Fall 2023 Student Accomplishments

Fall 2023

Throughout each quarter, we collect various accomplishments—from awards and appearances to publications and presentations and more—from Pritzker students to highlight and promote their outstanding work to the rest of the community.

Submit your own achievements for our next quarterly round up of student accomplishments through this page.

If you have an upcoming event, such as a media appearance or panel discussion, submit the information in advance so we might be able to help promote your participation in the event. You can also submit your peers' accomplishments, though we will seek their permission before publishing or promoting them.

Fall 2023 Student Accomplishments:

Murrie Affini, MS4, was invited to speak on a panel “Let Sleep Do Its Magic: A Call for Sleep Friendly Hospitals” at the World Sleep Society Congress in Rio De Janeiro in October. The invitation was based on his research “Defining existing practices to support the sleep of hospitalized patients: A mixed-methods study of top-ranked hospitals,” which originated in the Pritzker Summer Research Program. Murrie was mentored on the project, which he continued in Scholarship and Discovery, by Nicola Orlov, MD.

Phil Ang, MS3, published two papers based on research started as an undergraduate at Rutgers University. The paper “Understanding the development, pathogenesis, and injury response of meningeal lymphatic networks through the use of animal models” in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences can be read in its entirety here. The paper “Piezo1 agonist restores meningeal lymphatic vessels, drainage, and brain-CSF perfusion in craniosynostosis and aged mice” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation can be reviewed here. Phil was also a co-author on a perspective piece “The Bias of Medicine in Sickle Cell Disease,” published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Edem Asamoa, MS1, published a paper in the Journal of Vision titled “Neurobehavioral measures of coincidence anticipation timing,” based on his senior thesis research conducted at Duke University. Review the complete article here.

Isaiah Brown, MS2, received the 2023 Biosense Webster Scholarship for Medical Students from the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC).

Alexis Cacioppo, MS4, published a paper titled “The Latest Update on Over-the-Counter Cough and Cold Product Use in Children” in The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The project originated in the Pritzker Summer Research Program, and Alexis was mentored by Stacy Lindau, MD, MA. Review the complete article here.

John Coukos, MS3, published a first-author paper, “PARK7 Catalyzes Stereospecific Detoxification of Methylglyoxal Consistent with Glyoxalase and Not Deglycase Function,” in Biochemistry. Read the entire article here.

Alvin Gordián-Arroyo, MS3, received a Diversity Leadership Award from the University of Chicago Office of the Provost and will be recognized at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration on Jan. 30.

Cristian Hernandez, MS3, published a co-first author paper in The Journal of Clinical Psychology entitled “The Use of Dispensary-Obtained Tetrahydrocannabinol as a Treatment for Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia.” The project originated in the Pritzker Summer Research Program, and Cristian was mentored by Erin Zahradnik, MD.

David Jung, MS2, published a paper based on his undergraduate research at University of California-Berkeley in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. The paper “Development and Validation of a Rabbit Model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Non-Ventilated Pneumonia for Preclinical Drug Development” can be read in its entirety here.

Lauren Kang, MS1, was appointed Vice Director of Policy for the national Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness (MSDCI) organization. Her term runs through May 2024.

Frank Medina, MS3, was invited by the American Heart Association’s National Hispanic Latino Cardiovascular Collaborative (NHLCC) to speak about the importance of increasing the presence of Latine people in health care and the impact of mentorship during a panel at the NHLCC Symposium at the AHA 2023 Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.

Vanshika Narala, MS2, won first place in the 2023 American College of Physicians Illinois Poster Competition in the Medical Student High-Value Care category for her project “Reducing Wasteful Recurring Orders with a Novel Hospitalist Order Set.” She will present the project at the ACP National Competition in Boston.

Arianna Parkhideh, MS2, Carly Lockwood, MS2, and Megha Prasad, MS2, were contributing authors on a paper published in Nutrients entitled “Empowering Future Physicians and Communities on Chicago’s South Side through a 3-Arm Culinary Medicine Program.” Review the complete article here.

Hecong Qin, MS2, received a 2024 Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Looking to the Future Medical Student Scholarship to attend the STS 60th Annual Meeting in San Antonio in January.

Alia Richardson, MS2, was awarded Best Poster at the 11th Annual Symposium hosted by the Center for Chronic Disease Research & Policy for her poster “Psychosocial Predictors of Adolescent Depression and Mental Health Referral in a Mobile Medical Unit Program on Chicago’s South Side.” The projected originated in the Pritzker Summer Research Program, at which it also won an award for Overall Excellence, and Alia was mentored by Anna Volerman, MD.

Peter Wang, MS1, published two papers based on his undergraduate and gap year research conducted at the University of Chicago. The paper “Heterogeneity in allospecific T cell function in transplant tolerant hosts determines susceptibility to rejection following infection” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation can be read in its entirety here, and the paper “Microbiota-dependent and -independent effects of obesity on transplant rejection and hyperglycemia” in the American Journal of Transplantation can be reviewed here. Peter was mentored on these projects by Maria-Luisa Alegre, MD, PhD.