UNE COM student recognized in national osteopathic student researcher awards

University of New England student Natalie Koons (D.O., ’23) has become only the second in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (U
Natalie Koons (D.O., ’23)

Natalie Koons (D.O., ’23), a student in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) has received an honorable mention for the 2021 Student Researcher of the Year award from the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP).

The award, bestowed annually, recognizes osteopathic medical students with highly competitive experiences and advancement in clinical, translational, or basic science research. The national awardees are selected based on a student’s contributions to osteopathic research that align with the mission of both the osteopathic profession and COSGP: to advance the philosophy, practice, and science of osteopathic medicine.

Koons received a third place honorable mention during a year that saw a record number of applicants.

Being recognized with this national honor just confirms my passion for scientific research and how impactful it can be on patient populations,” said Koons, of Buffalo, New York. “Research is not only just something I enjoy, but it really helps to bring what we learn, didactically, to clinical reality. This award is just one step closer to my goal of becoming a physician-scientist in the field of anesthesiology.”

In 2020, Koons — president-elect of the American Society of Anesthesiologists - Medical Student Component (ASA-MSC) — became only the second UNE COM student to receive a prestigious Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship (MSARF) from the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) since the program’s inception.

The program provides students financial support for eight weeks of anesthesiology research, training in scientific methods and techniques, and learning in how to incorporate research into their medical careers.

Koons was to travel to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to work under the mentorship of Soban Umar, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine this past summer. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she worked with Umar remotely on several projects.

One such project focused on sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy, titled, “Intralipid Improves LPS-induced Cardiomyopathy through STAT3 Activation in Rats.” Koons will present the study’s findings at the Association of University Anesthesiologists National Meeting in conjunction with the International Anesthesia Research Society and the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists on May 14.

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