DMU Research Symposium

December 2, 2021

There is no cost to attend but registration is requested. You must login or create an account before enrolling in this educational activity.

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Important Dates 

  • Registration and Abstract Submission Opens: Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Abstract Submission Closes: Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Notification to Presenters: Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Poster and Video Submission to the DMU Office of Research: Monday, November 8, 2021

Classes are not scheduled so all students and faculty can attend and participate.


The Annual Research Symposium showcases the scholarly activities of faculty, students and other health professionals. The Symposium is a forum for these scholars to present what they have learned and discovered through their research experiences and to engage the larger community in discussion on cutting edge topics.  The event includes projects from health-related disciplines, encourages interdisciplinary discourse, and examination of the connection between research and education. DMU faculty, staff, students, residents, alumni, external researchers and health professionals from the Des Moines area and surrounding medical and scientific community are invited to participate and present at the event.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the research efforts of those at Des Moines University and in the surrounding medical and scientific communities.
  • Provide a forum for the collaboration of ideas and the production of new hypotheses.
  • Demonstrate to attendees the critical role that research plays in the advancements of health care.

All students, faculty, and residents are encouraged to develop research projects to be presented at the Symposium. Awards will be given to the presenting author(s) (students, residents, and postdocs only) with the best quality oral and poster presentation.


This year's poster presentations will be pre-recorded and available for viewing online. Those chosen to present a poster will be asked to submit a digital copy of their poster and a 2-3 minute “elevator talk” about their project to the DMU Office of Research by Monday, November 8, 2021.  Presenters will be judged on both the poster and their talk.

If the work is co-authored, only the presenting author will submit on behalf of all co-authors. The names of all co-authors must be listed in the submission form. Poster presenters will receive additional poster guidelines when notified of presentation acceptance.



Posters will be available online starting November 30, 2021, for viewing and judging in advance of the DMU Research Symposium. There will also be poster viewing and discussion breakout sessions during the event. This will allow participants to discuss topic areas with poster presenters and other attendees.


Six students will be selected to give a brief five-minute lightning talk. Lightning talks are limited to a maximum of eight slides, including introduction, background, methods, conclusions, references, and acknowledgements. Lightning talk presenters are not required to present a poster but may choose to do so. Students will present live on December 2, 2021, with time allowed to answer audience questions. More information will be provided via emails to those that are selected. If the work is co-authored, only the presenting author will submit on behalf of all co-authors. The names of all co-authors must be listed in the submission form. 



Have questions regarding the DMU Research Symposium? If your question isn’t answered, please contact the Office of Research at or 515-271-1037.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 CPME
  • 3.00 IBON
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
12/02/2021 - 12:00pm CST
Event ends: 
12/02/2021 - 3:30pm CST

All times listed are in Central Time.

12 pm

Welcome Address
Abigail Amissah-Arthur, PhD
Senior Director of Research Administration, Des Moines University

12:15 pm

Keynote Address - 39 Years of Coronavirus Research: Insights into COVID-19
Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Iowa

  • Discuss COVID-19 history and epidemiology.
  • Describe COVID-19 clinical disease and pathogenesis.
  • Examine some of the key research questions in COVID-19.
  • Explain how to prepare oneself for research in coronavirus biology.
1 pm

Oral Presentations Session 1

Calmodulin availability regulates basal autophagy
Elizabeth McConnaha, MS, PhD’25, Jennifer Giles, MA, Eric Wauson, PhD, and Quang-Kim Tran, MD, PhD

Validation of the foot arch stiffness measurement in healthy non-symptomatic adults
William Bui Tran, DPM’23 and Vassilios Vardaxis, PhD

1:16 pm

Poster Presentations Session 1
Breakout Categories: Biomedical Sciences 1 and Clinical

1:41 pmBreak
1:45 pm

Oral Presentations Session 2

NMDA receptor modulation in protracted ethanol withdrawal
Mercedes C. Foster, MBS’25, Jennifer Giles, MA, and Daniel T. Christian, PhD

Reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy primarily among the Medicare population, associated disparities and methods to address the gap in vaccination rates
Nimo Nour, DO’24 and Tami Swenson, PhD

2:01 pm

Poster Presentations Session 2
Breakout Categories: Education, Movement Science, and Public Health

2:26 pm Break
2:30 pm

Oral Presentations Session 3

Potential renoprotective effects of chronic remote ischemic conditioning in a rodent model of sleep apnea
Benjamin G. Madigan, DO’24, Katherine Harbeck, DO’24, Raina Gerritts, DO’24, Kalie A. Savage, DO’23, Sarah C. Clayton, PhD, Kiefer W. Kious, MS, Kelsey S. Schwartz, BS, James A. Lang, PhD, and Noah J. Marcus, PhD

Medial orbital floor thickness and asymmetry: implications for blow-out fractures
Michael A. Munafo, DO’24 and Lauren Butaric, PhD

2:46 pm

Poster Presentations Session 3
Breakout Categories: Biomedical Sciences 2 and Anatomy

3:11 pmAwards/Closing Ceremony
3:30 pmAdjourn

Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Iowa

Dr. Perlman received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts and his M.D. from the University of Miami, Miami, Florida. He was trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. He is a member of the VRBPAC of the FDA and the COVID-19 Advisory Committee of the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices).

His current research efforts are focused on coronavirus pathogenesis, including virus-induced demyelination and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and COVID-19. His laboratory has developed several novel animal models useful for studying pathogenesis and evaluating vaccines and anti-viral therapies. His studies are directed at understanding why aged patients and mice developed more severe disease than younger individuals after infection with SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 and also on why there is a male predominance in patients with more severe disease after infection with SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. He and his colleagues demonstrated that transduction of mice with an adenovirus expressing the human receptor for MERS-CoV, DPP4, rendered them sensitive to infection, providing the first rodent model useful for studying MERS. Similar approaches have been used to develop several mouse models for COVID-19. Among other topics, his research is now focusing on the loss of sense of smell (anosmia) and taste (ageusia) observed in patients with COVID-19. He is a member of the VRBPAC of the FDA and the COVID-19 Advisory Committee of the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices).


  • imageMD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this live activity for 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this program for a maximum of 3.0 AOA Category 2-B credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
  • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education contact hours.
  • Nurse: Des Moines University is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This live activity has been reviewed and approved for 3.0 continuing education contact hour(s). No partial credit awarded.
  • Other healthcare providers: This live activity is designated for 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.


No commercial interest company provided financial support for this continuing education activity.


The speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. 

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individual(s) have no conflict(s) with commercial interest companies to disclose.

  • Abigail Amissah-Arthur, PhD, Planning Committee Member
  • Christina Billings, MPH, CHCP, Planning Committee Member
  • Lori Byrd, MS, Planning Committee Member
  • Vanessa Gray, MHA, CMP, CHCP, Planning Committee Member
  • Mollie Lyon, Planning Committee Member
  • Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD - Speaker
  • Kennedy Wrice, Planning Committee Member


The information provided at this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­B
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 CPME
  • 3.00 IBON


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