SIU Med Students, Residents Awarded for Research


June 18, 2014

SIU Med Students, Residents Awarded for Research

Six medical students and six resident physicians have received top awards in the 24th annual Trainee Research Symposium at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The symposium offers trainees in Springfield an opportunity to gain experience in making formal presentations of their research findings. Faculty advisors provided assistance for each project.

The top projects in each category, as judged by a panel of faculty, received monetary prizes. The judging criteria included preliminary data and research approach, research design, project creativity, originality, and the potential scientific or medical significance. Topics included prostate cancer, total hip arthroplasty and dietetic counseling and weight gain during pregnancy.

The first-place medical student winner was Tian Zhang, a sophomore from Chatham for her project “Effects of Hypoxia and the Activation of the NFkB Pathway on FMS-Like Tyrosine Kinase 1, Transcription Factor GCM1, and Placental Growth Factor in Human Trophoblast” (Don Torry, Ph.D., professor of medical microbiology, immunology & cell biology).

Two medical students received second place:

• Daniel Sadowski, a senior from LaSalle, for his project “Impact of County Rurality and Urologist Density on Urologic Cancer Mortality in Illinois: The Curious Case of Kidney Cancer” (Dr. Kevin McVary, professor of urology), and

• Christian McNeely, a sophomore from Jacksonville, for his project “Hospital Volume, Mitral Repair Rates and Outcomes of Isolated Mitral Valve Surgery in the Elderly: An Analysis of US Hospitals Treating Medicare-Fee-For-Service Patients” (Dr. Christina Vassileva, assistant professor of surgery).

Third-place was awarded to three medical students:

• Anna Grindy, a sophomore from Decatur, for her project “Patient and Hospital Demographics in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: Data from the Kids Inpatient Database” (Dr. Khaled Saleh, professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation),

• Katelyn Pratt, a sophomore from Springfield, for her project “Comparing Hospital and Patient Demographics of Adolescent Versus Adult Patients Undergoing Total Hip Arthroplasty Surgery” (Dr. Khaled Saleh, professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation), and

• Josiah An, a junior from Champaign, for his project “Differences in the Treatment and Diagnosis of Gout in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Clinical Setting” (Dr. Anne Miller, associate professor of internal medicine).

The first-place resident physician winner was Dr. Abigail Cochran, a surgery resident from Elm Grove, Wisc., for her project “Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Transplantation Decreases Capsule Formation During Tissue Expansion with Radiotherapy” (Dr. Michael Neumeister, professor of surgery).

Second-place was awarded to two residents:

• Dr. Alison Rinaberger, a resident in obstetrics/gynecology from Springfield, for her project “A Quality Analysis of the Adherence to Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Recommendation at the SIU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology” (Mary McAsey, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology), and

• Dr. Steven Radtke, an obstetrics/gynecology resident from Monterrey, Mexico, for his project “Variation in Management and Outcomes Between Sterilized and Non-Sterilized Patients with Abnormal Uterine Bleeding” (Dr. Gilberto Rodrigo, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology).

Third-place was awarded to three residents:

• Dr. Vanessa Neiman, an obstetrics/gynecology resident from Rowlett, Texas,, for her project “Management of the Diabetic Mother in Labor: Does It Improve Neonatal Hypoglycemia Rates” (Dr. Robert Abrams, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology),

• Dr. Trinadha Pilla, a medicine psychiatry resident from Burnpur, India, for his project “Trends, Cardiac Catherizations, Revascularization and Inpatient Mortality after Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients with Mental Health Disorders” (Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, assistant professor of psychiatry), and

• Dr. Ryan Uy, a resident in pediatrics from Manila, Philippines, for his project “Effect of Protocol Mandating Discussion about ICU Status Change in a Pediatric ICU” (Dr. Sangita Basnet, associate professor of pediatrics).

Judges for this year’s symposium were Dr. Beau Batton, associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. Christopher McDowell, assistant professor of emergency medicine; Dr. David Steward, associate dean for community health and service; and Sandra Puczynski, Ph.D., professor of clinical research.

Media Contacts

Karen Carlson,
SIU, 217-545-3854


Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is to assist the people 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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