2014 APSA South Regional Meeting
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The 2014 APSA South Regional Meeting will take place on November 1st in Houston, TX.

When: 11/01/2014
From 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM
Where: UTHSC-Houston- Onstead Auditorium (S3.8012)
MD Anderson Cancer Center- Basic Science Research Building (BSRB)
6767 Bertner Ave.
Houston, Texas  77030
United States
Contact: Vida Chitsazzadeh

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The 2014 APSA South Regional Meeting will take place on November 1st, 2014 at UTHSC-Houston in Houston, TX. 

For questions regarding the meeting please contact Vida Chitsazzadeh: Vida.Chitsazzadeh@uth.tmc.edu 



Under Dianna Milewicz (MD/PhD director)


Registration Information

To begin the registration process you must have an APSA account. If you do not wish to purchase an APSA membership at this time, there is the available option to create an account as a Non-Member. For problems or issues with registration please email APSA at info@physicianscientists.org. If at a later date following registration you decide to submit an abstract please email info@physicianscientists.org as well. Thank you!

Cancellation Policy

A full refund of the registration fee or meal ticket less an administrative fee will be granted for all written requests received at least 15 days prior to the meeting. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this date. The administration fee is as follows: All Registrations - $5 Telephone cancellations will not be accepted. Cancellations may be sent via email to info@physicianscientists.org. The American Physician-Scientists Association reserves the right to cancel any program and assumes no responsibility for personal expenses. All refunds are processed within 30 days of written cancellation notice.

Registration Costs

Graduate/MD/PhD Student Non-APSA Member: $20

Undergraduate Non-APSA Member: $10

MD/PhD Trainee from UTH-MD Anderson: $10

APSA Member: $0

Maps and Directions

Texas Medical Center
The George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building

Onstead Auditorium (S3.8012)
6767 Bertner Ave.

Houston, Texas  77030


The George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building (Mitchell Building) is the home for The UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. The building is a part of the large UT MD Anderson Cancer Center campus.


The Mitchell Building is located at 6767 Bertner Street, immediately adjacent to (south of) the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons (the building with the waterfalls).


Parking for the Mitchell Building is available in The Commons Garage. Parking fee for a day is about ~$12. Parking coins are not validated by the APSA meeting.


To enter the Mitchell Building, proceed to the 1st floor food court of the Commons (Waterside food court) and a student from the UT-Houston MD/PhD Program will direct you to the Onstead Auditorium located on the 3rd floor, adjacent to elevator bank J.


For more parking options please visit :




Location Map

*Location: All talks will be at Onstead Auditorium (S3.8012), except the small session breakouts; Please check the program for your specific session.

The map of the GSBS 3rd floor is included. The only 2 rooms we will be using are Large Classroom (S3.8371) and Small Classroom (S3.8367)

Room Map Room Map 2





Abstracts and Poster Session

The poster session at the APSA regional meeting will highlight and reward the outstanding achievements of our graduate and medical student researchers. We encourage all medical and graduate students attending the meeting  to submit an abstract. The organizing committee/faculty will select 3 abstracts for a 10 minute oral presentation! Please submit your abstract as early as possible to ensure the best chance for it to be selected for an oral presentation.

Abstracts are limited to one per presenter and the presenter must be the first author on the abstract. Abstracts must include a title, author(s) and affiliations (school and department). Below are the abstract submission guidelines:

Abstract Length: 250 word
Abstract File Name: lastname_firstname_2014_APSA South RM.                                                                                                           Abstract Formatting Instructions: Please follow these instructions carefully; see sample below.

  1. Set Margins: 1.50" on all four sides (makes a 5.5" x 8.5" text box)
  2. Font: Times or Times New Roman, 12 point. 
  3. Justification: Justify all margins. 
  4. Abstract Title: Do NOT use ALLCAPS. 
  5. Presenting Author: Underline presenting author's name. 
  6. Line Spacing: Insert line space between Title, Authors, Affiliation and first line of abstract. The rest of the abstract should be all single spaced as in the sample below. 
  7. Paragraph Indents: indent first line of each paragraph of the abstract body 5 spaces (1/2 inch).   

The organizing committee will select abstracts to ensure adequate representation of different schools and disciplines.Please submit your abstract as early as possible to ensure the best chance for it to be included in the poster session.

Abstract Submission Deadline: The deadline for abstract submission is October 10th. An email notification stating whether or not your abstract has been selected will be sent . 


Poster Session

Please find below poster numbers, presenting authors, and abstract titles.

Please follow these very important guidelines:

Poster size 4 feet by 4 feet (48" x 48").

Please DO NOT EXCEED THIS SIZE. Each poster board will have 4 posters mounted; 2 on each side of the board.

