The 4th Interdisciplinary Research Symposium, organized by the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine and the Latino Student Medical Association, was an exciting opportunity to integrate multiple academic levels, disciplines, and institutions to discuss research findings in the clinical, basic and behavioral sciences. The Symposium was celebrated at the SJBSM facilities at Caguas, on Thursday, February 20, 2020, with more than 150 attendees, including presenters, visitors, students, and faculty.

The Symposium had two poster sessions with 30 abstracts each for a total of 60 scientific presentations in the categories of clinical, basic, and behavioral sciences. The discussions during the posters were enthusiastic and provided multiple opportunities for networking and collaboration. SJBSM had 20 poster presentations from undergraduate and graduate levels, and thanks to the dissemination efforts of our partner institutions, we had 40 posters distributed among nine local academic institutions.

The 60 main presenters included students from undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels and medical residents, these last ones from the Manati Medical Center and UPR-Medical Sciences Campus. Most of the undergraduate students were from the University of Puerto Rico campuses at Cayey, Rio Piedras, Bayamon, and Humacao. The graduate students were from UPR-Medical Sciences Campus, Ponce Health Sciences University, and Universidad Central del Caribe. Universidad Ana G. Mendez had both undergraduate and doctoral level participants.

After the poster sessions, we were delighted to welcome Dr. Marcia Cruz -Correa, who delivered a motivating Plenary Conference entitled: Precision Medicine and Hereditary Cancer: Novel Pathways in Clinical & Translational Research. It was an honor to have Dr. Cruz-Correa sharing her experience in leading innovation and discovery for the advance of prevention and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Dr. Cruz Correa occupies multiple leadership positions, is a prolific scientific writer and researcher, and was recognized as the first Puerto Rican to be named a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board. She is an extraordinary role model, mentor, and leader that continues with the passion that characterizes her achievements in science and medicine.

All posters were carefully evaluated by faculty using evaluation criteria that would allow the difficult task of selecting first and second positions in the three poster categories. The recognitions were given to the presenters at the closing of the event as follows:

Basic Sciences:

  1. Bianca Serrano-Torres, CCR10 contributes to alcohol-induced liver injury
    • Universidad Ana G. Méndez

  2. Lorraine N. Vélez Torres, Hurricane Maria Leaves High Levels of Indoor Mold Spores and Aspergillus Species in Moisture Damaged Homes in San Juan, Puerto Rico
    • University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus

Behavioral Sciences:

  1. Linda R. Pérez Laras, Identifying Disclosure and Age as Risk Factors in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse in Puerto Rico 2016 -- 2019
    • PR Health Justice Center, San Juan Bautista Medical School

  2. Yimari Vargas Ramos, Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Gastric Cancer: A 15-year Population-based Analysis
    • University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus

Clinical Research:

  1. Bryan Colón Morales, Pancreaticoduodenectomy For Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Surgical Outcomes And 30-Day Mortality Predictive Factors: Single-Center Study
    • San Juan Bautista School of Medicine and the UPR-Medical Sciences Campus

  2. Evián Pérez Rivera, Longitudinal white matter microstructural decline is faster in preclinical MCI/AD compared to cognitively normal older adults
    • San Juan Bautista School of Medicine and the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, NIH

In summary, this 4th Interdisciplinary Research Symposium achieved its goal: "to join different disciplines and medicine to work together towards achieving better health and equity through team research." The leaders of the Organizing Committee included the medical students David Sanchez Real (Event Coordinator), Gabriel Sacarello Segarra (President, LSMA) and Andrea Paola Pereira (program's art); and from the faculty and staff: Maggie Gonzalez, Zuny Torres, Shirley Valentin, Yaritza Inostroza, and Estela S. Estape.

We want to recognize the presence of the following collaborators and their support in making possible the achievement of the Symposium's goal of integrating multiple disciplines : Dr. Martha Villareal, Manati Medical Center; Drs. Margarita Irizarry and Mariela Torres, Puerto Rico Clinical & Translational Research Consortium; Dr. Ruben Garcia, Proyecto Titulo V y CTMT-IDEARIOs; Dr. Wilfredo De Jesus Monge, HIMA San Pablo. We thank Dr. Ricardo Chiesa, UPR-Cayey and Dr. Lillian Pintado, UAGM, for their collaboration in the dissemination of the Symposium.

We also recognize the presence of the SJBSM students, faculty, and staff looking forward with enthusiasm towards celebrating the 5th Interdisciplinary Research Symposium next February 2021.

Integration to Advance Translation.