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Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer Risk—Incidence of and mortality from prostate cancer have been linked to both obesity and diabetes. Fourth-year medical student Denzel Zhu and third-year medical students Michelle Toker and William Shyr investigated whether this accounted for the higher risk of more aggressive cancer and poorer prognosis of prostate cancer among non-Hispanic, Black and Hispanic patients from the Bronx population. In reviewing clinical and demographic data of Hispanic and non-Hispanic, Black patients who had undergone surgery for prostate cancer, the trio found that diabetes, and particularly obesity, contributed to higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer, indicating that these risk factors are generalizable across racial and ethnic groups. They reported their findings in Clinical and Genitourinary Cancer. Kara Watts, M.D., and Ilir Agalliu, M.D., Sc.D., served as mentors to the students on the project. Mr. Zhu has matched into the urology residency program at University of Rochester Medical Center; Dr. Watts is associate professor of urology; and Dr. Agalliu is associate professor of epidemiology & population health and of urology. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

New Investigator Award Winner—Ruth Howe was invited to present her abstract, “Deficiency of the Novel Tumor Suppressor C15orf65 Causes Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Malignancy,” at the New Investigator Session of the 48th annual scientific meeting of the International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH), held in Brisbane, Australia. Just one of three graduate students invited to present their exemplary work, Ruth received first prize—the Dirk van Bekkum Award—for giving the top presentation by a Ph.D. student. The prize’s namesake, Dirk van Bekkum, M.D., is considered a pioneer of bone marrow transplantation and was an ISEH past president. Ruth is a candidate in Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program. She recently completed the successful defense of her thesis, conducted in the laboratory of Ulrich Steidl, M.D.-Ph.D., and is currently in her third year of medical school. Dr. Steidl is professor of cell biology and of medicine, director of the Stem Cell Isolation & Xenotransplantation Facility, and is the Diane and Arthur B. Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Treating Lupus—According to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 5 million people worldwide. In its efforts to advance our understanding and treatment of lupus the LFA seeks to motivate young researchers whose studies focus on lupus. In that regard, the association has awarded Erica Moore a 2019 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship, which includes a $4,000 grant, for her research of lupus in the laboratory of Chaim Putterman, M.D. Erica is an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate currently completing her thesis research. Dr. Putterman is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein, as well as chief of rheumatology at Montefiore.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Raising Awareness—Ninety-nine percent of cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a preventable public health disease. To promote awareness, during cervical cancer awareness month in January, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) teamed with the Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC) and Indiana University to hosted the “Us vs. HPV” online webinar series. Reid Mergler, a fourth-year Einstein medical student moderated a session within the series, on HPV and cervical cancer champions. Reid’s goal is to raise awareness about HPV among high school students. She plans to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, and currently leads the Young Leaders Program for GIAHC and is the national student secretary for AMWA.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Leadership in Medicine—The Student National Medical Association selected Elise Mike as one of two winners of their 2018 Winter National Leadership Institute Research Forum. Held three times a year, the National Leadership Institute offers participants a weekend of educational workshops on leadership training, organizational advancement, and professional development. Elise, who is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate completing her dissertation research in the lab of Chaim Putterman, M.D., presented her work identifying a potential target for treating neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Dr. Putterman is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. He is chief of the division of rheumatology at Montefiore.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Diversity in Dermatology—Kim Ohaegbulam was accepted into the Diversity Mentorship Program of the American Academy of Dermatology. This competitive program, available to interested medical students of underrepresented ethnic groups, aims to spark interest in dermatology while increasing racial diversity in medicine. Greater representation encourages minority patients to seek medical care, which can save lives. As an awardee, Kim will spend one month receiving hands-on learning experience with a dermatologist mentor of his choice, as well as a stipend towards travel and living expenses. A candidate in Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program, Kim successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis recently and is currently in his third year of medical school.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Honor Offers Insights—Asif Rahman recently received a Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP) 2018 Chair’s Choice Award, which will support his attendance at the society’s annual meeting this year, next year and in 2020. He was nominated for the honor by Dr. Jonathan Alpert, professor and chair of Einstein and Montefiore’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who is also a chair of the SOBP. The society promotes research investigations of and fosters leadership in psychiatry. It also aims to educate young investigators and clinicians about the basis of psychiatric disorders. At this year’s SOBP meeting, the theme for which is “Biomarkers, Biomodels, and Psychiatric Disorders,” Asif will have the opportunity to meet clinician-scientists and expand his horizons in the field of psychiatry. He is a first-year medical student.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Talking Science Intelligibly —Talking about science is a part of every researcher’s life. While investigators undergo extensive training in grant writing, student mentoring, and data analysis, how efficient are they when it comes to presenting their work in ways that resonate with a lay audience? Einstein graduate student Dayle Hodge moderated a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Science on November 30, focused on the importance of engaging the public through effective science outreach.  He and four guest panelists discussed the complexities affecting science communication and provided both effective and poor examples of such interactions. They also shared their own experiences working with the public, offering helpful tips for being effective communicators. Dayle, who is an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program, recently defended his thesis for research completed in the laboratory of Wenjun Guo, Ph.D. He is a member of the class of 2019. Dr. Guo is associate professor of cell biology.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Representing Einstein—The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Pediatric Trainees elected second-year medical student Catherine Coughlin to the position of District II Medical Student Assistant District Representative for 2016-2017. This designation afforded her training so she can represent Einstein, New York State, and the AAP on a national scale as the new District II Medical Student Representative for 2017-2018. As a first-year medical student, Catherine was the Delegate to the AAP for Einstein’s Pediatric Group. She spent the summer of that year researching and writing a curriculum designed to educate medical students on how to identify adolescent sex trafficking victims. Her new position within AAP will provide Catherine with access to the organization’s extensive networking and funding resources, giving her the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of medical students, residents, and fellowship partners. “As an aspiring pediatrician, I know I can be more than a physician for my patients—I am an advocate, a teacher, a researcher, and an ally,” she said.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Aiding HIV Vaccine Research—Sean O’Keefe received a 2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckstein Student Research Fellowship, which supports research by a medical student for a minimum of eight to ten weeks, up to two years. The fellowship will fund Mr. O’Keefe’s participation in immunobiology research aimed at developing a vaccine against HIV, which causes AIDS—a syndrome that afflicts more than 1 million Americans and currently has no cure. Using mice, Mr. O’Keefe will assess their response to virus infections based on the specific antibodies they produce. This information could prove helpful in the vaccine development and ultimately lay the ground work for future research demonstrating the efficacy of a vaccine.  Mr. O’Keefe, who is a rising second-year medical student, is conducting his studies with supervision from Dr. William Jacobs and Dr. Betsy Herold.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
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