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Health Professions Student Recognized at National Conference for Research Poster


Anne Mones, a second-year cytology/histotechnology student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, was recognized at the recent National Society of Histotechnology Convention for her poster illustrating the diagnostic aspects of pancreatic tumors and the link between pancreatic health and insulin production. 

Anne Mones

Her research was conducted in collaboration with her professor, Sheila Criswell, PhD, an assistant professor in the UTHSC College of Health Professions. Dr. Criswell, who played a pivotal role in guiding the research project, submitted the poster, along with a manuscript titled, “Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Hormones Secreted by Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors.” The poster garnered third place and the manuscript was published in the journal, Biotechnic & Histochemistry.

Each year at the convention, students, faculty, laboratory employees, and industry product manufacturers are encouraged to submit posters displaying their research in histotechnology. Mones’s and Dr. Criswell’s poster was recognized based on content, novelty, applicability, and relevance to histotechnology.  

One of the key findings of the research revolved around the resilience of the pancreas, even after developing tumors. “This is an important discovery, because insulin production occurs within the pancreas, specifically within clusters of cells known as the islets of Langerhans,” Mones said. “These clusters exhibit remarkable diversityand the tumors which arise therefrom are no less diverse, with some producing insulin while others secrete glucagon and other hormones.”

Sheila Criswell, PhD

Mones said her inspiration for the research came from firsthand experiences with her family. “My family’s history of diabetes, coupled with limited available data on the subject, led me to choose the pancreas as my research focus,’ she said. “I decided to investigate pancreatic endocrine tumors, due to a lack of test samples for diabetes. I was driven by a curiosity about their impact on hormone secretion.” 

She said she learned a great deal working alongside Dr. Criswell. “My knowledge of this organ’s profound impact on humanity has grown immensely due to Dr. Criswell’s guidance,” Mones said. “I am grateful for this journey and thrilled with the outcomes. I had a gut feeling that this research could lead to bigger things, but somehow, I am still surprised.” 

“Who knows, this research may lead to the start of hormonal therapy to treat pancreatic cancer or diabetes,” Mones said. “I just want to help prolong the lives of victims who suffer from these diseases.”