Medical Student Research Scholars

FCMSC Research Scholarships afford medical students the opportunity to conduct a mentored MS research project at a CMSC member institution. These projects are designed to afford students exposure to MS research and clinical care, encouraging an understanding and interest in a potential career path in multiple sclerosis. The Research Scholar Program has been expanded to allow medical students the opportunity to conduct research projects year-round.

Your support of a medical student’s FCMSC Research Project experience builds the future of MS Care.

2018 Medical Student Research Scholars

2018 Presenters

 
 
 

Make a donation to support Medical Student Research Scholars

 

Medical Student Research Scholars Narratives

 
 
Lauren Hall, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Lauren Hall

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: The Role of Gut Microbiota in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis
Project Mentor: Carolina Ionete, MD, PhD, MD

This project allowed me to explore the field of clinical research during my medical school education. I gained insight into how to design a research project utilizing human samples and in collaboration with scientists outside of medicine to complete a complex analysis of samples. Furthermore, this research has given me a wealth of knowledge surrounding the pathology of MS and has provided a solid framework for my future as a clinician.

This research experience provided me with the funds to continue exploring a topic that I am passionate about. It motivated me to present my research at other conferences as well. I have a deep and personal connection to MS. I have always steered my academic pursuits towards neurology and now neurorehabilitation. This project allowed me to broaden my knowledge about a disease I am already passionate about.

I am a fourth year medical student, doing several rotations in physical medicine and rehabilitation. I will also be continuing my research on MS and the microbiome.

 
 
Alexander Liam Pearson, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Alexander Liam Pearson

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity is Positively Associated with the Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer Thickness in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis
Project Mentor: Ann Yeh, MD, MA, FRCPC, Dip ABPN

During my mentorship, I learned about MS through the eyes of both clinicians and patients. I have gained knowledge in epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis, and the treatment of MS, and I have developed valuable clinical and research skills. I will carry these with me into my future as a physician and researcher.

This was a very valuable experience, I am very fortunate to be an FCMSC Scholar and the skills and knowledge that I have gained will serve as a foundation for my future work in MS.

I really enjoyed the Scholars Reception and Luncheon, as well as attending conference workshops and presentations which has helped me to network in the field of MS.

I am in my third year of medical school at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 
 
Jonathan Ciriello, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Jonathan Ciriello

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Phodphorylated SIRT1 as Biomarker of Relapse and Response to Treatment with Glatiramer Acetate in Multiple Sclerosis
Project Mentor: Ann Yeh, MD, MA, FRCPC, Dip ABPN

My presentation and participation at the Annual Meeting has given me more information about Multiple Sclerosis and the type of physicians working and doing research in the field. Presenting to a small audience gave me the opportunity to interact more with individual people.

This experience was valuable in developing my research knowledge and exposing me to the field of MS. It helped me strengthen my relationship with my mentor and has given me a valuable opportunity to present my work at the conference.

I am a 4th year medical student.

 
 
Lewin Staine, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Lewin Staine

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Enhanced Regional Cerebral Perfusion following Acetazolamide: Preliminary Results
Project Mentor: Leorah Freeman, MD, PhD

During my time of research with the team of Dr. Leorah Freeman, I learned a great deal about a field I knew very little about prior, other than personal experience with friend and family suffering with MS. The unconventional approaches taken and innovative thinking were things that kept the research exciting for me, someone who did not enjoy the ‘wet lab research’ experience throughout undergraduate. Having a real relationship with the patients throughout the 12 weeks program, as well as seeing some of those very same patients in the MS clinic, has developed my professional as well as personal skills. This is something that I will be able to take with me and further my career.

Presenting at the Annual Meeting was a great opportunity to mingle with other professionals at all levels of medicine from professors, to researchers, to doctors, to other students and the contact alone will help me tremendously. Having the opportunity to have some critique and questions asked of my own research allowed me to come back and take it in a different direction.

I am in my 3rd year at McGovern Medical School.

