Keeping The FIRE Of Discovery Burning

Released on 02.24.2020

Second-year medical student Nathan Kostick (center) demonstrates how his brain stethoscope helps detect abnormal activity in the brain.

Can unplanned cesarean sections cause depression in new moms? Can art therapy improve wellness in Alzheimer’s patients?  Can a modified stethoscope help patients monitor their brain activity at home?

These were some of the questions explored at the UCF College of Medicine’s eleventh-annual FIRE (Focused Inquiry and Research Experience) conference  Feb. 20. The event showcases the discoveries of medical students during a required two-year research module.

Several research projects were geared at developing innovative medical solutions. Second-year student Nathan Kostick is developing a “brain stethoscope” as an inexpensive tool to help detect abnormal activity in the brain of patients who have a cerebral shunt – a tube-like device used to reduce the build-up of fluid. Kostick, who studied neuroengineering in his undergraduate studies at Case Western Reserve University, said he wanted to use his passion for engineering to help change lives. He invented a modified stethoscope that is connected to a magnetic device that measures pulsations in the brain to detect abnormal activity that can mean the shunt is malfunctioning. 

“Research has such a huge impact, and as frustrating as it can be at times when things aren’t working and everything’s breaking, it’s always worth it in the end,” said Kostick, who has earned the nickname “Brain Stethoscope Guy.”  “It’s very moving, once you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, how promising our results are and that they can impact the change many years down the road.”

Students spend two years working with research mentors including faculty from the College of Medicine and other UCF colleges as well as physicians and scientists nationwide. On conference day, first-year students present their research proposals while second-years present their findings to their peers and faculty. This year, 120 students shared highlights of their research in oral presentations and poster exhibitions on topics including alternative medicine, innovation and disease prevention. Presentations are judged by faculty and students. Winners receive awards of recognition.

Annalisa Sega, who won a first place award for her presentation, said the opportunity to do research was one of the reasons she chose to study at UCF. The future OB-GYN explored the correlation between post-partum depression in mothers who had an emergency versus a planned C-section.  She found that 70 percent of new mothers in her sample who had unplanned caesareans suffered from post-partum depression.

“I could have gone to any other medical school and continued research independently, but it’s so much easier to continue it at a school that already supports research,” said Sega. “I think research is important to doctors, because we have to be investigators. It’s a really good skill to foster and I think UCF is doing a good job at instilling it in students.”

Some students selected topics based on personal interests or experiences. First-year medical student Krisandra Hardy lost her grandfather to Alzheimer’s disease. She is exploring the link between art therapy and wellness in patients suffering from the debilitating neurological condition.  A submarine officer before coming to medical school, Hardy spent months under the sea with no outside communication. After forming a small drawing club with her shipmates, she quickly saw firsthand the therapeutics powers of art for mental health.

“Even though my grandfather was surrounded by family, there was nothing that we could do to bring him out of his confusion and his anger that followed his diagnosis,” said Hardy, who won first place award for her presentation.  “I wish there had been programs that might have helped bring him some peace in his last days. I would love to be able to show that art therapy can have evidence-based outcomes, so that we can bring it into the medical field as an actual therapy.”

Dr. Steven Ebert, a cardiovascular disease researcher at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the FIRE module, said he was pleased with the wealth of research presented this year and the diversity of topics.

“The topics are increasingly diverse and I really give these students credit for branching out and trying new things outside of their comfort zone.,” Dr. Ebert said. “Notably, there was a heavy concentration of pediatric-related research this year, and this is largely due to the great partnership we have with our neighbors, Nemours Children’s Hospital. The diversity and quality this year was exceptional and it’s getting better and better every year.”

EV0A0981

This year’s FIRE winners are:

Poster Presentation Student Choice

First place: Andrew Pollizzi
Using CoherenceGated Dynamic Light Scattering to Measure Intraoperative Blood Viscoelasticity for Improved Coagulation Monitoring
Mentor: William DeCampli, M.D., Ph.D., Orlando Health

Second place: Nathan Kostick
The Brain Stethoscopes: A NonInvasive Device for Remote Assessment of Intraventricular Shunt Failure
Mentor: Kim Manwaring, M.D., Orlando Health

Third place: Cristina Cabrera

Incidence of Intracardiac and Extracardiac Vascular Anomalies in a Cohort of Williams Syndrome Patients
Mentor: Gul Dadlani, M.D., Nemours Children’s Hospital

