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Campus Roundup

Students Receive Personalized Stethoscopes, Attend a Virtual Whitecoat Celebration and Work to Enhance Forensic Guidelines

January 21, 2021

CCOMMidwestern_Rachna_01192021Midwestern Student Earns First Place for Research Poster

A Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University (CCOM) student recently received a first-place award for her research poster at the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society’s 2020 Annual Meeting and Winter Scientific Seminar. Osteopathic medical student Rachna Karumuri received the award for the poster "Evaluation of Cornulin and DJ-1 as Novel Prognostic Biomarkers for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma."

Ms. Karumuri worked with her faculty mentor Hilal Arnouk, MD, PhD, assistant professor, pathology, to investigate the utility of two novel molecular biomarkers in the early diagnosis of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma lesions, a common type of skin cancer. The researchers are currently establishing the relationship between the expression of Cornulin and DJ-1 and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma progression. “We hypothesized that there will be an inverse relationship between Cornulin expression and cancer progression and a direct relationship between DJ-1 expression and cancer progression,” Ms. Karumuri said. “The data we have collected is aligned with our hypothesis. Next, we plan on running more experiments to correlate these two biomarkers with the clinical staging and outcome in each patient.”

Photo: Rachna Karumuri recently received the first-place award for her research poster from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society.

DMU Faculty Land NIJ Grant to Enhance Forensic Guidelines

Photo: Traditional radiographs illustrating the variation in frontal sinus (yellow arrows) shape and size among three adults.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but the spaces above them can reveal a person’s identification. These holes in the skull can fill the “holes” in a forensic investigation when a dead body is discovered. “The frontal sinuses are the fingerprint of the skull,” says Lauren Butaric, PhD, associate professor of anatomy at Des Moines University (DMU). Dr. Butaric and Heather Garvin, PhD, D-ABFA, associate professor of anatomy, have received a two-year $357,871 grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to better understand how the structures of the frontal sinuses can be applied more precisely in forensic settings. Students also will be involved in the investigations. Read more about the NIJ grant

KCUCOM_Schmidt_Dang_01212021KCU-COM Spiritual Conflict Study Published by Family Medicine

Under the guidance of Cindy Schmidt, PhD, (pictured on left) Kansas City University director of scholarly activity and faculty development, fourth-year Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) student Andrew Dang (pictured on right) conducted a study finding that medical students who had internal spiritual conflict were more disengaged when interviewing patients who also had spiritual conflict. The findings, published in Family Medicine, point to the need to support students’ own spiritual needs in the context of supporting patients’ spiritual needs. Read more about the study.

PCOM Students Celebrate Virtual White Coat Ceremony

On Tuesday, December 29, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) hosted a virtual white coat ceremony for 270 first-year osteopathic medical students. Each year, the white coat ceremony establishes a contract for beginning medical students that stresses the importance of compassionate care for patients, as well as scientific proficiency. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the event was hosted online. Learn more about the virtual white coat ceremony

RVUCOM_01192021RVUCOM Student Elected to AOF’s SOMA Board of Directors

Second-year Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine student Jeffrey Edwards (pictured right) been elected to serve as the student representative for American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF)’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) Board of Directors. He will serve in this role for a single two-year term which started on New Year’s Day. In a statement by the AOF, Jeffrey said he is “particularly motivated by the [AOF’s] commitment to, and focus on, research and how it is bringing more attention to this discipline through its programs." Learn more about Jeffrey's appointment.

Cancer Survivor Named TUCOM-CA Student Doctor of the Year

TUCOMCA_01122021Teekz Yenpasook, (pictured left) who overcame a great many personal obstacles, including socio-economic struggles and a battle with cancer shortly after being accepted to the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine - California (TUCOM-CA), was named by the university’s college of osteopathic medicine as the Student Doctor of the Year. Teekz has always had an eye on using his degree and career to help others from marginalized neighborhoods and groups. “Getting accepted to Touro as a medical student was my chance at chasing that dream,” he said. The dream, for him, was to “come back with what I've learned and give back to my community, through compassion, empathy, and medicine.” Learn more about Teekz’s dedication to helping communities in need.

VCOM-Louisiana Students Receive Gift from LOMA


Photo: Travis Smith, DO, CAQSM, hands a stethoscope to first-year medical student Megan Gromke during a VCOM-Louisiana drive-thru event on Tuesday, January 12.

Medical students at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Louisiana Campus (VCOM-Louisiana) received personalized stethoscopes from the Louisiana Osteopathic Medical Association. The stethoscopes, engraved with each student’s initials, were handed out during a socially-distanced drive-thru event on Tuesday, January 12. Students also donated canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. Read more about the event.



VCOM-Virginia Students Collect Holiday Donations

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) students, the Hispanic Community Medical Outreach and the Bioethics and Humanities in Medicine Committee partnered to host a donation drive for Warm Hearth Village, a senior living center for low-income seniors in the New River Valley. They collected 202 total personal care items and wrote 153-holiday cards for their residents. Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons also teamed up with the non-profit organization Vittles for Vets in Radford, VA, to brighten the holiday season for local Veterans. Read more about the events.

WVSOM-Affiliated Chapter of Research Society Wins International Award

WVSOM_01192021The Greenbrier Valley chapter of the scientific research honor society Sigma Xi, which currently includes 16 West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) students as associate members, received the second-place award as a Chapter of Excellence for the year ending June 30, 2020, out of all chapters internationally.

Brian Griffith, PhD, a vice president of the local chapter and a member of WVSOM’s biomedical sciences faculty, said the award is Sigma Xi’s most prestigious chapter award. “It’s wonderful to receive this award and to have been nominated as one of the top chapters in the world,” Griffith said. “It’s a great honor for WVSOM and for the Greenbrier Valley chapter.” Read more about the prestigious award.