Research news

Kayra Cengiz Honored by Massachusetts Medical Society

Kayra Cengiz Medical Student
Kayra Cengiz Medical Student

Kayra Cengiz, a rising second-year medical student, won third place for her poster search, “Visual Proficiency in Medicine: A Rubric-Based Educational Video for Physician-Patient Communication,” at the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) 15th research poster symposium held in conjunction with its signature education event, Future Health: Best Practices for Advancing Care held on March 22 at the MMS.

Kayra is an active participant in the Learn, Experience, Advocate, Discover, and Serve (LEADS) curriculum at the school. In this role, she is involved in research that focuses on the utilization of visual aids in clinical settings to improve patient understanding, particularly in environments where linguistic barriers exist. Additionally, Cengiz is involved in investigating adverse effects related to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Visit the Learn, Experience, Advocate, Discover, and Serve (LEADS) webpage to learn more about this program.

Read the full story here.

Maya Chan Selected to Present at National Society of GIM Annual Meeting

Maya Chan (Class of 2026) participated in Boston University’s Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP), where she met her mentors, Dr. Sushrut Waikar and Dr. Sophie Claudel, from the Department of Nephrology and at Boston Medical Center and the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Her project focused on studying Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu), a debilitating disease that predominantly impacts young agricultural workers in Central America and southern Asia. CKDu diagnosis often occurs at late stages and among individuals who have extremely limited access to healthcare. The exact cause of CKDu is actively being studied in endemic communities, but there is little research on the presence of CKDu in other countries. Maya has continued to investigate the presence of CKDu in Latinx communities in the United States, co-authoring the manuscript, "CKDu in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities." She was selected to give an oral presentation at the upcoming National Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting, "State policy on standard dialysis access for undocumented immigrants and temporal changes in kidney disease-associated mortality among Hispanic individuals in the U.S." She will also be participating in Kidney TREKS, a week-long research retreat and long-term mentorship program held at the University of Chicago. Maya hopes to continue research that addresses disparities in kidney-related health outcomes.


Maya Chan M.D. Candidate Class of 2026

“I would not have these opportunities if not for the Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP), which I participated in last summer,” she said. “Since then, I have continued to work with my incredible mentors, Drs. Sushrut Waikar and Sophie Claudel, studying chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology.”

Medical Student Research Symposium

The annual Medical Student Research Symposium, sponsored by the Medical Student Research Program, was held on Monday, Jan. 29, in Hiebert Lounge. On display were posters representing the research undertaken by 75 medical students, 48 of whom participated in the Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) during the summer 2023, as well as students engaged in the Learn, Experience, Advocate, Discover and Serve (LEADS) research track and longitudinal research programs, third- and fourth-year research electives and the MD-PhD program.

Read more about the medical students research symposium and the award winners.

Serchuck Award Winners
Serchuck Award winners for poster presentation included: (top row l-r) Piers Klein, Martin Ma, Alex Olson, Steven Miyawaki, Macie Gettings, Jonathan Song, Evelina Ragutshteyn, and Opemipooluwa Adedeji. (Bottom row l-r) Louis Werner, Jonah Kaziyev, Joshua Lepson, Maria De Leon, and Kristen Segars. Missing from photo: Matthew Kang and Heejoo Kang.
Medical Students Selected for Oral Presentations
Medical students selected to present their research at symposium included (l to r): Anne Li, Rose Zhao, Eric Sung, Claire Stover, Joy Ha and Daniel Sconzo

New Publications – Depression and Anxiety Among English and Spanish-Speaking Patients with Breast Cancer Receiving Radiation Therapy

Corina Beiner Medical Student
Corina Beiner, Medical Student

Congratulations to medical students Corina Beiner and Jenny Zhao on the acceptance of manuscript “Depression and Anxiety Among English and Spanish-Speaking Patients with Breast Cancer Receiving Radiation Therapy” into the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, and thanks to Dr. Ariel Hirsch for her mentorship of the students.

Ariel Hirsch, MD, Professor
Ariel Hirsch, MD, Professor of Radiation Oncology

This research that Corina was awarded the ASCO Conquer Cancer Award for Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Medical Students and Jenny continued the work as part of the medical student summer research program. Read more about it here.

