Current & Ongoing

Fall 2014 Projects

Study Title: Yoga as a self-care tool to prevent burnout and stress in healthcare students: A randomized controlled trial.
The George Washington University Committee on Human Research, IRB # 081413.

Researchers: Dr. Mikhail Kogan (PI), Elena Gerasimov, Shivani Shah

Background: Healthcare students often experience higher levels of burnout than their peers in other professions. For more information, please refer to Yoga Therapy Literature Review.

Aim: The goal of the study is to examine the effect of yoga on the prevention of symptoms of burnout and stress in healthcare students by means of a randomized controlled trial. The study will examine whether eight weeks of yoga education and practice has a positive effect on students’ mental state, and will provide stratified analysis by symptom and gender.

Participants. The participants will include students from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The study population will include 40 students from both PA and MD programs.  The participants will be randomized to two groups: 20 of the students will be in the intervention group, 20 will be in the control group.

Duration: 8-week course, meeting once a week during lunch hour or in the evening. Study to take place during the Spring 2015 semester; start date: to be determined based on recruitment progress. Recruitment should start at the end of August and proceed through the beginning of September.

Course curriculum: The yoga intervention group will attend a weekly class taught by a GWCIM yoga teacher. The specific curriculum will involve pranayama and yoga postures specific to stress reduction. The class will be offered 2 times a week; one during the lunch hour and one in the evening in the event that a student cannot make the lunch hour class. The control group will receive printed materials on Yoga and breathing relaxation techniques, and will watch a 1h20 min. video.

Measures: The Maslach Burnout Inventory and the PROMIS 29 questionnaire will be used concurrently to assess the burnout, anxiety, depression, and stress levels. Data will be collected in person at GWU at baseline and at pre-determined intervals during the study. Participants will submit reflections on progress at 4, 8, and 12 weeks.

Estimated date of completion: May 2015


Study title: ­­Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) and neurodegenerative diseases: A literature review

Researchers: Carla Montrond-Correia, Elena Gerasimov, Dr. Mikhail Kogan (PI).

Estimated date of completion: January 2015


Study title: Comprehensive National Intravenous Vitamin C Cases Repository

The database that we are  creating will be a repository of  data on intravenous high-dose Vitamin C administration as an adjunctive treatment for patients with cancer.  Many practitioners in the U.S. administer this form of treatment, however, there is little data available on its effectiveness as a cancer treatment, including  its effectiveness for certain kinds or different stages of cancer.  The database will serve as the single data bank accumulating the data from  different physicians for comprehensive analysis.  We hope that this analysis would, primarily, elucidate whether this treatment has a positive effect for cancer patients and  warrant further structured study or a clinical trial.  Also,  the analysis of combined data will compare the effectiveness of different protocols that are being used  by practitioners to identify the best practices which maximize the benefits for the patients.

We developed  a blueprint for the  information to be included into the database, and are open to suggestions.   We plan to gather retrospective patient cases and then continue to collect information in a prospective manner.  One of our primary goals is to collect statistically powerful amount of data to make a decision on feasibility  of a clinical trial.  We have the support of the National Cancer Institute in helping us to set up this repository.

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