Medical Student Research Symposium

The 39th Stanford Medical Student Research Symposium will be held:

3pm - 6pm, May 2, 2024
Berg Hall, LKSC

This Symposium is less structured and formal than other research conferences in order to encourage medical students to communicate the research part of their educational program that is often not shared with their peers. Poster presentations are required by each student (3-6pm).

Research can be in progress or finished; must have a Stanford faculty advisor; and may be a part of an outside fellowship (e.g. Howard Hughes, Sarnoff, etc), internal fellowship (Medical Scholars), research assistantship, MD/PhD program, or Directed Research.

Research presented at this Symposium can be presented and published elsewhere.

Medical Student Research Symposium - Application will open in early March. Students can only submit one project.

Application Form

Interested students will submit their abstract online. More information will be e-mailed once the abstract is received.  

Medical Student Research Abstract Preparation

  1. Title – List in BOLD CAPS.
  2. Authors – List the first name, middle initial, and last name of all authors.  List your name in bold and indicate the Stanford faculty advisor with whom you conducted research by underlining his/her name.
  3. Departments – List all Departments represented
  4. Arrangement – Use three paragraphs. In general, the paragraph content should be:
    First paragraph: general statement of the research topic, including two-to-three sentence background, objective, and approach (the methods can be in the second paragraph also)
    Second paragraph: research findings to date
    Third paragraph: conclusion, implications, further studies
  5. Graphics – Do not use charts, diagrams or tables unless essential.
  6. Greek letters – Use symbols (α) to designate or spell out (alpha).
  7. References – In general try to avoid citing references in your abstract.
  8. Abbreviations/acronyms – It is necessary to define all initially except those commonly used such as DNA, cAMP.
  9. Length – Stay under 300 words and/or one page (using 12pt Arial font).
  10. Funding – Acknowledge funding source in separate final sentence in italics (e.g., Funding provided by the Stanford Medical Scholars Fellowship Program).

Sample Abstract


Zachary Renfro, Kylie Camanag, Kassie Press, Kattria Van-Doer Ploegg, Diego Mori,  Prasana Jagannathan
Department of Medicine - Division of Infectious Disease and Geographic Medicine

In 2022, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria infection globally, the vast majority of which occurred in children under the age of 5. Interestingly, prior malarial infection does not confer durable immunity to the plasmodium parasite. Rather, individuals who have previously had symptomatic malaria are more likely to have repeated asymptomatic or subclinical parasitemia throughout their life. The induction and maintenance of immune tolerance to plasmodium species after initial malarial infection is poorly understood.

Our study aims to characterize changes in immune cell physiology, namely cytokine production, in response to malaria infection in a cohort of Ugandan children. Using whole blood gathered from several time points during the study, we use intracellular cytokine staining followed by flow cytometry to assess cytokine production longitudinally. This allows us to characterize immune cell function prior to, during, and after episodes of malaria infection. We are further assessing if the changes in cytokine production induced by malaria differ by age or sex.

Our preliminary results show that there is indeed a modulation to the type and amount of cytokine produced by immune cells in response to malaria infection. These results will help to clarify how the immune system responds to malarial infection, and how malaria infection modulates this immune response. These findings may contribute to the development of novel therapeutics for malaria infection. 

Funding provided by the Stanford Medical Scholars Fellowship Program


Medical Student Research Symposium Presentations

To be eligible for the cash prizes, all Symposium participants must present a poster representing their research (3-6pm).

In addition, some participants may be asked to make oral presentations of their projects at a Donor Appreciation event(s) TBA.


Medical Student Research Poster Preparation

Poster instructions will be emailed following abstract submission.

Tips for Creating an Academic Poster