Fort Worth Medical Students Present Four-Year Research Projects

Graduating medical students at the Anne Burnett School of Medicine at Texas Christian University Unveil Their Four-Year Scholarly, Pursuit & Thesis Research Projects.

By Prescotte Stokes III

Photo Credit: Maricar Estrella


FORT WORTH – The inaugural class of medical students at Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University presented their four-year Scholarly, Pursuit & Thesis (SPT) research projects at TCU’s Brown Lupton University Union on Friday, April 21.

Stuart D. Flynn, M.D., Founding Dean of Burnett School of Medicine at TCU, addressed the class during the presentations. The work that the students have put into these research projects benefit the Fort Worth medical community and also their growth as future physicians, he said.

“As you go through your career you’re going to encounter a study and you’re going to be much more critically able to discuss it,” Dean Flynn said. “Mentors have been great for you and you’ve been great for the mentors.”

Members of the graduating Class of 2023 presented their research projects on large posters for those in attendance. The projects covered a wide range of  topics including diabetes, homelessness, brain trauma, opioids and pain treatment, cerebral palsy, compassion in medicine and much more.

“We start in the first year working with the students and their prospectus, which is like a small research grant for their project and finishing up with their thesis,” Michael Bernas, M.S., Associate Professor & Director of Scholarly, Pursuit and Thesis (SPT) Course at the Burnett School of Medicine.

Fort Worth businessman H. Paul Dorman, who generously funded the first year of tuition for the Class of 2023 known as the Dorman Scholars, was the guest speaker at the event. Dorman has made a career out of groundbreaking research in the medical field and shared some words of wisdom with the class.

“Doing research you don’t necessarily have to go after a new or better molecule,” Dorman said. “There may be ways to make an existing proven item work better and safer with less side effects.”

Here are the Scholarly, Pursuit & Thesis research projects that were presented:

Sameer Allahabadi

SPT Mentor: Christos Papdelis, Ph.D.

Research Project: Better Mapping and Characterization of Brain Plasticity Changes In Pediatric Patients with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy Using Magnetoencephalography Combined with High-Density Electroencephalography and Diffusor Tensor Imaging

Mckenna Chalman

SPT Mentor: Ric Bonnell, M.D.

Research Project: Sleep and Exercise Among Incarcerated Youth: Establishing a Generalized Approach to Improve Sleep Quality/Quantity for Adolescents in the Juvenile Justice System

Arman Fijany

SPT Mentor: Robert Benkowski, MBA

Research Project: Pain Response Neuromodulation Via Optogenetic and Optical Stimulation

Kavneet Kaur

SPT Mentor: Erin Nelson, Psy.D., and Chase Crossno, MPH

Research Project: Compassion in Medicine: Assessing Physician Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue

Nathalie Scherer

SPT Mentor: David Capper, M.D.

Research Project: Barriers to Care in Homeless Patients with Diabetes Mellitus