SIU Med Students Work With Researchers During Summer Program


Megan Logsdon, Mary McAsey & Clare Zimmerman in the lab

July 17, 2012

SIU Med Students Work With Researchers During Summer Program

Thirteen medical students are getting a look at life inside a research laboratory during a summer research program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

The Mentored Professional Enrichment Experiences (MPEE) is an eight-week SIU elective between the first and second years of medical school. It is designed as an opportunity for students to work with physicians or researchers at SIU or other medical campuses.

“As medical students learn medicine, it’s important that they also understand the value of research as part of the health-care field,” said Eric C. Niederhoffer, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in Carbondale and MPEE program coordinator.  “We’ve found that this program inspires medical students to continue their research into their latter years of medical school and into their careers.”

Students are studying a variety of research topics in basic and clinical medicine, including 3D imaging in breast surgery, stem cell therapy for ovarian cancer, glaucoma and mitral valve repair. They will give formal presentations about their experiences to the medical school community this autumn.

The students, their project titles and their mentors are:

● Michael Halyko, Preclinical evaluation of SPARC in combination with chemotherapy for treatment of neuroblastoma (NB) using subcutaneous NB xenografted mice, Dr. Susan Cohn, University of Chicago, Chicago; Halyko is the son of Michael and Beth Haylko of Mokena.

● Brittney Hanerhoff, Economic impact of AlloDerm® on prosthetic breast reconstruction/ The use of 3D imaging in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery, Dr. Terence Myckatyn, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Hanerhoff is the daughter of James and Brenda Hanerhoff of East Moline.           

● Breck Jones, Factors influencing satisfaction of patients presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain, Dr. Jonathan dela Cruz, assistant professor of surgery at SIU; Jones is the son of John Jones of Equality and Tamara Byron-Hanson of Harrisburg.

● GaToya Jones, Patients’ knowledge of their medication regimens in the SIU Memory and Aging Clinic, Dr. Tom Ala, associate professor of neurology and interim director of the SIU Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders; Jones is the daughter of George Jones of Princeton, Texas, and the late LaSha Jones.

● Megan Logsdon, Bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) in cell-based therapies for epithelial ovarian cancer, Mary McAsey, Ph.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at SIU.  Logsdon is the daughter of Troy and Rebecca Bowden of Evansville, Ind., and the late Tracy Logsdon.

● Kathrine Lowry, Changes in core body temperature, brown adipose tissue activity and leptin due to weight loss in obesity, Dr. Lisa Neff, Northwestern University Comprehensive Center on Obesity, Chicago; Lowry is the daughter of  John and Gail Lowry of Humboldt.

● Ryan McCarty, Inflammation and primary open-angle glaucoma: an investigative look into low molecular weight hyaluronic acid-induced expression of cytokines, Dr. Paul Knepper, Ph.D, University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago; McCarty is the son of Marwin and Jean McCarty of Rockton.

● Christian McNeely, Using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services database to compare long term survival benefit of mitral valve repair versus mitral valve replacement, Dr. Christina Vassileva, assistant professor of surgery at SIU; McNeely is the son of Charles and Susan McNeely of Jacksonville.

● Andrew Mitchelson, Patient demographics and risk factors in pediatric distal humeral supracondylar fractures, Dr. Khaled J. Saleh, professor and division chair, and Brooke Robinson, research coordinator, both in SIU orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery; Mitchelson is the son of Randy and Kathryn Mitchelson of Taylorville.  

● Rachel Wang, Correlation of the scratch collapse test (SCT) with electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study (NCS) in evaluation of upper extremity nerve compression syndrome, Dr. Michael Neumeister, professor and division chair of plastic surgery at SIU; Wang is the daughter of David and LiJuan Wang of Peoria.

● Arianna Welch, Multispectral image processing of localized scleroderma using the dermatology morphea registry, Dr. Heidi Jacobe, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Welch is the daughter of David and Ayten Welch of Springfield.

● Craig Wilson, The effectiveness and efficacy of the SF-36 summary scores for orthopaedic surgical patients, Saleh and Robinson; Wilson is the son of Ron Wilson and Joan Pacheco, both of Galesburg.

● Clare Zimmerman, Collection of umbilical cord blood for the isolation, banking, and use of stem cells in research, McAsey; Zimmerman is the daughter of Richard Zimmerman and Maureen Farmer, both 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.

Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.


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