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2017 SOM Student Summer Research Program

Summer Research Presentations


                       Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, in ACB 110 from 12:00 – 1:00


Program Description

The School of Medicine Student Summer Research Program – 2017 is an 8-week program from June 5 to July 28, 2017 designed to help students gain experience in an area of research interest. First-year medical students in Lubbock are encouraged to coordinate with interested faculty members on project proposals that are to be submitted for approval to the Office of the Dean. A stipend in the total amount of $2,240 will be paid to each participating student in accordance with this guideline, and students are required to present information regarding summer research activities during the Student Research Week in Spring 2018.

Download Program Guidelines


Proposal/Project Abstract

The Student Summer Research Project Proposal Form should be filled out and submitted to the Office of the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research by April 7, 2017. The form should be submitted by a student and faculty member who have coordinated the details of a research project for the summer; however, forms will be received from an individual for possible research projects. The Office of the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research will coordinate to assist in locating and matching interested students and faculty. Note: The proposed project should have appropriate institutional approval (IRB, IACUC, etc.) prior to the start of the program.

 Download Student Summer Research Project Proposal Agreement Form

Additional Resources

Program Checklist:  Faculty and Students should review the attached Program Checklist, which describes the process with contact information and expectations of the student and faculty mentor.

 Download Student Program Checklist
Download Faculty Program Checklist

Faculty Access to Request EMR: 

Electronic Health Record/Powerchart Access Instructions:

To request student access to the Electronic Health Record/Powerchart.


Ciinical Research Institute Contact lnformation:
Lorenz Lutherer, MD, PhD, Executive Director Phone No.:806-743-2532; Email: Lorenz.Lutherer@ttuhsc .edu
Cathy Lovett,MSN, RN, Managing Director Phone No.: 806-743-4433 ;
Alan Peiris,MD,PhD,Co-Director Phone No.: 806-743-3554;


Library Support for Research

Once you have matched with a mentor and a project, if you would like, please schedule a one-on-one session with one of our librarians to assist you with the literature research that you may need. Depending on your topic we will introduce you to appropriate databases and suggest search strategies as well as introduce you to bibliographic software to aid you in organizing your citations. Using this software you will be able to embed citations within word documents and create references or bibliographies in the style that you need.

In addition to reference assistance, the Library has added a 3D printer that the students can use based on their research project topic. Here is some information on the 3D printer service: The contact person for this service is Kate Serralde at (806) 743-1380.

Please contact Margaret Vugrin, MSLS, AHIP, Reference Librarian at or 806-743-2241 or Peggy Edwards at 806-743-2212 at peggy.edwards to schedule your session.


Summer Research

Matching Opportunities (Projects and Faculty Mentors)


Faculty Mentor for this year - 2017

Potential Project Description

Contact Information

Potential Positions

Mac Ansari, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

 Possible project on intervention cardiology, with emphasis on structure and innovation.

Dr. Mac Ansari, at 806-743-3155


Pablo Artigas, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics

 He/she will use molecular biology, biochemistry and electrophysiological techniques to studying the regulation by phosphorylation of the no gastric H/K ATPase, a protein that has been recently linked to the development of of respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis patients.

Dr. Pablo Artigas, at 806-743-1142 or

Cindy Rolfe, at     806-743-2619


Amir Aryaie, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgery Department


Dr. Amir Aryaie, at   806-743-2370


Sanjay Awasthi, MD,, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Project can be either clinical research, writing a protocol for a new kidney cancer prevention drug, or laboratory – target and drug discovery

Dr. Sanjay Awasthi, at 806-743-3155

 1 or 2

Kisher Bhende, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Possible project involving hematology and/or oncology.


