DOM Annual Research Day 2018

Research Day 2018: Record Participation, Great Science, and Renowned Speaker

Junior and senior medical faculty, residents, fellows and graduate students packed the two venues that hosted the Department of Medicine’s Research Day 2018. Attendees traversed the rows of research posters that filled both a University Club ballroom and the Biomedical Science Tower lobby on April 30 and May 1.

The annual Research Day uses oral and poster presentations to showcase current research by the Department of Medicine’s junior faculty, fellows, medical residents, and graduate students. A record of 280 abstracts, including 59 from clinical residents, were submitted for this year’s program. Of those abstracts, eight were selected for oral presentation awards. Four residents made oral presentations on April 30, while two fellows and two junior faculty members presented on May 1.

There were 53 clinical resident posters presented on April 30. On May 1, there were 98 junior faculty, graduate student, and medical student posters in the morning session, while 107 fellow and post-doctoral fellow posters were presented in the afternoon session. All of the posters were judged and awards were presented for the most outstanding presentations.

Our keynote speaker, Nancy J. Brown, MD, gave a wonderful career talk on April 30 for clinical residents and, on the following day, presented her research on the “Cardiovascular effects of incretin-based anti-diabetic therapies.” She is the Hugh J. Morgan Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Vanderbilt Hospital.

New this year, our Research Day happenings were posted to social media. Photos of the two-day event were tagged #PittResearchDay2018, and were posted on Facebook @PittDeptofMed, Twitter @PittDeptofMed, and Instagram pittdeptofmed!

Research Day 2018 Guest Speaker

Nancy J. Brown, MD

Dr. Nancy J. Brown is Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Vanderbilt Hospital. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Brown leads a translational research program that focuses on pharmacological strategies to prevent diabetes and end-organ damage in hypertension. In 2000, Dr. Brown co-founded the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program to train investigators in patient-oriented research. From 2006-2010, she served as Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development, and established infrastructure to promote the development of physician-scientists. Dr. Brown is an active member of the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure and the American Society of Hypertension. Dr. Brown served on the NIH National Advisory Research Resources Council from 2007-2011 and currently serves on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council. Her honors include the American Society of Hypertension Young Scholar Award, American Federation for Clinical Research Outstanding Investigator Award, the Grant Liddle Award, the E.K. Frey – E. Werle Foundation Promotion Prize, the AHA Harriet Dustan Award, and membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and in Association of American Physicians. Dr. Brown is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Research Day 2018 Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations

Monday, April 30, 2018 – Clinical Research Residents

University Club, Ballroom B – 123 University Place

Oral Presentations: 5:30-6:30 p.m.


Brian Ahn, MD

Resident, PGY-2 – Bench Research
“Development of human serum resistance in carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and persistent bacteremia”

Mentors: Janet Lee, MD – Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Yohei Doi, MD, PhD – Infectious Diseases

Brendan Filardo, MD

Resident, PGY-3 – Medical Education Research
“An electrifying effect: Targeted workflow rewiring improved rates of electronic prescribing at discharge”

Mentors: Kristian Feterik, MD, MBA – General Internal Medicine
Anna K. Donovan, MD, MS – General Internal Medicine

Benjamin  Smith, MD

Resident, PGY-2 – Clinical Research
“Cryoballoon ablation in patients with non-conventional pulmonary vein anatomy”

Mentor: Sandeep Jain, MD – Cardiology

Sunny Tao, MD

Resident, PGY-2 – Health Science/Clinical Epidemiology Research
“Is more transplant care better? Geographic proximity is associated with more post-liver transplant visits but has no effect on outcomes”

Mentor: Michael Dunn, MD – Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Biomedical Science Tower, South Foyer and S-100

Oral Presentations: 3:30-4:30 p.m.


Michael Genuardi, MD

Fellow – Clinical Research
“Short sleep time is associated with increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation”

Mentor: Sanjay Patel, MD – Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine

Jeongkyung Lee, PhD

Junior Faculty – Bench Research
“Regulation of ß-Cell Stress Response by the Molecular Clock”

Mentor: Vijay Yechoor, MD – Endocrinology and Metabolism

Mehret Birru Talabi, MD

Junior Faculty – Health Science/Clinical Epidemiology Research
“Contraception Use Among Women With Rheumatic Diseases”

Mentors: Sonya Borrero, MD – General Internal Medicine

Polakit Teekakirikul, MD

Fellow – Bench Research
“Identification of a Novel TPM1 Mutation in Congenital Atrial Septal Defect with Autosomal Dominant Inheritance”

Mentor: Cecilia Lo, PhD – Developmental Biology Department

Research Day 2018 Poster Presenter Awards

Poster Awards - Residents

Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

April 30, 2018


Bench/Translational Research Award

Didem Saygin, MD

Abstract Title: Identification of differentially expressed genes in pulmonary endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension using single cell RNA sequencing
Mentor:    Robert Lafyatis, MD

Clinical Research Award

Sumedha Chablani, MD

Abstract Title: The incidence of small bowel cancer is rising in the U.S. While the association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer has been demonstrated, recent studies have suggested that IBD, specifically Crohn’s disease (CD), may be associated with an increased risk of small bowel cancer. Data on the relationship between CD and small bowel cancer is limited
Mentor:     David Binion, MD

Clinical Research Award

Kelly Gibbs, MD

Abstract Title: Seven-Year Period Prevalence and Characteristics of Hypertension in a Large US Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cohort
Mentors:     David Binion, MD and Claudia Ramos Rivers, MD

Clinical Research Award

Richard Zou, MD

Abstract Title: Evaluating Disease Severity and Location of Death on Palliative Care Referral in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Mentors:     Daniel Kass, MD and Kathleen Lindell, PhD, RN

