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2021 Medical Student Research Day

The University of Maryland School of Medicine Proudly Presents: 44th Annual Medical Student Research Day, 2021

See Awards Announcement and Event Highlights for information regarding the student presentation awards and the faculty mentor recognition awards, the event management team, the keynote speaker, the plenary student presenters, and the student panelists.

Congratulations to all the student presenters for sharing their research achievements!

Special congratulations to the faculty mentor recognition awardees for their excellenting mentoring and to the student presentation awardees for their outstanding presentations!

Thank you to the all the medical student event staff for volunteering your time to prepare for and run the event!

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this event, including all the faculty mentors, research team members, staff, and many others!

Event Overview

The 44th Annual Medical Student Research Day (MSRD) was held in the afternoons of Monday, November 15 and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 virtually through Zoom. The event is hosted by the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor (AOA) Medical Society and the Office of Student Research in the Dean's Office. All School of Medicine faculty, staff, residents, fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and students are welcome to attend the event.  The event is also open to all of UMB.

Attendees learn about the wide range of exciting clinical, basic, and translational research projects the students have conducted during medical school.

Ronna Hertzano, M.D., Ph.D., recent recipient of the Researcher of the Year award, was the keynote speaker for the event. The 2-day event featured 6 plenary presentation by outstanding student researchers, over 60 student research oral and poster presentations, and a panel discussion by highly accomplished student researchers.  Faculty mentors and student award recipients were recognized at the awards segment of the event.

The 2-day event began on Day 1 with opening remarks and keynote address at 1:00 p.m., continuing with special presentation from outstanding student researcher at 1:50 p.m. and student presentations at 2:30 - 5:35 p.m..

On Day 2, the eventl continued with special presentations from outstanding student researchers at 1:00 p.m., student presentations at 2:10 - 3:15 p.m., and special student research panel at 3:25 - 3:55 p.m.  The event will conclude with the Awards segment at 4:00 - 4:30p.m. where faculty mentors and student presenters award recipients will be recognized.

Keynote Speaker 

Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD

Dr. Hertzano was recently awarded Researcher of the Year, UMB Founder's Week Awards.
See recent new article on Dr. Hertzano's research. 

Title of Presentation
From Ear to gEAR - Building a Career as a Surgeon-Scientist at UMSOM

Speaker's Journey Description
Debilitating hearing loss afflicts nearly half a billion people worldwide. To date, treatment of hearing loss is based on the severity of the loss, but not based on the cause.  Furthermore, there are no FDA-approved therapeutics to prevent or treat noise-induced or age-related hearing loss. As a medical student, I wanted to be able to treat patients with hearing loss, but also obtain a better understanding of the underpinnings of this prevalent disorder. For this reason, I switched to the MSTP program after matriculating to the MD-only tract and continued down this path as a resident and faculty. Today, while caring for patients with otologic disease, I lead a research team based at HSF-III of the UMSOM campus. Our team takes a cell type-specific multi-omic approach to characterize molecular pathways in inner ear development and acquired hearing loss. The results of these studies are used to identify candidate targets to prevent or reverse hearing loss. Finally, to facilitate multi-omic data sharing, visualization and analysis, we developed the gEAR portal, the gene Expression Analysis Resource (

Speaker Short Bio
Dr. Hertzano earned her BSc at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She then earned both her MD and PhD degrees at the same institution. Always passionate about research, her MD honors research thesis studies focused on genetic mapping of hearing loss of gene expression in mice. Dr. Hertzano continued her investigation into molecular genetic mechanisms governing congenital and induced hearing loss in her PhD thesis research which titled: “Differential Cochlear Gene Expression”.

Dr. Hertzano completed her residency in Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at UM SOM and proceeded to earn a prestigious fellowship in Otology-Neurotology in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT HNS). She has risen through the faculty ranks from 2011 to the present and is currently holds the rank of tenured professor with dual appointments in Departments of ENT HNS and Anatomy and Neurobiology at UM SOM. Dr. Hertzano has won more than two dozen prestigious awards and commendations in clinical and basic research fields. She is recognized as a teacher and mentor to medical students, residents and junior faculty and is a servant faculty citizen in the SOM. Her service and activities are too many to mention here. Her grant support includes two active R01 NIH grants as PI, several other grants as PI and, a number of where she collaborates as a Co-I. Moreover, she has several grants pending. She has authored and co-authored 58 original and peer-reviewed articles, a number of which are published in highly prestigious journals. She has contributed to 5 book chapters on hearing and is a highly sought-after speaker in her field. Numerous abstracts and e-publications round out her portfolio. Dr. Hertzano owns a patent for inner-ear transcriptional mapping as related to acoustic trauma. The MSRD planning committee is honored to have Dr. Hertzano give the keynote address in the the 44th annual MSRD celebration.


For questions, please use the Ask MSRD form.