Dr. Kisher Bhendek.bhende@ttuhsc.eduat 806-743-2244


Yangzom D. Bhutia, PhD Assistant Professor, Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Repurposing of FDA-approved drug Carbidopa for treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Dr. Yangzom D. Bhutia, at   806-743-2700


Sharmila Dissanaike, MD, Chair, Surgery Department


Sara Brand, at    806-743-2370


Cheryl Erwin, PhD, JD, Director, Center for Ethics, Humanities & Spirituality, Department of Medical Education & Psychiatry 

Medical humanities research

Dr. Cheryl at 806-743-6772


Vadivel Ganapathy, PhD, Chair, Cell Biology and Biochemistry 

Ketogenesis in colon: An essential function to protect against inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Vadivel Ganapathyvadivel.ganapathy@ttuhsc.eduat 806-743-2518


Cindy Jumper, M.D. Professor and Chair, Department of Internal Medicine

1. Coordination of clinical care-MACRA

2. Medical Economics 

Debbie Findley,, at (806) 743-6823

 1 or 2

Volker Neugebauer, MD, PhD, Chair, Pharmacology and Neuroscience


Research in Dr. Neugebauer’s group is focused on brain mechanisms of emotional-affective aspects of pain, including anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors. Electrophysiology to measure neuronal activity in vivo and in brain slice preparations, pharmacology, optogenetics, and behavioral assays are used in preclinical animal studies to determine the role of prefrontal cortical and amygdala brain areas. For this research project, optogenetic activation and silencing of distinct neuronal populations in the rat brain would be used to modulate pain-related behaviors. Additional opportunities include shadowing electrophysiological experiments.

Maria  at 806-743-2425 or

Dr. Volker Neugebauervolker.neugebauer@ttuhsc.eduat 806-743-2425

 1 or 2

Edwin Onkendi, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgery Department


Dr. Edwin Onkendi, at 806-743-2370


Billy Philips, PhD, Executive Vice President and Director, F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health.


Sarah Looten,, at   806-743-3645


Arubala Reddy, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Students will learn cell and molecular  biology and understand the disease mechanism. My research interest is comorbidity of depression in Alzheimer’s disease and gender based differences in serotonin network.

Dr. Arubala Reddy,  Arubala, at                 806-743-4061


C Patrick Reynolds, MD PhD, Director, Cancer Center, Professor of Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics 


1.  Developing and characterizing laboratory models of adult and pediatric cancers. We receive patient samples from both adults and children with cancer an develop continuous cultures of these in the laboratory and also grow the cancers in immunocompromised mice (patient-derived xenografts). We continue to build panels of models from various cancers and characterize them with a view toward providing these models for biology and preclinical therapeutic studies in our institution and beyond. The pediatric cancer models we have established have become a world-wide resource and are provided to hundreds of laboratories in 20 different countries via our repository ( We are developing similar panels of models from adult cancers, Some of which are already being used by investigators here at TTUHSC and in other institutions.

2. Understanding the mechanisms by which cancer cells maintain telomeres without telomerase, defining how those mechanisms confer resistance to chemotherapy and radiation, and testing drugs that target those mechanisms as potentially novel approaches to reversing drug resistance.

3. Developing novel drug combinations for treating the childhood cancer neuroblastoma based on the investigational drug fenretinide, a cytotoxic retinoid that acts via stimulating over-production of reactive oxygen species and dihydroceramides.  

Amanda Knight, amanda.knight@ttuhsc.eduat  806-743-2690


Catherine Ronaghan, MD, Associate Professor, Surgery Department


Dr. Catherine Ronaghan, at 806-743-3639


Pranav Sharma, MD,  Assistant Professor, Urology Department

1) The impact of prostate enlargement in men undergoing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer: pathophysiology and oncological implications. This is a retrospective, hypothesis-driven chart review database to determine if a larger prostate size is associated with decreased tumor volume and less aggressive pathologic features in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) for definitive treatment of prostatic adenocarcinoma. We will compare peripheral zone gland architecture, tumor volume, as well as adverse pathologic characteristics such as extracapsular extension (ECE), seminal vesicle invasion (SVI), and positive surgical margins (PSM) in larger versus smaller prostatic glands after RP for prostate cancer (PCa). This could implicate prostatic volume as a significant prognostic factor for tumor aggressiveness in patients undergoing surgery for PCa, thus allowing prostate size to be considered as an important risk factor when determining patients suitable for active surveillance versus immediate treatment for low or intermediate-grade lesions on prostate biopsy. Approved IRB is attached for this project.

