REX Highlights Summer Student Research
Columbia Nursing showcased new research on cardiovascular disease at its first Office of Scholarship and Research REX seminar of the 2022-2023 academic year.
The virtual event on September 21 featured work from the Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions program, a 10-week, interdisciplinary summer internship funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and open to undergraduates and graduate students in the health sciences from across the country.
Endowed Professor Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, founding executive director of the Center for Research on People of Color, and Victoria Vaughan Dickson, PhD, John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, are MPIs of the R25 project, which they launched in 2020.
“The focus of this program is to provide hands-on experience in research opportunities and cardiovascular disease for diverse populations,” Professor Taylor said.
Sofia Colon, a senior neuroscience major at Baylor University, and Adrian Thompson, a second-year medical student at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, presented their findings at the virtual event.
Colon worked with Assistant Professor Veronica Barcelona, PhD, on her project, a “Systematic Literature Review of the Impact of Racism/Discrimination on Cognitive Function Among Adults in the United States.” She concluded that racism and discrimination can affect cognitive function by creating the need for vulnerable populations to have access to specific types of therapy, as well as by contributing to worse sleep and internalized stigma.
Thompson worked with Robert Green, MD, of Harvard Medical School, on his project, “Cardiac Genes for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the Potential of Advanced Newborn Screening.” He concluded that there is potential for primary target sequencing of specific cardiac system-related genes, but more research is needed, including triad-testing, in vitro testing, and prospective studies, to explore genetic variant significance, and that any intervention must be implemented equitably.
“We have excellent students every year and they never cease to exceed our expectations,” Professor Taylor said. “It is my hope that we will continue this pipeline program for years to come and add additional programs to promote the research careers of these talented young people. I am very fortunate to be MPI of the NCATS funded TRANSFORM TL1 that supports pre-docs and post-docs, and MPI of the newly renewed NHLBI funded T32 Postdoctoral Training in Arteriosclerosis. Pipeline programs are key to increasing and sustaining diversity in academia, and I am humbled to be a small part of that progression.”