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Feinberg University Develops AI-Based Tool for Medical Record Optimization

Summary

Roger Smith, an eighth-year student in the Medical-Scientific Program at Feinberg University, is working on developing an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool aimed at addressing medical issues in electronic health records. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2014, […]

Feinberg University Develops AI-Based Tool for Medical Record Optimization

Roger Smith, an eighth-year student in the Medical-Scientific Program at Feinberg University, is working on developing an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool aimed at addressing medical issues in electronic health records. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2014, Smith joined the Feinberg Medical-Scientific Program (MSTP).

In his final year of medical school, Smith conducted his doctoral studies in the laboratory of Mark Mendel, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, where he studied how cancer cells exploit protein homeostasis processes. He plans to specialize in internal medicine, following a research-focused path with additional training in pulmonology and intensive care.

Read the interview with Smith below.

Why did you choose Feinberg?

Listen to Smith below.

Smith chose the Feinberg University Medical School primarily for its exceptional clinical education. As an MD/PhD program student, he was also highly interested in the strong, highly collaborative research environment that has experienced significant growth in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private sources. Additionally, being located in the heart of Chicago provides access to world-renowned music, food, art, and cultural events. Lastly, the proximity to his family in the suburbs was the cherry on top.

What inspired you to pursue an MD/PhD program?

I have been interested in medical school since my undergraduate studies, and I joined a research lab to support my medical school application, I admit. I truly fell in love with the process of asking new questions and interpreting data to discover new knowledge that pushes the boundaries of biology. The impact of research can go beyond an individual patient and potentially influence tens of thousands of patients with newly uncovered findings. MD/PhD training provided an opportunity to integrate the wealth of knowledge from medical education with the development of skills in formulating feasible, fundamental scientific research questions and designing rigorous experiments to test hypotheses. The doctoral training also offered me practice in data analysis, presentation, and communication skills that complement my medical education. The combination of these two skills enables me to ask better questions, especially when I notice things in clinical settings that seem suitable for further investigation. It also gives me a better understanding of potential limitations in translating fundamental scientific discoveries. Not to say that it should limit innovation in any way, but having a better understanding of how the pieces fit together when it comes to biomedicine.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses on the field of carcinogenesis, trying to understand how cancer cells exploit protein homeostasis processes to support their rapid proliferation.

The way I like to think about it is this: if you’re a rapidly dividing cancer cell, you have to make all these proteins, and you have to make sure they function well and go where they need to go during that process. It’s like working in the packaging department at Amazon during the holiday season. There’s immense productivity, and you have to ensure there is good quality control for each package. Protein homeostasis is an integral part that allows cancer cells to be as aggressive as they are.

I’m generally interested in how cells respond to stress, whether it’s a cancer cell deprived of nutrients or oxygen, or how lungs are damaged and repaired during pneumonia. I’m increasingly interested in how the immune system manages the process of inflammation in response to injury, whether it’s an infection or some kind of trauma, and then how that process results in the cessation of inflammation when it’s time to no longer be in an inflammatory state. I’m also interested in the consequences of this process not functioning properly on long-term health, especially in the lungs. Specializing in pulmonary diseases and intensive care would allow me to investigate these and other questions in both clinical and research settings.

FAQs

What is Feinberg University?

Feinberg University is an esteemed institution known for its medical and scientific programs.

What is an MD/PhD program?

An MD/PhD program is a combined degree program that allows students to pursue both medical and doctoral studies simultaneously. It integrates clinical education with scientific research training.

What is protein homeostasis?

Protein homeostasis refers to the balance or equilibrium in the production, folding, and degradation of proteins within a cell. It ensures that proteins are properly synthesized, folded, and function optimally.

Why is understanding protein homeostasis important in cancer research?

Cancer cells have a high demand for protein production to support their rapid growth. Understanding how cancer cells exploit protein homeostasis processes can provide insights into potential targets for therapeutic interventions.

Sources:
– Feinberg University: https://www.feinberg.edu/
– MD/PhD Program: https://www.aamc.org/md-phd