 
 
Samantha Roman-Fox, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Samantha Roman-Fox

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Metabolomic Changes Associated with Calorie Restriction in People with MS & Metabolomic Changes Associated with a Time-Restricted Diet in People with MS
Project Mentor: Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR

Through this project, I not only learned how to conduct a research study from start to end but also developed many skills critical to clinical research, such as how to draft a grant proposal, abstract and begin to draft a manuscript for peer-review. Dr. Mowry was an excellent mentor who provided guidance as needed, but also allowed me the independence to have ownership over the project, which is ultimately why I learned so much from this experience.

I was already interested and passionate about the field of neurology and specifically clinical care and research in MS but this has solidified my passion in this area of work. In addition to being able to conduct clinical study, meet and interact with patients, and gain valuable abstract and manuscript writing skills, this experience has also provided excellent networking among MS providers at my institution.

Presenting my project at the Annual Meeting allowed me the first opportunity to attend a scholarly meeting solely focused on MS to help me get an idea of career paths others have taken and to meet other clinicians and researcher in the field.

I am completing my intern year before continuing on to neurology residency training.

 
 
Nicholas Brennecke, MD, Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Nicholas Brennecke, MD

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Prevalence and Predictors of Spiritual Search and Religious Trust Among MS Patients at a Major Academic Medical Center
Project Mentor: Michael Racke, MD

Perhaps the most important knowledge gained from this research project was a better grasp of a proper approach to robust clinical research. From my mentor Dr.  Racke.  I learned to analyze my own results realistically to compare my results with previous work on the topic and to glean all that I can from all data collected. These lessons learned have been invaluable. I am also impressed by the impact that one mentor can have on the career path of a mentee.

I am so grateful for the support of the FCMSC to conduct clinical research related to MS and to attend the CMSC annual meeting. This project brought together my broad interest with regard to a topic related to MS and cemented my interest in MS. Attending the conference and presenting my research was yet another confirmatory factor in my path toward Neurology/MS.

I am a PGY-1 Adult Neurology resident at Case Western/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

 
 
Jemima Akinsanya, MD

Jemima Akinsanya, MD

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Yoga for the Treatment of Sleep Disturbances in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Project Mentor: Mary Ann Picone, MD

During my mentorship I learned the importance of tailoring treatment to a patient’s individual needs. Since MS has such multifaceted effects, my mentor taught me that as a provider it is important to think outside the box on ways to better improve patients’ quality of life. I also learned how vital it is to have a strong therapeutic alliance with a patient.

It was a great experience being able to present my project and answer questions about it. It was also great to network with other residents. I learned about different programs available for residents interested in MS.

I am a second year neurology resident at Emory and working on starting a new research project with the MS department this year.

 
 
Megan Le

Megan Le

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Longitudinal study examining the relationship between FLAIR’2 and disability status in MS patients
Project Mentor: Anthony Traboulsee, BSc, MD

The MS research mentorship was an extremely valuable experience that will help me become a better clinician and researcher. Learning how to come up with a research hypothesis and text it is something that can only be taught through experience and with the guidance of experience researchers.

I really enjoyed the scholar’s luncheon as it was a great opportunity to meet fellow medical students as well as residents who are involved in the FCMSC. Being able to present my poster at a large conference was also extremely valuable learning opportunity.

I will continue my studies at University of British Columbia.

 
 
Gautam Rao

Gautam Rao

Medical Research Student Scholar and Presenter

Project Title: Role of Histone Deacetylase SIRT1 in Oligodendrocyte Survival in Multiple Sclerosis
Project Mentor: Horea G. Rus, MD, PhD

My project entailed more of the biomolecular aspect of oligodendrocyte function and repair and this experience allowed me to get a better grasp at the specific process of disease and helped me understand the different treatment modalities available.

Attending the lectures at the CMSC Annual meeting was very informative in understanding the current guidelines and research occurring in MS research.

I am in my third year of medical school and will most likely apply for neurology residency.


