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Research Projects

Please note: All learners, regardless of status (student, resident, etc.), who are interested in working with human subjects research must complete required CITI education and training regarding Responsible Conduct of Research.

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Emergency Medicine

Development and Maintenance of the OUDEM Clinical Pathways

Mentors: Dr. Joshua Gentges

Stage: Ongoing - currently recruiting interested and capable students

Concept: The OU-TU School of Community Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine (OUDEM) Clinical Pathways provide evidence based, professionally developed and curated pathways for appropriate clinical care. When applied to the correct patient, they provide an excellent way to initiate treatment, and include medication, testing, and disposition considerations. They are developed by OUDEM faculty and residents under the direction of the Research Director, Joshua Gentges, DO, MPH. They are not a replacement for clinical judgment, experience, or training, and should be used by experienced clinicians with training in Emergency Medicine.

Student Need: Based on participation; students would work with a faculty member and a EM resident on generating or revising department's clinical pathways, including literature review, information synthesis, and pathway production.

Anticipated Project Workload: Approximately 40 hours total; schedule and timeline to be determined by team.

Posted: October 11, 2023

College of Public Health

Nutrition to Optimize, Understand, and Restore Insulin Sensitivity in HIV for Oklahoma (NOURISH-OK)

Mentors: Dr. Marianna Wetherill, Lacey Caywood

Abstract: This is a NIH-funded community-based participatory research study involving primary data collection from people living with HIV in the Tulsa area. The study involves nutrition/body composition assessment, oral and gut microbiome analysis, and various mental and physical health survey measures to understand the various pathways that food insecurity negatively impacts health. Building trust and rapport with the population is critical. Therefore, research assignments for students will be based on student interest and community need to achieve the best fit for all involved.        

Anticipated project schedule: 8-3 pm or 8-1 pm for 2-3 days per week at community partner site, Tulsa CARES. 

Stage of project: Primary data collection and participant recruitment, data entry and analysis

Anticipated project workload: 5-20 hours per week, depending on student availability and project needs

Updated: June 14, 2023

Family and Community Medicine

Hepatitis C Adherence to Treatment

Mentors: Dr. Kim Crosby

Abstract: The CDC currently recommends that all adults be screened for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). To support this, OU Health-Tulsa Family Medicine Clinic offers a HCV clinic and, under the direction of specialist consultation, treat patients with a positive HCV screening test. To facilitate patient attainment of the 80% medication adherence threshold to achieve HCV cure for each patient, the HCV team wants to understand potential barriers and risk factors associated with medication non-adherence in this patient population. The student would be involved in background literature review on barriers to HCV treatment and data collection for TFM HCV-treated patients regarding treatment status. They would be responsible for assimilating the data into a data collection tool and if time allows begin some basic analysis of the data.   

Anticipated project schedule: Tuesdays 12-1pm; Wednesdays 9am-4 pm; Fridays 9am-12pm

Stage of project: Project development (IRB submission and literature review); data collection and participant recruitment; data entry and analysis  

Anticipated project workload: Medium (8-12 hours per week)

Updated: June 14, 2023


Development and Evaluation of a Preconception Care Program to increase Self-Efficacy for Women who Intend Pregnancy in less than 1 year

Mentors: Dr. Frances Wen; Dr. Jameca Price; Dr. Juliana Meireles

Abstract: Oklahoma continues to have a high rate of maternal morbidity and mortality compared to other states. Initiating care before pregnancy has been shown to be an effective strategy to reduce congenital disorders and to improve the health outcomes of women of childbearing age. In particular, women with chronic diseases require preconception counseling to avoid adverse consequences in pregnancy due to the disease itself or pregnancy-induced exacerbation of the disease. However, there is a gap that health care systems are failing to fill in educating and assisting people planning to get pregnant. The aim of this study is to develop a preconception care program that will help people better understand the importance of their own health in influencing prenatal health and the health of their fetus and newborn. We also aim to verify if the program increases the self-efficacy of women to manage their health. Three focus groups previously completed have included women within the target population and explored the concerns, hopes, and attitudes about pregnancy and health in general. Based on that, the preconception care program is aimed to support, educate, and assist women of childbearing age who are planning to get pregnant within one year, including those with chronic diseases.

Anticipated Project Schedule: Flexible

Stage of Project: Project development (IRB submission, literature review); data collection/participant recruitment

Anticipated Workload: Light (4-8 hours per week)

Posted: November 10, 2022

Updated: June 14, 2023


Internal Medicine

Congenital Melanocytic Mevi in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome

Study Contact: Dr. Jesse Richards; Michealyn Everitt

Abstract: Surveying BBS patients using the Clinical Registry Investigating Bardet-Biedl Syndrome database. BBS patients will be questioned over the presence or absence of congenital melanocytic nevi. This project’s protocol has just finished being developed and surveys will begin to go out to patients in the next few months.

Anticipated Project Schedule: Weekly check-ins

Stage of Project: Data collection

Anticipated Workload: 2-4 hours/week

Posted: January 10, 2024


Medical Informatics

Telemedicine Simulation Curriculum for Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)       

Study Contact:  Dr. Juell Homco; Dr. Blake Lesselroth; Kristen Rodriguez; Billi Coil

Anticipated project schedule: Flexible

Stage of project: Project development (IRB submission and literature review), data collection/participant recruitment

Anticipated project workload: Medium (8-12 hours per week)

Abstract: During this project, you will learn about the expansion of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in telemedicine highlights the need for better instructional materials for health professional learners. To this end, the School of Community Medicine is developing a curriculum for health professional students that includes didactics, readings, simulations, and skills labs. The student would be assisting the faculty with content development and early testing of simulations and skills labs. The student may also be helping develop and pilot data collection instruments. 

