University of Calgary

Eight medicine undergrads get research opportunities

UToday HomeFebruary 25, 2013

USRP recipients, left row, back to front: Danny Chao, Kailie Luan. Right row, back to front:  Winston Yuen, Ivan Kryucov, Sharon Feng, Jacqueline Williamson. Missing from picture: Ashley Schiller, Kyle Lesack. Photo by Bruce PerraultUSRP recipients, left row, back to front: Danny Chao, Kailie Luan. Right row, back to front: Winston Yuen, Ivan Kryucov, Sharon Feng, Jacqueline Williamson. Missing from picture: Ashley Schiller, Kyle Lesack. Photo by Bruce PerraultEight undergraduate students from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine received funding as part of the Markin Undergraduate Student Research Project (USRP) in health and wellness during the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 session.

As one of only a few funding opportunities for undergraduate research during the academic year, USRP gives students a hands-on opportunity to pursue research interests under the guidance of faculty mentors, in addition to completing regular coursework requirements.

This session’s Faculty of Medicine USRP recipients are:

Kyle Lesack, fourth-year BHSc (bioinformatics): Lesack has been comparing the gene expression profiles of patients with Crohn’s disease, and their response to infliximab, an expensive treatment for the disease that can carry the risk of serious complications. Faculty mentor: Dr. Kevin Rioux.

Sharon Feng, second-year BHSc (biomedical sciences): Feng has been examining the effect that new medical therapies (immunosuppressive and biologic therapy) have on surgical removal rates for children with inflammatory bowel disease, a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. Faculty mentor: Dr. Jennifer deBruyn.

Winston Yuen, second-year BHSc (biomedical sciences): Yuen is investigating the biological pathways for the regulations of TOLLIP, an important regulatory protein that is not present in the inflamed portions of the bowel in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. It’s also thought that complex signals cause this protein to diminish, so he also hopes to characterize these signals. Faculty mentor: Dr. Christopher Waterhouse.

Danny Chao, second-year MD: Chao is involved in creating a surgical database designed to compare and review major variables of radical cystectomy when performed for both benign and malignant bladder disease. Radical cystectomy is a major surgery in which a new urinary conduit is created after the removal of a patient’s bladder for the treatment of either malignant or benign bladder disease. Faculty mentors: Dr. Geoff Gotto, Dr. Richard Baverstock.

Ashley Schiller, fifth-year BHSc (health and society): Schiller is involved with an initiative called SPARK for Learning. The initiative examines the impact of daily physical activity on a specific cohort of children with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Faculty mentor: Emma Climmie, PhD.

Jacqueline Williamson, fourth-year BHSc (health and society): Williamson is involved in a project that aims to understand the factors associated with, and that may have contributed to, unintentional, severe injuries in child and adolescent bicyclists. She will also be investigating the mechanism of injury of some of those children. Faculty mentor: Brent Hagel, PhD.

Kailie Luan, second-year BHSc (biomedical sciences): Luan is working on developing Dual Task Audio Files, which are part of Ambulosono — a music-based walking program for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. The files are anticipated to be part of multiple province-wide programs aimed at increasing patient independence and walking ability. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bin Hu.

Ivan Kryukov, fourth-year BHSc (bioinformatics): Kryukov is investigating drug resistance of parasitic nematodes, or round worms. Drug resistance in the parasite has undermined many efforts to both control and eliminate parasitic disease, a problem that is emergent in both human and veterinary medicine. Faculty mentor: James Wasmuth, PhD.

 

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