What years did you participate in UROP? 

I was a student in UROP for the 2015-2016 academic year when I was a sophomore.

What UROP Program(s) were you a part of? 

I took part in the standard UROP. At the UROP Spring Symposium, my presentation earned me a Blue Ribbon award from the judges. I took my work a step further by editing and enhancing my project which led to its acceptance for a poster presentation at the American Association of Pediatrics national convention in San Francisco, CA (October 2016) Discharge Medications: One Component of a New Inpatient Process. Negris, O., Nowicki M.J., Amori, S., Lewis, C., Schummer, J., Monroe, K., Mychaliska, K.P. Additionally, I applied to utilize some of the incredible UROP resources, and was fortunate to receive funding from the UROP office to support my attendance at this conference.

What made you choose UROP?

As a pre-med student, I knew research experiences would enhance my application for medical school. I was also genuinely interested in gaining research experience. I have always been a very hands-on learner, and UROP provided a great opportunity to supplement my classroom work.

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

First and foremost, I learned how much I enjoy research from UROP. My UROP project was clinical research focusing on quality improvement in the C.S Mott Children’s Hospital. I initially struggled to find a mentor who could accommodate my schedule as I was a baton twirler in the Michigan Marching Band, and had daily two hour practices during the fall semester. I was the last person of my UROP seminar group to get paired up with a mentor, which was difficult at the time. However, it became clear that everything does happen for a reason and I am so thankful for the mentor and project that I did end up pairing with. During UROP, I gained critical thinking skills, perseverance, time management, and knowledge of the healthcare field. 

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

My UROP project came to a close at the end of my sophomore year. However, I continued on other research projects with my Research Mentor for the remainder of my undergraduate years. I was fortunate to have my Research Mentor write a letter of recommendation for my medical school application. We communicate occasionally through e-mails – always sure to share big life updates. 

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?

UROP really sparked my passion for research. I was able to make connections with other healthcare professionals within Michigan’s hospitals. I learned to take initiative and seek out the projects of most interest to me, and to then form meaningful relationships with my mentors and other project leaders. While at U of M, I worked on 4 different research projects and after graduation I returned to the Chicago area and began working as a research coordinator at Northwestern University. Here, I’ve been exposed to countless additional research projects and realized that I definitely desire to continue scientific research as I transition to medical school and beyond. 

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

Nothing worthwhile is going to happen in your comfort zone! Try new things, explore novel trains of thought, be intentional in forming relationships with mentors and other faculty at U of M. Work hard and seek out your own opportunities to present your work if need be – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, because this is the best way to learn. These are all things that you can take with  you when you’re time with UROP comes to a close.

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

In addition to my recent acceptance to Rush Medical College, I am proud of the following publications and presentations of my ongoing research work:

Full manuscript published in April 2020 issue of Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: Food allergy – How expensive are they? Ashley A. Dyer MPH; Olivia R. Negris MA; Ruchi S. Gupta MD MPH; Lucy A. Bilaver PhD (DOI: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000622)

  • Poster presentations accepted to ENDO 2020 meeting in San Francisco, CA (March 2020) and abstract to be published in the Endocrine Society Journals: 

  • 1) Relationship between BMI and PCOS symptoms among Flo app users in the United States. Olivia Negris, MA, Dannielle Brown, MHS, Isabel Galic, BA, Liudmila Zhaunova, PhD, Anna Klepchukova, MD, Tarun Jain, MD. 

  • 2) Characterization of PCOS Among Flo App Users Around the World. Isabel Galic, BA, Dannielle Brown, MHS, Olivia Negris, MA, Liudmila Zhaunova, PhD, Anna Klepchukova, MD, Tarun Jain, MD

  • Letter published February 25, 2020 in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Pediatric Allergists’ Perspectives on the Psychosocial Challenges of Food Allergy and Factors that Support Coping. Alexandria Bozen, BS, Madeleine K. Kanaley, BA, Olivia Negris, MA, Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, Lisa Lombard, PhD (DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2020.02.003)

  • Poster presentation at the American Association of Immunologists meeting in San Diego, CA (May 2019): Bacillus subtilis- mediated suppression of house dust mite allergic airway inflammation. Swartzendruber JA, Negris OR, Incrocci R, Knight KL

  • Full manuscript published in November 2018 Hospital Pediatrics: Adherence to AAP Healthy Newborn Discharge Criteria in a Tertiary Care Children's Hospital. Arora NS, Danicek AM, Osborn RR, Fried SQ, Negris OR, Lychuk K, Mychaliska KP, Skoczylas MS, & Monroe KK (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/hpeds.2018-0061)

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?

Embrace your curiosity and creativity! Taking part in UROP was one of the best decisions I’ve made academically and professionally.