Research for lifelong learning, not just a line on his CV

Azeem Rehman

Medical student Azeem Rehman has co-authored 12 scholarly articles. “I just really enjoy research,” he says.


To say that Azeem Rehman has an interest in research would be a gross understatement.

Even before the end of his M2 year at the Peoria medical campus, Rehman has co-authored more articles than some university faculty members.

A recent search of the online scientific library Pubmed showed Rehman’s name attached to 12 scholarly articles. His research activities are not isolated to one specific type or topic. They range from basic science, to comparison studies, to metanalysis and review articles. Topics include rheumatoid arthritis, various forms of cancers, even developments on the use of “graphene-based metamaterials.” In fact, the latter research topic, a review article published in the May issue of Neurosurgery, made the medical journal’s cover.

“I just really enjoy research, I feel it keeps me rounded,” says Rehman during a break over coffee. “Once I’m out in the real world, I may not get the same opportunity that I have right now to build these skill sets.”

Rehman has more research work in the pipeline, including manuscripts in various stages of review and a few that have been accepted but not yet published.

In addition to the Neurosurgery article, Rehman and Tobias Mattei, a neurosurgeon at the Brain & Spine Center of InvisionHealth in Buffalo, New York, wrote a review article detailing the potential applications of nanotechnology in neurosurgery that was accepted for the journal Neurosurgical Review.

Rehman wrote two abstracts with Alfonse Masi, professor of internal medicine at Peoria, that were recently accepted for the annual American College of Rheumatology conference. This is the third consecutive year they will present abstracts at the conference, as well as poster presentations. The abstracts are related to their long-standing research on methods of predicting the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis.

“We hope to eventually synthesize all of our findings in an attempt to produce a comprehensive neuro-endocrine-immune framework that expands upon the current understanding of RA pathogenesis,” Rehman says.

“He’s a star, no question about that,” says Masi about his student colleague. Masi, who has been doing clinical and epidemiological research for the past 50 years, noted Rehman is among the top students and residents he has ever worked with. “He’s at my level or better.”

Rehman says he enjoys research “for the sake of lifelong learning.”

“Of course, having publications is nice for the CV, but the time commitment and patience required for any given project is considerably less overbearing when one is working towards personal growth rather than a name on a paper.”


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