Student Research

Every summer, OHEI staff researchers mentor undergraduate, graduate and medical students through authentic research projects, sampled below. A few more projects run during the academic year. Some work merits presentation at professional meetings or submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Kisha McPherson presenting Talk Health Equity project at conference
Keisha McPherson explains the Talk Health Equity study at the 2014 National Health Disparities Conference in Washington, D.C.

Talk Health Equity

A student analyzed content and themes in more than 4,000 responses to a Michigan Medicine survey asking what the term “health equity” means. Results informed communicators how to tailor heath equity messages by audience age, race, gender, job and group affiliation.


Content analysis of Twitter posts tagged #BBUM —standing for Being Black at the University of Michigan — yielded a climate snapshot of ethnographic (naturally occurring) data.

Under-served Project

By matching secondary data from public sources, a study identified geographical areas near University Hospital at risk of being medically underserved in various ways.

Julie Madden presenting OHEI Cancer pain research poster
Julie M. Madden, Ph.D., and her poster at the 2015 EuroSciCon Controlling Cancer Summit in London, England.

Cancer and Pain 

A study evaluated elderly participants’ satisfaction with life by comparing pain, cancer status, demographics and secondary data from a National Retirement Survey.

Radical Cystectomy

A medical student, mentored by an oncologist, tested for disparities in process and health outcomes among bladder cancer patients. The project utilized systematic chart review and logistic and hierarchical linear regression to analyze data.