57th Annual Internal Medicine Research Day, 3 Oct 2023

For nearly six decades the Department of Internal Medicine has dedicated a day to celebrating the full scope of the academic medical research taking place both within the department and with others from across the Carver College of Medicine and the University of Iowa.

Leadership and organization of the celebration rotates in the department every two years, and this year is the first led by Marcelo Correia, MD, MSc, PhD, and Bhagirath Chaurasia, MSc, PhD. Each hold faculty positions within the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and research positions within the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.

Their connection to diabetes research led to the extension of an invitation to Steven Heymsfield, MD, to deliver the keynote presentation. Heymsfield is a professor of medicine at Louisiana State University and the director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center there. His talk, “A Trail of Research: Establishing Obesity as a Disease,” walked attendees through the history of academic medicine’s relationship to obesity.

He described false starts and dead-ends over the last 100 years, everything from “slow metabolism” as a potential cause to the use of amphetamines as a treatment as recently as the 1970s. Heymsfield detailed the process of confirming obesity’s source as both rooted in polygenic as well as environmental causes. He also identified “willpower” as an extremely challenging treatment on its own with any kind of lasting efficacy for people with obesity.

Following an engaged question-and-answer from the audience, Correia and Chaurasia introduced the next five invited speakers. Three of them were from department faculty members.

Antonio Sanchez, MD, Clinical Professor in Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Key Advances in Liver Disease: Incorporating Clinical Research into a Career in Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Brian O’Neill, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism
FoxOs regulate muscle mitochondrial function in diabetes

Renata Pereira Alambert, PhD, Assistant Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Brown Adipose Tissue-Derived GDF15 as a Modulator of Cardiometabolic Health

The final two invited presentations were part of a relatively new tradition at Internal Medicine Research Day. Abstracts submitted for the poster session were selected by Correia and Chaurasia for oral presentation to the assembled audience.

Gokul Patil, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation
The Chronic Prothrombotic State after Mild Acute Infection with SARS-COV-2 is Partly Mediated Through Extracellular Histones

Nathan Witmer, BS, Graduate Research Assistant, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Characterizing a Novel Family of Alternative Open Reading Frame Encoded Microproteins

And then it was time for the rest of the department’s researchers to show what they have been up to. More than 60 posters filled the boards throughout the atrium of the Medical Education Research Facility with their presenters nearby. Faculty judges approached, armed with questions and a generous curiosity for the display of the researcher’s hard work. (As always, a shout-out to the Design Center for their expertise in helping many of the presenters polish their posters before printing.)

After the judges submitted their score sheets and the presenters could relax, everyone enjoyed some food and a little more conversation. The next day, Correia and Chaurasia notified the winners of their success and extended an invitation to present their work at an upcoming Internal Medicine Grand Rounds.

Best Clinical Research Poster

Amy MJ O’Shea – 1st
Willingness to Engage in Video Telemedicine for Primary Care, Mental Health, or Specialty Outpatient Visits in the Veterans Health Administration

Desmond Barber – 2nd
ICU Simulation: An Airway Escape Room

Best Basic Science Poster

Kara Misel-Wuchter – 1st
The TCR landscape is epigenetically calibrated in the thymus and impacts CD8 effector differentiation during acute viral infection

Saurabh Saini  – 2nd
Guardians of Survival: Decoding the Microbial Influence on RIPK2-Mediated Lethality in Acute Radiation

Best Trainee Poster

Akansha Jain – 1st
Disrupted planar polarization of motile cilia in a patient with bronchiectasis and variants in a primary ciliopathy gene, RPGRIP1L

Winter Philibert – 2nd – TIE
Balancing Act: NO Signaling, NOS Isoforms, and Oxidative Stress in Airway Diseases

Benney Endoni – 2nd – TIE
MIRO1 promotes MERCS formation and ER-mitochondria Ca2+ transfer in VSMCs during G1/S

Best Poster by a Resident or Fellow

Sarah Van Dorin – 1st
Role of airway surface liquid pH in regulation of V-ATPase in pulmonary ionocytes

Mark Frommelt – 2nd
Long Term Sequela of SARS-CoV-2 in Airway Epithelia

Directors’ Choice Award Recipients

The Chronic Prothrombotic State after Mild Acute Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is Partly Mediated through Extracellular Histones
Gokul Patil, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation

Characterizing a Novel Family of Alternative Open Reading Frame Encoded Microproteins
Nathan Witmer, BS, Graduate Research Assistant, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine


Special thanks to Kim Tolsdorf, Sherry Mattison, Laura Bibby, Anni Thorn, Ann Armstrong, Teresa Ruggle, Lori Strommer, all of the research assistants and poster judges.

1 Response

  1. […] The Iowa spirit of curiosity exists throughout our department, from our most senior faculty to our most recently recruited trainees. The passion for inquiry was on display earlier this week at the 57th annual Internal Medicine Research Day. For nearly six decades we have dedicated a day to showcasing the broad scope of our department’s passion for inquiry. It has become tradition that every two years the leadership for organizing the event changes between divisions. This allows the event to stay fresh and shares the responsibility across our department. This year, the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism chose Drs. Marcelo Correia and Bhagirath Chaurasia, a natural choice given their own robust research activity as well as their connections outside the institution. Their choice for this year’s keynote presentation, LSU’s Dr. Steven Heymsfield, was an inspired invitation. His talk on the history of medicine’s approaches to obesity, including various means of measurement as well as therapeutics, was engaging for our broad audience. Similarly, the three invited faculty presentations and two chosen from abstracts submitted for the poster presentation highlighted our department’s strengths in collaboration, in rigor, and in our ability to mentor the next generation. Read the full story of this important traditional event is here, including photos and the winners of… […]

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