26th Annual Bierkamper Convocation student winners announced

Largest field ever participates in School of Medicine’s research competition

RENO, Nev. — Two University of Nevada School of Medicine students were recognized last week for excellence in research at the 26th Annual George G. Bierkamper Student Research Convocation.

This year's graduate student Bierkamper award went to Rosie Dixon for her research on "Chlamydial Infection Causes Loss of Oviduct Pacemaker Cells and Inhibits Oocyte Transport." Dixon, a fourth–year graduate student worked with Sean Ward, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine's Department of Physiology and Cell Biology as her mentor.

Chad Watts received the medical student Bierkamper award for his presentation entitled, "Outcomes of Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction With Abnormal Bone Excision." Watts, a second-year medical student, worked with Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D., of the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala.

Students participating in the Bierkamper Research Convocation were evaluated by a panel of judges made up of School of Medicine faculty. Students compete either in the graduate student category or medical student category and are judged based upon the quality of their research, findings, and presentation.

Dixon and Watts will each receive a $250 award as well as recognition for their achievements during School of Medicine commencement ceremonies in May.

Thirty–one graduate and medical students, the largest group ever, participated in the January 20 convocation which provided an opportunity for students to present original research to a group of their peers and mentors.

The Bierkamper Student Research Convocation recognizes the excellence of the medical school students as well as that of faculty and staff who diligently mentor students throughout their research process. All research presented by students at the convocation is original and conducted in addition to their coursework. Most students spend a year preparing their research for presentation.

The convocation was started as a formal activity of the School of Medicine in 1983; however, the event has carried the name of Professor George Gwyne Bierkamper since his death in 1988. The George G. Bierkamper Student Research Convocation embodies the spirit of research and encourages School of Medicine students "not to worship what is known, but to question it."


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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.