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Student Research Opportunities

Student Research Opportunities

MU-COM Research Day

Join us for the much-anticipated MU-COM Research Day, an annual tradition at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine for our student doctors to step into the spotlight and unveil their research projects. The event is a lively exchange of ideas, engaging conversations, and is a unique opportunity to network with peers, faculty, and the greater MU-COM community.

Our esteemed MU-COM Faculty are not only there to mentor and converse but also to judge the presentations. Excellence doesn't go unnoticed; the most innovative and impactful presentations will be celebrated and honored for their outstanding research.

MU-COM Research Day is more than an event; it's a testament to the curiosity, dedication, and brilliance of our medical students. Join us and be part of the discovery! If you’d like a glimpse into what our most insightful and thought-provoking students presented last year, check out some of the 2023 award-winning presentations below:

For questions, please contact
    Research Day Photo
    Research Day Photo

    Award Winners from 2023 9th Annual MU-COM Research Day

    Best Poster Presentation Award – First Place

    Evaluating KIF14 in Breast Cancer and Paclitaxel Chemoresistance
    Presented by Sanskruti Mahajan, OMS-2

    (Additional authors: Hannah Mullinax, OMS-2, Oluwasemilore O. Akinola-Afolabi, Keeley Cleghorn, PhD, and Catherine E. Steding, PhD)

    Best Poster Presentation Award – Second Place

    Autologous Testicle Creation with Buried Metoidioplasty Correction
    Presented by Payton Sparks, OMS-2

    (Additional authors: Harley L. Moit DO, Alan Tom MD, Joshua Roth MD, PhD, Ivan Hadad MD, FACS)

    Best Poster Presentation Award – Third Place

    Exploring Insulin Signaling in Breast Cancer and Paclitaxel Chemoresistance
    Presented by Nicole Hetrick, OMS-2

    (Additional Authors: Lakshanya Balasubramanian, Keeley Cleghorn, PhD, and Catherine E. Steding, PhD)

    Best Oral Presentation Award – First Place

    Risky Behaviors Amongst Medical Students in the United States
    Presented by Harrison Smith and Mayar Azar

    (Additional author: Guang Xu, PhD)

    Best Oral Presentation Award – Second Place

    Child Opportunity Index and Healthcare Access in the Indianapolis Area
    Presented by Layla Wisser and Taylor Hartman

    (Additional authors: Emily Young, MD, Tina Mason, MD, MPH, FACOG)

    A special shoutout to our dedicated judges who played a crucial role in evaluating the presentations—your expertise is invaluable!

    Check out the photos on Flickr.

    Meet the MU-COM Student Research Committee

    MU-COM Research Committee

    (From left to right: Jillian Niceley, Hannah O'Leary, Elizabeth Carlson, Anna Barker, and Elizabeth Monger)

    Dive into the dynamic world of research at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine with the MU-COM Student Research Committee.

    Led by the Student Government Association (SGA) Research Executive, the committee is formed with a blend of expertise and passion. Representing Clinical, Laboratory, Financial, and Media Chairs, our transitioning second-year medical students bring fresh insights. And they're joined by experienced third and fourth-year Representative Chairs, often our previous Student Research Committee Presidents or SGA Research Executives.

    What unites this talented team? A shared mission: to open doors to research opportunities, foster collaboration, and create an inspiring environment that thrives on student engagement and innovation.

    Who we are:

    What we do:

    • MU-COM Research Day: A spotlight event celebrating student research.
    • Facilitating Opportunities: Connecting students with clinical and laboratory research experiences.
    • MU-COM Summer Journal Club: A social group that fosters intellectual exploration.
    • Student Research Support: Identifying conferences and mentoring budding researchers.
    • Travel Funds Allocation: Empowering students to present their work on prestigious platforms.

    Whether you're an aspiring researcher or a seasoned scholar, the MU-COM Student Research Committee is here to support and inspire your journey through medical research.

    Want to be a part of the MU-COM Student Research Committee?

    Applications for the MU-COM Student Research Committee chair positions will be held annually through elections in February. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and obtain a leadership role within the MU-COM Student Research Committee.

    Mentored Research

    The transition between your OMS-I and OMS-II years is more than just a summer break—it's a golden opportunity to dive into some of your first research opportunities in medicine. The MU-COM Summer Research Program helps you to do exactly that. You’ll work side by side with renowned research mentors who will help you to acclimate into your laboratory and clinical research.

