HOBI research team members receive COM Celebration of Research awards

Two members of a HOBI research team won New Opportunity Poster Awards at the College of Medicine’s 2023 Celebration of Research in February.

Kathryn Pluta, PhD headshot
Kathryn Pluta, PhD

Kathryn Pluta, PhD, a postdoctoral associate who works with HOBI Associate Professor Ramzi Salloum, PhD, and Artenisa Kulla, a predoctoral student who worked with Salloum through the Medical Student Research Program, received the awards. The New Opportunity award category recognizes individuals who are underrepresented in medicine and/or whose work includes a focus on DEI, healthcare equity, health disparities, and/or social determinants of health.

Artenisa Kulla
Artenisa Kulla

Pluta and Kulla were among 486 presenters who took part in the two-day event at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Harrell Medical Education Building and Communicore Building. The event included a poster session, research awards reception, keynote address, mentoring excellence roundtable and more. Science-related art was also featured in celebration of this year’s theme, “Research as Art,” to appreciate artistic expressions of biomedical research.

Pluta’s poster, entitled “Exploring perceived benefits and consequences of vaping among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth,” won the postdoctoral poster award in the “New Opportunity Poster” award category.

Artenisa Kulla, who won the predoctoral poster award in this category, presented a HOBI research project entitled “Communication Between Oncology Providers and Social Workers Regarding Financial Resources.”

“We are delighted that both winners under the New Opportunity Poster Awards category are from our research team,” Salloum said.

Salloum’s research focuses on the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based practices, especially in cancer prevention and control. He is well-versed in implementation science methods and frameworks and has served as faculty for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (TIDIRC).