Medical student wins national research award

Amol PatelLate in his college years, Amol Patel made a course correction. Long fascinated by biomedical engineering, he realized his true path was face-to-face interaction with people to help them stay healthy.

Now he’s a third-year medical student in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, with a plan to combine research and medical practice.

“As a physician, I can make practical use of science while working with people on their most important issues,” he said.

His achievements were honored this summer with the Young Investigator Award at the National Lipid Association’s meeting in Chicago. Competing against resident physicians and PhDs with more training, he took first place. He presented his findings to the national meeting and received a $1,000 cash award and a $1,000 travel stipend.

Patel won the Young Investigator award for work he’d done because he took on the extra work of an elective summer research program in pediatrics in a collaboration with Cook Children’s Medical Center.

His award recognized a paper he co-wrote about a 3-year-old with a rare and disabling liver disease. Often such patients are given cholesterol-lowering drugs. But Patel recognized that this patient was producing “good” cholesterol and the usual drugs shouldn’t be given.

Don Wilson, MD, Patel’s mentor at Cook and a co-author of the paper, said Patel’s case report “reminds physicians of a complex medical condition and communicates to other physicians how to treat it. Patel helped to extend knowledge of a complex and rare disorder and how to treat it.”

Patel said the program “helped me understand the unique and critical role of research in a physician’s education.”

“I’m proud of his work,” Dr. Wilson said.  “He represents his medical school and our community very well.”

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