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Student Research Opportunities

MU-COM Research Day

The MU-COM Research Day is an annual forum where our student doctors present their research projects. This event is a proud tradition for Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine medical students to engage in and showcase their scholarly accomplishments. The day consists of poster and platform presentation sessions and allows students to interact with peers and faculty from the MU-COM community. The MU-COM Faculty judge the presentations, and the best presentations are recognized for outstanding research.

2022 group pic A
2022 group pic B

Award Winners from 2022 8th Annual MU-COM Research Day

Best Poster Presentation Award – First Place (tie)

  • "Evaluation of Antibiotic Resistance in Gram-negative Bacteria isolated from the Nina Mason Pullium EcoLab (NMPE)" 
    Krutil Patel, Joseph Gonsiorowski, Tulasi Jaladi, Zarah Khan, Shayan Khurram, Dr. Samina Akbar
  • "Instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation improves low back pain and attenuates pro-inflammatory cytokine levels"
    Taylor Hiland, Carmela Marciano, Sierra Street, Carson Maris, Andrew Ehrsam, Julia Hum, Jonathan Lowery

Best Poster Presentation Award – Second Place (tie) 

  • "Increased Readmission after Trauma Surgery in Incarcerated Patients"
    Harrison Smith, Lava Timsina, Jeremy Levin, Nick Redilla, Laura Scanameo, Brigitte Smartwood, Ashley Meagher
  • "Clinical Anatomy of Internal Jugular Cannulation: A Review"
    Natalie Kosnik, Taylor Kowalski, Lorraine Lorenz Kumar, Mercedes Valacer

Best Oral Presentation Award

  • "Focus on the bright side: disproportionately high usage of cervical cancer screening services by uninsured Hispanics in Minnesota."
    Jessica Pakonen, Monica Cruz, Alex Jensen, Rodolfo Gutierrez, Gabriela Bustamante

MU-COM Student Research Committee

The MU-COM Student Research Committee is comprised of six chairs directed by the Student Government Association (SGA) Research Executive. The Clinical, Laboratory, Financial, and Media Chairs are represented by transitioning second-year medical students, while the third and fourth-year Representative Chairs are served by previous Student Research Committee Presidents and/or previous SGA Research Executives. The overall goal of the MU-COM Student Research Committee is to promote research opportunities for MU-COM students and build a supportive environment that encourages student research engagement.

As a committee, we organize various events and activities, including: 

  • MU-COM Research Day 
  • Facilitate clinical and laboratory research opportunities 
  • MU-COM Summer Journal Club 
  • Support student research and identify conferences 
  • Allocate student conference travel funds 

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.

Current Student Research Committee Executive Board

  • President and SGA Research Executive: Zoe (Megan) Reyes, OMS-II
  • OMS-III Chair: Hannah Lou, OMS-III
  • OMS-IV Chair: Alysha Scheeler, OMS-IV
  • Clinical Research Chair: Jessica Hewlett, OMS-II
  • Laboratory Research Chair: Elizabeth Ratz, OMS-II
  • Financial Chair: Hunter Hoffman, OMS-II
  • Media Chair: Leah Gouwens, OMS-II

Mentored Research

With the summer between the OMS-I and OMS-II years being a crucial opportunity for growth and experience in many areas of medicine, the Summer Research Program is an excellent chance to expose medical students to various research areas. There are several opportunities to get involved in both laboratory and clinical research under the guidance of a research mentor. More information can be found on our MU-COM Student Research Canvas Page.

Laboratory Research

Laboratory Research in the biomedical sciences allows students to deepen their scientific understanding, better comprehend new and upcoming research, and gain an appreciation for the research process. A wide array of topics is being explored in the MU-COM laboratories in cell and microbiology, immunology, pathology, physiology, and more.  Information about MU-COM investigators can be found here.

The faculty at MU-COM are available to mentor students. Those interested should feel free to reach out to them directly for more information on their ongoing research projects or contact the Director of Research Laboratories, Elizabeth Delery, with questions. A detailed list of MU-COM faculty research projects can be found here. For clarification or questions regarding laboratory research and how to get involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to the MU-COM Student Research Committee's Laboratory Chair, Benjamin Nick ( 

Clinical Research

Clinical Research is a great way to develop skills in a hospital setting by working closely with patients to advance care and knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines. The Research Opportunity for Clinical Knowledge project, or ROCK Project, allows OMS-III and OMS-IV students on their clinical rotations who have found a noteworthy case or research opportunity to connect with OMS-I and OMS-II students to perform a research project under the supervision of a hospital physician. This project exposes the OMS-I and II students to clinical research early in their medical careers, allowing them to feel confident and comfortable performing clinical research. These projects are possible at all of MU-COM's clinical partners. MU-COM also partners directly with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital's Department of Research, where students can participate in Quality Improvement projects during the summer under the supervision of clinical research scientists and physicians. These projects take place at a St. Vincent outpatient clinic where students work to gather and analyze data to better the lives of patients at the clinic. Introducing students to the research process at St. Vincent and providing the opportunity to network with hospital physicians. Many students in this program continue to perform research at St. Vincent for the remainder of medical school. In addition, there are several opportunities for clinical research throughout the Indianapolis area. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MU-COM Student Research Committee's Clinical Chair, Nicholas Brown (, for more information about how to get involved with these projects.

MU-COM Summer Research Program

The MU-COM Summer Research program is an opportunity for current MU-COM OMS-Is and OMS-IIs to conduct bench-side research with MU-COM faculty and principal investigators. Students can choose from various disciplines and research projects being conducted by MU-COM faculty. Some examples of the project areas include neuroscience, microbiology, virology, bone and muscle anatomy/physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc. Students are encouraged to engage with the faculty whose research interests or current projects line up with those of the students.

After consulting the faculty mentor, the interested students apply for the MU-COM research fellowship program during the early spring semester of OMS year one. The Fellowship program begins the first week of June and will run for eight consecutive weeks. Prior research experience is not required, but it is highly recommended due to the selectivity of applicants due to the program's brevity and few positions being available. Fellows must commit a minimum of 20 hours per week to research, but this could vary depending on a student's project and the demands of various experiments and analyses. A voluntary journal club will be available for weekly student participation throughout the duration of the fellowship. Students will have the opportunity to present their work in the form of a poster session or a PowerPoint presentation during MU-COM's Research Day the following academic year. Students selected for the fellowship will also have the opportunity to earn academic credit hours for their research during the summer.

The program offers a stipend to each applicant that is selected. Selected students are responsible for providing their own housing and transportation. Further questions regarding the program or more general questions about research opportunities at MU-COM can be directed to the director of research laboratories, Elizabeth Delery.

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.

For More Information

(317) 955-6400

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