DOM Annual Research Day 2017

Research Day 2017: Novel Science, Healthy Attendance, Renowned Speaker

Junior and senior medical faculty, residents, fellows and graduate students packed the two venues hosting the Department of Medicine Research Day 2017. Attendees walked slowly through the rows of large research posters that dominated both a University Club ballroom and the Biomedical Science Tower lobby on May 1 and 2.

The annual Research Day uses oral and poster presentations to showcase the work being done by the Department of Medicine’s junior faculty, fellows, medical residents, and graduate students. The posters are judged and awards are presented for the most outstanding presentations. A total of 259 abstracts were submitted for the 2017 event, including 60 from our residents. A total of eight participants were selected to give oral presentations of their abstracts. Four of those were residents who presented on May 1, while the other four—a  fellow, a post-doc fellow, and two junior faculty members—presented on May 2.

Another draw of the two-day conference was its keynote speaker, Tadataka Yamada MD, a world renown gastroenterologist and a former president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program. Dr. Yamada, author of the reference book on gastroenterology, Yamada’s Textbook of Gastroenterology, has a lengthy resume of senior leadership positions in global companies, including pharmaceutical firms, and at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He focused his talk on the extreme urgency of getting developed-world healthcare to lesser developed nations.

Research Day 2017 Guest Speaker

Tadataka Yamada, MD

Dr. Tadataka Yamada is a Venture Partner with Frazier Healthcare Partners. Prior to joining Frazier he was Executive Vice-President, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer and a Board Member of Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Yamada has served as President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program. In this position, he oversaw grants totaling more than $9 billion in programs directed at applying technologies to address major health challenges of the developing world including TB, HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases, malnutrition and maternal and child health. He was formerly Chairman, Research and Development and a Member of the Board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline and before that he was Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Dr. Yamada holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and obtained his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. In recognition of his contributions to medicine and science he has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine (US), the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and the National Academy of Medicine (Mexico) and he has received an honorary appointment as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE). He is a Past-President of the Association of American Physicians and of the American Gastroenterological Association and he has served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. He is currently Vice Chair of the Council of the National Academy of Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Research Day 2017 Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations


15th Annual Research Day

Department of Medicine


Monday, May 1, 2017 – Clinical Research Residents

University Club, Ballroom B – 123 University Place

Oral Presentations: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.


Sokratis Apostolidis, MD

 PGY 2 Resident, International Scholar – Bench Research 

“Single cell RNA sequencing reveals a signature of endothelial injury   scleroderma skin”

Mentors: Robert Lafyatis, MD – Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
Kathleen McTigue, MD, MPH, MS – General Internal Medicine
Peter Bulova, MD – General Internal Medicine

Emily Guhl, MD

 PGY 3 Resident, Clinical Scientist – Health Sciences/Clinical Epidemiology

“Getting by with a Little Help from my Friends: The Impact of Social Support   on Depression, Quality of Life, and Guideline-Recommended Medication Use in Patients with Heart Failure”

Mentor: Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH – General Internal Medicine

Shelly Kakar, DO

 PGY 2 Resident, Traditional Categorical – Clinical Research

“Liver Transplant Outcomes: The Incidence of Renal Insufficiency in the NASH population”

Mentor: Shahid M. Malik, MD – Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Yijia Li, MD

 PGY 1 Resident, International Scholar – Clinical Research

“Factors impacting progression of airway obstruction in HIV-infected   individuals”

Mentor: Alison Morris, MD, MS – Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Medicine



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Biomedical Science Tower, South Foyer and S-100

Oral Presentations: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Natasha Parekh, MD – General Internal Medicine
Post-Doctoral Fellow – Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology

“Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections After Medicaid Eligibility and   Cervical Cancer Screening Guideline Changes”

Mentors: Julie Donohue, PhD – Department of Health Policy and Management

                 Marian  Jarlenski, PhD, MPH – Department of Health Policy and Management
Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS – General Internal Medicine

