicians, hospitals, or satellite clinics.” Hallmark’s research focuses on finding these gaps, with the goal of filling them and providing increased access to care for the largest possible number of patients.
William Hogan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy and director of Biomedical Informatics at the CTSI, will work with Jay Hogan on his research project, “Analyzing Medical Records Using Computable Phenotyping to Find Patients with Undiagnosed Hypertension for Outcomes-Based Research under the Auspices of the OneFlorida Consortium.” Jay Hogan went to New York University for a bachelor’s degree in urban design and planning and Florida State University for a master’s degree in urban planning and scientific computing.
“My work this summer will focus on developing algorithms to sort through patient records in the network and select cohorts with various conditions, such as undiagnosed hypertension, to establish samples for outcomes-based population health research,” Jay Hogan said. His project uses The OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium, a robust statewide research infrastructure led by HOP chair Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., and David R. Nelson, M.D., through the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). To read more about the consortium, click here.
Melissa Bright, Ph.D., assistant scientist in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, will work with Sama Ilyas on her research project, “Screening for Adverse Experiences in Pediatric Practice: A Qualitative Study of Physician and Caregiver Perspectives.” After attending many international schools around the world, Ilyas came to UF as an undergraduate pursuing a degree in biology with minors in educational studies and disability studies.
“[Dr. Bright’s research] caught my interest because it surrounds potential challenges physicians may face in real-world clinical settings,” said Ilyas. “Having multiple adverse childhood experiences are associated with health issues in children and teenagers. Research suggests that the impacts of toxic stress may be long term, and many adult disorders may be considered developmental disorders that onset later in life. The aim of the research project is to examine pediatrician barriers to implementing screening tools for adverse childhood experiences in pediatric practice.”
François Modave, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, will work with Anthony Rainho on his research project, “Preventive Care in a Clinical Setting: How to Choose What to Recommend to a Patient.” Before coming to the College of Medicine, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in basic biology and medicine from the University of Florida.
“Interviewing with Dr. Modave, it was evident to me that he was extremely passionate about his work, said Rainho. “He clearly enjoys what he does and really wants to help make the health care system more efficient. This project has the potential to greatly impact the way preventive care is provided, and I was drawn to that. The project was also very different from the typical bench work-focused research project and offered the opportunity to learn some computational skills that I believe could be important for a physician in an age where computers and applications are becoming increasingly more commonplace.”
Stephanie Staras, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy, will work with Natalie Rich on her upcoming research project, “A Clinical Workflow Study to Improve Implementation of a Health Information Technology System.” Prior to attending UF’s College of Medicine, Rich got her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Oregon State University.
“This project offered the opportunity to better understand the flow of a clinic and potentially use that information to improve patient outcomes,” said Rich. “Before coming to medical school, I worked in a community health center in a department devoted to preventive care; this experience made me interested in learning how prevention can be best integrated into clinical practice.” Click here to read more about Staras’ work on improving compliance with HPV vaccines among Florida youths.