Poster Number First Name Last Name Abstract Title
1 Daniel DelloStritto 4-HNE Post-Translational Modification of TRPV1: Implications for Diabetic Cardiomyopathy
2 Candace Bailey Ankle Mortise View Rather than Saltzman View Can Be Utilized to Assess Tibiocalcaneal Alignment
3 Myrna Hurtado Combination of Small Molecule Tolfenamic Acid and Curcumin or Curcumin Analogs Effectively Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth
4 Stephania Casco Cryptococcus pneumonia presenting in a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient treated with Tofacitinib [JAK Inhibitor]: a case report.
5 Maeghan Murie Efficient Syntheses of Valuable Heterocyclic Compounds
6 Lisa Liang Eilat Virus-based chimera with application to ELISA diagnostic of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
7 Roger Liang FDA-Approved MAPK and mTOR inhibitors have activity in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
8 Amanda Herrmann Functional activity of a novel T-cell receptor like bi-specific antibody
9 Vlad Codrea G-quadruplex-generating polymerase chain reaction for visual colorimetric detection of amplicons
10 Kemly Philip Hypoxia and Macrophage Differentiation Contribute to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
11 Liam Guthrie Identification of new drug targets in Mycobacterium avium
12 Xiaolu Pan Identification of novel genes involved in prostate cancer progression through comparative and functional genomic approach
13 Sarah Wu Investigating the roles p63 isoforms in regulating stem cell populations in the lung and tumorigenesis
14 Iman Doostan Low molecular weight cyclin E regulates response to aromatase inhibitors in postmenopausal breast cancer patients
15 Noah Jouett N-Acetyl Cysteine Attenuates Hypoxia Induced Sympathoexcitation in Human Subjects
16 Charles Adelmann Personalizing MAPK inhibitor therapy with a real-time ERK activity assay
17 Ferdous Kadri Plasma MicroRNAs Associate with Cognitive Impairment in HIV+ Patients: A Stride Towards Early Detection
18 Anh Nguyen Pyruvate suppresses hippocampal MMP-2 activity following cardiac arrest-resuscitation
19 Karen Doersch Quercetin as a novel treatment for cardiac fibrosis
20 Roya Edalatpour The Discriminative Capacity of Impulse Oscillometry in the Detection of Asthma in Anglo and Hispanic Children
21 Ravi Rajmohan The Effects of Lighting Conditions on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Brain: An fMRI Study
22 Tiffany Hinojosa The new generation diagnosis of Mycetoma: case report and literature review
23 Talha Ijaz The role of fibroblast-NF-kB signaling in formation of dissecting aortic aneurysms
24 Julie Wu The Role of Human Polyomavirus Small T Antigens in Cutaneous Diseases
25 Christopher Kim XPF-ERCC1 plays an Important Role in lnterstrand Crosslink DNA Repair
26 Laurent Ehrlich Downregulation of menin by miR-24-1 plays a key role in the regulation of cholangiocarcinoma proliferation



South Regional Meeting 

Nov 1st 2014 Saturday

08:00 AM – 09:30 AM           Registration & Poster Setup


08:30 AM - 09:00 AM            Tour of Texas Medical Center (Only pre-registered attendees)

09:30 AM – 09:45 AM           Opening Remarks by Dr. Michael Blackburn Dean of UTH-GSBS

09:45 AM – 10:25 AM           Keynote Speaker:  Mary Dickinson Ph.D.,- Baylor College of Medicine  


10:25 AM – 11:05 AM           Selected Student Presentations

                                                10:25-10:35         Student Presenter: Julie Wu

                                                10:40-10:50         Student Presenter: Talha Ijaz

                                                10:55-11:05         Student Presenter: Xiaolu Pan



11:10 AM - 11:55 AM            Keynote Speaker:  Peter Hotez M.D. Ph.D.,- Baylor College of Medicine

12:10 PM - 12:40 PM            Lunch – Dr.  Heidelberger from UTH and Dr. Plon from BCM  (MD/PhD program overview


01:00 PM - 1:50 PM              Poster Session

02:00 PM - 02:50 PM            Small Group Session 1
                                                            Applying to MD/PhD Programs 
                                                            Applying to Residency,
 Post-Doc Fellowship 
                                                            Women in Science

03:00 PM - 03:50 PM            Small Group Session 2

  Finding a Research Topic/Lab/Mentor 
  Applying for Funding 
  Undergraduate & Medical School Research Opportunities


04:00 PM - 04:45 PM            James P Allison Ph.D.- MD Anderson Cancer Center 

04:45 PM - 05:00 PM            Closing Remarks by Daniel DelloStritto ( APSA  President-Elect)

05:00 PM - 06:00 PM            Reception      


07:30 PM-  10:00 PM            Optional Social event at Miller Outdoor Theater

Schedule – Small Group Sessions

Session 1:

02:00 PM - 02:50 PM

·         Applying to MD/PhD Programs – Onstead Auditorium

o   Faculty Moderator: Dr. Edgar T Walters

                                     Panelists: Deborah A Silverman, Zachary Allen Kadow, Alexandra Leigh Chang-Graham, Lalit R. Patel

·         Applying to Residency/Post-Doc Fellowship – Large Classroom (S3.8371)

o   Faculty Moderator: Mr. Stephen W. Jones

                                      Panelists: David Lynn Beavers, David Reynoso.