 


Bayer Healthcare/June Halper Research Scholars

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals has provided support through the Foundation for the annual June Halper MS Summer Research Scholarships, recognizing the contributions of June Halper, MSCN, ANP, FAAN, to the CMSC and multiple sclerosis comprehensive care.
Supported through an FCMSC grant from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

The 2017 scholarship was awarded to Kimberley Chang, mentored by Drs. Anthony Traboulsee and Shannon Kolind at the University of British Columbia. Kimberley presented her research project titled “Myelin Water Fraction as a Potential Marker of Progression in Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis” at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

The 2016 scholarship was awarded to Megan Le, mentored by Dr. Anthony Traboulsee at the University of British Columbia Hospital MS Clinic and Research. Megan’s research project titled “Longitudinal study examining the relationship between FLAIR`2 and disability status in MS patients” was presented at the 2017 CMSC Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

 

The 2014 awardee Hunter Vincent, mentored by Dr. Mary Ann Picone at the MS Comprehensive Care Center at Holy Name Medical Center presented his research project titled, “Utilizing Technology to Improve Patient Adherence and Professional Patient Monitoring for at-home exercise program in patients with MS” at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 
Jamie Currie McDonald

The 2013 scholarship was awarded to Jamie Currie McDonald, mentored by Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant at the University of California, San Francisco, MS Research Center. Jamie’s research project titled “Salt intake and pediatric MS susceptibility” was presented by Dr. Jennifer Graves at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

 
Sirisha Grandhe

The 2012 scholarship was awarded to Sirisha Grandhe, mentored by Dr. Emmanuelle L. Waubant at the University of California, San Francisco, MS Research Center. Her research project titled “Environmental Risk Factors associated with Pediatric Neuromyelitis Optica” was presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

 
Jenny Feng

The 2011 scholarship was awarded to Jenny Feng, mentored by Dr. Robert Naismith at the Washington University in St. Louis John L. Trotter Multiple Sclerosis Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Her research project is titled “Tracking Neurodegeneration from Acute MS Lesions”.

 
Lisak & Jerry Loo

The 2010 awardee Jerry Loo, mentored by Dr. Lilyana Amezcua at the University of Southern California presented his research project titled, “Development and Testing of a Disease-Oriented E-Folder for MS Patients” at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada.

 

Steven R. Schwid Memorial Research Scholars

This award was established in honor of the late Steven R Schwid, MD, FAAN.
Supported through an FCMSC grant from Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

Katherine Otto  

Katherine Otto received the 2016 scholarship. Katherine presented her research project titled “Correlation of Social Support Networks and Disease Progression in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis” at the 2017 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Katherine conducted her research under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Howard at NYU Ambulatory Care Center Multiple Sclerosis.

 
Katelynn Wilton  

Katelynn M. Wilton received the 2015 scholarship. Katelynn presented her research project titled “Role of TCR/CD3 Signaling in TMEV-induced Demyelination” at the 2016 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD Katelynn conducted her research under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Schrum at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Department of Immunology.

 
Jyotsna Mullur  

Jyotsna Mullur received the 2014 scholarship. Jyotsna presented her research project titled “Analysis of the 25 Foot Timed Walk Test as a Predictive Factor in Multiple Sclerosis” at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. Katelynn conducted her research under the mentorship of Drs. Peter Riskind and Carolina Ionete at the Multiple Sclerosis Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

 
Megan Collins  

Megan Collins was awarded the 2013 scholarship. Megan’s research project titled “Validating a Community-Based Measure of Leg Use for MS” was presented by her mentor Dr. Victor Mark at the 2014 Dallas Annual meeting. Megan conducted her research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham MS Center.

 
Rajarshi Mazumder

Rajarshi Mazumder received the 2012 scholarship.  Rajarshi presented his research project titled “The Fes-I Predicts Falls and ABC Scored in People with Multiple Sclerosis” at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.  Raj conducted his research under the mentorship of Dr. Michelle Cameron at the Oregon Health & Science University and Portland VA Medical Center.

 
Morgan Boes

Morgan Boes was awarded the scholarship for 2011. Her research project titled “Dual Task Mobility Parameters as factors of Falls Risk in persons with Multiple Sclerosis”  will conduct her research project under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Motl at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Motor Control Research Lab.

 

The first annual Steven R. Schwid Memorial Research Scholarship was awarded in 2010 to Charlotte Philippson, for her research project titled, “A Pilot Study of Dynavision for Assessment of Visual-Spatial Perception of Patients with MS.” Charlotte conducted her project under the mentorship of Dr. Galina Vorobeychik at the Fraser Health Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in British Columbia.

 
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