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.

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Medical Student Research Scholars

2017 Presenters

 
 

 

Vaishak Amblee, 2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Vaishak Amblee,

2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Vaishak Amblee, 2014 FCMSC Research Scholar presenting his project at 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, 3rd year medical student at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
Project Title: Cognition and Early Thalamic Atrophy.
Project Mentor: Robert Naismith, MD.

How will your presentation and participation at the CMSC Annual Meeting assist you pursuing your chosen career path?
I made new connections with some of the residency program coordinators and directors that I think will be helpful for my future professional goals.

What knowledge did you gain during your mentorship that you believe will contribute to your current or future professional growth?
Shadowing my mentor allowed me to gain meaningful insight into the clinical aspects of neurology and also into the clinical and research aspect of MS care. Through my research and clinic rotations I was able to appreciate the wide variety of MS patients, the diversity of their individual disease pattern, and the personalized care that had to be tailored to their needs.

 

Benjamin Laitman, 2014 FCMSC/Genentech Corporation Research Scholar

Benjamin Laitman,

2014 FCMSC/Genentech Corporation Research Scholar

Benjamin Laitman presenting his project at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, PhD candidate in Neuroscience.
Project Title: Kruppel-Like Factor-6 Integrates Promyelinating Inputs to the Oligodendrocyte Differentiation Program, and is Essential for CNS Myelination.
Project Mentor: Gareth John, VetMB, PhD.

What is your personal evaluation of this experience in multiple sclerosis?
This experience allowed me to really get a good understanding of some of the basic mechanisms behind a disease which has affected family and friends of mine. I am proud to be contributing and presenting on such a topic and hope this will serve as a step for me in pursuing this field as a career in the future.

How will your presentation and participation at the CMSC Annual Meeting assist you pursuing your chosen career path?
Since most of my focus of my MS research has largely been bench research, participating in this meeting allowed me to see more of the clinical projects/ideas out there in the MS field. I was able to connect with MS clinicians at my institution and others that will hopefully be long-lasting relationships as I progress in my career.

What were the most valuable learning experiences related to MS derived from your research project experience?
I was able to delve into a very basic question in MS research, giving me an appreciation for the complexity of this disease.

 

Jyotsna Mullur, 2014 FCMSC/Acorda Therapeutics, Inc./Steven R. Schwid, MD Memorial Research Scholar

Jyotsna Mullur,

2014 FCMSC/Acorda Therapeutics, Inc./Steven R. Schwid, MD Memorial Research Scholar

Jyotsna Mullur  presented her project at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, 4th year medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Project Title: Analysis of the 25 Foot Timed Walk Test as a Predictive Factor in Multiple Sclerosis.
Project Mentor: Carolina Ionete, MD, PhD and Peter Riskind, MD, PhD.

What is your personal evaluation of this experience in Multiple Sclerosis?
This experience studying multiple sclerosis provided me with an immersive and in depth education in the field of neuroimmunology, a field that was intensely fascinating to me due to its interdisciplinary approach. I enjoyed the wide breadth of study, from the nuances of brain chemistry, but also to the more tangible markers of patient disability. Making these connections was a crucial part of my learning experience, and was fundamental in helping me clarify my desire to pursue a career as a neurologist. My mentors were dedicated to my education and my success, and i am grateful for their guidance. This experience has been one of the most rewarding parts of my medical school career, and I feel privileged and honored to have been given the opportunity to study a subject which I have become passionate about.

How will your presentation and participation at the CMSC Annual Meeting assist you pursuing your chosen career path?
It was a valuable opportunity to present at an international conference, learn from leading investigators in the field, and improve in research methods.

 

Hunter Vincent, 2014 FCMSC/June Halper Hunter VincentResearch Scholar

Hunter Vincent,

2014 FCMSC/June Halper Research Scholar

Hunter Vincent presenting his project at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN.
Project Title: Utilizing Technology to Improve Patient Adherence and Professional Patient Monitoring for At-Home Exercise Program in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
Project Mentor: Mary Ann Picone, MD.

What knowledge did you gain during your mentorship that you believe will contribute to your current or future professional growth?
I gained valuable experience in patient interaction.  Learning to balance medical, psychological, and physician therapy knowledge to provide well-rounded patient care.

What is your personal evaluation of this experience in multiple Sclerosis?
I believe this Remote-Monitored Tele Relay program can potentially change how we treat MS patients and provide patient care to patients.

 

Lukmon Babajide, 2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Lukmon Babajide,

2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Lukmon Babajide presented his project at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, Third year medical student at UT Southwestern Medical School.
Project Title: Effectiveness of Medtronic Intrathecal Drug Delivery Pump Personal Therapy Manager in Spasticity Management (MPTM).
Project Mentor: Fatma Gul, MMM.

How will your presentation and participation at the CMSC Annual Meeting assist your pursuing your chosen career path?
It gives me more exposure in the fields that I am interested in as well as giving me a glimpse of the types of advocacy work that go on within those fields.

What is your personal evaluation of your mentorship experience in multiple sclerosis?
Working with patients that have MS have been an eye opening experience.  The determination of these patients, the psycho-social issues that they face, and the hurdles that they go through just to get a simple care are astounding.  I am truly happy that I had this experience because it has taught me so much about a community (a rather organized community) that I didn’t really know about before.

 

Matthew Engelhard, MD, 2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Matthew Engelhard,

MD, 2014 FCMSC Research Scholar

Matt Engelhard presented his project at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN.
2016 PhD candidate at the University of Virginia with my research focused on detection and monitoring of walking impairment and other MS symptoms using smart devices.
Project Title: An Item Theory Based Evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale.
Project Mentor: Myla Goldman, MD, MSc.

What knowledge did you gain during your mentorship that you believe will contribute to your current or future professional growth?
There’s too much to name. Dr. Goldman has taught me how to build, create and submit an IRB protocol, then run it, down to the last detail. She taught me how to evaluate disability in MS using a combination of assessments, including the neurological exam, timed walks, MS functional composite, and patient reported outcome measure.  She’s helped me to understand how to analyze data, put results in context, and present them to a clinical audience.  This is far from a complete list.  In short, she’s single-handedly taught me how to do clinical research.  I now feel well-equipped to do clinical research on my own.

Please describe the sessions or activities of most professional value to you during the CMSC Annual Meeting.
The scholar recognition luncheon had the most value to me, because it gave me the opportunities to get feedback on my research and connect to others with similar interests. I was even able to identify a potential collaboration. There were so many opportunities to learn and generate ideas at the meeting.  Two memorable sessions were the dinner on social media in MS care, and the session on robotics and prosthetics in rehab.

How will your presentation and participation at the CMSC Annual Meeting assist you pursuing your chose career path?
It takes time to learn how to effectively communicate research ideas and findings, so I find it helpful to practice putting together a poster and presenting it to other researchers and clinicians. Since I intend to continue with MS research over the long term, these connections will be an asset as time goes on. Further, the sessions are a great source of new, different ideas, providing a nice supplement to my day-to-day education.

 

June Halper MS Summer Research Scholarships

Supported through an FCMSC grant from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

Lisak & Jerry Loo

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.

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.

 
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”.
 
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.
 
Jamie Currie McDonald

The 2013 scholarship was been 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.
 

Steven R. Schwid Summer Research Scholarships

Supported through an FCMSC grant from Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

Established in honor of the late Steven R. Schwid, MD, FAAN, the annual Steven R. Schwid Memorial Summer Research Scholarships 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.

 
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.
 
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.
 
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.

 
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