Discovery Knows No Bounds

Discovery knows no bounds

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Mar 29, 2016Minnesota College Students Compete to Solve Medical Challenges at IMPACT Symposium

Undergraduate students from around Minnesota gathered in Rochester on March 5 to present their research proposals aimed at establishing ways to use regenerative medicine to solve tough clinical problems. The Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) Program, organized by Dr. Katie Campbell, received one of the first education grants from Regenerative Medicine Minnesota (RMM) and is designed to spark excitement and interest in pursuing regenerative medicine and science at the graduate level.

Student groups chose one of three challenges: ovarian cancer, bipolar disorder, or hypoplastic left heart syndrome, where the heart is critically underdeveloped at birth. After months of exhaustive research, they developed new and innovative hypotheses that utilize regenerative medicine to help us better understand these conditions and hopefully lead to potential cures.

During the symposium, teams presented posters outlining their hypotheses, and the top teams delivered oral presentations and answered questions from audience members. The undergraduate attendees were also given lab tours by Mayo researchers.

The Gold Distinction research team in each category will be given the opportunity to conduct research related to their hypothesis at Mayo Clinic with faculty members over the summer, and the winning participants will each receive a $1,000 award.

Gold Distinction Awardees

Ovarian Cancer
James Pathoulas, Christopher Pathoulas, Joseph Pathoulas, Nicholas Pathoulas (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University)

Bipolar Disorder
Anant Naik, Bhavani Murakonda (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Ryan Hershey, Sol Jin (Crown College)

The following groups were also recognized for the outstanding quality of their work.

Ovarian Cancer:

  • Silver Distinction: Adrian Chang, Kevin Dowling, Phuong Pham, Anna Singer, Allen Zhu (Macalester College)
  • Bronze Distinction: Charlotte Elwell, Zachariah Tritz, Caitlin Van Lith, Zachary WareJoncas (St. Olaf College)
  • Best Poster: Quynh Pham, Rebekah Larson (Anoka-Ramsey Community College)

Bipolar Disorder:

  • Silver Distinction: Matthew Dietz, Brian Hastings, Janet Jennings, Kassandra Pull (Gustavus Adolphus College)
  • Silver Distinction: Aashka Joshi, Glen Morris, Olivia Stiller, Thor Wirth (University of Minnesota, Rochester)
  • Bronze Distinction: Joehey Cici, Tyler Leng, Katherine Sprung (Anoka-Ramsey Community College)
  • Best Poster: Anant Naik, Bhavani Murakonda (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome:

  • Silver Distinction: Kwame Akyeampong, Uyi Imasuen, Okhumhekho Kassim, Ali Oku (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
  • Silver Distinction: Leah Andrews, Thomas Olson, Liamitantsoa Rakotomahenina, Andrew Salij, Peter Smith (St. Olaf College)
  • Bronze Distinction: Kaylie Evers (University of Minnesota, Rochester)
  • Best Poster: Haley Abbott, Sandy Carson, Madeline Chosy (Carleton College)