UCSF Research Festival Showcases Innovative Projects By Students, Residents

Anuj Aggarwal, a fourth-year medical student in the Health Professions Education Pathway, presents at Posterpalooza during the 12th annual Inter-School Research and Scholarly Activity Festival. Photo by David Hand

The academic endeavors and innovative research that distinguish UC San Francisco were on display earlier this month at the 12th annual Inter-School Research and Scholarly Activity Festival.

The interdisciplinary festival, which ran May 4-14, has been so successful that it expanded this year from four to seven days. The festival was coordinated by the Clinical and Translational Science Research Program (CTRFP) of UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and wide-ranging events were sponsored by a cross-section of the campus community, including Pathways to Discovery, a University program that offers students an opportunity to take a year off to do research while providing them with career training and mentorship.

“The Pathways to Discovery Symposium celebrates the research and scholarship work of undergraduate medical students who are both students in the various professional schools and residents at the School of Medicine,” said Louise Aronson, MD, director of the Pathways program.

Among the festival highlights was the Pathways to Discovery Symposium and Awards, followed by Posterpalooza, a showcase of scientific posters that drew more than 275 faculty, students and community members.

Pathways to Discovery Dean's Prize winners, from left:

Rebecca Miller, Sam Bronfield, Mala Mandyam, Jason

Nagata and Jennifer Rosenbaum. Photo by Elisabeth Fall

The Pathways to Discovery Dean’s Prize winners – one from each the five pathway programs – presented their scholarship ranging from the “Pocket Health Protector” mobile app to an overview of health outcomes of a food prescription program for adults living with HIV in Kenya.

The event also honored a Mentor of the Year, awarded this year to Scott Kogan, MD, a professor from the School of Medicine. Presenters expressed gratitude to their research mentors and highlighted the benefits of participating in the Pathways program during their research year off.

“I started out in medical school interested in cardiology, and advisors recommended that I explore clinical research. I connected with my mentor, Gregory Marcus, through the Clinical and Translational Research Pathway website and later on through the resources at CTSI and the Advanced Training in Clinical Research program, which provided a structured way to learn how to approach a research project, analyze it and present it,” said Mala Mandyam, the Dean’s Prize winner for the CTR Pathway and a 2011-2012 CTRFP fellow.

“I gained a lot from the practical skills approach to any research problem, networking with people at all different levels and sites, and learning about all the resources available from statistics to various mentoring programs,” Mandyam added.

Read the full story on the CTSI website.