By: Estela S. Estapé MT, PhD, DHL
Professor and Director, SJBSM Research Center
San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
On Thursday, February 24th, 2022, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine had the privilege to continue its tradition to sponsor the 6th Interdisciplinary Research Virtual Symposium with several of its students’ organizations. This year it included the Latino Medical Students Association, The Public Health Students Association, and the SJBSM Research Interest Group. Thanks to their support, the Organizing Committee, and the programs of Alliance, Title V-UPR-UCC, and post-doctoral Master of Science in Clinical & Translational Research as our main external collaborators, the Symposium was widely disseminated, making it a success with 185 participants and 53 abstract presentations.
The Symposium always has a Plenary Session addressing a topic of relevance to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary research. We were honored to welcome six distinguished researchers who joined two Plenary Speaker teams to discuss “ Creating Healthy Communities through cross-sector research collaboration: Interdisciplinary Research Team Experiences “:
Link to access the Plenary conferences: https://vimeo.com/690953294
The conference entitled HURRICANE EXPOSURES AND LONG-TERM INFANT OUTCOMES STUDY (HELiOS)was presented by Dr. Carmen J. Buxo, a genetic epidemiologist with maternal/child health research training and Director of the Dental and Craniofacial Genomics Core at the UPR- SoDM; Dr. Karen G. Martinez, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, directs the Center for the Study and Treatment of Fear and Anxiety, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UPR and PI of the UPR-MSc program; Dr. Evangelia Morou-Bermúdez, a Pediatric Dentist with a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Oral Biology Laboratory at the UPR-SoDM. Project HELiOS aims to identify disaster-related stressors experienced by pregnant women in PR during and after Hurricane Maria and post-hurricane maternal mental health, evaluate their impact on perinatal and early life health outcomes, and epigenetic and microbiome child profiles. Acknowledgments: This research was supported by NIH/NIMHD/NIDCR R21MD013652, NIH/NIGMS U54GM133807, and NIH/NIMHD R25MD0007607.
The conference entitled ALIGNING SYSTEMS TO BUILD HEALTHY FAMILIES: FROM RESEARCH TO SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS was presented by Dr. Maribel Campos Rivera, a Pediatrician with a Subspecialty in Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine and Diplomate in Obesity Medicine, founder, and Director of the Center for Community Outreach for Health Across the Lifespan; Dr. Edna Acosta-Perez, a certified community-based participatory researcher who directs maternal-paternal, infant-child health, and teenage pregnancy prevention initiatives including Leader of the Community Research-Engagement Core of the Alliance; and Dr. Nicolas Rosario-Matos, Pediatrician and San Juan Hospital Research Unit Director. They will implement intervention mapping strategies to explore differences in the lived experience of transition from pregnancy to motherhood as reported by women who participated in the Baby Act Trial (BAT) in both conditions and PRWIC participants who delivered at the San Juan City Hospital that were not enrolled in BAT. Acknowledgments: This research was supported by NIH/NIGMS U54GM133807 and R25GM137368, NIH/NIMHD U54MD007600 and R25MD007607.
We were also delighted with the virtual participation of 53 abstract presentations, including students from high school, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and faculty. The 53 abstracts had representation from the local academic health centers: SJBSM (16), UPR (13), UCC (10), Ponce HSU (7), Manati Medical Center (5), and two high school students, Cimatec and Commonwealth-Parkville School. Each of them submitted a written abstract, a video presentation and attended their networking room to answer questions from visitors. Thirty-nine evaluators from the participating institutions carefully reviewed all aspects of their contributions using specific criteria that allowed the difficult task of selecting the following first and second positions in the following categories:
- Profile on male sexual violence experiences in Puerto Rico – Edgardo Torres*, Laurie Rodriguez, Linda Perez, DrPH, Linda Laras, MD. ; SJBSM
- Assessing The Feasibility Of A Telehealth Support Program To Maintain Exclusive Breastfeeding In Infants Born At The University District Hospital-Claudia Sofia Morales Diaz*; Adriana Cardona Cruz, MD; Carla M. Santiago Burgos, MD; Rebekah Gonzalez Roman; Lourdes Garcia Fragoso, MD; Nerian Ortiz Matos, MD. ; UPR
- Atypical Branching of the Third Axillary Segment and its Surgical Importance-Jordan Marcano Anaya, Universidad Central del Caribe
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis as a Result of Sargassum Exposure-Luisandrea Morales-Melendez, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
Basic Sciences – Cellular/ Molecular
- Renin-Angiotensin-System Increases Phosphorylated Tau and Reactive Oxygen Species in Human Cortical Neuron Cell Line; Luz De Dios*, Camille Collazo and Yaritza Inostroza-Nieves.; SJBSM
- Unfolded Protein Response (UPR)- induced cytoskeletal re-arrangement by PSP leads to HIV-1 restriction; Eduardo Alvarez Rivera, Universidad Central del Caribe
Basic Sciences- Animal models/ tissues
- Technical and Biological Validation of the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) system using paraffin-embedded (FFPE) colorectal cancer tissue; Nelson O. Reyes Perez*; Aushna Saleem; Adam Luo; Eughene Shenderov; SJBSM
- Relationship between cilium gene expression in progenitor cells and fibrosis in IPF mouse model
Emilette L. Marrero Torres, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
- Discovery and Development of Anxiolytic Agents from Tropical Marine Macroalgae-Geraldine M. Ortiz Sosa*; Aniel J. Rivera Arzola; Bryan J. Diaz Melendez; UPR
- Pipeline Mentorship Program for Undergraduates going into Medicine Career-Hector A. Munoz-Miro*; Myrmarie Cruz-Perez; Jean A. Perez-Verdejo; David E. Rivera-Aponte, PhD; Jose Capriles-Quiros, MD; Waleska Crespo-Rivera, DrPH, MHSA.; UCC
- Race/Ethnic Minority Representation in Ulnar Collateral Ligament Comparative Studies: A Systematic Review; Raul Roura*, Robert M Corey, Lutul D. Farrow, Mark S. Schickendantz, Scott G Kaar; UPR
This outstanding participation of multidisciplinary Plenary Speakers, presenters, evaluators, and participants contributed to achieving the SJBSM Symposium’s goal of advancing translation by joining different disciplines and medicine to achieve better health and equity. The SJBSM Organizing Committee expresses their appreciation to everyone that participated in making this 6th Interdisciplinary Research Symposium a success in expanding collaborations and partnerships.