Oh, the things you’ll learn at the DMU Research Symposium!

Can tai chi benefit people with stiff knee gait after they’ve had total knee replacement?

Do heat waves caused by climate change increase the incidence of diabetic foot ulcers?

Would targeting specific enzymes that impact damage to heart muscle cells help reduce heart attacks?

Is there a connection between sinus headaches and neck pain, and if so, are over-the-counter medications effective in treating both?

These are just a few of the questions that will be probed during the eighth annual DMU Research Symposium on Thursday, Dec. 7. The event will showcase a record 74 interdisciplinary oral and poster presentations in biomedical science, movement science, public health and education. Presenters include students and residents from Des Moines University and local undergraduate institutions as well as faculty and members of the medical and scientific community.

The DMU Research Symposium is a lively way to learn.

“For many students, the symposium is their first step into the more formal world of research and academia,” says Jeffrey Gray, Ph.D., DMU’s vice president for research and global initiatives. “It gives them the opportunity to discuss their work, receive constructive feedback and establish relationships with future peers in the health professions.”

The symposium also will feature a keynote talk by Melissa Burroughs Peña, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San Francisco. A cardiologist with a keen interest in Latin America and an emerging leader in improving heart health across the region, she will discuss cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the U.S. and throughout the Americas.

“It’s not just grandmothers having heart attacks, but people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are supporting families and can no longer work,” she says. “It can sink a family very quickly and is devastating to local communities and national economies.”

Hosted by DMU’s Office of Research and its continuing medical education department, the symposium will begin at noon with lunch and the keynote talk in the Student Education Center Auditorium on campus. Poster and oral presentations will follow. The event will conclude with award presentations for best oral and poster presentations as well as for faculty research excellence. Continuing medical education credit is available. For more information, registration and a full schedule, visit the symposium website.

“The symposium demonstrates the strong research that is occurring on the DMU campus and in our community,” Gray says. “It allows attendees to reflect on how the discoveries we are making in research today will impact the scientific and medical community and the future of our patients.”