Francois Yu, PhDCardiology

  Junior Faculty – Translational Research

“The Role of Nitric Oxide during Sonoreperfusion of 
Microvascular Obstruction”

Mentors: John Pacella, MS, MD – Cardiology
                 Flordeliza Villanueva, MD – Cardiology

Jill Allenbaugh, MD – General Internal Medicine
 Fellow – Medical Education Research

“What did they say?” Teaching health literacy and communication skills to internal medicine residents to improve the patient experience”

  Mentors: Carla Leigh Spagnoletti, MD, MS – General Internal Medicine
Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS – General Internal Medicine

Neelesh Nadkarni, MD, PhD, FRCPCGeriatric Medicine

Junior Faculty – Clinical Research  

“Prevalent and Incident Amyloid Positivity, and Relationship to MCI Outcome in Cognitively Normal Older Adults”

Mentors: Oscar L. Lopez, MD – Department of Neurology
                  William Klunk, MD, PhD – Department of Psychiatry

Research Day 2017 Poster Presenter Awards

Poster Awards - Residents

Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

MAY 1, 2017

Bench Award

Aaron Lucas, MD

Abstract Title: Mechanisms of Spontaneous Fosfomycin Resistance Observed upon Susceptibility Testing of Escherichia Coli
Mentor:     Yohei Doi, MD, PhD

Clinical Research Award

Hui-Wei Chen, MD

Abstract Title: Trajectory of Physical Performance Measured by Gait Speed Indicates Risk for Adverse Outcomes in Liver Transplant Candidates
Mentor:     Michael Dunn, MD

Clinical Research Award

Ertem Furkan, MD

Abstract Title: What Is the Expected Incidence of Interval Colorectal Cancer (CRC) for an Endoscopist in Active Clinical
Mentor:     Robert Schoen, MD, MPH

Clinical Research Award

Amir Gougol, MD

Abstract Title: Pre-Existing Diabetes Is an Independent Risk Factor of Severity, Pancreatic Interventions, and Length of Stay in Patients with Acute Pancreatitis
Mentor:     Georgios Papachristou, MD, PhD

Medical Education Research Award

Diana Pinkhasova, MD

Abstract Title: Lost Education? Reviewing Patterns in Diabetes Education Referral in Outpatient Primary Care and Endocrine Clinics
Mentor:     Sandra Sobel, MD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology

Caroline Kensler, MD, MPH

Abstract Title: Free Clinic Utilization and Patient Perceptions on Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act within Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Mentors:     Thuy Bui, MD, and William Markle, MD
Poster Awards - Session A

Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

MAY 2, 2017 Session A

Bench Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Cary Boyd-Shiwarski, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: KS-WNK1 Is Required for WNK Body Formation in Response to Potassium Stress
Mentor:     Arohan Subramanya, MD

Bench Junior Faculty Research Award

Ankita Roy, PhD

Abstract Title: The Aldosterone-Repressible Protein DCNL4 Promotes WNK Kinase Degradation via the KLHL3/CUL3 Complex
Mentor:     Arohan Subramanya, MD

Clinical Post Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Nobuyuki Kagiyama, MD

Abstract Title: Reduced Global Longitudinal Strain Is Associated with In-hospital Mortality in Patients with Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Preserved Ejection Fraction
Mentor:     John Gorcsan, MD

Clinical Junior Faculty Research Award

Holly Thomas, MD, MS

Abstract Title: Changes in Sexual Function among Midlife Women: “I’m Older… and I’m Wiser”
Mentors:     Rebecca C. Thurston, PhD, Sonya Borrero, MD, and Rachel Hess, MD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Junior Faculty Research Award

Thomas Radomski, MD, MS

Abstract Title: A Comparison of Medication-based Versus Medical Claims-based Risk Adjustment to Predict 1-year Mortality among Veterans Dually-enrolled in VA and Medicare Part D
Mentors:     Walid Gellad, MD, MPH, Michael Fine, MD, and Joshua Thorpe, PhD

