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Medical Education

UCSF medical students and mentors shine with inquiry, innovation, and discovery

May 5, 2017

Over 100 medical students, mentors, faculty and staff gathered earlier this week in the Millberry Union Gymnasium for the 2017 Inquiry Symposium and Pathways to Discovery Awards presentation. 

The annual event showcases and celebrates research by students and residents from the UCSF schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing.

The Inquiry Symposium—sponsored by the UCSF Pathways to Discovery Program and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute—is a key campus education event that celebrates scholarly accomplishments of learners from all the UCSF schools.

“We are so proud of our students, whose research efforts and collaborations with peers and mentors are already delivering a vast body of knowledge to the international medical community, and helping to improve the care of patients at UCSF,” said Chris Stewart, MD, Chair of the Pathways Program Board, and Director of the Global Health Pathway.

This year, over 80 posters were presented in categories including Global Health, Molecular Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science, Health and Society, and Clinical and Translational Research (example at left).

“The Inquiry Symposium reflects an amazing diversity of collaborations between our trainees and their faculty mentors. I have every hope that the experiences of our students in this program will inspire a lifetime of relentless curiosity and discovery,” said Talmadge King Jr., MD, Dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, who presented the Dean’s Prize Awards to medical students including:

Trevor Brodsky-Brooks, who designed a global health project on the collaborative investigation of dengue diagnosis and epidemiology on Roatán Island, Honduras;

Danielle Cipres (below), who led a ‘Health and Society’ project on the integration of sexually transmitted infection prophylaxis education at family planning clinics, and whose work assessed differences in access to preventive strategies in young women of diverse ethnic groups;

Colette DeJong, whose clinical and translational research project on the cost of brand name versus generic drugs assessed prescribing patterns among physicians, and who co-authored an editorial on this topic in this week’s issue of JAMA;

Steven Garcia, whose research in molecular medicine examined the role of satellite stem cells in muscle regeneration;

John Huizar, whose research focuses on understanding the role of B cells in the immune response, and; 

James Salazar, who is completing a clinical and translational research project on the use and cost effectiveness of anti-viral medications in patients with hepatitis C (including transplant patients). 

Pathways to Discovery Awards were presented to medical students Catherine Burke, Michael Davies, Matthew Dizon, Claire Gibson, and Brennan Vail.

View the complete list of award winners (students and mentors) and poster submissions here.

Big Ideas Contest Winner: More innovation from UCSF’s School of Medicine

Last year, UC Berkeley’s Big Ideas Contest received a record-setting 326 applications from over 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students from 16 different universities. After an intense application process—which included two rounds of review, skill development workshops, and an eight-week mentorship period—the UCSF Serify team, led by MD candidate Jason Parad, won first place in the IT for Society category. 

Serify—the product of a fall 2016 inter-professional entrepreneurship course at UCSF—is an online service that allows dating app users to verify and share their negative HIV and other sexually transmitted infections test results.

“We’ve developed a fully functional beta version of this service,” says Parad. “We're also working with clinics in San Francisco to facilitate our verification process as well as rolling out marketing campaigns with our funding from Big Ideas. Our team comprises an inter-professional group of students from UCSF, a UX design and finance student, and a seasoned back-end engineer with experience in lean management. Our goal is to decrease the risk and worry of STD transmission, especially among dating app users.”

Team Serify was also selected as one of fifteen finalists for the Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge and will pitch their project at the event on May 20.