By: Olivia Foster MD 2
On Friday, June 7, 2019, Xavier University held its annual Research Day with an impressive fourteen participants, including myself, who showcased their study to a panel of Xavier professors and two guest judges from the local hospital, Dr. Z. Chowdhry and Dr. Chris Franca. After a brief introduction and two presentations done by Dr. Majhi and Dr. Gopi on their latest line of research, each participant was given the opportunity to present their research posters to the rest of the student body.
My topic was a collaborative review study on the Medical Management of Prostate Cancer with the purpose to shed light on out of date methods men still receive for treatment while comparing them to the new FDA approved methods that are more streamlined. With this being my first Research Day with the school I was unsure on how it would operate, however as the festivities set in, I found myself enjoying the interest the students, as well as some professors, took in my topic. The questions I received about my approach and findings gave me a newfound appreciation for my study which in turn gave me better insight on how to present my topic. By the time the judges came around I felt more prepared to present which was reflected by the judges’ responses. Although I did not win top prize this reenergized my interest in prostate cancer and encouraged further study.
All the other participants seemed to experience the event as I did, one of whom was the first-place winner Nadiya Sharifi whose study, entitled Recent observations from a whole-brain EM dataset in Drosophila melanogaster: new γ-lobe MBONS, and pervasive synaptic input into axons, was on the manual reconstruction of neurons in a whole brain electron microscopy (EM) of an adult, female Drosophila melanogaster fly. She found EM based circuit reconstruction enabled the discovery of new cell types within the brain that were consistent with its learning and memory capacity as well as varied mixed input/output axons with pervasive synaptic input amongst neutrophils. This revealed a similar complexity amongst the species with other observed vertebrate and invertebrates, an innovating discovery for this area of study. As one of the more unique and attention catching presentations this earned Nadiya the well-deserved top prize amongst the judges.
Research Day is a great platform for students to deliver their research findings in poster presentations to healthcare professionals as it allows the generation of ideas to circulate amongst themselves and thus potentially improve the outcome of health care in the future. Xavier was able to capture the spirit of this occasion for its students in a professional, yet lighthearted manner and I hope to see this repeated next year for a new group of researchers.