Senior biochemistry major and VURF recipient, Michael Medina, conducted research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this summer.
On his experience:
"Assisting the projects led by Dr. Roy Wade at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provided the opportunity for me to see how advancements in health care institutions come about. By participating in multiple clinical projects, I was able to see that the research process is quite extensive in any endeavor. From this experience, I can say with confidence that providing the qualitative basis for health care measures is quite comprehensive and exciting.
The main project that I contributed to is the “Impact of Paternal Childhood Adversity on Health Outcomes of Offspring” project, which seeks to corroborate previous studies identifying a positive relationship between qualitative childhood adversities of parents and corresponding children. In this project, childhood adversity is assessed by surveying the experiences of an adult and assigning them an ACE score (ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences). ACE scores run through integers and a point is given for each of the experiences surveyed. For example, if a father experienced emotional abuse and racism during his childhood, then the ACE score would be 2. This study hypothesizes that a high ACE score in fathers leads to a higher disposition of their children having a high ACE score as well. My role in this project will be administering the survey and will continue in the fall semester.
The second project that I was involved in is the “Family Medical History” project, which aims to highlight how environmental factors shaped the cultural practices of African American families at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Semi-structured interview data was qualitatively evaluated for patterns of health, most evidently seen in current health practices and behaviors.
The third project I worked on was the “Development of a National Youth Firearm Risk and Safety Assessment Tool” project in which focus groups were conducted to help develop a relevant and meaningful question set for pediatricians to use when asking patients and patients’ parents about gun exposure and safety. My contribution to this project was identifying and taking note of the responses of the participants."