2) The association of incomplete bladder emptying in men on recurrence rates for superficial urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. This is a retrospective, hypothesis-driven chart review database study to determine if incomplete bladder emptying (i.e. elevated post-void residual) in men secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) increases recurrence rates in patients being treated for superficial urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. We will compare recurrence rates (determined by pathology) in male bladder cancer patients being treated for superficial urothelial carcinoma who are being followed with surveillance cystoscopy, urine cytology, and/or bladder biopsy to determine if persistent urinary contact in the bladder from incomplete voiding secondary to BPH/BOO increases the risk of recurrence. These findings could implicate incomplete bladder emptying (i.e. elevated post-void residual) as a significant prognostic factor for tumor recurrence in patients undergoing treatment for superficial urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. This may suggest that concurrent treatment of voiding dysfunction and incomplete emptying from BPH/BOO with either medical (i.e. alpha-reductase inhibitors or alpha-receptor antagonist) or surgical (i.e. transurethral resection of the prostate [TURP]) therapy could decrease recurrence rates in these patients. Approved IRB is attached for this project.

Dr. Pranav Sharma, 


Faculty Mentor Participants from last year

Department Name

Contact Information

Lan Guan, MD, PhD  Associate Professor

Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, Co-Director of Center for Membrane Protein Research

Dr. Lan Guan,, at 806-743-3102

Michaela Jansen, PharmD, PhD, Associate Professor

Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, Center for Membrane Protein Research

Dr. Michaela Jansen,, at 806-743-4059

Kelly Klein, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor

Department of Family Medicine

Kelly Klein,

Hongiun "Henry" Liang, PhD  Associate Professor

Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics

Dr. Henry Liang,, at (806) 743-1463

Nandini Nair, M.D. Professor

Department of Internal Medicine

Doris Moses,, at (806) 743-6844

Kim Peck, M.D.  Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Admissions

Dr. Kim Peck, or

Linda Prado, at (806) 743-2297

Alan Peiris, MD, Professor

Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology

Anna McGregor,, at (806) 743-2421

Kevin Pruitt, PhD Associate Professor

Department of Immunology & Molecular Microbiology

Kevin Pruitt, PhD at 806-743-2523

Brandt L. Schneider, PhD  Dean

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Brandt L. Schneider, PhD

Afzal Siddiqui, PhD, Grover E. Murray Distinguished Professor

Department of Internal Medicine

Anna McGregor,, at (806) 743-2421

Yan Zhang, PhD Associate Professor Director

Division of Integrative Medicine

Yan Zhang, PhD LAc                   Yan at 806-743-2757

Departmental Responsibilities

Processing of all paperwork to ensure appropriate payment of stipends will be the responsibility of a participating department. Steps to be taken are:

  1. Process an ePAF for each student using the pooled position HSC Student Intern (0 FTE and 0 salary).
  2. Please note: The Department is responsible for processing the full stipend amount of $2,240.  The Department account will be used for half ($1,120) and the Dean’s account for the remaining amount ($1,120).  The FOP can be obtained from Shalene Vick at 743-1830.
  3. Process EOPs prior to TBD for the first month and TBD for the second month.
  4. Process ePAF to end job for each student.


The research activities of this program are expected to provide meaningful experience and knowledge that contribute to the student’s medical education. Faculty members should offer appropriate instruction and assistance in order for the student to be successful. Students are required to complete a presentation of their research activities during the Student Research Week in the Spring 2018. The Office of the Clinical Research Center is providing an opportunity for students to gain better knowledge of the development of protocols for clinical research by attending scheduled lectures early this summer. This will assist the student in understanding the searching of literature, roles and responsibilities of the research team and governing regulations, protection of subjects (consents), data collection (from charts), role of the IRB (risks & benefits), study monitoring and dealing with audits. Additional presentations will be offered throughout the summer on developing a hypothesis, how to give a presentation and writing an abstract. Research seminars presented by TTUHSC faculty members and graduate students will also be presented.


Any questions regarding this program can be referred to Jannette Dufour, PhD, Associate Dean for Research or Ernestine Gregorcyk in the Office of the Dean at 743-3000.

Any questions on the website contact, Janelle Broyles in the Office of the Dean at 743-3000.