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SIU Research Associate Professor Robert Struble, Ph.D.,
and medical student Kristopher Yoon create tissue slides
at a cryostat as Researcher Jennifer Sutherland observes.

August 4, 2011

SIU Med Students Complete Mentored Research Experiences

Seventeen medical students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine have completed their Mentored Professional Enrichment Experiences (MPEE).   

The summer program is an SIU elective between the first and second years of medical school, designed as an opportunity for students to work with physicians or researchers at SIU or other medical campuses.

“MPEE identified 17 outstanding proposals for eight weeks of clinical and/or basic science research explorations, generously supported by the School of Medicine,” said Eric C. Niederhoffer, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in Carbondale and MPEE program coordinator.  “We are proud that each cycle of applications attracts an increasing number of students and faculty to this jewel of our curriculum.”

Students studied a variety of research topics in basic and clinical medicine, including bone disease, brain injury, cancer, hand fractures, hypertension and hearing loss.  They will give formal presentations about their experiences to the medical school community this autumn.

The students, their project titles and their mentors are –

Cathy Feller, Pupil Dilation as an Endophenotype and Its Relation With Prosocial and Externalizing Behaviors, Lisabeth DiLalla, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine at SIU in Carbondale; Feller is the daughter of Stan and Sally Feller of Savoy.

Aisha Franklin, Role of the Median Preoptic Nucleus in Hemodynamic Responses to Cocaine, Mark Knuepfer, Ph.D., Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.; Franklin is the daughter of Stanley and Ronda Franklin of Belleville.  

Benjamin Henkle, Hypertension in Southeastern Ghana: An Investigation of Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, Control and Risk Factors, Edem Agamah, M.D., Central Illinois Hematology Oncology Center in Springfield and Agbozume, Ghana; Henkle is the son of Joseph Henkle of Springfield and the late Gloria Henkle.

Jonathan Ken, Improving Transition to Independence in Adolescents With PKU Through Increased Phe Monitoring, Jerry Vockley, M.D., Ph.D., Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ken is the son of Charles and Ting-wei Ken of Bloomington.  

Deborah Kerrigan, The Effects of Culturing Both CD 138 Positive and Negative Cells in Fibroblasts Derived From a Patient With Multiple Myeloma and the Genetic Changes Within the Fibroblasts of That Patient, Michael Tomasson, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.; Kerrigan is the daughter of John and Betsy Gensburg of Highland Park.

Jeremy Kulacz, Effect of Hyperthermia on Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity in the Ischemic Injured Brain, Chen Xu Wang, Ph.D., Illinois State University in Normal; Kulacz is the son of John and René Kulacz of Manteno.

Kate McKenna, Patient Outcomes After Hand Fractures:  Comparing Conservative Management and Operative Treatment, Michael Neumeister, M.D., professor of surgery at SIU in Springfield; McKenna is the daughter of Dr. Patrick and Linda McKenna of Springfield. 

Alex Michael, Changes in Cortical Thickness in Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, P. Tyler Roskos, Ph.D., Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.; Michael is the son of Brian and Kathleen Michael of Swansea.

Amanda Rabideau, Do Mice Expressing an Activating Mutation in the Luteinizing Hormone Receptor Develop Ovarian Carcinomas? Prema Narayan, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology at SIU in Carbondale; Rabideau is the daughter of Thomas and Ruth Ann Rabideau of Pittsburg.  

Taylor Reid, An Investigation of Vulnerability to Bone Disease in the Institutionalized Intellectually Disabled, Jeffrey Bennett, M.D., assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at SIU in Springfield; Reid is the son of Bill and Karen Reid of Springfield.

Michael Swong, Factors Influencing Procedure Selection and Surgical Outcomes of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients Undergoing Mitral Valve Corrective Operations, Christina Vassileva, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at SIU in Springfield; Swong is the son     of Chin and Sue Swong of Ottawa.

Robert Tennill, The Effect of Intellectual Disability on Stress Levels:  A Study of Allostatic Load, Jeffrey Bennett, M.D., assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at SIU in Springfield; Tennill is the son of William and Julie Tennill of Jacksonville.

Kirk Thompson, Long-Term Consequences of Single and Multiple Exposure Concussive Brain Injury (CBI) in Mice Predisposed to Alzheimer Disease Pathology, Richard Clough, Ph.D., professor of anatomy at SIU in Carbondale; Thompson is the son of Jay and Kristie Thompson of Harrisburg.

Laura Wardwell, Impact of Glycemic Control on Clinical Outcomes for Diabetic Patients Admitted to Non-Critical Care Internal Medicine and Family Practice Hospital Services, Michael Jakoby, M.D., associate professor of clinical internal medicine at SIU in Springfield; Wardwell is the daughter of John and Karen Wardwell of Hamilton.

Susan Yanik, Involvement of the Subthalamic Nucleus in Motivational Processes, Christelle Baunez, Ph.D., Universite de Provence in Marseille, France, and Richard Clough, Ph.D., professor of anatomy at SIU in Carbondale; Susan is the daughter of Doug and Cheryl Yanik of Cary, N.C.

Kristopher Yoon, Exploring Measures of Metabolic Activity in Ames Dwarf Versus Wild Type Mice, Specifically in Liver and Skeletal Muscle Tissues, To Confirm the Results of Calorimetry, Robert Struble, Ph.D., research associate professor at SIU in Springfield; Yoon is the son of Jong and Jae Yoon of Decatur.

Xin (Cathy) Yu, Determining Efficacy of Pre-Loading D-Met To Prevent Permanent Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Kathleen Campbell, Ph.D., professor of surgery at SIU in Springfield; Cathy is the daughter of Xiaodong Yu and Meisheng Wang of Springfield.

Established in 1970, SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and community service.  Its website is and its main number is 217-545-8000.

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