The third annual Medical Student Research Symposium at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will feature the culmination of four years of research by 42 students on Wednesday, March 23 from noon until 4:30 p.m. A wide range of research topics will be showcased, such as a study of factors impacting quality of life in patients with cognitive impairment in an ambulatory care setting,  the role of host-cell proteins in the replication of rotavirus, and the influence of helmet cameras on mountain bikers’ behavior.

As one of four value domains, research is an important part of every student’s experience at the school and begins in their first year of study with the selection of a research topic and mentor from among faculty at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute and Virginia Tech, as well as physicians from Carilion Clinic. During their four years in medical school, each student is expected to produce a research project of publishable quality in a national professional journal.

Anyone is invited to attend all or parts of the symposium. Poster sessions of all of the projects will be held on the first floor of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine at 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke. In addition, eight students have been selected to present their research in the school’s large auditorium on second floor. They are:

·         Kaitlyn Bixel - Stages of Addiction and Grit: A Comparison of Current, Ex-, and Never-Addicted Participants. Mentor: Warren Bickel, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

·         Ehsan Dowlati – Visual Processing and Aging: The Role of Top-Down Connectivity in Perception of Ambiguous Stimuli. Mentor: Rosalyn Moran, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

·         Katharine Hollnagel – Prediction of Hamstring Autograft Size for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Using MRI. Mentor: T.K. Miller, Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics

·         Salina Khushal – The Role of Socioeconomic Status in Absenteeism and Academic Performance of Asthmatic School Children. Mentor: Craig Ramey, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

·         Kevin Taylor – Diurnal Variations of the T1rho Relaxation Times within Tibial Cartilege Mentors: Lou DeFrate, Duke University and Trevor Owen, Carilion Clinic Orthopaedics

·         Russell Trigonis – A Phenotypic Profile of Morphologically Non-Cohesive Breast Cancers and their Pathological Correlations. Mentor: Erik Storm, DO, Carilion Clinic Radiology

·         Alisha Tuteja – Comparing the Ability to Modulate Brain Networks in ADHD and Healthy Subjects. Mentor: Stephen LaConte, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

·         Sarah Young – Casein Kinase 1 Epsilon is Essential for the Survival of Glioblastoma Stem Cells. Mentor: Zhi Sheng, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

For more information, contact Leslie LeConte at

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