Daniela Orozco Rendon, a rising fourth-year medical student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, has received the Boston Scientific Medical Student Innovation Fellowship Award through the Urology Care Foundation—the world’s leading nonprofit urological health foundation and official foundation of the American Urological Association.
The award supports the education of medical students from racial and ethnic backgrounds who are underrepresented in urologic research and would like to invest one year during medical school to engage in innovative research training. Hosted by Baylor College of Medicine, the program allows medical students to learn under a mentor urologist and gain exposure to research in the field of urology.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside an experienced academic team who have built their careers in urology and to be able to provide care to the Hispanic population, which I hope to serve one day,” says Orozco Rendon, who was born in Colombia and grew up in Houston not far from Baylor.
Her year-long project, which begins in July and is entitled “Real Time Non-Invasive Monitoring of Erectile Dysfunction for Hispanic men Receiving Testosterone Replacement Therapy,” will be mentored by Mohit Khera, MD, MBA, MPH, a professor of urology and director of the Laboratory for Andrology Research at McNair Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine.
The research will involve testing the effectiveness of a device called a Frimtech Tech Ring in gauging the impact of testosterone treatments on the erectile function of 30 Hispanic patients.
“The device works much like a Fit Bit in that it connects with the patient’s phone using Bluetooth and the information is stored within the device’s app,” explains Orozco Rendon. “The device could provide a new option to collect objective data, and in a way that is noninvasive, portable, and more convenient for patients. Currently, the methodology used to assess treatments for erectile dysfunction is through patient-reported surveys, which are subjective and may lack accuracy.”
The fellowship will be Orozco Rendon’s first opportunity to be involved in all aspects of a research project—including selection and consent of the applicants, participant education, collection of data from the devices, assessment and statistical analysis of the data collected, and manuscript writing.
“I’m excited to be able to network and meet people who are currently doing the kind of work that I want to do, and to be working with a patient population that is important to me,” says Orozco Rendon. “I hope this project will help motivate participants to take a more active role, not only in their sexual health but their overall health and well-being as well.”