·         Women in Science – Small Classroom (S3.8367)

o   Faculty Moderator: Dr. Elsa Flores

                                     Panelists:  Haley Peters, Catie Edmunds Nurik, Amanda Hermann.

Session 2:

03:00 PM – 03:50 PM

·         Applying for Funding – Onstead Auditorium

o   Faculty Moderator: Dr. Ashley Hood

                                 Panelists:  Sarah Wu, Nick Parchim, Margie Sutton

·         Finding a Research Topic/Lab/Mentor – Large Classroom (S3.8371)

o   Faculty Moderator: Dr. William Mattox

                                 Panelists:  Marisa Hornbaker, Jasdeep Sabharwal, Rocio Rivera-Valentin.

·         Undergraduate/Medical School Research Opportunities - Small Classroom (S3.8367)

o   Faculty Moderator: Dr. Barbara Slaughter

                                   Panelists:  Alexandra Leigh Chang-Graham, Andrew Peters, Amanda Hermann,  Dr. Gary C. Rosenfeld.

Small Group Session 1         

Applying to MD/PhD Programs - 

This will be a Q&A session specifically for Undergraduate students on creating a successful application. Examples of questions that will be addressed include:

        What are the qualities and attributes of a strong MD/PhD applicant?
        How much research experience do I need to be a competitive MD/PhD applicant?
        How should I determine which MD/PhD programs to apply (location, clinical training, research training)?
        Should I apply to both the MD only and MD/PhD programs at the same school or is it better to commit to the MD/PhD program only at the time of application?

Applying to Residency, Post-Doc Fellowship -

Target audience: Students preparing to finish the program and apply to residency. This session will be in Q&A format to address the following questions/issues:

        What clinical career paths include research (basic, clinical, and translational)?
        Are there any programs that I would be especially competitive for given my interest in research (or having an MD/PhD, publications, etc.)?
        Why should I apply to a Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP)?
        Can I perform research during residency?
        Specifics of Residency/Post-Doc application

Women in science

This will be a Q&A session with a panel of female physician-scientists at different stages in their careers. Topics that will be addressed include:

        How to present yourself and negotiate for what you want
        How to balance clinic, research, and family
        How to find mentors at each stage in your career

Small Group Session 2

Finding a Research Topic/Lab/Mentor -

Target audience: MD/PhD students who will be choosing a lab for the PhD portion of their training. Issues to be discussed include:

        What does it mean for a PI to be a good mentor?
        How do I know if a lab has funding?
        What is the PI’ s attitude towards MD/PhD students?
        Should I choose a lab based on my specific career interests?
        Which kind of lab is the best fit for me?

Applying for Funding - 

This session will focus on the opportunities available for individual fellowships for MD/PhD students. This will be a Q&A session with panelists who have successfully been awarded predoctoral fellowships. Questions to be addressed are:

        Why should I apply for a fellowship?
        Who awards fellowships?
        When should I apply for funding and grants?
        What are the qualities of a strong predoctoral fellowship application?

Undergraduate & Medical School Research Opportunities

Target audience: Undergraduates and Medical students interested learning more about scientific research opportunities. Typical questions include:

        Is it better to do basic or clinical research?
        Should I join a new lab or an established lab?
        What is a good time frame for a project?
        Should I focus on research in summer alone (SURF programs) or is it feasible to do research during the school year?
        For medical students: Should I take a year off for research?
        How much do residency programs value medical student research?

Optional Social event: Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park for the Addams Family musical

Addams Family portrait Miller Outdoor Theater photo Map of Hermann Park


We invite all of our attendees to this optional social event. It is free.  It is an excellent show. November 1st-at 7:30.

The Hermann Park is within the walking distance from UT-Houston GSBS. We will not provide group rides. Please visit the event page or the Miller Outdoor Theater website and ticket site for more information check out the link below for more information.


We ask you to please dress appropriately

Professional business or Business Casual Attire

The following suggestions are provided as guidelines for professional business and business casual attire.

Professional Business Attire



Suit or jacket and pants or skirt

Suit - or jacket and slacks

(Skirt length - knee length or below);

Shirt - traditional shirt with collar

Tailored dress; Blouse


Shoes - comfortable low heeled pumps, loafers or boots

Socks (of course)

Simple Jewelry

Dress Shoes & Matching Belt


Business Casual Attire

Yes, Business Casual

Not considered Business Casual

Shirt with collar or polo style

T-Shirts and jeans


Shorts or mini-skirts

Chinos or Dockers - pressed

Bare midriffs or low-cut garments (back or front)


Flip flops, sneakers, or sandals

Blazer or sweater

Athletic wear or leggings

Loafers or lace-up shoes



Breakfast :  Panera Bread : Bagels, morning pastries, OJ, and coffee

Lunch: Alonti : Lunch Boxes, soft drinks and water

Reception: Fruit and cheese trays

Meeting Organizers

Vida Chitsazzadeh

Vice President:
Amanda Herrmann

Andrew Peters

Iman Doostan