WMed, Southwest Michigan medical community celebrate 40th Annual Research Day

WMed Research Day 2022
Almost 600 people attended Research Day over the two days it was held April 13 and 14, 2022.

The first and second floors of the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus were filled with WMed faculty, residents and students, as well as other members of the scientific community from Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan for two days in April for the 40th Annual Kalamazoo Medical and Health Sciences Research Day.

Almost 600 people attended the event over the two days it was held April 13 and 14. Research Day is a celebration of the proud tradition of medical and health sciences research in the region and it offers an opportunity to develop and promote the richness and diversity of research in the local medical community.

“I think the event went really well,” said Adil Akkouch, PhD, who serves as chair of the organizing committee for Research Day. “This year, we pushed the bar high and we had a really good mix of clinical research and basic and translational research.”

MORE: Research Day 2022 Photos

The theme for Research Day 2022 was “Celebrating Research, Transforming Health” and this year’s program included a focus on projects involving breakthroughs in basic and translational sciences, clinical, public health, medical education, social and behavioral sciences, and quality improvement. The event marked the first time since 2019 that Research Day attendees were able to gather in-person. The event was canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Akkouch said more than 100 abstracts were submitted this year for Research Day and the event boasted 25 oral presentations and 77 poster presentations. He said the event included research projects from WMed faculty and students, faculty and master’s and PhD students from Western Michigan University, as well as the University of Toledo College of Medicine; Wright State University; Central Michigan University; Ferris State University; Michigan Technological University; Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services; Wayne State University School of Medicine, and YWCA Kalamazoo.

WMed Research Day 2022
The theme for Research Day 2022 was “Celebrating Research, Transforming Health."

There were a series of oral presentations and poster sessions with the first poster session being held on April 13. A second poster session, as well as oral presentations, took place on April 14. The second day of the event also featured Thomas L. Schwenk, MD, who was the keynote speaker for this year’s Robert P. Carter Research Lecture. Dr. Schwenk recently retired as dean of the School of Medicine and vice-president of Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, having served in those positions since July 2011. He was previously on the faculty of the University of Michigan Health System, where he was a member of the faculty for 27 years and served as chair of the Department of Family Medicine from 1986 to 2011.

Dr. Akkouch said the event would not have been possible without the work and assistance of members of the medical school’s Research Day Committee, as well as the reviewers and judges who volunteered their time to review submitted abstracts. He also thanked members of the medical school’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs who secured funding for awards that went to this year’s Research Day winners.

Here is a complete list of the winners at the 40th Annual Research Day. Congratulations to each of them:

Best Clinical or Health Services Research Oral Presentation
  • First Place: Emma J. Swayze, WMed
  • Second Place: Tam Doan, WMed
  • Third Place: Tiffany Hangse, WMed
Best Basic Science or Translational Research Oral Presentation
  • First Place: Zeena Qiryaqoz, WMed
  • Second Place: Shelby Chaney, WMed
  • Third Place: Jacob Poliskey, WMed
Best Graduate Oral Presentation
  • First Place: Ruchi Ojha, Western Michigan University
  • Second Place: Michael Gutknecht, WMed
  • Third Place: Angie Tsuei, WMed
Best Clinical or Health Services Research Poster Presentation
  • First Place: Jessica Ziccarello, WMed
  • Second Place: Rosemary Vergara, WMed
  • Third Place: Kathryn Tighe, WMed
Best Basic Science or Translational Research Poster Presentation
  • First Place: Juliana Overbey, WMed
  • Second Place: Suhaib Ellythy, WMed
  • Third Place: Victoria Addis, WMed
  • Fourth Place: Emily Beck, WMed
Best Graduate Poster Presentation
  • First Place: Abrar Al Fardan, Western Michigan University
  • Second Place: Jordan Boivin, WMed
  • Third Place: Juliana VanGyseghem, Western Michigan University