VP&S Student Research

Twelve students, pictured here with medical education leaders, won awards at Student Research Day on March 29. Front row, from left: Nathan Suek, Valia Leifer, Varun Sudunagunta, Julia Davis-Porada, Ogoegbunam Okolo, Michelle Jin, and Emily Ishak. Back row, from left: William Savage, Jingwen Zhang, Anil Lalwani (associate dean for student research), Cheryl Pan, Monica Lypson (vice dean for education), Zainab Aziz, and Benjamin Redenti. Photos by Michael Divito.

At the 2023 Student Research Day, 79 VP&S students presented their research to fellow students, faculty, and leadership. The presentations included research posters with explanations of the students’ methodologies, results, and inspiration in four categories: Summer Research, Scholarly Project, Research Year, and MD/PhD.

“The caliber of research presented by the Columbia medical students reflects the excellence of our students, as well as the spectacular science conducted by our faculty and their commitment to mentorship,” says Anil Lalwani, MD, associate dean for student research.


Summer Research

1st Place (Tie):

Valia Leifer, “Microanatomy of an intracranial human thrombus by single nuclei transcriptomics”

Varun Sudunagunta, “Dysplastic Erythropoiesis Due to Loss of Stag2 Results in Defective Nuclear Condensation and Hemophagocytosis”

2nd Place:

William Savage, “Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) signal intensity distinguishes treatment-induced tissue damage from recurrent tumor in post-treatment high-grade glioma”

3rd Place (Tie):

Emily Ishak, “Ageism in Hearing Loss Diagnosis and Treatment of Hearing Loss”

Cheryl Pan, “Significance of Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Open Proximal Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair”

Scholarly Project

1st Place:

Nathan Suek, “Treg engineering to promote tolerance for xenotransplantation”

2nd Place:

Jingwen Zhang, “Longitudinal Analysis of Cardiac Biomarkers and Renal Function in Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis: Association with Mortality and Tafamidis Use”

Research Year

1st Place:

Ogoegbunam Okolo, “Patient-derived organoids to model partial-EMT in head and neck cancer”

2nd Place:

Zainab Aziz, “Cost Effectiveness of Liquid Biopsy for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Non-Adherent Patients”

3rd Place:

Benjamin Redenti, “Dynamics of classical and inflationary T-cell memory formation to cytomegalovirus”


1st Place:

Julia Davis-Porada, “Maintenance and residence of immune memory to COVID-19 vaccines in tissues”

2nd Place:

Michelle Jin, “Investigating the neural ensembles underlying sundowning in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model”