Professional Students Present Research on the National Stage

Published on 08 May 2019

In February, St. Louis College of Pharmacy P2 students Sai Dodda and Abbey Jin presented original research at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) 48th Critical Care Congress in San Diego. The SCCM’s Congress is the nation’s largest critical care event, uniting all multi-professional, multidisciplinary health care team members, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists.

Selected via a peer-review process through SCCM, Dodda and Jin were among a select handful of students chosen to present at the event. They were accompanied and led by Scott Micek, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, professor of pharmacy practice at the College and director of the College’s Center for Health Outcomes Research and Education.

“These presentations were a great opportunity for these students,” Micek said. “They provided recognition for their research on a national stage, and the research they conducted has the opportunity to positively impact the lives of many future patients.”

Dodda’s research focused on examining the influence of social, socioeconomic and medical histories on sepsis-related mortality. The retrospective, cohort study was designed to examine how factors of patients, including income, education, age, race or sex were associated with death due to sepsis. Through this data, Dodda plans to further explore other outcomes of sepsis such as the length of hospital stays, organ dysfunction and the presence of multidrug resistant pathogens.

Sai Dodda presenting at SCCM Congress

Dodda completed his research project as part of the TL1 Predoctoral Clinical Research Program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, working collaboratively with Micek from the data collection phase of the project to the final analysis.

 “I think the most valuable part of having the opportunity to present my research was learning how to defend my position,” Dodda said. “During my presentation, I had to answer questions from the audience about why I chose my research method. I also had the chance to gather audience feedback, which I will be able to use to further improve my project. This opportunity will prove very useful in the future as I prepare for rotations and my career as a pharmacist.”

Like Dodda, Jin has also been working collaboratively with Micek on her research. During the SCCM conference, she had the chance to present her findings on a project designed to determine whether antimicrobial de-escalation prevents the subsequent development of resistance in sepsis patients.

Jin’s research was funded through a grant from the 2018 American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Gateway to Research Scholar program, which was created to help students gain an understanding of the importance of research. The program helps students learn to identify relevant research problems, generate a research hypothesis, analyze data, interpret and use research results in practice, effectively communicate research and clinical data to a broad audience, develop problem solving skills and sharpen critical thinking skills.

“The most valuable part of presenting this research has been the opportunity to share our discoveries with other professionals in our field and to gain recognition for the work we have done,” Jin said. “I felt that the conference gave me an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge of critical care research and develop a network of fellow professionals who conduct research in this area.”

Micek notes he was thrilled to work with each of the students on their projects, and says he is excited to see what the future impact of their work will be. 

“Each of these students’ projects are unique because they answer research questions that apply not only to the population of St. Louis, but other populations as well,” Micek said. “I’m very proud of Abbey and Sai, and I’m so glad they had the opportunity to present their work on a national stage. They represented themselves and the College to the fullest.”    

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