Starr Medical Student and Resident Research Forum Past Winners

The Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) offers a Starr Medical Student and Resident Research Forum. This contest, named for Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald, was designed to facilitate interaction and idea exchange between students interested in surgery, surgical residents, and faculty members of various institutions. Each year, ten medical students and ten residents will be invited to present their research posters at the AWS Annual Conference (held in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress).

Supported by generous donations to the AWS Foundation.

2019 Student Winners:

  • 1st Place: Kayla Hicks, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, "Sex Dependent Differences in Cardiac Myocyte Excitation-Contraction Coupling after Chronic Stimulation of the Delta or Kappa Opioid Receptors During Normoxic and Hypoxic Conditions"
  • 2nd Place: Nandini Rajaram Siva, Cook County Health, "Rescuing the Rescuers: Should Trauma Centers Screen for Post-Traumatic Stress in First Responders?"
  • 3rd Place: Abra Shen, Stanford University, "Pre-Treatment with Transdermal Deferoxamine Improves Outcomes of Fat Grafting in Irradiated Tissue"

2019 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Courtney Harris, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern, "Presence of Follicles in the Discarded Processing Media in Pediatric Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation"
  • 2nd Place: Alexandra Columbus, Brigham and Women's Hospital, "In Her Chair: Influences Upon the Professional Success of Female Surgical Department Chairs"
  • 3rd Place: Ashley Krepline, Medical College of Wisconsin, "Impact of Area of Deprivation Index on Hospital Readmissions after Surgery for Pancreas Cancer"

2018 Student Winners:

  • 1st Place: Cheryl Zogg, MSPH, MHS, "Insurance Status Biases Trauma-System Utilization and Appropriate Inter-Facility Transfer: National and Longitudinal Results of Adult, Pediatric, and Older Adult Patients"
  • 2nd Place: Kristen M. Westfall, MPH, "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure: Appendiceal Cancer in the Age of Non-Operative Management for Acute Appendicitis"
  • 3rd Place: Kristen E. Rhodin, BS, "Less is More: Improved Oncologic Outcomes Following Minimally Invasive Low Anterior Resection for Rectal Cancer"
  • Honorable Mention: Deena Kishawi, BS, "Hijab in the Operating Room"

2018 Resident Winners:

  • Frances Tangherlini Lee, MD, "An Effective Tolerance Approach for Porcine Islet Xenotransplantation in Humanized Mice"
  • Heather G. Lyu, MD, "When Not Winning Means Losing: Underrepresentation of Women Surgeons in Recognition Awards at a Single Institution"
  • Micaela Weaver, DO, "Upstage Rates of Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia and Flat Epithelial Atypia in Core-Needle Biopsies in a Community Hospital with a Large Minority Population"

2017 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Josephine Coury, "Evaluation of TRB-N0224, a Chemically Modified Curcumin for Osteoarthritis Treatment"
  • 2nd Place: Lindsay Nowak, "SOX9 in irradiated rectal cancer: a potential marker for tumor regression?"
  • 3rd Place: Anna Olds, "Improving Outcomes with Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacements"

2017 Resident Winners:

  • Vernissia Tam, "A Structured Robotics Training Curriculum Lowers Operative Time and Cost for Robotic Inguinal Hernia Repairs"
  • Patricia Martinez Quinones, "Time and Concentration Dependent Vascular Changes of Cancer Therapy Everolimus in Mesenteric Resistance Arteries"
  • Kristine Corkum, "Freezing the Future Fertility Potential of Infants and Toddlers Diagnosed with Cancer: Surgical Experience and Outcomes of Gonadal Tissue Cryopreservation"

2016 Student Winners:

  • 1st Place: Vusala Snyder (pictured right), "Characterization of DCLK1 as a stem cell marker for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma"
  • 2nd Place: Hilary McCrary, "The Role of Same-Sex Mentorship and Organizational Support in Encouraging Women to Pursue Surgery"
  • 3nd Place: Nayan Lamba, "Whole-Brain Radiotherapy versus Stereotactic Radiosurgery after Resection for Intracranial Metastasis: a systematic review and Meta-analysis"

2016 Resident Student Winners:

  • 1st Place: Jing Li Huang (Pictured right), "The Intravenous Application of CXCR4-Targeted Conditionally Replicative Adenovirus with Fiber and Hexon Modifications in Pancreatic Cancer"
  • 2nd Place: Phoenix Vuong, "National outcomes for drainage of pancreatic pseudocysts: An analysis of
    nonoperative versus surgical approaches"
  • 3nd Place: Alexandra Bolognese, "Activation of Hepatic Invariant Natural Killer T Cells Exacerbates Lung Inflammation and Apoptosis in Neonatal Sepsis"

2015 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Holly Mewhort, MD "Epicardial infarct repair with extracellular matrix biomaterial promotes vasculogenesis and myocardial recovery"
  • 2nd Place: Ann Gaffey, MD "Injectable shear-thinning hydrogels to deliver endothelial progenitor cells, enhance cell engraftment, and improve ischemic myocardium"
  • 3nd Place: Julie Grossman, MD "The role of inflammatory monocytes in human metastatic colorectal cancer"

2015 Medical Student Winners:

  • 1st Place: Elizabeth Kudlaty "Upper extremity steal syndrome is associated with atherosclerotic burden and access configuration"
  • 2nd Place: Abigail Forbes "Perception of scarring and distress in severely burned children"
  • 3nd Place: Ema Zubovic "Discordance between NSQIP and actual surgical site infections – evidence from immediate breast reconstruction and implications for NSQIP risk prediction models"

2014 Resident Winner:

  • 1st Place: Fariha Sheikh, MD

2014 Student Winner: 

  • 1st Place: Martha Henderson

2013 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Holly Mewhort, MD, Epicardial Infarct Repair with BFGF-Enhanced Cormatrix-ECM Biomaterial Attenuates Post-Ischemic Cardiac Remodeling Preventing Heart Failure
  • 2nd Place: Elizabeth Polfer, MD, Development of a Rat Model for Post-Traumatic Heterotopic Ossification
  • 3rd Place: Anne-Lise Maag, MD, Use of Advanced Sensor and Motion Tracking Technology to Classify Breast Examination Techniques

2013 Medical Student winners:

  • 1st Place: Avianne Bunnell, Airway Pressures as a Surrogate for Intra-Abdominal Pressure Measurement in Patients at Risk for Intra-Abdominal Hypertension
  • 2nd Place: Haley Bunting, Peritonsillar Abscess Simulator
  • 3rd Place: Kimberly Stevenson, Worldwide Results Indicate that Metal-on-Metal Outcomes are Directly Related to Backside Design

2012 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Sepideh Gholami MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York: Vaccinia Virus GLV-1h153 in combination with 131-I-iodine shows increased efficiency in treating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer In Vivo
  • 2nd Place: Rebecca Renten MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI: Radiation-Induced Changes in Intestinal and Tissue Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase: Implications for Recovery of Radiation Chemotherapy
  • 3rd Place: Sarah B. Fisher MD, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA: Prognostic Biomarkers in Pancreatobiliary Malignancy

2012 Medical Student winners:

  • 1st Place: Joelle Straehla, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: CDK Inhibition in Conjunction with Chemotherapy Inhibits Cyclin-Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cell Growth
  • 2nd Place: Courtney Green, University of Minnesota: Competency-based Preparation of Senior Medical Students for Residency Training: 2-year Cumulative Analysis of a Model Preparatory Course
  • 3rd Place: Claire Sadler, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine: A Crude Risk Estimator for Adrenal Tumor Functionality

2011 Resident Winners:

  • 1st Place: Irena Gribovskaja-Rupp, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • 2nd Place: Tara Krosch, MD, University of Minnesota
  • 3rd Place: Fabienne Gray, MD, Children's Hospital Boston

2011 Medical Student winners:

  • 1st Place: Analise Thomas, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • 2nd Place: Voranaddha Vacharathit, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • 3rd Place: Eziamaha Okafor, Duke University School of Medicine