Medical Education BuildingFifteen medical students will pursue research supervised by UWindsor professors with the support of a grant program celebrating 10 years.

Medical research program marks 10th anniversary by funding 10 projects

The Schulich-UWindsor Opportunities for Research Excellence Program is marking its 10th anniversary with grants to 15 medical school students.

The students are pursuing 10 research projects, each under the supervision of a UWindsor professor. Each project is awarded $5,000, funded jointly by the University of Windsor and Western University.

“SWORP has provided a valuable opportunity to explore research within my community,” said Mihir Modi, a second-year student at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s Windsor campus. “Under the guidance of my research supervisor, I acquired essential skills for conducting clinical research, while also establishing connections and honing my expertise through conferences and presentations.

“Clinical research is a long and lengthy process, but the program has provided me the support to make significant progress with my current project. My positive experience with this program has inspired me to continue to integrate research into my professional journey, and in turn, hopefully make meaningful contributions to the evolving landscape of medicine.”

Seven medical students were the inaugural recipients of grants at the 2014 launch of the SWORP, which provides funding for first and second-year students to undertake projects in any area of biomedical, medical, or health-related research. In its 10 years, the program has awarded 70 grants totaling $350,000.

WE-Spark Health Institute serves as the collaborative research hub for the SWORP, co-ordinating the adjudication process and supporting the medical student research projects.

Kinesiology professor Paula van Wyk, a SWORP supervisor, said the program is important to students, researchers, and the wider society.

“SWORP is an important avenue for providing opportunities to enrich the understanding of knowledge and the development of skills through research for medical students,” Dr. van Wyk said. “Being involved with this unique program enables my capacity to help facilitate the research journey of a student. When the appreciation for and the proficiency with the research process are fostered during the academic years, it enables the pathways for medical students to incorporate research activities into their future careers, and ultimately, positively impact the lives of Canadians.”

This year’s SWORP recipients are:

  • Francesco Vito, Rufina Ning, and Allyson Ripley, “Retrospective analysis of the impact of prognostic and mortality scores in post-induction mortality in acute Leukemia Patients treated at Windsor Regional Hospital,” with supervisor Sahar Khan, clinical professor of biomedical sciences.
  • Kim Nguyen and Temitope Esther Olayemi Akintola, “Exploring Emergency Department Utilization Trends Amongst Housed and Underhoused Individuals in Windsor, Ontario”, with supervisor Jennifer Bondy, clinical professor of biomedical sciences.
  • Pedrom Farid and Marco Herrera Quaijano, “A Review of Quality Care Metrics for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease Presenting to Hospital: A Multi-Centre 10-Year Experience,” with supervisor Andrea Cervi, clinical professor of biomedical sciences.
  • Arani Sivakumar, “Clinical Perspectives of Prescribing and Deprescribing Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonists in Older Adults across Southwestern Ontario,” with supervisor Paula M. van Wyk, assistant professor of human kinetics.
  • Chrystal Huynh and Emily Doucet, “Retrospective Chart Review of Sickle Cell Crises Management in Pediatric Patients at WRH, ESHC, and CKHA,” with supervisor Mohammad Jarrar, clinical professor of biomedical sciences.
  • Alexander Mung, “Identification of Patient Characteristics Affecting Outcomes in Mono-Immunotherapy Versus Combination Chemotherapy-Immunotherapy Treatment in Stage IV NSCLC Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study,” with supervisor Swati Kulkarni, clinical professor of biomedical sciences.
  • Janelle Bykowski, “Evaluating the Prevalence of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) Among Varsity Athletes at the University of Windsor,” with supervisor Chad Sutherland, learning specialist in human kinetics.
  • Biren Dave, “Identifying therapeutically targetable tumour-immune cell interactions in small cell lung cancer,” with supervisor Luis Rueda, professor, Computer Science.
  • Jiil Chung, “Investigating the effects pre-, during and post- the COVID-19 lockdown on cancer patient self-reported symptoms intensity in a Southwestern Ontario Cancer Centre,” with supervisor Laurie Freeman, associate professor of nursing.
  • Allison Souter, “The Effect of Aberrant Clock Gene Expression of Human Colorectal Cancer Disease Morphology,” with supervisor Phillip Karpowicz, associate professor of biomedical sciences.
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