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LECOM Students, Physicians Offer Findings During Annual Research Competition

ERIE, PA – More than 80 students and medical residents presented scientific research on a wide range of topics during the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Interprofessional Research Day 2019 on Nov. 1.

More than $3,000 was awarded to those students and physicians earning first-, second- and third-place awards for lecture and poster presentations. This year marked the 19th edition of the daylong competition, held each autumn at LECOM’s flagship campus. Part of LECOM’s mission is to encourage its students to engage in scientific research and lifelong learning to further advance their careers.

Leah Labranche, a 2020 doctor of anatomy education candidate, took top honors in the student lecture presentation category with her research, “Seeing in Stereo: Investigating the Relationship Between Spatial Ability and Learning with 3D Anatomy Models.” First-year osteopathic medical student Azka Khan earned second place with her oral presentation titled, “Co-infection Prevalence of Anaplasma Phagocytophilum and Borrelia Burgdorferi in Ixodes Scapularis Ticks in Erie, Pennsylvania.” Yusra Mansour, a third-year student, claimed third-place honors with her research, “In Utero Exposure to Valproic Acid Results in Hypoplasia and Reduced Ascending Axonal Projections to the Auditory Thalamus.”

In the student poster category, first place went to second-year student Rayann Atway for research titled, “Development of an Opal Multiplex Immunofluorescence Assay to Better Tailor Aggressive Prostate Cancer Therapy.” Syed Ahmed, a second-year student, claimed runner-up honors for his research, “In Utero Valproic Acid Exposure Results in Dysmorphology Within the Ventral Nucleus of the Medial Geniculate.” First-year student Hasan Alhelo earned third place with his poster, “Repeated Prenatal Valproic Acid Exposure and Oropharyngeal Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorder Rat Models.”

Ann McCray, D.O., of Meadville Medical Center and a 2017 LECOM graduate, claimed the top prize among regional doctors competing in the resident physician lecture session with her presentation, “Anti-Factor Xa Monitoring for Dose Adjustment of Enoxaparin for VTE Prophylaxis at Meadville Medical Center.” Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) resident Stefanie Kananda, D.O., earned second place with research titled, “Mortality-Associated Symptomatology in COPD Patients.” Third place went to Donata Vaiciunaite, D.O., a resident at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for her lecture, “A Systematic Review of Current Therapies Described for Seronegative Hepatitis C Virus Recipients of Kidney Transplants from Seropositive Donors.”

In the poster category, Western Reserve Hospital resident Jessica Tullington, D.O., took first place with her research, “Laparoscopic LigaSure Verse Laparoscopic Stapler in Acute Appendicitis: An Intraoperative Cost Analysis.” Mary Crowe, D.O., a 2019 LECOM graduate and MCH intern, earned runner-up status with her poster, “Osteoporosis Education Provided Upon Admission for Skilled Nursing Care.” Crowe’s MCH colleague and 2015 LECOM alumnus Aaron Leininger, D.O., placed third with his poster titled, “Endoscopic-Assisted Anatomic Reconstruction of Chronic Proximal Hamstring Avulsion with Achilles Allograft.”

“LECOM Interprofessional Research Day is a perfect opportunity to promote institutional research by allowing both students and faculty to present their research data and thus collaborate on future scientific endeavors of the institution,” said Bertalan Dudas, M.D., LECOM institutional director of research.

LECOM also holds a Research Day each spring at its Bradenton, Florida, campus with the 2020 competition scheduled for April 16.