The Medical School Student Society (MSSS) of the University of Nicosia Medical School in collaboration with the Medical Students Research Society (MSRS), and faculty and administrative staff of the School organised the first University of Nicosia Medical School Student Research Conference. The Conference took place on Saturday May 28, 2022 and was conducted in a hybrid mode of delivery of physical presence and live streaming. Students from  the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the Medical School attended the Conference, while a total of 15 students presented their Research Projects at the Conference.

In her welcome speech, the Associate Dean of Research, Dr Constantina Constantinou mentioned that ‘The Medical School is committed to systematically foster and encourage the involvement of students in original research in the basic, clinical, epidemiological, social and behavioural sciences. The outstanding work of the faculty, research fellows and students who contribute to the production of innovative research is an integral component of the School’s continued success.’

In his welcome speech, the Associate Dean for Students,  Dr Costas Constantinou said that This conference aims to value and celebrate our students’ contribution to science, and place the grounds for establishing an annual research event of high quality and this initiative enhances the School’s policy for student-centred education. The MSSS took this initiative not only to give students the opportunity to present their work and develop as scientists, but also for the School to take pride in its students’ achievements.’ 

In his speech the Vice President of MSSS, Mr Ioannis Apergis  focused on the eagerness of students to be involved in research projects offered either as part of their curriculum or outside their curriculum. In his words: There is an old Greek say that ‘A society becomes great when its elder plant trees in whose shade, they know, they will never sit. Together we, will have the rare opportunity to plant our own tree and in a single day see its shade grow.’’

During the ‘Research Awards and Honours Ceremony’ of the Conference students were presented with three awards.  ‘The Most Innovative Research Award’ was shared between Mr Ao (Kevin) Shi, a first-year student of the MBBS programme,  for his presentation TGF-β loaded exosome enhances ischemic wound healing in vitro and in vivo’ and Ms Maria Kouspou, a student of the PhD Programme in Medical Sciences, for her presentation ‘Microsatellite Instability (MSI) assessment and identification of clinically actionable somatic variants in prostate cancer for targeted therapy selection.’ Mr Chad Schou, a student of the PhD Programme in Medical Sciences, received The Best Oral Presentation Award’ for his presentationInvestigations of novel bioactive plant compounds from endemic plants of Cyprus’ and Ms Olesia Verstiuk, a year one student of the MD Programme received ‘The Most inspiring Oral Presentation Award’ for her presentation COVID-19 Mortality and Telemedicine.’

In addition, in an effort to introduce more awards in order to recognise students’ achievements outside this Conference, the “Dr Lakis C Anastassiades Prize in the History of Medicine” was awarded to student Ms Manisha Weerakkody Arachchilage, a year 5 student of the MD Programme. The prize was Dr Anastassiades’ Greek book in the history of medicine accompanied by a letter of achievement.

The Medical School would like to thank MSSS, MSRS, the faculty who supervised students, the Executive Dean Prof Andreas Charalambous for his invaluable support, Student Services, the Conference Organising Committee and the Conference Evaluation and Award Committees, the sponsors as well as all the students who presented or participated in the first University of Nicosia Medical School Student Research Conference.