OSU resident Mika Matthews recently received the Jens Rosenkrantz Resident Research Award for the best basic science presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Surgery meeting. The award was established in honor of Dr. Rosenkrantz, a former Chair of the AAP Section on Surgery and is based on the quality of a resident’s submitted manuscript, oral presentation and the ability to field questions from the audience.
Dr. Matthews received her bachelor’s degree in general biology with a Spanish minor from the University of Michigan. From there, she moved to Atlanta and attended medical school at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where she was an active member of the Student National Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Upon receiving her MD degree in 2009, Dr. Matthews matriculated back to the Midwest for her residency in general surgery at OSU’s College of Medicine.
Aside from her Midwest roots, it was Dr. Matthews’ burgeoning passion for pediatric surgery that ultimately led her to choose OSU’s top twenty pediatrics program. After beginning her residency at Ohio State – and in an undeniably fortuitous turn of events – her very first rotation was in Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. During the month-long rotation, Dr. Matthews met Dr. Gail Besner, the recently appointed Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide and a principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Meeting Dr. Besner marked another serendipitous turning point for Dr. Matthews.
“After speaking with another resident who had the opportunity to work in Dr. Besner’s laboratory, I learned she is not only an accomplished physician, pediatric surgeon, and researcher, but she is also an incredible mentor. All of these things are important to me and, therefore, led me to seek out a position in her lab.”
In fact, the title of Dr. Matthews’ award winning presentation was “HB-EGF Protects the Intestines from Radiation Therapy-Induced Intestinal Injury.” HB-EGF, or Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor, was actually identified by Dr. Besner in 1990, so Dr. Matthews was able to uniquely build on her mentor’s discovery and do it so masterfully as to receive the Rosenkrantz award for her work.
Given this recent commendation, it is no surprise that Dr. Matthews is considering a long-term career in pediatric surgery. Whatever direction she opts for, she notes that the people at Ohio State have become like a family and will certainly have left an indelible imprint on her life as a physician.