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Education Research Award

Anna LaRosa, MD

Abstract Title: Income is associated with atrial fibrillation outcomes: a nationwide health claims analysis
Mentor:     Jared Magnani, MD, MSc
Poster Awards - Session A


Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

MAY 1, 2018 Session A


Bench Graduate Student Research Award

Nilesh Amatya, BS

Abstract Title: IL-17 integrates multiple self-reinforcing feed-forward signaling cascades through an RNA binding protein Arid5a
Mentor:     Sarah Gaffen, PhD

Bench Junior Faculty Research Award

Aditi Gurkar, PhD

Abstract Title: Endogenous DNA damage contributes to cardiac failure and dilated cardiomyopathy

Bench Medical Student Research Award

Miranda Culley, BA

Abstract Title: Frataxin deficiency induces endothelial metabolic dysregulation to promote pulmonary hypertension
Mentor:    Stephen Chan, MD

Bench Medical Student Research Award

Zachary Yochum, BS

Abstract Title: TWIST1 is a key mediator of HGF-MET-driven resistance to targeted therapies in EGFR mutant and MET-driven lung cancer
Mentor:     Timothy Burns, MD, PhD

Clinical Graduate Student Research Award

Amanda Schwenk, BS

Abstract Title: Opioids, NSAIDs, and AKI: Unintended consequences of the PA prescription drug monitoring program
Mentor:     Evan Ray, MD, PhD

Clinical Junior Faculty Research Award

Amar Bansal, MD

Abstract Title: Decisional satisfaction and perceptions of inpatient dialysis initiation
Mentors:     David Casarett, MD and Nina O’Connor, MD

Clinical Medical Student Research Award

Amol Koldhekar, BS

Abstract Title: Associations of grip strength with mood symptoms and health-related quality of life among patients with systolic heart failure
Mentors:    Bruce Rollman, MD and Bea Belnap, PhD

Medical Education Junior Faculty Research Award

Stephanie Maximous, MD

Abstract Title: A novel program to leverage resources of an organ procurement organization for teaching medical procedures
Mentor:   Philip Lamberty, MD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Junior Faculty Research Award

Natasha Parekh, MD, MS

Abstract Title: Relationship between provider-led health plans and healthcare quality, utilization, and patient satisfaction
Mentor:   William Shrank, MD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Medical Student Research Award

Tierney Wolgemuth, BS

Abstract Title: Associations between pregnancy intention, attitudes, and contraceptive use among women veterans in the ECUUN study
Mentor:   Sonya Borrero, MD

Translational Graduate Student Research Award

Jaeyeon Choi, MS

Abstract Title: Combination treatment of VLA-4 targeted radionuclide therapy and immunotherapy for treating metastatic melanoma
Mentor:     Carolyn Anderson, PhD

Translational Medical Student Research Award

Rafey Feroze, BS

Abstract Title: Mir-29b mimic delivery via ultrasound targeted microbubble destruction to suppress cardiac fibrosis
Mentor:    Flordeliza Villanueva, MD

Translational Junior Faculty Research Award

Georgios D. Kitsios, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: Next-generation sequencing of the respiratory microbiome as a diagnostic tool of severe bacterial pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients
Mentors:    Alison Morris, MD and Bryan McVerry, MD
Poster Awards - Session B

Research Day Poster Presenter Awards

MAY 1, 2018 Session B


Bench Fellow Research Award

Michael Emmet O’Brien, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: The E3 ligase subunit FBXL2 is required for skeletal myogenesis and regulated by inflammatory stress that indicates a potential role in muscle dysfunction in COPD
Mentor:    Jessica Bon, MD and Rama Mallampalli, MD

Bench Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Alison Lennox, MD

Abstract Title: ATP12A promotes mucus dysfunction in T2 inflammation
Mentor:     Mike Myerburg, MD

Bench Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Saikat Majumder, PhD

Abstract Title: IL-17 drives the bio-energetic activity of lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells to promote expansion during TH17 cell activation
Mentor:     Mandy McGeachy, PhD

Clinical Fellow Research Award

Rameez Phulpoto, MD

Abstract Title: Rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing are high within a Veterans Affair Hospital
Mentor:     Brooke Decker, MD

Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Taya Irizarry, PhD

Abstract Title: Development and preliminary feasibility of an automated hypertension self-management system
Mentor:     Matthew Muldoon, MD

Health Services/Clinical Epidemiology Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Joshua Niznik, PharmD

Abstract Title: Validating the MDS mortality risk index in older adult veterans using MDS version 3.0
Mentors:     Carolyn Thorpe, PhD and Joseph Hanlon, PharmD, MS

Medical Education Fellow Research Award

Eliana Bonifacino, MD

Abstract Title: An innovative skill-based clinical reasoning curriculum for clerkship-level medical students
Mentor:    Deborah DiNardo, MD

Medical Education Fellow Research Award

Elizabeth Eden, MD

Abstract Title: The safe discharge curriculum: how we standardized trainees’ approach to discharge to target hospital readmissions
Mentors:    Anna Donovan, MD and Carla Spagnoletti, MD, MS

Translational Fellow Research Award

Joseph S. Bednash, MD

Abstract Title: Further development of a small molecule inhibitor of the deubiquitinase STAMBP
Mentor:     Rama Mallampalli, MD

Translational Post-Doctoral Fellow Research Award

Qiujun Yu, MD, PhD

Abstract Title: A HIF-2a-long noncoding RNA epigenetic axis modulates histone methylation and mitochondrial metabolism in hypoxia: implications for the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension
Mentor:    Stephen Chan, PhD
Research Day 2018 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. Nancy J. Brown
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. Nancy J. Brown
1:15-3:15 pm          Session B: Poster Viewing & Judging
3:30-4:30 pm          Oral Presentations
4:30 pm                   Awards Presentation