Pharmacy Poster Forum highlights student and trainee research projects

Pharm 1The College of Pharmacy hosted a Pharmacy Poster Forum in February to highlight research projects presented by students, faculty and research trainees. With 28 posters presented, students competed for first- and second-place awards in five categories: teaching and education, clinical practice, public health/health outcomes, pharmaceutical sciences and service.

“This is our third year showcasing research through a special event in the College of Pharmacy,” said Rebecca Cunningham, PhD, associate dean for research. “It’s important for trainees to be able to disseminate their work to a broad audience that includes key stakeholders at HSC. This event prepares them in multiple aspects to convey the significance of their work by honing their skills in public speaking, problem solving, marketing and networking.”

It’s also an opportunity to recognize the faculty mentors who have guided their progress.

“As a mentor, it is extremely rewarding to help our students and trainees gain more confidence and see the fruits of their labor,” Dr. Cunningham added.

 This year, students also nominated a faculty keynote speaker, Kyle Emmitte, PhD, chair and professor of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Emmitte shared his research journey over the past two decades and encouraged students to recognize the importance of collaboration while striving for progress over perfection.

Nina Donkor, a graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacotherapy in the School of Biomedical Sciences, was awarded first place for her poster abstract, “Unraveling the Molecular Nexus: Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma in a Rat Model.”

Pharm 2“[This experience] has taught me the value of working with others in science,” Donkor said.

Being recognized by the judges as the first-place winner in my category means a lot to me,” Donkor said. “It is a rewarding experience for all the hard work my PI and I put into the project. I am motivated to strive for greater achievements in the field of science.”

Donkor’s mentor and co-author, Denise Inman, PhD, vice chair of pharmaceutical sciences, was proud of the outcome.

“Nina jumped right into this project and has transformed it from a notion to a real research direction in our lab,” Dr. Inman said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the Cunningham lab where the samples Nina used originated. Nina has done a great job, and it’s great that she was recognized for her work.”

Fourth-year student pharmacist, Lauren Robertson, said participating in the research project was an immensely enriching experience that contributed to her professional growth.

Pharm 3Robertson was awarded first place for her poster abstract, “Pharmacist Statin Prescribing For Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”

“One of the key insights I gained was the importance of teamwork and collaboration,” Robertson said. “Working closely with faculty members, Dr. Elizabeth Hearn and Dr. Rolake Neba, and student pharmacist, Jasmine Hill, allowed us to pool our diverse skills and perspectives to achieve this research project.”

Although she was unable to present her poster at the forum event, Robertson has presented it at several conferences, helping hone her communication skills and convey complex information clearly.

“It was a comprehensive learning experience that has prepared me better for future collaborative projects and underscored the importance of a patient-centered approach in healthcare,” she said.

“It felt great to see our hard work on the project get recognized. It’s been an amazing journey and getting this kind of acknowledgment is amazing and rewarding.”

All poster abstracts may be viewed here.

Poster Forum Winners

Clinical Practice

2nd Place: “Current landscape in sickle cell disease pharmacotherapy in the United States” by Dallas Collins (mentor: Adenike Atanda)

1st Place: “Pharmacist Statin Prescribing For Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” by Lauren Robertson (mentors: Elizabeth Hearn, Rolake Neba)

Research – Public Health / Health Services / Health Outcomes

2nd Place: “Long-COVID and Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) among adults in the United States:  Cross-sectional Analysis of the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey” by Emmanuela Mbochafi (mentors: Usha Sambamoorthi, Suresh Madhavan)

1st Place: “Association of Multimorbidity with Frequent Marijuana Use among Adults in the United States” by Tiffany Graham (mentors: Usha Sambamoorthi, Mona Pathak)

Research – Pharmaceutical & Basic Sciences

2nd Place: “Sex dependent effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia on mitochondrial oxidative stress and inflammation” by Steve Mabry (mentor: Rebecca Cunningham)

1st Place: “Unraveling the Molecular Nexus: Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma in a Rat Model” by Nina Donkor (mentor: Denise Inman)

Teaching & Education

2nd Place: “Type II Diabetes Mellitus and COVID-19: A Case Series Exploring Insulin Management in Patients from Two Family Medicine Clinics” by Nihitha Nukala (mentor: Annesha White)

1st Place: “SEEDing the Path to Pharmacy Student Excellence: Integration of Students in the Planting of a Co-Curricular Skill Development Program” by Emmanuel Rodriguez (mentors: Brittany Palasik, Abby Hulsizer)

Service

2nd Place: “Each Needs The Help of the Other: The Impact of Phi Delta Chi on the University of North Texas Health Science Center College of Pharmacy” by Wyatt Lange (mentor: Elizabeth Hearn)

1st Place: “Synergistic Care for an Underserved Population: Exploring the Impact of Interprofessional Medical and Pharmacy Collaboration” by Sara Aldeeb (mentors: Crystal Hodge, Funto Babalola)

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