CI MED Student Wins Award for Liver Cancer Research

February 10, 2023
Beth Hart

Written by Beth Hart

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Vish Vijayakumar

Carle Illinois College of Medicine student Vish Vijayakumar (Class of 2025) is being honored for his work on research developing animal models to advance the study of liver cancer. Vijayakumar is a 2023 recipient of the Society for Interventional Radiology’s Dr. Constantin Cope Medical Student Research Award which recognizes excellence in research authorship that demonstrates a spirit of inventiveness and scientific purity.

Vijayakumar authored an abstract based on a faculty/student research project that develops pig models to study hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer. He contributed to the team’s work by analyzing the genetic material that composed the tumors in the pig model and comparing them to human hepatocellular carcinoma to demonstrate that the animal model expresses common types of hepatocellular carcinoma found in humans. The team’s research is aimed at further validating the model and advancing its use in testing new drug therapies.

Vijayakumar was nominated by his project collaborators, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty members Mohammed El-Kebir, Lawrence Schook, and Kyle Schachtschneider. Part of the award is a $1000 travel stipend to attend the 2023 SIR conference in Phoenix in March where Vijayakumar will present the group’s work orally. He plans to pursue a career in translational cancer research in radiology/interventional radiology.

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This story was published February 10, 2023.