The 2020 Summer Research Program

The 2020 Summer Research Program, an opportunity for students to conduct funded research between their M1 and M2 years, concluded on Friday, August 28, following the two-day Summer Research Forum. This year’s program was conducted virtually for the first time, as students and their faculty mentors and cluster group leaders—including frontline clinicians—weathered the COVID surge and our nation’s struggles with police violence and systemic and structural racism while completing their projects. Throughout the spring, participants and faculty worked diligently to salvage research proposals and transition to socially distanced projects that could be completed remotely. With the support of the Scholarship & Discovery team, students completed virtual basic and translational research, clinical trial enrollments, and even projects in community and global health.

"We are exceptionally proud of the fact that everyone in the program not only persevered, but excelled in the face of extraordinary hardship," said Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Scholarship and Discovery. "This year’s papers were truly exceptional. I was personally overwhelmed by what our students accomplished given the backdrop of what was happening in our country and locally in Chicago."

SRP by the Numbers


Student Participants

Faculty Mentors

Faculty Mentors


Summer Research Forum Judges


Cluster Group Leaders

2020 Award Winners

The Joseph B. Kirsner Research Award for Excellence

Student Project Mentors
Michael Sun Recorded Bias: Patient Descriptors as a Potential Source for Bias Transmission in the Electronic Health Record

Elizabeth Tung, MD, MS

Monica Peek, MD, MPH

The Brain Research Foundation Award for Neuroscience

Student Project Mentor
Matthew Du Clinical Characteristics of Progressive Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Injury on Head Computed Tomography Post-Cardiac Arrest Fernando Goldenberg, MD

The Sigma Xi Award for Impact on Society

Student Project Mentor
Louisa Baidoo Police Reporting and Access to Resources for Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order in Chicago Elizabeth Tung, MD, MS

Healthcare Delivery Science Award

Student Project Mentors
Sukarn Chokkara Quality of Care for Patients Hospitalized for Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Valerie Press, MD, MPH

Juan Rojas, MD, MS

Overall Excellence in Scientific Quality, Content and Ability to Respond to Questions in the Performance of Applied Research

Student Project Mentor
Maya McKee The Impact of Race and Ethnicity on the Incidence of Inpatient Palliative Care for Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Patients Sarah Hoehn, MD, MBe
Julia Ran Geographical Variations in the Response to 2018 Heart Transplant Allocation Policy William Parker, MD

Overall Excellence in Scientific Quality, Content and Ability to Respond to Questions in the Performance of Research in Clinical or Social Sciences

Student Project Mentor
Ellen Goldberg Differences in Sociodemographic Disparities in Patients Undergoing Surgery for Advanced Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Oliver Eng, MD
Gabriel Kaufmann Are Social and Sexual Behaviors Mediated by the Human Chemosignal Androstadienone via Genetic Variation in OR7D4, its Receptor? Jay Pinto, MD

Overall Excellence in Scientific Quality, Content and Ability to Respond to Questions in the Performance of Research in Basic Science

Student Project Mentor
Mohan Chennakesavalu Identifying Drivers of Aggressive Neuroblastoma from 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Profiles in Cell-Free DNA Mark Applebaum, MD
Willa Li A Solid Mechanics Approach to Modeling Coarctation of the Aorta

Narutoshi Hibino, MD, PhD & Luka Pocivavsek MD, PhD

Honorable Mention for Excellence

Student Project Mentor
Max Ackerman The Need for Re-Intervention Following Intra-Abdominal Drainage in Patients with Colorectal Disease Benjamin Shogan, MD
Kevin Ashi Validation of the Nigerian Breast Cancer Study Model for Predicting Individual Breast Cancer Risk in Uganda and Cameroon

Funmi Olopade, MD, FACP

Karina Grullon Perez A Randomized Controlled Trial of An Early Childhood Educators Online Professional Development Curriculum Dana Suskind, MD
Manizha Kholmatov Measurement Methods and Patient Outcomes in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma  Samuel Armato, PhD
Aaditya Manirajan Total Hip Arthroplasty After Acetabular Fractures in the Older Population: Timing of Intervention May Be Everything for Success Jason Strelzow, MD
Leslie McCauley Examining the Relationship Between Contraceptive Use, Sexual Orientation, and Race: Results From the Pittsburgh Girls Study  Kathryn Keenan, PhD
Joseph Riehm The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Nighttime Room Entries and Sleep Disruptions for Pediatric Patients Nicola Orlov, MD, MPH
Teresa Xiao Olfactory Dysfunction Predicts Development of Vascular Disease in Older Adults Jay Pinto, MD
Amanda Zhang Characterizing No-Show Risk Factors to Inform Intervention Strategies to Improve Appointment Attendance David Meltzer, MD, PhD

"We are particularly proud of the fact that we were able to preserve and maintain funding from most of our funding sources, including obtaining new funding to ensure every student who desired funding was funded," said Arora. The following organizations provided funding for 2020 projects: