The Department of Anesthesiology proudly congratulates the third cohort of Anesthesiology Summer Research (ASSURE) fellows on their successful completion of the 10-week intensive research program. This unique fellowship, tailored for undergraduate students from the St. Louis metro area, provides an unparalleled opportunity for young minds to network and receive mentorship while diving into basic, clinical, and translational research projects. As they step beyond these ten weeks, these fellows carry with them not only the insights they’ve gained from research but also a continuing connection to the department and WashU as a whole.
Mentor: Jose Moron-Concepcion, PhD
Project: Dissecting Vagal Afferent Pathways into nTS: Mechanisms of Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression
Mentor: Enyo Ablordeppey, MD, MPH
Project: Standardizing Urinary Retention Treatment in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed Method Analysis
Mentor: Simon Haroutounian, PhD
Project: Are there Racial Differences in Post-Operative Pain Experience between Black and White People?
Mentor: Amynah Pradhan, PhD
Project: Morphine Induced Conditioned Place Preference and Staining Hippocampus for Parvalbumin and Delta Opioid Receptor Co-expression
Mentor: Robert Gereau, PhD
Project: Examining a CNS permeant 5-HT3 receptor antagonist in a novel mouse model of neuroma
Mentor: Dolores Njoku, MD
Project: Absence of PPARa regulation of ELOVL1 is associated with NASH in IL-33 Knockout mice
The third cohort of ASSURE fellows continues the program’s legacy of excellence. Built upon a foundation of mentorship and experiential learning, the ASSURE Fellowship has empowered these students by providing learning experiences and insights to bolster their next academic and career steps within Anesthesiology and the broader medical field. To mark the culmination of their summer research, the fellows presented their findings during the end-of-program Poster Presentation on Thursday, August 11, 2023. This platform allowed them to showcase their work and share the knowledge they had garnered with their peers and mentors across the department and School of Medicine.
“I struggled when it came to presenting my results during my practice runs,” said ASSURE Fellow, Chloe Thomas. “Initially, I felt overwhelmed. However, my mentor offered constructive feedback and guidance on how to enhance my presentation, and with dedicated practice, I saw remarkable progress. It was amazing to see that growth in such a short amount of time.”
But the fellows’ journeys weren’t just confined to the research settings. They also participated in science communication and professional development workshops, shadowed clinicians in the operating rooms of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and received valuable guidance in planning for future graduate studies.
“One of my favorite parts of the program was the time spent shadowing,” said ASSURE Fellow, Karrington Green. “It was so invigorating and inspiring to see what medical professionals do on a daily basis.”
Throughout the program, the fellows had the privilege of engaging with nationally renowned researchers from across the country during lunches and seminars, some of which were in tandem with other undergraduate research programs across the School of Medicine. These seminars offered unique insights into the personal and professional journeys of other researchers from across the country, shedding light on the questions their labs are currently tackling. Some of the seminars included:
- Claudia Moreno, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, discussed the effects of aging on voltage-gated calcium channels in the cardiac pacemaker.
- Mario Penzo, PhD, Chief of the Unit on the Neurobiology of Affective Memory at the National Institute of Mental Health, delved into a corticothalamic circuit orchestrating instrumental defensive behavior.
- Michael Burton, PhD, Eugene McDermott Professor and Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas – Dallas, explored neuroimmune pathways’ role in acute and transitional pain pathways.
- Henry Colecraft, PhD, John C. Dalton Professor and Associate Vice Chair in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, shared insights towards common solutions for rare diseases.
The Department of Anesthesiology takes immense pride in this cohort’s achievements and eagerly anticipates the bright futures that lie ahead for these young learners. “Their dedication, passion, and thirst for knowledge will surely drive them to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of medical science,” said Robert W. Gereau, PhD, ASSURE executive program director and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Anesthesiology.
Learn more about the Anesthesiology Summer Research (ASSURE) Fellowship. Applications for the Summer 2024 cohort will open in November 2023.