Posted: May 18, 2021

Updated: June 14, 2023


Reducing Inappropriate Opioid Use in Seniors in Oklahoma (RISE-OK)

Mentors: Dr. Juell Homco, Dr. Wato Nsa, Carol Kuplicki, Billi Coil

Abstract: RISE-OK is a dissemination and implementation research study aimed at improving pain and opioid management for older adults in primary care practices across Oklahoma.

Anticipated project schedule: Weekly evaluation meetings are scheduled for Wednesdays at 2pm.

Stage of project: Data entry and analysis; manuscript preparation

Anticipated project workload: Medium (8-12 hours per week)

Posted: May 25, 2023

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Heparin: a double-blind randomized trial (RUTIH Study)

Study Contact: Guimy Castor  

Stage of Project: Active

Need Help With: Data entry from EMR

Abstract: This is a double-blinded randomized clinical trial study of subjects treated for recurrent urinary tract infection (RUTI) with heparin treatment, n=30 (15 in the intervention group, 15 in the control group). The principal investigator and co-investigators (who will administer the treatment) and surveys will be blinded during the study, and the subject will not know intervention.

Posted: December 1, 2020

Updated: June 14, 2023


AHA Healthy Lifestyles Rx: Does this program lead to improved BP control in our patients?

Mentors: Dr. Jameca Price, Guimy Castor

Abstract: The purpose of this research project is to assess blood pressure management in pregnant women experiencing or at an increased risk of developing hypertensive disorders before and after implementing targeted blood pressures. This quality improvement project has three outcomes: • The primary outcome is to maintain a 70% blood pressure control rate for hypertensive patients, and this can be achieved by both improved medication management for patients already on or in need of antihypertensive therapy, and lifestyle changes to aid in decreased blood pressure. Patients, on average, would decrease systolic by 20 points and diastolic by 10 points. We will compare blood pressure management in patients choosing to participate versus not participating • A second outcome is the assessment of patient attitudes toward Healthy Lifestyles Rx and SMBP • Lastly, patients are evaluated based on their satisfaction with the ease of use of equipment, improved nutrition, and an increase in physical activity during the study.

Anticipated project schedule: Weekly research meetings on Fridays at 10am. Assist with clinic recruitment on Friday mornings.

Stage of project: Data collection/participant recruitment; data entry and analysis

Anticipated workload: Light (4-8 hours per week)

Posted: May 25, 2023



The Impact of Morbid Obesity on Hospital Inpatient Admissions in Oklahoma

Mentors: Dr. Zhamak Khorgami, Dr. Carol Cox

Abstract: There are over 1.1 million Oklahomans who are obese. Approximately 1.6 billion excess dollars are spent on Medicaid and other governmental health care for obese Oklahomans. Previous studies have found associations between obesity and increased hospital length of stay and charges. This study will review the Oklahoma Inpatient Discharge Public Use Data File (PUDF), to analyze the impact of morbid obesity on total charges, length of stay, and incidence of medical conditions and surgical procedures.      Using the Oklahoma Inpatient PUDF (2016-2019), containing data of all hospitalizations submitted from all but two hospitals in Oklahoma, we will categorize admissions into morbidly obese and non-obese. We will identify the more common medical and surgical conditions in obese patients based on ICD-10 codes. IBM SPSS Statistics version 27 will be used to compare common procedures and diagnoses frequency between obese and non-obese patients. Number Needed to Treat (NNT) morbid obesity will be tabulated to prevent each of these medical and surgical conditions associated with morbid obesity.

Anticipated project schedule: 1-2 meetings per week, flexible timing  

Stage of project: Data entry and analysis

Anticipated project workload: Medium (8-12 hours per week)

Posted: May 16, 2022

Updated: June 14, 2023


Identifying Risk Factors for the Development of Vascular Disease

Mentors: Dr. Kelley Kempe, Dr. Martina Jelley, Dr. Carol Cox

Abstract: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are early life events that have been found to impact physiologic responses to stress in adulthood. These experiences have been previously organized into three main categories: abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. ACEs have been shown to influence the development of diseases affecting immune, nervous, respiratory, endocrine, and some cardiovascular systems in individuals independent of genetic factors. Higher occurrence of ACEs during childhood development has been tied to increased chance of disease risk in adults. While ACEs have been associated with a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease and stroke, the relationship to the development of vascular disease, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), has not yet been determined. PAD produces significant disability and has been determined to impact over 200 million individuals worldwide. Additionally, the annual cost due to PAD-related hospitalization in the US alone has been estimated as greater than $21 billion. Depressive symptoms in this patient population have been found to worsen PAD associated health status and outcomes, especially in women. To potentially improve health outcomes in vascular disease patients, it is necessary to further understand the importance of ACEs and the potential impact of psychological burden in PAD-related health status. This study therefore aims to determine the relationship between ACE exposure and the development of vascular disease and related chronic illness in adulthood.

Anticipated project schedule: To be determined

Stage of project: Data collection/participant recruitment; data entry and analysis; manuscript preparation

Anticipated project workload: Light (4-8 hours per week)

Posted: May 25, 2023