Medical Student Summer Research Program

About the Program

A limited number of 8 week summer research fellowships are available for M1 and M2 students at the Medical College of Wisconsin, wishing to participate in an intensive research experience with one of the many outstanding clinical and basic science faculty investigators in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. This program is part of the Medical College of Wisconsin Student Summer Research Program, and is subject to the rules and requirements under which that program operates. Students are integrated into the research process and actively participate as members of the research team, under the supervision of faculty preceptors. A maximum of two students may work with any one faculty member. The program is designed to expose students to research and research careers through extended experiences that are not available in the regular medical school program, geared to students who have little or no prior research experience.


Limited funding is available through the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and may not be at par with funding available through external agencies. Students considered for funding will be those who have applied for and not received funding through other sources available through the MCW Summer Student Research Program. Information on these external grants may be obtained through Medical Student Summer Research Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The amount of funding available varies from year to year, and the applications are very competitive. It is important for both the student and the preceptor to discuss this issue during the application process, and understand that their individual project may not be funded. Awards are ranked on the project’s compatibility with the goals of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, on the quality of the research proposal, its appropriateness as a short-term research experience, and the student’s well-defined role in the research project. Students should recognize that the research projects may not be completely executed during the summer period, and should be prepared and committed to see the projects to fruition.

The Research Project

The research project must be hypothesis-driven and can be in any of the basic or clinical orthopaedic surgical sciences. Research areas that meet the scientific interests of the funding agencies available that year should be specifically explored. The role of the student must be well defined and reflect a significant level of participation and commitment. The project should focus on a specific scientific question or definitive part of a larger project and be reasonable in scope so that a student can complete a component of work. The research plan submitted with the application must have a clear, well-defined hypothesis, which can be tested by the aims and methods outlined. Independent, student-driven research projects are not eligible for funding through this program. Rather, students must work on some aspect of an existing investigation being conducted by a full-time faculty member of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Program Requirements

Per the MCW Summer Student Research Program, attendance is mandatory at the following:

  • Program Orientation and Scientific Integrity and Ethics in Research Seminar
  • Enrichment Seminars (scheduled during the summer training period)
  • Medical Student Summer Research Poster Session (typically held in late September)
  • Oral Presentation at the Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds (typically held in January)

In addition, students must complete all weeks of the fellowship and write an abstract of their research in preparation for the research poster session. It is recommended that preceptors arrange for their fellows to present a brief oral discussion of their project at a departmental meeting.

Poster and paper presentation at national meetings and publication of the research project in prominent orthopaedic surgical scientific journals is the anticipated goal for all research projects. Funding may be available for students who present papers at the national annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons or similar major subspecialty societies.

2018 Medical Student Projects

Luisa Burgos (Faculty Advisor: Roger Daley, MD) A Variant of Madelung’s Deformity. Management of the Distal Ulna within the Carpal Canal. A Case Report and Literature Review

Ashley Creager (Faculty Advisor: John Neilson, MD) Complex Acetabular Reconstructions in Total Hip Arthroplasty

Austin Greenwood (Faculty Advisor: Edward Nelsen-Freund, MD) Survivorship of an Articulating Antibiotic Spacer without Second Stage Revision for Total Hip Arthroplasty Prosthetic Joint Infections

Armann Haleen (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Surgical Outcomes of Rotator Cuff Repair in Upper Extremity Ambulators

Cameron Hays (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr MD) Biomechanics of the Spine and Lower Limb With and Without Use of Corset Bracing

Conor Hillert (Faculty Advisor: Scott Van Valin MD) Development of Customized Orthosis for Children with Clubfoot Following Ponseti Casting

Jonathan Horng (Faculty Advisors: John Thometz MD, Channing Tassone MD, Xue-Cheng Liu, PhD, MD) Effect of Thoracoplasty on 3D Back Contour of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients

Thomas Langer III (Faculty Advisor: Brian Law MD) Open Treatment of Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus with Bone Grafting and Particulated Juvenile Cartilage Allografting

Taylor Loeffler (Faculty Advisor: Gregory Schmeling MD) Assessment of Gait and Strength Following Surgical Repair of Isolated Femur Fracture

Katherine Lukas (Faculty Advisors: J Channing Tassone MD & Xue-Cheng Liu PhD, MD) Effect of Brace Type on Spine Curvature in Treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Madeline Perlewitz (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) The Effects of Cobalt and Chromium Ratios on Lymphocyte Activation and Signaling

Nicholas Poellinger (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Exposure to Non-Thermal Infrared Light Decreases the Extent of Tissue Damage Following Ischemia and Reperfusion

James Saxton (Faculty Advisor: Janelle Cross PhD) Gender Differences of Movement Patterns and Kinetics in Healthy Runners

Cain Stark (Faculty Advisor: Gerald Harris PhD) Gait Analysis Following Synthetic Cartilage Implantation at the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

Aushja Syed (Faculty Advisors: John Thometz MD & Xue-Cheng Liu PhD, MD) Determining the Most Effective Brace Among Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Meta-Analysis

Alyssa Tidemann (Faculty Advisors: Steven Grindel MD & Edith Burns MD) Natural Interfaces for Evaluation and Management of Shoulder Dysfunction


2017 Medical Student Projects

Clark Andrews (Faculty Advisor: Janelle Cross, PhD) Validation of IMU Sensors For Use During Running Analysis

