Research Day 2014 featured a record-setting number of presentations. The 324 scientific posters – a 50 percent increase since 2011 – represented nearly every medical school department and showcased the work of faculty, fellows, residents and students from Feinberg’s graduate, medical and physician-scientist programs.
“Better science is at the heart of what we do here on campus to make all of us better physicians,” said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean. “If you want to see what the future of Northwestern Medicine will look like, it’s happening here, right now, as students, junior trainees and faculty share ideas and form the foundations of inquiry that will become tomorrow’s high-impact discoveries.”
Neilson welcomed attendees to Hughes Auditorium during an opening ceremony that featured keynote speaker William Pao, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology and Pathology at Vanderbilt University. His presentation, “Defining Clinically Relevant Molecular Subsets of Solid Tumors,” focused on cancer mutations and their significance.
“Over the past decade or more we have identified mutations in tumors, so-called driver mutations, which not only induce the formation of tumors, but their sustained signaling leads to a particular Achilles’ heel that can be targeted with new therapies,” said Dr. Pao, director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Personalized Cancer Medicine at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. “The reason we are all excited about this is because the molecular sub-setting has led to progress in terms of overall survivability of cancer.”
The ceremony also honored this year’s Medical Faculty Council (MFC) Mentors of the Year and included remarks from Rex Chisholm, PhD, vice dean of Scientific Affairs and Graduate Education, and Lee Jampol, MD, the Louis Feinberg, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, this year’s winner of the Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize in Translational Science and Education.Nearly every department at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was represented at the poster session, a campus-wide event meant to promote faculty and trainee development.
“Even if a person survives a heart attack, they are still at great risk for heart failure in the long run. We are trying to develop a complimentary therapy to help,” said Zhang, the award-winner for basic science research. “We identified a protein marker (CD47) that inhibits the clearing of dying heart cells after myocardial infarction (heart attack). By blocking CD47 we were able to enhance cardiac repair, meaning it could be a therapy that can prevent future heart failure in these patients.”
The 10th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day also provided an opportunity for the scientific community to learn about research-support services available on both Northwestern campuses.
Concluding the event was an awards ceremony that honored a variety of scientists. Judges, comprised of senior Feinberg faculty, evaluated posters based on their potential for contributing to the advancement of medical science and healthcare.
This year’s winners include:
- Basic Science: Shuang Zhang, BS, “Enhanced Efferocytosis by CD47 Blockade Improves Wound Healing and Cardiac Repair after Myocardial Infarction”
- Clinical Research: David Klein, MS, “Association of Kidney Dysfunction with Chronotropic Incompetence in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction”
- Public Health and Social Sciences: Paul Jansson, MS, “An Interim Report on a Novel, Student-Led Approach to Ambulatory Quality Improvement”
- Medical Women Faculty Organization Founders Awards:
- Basic Science: Suzanne M. Schauwecker, “HMGN2 Competes with Histone H1 to Facilitate Prolactin-Induced Transcription”
- Clinical Research/Public Health: Rebecca Linn, MD, “Adherent Basal Plate Myometrial Fibers in the Delivered Placenta as a Risk Factor for Development of Subsequent Placenta Accreta”
- Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize: Lee Jampol, MD, the Louis Feinberg, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology
- ARCC Community-Engaged Research Partnership Award: “Collaboration to Improve Chronic Disease Outcomes for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Students.” This longstanding partnership between the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness and Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, associate professor in Pediatrics-Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care, and her team is leading to improved chronic disease reporting and verification for students with asthma, food allergy and other health issues.
- MFC Mentors of the Year: D. Mark Courtney, MD, associate professor of Emergency Medicine, and Ram Yogev, MD, professor of Pediatrics-Infectious Diseases.