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NYAM Student Grantees Present Research at Annual Medical Student Forum

NYAM Medical Student Grantees Sarah Jukaku, Joseph Crivelli, Alexandra Coromilas, Victoria Claire Vaughan, Margarita Borovka

NYAM’s annual Medical Student Forum on September 12, 2012 featured presentations from five of this year's student grant awardees for the Glorney-Raisbeck Medical Student Grants in Cardiovascular Research, David E. Rogers Fellowship Program, and Ferdinand C. Valentine Medical Student Research Grants in Urology. The grantees presented their research findings to an attentive audience of NYAM Fellows and staff, faculty mentors, research colleagues, and fellow student grant awardees.

NYAM President Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford welcomed the presenters and guests and introduced NYAM’s student grants program, highlighting the real-world experience that the students gain by presenting their work. 

“We think this presentation is as important a part of their research as doing the work,” Dr. Boufford said. She also noted that once their research is completed, student grantees often stay in touch with their mentors and the New York labs they worked at.

Dr. Boufford also announced NYAM’s new Margaret E. Mahoney Fellowships, which will provide stipends to support medical, dental, nursing, public health, and health policy students wishing to conduct research projects or internships focused on the health of vulnerable urban populations.

Alexandra Coromilas received a Rogers grant and partnered with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University to research “HPV and Anal Dysplasia in HIV Positive Young Men who Have Sex with Men.” The study looked at the prevalence, risk, and feasibility of annual anal pap smears for HIV-positive men who have sex with men. 

Valentine grantee Joseph Crivelli conducted research at Weill Cornell Medical College on “Targeting Bladder Cancer with Nanoparticle-mediated Microwave Thermotherapy.” Mr. Crivelli’s research team used advanced sequencing technology to identify 1,628 mutated genes in 12 bladder cancer patients, and ultimately identified 24 potentially relevant mutations affecting two or more of the patients in the sample group.

Rogers grantee Sarah Jukaku, who partnered with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, was originally planning on studying the influence of post-industrial economic decay on preterm birth and low birth weight in Detroit. However, due to the unavailability of data, Ms. Jujaku instead looked at secular trends regarding infant mortality by race and ethnicity in Detroit between 1989-2005. Her research found that while overall risk decreased over time, the black/white disparity has increased. She also found an increase in risk for Hispanics—the first evidence of the disappearance of the so-called “Hispanic paradox” in birth outcomes.

Victoria Claire Vaughan, also a Rogers grantee, traveled to Cusco, Peru to inquire into the high rates of cervical cancer (the most common cancer among women in Peru) and lack of access to pap smears. Her study, entitled “Dia Del Mercado—cervical cancer screening in the marketplace,” found that many women never receive their pap spear results, and that rural areas could be better targeted to increase access. 

Margarita Borovka shared that she was excited to have her first experience with cardiology as a Glorney-Raisbeck grantee. Ms. Borovka conducted research at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons on “Efficacy of Treating Anemia in Heart Failure with a Preserved Ejection Fraction on Ventricular Function, Exercise Capacity and Health Status.” The study identified blood volume analysis as useful in identifying hyporesponders to Erythropoietin alfa (ESA) treatment.

Following the presentations, Dr. Boufford presented the student grantees with certficates.

For more information on NYAM’s student grant programs, see Student Grants.

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Posted on September 15, 2012

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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