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Medical Students Conduct Research Through Dr. I. Reid Collmann's Legacy Scholarship

Medical students participated in research projects at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine through the I. Reid Collmann, M.D. Medical Student Education Fund which gives students an opportunity similar to that of former Dean Collmann's own student research experience. Dr. Collmann believed awareness of the impact of research on patient care helps build a solid foundation for careers in medicine.

This year, three rising second-year medical students from the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine were supported by the program.

Anthony Reedy worked with Deidra Mountain, PhD, Director of the Vascular Research Laboratory, on research related to treating atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the vascular system. As part of the research, Reedy learned to assemble liposomes, nanoparticles that are being developed in the laboratory to deliver drugs specifically to vascular tissue.

“This fellowship has been an incredible opportunity to strengthen my understanding of the basic sciences. I believe it has given me more in-depth insight into the foundational information that medicine is built upon, which will make me a better physician,” Reedy said.

James Wing conducted research in the Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine with Stacy Stephenson, MD, Director, and Thomas Masi, PhD, Assistant Professor. The research compared neural induction of stem cells using graphene nanocomposites versus traditional glass coverslips. Initial results found insignificant differences in cell morphology on the nanocomposites versus the coverslips.

Wing said, “As a medical student with deep clinical interest in the brain, studying potential methods for neural regeneration has given me a perspective of the nervous system that lies completely outside the bounds of traditional medical education.”

Nilay Patel worked on several clinical projects under the guidance of John Lacy, MD, Assistant Professor and Urology Residency Program Director. One study was designed to evaluate and reduce the use of CT imaging in the emergency department in patients presenting with suspected kidney stones. Patel also worked on a literature review comparing right-sided robot-assisted donor nephrectomy to left-sided laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, which is currently considered the standard of care and a video about a case study on a patient who received a right-sided adrenalectomy and a left-sided partial nephrectomy in the same operation. To bring these studies to life, Patel shadowed urology faculty and observed robotic surgeries during his time in Knoxville.

Of his experience, Patel said, “The program allowed me to explore a specialty in urology that I otherwise could not until my fourth year of medical school.”

Medical students interested in a summer research experience can learn more about the I. Reid Collmann, M.D. Medical Student Education Fund. Applications are accepted December 1-February 28 each year.

Pictured (from left): James Wing, Anthony Reedy, Nilay Patel

Posted September 10, 2019


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