Editorial  |   January 2011
Student Abstracts and Poster Competitions: Encouraging Research
Author Notes
  • Joseph K. Prinsen is the National Research Director for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association, a member of the AOA's Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research, and a sixth-year DO and PhD candidate at Michigan State University in East Lansing. 
  • Address correspondence to Joseph K. Prinsen, OMS VI, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, B440 Life Sciences Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1317. E-mail: 
Article Information
Medical Education / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Professional Issues
Editorial   |   January 2011
Student Abstracts and Poster Competitions: Encouraging Research
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2011, Vol. 111, 52-53. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2011, Vol. 111, 52-53. doi:
This issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association features abstracts from student posters that were presented during the 54th Annual American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Research Conference, which was held from October 24, 2010, through October 26, 2010, during the AOA's 115th Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition (OMED Unified 2010) in San Francisco, California. Participants submitted abstracts for the Student Poster Competition through either the AOA's Council on Research or through the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). The SOMA abstracts presented at OMED Unified 2010 are published herein. Abstracts submitted through the AOA Council on Research were published in the JAOA's August 2010 issue and are available online at 
The current issue of the JAOA also contains abstracts that were submitted to the student competition held by the Bureau on International Osteopathic Medical Education and Affairs (BIOMEA). All participants who submitted abstracts to the BIOMEA competition were welcome to present posters at the BIOMEA meeting, which was held on Sunday, October 24, 2010, during OMED Unified 2010. 
Student Osteopathic Medical Association
The 14th Annual National SOMA Research Symposium and Student Poster Competition were part of the annual AOA Research Conference and were supported by the AOA and SOMA—both of which are committed to increasing student involvement in research. Moreover, both bodies recognize the important and critical role that research in clinical studies and basic science plays in bridging the gap between the laboratory and the bedside. 
The theme of the 2010 research conference was “Emerging Research Themes for Osteopathic Clinicians and Scientists in the Early 21st Century.” The translation of genomic science into osteopathic clinical practice exemplifies this concept. 
This year's SOMA abstracts were organized into 5 categories: 
  • osteopathic manipulative medicine/osteopathic principles and practice (see page 55)
  • clinical studies (see page 56)
  • basic science (see page 57)
  • medical education (see page 63)
  • health policy (see page 63)
A total of 66 student abstracts were accepted, 21 of which were submitted through SOMA, which had a later abstract submission deadline. 
On October 24, 2010, judges met with student presenters and identified 3 first-place winners and 6 second-place winners, which are as follows: 
  • 1st Place
    • Vanessa Parisi, OMS IV, et al, for their abstract, “Global Health Simulations: The Missing Link to Prepare Participants for Fieldwork in Rural Ghana” (S4 – see page 63)
    • Ashlynn N. Gordon, OMS III, et al, for their work, “Objective Measure of Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Balance” (S21 – see page 55)
    • Julia Louisa Iafrate, OMS II, et al, for their work, “Magnitude and Timing of Neuroinflammation in a Forceps Lateral Compression Model of Spinal Cord Injury” (B20)1
  • 2nd Place
    • Christopher Wade Fowler, OMS II, et al, for their abstract, “The Role of P-cadherin as a Protective Protein Against Tumor Aggressiveness and Invasiveness Within Oral Epithelium” (S8 – see page 58)
    • Maryna Popp, OMS II, et al, for their abstract presentation titled “The Efficacy of Using a Small Molecule Inhibitor of Bcl-2 in the Treatment of Breast Cancer” (S14 – see page 60)
    • Joseph P. Brindise, OMS III, et al, for their work, “The Cervical-Thoracic Connection” (P6)2
    • Wendy Chon, OMS IV, et al, for their abstract, “Persons With Evidence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Have Increased Gluconeogenic Flux Towards Hepatic Glycogen” (C13)3
    • James Giannone, OMS III, et al, for their work, “Osteoarthritic Lesioning and Increased Subchondral Bone Density at the Proximal Articular Surface of the Human Medial Cuneiform” (B11)4
    • Anu Kaduvettoor, OMS III, and Chellappa Kumar, PhD, for their abstract presentation titled “Awareness of Health Literacy–Related Issues Among Medical Students” (ME6)5
Abstracts with numbers that do not begin with the letter designation S were submitted through the AOA Research Conference and were thus published in the August 2010 issue of the JAOA along with 15 other student abstracts. The 18 student abstracts submitted and accepted through SOMA are published in this issue beginning on page 54. 
© Thinkstock 2011
© Thinkstock 2011
Bureau of International Osteopathic Medical Education and Affairs
At OMED Unified 2010, SOMA collaborated with BIOMEA for the second time to offer students a venue to present their international experiences. This year's competition consisted of 2 categories: (1) research conducted internationally and (2) broad outreach experiences. There were 11 abstracts selected in the outreach category and 12 in the research category. The winners, who were selected by BIOMEA members, were as follows: 
  • Research
    • 1st Place—Alison Noelle Hench, OMS II, et al, for their abstract “Leprosy: Rehabilitation Through Community-Sustainable Income Generation” (BIO 372 – see page 66)
    • 2nd Place—Jason Duong, OMS II, et al, for their work “The Effect of Community-Based Student-Initiated Projects in Reducing Incidence of Schistosomiasis Through Treatment and Health Education in Rural Tanzania” (BIO 390 – see page 67)
  • Outreach
    • 1st Place—Jason S. Samona, OMS III, and Reza Nassiri, DSc, for their work, “Culturally Competent Overseas Clinical Training for Osteopathic Medical Students” (BIO 335 – see page 70)
    • 2nd Place—Brian F. Goodhue, OMS II, et al, for their abstract “First Responder Emergency Preparedness Training Model Assessment” (BIO 315 – see page 69)
These abstracts and others submitted to the BIOMEA poster competition appear beginning on page 64. These winners were invited to present a summary of their research in San Francisco, California, during the 12th Annual International Seminar, “Global Health & Osteopathic Challenges,” which was held the morning of Sunday, October 24, 2010, at OMED Unified 2010. 
I congratulate all of the winners and abstract presenters on their achievements. It is my hope that their success will be a driving force for them and their colleagues to conduct cutting-edge osteopathic medical research throughout their careers. 
Iafrate JL, Vaughn CN, Henley JB, Stevenson EK, Jones TB. Magnitude and timing of neuroinflammation in a forceps lateral compression model of spinal cord injury [abstract B20]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010;110(8):468-469.
Brindise JP, Shah P, Nelson KE, Kappler RE. The cervical-thoracic connection [abstract P6]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010;110(8):449-450.
Chon W, Dyachenko A, Lin S, et al. Persons with evidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver have increased gluconeogenic flux towards hepatic glycogen [abstract C13]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010;110(8):456-457.
Giannone J, Hill RV, Carlson K. Osteoarthritic lesioning and increased subchondral bone density at the proximal articular surface of the human medial cuneiform [abstract B11]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010;110(8):464 .
Kaduvettoor A, Kumar C. Awareness of health literacy–related issues among medical students [abstract ME6]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2010;110(8):481-482.
© Thinkstock 2011
© Thinkstock 2011