Student Accomplishments

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine provides a training environment and ample opportunities to be prolific in the sciences and active in the community.  Here are just a few of our students' recent accomplishments.

Leadership Roles

Recent Publications

Conferences and Presentations

  • Syrena Bracey presented her work at the 2023 Keystone Symposia Conference in Snowbird, Utah. 
  • Alicia Vagnozzi presented her work at the 2022 International Society of Developmental Neuroscience meeting in Vancouver, BC. Received both travel award and best poster award.
  • Jennings Luu received the Qais Farjo Memorial Travel Grant award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and presented a poster at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.

Research Grants

Thirteen of our current students have been awarded F30 or F31 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Below is a list of those newly awarded 2022 and 2023.

  • Lucie Ahn was awarded an F30 for "Dissecting the role of IER3IP1 in neurogenesis and brain malformation"
  • Michaela Cooley was awarded an F30 for "Assessing vascular permeability and nanobubble extravasation with contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging"
  • Preethy Sridharan was awarded an F30 for "The role of mitochondrial fission in neurodegeneration in the leading environmental cause of Alzheimer's disease
  • Nicholas Venetos was awarded an F30 for "AKR1a1 as a Regulator of Energy Metabolism and Metabolic Health"
  • Derek Wong was awarded an F30 for " Investigating the role of Cdk5 and p35 in natural killer cell cytotoxicity"

Medical School Graduation Awards 2023

MSTP students were well represented this year at the CWRU School of Medicine Graduation Awards Ceremony:

  • Kevin Allan was the recipient of The Martin Wahl Memorial Fund Award
  • Otis Pinkard was the recipient of The Harry Resnick Memorial Fund Award
  • David Sweet was the recipient of The Martin Wahl Memorial Fund Award and The Myron F. Kanter and Lawrence J. Kanter Endowment Fund
  • Bryan Webb was the recipient of The Noether Award
  • Bowen Zhou was the recipient of The Department of Pathology Award

Doctoral Excellence Awards 2023

Doctoral Excellence Awards are given for Original Scholarly Work, Significant Contribution to the Field, and Significant Service Contributions.  

  • Michaela Cooley received the award from the Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Alicia Vagnozzi received the award from the Department of Neuroscience
  • Derek Wong received the awards from the Department of Pathology

Other Awards 2023-2024

  • Sarah Barker, MSTP Council President, was elected BGSO Student of the Semester.  Sarah also won a Young Investigator Award at the International Research Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases.
  • Alicia Vagnozzi received the Arthur F.W. Hughes Award
  • Razaq Durodoye, received the 2023 Three Minute Thesis Competition Award, Veal Institute for Entrepreneurship Second place prize.
  • Will Wulftange, G3 won the Summer Student Project Fund award from the Case Western Reserve University think[box].  His team will build DIY panoramic night vision goggles and have EMTs use them in mock experiments on weekends this summer.
  • Derek Wong received a Three Minute Thesis Competition Award at CWRU, Science & Human RIghts Coalition Second Place Prize

PhD Defenses 2023

  • James Ahad, " Sequence Design and Reconstruction Optimization for Clinical Translation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging"
  • Michaela Cooley " Nanobubble ultrasound-contrast agents as a strategy to assess tumor microenvironment characteristics and nanoparticle extravasation"
  • Michelle Cruz, " Bidirectional Communication Between T cells and Intestinal Epithelial Cell Subsets in Health and Disease"
  • Marc Ferrell,  " Metagenomic and metabolomic approaches to determine contributors to residual cardiovascular disease risk."
  • Dan Jindal successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled "A new model for synapse pruning uncovers a role for MEGF10/Jedi-1/Draper in activity-dependent refinement during a critical period.
  • Emma Kundracik, " Needle Tip-Pore Interactions in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III Secretion System Translocon"
  • Joel Sax, " Unbiased Screening Approaches Reveal Unique Sterol Biology and a Unifying Mechanism for Sterol-Driven Oligodendrocyte Formation"
  • Preethy Sridharan, " Acute inhibition of aberrant mitochondrial fission after traumatic brain injury confers lasting neuroprotection into late adulthood."
  • Davis Weaver, " Novel Approaches for Optimal Therapy Design in Drug-Resistant Populations"
  • Derek Wong, " Improving NK and T cell Immunotherapies for Hematologic Malignancies"

Match List 2023

Our MSTP students had an incredible year. The key here is not only where they went, but where they wanted to go and whether they had options. First choice was once again the rule rather than the exception. 



Internal Medicine- ABIM Research Path

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Internal Medicine- ABIM Research Path

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Internal Medicine- Research

New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Med Center

Internal Medicine

CWRU / University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Internal Medicine

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


Cleveland Clinic

Pathology/ CP Research

CWRU / University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Pediatrics/ Medical Genetics

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Radiation Oncology

Emory University School of Medicine

Radiation- Diagnostic

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 

Students: If you have something new to add, tell us about it here.