T H E B I O S C O P E
Section III: Student Research at Sophie Davis
To enhance its curriculum, Sophie Davis offers its students opportunities to do research. Some students do independent research projects and others apply for sponsored projects. Over the summer and into the fall, over twenty Sophie Davis students will be involved in such projects.
Eight of our students went abroad this summer as recipients of fellowships of the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship Program for Medical Studies. The Lipkin Fellowships were established in honor of Mack Lipkin, M.D., CCNY ’26, with the support of the Sergei S. Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Research and Education, the Ruth W. Dolen Foundation, and Friends and Family of Dr. Mack Lipkin. Since its inception in 1989, more than 100 Sophie students have benefited from the opportunity to "broaden their horizons."
This past summer, our student researchers headed to Bangladesh, China, The Czech Republic, England, Japan, and South Africa. Each student had a Sophie Davis faculty mentor (indicated in parentheses). Galina Borodulina’s (’07) research focused on the development of a method to measure T cell activation in vivo. (Dr. Khosrow Kashfi, Physiology & Pharmacology). Chaitanya Challa (’07) explored health policy related to smoking in London, England (Mr. Pyser Edelsack, Community Health & Social Medicine), and Jessica Braswell (’07) studied microbiology and food science, to detect and quantify Listeria monocytogenes in food products (Dr. Dani McBeth, Microbiology & Immunology). Classmate Fahmida Keya (’07) looked at the prevalence of symptoms of depression among female sex-workers in Dhaka (Dr. Jackson Sekhobo, Community Health & Social Medicine). Akeem Marsh (’07) worked in a Pretoria public health research project to assess the provision of HIV/AIDS care among diverse populations in primary care settings (Dr. Sekhobo). Isaac Tong (’08) focused on the regulation of Organogenesis in fetal development. (Dr. Edward Gresik, Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences). Jing Wang (’07) traveled to Yin Chuan City, China to compare factors governing patients’ decision to use traditional or western medicine. (Dr. Anne Dembitzer, Community Health & Social Medicine). Barry Ladizinski’s (’07) project involved measuring modified nucleosides in urine to monitor various aspects of metabolism. (Dr. Kashfi).
A grant from the Louis and Rachel Rudin Foundation provides stipends for another fourteen students who stay closer to home, doing research with Sophie Davis faculty. Two students will participate in a collaborative project of the Downstate, Staten Island, Brookdale and Kings County Medical Centers conducting a survey of 500 African American and Caucasian acute myocardial infarction patients. Collecting clinical data to measure patterns of care during the first year after hospitalization, the study will help identify any differences in inpatient and outpatient care that may be modified to eliminate racial disparities (Dr. Joao Nunes, Behavioral Medicine) Four students will be participating in different research projects of the Community Health and Social Medicine Department. These include a study of why depression screening has not been widely adopted by clinical staff in a hospital clinic setting (Drs. Nancy Sohler and Anne Dembitzer) assistance in developing qualitative and quantitative techniques to ascertain what influences policy decisions affecting resource allocation within the Medicare program (Dr. Marthe Gold), and considering ways to better design the health assessment skills learned at Sophie Davis into tools that can be effectively used in clinical practice (Mr. Peyser Edelsack)
The eight remaining Rudin fellows are doing bench research, learning first-hand the correlation between basic science research and medicine. One student will be in working with Dr. Kashfi Kho on further studies on his cutting-edge research of the effect on Non-steroidal antinflammatory agents on the prevention of colon cancer. Two will be joining the lab of Dr. Serafin Pinol-Roma (Cell Biology and Anatomical Sciences) to study the function of mitochondria and the mutations in proteins that influence the processing of mitochondrial RNA and impact on the development of a variety of neuromuscular diseases. The remaining four students will be assisting in the labs of faculty members of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology focusing on diverse projects concerning beneficial effects of clozapine on gestational cocaine exposure, exploring the action of Topiramate, an antielicptic drug, and the fabrication of sensors used in detecting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin affected by the interaction of cocaine, caffeine and other drugs, helping to better understand the neurochemistry of the human brain. Another project will involve further study of a new strain of a protein which has potentially ground-breaking implication in developing an effective therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (students are mentored, respectively, by Drs Shailesh Banerjee, Christopher Chan, Patricia Broderick, and Hoau-Yan Wang)
This year’s Rudin Research fellows include Fatma Ahmed (’10), Michael Bassiri-Tehrani (’08), Priya Chokshi (’10), Nubaha Chowdhury (’08), Giuseppe Cruciata (’10), Ismael Cubero (’08), Alexis Dallara (’07), Helen Huang (’10), Lloydine Jacobs (’07), Rajani Maret (’07), Felicia McKoy (’07), Vivek Murthy (’09), Melissa Walsh (’08), and Karyn Wat (’10).