Summer Medical Student Research Program

About the Program

A limited number of 12 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.

2016 Medical Student Projects

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

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

Nicholas Cysewski (Faculty Mentor: Steven Grindel, MD)
Outcomes of Rotator Cuff Repair in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

Nicholas Gannon (Faculty Mentor: David King, MD)
Pathological Necrosis Following Neoadjuvant Radiotherapy or Chemoradiotherapy is Associated with Poor Survival in Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Omeed Ghassemi (Faculty Mentor: James Ninomiya, MD)
Non-Thermal (NIR) Light Inhibits Osteoblast  Opoptosis

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

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

Derrick Wendler (Faculty Mentor: James Ninomiya, MD & Dorothee Weihrauch, PhD, DVM)
Electromyographic Assessment of the Shoulder Musculature During Passive Rehabilitation Exercises and Activities of Daily Living

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

Vincent Yaccarino (Faculty Mentor: Scott Van Valin, MD)
Comparison of the Functional Outcomes Between Patellar Tendon and Semitendinous/Gracillis Autograft Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament