Research Day


The 42nd Annual Kalamazoo Community Medical and Health Sciences Research Day was held on April 4, 2024, at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus in downtown Kalamazoo.

In line with the vision of WMed, the theme for Research Day 2024 was:

“Advancing Health Through Translational Science’’

The program focused on projects that involve breakthroughs in basic and translational sciences, clinical, public health, medical education, social and behavioral sciences, and quality improvement. More information on the scope of each category is available below.

Research Day 2024 Banner

Please contact the Office of Research at with any questions.

  • WMed Research Day 2024 Award Winners

    Congratulations to the award winners at the 42nd Annual Kalamazoo Community and Health Sciences Research Day. Certificates and cash prizes were awarded to students and fellows who have contributed the highest quality oral and poster presentations. The cash prizes will help our winners to present their work at national meetings.

    The winners of poster and oral presentation awards were selected based on judges’ scoring of the following criteria:

    • Overall scientific merit and content of presentation
    • Innovation and significance of findings
    • Organization and clarity of presentation
    • Presentation style and delivery
    • Ability to answer audience questions

    Best Clinical, Health Services Research and Education Poster Presentation - Medical Students

    First Place: Mason Gonzales, Kent Grosh, Samuel Coster, Theresa McGoff, Austin Brubaker, Laurence McCahill
    “Morbidity of Sentinel lymph Node Biopsy in Melanoma Patients Better Defined”

    Second Place: Autumn Fritz, Morgan Helmich, Jade Woodcock, Sara Allison, Amy Gyorkos
    “Impact of Peer-Led Cadaveric Demonstrations on Gross Anatomy Education”

    Best Basic Science And Translational Research Poster Presentation - Medical Students

    First Place: Megan Moore, Sheridan Hayes, Yong Li
    “Understanding How Deferoxamine Regulates Autophagic Pathways in Muscle Cells”

    Second Place: Samuel Greenberg, Ali Vural
    “Targeting Activator of G-protein Signaling 3 (AGS3) Biomolecular Condensates: In silico identification of modulators”

    Best Graduate Poster Presentation - Graduate Students, Residents/Fellows, and Postdocs

    First Place: Daaren Bukhari, Giselly Silva, Cynthia Lai, Diana Westgate
    “Atorvastatin Induced Urticarial Vasculitis”

    Second Place: Michael Chaney, Matthew Welter, Sam Coster, Julia Miladore, Saad Shebrain
    “Asymptomatic Total Inferior Vena Cava Occlusion in Patient with Rectal Adenocarcinoma”

    Best Clinical, Health Services Research and Education Oral Presentation - Medical Students

    First Place: Mohamed Said, Jessica Adamczyk, Roberta Grieger-Nimmo, Patrick Hansma, Prentiss Jones
    “Elevated IL-6, Ferritin, and D-Dimer: Biomarkers of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in post-mortem vitreous humor analysis”

    Second Place: Talal Al-Assil, Claire Kalina, Madison Laird, Nataly Dawood, Raven Riordan, Neya Suresh Kumar, Ryan Olivier, Saad Shebrain, Cheryl Dickson, Gitonga Munene
    “Does Gender Play a Role in HCV and Cancer Screening Among the Unhoused?”

    Best Basic Science And Translational Research Oral Presentation - Medical Students

    First Place: Jesse Kooistra, Agata Parsons, Lavet Valerie Bungha Tita, Jerry Bouma, Greg Vanden Heuvel, Erik Larson
    “Molecular Model for Two Hit Somatic Mutations in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease”

    Second Place: Kyra Grove, Mitchell Kenter, Adil Akkouch
    “The Effects of Hyperglycemia on Osteoblasts Proliferation and Differentiation”

    Best Graduate Oral Presentation - Graduate Students, Residents/Fellows, and Postdocs

    First Place: Daniel VanZweden, Michael Leinwand
    “Single Incision Laparoscopic Gastrostomy Button Insertion: A straightforward and efficient technique”

    Second Place: Maria Roche-Dean, Vaishali Patil
    “Examining Stress, Coping and Discrimination in Nursing: A feasibility study”

  • Research Day Submission Categories
    • Basic and Translational Science: Activities related to fundamental, theoretical, or experimental sciences including development of technologies and techniques. 
    • Clinical: Activities related to safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products; and treatment regimens intended for human use, including analysis of established clinical practice and case presentations. 
    • Public Health: Activities related to identifying and addressing community health needs. 
    • Medical Education Scholarship: Activities related to the design, development, and implementation of educational programs or events, including the utilization of technology in the classroom setting. 
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences: Activities related to the investigation of human society, social relationships, human behavior, medical ethics, and law.
    • Quality Improvement: Activities related to assessing processes and analyzing outcome data to improve the quality of patient care, timeliness of interventional services, and equity of health systems.
  • Abstract Submission Requirements

    Abstracts should describe the rationale for the research project including relevant background information, methods, results, and a brief discussion/conclusion. The title should accurately describe the questions answered by the study. Vague, general titles should be avoided, and do not use abbreviations in the title. We recommend the use of a structured format with subheadings. For more information, take a look at this case report abstract template, this ethics and humanities abstract template, or this research study abstract template, and see out the abstract submission requirements below.

    • Abstract:
      • Title of abstract
      • Presenting author name, other co-authors names
      • Affiliation including department and/or program
      • Introduction including the objective of the proposed study
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Conclusions
      • References
    • IRB approval is REQUIRED for any research involving more than three human subjects.
    • The main body of the abstract must not exceed 350 words.
    • Figures are optional and must not exceed 2 inches high (i.e., graphs, photos, tables).
    • References can be included if it is necessary to cite references.
    • For WMed-affiliated abstracts, students and residents MUST work with a faculty mentor.
    • 1st authorship is permitted on ONE ABSTRACT ONLY. Co-authorship on multiple abstracts is permitted.
    • NO REVISIONS to abstracts will be allowed after the submission deadline.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Research at

  • 2024 Abstracts Accepted for Poster Presentations
  • 2024 Abstracts Accepted for Oral Presentations
    • Oral presentations will not be accepted for presentation if not submitted by April 2, 2024.
    • Submit your oral presentation by emailing your PowerPoint slides to
  • IRB Assistance with Abstract Submissions

    As you are preparing to submit your Research Day Abstract Submission and you’re trying to determine if/what IRB oversight is required, please contact the IRB at 269.337.4345. If you would like an in-person or virtual consultation please send an email to or contact the IRB Director, Maureen Owens at 616.808.9159. The electronic IRB application is available at

  • Keynote Speaker

Additional Resources

All potential Research Day participants have access to additional resources for creating scientific abstracts via the WMed Library.