By Wendy Sarubbi | February 4, 2013 3:43 pm

The UCF College of Medicine was recognized Friday as the top participant in an online academic medicine poster competition, sponsored by Cureus, The New e-Journal of Medicine.  Cureus marketing director Darci Moreau  traveled to the Lake Nona campus to present a glass award to students and Dr. Deborah German, vice president of medical affairs and dean.

Moreau praised the medical school’s “unprecedented enthusiasm for research” and jokingly warned that other medical schools had UCF “in their sights” for next year’s competition after the College of Medicine was the top participant with 77 poster submissions that won 21 first, second or third place awards.

“I’m thrilled with the UCF College of Medicine’s winning performance and I’m particularly happy that we were ahead of all of my alma maters,” Dr. German said. “I smile inside every time I think about it.”

Cureus filmed interviews with Dr. German and Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean for students about the importance of research at the College of Medicine. It also interviewed several students. Second-year student Rabia Zafar, who designed a poster on gene therapy for epilepsy patents, is the latest to be interviewed on the Cureus website.

Rabia, who received her PH. D. in Neuroscience from the University of Florida before coming to medical school, says her epilepsy research has shown promising results in laboratory testing on rats. Fourth year student Shawna Bellew was also featured on the site in January, for her poster submission in obstetrics/gynecology. Click here to view her article.

The following is a list of  UCF who placed in their respective categories:


Rabia Zafar, second place

Diabetes & Endocrinology

Racha Khalaf, first place

Environmental Health

Glenn Gookin, second place

General Surgery

Christina Hsu, third place


Sarina Amin, second place


Elona Rrapo, third place

Infectious Disease

Brittany Pease, second place

Internal Medicine

Brian Mayrsohn, second place

Shawna Bellew, third place


Rabia Zafar, first place


Eric Gelman, second place

Shawna Bellew, third place


Elona Rrapo, first place

Cassandra Dennys, second place

Pain Management

Malgorzata Krzyszczak, second place


Rafik Zarifa, second place


Alexa Rodriguez, third place

Public Health

Christina Hsu, third place

Quality Improvement

Rafik Zarifa, second place

Radiation Oncology

Margaret Kozak, first place


Zaw Maung, second place

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