 

Poster Presentation Faculty Choice
First place: Huzaifa Wasanwala
Hypothalamic Signal Transduction Mechanisms that Mediate Remission of Diabetic Hyperglycemia by icv FGF1
Mentor: Jarrad Scarlett, M.D., Ph.D, University of Washington

Second place: Clayton Welsh
What is the Morbidity of a Growing Distal Femoral Prosthesis?
Mentor: Melanie Coathup, B.Sc, Ph.D., UCF College of Medicine

Third place (tie): Brendan Sweeney
A Retrospective Analysis of Shortterm Outcomes following Total Hip Arthroplasty in Pediatric and Young Patients
Mentor: Melanie Coathup, B.Sc Ph.D, UCF College of Medicine

Third place (tie): Michael Liska
Patient Health Questionnaire9 (PHQ9) as a Measure of Depression Severity in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury
Mentor: Frederick Petty, M.D, Ph.D, Orlando VA

Third place (tie): Tabitha Eckert
Relationship between Patient Characteristics, Pediatric Early Warning Score, and Clinical Deterioration in Pediatric Inpatients
Mentor: Jerome Chen, M.D., Orlando Health

 

First-Year Oral Presentation Student Choice

First Place: Aaishwariya Gulani
Delayed Anterior Chamber Chronic Inflammatory Reaction (DACCIR) from Cataract Surgery Pack Debris
Mentor: Nazali Shaikh, M.D., Orlando VA

Second Place: Krisandra Therese Hardy
Art Therapy Outcomes in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review
Mentor: Luciana Garbayo, M.D., Ph.D.. M.A., UCF College of Medicine

 Third Place: Kharina Guruvadoo
Safety and Efficacy of 3D ImageGuided Transforaminal Intrathecal Administration of Nusinersen Post Spinal Fusion and Bone Graft
Mentor: Craig Johnson, M.D., Nemours Children’s Hospital

 

First Year Oral Presentation Faculty Choice

First Place: Krisandra Therese Hardy
Art Therapy Outcomes in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review
Mentor: Luciana Garbayo, M.D. Ph.D M.A, UCF College of Medicine

Second Place: D’Shaun Adams
Association of Time between Onset and Diagnosis of Necrotizing Fasciitis in the Upper Extremity and Mortality Outcomes: A Literature Review
Mentor: Shalu Gillum, J.D. M.LS AHIP, UCF College of Medicine

Third Place: Kharina Guruvadoo
Safety and Efficacy of 3D ImageGuided Transforaminal Intrathecal Administration of Nusinersen Post Spinal Fusion and Bone Graft
Mentor: Craig Johnson, M.D., Nemours Children’s Hospital

 

Second-Year Oral Presentation Student Choice

First Place: Nathan Kostick
The “Brain Stethoscope”: A NonInvasive Device for Home Assessment of Intraventricular Shunt Failure
Mentor: Kim Manwaring, M.D., Orlando Health

Second Place: Rebecca Joseph
Clinical Outcomes of HIVInfected Hypogonadal Patients Treated with Testosterone Replacement Versus an Estrogen Blocker
Mentor: Charlotte Rolle, M.D., M.P.H and Edwin DeJesus, M.D., Orlando Immunology Center

Third Place: Annalisa Sega
Correlation Between Indication for Cesarean Delivery and Postpartum Depression
Mentor: Beatriz Reyes‐Foster, Ph.D., UCF College of Sciences

 

Second-Year Oral Presentation Faculty Choice

First Place: Annalisa Sega
Correlation Between Indication for Cesarean Delivery and Postpartum Depression
Mentor: Beatriz Reyes‐Foster, Ph.D., UCF College of Sciences

Second Place: Rebecca Joseph
Clinical Outcomes of HIVInfected Hypogonadal Patients Treated with Testosterone Replacement Versus an Estrogen Blocker
Mentor: Charlotte Rolle, M.D., M.P.H. and Edwin DeJesus, M.D, Orlando Immunology Center (OIC)

Third Place: Nathan Kostick
The “Brain Stethoscope”: A NonInvasive Device for Home Assessment of Intraventricular Shunt Failure
Mentor: Kim Manwaring, M.D. Orlando Health

 

 

 

 

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.