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Office for Medical Student Research Personnel

matt vassarMatt Vassar

Director, Office for Medical Student Research


Dr. Vassar’s research focuses on making research better: improving the conduct and reporting of clinical research and exploring the effects of bias on study outcomes. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in some of the most prestigious journals in medicine, including Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Oncology, JAMA Neurology, JAMA Dermatology, JAMA Otolaryngology, Annals of Emergency Medicine, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Annals of Oncology, and European Urology. Dr. Vassar’s research has been featured in the New York Times, Science, Nature, the BMJ, Reuters Health, and many other national news outlets. His publications have made the top 5% of all research outputs on Altmetrics numerous times.


Dr. Vassar is firmly committed to mentoring the next generation of physicians and scientists. His unique and highly innovative approach to mentorship has resulted in over 300 student authorships on peer-reviewed publications and hundreds of conference presentations. One-third of his students have been published in a #1 ranked journal in a clinical specialty, and 66% have published in a top 5 ranked clinical journal. Dr. Vassar’s students have been awarded research grants from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Dr. Vassar has also been awarded the AACAP Outstanding Mentor Award. Dr. Vassar focuses on the full development of the learner and trains them to write scientifically, submit manuscripts for publication, respond to reviewer comments, and work with media outlets following publication. This training has produced a generation of students who have performed numerous peer reviews for academic journals, served on Cochrane review teams, provided input for the revision of reporting guidelines, gave plenary sessions at national conferences, and led independent research projects that went onto successful publication.


Tvli JacobTvli Jacob


Dr. Tvli Jacob is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He is the Clinical Assistant Professor for Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences (CHS) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, holding a position on the Cherokee Nation Campus. His research is done in collaboration with the Center for Indigenous Health Policy and Research (CIHRP) at OSU.  Having worked with tribes throughout the United States and Canada, Dr. Jacob has used media content through community-based participatory research media methods to study and understand health with Indigenous Peoples. Dr. Jacob has also worked in developing, implementing and evaluating research in tribal communities.


Micah HartwellMicah Hartwell


Dr. Hartwell’s research has focused on public health topics - food security, addiction, nutrition, and exercise, using an array of statistical and mapping tools and techniques. He obtained his PhD from Oklahoma State University’s REMS program with emphasis in applied statistics, which provided an opportunity to analyze social and nutritional behaviors and biomarkers with NHANES data and publish a best practices manuscript on using structural equation modeling with complex survey data.  The work won first place in the Methods category at the 2018 American Society of Nutrition Conference and received a Graduate Research Excellence award. He has over 20 peer-reviewed published manuscripts and presentations and has partnered with Feeding American and Cornell to publish technical reports of behavioral economics within food pantries and food banks, the OSU FAB study to assess nutrient biomarkers and transdermal alcohol sensors, and is currently working with the OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery and the Laureate Institute for Brain Research to analyze MRI data of 9-10 children related to prenatal exposure.


Dr. Hartwell received additional statistical training from attending Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Summer Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Oklahoma Shared Clinical & Translational Resources in Bayesian analyses, clinical trials, and burden assessment and health economics.  In coordination with Dr. Matt Vassar, his current focus is to extend the office of medical student research further into improving the quality of clinical research as well as extending mentorship to more students.

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