In early October 2018, Brebeuf Jesuit senior, Sai Chalasani, travelled with his family to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Conference in Philadelphia. There, Sai was among hundreds of fellows and practicing physicians showcasing his work to a panel of expert judges. Despite being the youngest presenter in attendance, Sai eloquently delivered his findings on research that most don’t venture into until well after graduating medical school.
“It was initially frightening to be presenting because the next youngest person besides myself was 27, and he was already done with medical school. Thankfully, they were very nice, and while I may have not won the best poster, I did have a good time – not to mention the Philly Cheesesteaks are so much better when you are actually in Philadelphia.”
For the last year and a half, Sai has worked with local physician, Dr. Craig Lammert, on a research project for Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH). Through a Facebook group for AIH, they collected a pool of over 200 participants, 74 of which completed a fibroscan, which measured various variables of their livers. After collecting the necessary data, Sai and Dr. Lammert compared the different variables (such as stiffness and fat) to determine if any relationship existed that could shed some light on AIH.
Since the study, Sai spent his 2018 summer analyzing the study’s data and forming an abstract, with the intent to present at this October’s ACG Conference. Throughout the process, not only did Sai learn about AIH at a level far beyond most high school students, he further developed his passion for medicine – a passion he plans to follow all the way to medical school.
“The most essential thing I have learned in this project is that I have such a long way to go to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor.”
And, while there is a long way to go to achieve his ultimate dream, this experience was one he will carry with him from Brebeuf to college to medical school and beyond, and we are so excited to see all that he can achieve. Well done, Sai!