Summer Student Research Fellowship

The Summer Student Research Fellowship (SSRF) is an eight-week summer experience providing College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) students an opportunity to work with accomplished faculty researchers within established research endeavors.

Background and Objectives

Summer Student Research FellowshipThe fellowship program began in 2002 and since that time has continued to help COM students enhance their knowledge of research in order to become more skilled practicing physicians.

The three main objectives of the SSRF program are to: train medical students to conduct research; provide research faculty the opportunity to mentor students while the students conduct their own research projects; and provide COM students the opportunity to present papers at national conferences and publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed research journals.

Since the number of available residencies throughout the U.S. is now shared by both osteopathic and allopathic students, the SSRF program provides additional skills needed to keep students competitive for the limited number of residency positions and gives COM students an edge in attracting a residency.

About the SSRF Program

The fellowship is an eight-week hands-on research experience working with basic science faculty, clinical research faculty and faculty who conduct epidemiological research. At the beginning of the fellowship students and faculty attend an orientation session and learn lab safety protocols. Students work with faculty for eight weeks and at the end of the summer present a final formal summary of their accomplishments. Requirements include completing oral presentations and submitting a formal written report on the research outcomes. Students and faculty are expected to disseminate the results of the research at the annual KCU Research Symposium, and at local, regional, and national meetings and through publications.

Selection to the SSRF is competitive. Medical students and faculty mentors work together to develop a proposal for the research activity that will be conducted during the summer. The student’s proposal is then evaluated by a review committee consisting of a non-competing research faculty member and select members of the Research Committee. Each application is ranked according to the elements of significance, design and methodology, research experience of the fellow, environment for success and the professional appearance of the proposal and application. Once the student has been successfully awarded the summer student research fellowship, fellowship requirements are defined prior to signing an acceptance agreement.

For more information on how and when to apply for the fellowship, email

Current SSRF Projects



Primary Investigator/CO-PI

Alpha Bah
Qwinton Johnson

The profile of post-translational modifications of TDP-43 in neurodegenerative diseases: A blood-based biomarker development

Abdulbaki Agbas PhD

Shared Fellowship

Mira Basuino

Sexual Dimorphism of the Cardiovascular Responses to Doxorubicin

Eugene Konorev MD, PhD

Prescott Binder

Mapping the Precise Anatomic Insertion of the Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Complex of the Elbow

Barth Wright PhD

Lauren Chi

Effects of COVID-19 on Underserved Populations in Kansas City, MO: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Health Services

Mark Pence DO

Deborah Del-Oni
Jonathon Schmidt

Novel Treatment of Iron Overloading in Hereditary Homechromatosis Mouse Model

Robert White PhD

Shared Fellowship

Twinkle Dutta
Caleb Lee

Assessment of Mitochondrial Stress in Platelets of Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases

Abdulbaki Agbas PhD

Shared Fellowship

Reid Gamble

U.S. medical school admissions and enrollment practices: status of LGBTQ inclusivity

Jan Talley PhD, MA, MSW

Spoorthi Hiremagalore

HIF-1α Dependent Lipolytic Signaling Regulates Metabolic Plasticity of Aging Normal Human Fibroblasts

Ehab Sarsour PhD, MSc

Parker Howe

Evaluating the Effect of Acute and Chronic Interleukin-6 and Interleukin-15 Exposure on Autophagy in Cultured C2C12 Myotubes

Robert Rogers PhD

Taylor Johnson

Characterization of Genomic DNA in Somatic and Germline Tissues that Contribute to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Douglas Bittel PhD

Kailey Kowalski

The Blues of Low Oxygen in Brain: Effects of Hypoxia and Reperfusion on a Neuronal Calcium Transporter

Asma Zaidi PhD

Christopher Krueger

Hepatic Arterial Patterns and Variations: Using CT Data Visualization Software to Decrease Procedural Complications Due to Hepatic Arterial Variations

Charles Withnell PhD, MA

Sharique Mohammed

Is There a Difference in Compliance Between Pharmaceutical, Non-pharmaceutical, and Other Treatments in Adolescent Patients with ADHD and What Interventions May Be Used to Increase Patient Compliance

Jan Talley PhD, MA, MSW

Thomas Osterholt

A systemic review of current literature to increase grit and resiliency in those training in medicine.

Jozi McGowan, DO

Alexis Roberts

Race, Rurality, and Root Canals: An Assessment of Oral Health Accessibility Markers Among Pregnant Women in the Four-State Sub-region

Jennifer Dennis PhD, MS

Daulton Sauce
Kyle Rankin

The Forgotten Corner of the Knee: Using Digital Segmentation to Reconstruct the Conventional Anatomy, Anatomical Variations, and Clinical Implications of the Posteromedial Corner of the Knee

Charles Withnell PhD, MA

Shared Fellowship

Quinn Smith

Disrupted endothelial-pericyte interactions in doxorubicin treated microvessels

Eugene Konorev MD, PhD