Translational Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Aki Hoji, PhD

Abstract Title: Persistence of CD57+KLRG1+ Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-Specific Effector CD8 T Cells through the Primary, Contraction, and Chronic Phase of CMV Infection Is Associated with Control of Relapsing CMV infection
Mentor:     John McDyer, MD

Translational Junior Faculty Research Award

Irina Zabbarova, PhD

Abstract Title: Relaxin Reverses Fibrosis and Rescues the Bladder in Mice with Chronic Radiation Cysitis
Mentor:     Anthony Kanai, PhD

Translational Graduate Student Research Award


John Demko, BS

Abstract Title: Urinary Plasmin as a Predictor of Increased Blood Pressure and Decline in GFR in Diabetic Nephropathy
Mentors:     Thomas Kleyman, MD, and Rebecca Hughey, PhD
Poster Awards - Session B

Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

MAY 2, 2017 Session B


Bench Graduate Student Research Award

Gerard Hernandez, MSc

Abstract Title: BACE1: A Novel Player in the Pathogenesis of TH17 Cells in EAE
Mentor:     Mandy McGeachy, PhD

Bench Fellow Research Award

John Evankovich, MD

Abstract Title: CpG DNA Promotes Lysosomal Degradation of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) through F Box Protein FBXO10mediated Ubiquitination
Mentors:     Rama Mallampalli, MD, and Bill Chen, PhD

Bench Fellow Research Award

Jeremy Tilstra, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: B Cell Specific TLR9 Is Protective in Murine Models of Systemic Autoimmunity
Mentor:     Mark Shlomchik, MD, PhD

Clinical Fellow Research Awards (Tie)

Benjamin Click, MD

Abstract Title: Long-Term Risk of Colorectal Cancer after Detection of Adenomatous Polyps
Mentor:     Robert Schoen, MD

Clinical Fellow Research Awards (Tie)

Ahmad Masri, MD

Abstract Title: Outcomes of Heart Failure Admissions under Observation versus Short Inpatient Stay
Mentor:     Suresh Mulukutla, MD

Clinical Graduate Student Research Award

Jaeyeon Choi, MS

Abstract Title: A Novel Neutrophil-Specific PET Probe Targeting Formyl Peptide Receptor Type 1: 64Cu-NODAGA-PEG12-cBLCLF
Mentor:     Carolyn Anderson, PhD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Fellow Award

Nathan Shively, MD

Abstract Title: Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing is Common within a Veterans Affairs Primary Care System
Mentors:     Brooke Decker, MD, and Cornelius Clancy, MD

Medical Education Fellow Award

Sarah Merriam, MD

Abstract Title: Peer-Review of Videoed Teaching Encounters: A Novel Method for Continuing Teaching Education
Mentors:     Deborah DiNardo, MD, and Melissa McNeil, MD

Translational Fellow Research Award

Georgios Kitsios, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: Dysbiosis Associated with the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Prospective Cohort Study in Adults
Mentors:     Bryan McVerry, MD, and Alison Morris, MD, MS

2017 Photo Gallery

Research Day 2017 Schedule

Research Day Schedules


5:00 pm                  Registration & Poster Viewing
5:15 pm               Welcome & Opening Remarks
Mark Gladwin MD
Chair, Department of Medicine
Director, Vascular Medicine Institute
Professor of Medicine, Division of PACCMAlison Morris MD, MS
Vice Chair, Clinical Research
Professor of Medicine
Director, University of Pittsburgh HIV Lung Research Center
UPMC Chair, Translational Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
5:30-6:30 pm       Oral Presentations
6:30-7:30 pm       Poster Viewing Session & Discussion
7:30-8:00 pm     Guest Speaker: Dr.  Tadataka Yamada
8:00 pm                Awards Presentation


9:00 am                Registration & Continental Breakfast Available
9:30-11:30 am     Session A: Poster Viewing & Judging
11:30 am              Lunch Available
12:00-1:00 pm         Guest Speaker: Dr.  Tadataka Yamada
1:15-3:15 pm          Session B: Poster Viewing & Judging
3:30-4:30 pm          Oral Presentations
4:30 pm                   Awards Presentation