    Ready to embark on this exciting research journey? All the details, mentorship opportunities, and ways to get involved can be found on our MU-COM Student Research Canvas Page. (NEED LINK) Join the Summer Research Program and make your summer a season of discovery, innovation, and growth!

    Laboratory Research

    Welcome to MU-COM’s laboratory research opportunities in biomedical sciences.

    In our research hubs, you’ll have the opportunity to:

    • Deepen Your Knowledge: Grasp intricate scientific concepts, more deeply understand emerging research with mentor support, thoroughly explore the research process itself.
    • Explore Boundless Topics: From the enigmatic world of cells and microbiology to the complex interactions in immunology, pathology, physiology, and beyond—there’s always something more to be discovered.
    • Meet the Investigators: Curious about who's leading the way? Discover our dedicated MU-COM investigators here.

    Join the journey with expert mentors!

    Want to learn about ongoing research projects? Reach out to MU-COM mentors directly or contact Elizabeth Delery, our Director of Research Laboratories, with any questions. Find a detailed list of MU-COM faculty research projects here (MU credentials required).


    Need More Information?

    If you have questions or need clarification on laboratory research and how to participate, don't hesitate to connect with the MU-COM Student Research Committee's Laboratory Chair, Hannah O'Leary.


    Explore Clinical Research at MU-COM

    Do you dream of making a profound impact on patient care and medicine? Welcome to the world of clinical research at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM), where you can bring those dreams to life!

    Rock your clinical skills with the ROCK project!

    • What is it? The Research Opportunity for Clinical Knowledge (ROCK) Project is a unique platform designed for our OMS-III and OMS-IV students.
    • What's in it for you? Found an intriguing case or research opportunity? Collaborate with OMS-I and OMS-II students to perform research under a hospital physician's guidance.
    • Why ROCK? The project immerses our OMS-I and II students in clinical research early on, building confidence and ease in a real-world setting. Plus, it's available at all of MU-COM's clinical partners!

    Spend your summer with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital

    • Quality Improvement Projects: Join hands with seasoned clinical research scientists and physicians to better patient lives at a St. Vincent outpatient clinic.
    • Networking Opportunities: Meet a wide collection of hospital physicians, learn from their experiences, and maybe even continue performing research at St. Vincent throughout your medical school journey.

    MU-COM Summer Research Program

    Ready to delve into the exciting realms of neuroscience, microbiology, virology, anatomy, physiology, and more? If you're a MU-COM OMS-I or OMS-II student, the Summer Research Program will allow you to do all of that and more.

    Choose Your Path: Work hand-in-hand with MU-COM's esteemed faculty and principal investigators on bench-side research. Whether your passion lies in bone and muscle physiology or biochemistry, a diverse array of projects awaits you.

    Your Journey Begins

    • Align Your Interests with Faculty: Explore and connect with faculty whose research aligns with your interests.
    • Apply for the Fellowship: Submit your application during the early spring of your OMS-I year, and you could be part of this eight-week program during the summer of your first year. Prior research experience is not mandatory, but strongly preferred due to the competitiveness of the program.
    • Immerse Yourself: Commit 20 hours weekly to immerse yourself in experiments, analyses, and a voluntary journal club for those who are interested.
    • Showcase Your Work: Share your insights with a poster session or oral presentation at MU-COM's Research Day. Plus, if you work with Marian University faculty, you can earn academic credit for your summer efforts.

    Perks of Being a Fellow

    • Competitive Stipend: A financial boost to fuel your research dreams.
    • Academic Credit: If you participate in more than 20 hours of research, your summer experience can also be a valuable addition to your academic portfolio.

    Please Note: Housing and transportation will be your responsibility. 

    Have Questions? Elizabeth Delery, Ph.D., our Director of Research Laboratories, is here to answer your program-specific questions or general inquiries about research opportunities at MU-COM. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Responsible Conduct of Research Course

    The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course consists of eleven modules on topics ranging from the broad role of research in society to the ethical considerations of human subjects to the practical aspects of data management. The course is intentionally designed to fulfill the National Institutes of Health requirement for RCR instruction and consists of both self-paced material (with quizzes) and face-to-face discussion sessions via WebEx dedicated to each topic. The content is appropriate for all members of the Marian University community involved in research, including faculty/staff and students from undergraduate and graduate programs. The course is directed by Patrick McVey (College of Arts & Sciences). Participants receive a certificate upon completing all 11 of the self-paced modules and participate in at least 10 of the 11 discussion sessions. There is no cost associated with this course.

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