Emily Laurent (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Anti-Diuretic Hormone Following Primary Total Joint Replacement Surgery

Austin Middleton (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) The Effects of Adjuvant Local Anesthesia vs General Anesthesia on Outcomes of Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

William Montagne (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Non-Thermal Near Infrared Light Affects Osteoblasts Maturation Through Nitric Oxide Pathways

Nathan Redlich (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Effect of Preoperative Opioid Use on Outcome of Shoulder Surgery

Daniel Roadman (Faculty Advisors: Roger Lyon MD & Xue-Cheng Liu MD, PhD) Knee Osteochondritis Dissecans Healing Following Surgical of the Knee

Kevin Schlidt (Faculty Advisors: Gerald Harris PhD) Biomechanical Evaluation of Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Mobility

Bryce Toburen (Faculty Advisor: Richard Marks MD) Outcomes Analysis After Treatment of Calcaneal Fracture with Minimum Twelve Month Follow-up

Gunnar Whealy (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injuries in Youth

Ross Whitlock (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Effect of Non-Thermal Near Infrared Light on Estrogen-Related Receptors and Bone Maturation

2016 Medical Student Projects

Michael Apolinario (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injuries in Youth

Dylan Applin (Faculty Advisor: Mei Wang PhD) A Biomedical Study Comparing Tension Band Fixation with Headless Screws vs Standard Screws

Nicholas Cysewski (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Efficacy of Humeral Head Core Decompression in Patients with AVN Due to Sickle Cell Disease or Integrity of Rotator Cuff Repairs in Paraplegic Patients who Require the Use of Their Arms for Locomotion

Nicholas Gannon (Faculty Advisor: David King MD) Correlation of Pathologic Fibrosis and Necrosis with Survival in Patients with Primary Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Extremity and Trunk

Omeed Ghassemi (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Non-Thermal (NIR) Lights Inhibits Osteoblasts Apoptosis

Mason Mocarski (Faculty Advisor: Carole Vetter MD) Electromyographic Assessment of the Shoulder Musculature During Passive Rehabilitation Exercise and Activities of Daily Living

Dustin Richter (Faculty Advisor: Roger Lyon MD) Effect of Growth on Children Undergoing Physeal Sparing ACL Reconstruction

Derrick Wendler (Faculty Advisors: James Ninomiya MD & Dorothee Weihrauch PhD, DVM) Effects of Non-thermal Infrared (NIR) Light on Osteoclast Formation

Brady Williams (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Effect of Chronic Preoperative Opioid Use on Outcomes Following Rotator Cuff Repair

Vincent Yaccarino (Faculty Advisor: Scott Van Valin MD) Comparison of the Functional Outcomes Between Patellar Tendon & Semitendinous/gracillis Autograft Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament

2015 Medical Student Projects

Andrew Regent-Smith (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Clinical Outcomes of Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfer for Irreparable/Massive Rotator Cuff Injuries

Ciani Ellison (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Clinical Assessment of Humeral Head Avascular Necrosis and Outcomes of Intervention

Ryan Inawat (Faculty Advisor: Steven Grindel MD) Sources of Compensation during Activities of Daily Living after Rotator Cuff Repair

Andrew Straszewski (Faculty Advisor: David King MD) Surgical Outcomes Following Resection of Vascular Anomalies of the Extremities

Rakel Zarb (Faculty Advisor: Roger Daley MD, PhD) Quantitative Upper Extremity Assessment of Pediatric Patients with Orthopaedic and Neurological Impairment following Three Weeks of Intense Rehabilitative Therapy

Puneet Rana (Faculty Advisor: Roger Daley MD, PhD) Quantitative Assessment of Manual Wheelchair Propulsion in Children with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder

Carolyn Meinerz (Faculty Advisor: Carole Vetter MD) Running to the Beat:  Does Listening to Music Affect Running Cadence and Biomechanics?

Michael Tednes Jr. (Faculty Advisor: Scott Van Valin MD) Comparison of the Functional Outcomes between Patellar Tendon and Semitendinosus/gracilis Autograft Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Stephen Brennan (Faculty Advisor: Richard Marks MD) Comparing Goniometry and Radiography as Techniques for Measuring Ankle Range of Motion Following Total Ankle Replacement Surgery

Sean Erchadi (Faculty Advisor: Joseph Schwab MD) Correlation of the Anterior Wall Index and the Anterior Center Edge Angle

Gage Reason (Faculty Advisor: John C. Neilson MD) Impact of Bony Resection Extent on Gait and Strength in Patients of Distal Femoral Reconstructions with Endoprostheses

Mac Weninger (Faculty Advisor: James Ninomiya MD, MS) Exposure to Non-Thermal Infrared Light Alters Maturation Pathways in Osteoblasts

Meghan Teich (Faculty Advisor: Gerald Harris PhD, PE) Characterization and Assessment of Lofstrand Crutch-Assisted Gait in Children during an Intensive Rehabilitation Program

Aria Bagheri (Faculty Advisor: Xue Cheng Liu MD, PhD) The Application of Stereo-radiographic 3D Imaging in the Evaluation of Children with Idiopathic Scoliosis

Adam Hadro (Faculty Advisor: Shayne Fehr MD) Variables Related to Throwing Injury in Youth