FIRE Conference Highlights Discovery

Released on 03.02.2018

Scientific discoveries and innovations were on show at the 9th Annual Medical Student Research Conference held Feb 22 at the UCF College of Medicine.

The research showcase is the culmination of the Focused Inquiry and Research Experience (FIRE) module, a two-year research project designed to develop students’ appreciation for research discovery and build in them a “spirit of inquiry.” The required course is unique nationally and gives students an opportunity to present and publish their research before they leave medical school.

During the day-long conference, students made oral and poster presentations on a range of health-related research topics, including finding better methods to treat and diagnose diseases, and identifying innovative ways to enhance quality of care. They competed for top prizes in various categories judged by a panel of faculty members and other students.

Second-year student Alex Moses won third place for his oral presentation on reducing pain from injectable anesthetics. He worked with UCF Health dermatologist Dr. David Weinstein and compared local anesthetics to see which lasted the longest and caused the least amount of pain during application. He found that a diluted version of the standard lidocaine injection was equally effective as an anesthetic and provided a significant reduction in pain during application.

“It saves on cost,” Moses explained, “but also there is a lidocaine shortage right now, so it allows us to conserve on the amount of lidocaine being used. There is also a toxicity risk associated with lidocaine so the less we use on patients, the better.”

Second-year student Lacie Turnbull’s study explored expectations of patients and families during their visits to pediatric orthopedic facilities. She found that patients’ top priorities were clean buildings and a helpful and respectful staff and they were willing to travel long distances to get adequate care.

Second year student Lacie Turnbull’s study explored expectations of patients and families during their visits to pediatric orthopedic facilities. She found that patients’ paid attention to factors like eye-contact with doctors, clean facilities, and a helpful and supportive staff when making decisions about health care facilities.

“This is important because it will help our future physicians emphasize the importance of the doctor-patient relationships which may improve patient outcomes,” Turnbull said.

“I think the FIRE program sets UCF apart from other medical schools who don’t offer this opportunity to do research with an opportunity to get published,” she added. “I think it’s a great learning process. You learn to develop a hypothesis, how to ask the right questions to get the right answers in the end. I think that’s important to go through that process as a future physician. It does teach you to think differently and it was definitely a rewarding experience.”

Dr. Steven Ebert, associate professor and director of the FIRE module, said he was impressed with the diversity of the projects, adding that the quality and depth of research improves each year.

“We’re trying to inspire in these students a sense of inquiry and we want to tap into their natural curiosity,” said Dr. Ebert, who specializes in cardiovascular research. “As medical professionals their mission will ultimately be to help patients stay healthy or to help them get back to a healthy state. The best way to get there is to do research and find new avenues of innovation and methods that will enable us to determine diseased states far earlier that we can right now, to give better treatments and improve our quality of care.”

The conference concluded with a plenary talk from Dr. Edward Lakatta, lab chief at the National Institute on Aging, who spoke on aging as a disease.  He proposed that aging should be viewed as a molecular disorder that is compounded by lifestyle, environment and genetics.

Dr. Lakatta said the event was “one of the best” and most well-organized student conferences he had attended and commended UCF for “priming” curiosity at an early stage of the medical career.

“If you read medical textbooks 10 years apart, there is all new information and we’ve only just scratched the surface, so the importance of research cannot be overestimated. And what this course is doing is helping students to get excited about the thrill of discovery.”

This 2018 FIRE Research Conference Award Winners are:

 

First-Year Oral Presentation Student Choice
First Place: Tryphina Mikhail

The Effect of XCL and VIS on Lymphopenia, as a Predictor of Morbidity and Mortality in the Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease Population After Cardiac Repair         

Second Place: Alexander McClanahan and Yuheng Sun
Assessing a Viable Implementation of Community-Based Drone Technology to Combat Sudden Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest   

Third Place: Christine Scaglione
Trends in weight, weight perception, weight loss desire, and weight loss practices: A study performed in over 20,000 US college students across 5 years

Second-Year Oral Presentation Student Choice
First Place: Srikar Reddy
Long Term Pituitary Tumor Surgery Outcomes Utilizing the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach           

Second Place: Ashlee Smith
Evaluation of High-Flow Nasal Cannula Therapy for Respiratory Support in Pediatric Critical Care   

Third Place: Lacie Turnbull
What Do Patients Expect?  A Study Determining Patient Expectations for the Pediatric Orthopedic Visit   

 

First-year Oral Presentation Faculty Choice
First Place: Tryphina Mikhail
The Effect of XCL and VIS on Lymphopenia, as a Predictor of Morbidity and Mortality in the Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease Population After Cardiac Repair         

Second Place: Amelia Winter
The Effect of Botulinum Toxin A on the Symptoms of Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Third Place: Christine Scaglione
Trends in weight, weight perception, weight loss desire, and weight loss practices: A study performed in over 20,000 US college students across 5 years

Second-Year Oral Presentation Faculty Choice
First Place: Lacie Turnbull
What Do Patients Expect?  A Study Determining Patient Expectations for the Pediatric Orthopedic Visit   

Second Place: Marisa Taddeo
Condom Disuse Among Minnesota Adolescent Males Linked to Sexual Orientation Rather Than Sexual Behavior

Third Place: Alex Moses
Comparative Analysis of Local Anesthetics: Injection Associated Pain and Duration of Anesthetic

Literature Review Faculty Choice
First place: Haider Ali
Patients’ Experiences of Internet-Based Portals: A Review

Second place: Monet Winslow
Global Internet Based Continuous Quality Improvement and The Role of Complex Adaptive Systems in Atopic Dermatitis

Third place: Parsa Mirmehdi
CRISPR-Cas: A Machine to Manipulate the Genetics of Cancer

Poster Presentation Faculty Choice
First place: Megan Derazin
To What Extent Do Cognitive Ability, Motivation, Learning Strategies, and Voluntary Attendance Determine Academic Success in Preclinical Medicine?

Second place: Naina Sharma
Study of Single Silver Nanoparticle (Ag NP) Toxicity, Biocompatibility, and Transport in Human Breast Cancer Cells

Third place: Daniel Hushla
National Trends in Pediatric Renal Trauma: Predicting the Need for Angiographic Embolization, Nephrectomy and Other Surgical Interventions

Has the UCF College of Medicine Positively Impacted You?

The UCF College of Medicine is a research-based medical school with a culture based on partnerships and collaboration. As a founding member of Orlando's Medical City we are proud to be your community medical college.

Find out how to give back to your medical school, today!

Other Recent Articles

Newsletter Sign Up

Want to stay up to date with the UCF College of Medicine? Sign up for our newsletters by entering your email below, and we will send you periodical news and information.