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Celebrating Student Contributions to Injury Research

Published on August 11, 2014 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 4 months 2 weeks ago


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A recent event at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) celebrated the wide-ranging accomplishments of a number of students who have been working with CIRP staff and investigators. Held August 5th, the 9th Annual Student Research Day featured presentations that highlighted the scope and breadth of CIRP research, from those focused on teen driving-related topics to concussions to a study of injuries sustained by fans at Major League Baseball venues.

The students in the pediatric research training programs came to CIRP via various programs, including the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) and Drexel University’s Co-op program. While many of the students hailed from Philadelphia-area schools — such as the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Villanova University — students from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Kansas also presented.

The day was set up as a sort of “speed-dating” version of a symposium: Each student was given approximately five minutes to talk about his or her research, and at the end of the event a winner of the day’s best presentation was announced, chosen by CIRP investigators Helen Loeb, PhD, and Jessica H. Mirman, PhD. In all, the event featured 11 presentations.

Danielle Cole, a Drexel Co-op student, kicked off the symposium with a discussion of her work on the Cellie Coping Kit. Originally designed to help children and their families manage the physical and emotional challenges associated with cancer treatment, the kit includes its namesake plush toy, a pack of coping cards, and a booklet for caregivers. Over the past few months, Cole helped develop cards for a version of Cellie devoted to injuries, and has been working to raise money to support the project’s development. So far, she has raised $2,500 on her own.

Later in the day, Nicholas Janigian gave a presentation on “Spectator Injuries and Medical Events at MLB Ballparks.” A Villanova University undergraduate, Janigian’s interest in his topic stems from his love of sports and the fact that there is little mention of fan injuries in the scientific literature. Overall, Janigian found that there were approximately 35 instances of fan injuries between 2010 and 2014, including a bizarre case where a fan was blinded by a hot dog shot in the stands by the Kansas City Royals’ mascot Sluggerrr.

And in what turned out to be the day’s winning presentation, Richard Hanna, a BS/MS student at Drexel University, discussed his work improving digital models of child safety restraint systems (CRS). Specifically, Hanna has been using the XBOX Kinect motion detection gaming device to build accurate 3-D models of CRS devices. “CRS designs are in a constant state of flux,” Hanna said, which can lead to confusion and misuse, but having better models can help ameliorate that.

“The Center for Injury Research and Prevention's annual Student Research Day event offers students the chance to show off their work, and this year was no different. This year’s impressive presentations showed the impact students make during their time at CIRP. We’re so proud of everything they accomplished,” said Carol Murray, MSS, MLSP, the Center’s training manager.

To learn more about the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, and the Center’s pediatric research training programs, visit the CIRP website.