Students Participate in Clinical Research Program at Washington University

Published on 12 October 2016

P3 students Joanna Huang and Dane Fickes were selected to participate in the TL1 Predoctoral Clinical Research Program over the summer through the Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The TL1 Predoctoral Clinical Research Program provides career development for medical and allied health care students through didactic coursework, mentored training, work-in-progress research discussions, journal clubs and conferences.

Huang collaborated with Mario Castro, M.D., MPH, FCCP, on research evaluating the efficacy of the beta-antagonist nadolol in patients with mild asthma by assessing the effect on airway inflammation and remodeling. Huang analyzed endobronchial biopsies for morphologic changes, differences in inflammation cell markers counts and the presence of mucous cell metaplasia.

"Research is what propels medicine forward, and I think it’s an interesting career path," Huang said. "I was fortunate to work with a great mentor through this program. The experience is so beneficial for anyone interested in pursuing a research-related career, because it allows you to learn more about the developmental aspects of research."

During the program, Fickes worked with John C. Morris, M.D., and Brian Gordon, Ph.D., in the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). Their research focuses on the pathologic biomarkers that are related to Alzheimer’s disease development and the association of medications with the progression of these biomarkers.

"I’m interested in pursuing a career in academic pharmacy and research in the future, and this program helped me see first-hand what a career in research would look like," Fickes said. "I learned about the different aspects of research and gained a sense of accomplishment and motivation to pursue my career goals."

Terry Seaton, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy practice, assists in the recruitment, selection and mentoring of St. Louis College of Pharmacy candidates for the TL1 Predoctoral Clinical Research Program.

"We have a long-standing, successful relationship with the TL1 Predoctoral Program, with around 25 students participating in the past ten years," Seaton explained. "Many of the mentors are internationally known physicians and medical researchers, so it is highly competitive. Our students gain a great sense of achievement in the program and routinely comment on what a positive experience they have. Many participants are so interested in the research they work on that they continue their projects after the program concludes."

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