Past Student Research Experiences

Students in SIGN have been involved in a variety of research projects in multiple departments. Here are some examples of previous projects

Kevin Huang '15

I spent third year primarily working with Dr. Lad, Dr. Bagley, and Dr. Gottfried on various clinical projects in neurosurgery. The work was extremely rewarding as you get your hands on a huge variety of projects and a lot of them are shorter in length, and thus you get many chances to see many different aspects of completing a clinical research project, all the way from idea conception to data collection to data analysis to manuscript write-up to co-author recruitment to working with the journal on revisions. I highly recommend the experience to other students and they are welcome to email me with questions.

Leanne Stanley '09

Performed clinical research in the area of traumatic brain injury with Dr. Daniel Laskowitz. Her project focused on attempting to identify a panel of serum biomarkers to accurately predict the presence of intracranial pathology after a mild traumatic brain injury. This panel was to be used for patients who had a Glasgow Coma Score of 13-15 who presented to the emergency room following a mild closed head injury. They discovered a panel of biomarkers that included S100b, BNP, and dDimer that had a specificity of 86% and had an accurate negative predictive value for the presence of intracranial injury (if negative, probability of pathology was greatly reduced). She presented her research at several regional and national conferences.

Sara Xiaoyin Jiang '09

Worked with Dr. Henry Friedman at the Duke Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center on a number of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials investigating novel chemotherapeutic regimens in malignant glioma. Involved in aspects of studies ranging from study design/protocol revision to data analysis. She co-authored 5 manuscripts, one provisionally accepted for JCO, one provisionally accepted for CCR, with the remainder submitted and under review. One of her primary areas of study was the role of MGMT (methylguanine methyltransferase) in conferring tumor resistance to alkylating chemotherapies. She initiated and conducted a retrospective review of primary CNS lymphoma patients and the value of MGMT in predicting response to temozolomide. She published her work in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2009.

Shoshana Woo MSIV '09

Worked with Dr. P Mural Doraiswamy of Biological Psychiatry, Medicine, & Geriatrics and Dr. Jeffrey Petrella of Neuroradiology. They used functional MRI to look at how subsyndromal depression in the elderly might affect activity in a particular brain circuit called the "default-mode network," which is involved in goal-oriented cognitive tasks, such as memory. They found that there was impaired deactivation in the dorsal posterior cingulated cortex as depressive symptoms worsen, thereby revealing a possible node where cognitive and mood circuits might cross and interact. Most of her work was done using a computer for stastical analyses and brain mapping. This work was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry in 2009.