October 06, 2020 | Downers Grove, IL
A student from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) recently received first-place in the Golden Stethoscope Award from the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois for her research project focused on identifying new interventions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Second-year medical student Angelica Chan earned the award for the project “Using a Cell-to-Cell Fusion Model to Investigate New Interventions in the Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Spread.” Ms. Chan developed the project under the guidance of her faculty mentor Vaibhav Tiwari, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology. Her research aimed to create a new model to serve as a tool to better understand SARS-CoV-2 infection and to identify novel targets for the development of COVID-19 antiviral treatment. “There have been over 33.4 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide and over 1 million deaths from the severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection. This pandemic demonstrates a clear need for the development of novel antiviral interventions,” Ms. Chan said. “My project sought to create a ‘virus-free’ cell-to-cell fusion model as a tool to study the virus and host-cell machinery involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection and therefore identify potential opportunities for targeted therapy development.”
In addition to presenting her findings at the 26th Annual Golden Stethoscope Awards hosted by the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois, Ms. Chan enjoyed the opportunity to explore relevant research topics while also completing her degree in osteopathic medicine. “Working on this COVID-19 related research project reminds me of how imperative it is in medicine to keep thinking critically, asking questions, and exploring unknowns. As someone who is very interested in pursuing a career in infectious disease and global health, researching such a high-profile virus compliments my studies and will certainly enhance my future training; however, it is the scientific inquiry emphasized by this research experience that drives me to become a physician who actively contributes to the medical field and who is committed to lifelong learning,” she added.
Midwestern University actively supports student research and provides many opportunities for students from all programs to engage in meaningful research. As a healthcare university, we believe that students with research experience and a full appreciation of scientific methodology are more likely to be well-rounded healthcare professionals who are prepared to face a variety of future challenges.