Embracing Inquiry and Stories in Research

Research Day 2024 Celebrates Storytelling Approaches to Create Engaging Research Presentations and Gather Critical Data

April 26, 2024
Two TUC students discuss research work inside Farragut Inn\'s ballroom

Research Day, the gathering of students from all colleges at Touro University California (TUC) to discuss and share research, united the entire campus this year.

From the presentation on Storytelling by Dr. April Bell of the University of California San Francisco, to the packed closing party at Farragut Inn, the day was highlighted by intellectual collaboration and scholarly camaraderie.

“Research day is a celebration of all the research that’s done on campus, a way for us to get out of our silos and learn about each other's work,” says Dr. Sahai Burrowes, co-chair of the Research Day Committee. “For students, it's often their first-time presenting research.”

The number of student research projects on display this year reached close to 100, which Burrowes credits to the amount of mentorship available on campus across all programs.

As one of the interdisciplinary programs at Touro, students who usually may not interact with each other share and showcase their research endeavors with one another. It’s a platform that encourages students to see what colleagues in different disciplines are doing and exchange insights and inspiration from their work.

Even the organization of the event is interdisciplinary. Each year, a different college takes the helm, ensuring that every program has its moment in the spotlight and that every discipline has a voice, contributing their own perspective on research. The Master of Public Health program led this year’s theme of Storytelling.

Student doctor Jennifer Addleman stands in front of her research poster titled “Storytelling data provides useful context on understanding people's motivations, the why, and it's not like one replaces the other, but it can complement to your quantitative work,” says Burrowes. “The storytelling collection method is particularly useful for things that are stigmatized, painful, or traumatic, because it allows people to use it of their own terms, their own words, and be a release to share their stories.”

While storytelling data collection is a qualitative method, and not quantitative, Burrowes thinks that the benefits for those traditional bench scientists is in how they present their findings. Burrowes says that in an age where scientific discourse is often overshadowed by misinformation, the power of storytelling becomes a critical method to counter delusional fabrications. Researchers can craft narratives that engage, empower, and educate society, building trust and connection between academia and the broader community.

“Storytelling is dissemination, it’s how you talk about your research,” says Burrowes. “Being careful about the stories you tell, and making sure they’re thoughtful, inclusive, and engaging is even more important now than ever. There are so many powerful and false narratives circulating, that we need to think about our stories too, and we can't just cede storytelling to the fantasists.”

Research Day at TUC is not just an event; it's a celebration of curiosity, collaboration, and creativity in academic investigation to shape the world and drive positive change.

Winners of Research Day contest stand in front of the TUC seal with their certificates

2024 Winning Abstracts

At the end of the day, close to 100 students across all the programs at TUC presented their work. Of those, 12 were selected as exceptional projects across four categories. Here is the list of the 2024 Research Day winning academic studies.

Applied, Clinical, and Translational Research

1st Place: Larissa Ekwevi, College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), The Glucose Paradox Revisited: Implications of Oral Glucose Loads on Hepatic Glycogen

2nd Place: Jennifer S. Addleman, COM, Utilizing Heart Rate Variability in Sports Medicine: An Overview

3rd Place: Alan Goto, COM, Impact of the Cilioretinal Artery on Retinal Vessel Density in Eyes with Age-related Macular Degeneration

Basic Sciences and Natural Sciences

1st Place: Abraham Karimi, COM, Effects of Urolithin A on Mitochondrial Respiratory Function and its Relationship with IF1

2nd Place: Andrew Briere, COM, Systematic Ocular Phenotyping of Knockout Mouse Lines Identifies Genes Associated with Age-Related Corneal Dystrophies

3rd Place: Sam David Houman, COM, Exploring Geroscience: The Signaling Role of Ketone Body 𝛃-Hydroxybutyrate in Regulating Protein Synthesis

Public Health, Epidemiology, & Health Sciences

1st Place: Alexander Olson, COM, Evaluation of the Association Between History of Open Chest or Abdominal Surgery and Cardiovascular Risks: An NHANES Study, 2007 - March 2020

2nd Place: Juliana Walton, dual Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies / Master of Public Health, The Impact of a Health Equity and Criminal Justice Public Health Concentration Among Clinical Students at Touro University California

3rd Place: Latara Harris, Master of Public Health (MPH), College of Education and Health Sciences Youth in Action (YIA): A Pathway to Student Leadership

Social, Behavioral, Educational Sciences, and Humanities

1st Place: Alok Modi, College of Pharmacy, Immersive Virtual Reality in Teaching Mechanism of Drug Action: Assessment of Technology Acceptance and Impact on Different Learning Styles

2nd Place: Madison Sisk, MPH, Youth in Action for Health Equity: Empowerment and Resiliency Programs Address Disparities in Low-Income Schools

3rd Place: Brittnie Phan, COM, Electroconvulsive Therapy for the Treatment of Somatic Delusions