Summer Scholars: Meet Katherine Zhou

Name: Katherine Zhou

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Prior Universities and Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Cornell University

Title of Project: This summer I am working on the research project “Is the synthetic THC derivative Dronabinol useful for chronic pain?” under the guidance of my research mentor, Dr. Robert Agnello. While this drug is indicated for use in treating nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, we are exploring literature regarding the usefulness of dronabinol in treating chronic pain conditions.

What is Your Role in the Project?
I am performing literature review to support the use of dronabinol in patients with chronic pain.

Why Did You Choose to Participate in the Summer Scholars Program?
I hoped to gain more experience in clinical research and work closely with practicing physicians. I have been fortunate enough to work under Dr. Agnello and gain insight into his expertise and experiences.

What are Your Hopes and Plans After Graduation?
I hope to pursue a career in the primary care field.

What are Your Passions and Hobbies Outside of Medicine?
I enjoy playing the piano, horseback riding, and traveling.

Who Do You Hope to Impact with this Project?
Through this research, I hope to demonstrate the usefulness of dronabinol in treating patients with chronic pain. Although there are presently drugs indicated for chronic pain, not every patient responds well to them or they come with intolerable side effects. By demonstrating the effectiveness of dronabinol in treating chronic pain, we hope to provide relief and improvements to patients’ daily living.