Sharing Student Research

Health Sciences Summit Provides Opportunities

Fizza Abbas stood by a research poster. Its words, graphs and photos outlined her work on the hormone angiotensin II and its role in fat embolism-induced lung disease. All around her, students from a variety of academic backgrounds similarly showcased their research and discussed their findings.

Between explaining the data on her poster, the fifth-year School of Medicine student said she appreciated the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Health Sciences Student Research Summit.

“It gives all of us the chance to get out of our bubble to see what students in other schools are researching,” Abbas said.

Mission of the summit accomplished.

This year, undergraduate and graduate students, residents and fellows from the Schools of Biological Sciences, Computing and Engineering, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy, and the College of Arts & Sciences, submitted more than 120 research posters and presentations.

The summit, now in its third year, was held in UMKC’s Student Union. In years past, it’s been held on the Hospital Hill Campus.

Another mission of the summit: to foster research collaborations across disciplines and schools that will produce economic, health, education and quality-of-life benefits for the greater Kansas City community.

“The event is growing each year, so there are more opportunities for interdisciplinary research,” Russell Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy and one of the summit organizers, said.

Wayne Carter, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, delivered a keynote address on translational medicine, research that aims to move “from bench to bedside” or from laboratory experiments through clinical trials to patient care.

Earlier this year, the same work Abbas showed at the student summit was selected for presentation at Experimental Biology, one of the world’s largest annual conferences for researchers and scientists. She will travel later this month for the international conference in Boston. Her work has been translational.

“That’s the best part of research,” said Abbas, who’s studying to be a pathologist. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Photos by Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

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