University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Frank Low Research Day winners named

We want to thank all of you who participated in making the 33rd Annual Frank Low Research Day at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences a success. We appreciate the high level of participation by students and faculty at the School. Special thanks to Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Joshua Wynne for ongoing support of this important annual event and for providing opening remarks at the oral session, and to Joyce Ohm, for serving as chair of the afternoon oral session.

We were pleased to have Malak Kotb, the founding chair of our new Department of Basic Sciences, review participants’ posters and speak with them about their research.

What a great response we had this year. Ninety-nine posters were presented; 94 of them were authored and presented by students and judged in competition in six categories. Four graduate students delivered excellent talks: Rejwi Archarya, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Lalitha Kurada, Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics; Micah Schott, Anatomy and Cell Biology; and Promisree Choudhury, Microbiology and Immunology.

SMHS faculty member Jyotika Sharma, assistant professor in Microbiology and Immunology, spoke about receptors contribution to pathology and protection in pneumonic sepsis, and Kate J. Claycombe, a research scientist with the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, spoke about obesity and adipose tissue epigenetics.

Most notably, 19 faculty members volunteered to serve as judges for the morning poster competition; their willingness to serve in this way certainly enhanced the experience for all students who were presenting their work.

Special thanks go to Joann Johnson and Dani Stramer, whose efforts ensured the success of the event.

The winners of the best student poster awards by category were the following:


1st Place—Pramod Akula-Bala, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics.

Graduate Students

1st Place — Vanessa Armstrong, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics.
2nd Place — Lalitha Kurada, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics.

Honorable Mention (three-way tie)

• Sathya Challasivakanaka, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
• Bruce Felts, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics.
• Andrea Slusser, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Medical Residents

1st Place — Paul Anu, Internal Medicine.
2nd Place — Abilash Perisetti, Internal Medicine.
Honorable Mention – Kayla Burchill, Surgery.

Health Sciences

1st Place — Sara Joersz and Rebecca Polansky, Occupational Therapy.
2nd Place — Christopher Johnson and Joshua Gilbertson, Occupational Therapy.

Honorable Mention (three-way tie)

• Brooke Dahle and Laura Hennes, Occupational Therapy.
• Erin Sykora and Renee Warzecha, Occupational Therapy.
• Kelly Bainbridge and April Benoit, Occupational Therapy.

Research Experience for Medical Students

1st Place — Joshua Morrell, Anatomy and Cell Biology.
2nd Place — Aaron Frenette, Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Honorable Mention (tie)

• Kevin Torkelson, Microbiology and Immunology.
• Bethany Kaemingk, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics.

Undergraduate Students

1st Place (tie)
• Shawn Krueger, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
• Elizabeth Peterson, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

2nd Place — Tammy Gonzalez, Microbiology and Immunology.

For more information, contact the Office of Academic Affairs, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, at 777.4271 or

-- Denis F. MacLeod, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777.2733,

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