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General UCSF Medical Education News

Medical Students and Mentors Recognized for Research Accomplishments

Medical students present their research at the Summer Explore Symposium on Dec. 13, 2019

Medical students present their research at the Summer Explore Symposium on Dec. 13, 2019

Summer Explore is an optional period of scholarship between the first and second years of medical school. During this eight-week period, which is part of UCSF’s Inquiry Curriculum, students explore internationally, engage locally, or connect with a UCSF mentor on research.

Unlike traditional medical school content, Inquiry Curriculum teaches a “habit of mind.” Each step of the four-year curriculum advances the learner, first to a sophisticated consumer of biomedical science, and then to a producer of new knowledge. “I really believe that the role of the physician in this era of digital technology and exploding scientific concepts is to be the person who can ask great questions,” said Vice Dean for Medical Education and Executive Vice Dean for the School of Medicine Catherine R. Lucey, MD.

Francis Wright, one winner of the Dean’s prize, leveraged genome-editing technology CRISPR to study patients with a mutation in the SPI1 gene. “I think that gene therapies will become a greater part of medical clinical practice,” Wright said. “Knowledge of how they work at a deeper level will help me to advise my patients and choose therapies that are in their best interest.”

Medical student Kathleen Wallace developed medical education content that has since been incorporated into the Bridges Curriculum to address vaccine hesitancy. “Now, I have a good framework of how to do a good lit search, how to read articles, how to see if they’re credible or not,” Wallace said.

    Dean’s Prize Winners

    Dean’s Prizes are awarded twice annually to medical students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship and research during Summer Explore and long-term research terms. Finalists are selected based upon the submission of a one-page abstract, letter of nomination, and successful presentation to the faculty review committee. 

    Isabella Auchus Mentor: Deborah Dean, MD, MPH
    Identifying prevalence and risk factors of sexually transmitted chlamydia trachomatis in women across clinics in Fiji

    Alan Kong Mentor: Yvonne Ou, MD
    The development of novel electroretinogram stimuli to detect glaucoma using a handheld device

    Sophie McAllister Mentor: Elaine Ku, MD
    Renal recovery and mortality among ESRD patients with Hepatorenal Syndrome

    Kathleen Wallace Mentor: Patrick Newman, MD, MPH
    Addressing vaccine hesitancy in the Bridges Curriculum: a practical, evidence-based approach to curriculum review

    Francis Wright Mentor: Alexander Marson, MD, PhD
    Spying on SPI1 for patients with Agammaglobulinemia

    Dean’s Prize Finalists

    • Lucia Calthorpe Mentor: Matt Pantell, MD, MS
    • Le Wen Chiu Mentor: Robert Flavell, MD, PhD
    • Anya Greenberg Mentor: Andrea Tenner, MD, MPH
    • Nicole Hohenstein Mentor: Sue Yom, MD, PhD
    • Katrina Grace Sadang Mentor: Willi McFarland, MD, PhD, MPH

    Mentor Award Recipients

    • Robert Flavell, MD, PhD, Radiology and Biomedical Imaging  
      Mentee: Le Wen Chiu
    • Dan Kelly, MD, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
      Mentee: Michelle Davidson
    • Elaine Ku, MD, Pediatrics
      Mentee: Sophie McAllister
    • Patrick Newman, MD, MPH, Global Health
      Mentee: Kathleen Wallace
    • Yvonne Ou, MD, Ophthalmology
      Mentee: Alan Kong
    • Matt Pantell, MD, MS, Pediatrics
      Mentee: Lucia Calthorpe
    • Andrea Tenner, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine
      Mentee: Anya Greenberg
    • Lena Winestone, MD, Pediatrics
      Mentee: Lucky Ding

    The Inquiry Funding Office awards Summer Explore stipends once annually in April. If awarded, grants include:

    • $3,500 stipend, distributed in June.  
    • Participation in Summer Explore Symposium in December.
    • Eligibility for Short-Term Dean's Prize.

    Apply for the 2020 Summer Explore Grant