My research – Interventional treatment of cerebrovascular disease

Piers Klein Medical Student (Class of 2026)

Piers Klein is working under the mentorship of Dr. Thanh Nguyen and Dr. Mohamad Abdalkader in the departments of Neurology and Radiology at Boston Medical Center and the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. His research focuses on the epidemiology, diagnosis, medical and interventional treatment of cerebrovascular disease. Stroke is a devastating and common form of cerebrovascular disease affecting more than 800,000 people per year in the United States. Endovascular therapy, in which catheters are introduced through the skin into the blood vessels and navigated to the brain for clot removal, has transformed stroke care over the past decade. Piers has been involved with multiple large multicenter collaborations that have yielded insight into optimal techniques in the use of endovascular therapy. The PLATO study, co-led by Boston University and Heidelberg University, demonstrated favorable outcomes for patients with occlusions of the posterior cerebral artery treated by endovascular therapy and suggested that a first-line stent-retriever technique may offer the most benefit. Analyses of the SVIN registry have confirmed the real-world benefit of endovascular therapy suggested by randomized trials, challenged the use of bridging tPA in patients receiving endovascular therapy, and supported the use of endovascular therapy in patients with COVID-19 and stroke.

Piers enrolled in the LEADS research track for medical students. Learn more about the LEADS research track and other research opportunities.

Robert A. Winn Clinical Investigator Pathway Program

The Robert A. Winn Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) for medical students is one of the program initiatives of the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program, a $114 million initiative funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Gilead Sciences, and Amgen. This national program is designed to increase diversity in clinical trials and transform the clinical research landscape.

Winn CIPP is a 6-week intensive and immersive summer service-learning externship that provides medical students (MD, MD/PhD, DO, DO/PhD) who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) and/or from a disadvantaged background with opportunities to experience and participate in clinical research conducted in community-based clinical research settings (e.g., community health centers, safety net hospitals, clinical research organizations). The goal of the Winn CIPP is to expose medical students to career pathways in clinical research, particularly community-oriented research that is focused on increasing inclusion, equity, and diversity in the conduct of clinical and translational research. During the program, Winn CIPP Students will gain exposure to clinical research and acquire community engagement and leadership skills.

The 2024 Winn CIPP will take place during two 6-week program periods:

  • Group 1: Monday, June 3rd – Friday, July 12th, 2024
  • Group 2: Monday, June 10th – Friday, July 19th, 2024

In 2024, Winn CIPP Site Partners will be located in the following cities (cities are subject to change):

Atlanta, GA                 Chicago, IL

Los Angeles, CA          Louisville, KY

New Orleans, LA         New York, NY

Phoenix, AZ                 Richmond, VA

San Antonio, TX          Seattle, WA

Stipend: Winn CIPP students receive a $7,500 stipend for their participation during the externship.

During the program, they learn the basics of clinical trials and work at community-based clinical research organizations to provide outreach, education, and engagement on clinical trials. Students will receive training in three areas:

  • Clinical Research – Students gain clinical research exposure through engagement with clinical investigators in community-based clinical research organizations and academic medical centers.
  • Community Engagement – Students develop team-based service-learning projects, in which they conduct short-term capacity-building interventions, such as community needs assessments or implement patient initiatives (education, outreach, and/or informational programs). Students will design and conduct their projects in collaboration with site supervisors.
  • Leadership Development – Students are introduced to clinical research career development pathways and receive mentoring that supports their development of community-oriented clinical research leadership skills.

Due Date: January 8, 2024.

How to Apply: Students may apply through the following link.

Sponsor Contact: Desiree Vasquez, Program Manager at or email general questions to

Medical students interested in applying should contact Matt Layne to discuss about their applications and assistance our Proposal Development office can provide.

Matthew Layne, PhD
Assistant Dean for Research


Do You Need Biostatistics Help?

Do you have a question related to biostatistics or data analysis? The Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Research Design Program (of CTSI) and the Data Science Core (DSC) have established biostats consulting sessions for medical students. Please discuss with your research mentor before sharing project information, and after the initial consultation, your mentor can discuss establishing additional analysis and project support.

  • Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Research Design Program
    Connect with Dr. Cabral and Dr. Weinberg, esteemed faculty in the Dept of Biostatistics, for personalized consulting sessions tailored to your needs. Request an individual session or drop into a virtual consultation every Tuesday, 12-1 PM.
  • Data Science Core
    Faculty members of the Data Science Core (Chao Zhang, PhD; Ignaty Leshchiner, PhD; and Jinying Chen, PhD) are available for initial biostatistics consultations. See website for individual areas of expertise and contact info.