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| Academics | Office of Research and Scholarly Activity



Welcome to the Office of Research where we are actively engaged in serving RVU’s growing research culture, which is fueled by curiosity, innovation, and our desire to advance medical education and evidence-based practices! The mission of the office of research is to advance, promote and celebrate research and scholarly activities occurring within the Rocky Vista University community.  All areas of research from basic biological research to translational, educational and population-based studies are supported.  The office of research is committed to providing guidance and opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage in various research and scholarly activities that promote the advancement of biomedical and clinical sciences.  Support for these areas includes: expert mentorship, statistical consulting, an intramural grant program, travel funds, and other special events to facilitate networking.

Student research and scholarly activity is a vital part of health provider education.  It supports and solidifies osteopathic principles and tents in its interconnectedness to the practice of medicine.  Whether you are an aspiring RVU student, a current student, RVU faculty, alumni, or a community advocate I invite you to explore our website and reach out to me with any questions or suggestions.

Amanda Brooks, PHD
Director of Research and Scholarly Activity



Isain Zapata, PhD
Colorado Campus

Where if your hometown
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

What do you enjoy when not at RVU?
I enjoy eating new food, specially ethnic food. African, Asian, Latin american, Middle eastern... I also enjoy music, I have been producing electronic music for many years and have had the opportunity to showcase my work in many venues.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
My main directions always incorporate creativity. I like music and research because I can contribute with new ideas. Replicating what already exists is not wall interests me, I always try to add something new.

How long have you been doing research?
I have been doing research for over 15 years which include my graduate studies. I have dedicated my entire professional career to research.

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I attained my Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in Mexico at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez. I got there also a minor in food technology but my main research line through the years has always been in biology, genetics and data analysis.

Did you do any research while in undergraduate? What was it?
Not  really, research opportunities at my undergraduate institution were not significant at that time, however, I got a lot of hands on experience working with the food industry and developing projects in a similar fashion to research projects.

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
At RVU I work for the most part as a data analyst. At some point every research project will likely need an analyst and because of that, I am involved in many different projects; from clinical trials for novel surgical procedures, epidemiological assessments of opioid usage in rural populations to evaluations of mental health proficiency within particular ethnic minority groups. For my personal research, I work on canine behavioral genomics. I do this work in collaboration with a team of researchers from several institutions across the nation. Our work in sponsored by federal agencies and private enterprises. Anything else you would like to share:
Creating an original idea is very hard, but executing that idea into a reality is even harder. Make sure you always surround yourself with the type of people who can help you grow your ideas and turn them into a reality. Don't forget to be there for those who are getting there as well.

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Danny Sullivan, OMS III
College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2022
Southern Utah Campus

Where is your hometown?
St. George, UT

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests, and hobbies)?
Spending time with my wife, two boys, and dog; running (doing St. George Marathon this year), podcasts, backpacking; watching Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Breaking Bad, and Reno 911

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I had a chance to meet and have dinner with Wayne Quinton, who was the biomedical engineer who built the first prototype for a treadmill used for physical exercise in the 1950s. He also built the first cannula used for dialysis. I met him in his mid 90's and he has passed away in recent years.

How long have you been doing research?
A little under 1 year.

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I received my B.S. in Biology with emphasis in Biomedical Science and Chemistry Minor at Dixie State University.

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
I published three clinical images with a 300-word case description on Extensive Ossification of the Achilles Tendon to the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine which is scheduled to be officially published in May 2021. I am leading a scoping literature review of Extensive Ossification of the Achilles Tendon with and without fracture. This is the first literature review ever to be written on this particular condition, and we are submitting the manuscript in the coming weeks to the Journal of Clinical Medicine. I am leading a randomized trial testing a new vaginal speculum with a unique design. I have just accepted to the Foundations of Anesthesia Education and Research two-month fellowship at the University of Kentucky where I will be working along with the head of Anesthesia research being involved in a project where we will be trying to find any genetic associations with the risk of vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Anything else you would like to share:
Don't feel pressured to do a ton of research in the first two years of medical school. Focus on doing the best you can in your classes and boards, and the right time for research will come. Also, if you are wondering 'how do I start doing research,' just start, and ask people along the way for advice. I wouldn't have gotten ANYWHERE in research without Dr. Amanda Brooks and Jen Fisher. Finally, have high expectations for yourself. When you start a project, ask yourself when it will be published, not if it will be published.

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