Highlights from 2nd Annual UMHS Research Symposium

UMHS Research Symposium
SECOND ANNUAL UMHS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: (Left to right): Lyanne Santana, Luis Acevedo, Jandrely Lope, James Thomas, Beani First, Dr. Jane Harrington, Steven Cook, Andrea Ferrer, Nick Mills, Idalis Sanchez. Photo: Ian Holyoak Photography


By Dr. Jane Harrington

UMHS Research students were busy for the Fall 2016 Semester, under the mentorship of Dr. Jane Harrington, Course Director of Medical Research Elective. In addition to data collection and paper writing, students attended the OneHealth Symposium at Ross University Veterinary School of Medicine, conducted a fundraiser, Water for Haiti, and presented at the Second Annual UMHS Research Symposium. 

Research symposium, 2016-15
SECOND ANNUAL UMHS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: Zach Zarsour & Alex Schultz. Photo: Dr. Prakash Mungli

Highlights from 2nd Annual UMHS Research Symposium

The Symposium was held November 17, 2016, in the Warren Ross Auditorium and provided students an opportunity to showcase their research activities.

  • We were honored to host Dr. Hazel Laws as the keynote speaker. Dr. Laws has recently been appointed the new Chief Medical Officer of the St Kitts Ministry of Health.  During her keynote talk on Frailty in Older Adults, Dr. Laws provided valuable perspective to medical students, especially students who may specialize in general practice or gerontology in their future careers.


  • EBS5 students, Austin Gardenhire and Steven Cook, presented an oral talk summarizing their review article, The Anatomical Architecture of the Junction between the Great Cerebral Vein and the Straight Sinus in Correlation to the Physiological and Biochemical Impact on Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes and Disease Progression. As a result of their literature review meta-analysis, they conclude that anatomical variations are strongly associated with the more progressive forms of MS. The manuscript is due for submission this month.


  • The “Food Team” (Beani Forst, Jandrely Lopez, Nick Mills, Andrea Ferrer, Idalis Sanchez, Luis Acevedo) worked collaboratively on the project titled Prevalence and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Bacterial Contaminates Isolated from Imported and Domestic Retail Chicken and Pork in St Kitts, which was started by UMHS students Ellen Lorenzen and Christina Varela in Fall 2015. Over the course of the year, students collected 105 meat products from various grocery stores and isolated over 130 bacteria. Our findings report that imported chicken had the highest rate (11.6%) of Salmonella contamination and that imported pork (52.2%) had the highest rate of strains that harbored multiple drug resistance.


Research symposium 2016-55
SECOND ANNUAL UMHS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: (Left to right) Janderly Lopez, Nick Mills, Luis Acevedo, Beani Forst, Idallis Sanchez & Andrea Ferrer. Photo: Dr. Prakash Mungli



  • The following students presented research posters: Alex Schultz, Testing L-Type Calcium Channel Effects on Brain Stimulation Reward in the Sublenticular Central Extended Amygdala; Everlyn Santana Aponte, Photovoice for the Prevention of Alcohol Consumption Among Adolescents: Documented and Divulged Experiences; James Thomas, Efficacy of Cleaning Agent Consume Eco-LyzerTM in Biomedical Surgery Suites; Lyanne Santana and Patricia, Correlations between the anatomical variations in the Posterior Communicating Artery and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases; Adrianna Thibault Stability of Midface Fracture Repair Using Absorbable Plate and Screw System Pilot Holes Drilled and Pin Placement at Angles Other Than 90 Degrees.


  • Leading up to the Symposium, Research Elective students sold bottles of water on the UMHS campus to raise funds to contribute to clean water efforts in Haiti, in response to the cholera outbreak after Hurricane Matthew. The Water for Haiti fundraiser concluded during the Symposium poster session and raised a total of $200usd.
Research symposium, 2016-16
SECOND ANNUAL UMHS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: (Left to right) Adrianna Thibault, UMHS Dean Edwin Purcell, Dr. Dave Herrick, Patricia Rivera & Lyanna Santana. Photo: Dr. Prakash Mungli


Highlights from One Health Symposium

The One Health Symposium was held November 3, 2016, at RUSVM and was a gathering of students, faculty and experts from UMHS, RUSVM, Windsor Medical School, and St Kitts Ministries of Health and AgricultureThis year’s topic was Health Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals, Humans and the Environment.


  • Dr. Jane Harrington presented Rise of the Superbug: History and Future of Multi-Drug Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Human Health, which provided a historical background of the environmental, medical and social factors that have contributed to the dramatic increase in antimicrobial resistance. The collective theory of the scientific community is that overuse in livestock and misuse in humans has created a selective pressure to favor bacterial isolates with antibiotic resistance genes.


  • As part of the One Health Initiative, local experts from UMHS, RUSVM, Windsor Medical School, and St. Kitts Ministries of Health and Agriculture are in discussion of ways we can all collaborate to mitigate the current and potential damages of antimicrobial resistance in animals, humans and plants. UMHS Research Elective students will be participating in future projects to further this exciting initiative.

About UMHS:

Built in the tradition of the best U.S. universities, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences focuses on individualized student attention, small class sizes and recruiting high-quality faculty. For these reasons, UMHS is quickly becoming the school of choice among Caribbean medical schools.

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