53rd Annual Internal Medicine Research Day, 10/15/19

Since the tradition began in the early 1960s, Research Day has seen a variety of formats. But what has always been at its core was the celebration of the diversity and depth of the work being done by a panoply of trainees, clinicians, and basic scientists. Better understanding a disease mechanism or testing a new drug, the Department of Internal Medicine has placed discovery at the heart of its mission. This is seen in the lives of the people its members treat and with each passing decade the knowledge and experience the students and trainees carry forward.

This year’s co-chairs, Ryan Boudreau, PhD, and Saket Girotra, MBBS, MS, both members of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, recognized that tradition while looking to the future. They organized both the short talks as well as the keynote around two new frontiers in medicine, the promise represented by big data and personalized medicine.

Alejandro Pezzulo, MD, assistant professor in Pulmonary, described his ongoing work with using a person’s existing data, including but not limited to their genetic profile, to predict future complications. Brian O’Neill, MD, PhD, assistant professor in Endocrinology, gave a brief overview of his work in understanding how diabetes affects muscle strength and atrophy. Mary Vaughan-Sarrazin, PhD, associate professor in General Internal Medicine, demonstrated potential benefits of comparative effectiveness research as opposed to the classic, but expensive and time-consuming, randomized control trial. Finally, Phil Polgreen, MD, MPH, professor in Infectious Diseases, provided a few examples of how access to a large pool of data has yielded significant and reliable new discoveries.

Following the short talks, Chair and DEO E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, formally welcomed attendees with a brief snapshot on the department’s current research profile before turning the microphone over to Boudreau, who introduced Dan Roden, MD, CM, professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University. Roden delivered a detailed look at how ever-larger pools of data from electronic health records can open up more precise snapshots of individuals. Roden was also clear about where the limitations still exist and which direction this new field was headed.

And then it was time for the main event. For two hours, 80 presenters stood beside a visual representation of months, sometimes years, of work. Each of the presenters delivered their rehearsed description of what was on display to two judges and prepared themselves for questions.

More than just a chance to socialize with rarely seen co-workers, the Research Day poster session offers attendees a snapshot of a department at the very edge of new breakthroughs in a number of areas. In less than an hour, a casual stroller can find new therapeutic tools in rheumatic diseases, insights into the mechanisms of hypertension, antimicrobial stewardship techniques that reduce infection rates, and better understanding of how heredity affects immunologic responses.

At the end of two hours, an array of judges turned in their ballots, which were tabulated and the winners decided among the following categories. The winners will receive cash prizes and some will be invited to present their work at a designated Grand Rounds next April. Congratulations to these outstanding winners in a crowded and excellent field.

Best Basic Science Research Poster

  • Amanda Scherer
    Somatic CRISPR/Cas9 tumorigenesis approaches to study myeloid cell function in MPNST
    Amanda Scherer, Victoria Stephens, Wade Gutierrez, Gavin McGivney, Emily Laverty, Vickie Knepper-Adrian, and Rebecca Dodd
  • Jinhua Xiang
    Identification of a novel Yellow Fever Virus cellular restriction factor
    Xiang J, McLinden JH, Chang Q, Kaufman TM, Welch JL, Stapleton JT

Best Clinical Research Poster

  • Yolanda Villalvazo
    Centralized, Patient-Centered, Interdisciplinary Hepatitis C Care in the Veterans Health Administration
    Yolanda Rodriguez Villalvazo, MD, MPH, Nancee Waterbury, PharmD, Amy O’Shea, PhD, Peter Kaboli, MD, MS
  • David Moore
    Comparing Dietary Assessment Tools for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Following a Dietary Intervention
    David Moore III, BS; Babita Bisht, PT, PhD; Tyler Titcomb, PhD, RD; Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RD; Terry Wahls, MD

Best Trainee Poster (tie score)

  • Anne Holtz
    Altered insulin granule structure and trafficking accompany β-cell secretory dysfunction
    Anne E Holtz, Casey J Bauchle, Marshall R Moyer, Weston S Elison, McKenzie Becker, Cierra K Boyer, and Samuel B Stephens
  • Matthew Harris
    UlK1 developmentally regulates autophagic flux and cardiac function in the heart
    Matthew P. Harris, Cole T. Cochran, Jessica Ponce, Sean Alexander, Jordan D. Fuqua, Ana Kronemberger, Chad E. Grueter, Quan J. Zhang, E. Dale Abel, Vitor A. Lira

Best Poster by a Resident or Fellow

  • Tyler Rasmussen
    Women hospitalized for acute on chronic decompensated heart failure receive less furosemide compared to men
    Tyler P. Rasmussen, MD, PhD, Noah N. Williford, MD, Christopher DeZorzi, MD, Aziz Hammoud, MD, Brenden J. Boyle, MD, Yunshu Zhou, MS, Patrick Ten Eyck, PhD, Milena A. Gebska, MD, PhD
  • Seth Maliske
    Event-Free Survival at 24 Months Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
    Seth M Maliske, MD, Matthew J. Maurer, MS, Carrie A. Thompson, MD, Luis Porrata, MD, Ivana Micallef, MD, Rebecca L. King, MD, Sergei Syrbu, MD, PhD, Brian K. Link, MD, Margarida Magalhaes Silverman, MD, Yogesh Jethava, MBBS, MD, FRCPath, MRCP, David James J Inwards, MD, Stephen M Ansell, MD, PhD, James R. Cerhan, MD, PhD, Patrick Johnston, MD, PhD and Umar Farooq, MD

Congratulations to Boudreau and Girotra for carrying Research Day deeper into its sixth decade. Special thanks also to the army of research assistants and poster judges, to Leah Pitka, Lori Strommer, and Ellen Struzynski for their coordination of many details behind the scenes, and to the members of the Design Center–Ann Armstrong, Kris Greiner, and Teresa Ruggle–who fine-tuned and printed many of the posters on display this year.

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