The 25th Anniversary of Pritzker’s Summer Research Program

This month, Pritzker’s Summer Research Program (SRP) turned 25! This anniversary would not have been possible without the efforts of numerous grant-writers, faculty volunteer mentors, and of course, the hundreds of students who have contributed to research over these many years. SRP’s legacy is one of innovation, research, teamwork, and even scholarly dissemination that grows with each class of students.

SRP is an annual summer program that gives rising second-year, non-MSTP students 11 weeks of protected time within our curriculum for research (while still leaving room for three weeks of vacation, of course). Starting in the spring, participants—who usually number over 75% of the class—choose a project from a database of research opportunities that are helmed by UChicago Medicine and NorthShore University HealthSystem faculty. These faculty have chosen to volunteer their time to mentoring students over the summer, whether through project-based work or through leadership of a cluster group: a faculty-led team of students engaging in similar research who come together to share ideas and feedback, and receive input. SRP participants devote 50 credits to preparing for the SRP block during the spring quarter, which may include reading published work, learning lab techniques, and familiarizing themselves with resources, before starting full-time in the summer.

While SRP started with one grant 25 years ago, it has since expanded, and students are supported over the summer through grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), among others. While the first SRP projects were geared towards basic science, in the past 10 years since our Scholarship & Discovery (S&D) curriculum has been implemented, SRP topics have evolved to more closely align with the five S&D tracks. Students engage in research on cancer biology, neuroscience, community health, quality, and even global health, with some students traveling to China, Nigeria, or Greece to complete their research.

Thank you to all of the faculty members who have volunteered their time over the past 25 years to mentoring our students; to those who collaborated on grant-writing; and of course, a big congratulations to the students who have participated in SRP over the years, and have made an impact on innovation and the creation of new knowledge here at Pritzker.


The 25th Annual SRP Award Winners

The Joseph B. Kirsner Research Award for Excellence

Tyler Miksanek
Mentor: Neda Laiteerapong, MD, MS
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Medical Scribes Across Medical Specialties


The Sigma Xi Award for Impact on Society

Namrata Garg
Mentor: Anna Volerman Beaser, MD
Associations Between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) Inclusive Sex Education and Adverse Sexual Health Outcomes


The Brain Research Foundation Award for Neuroscience

Abhinav Srinath
Mentor: Issam Awad, MD
Auto-Antigen(s) Trigger an Immune Response in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM)


Healthcare Delivery Science Award 

Nathan Muntz
Mentor: Shyam Prabhakaran, MD, MS
Stroke Mimic Burden: Review of Trends and Diagnostic Scoring Systems


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

Risa Brudney
Mentor: Dana Suskind, MD
Educating Parents About Early Learning and Language Development using a Personalized Anticipatory Guidance Tool

Craig Johnson
Mentor: David Glick, MD, MBA
Dexmedetomidine Use in Awake Fiberoptic Intubations


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

Rohan Shah
Mentor: Alexander Ruthenburg, PhD
Quantitative Studies of Histone Modifications

Tiffany Toni
Mentor: John Alverdy, MD
Dietary Fat and Fermentable Fiber have Major Implications in Shaping the Microbiota and Mitigating the Effects of Antibiotic Exposure and Surgical Stress

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

Alison Schutt
Mentor: Wei Wei Lee, MD, MPH
A National Survey of Wellness Programs

Mweya Waetjen
Mentor: John Schneider, MD, MPH
DRetention in PrEP Care Among Greek Men Who Have Sex With Men: Results From the First Greek PrEP Study


Honorable Mention for Excellence

Sarah Bhattacharjee
Mentor: Lewis Shi, MD
Defining the Optimal Timing Interval for Corticosteroid Shoulder Injections

Matthew Bonomo
Mentor: Valerie Press, MD, MPH
Towards Personalized Care: The Value of Chart Reviewed Datasets in Predicting Cause of Readmission

Yazan Eliyan
Mentor: Jay Pinto, MD
Baseline Olfactory Dysfunction Predicts the Development of Depression in Men

Melissa Kuriloff
Mentor: Daniel Golden, MD, MHPE
Breast Cancer Knowledge and Attitudes Among Women in Cusco, Peru

Itzel Lopez-Hinojosa
Mentor: Elizabeth Tung, MD, MS
Implications of Violent Political Rhetoric on Spanish Speaking Immigrants

Saam Mojtahed
Mentor: Kiran Turaga, MD, MPH
Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Stage III Melanoma in Medicare Patients

Darlington Nwaudo
Mentor: Peter Bendix, MD, MPH
The Effects of a New Adult Level I Trauma Center: An Analysis of Pre-Hospital Transport Times and Mortality for Gunshot Wound Victims in Chicago

Akosua Oppong
Mentor: Gabrielle Lapping-Carr, MD
Improved Cognitive Functioning Among Children with Sickle Cell Disease on Hydroxyurea

Erin Rieger
Mentor: Joyce Tang, MD, MPH
Primary Care Provider Involvement During Hospitalization: A Qualitative Analysis of Frequently Hospitalized Patients' Perspectives