Wayne State wins first ever Michigan Physiological Quiz Bowl


 A group of Wayne State students participated in the inaugural Michigan Physiological Society Quiz Bowl last week, and won. The team, led by Dr. Patrick Mueller and coached by grad students, traveled to Alma College on June 7th for the annual Michigan Physiological Society meeting to participate in the first event of its kind in the country. 
The event was created in hopes that other states will begin to have similar quiz bowls, with states then sending their top schools to a national level. The ultimate goal is to have a national team compete in the Annual Inter-Medical School Physiology Quiz at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 
The team consisted of five undergraduate students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Maryam Safdar, Brianna Schick, Sangini Tolia, Christina Al-Jageta, and Patrick Etta. Tolia is majoring in nutrition and food sciences, while the other four are biology students. The Wayne State team competed against teams from Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Ferris State, and Oakland University. 
After completing three initial rounds, the team went on to the semifinals and then to the finals against Michigan State, a school that has a physiology undergrad major. Mueller says he had low expectations going into the quiz, especially against Michigan State, but claims the chair of the physiology department, Jian-Ping Jin wanted the team to have high expectations. 
Mueller says he is not normally competitive, but he thought it was really nice for his team to win. "I really wanted to make this a learning opportunity from top to bottom." He credits the grad students and physiology department staff with helping the team study and prepare for the event. JT Mannozzi, Ankita Jaykumar, Deena Damschroder, Cesar Barrabi, Leena Kadam, Mohamad El Chami, Carthic Rajagopalan, Joanne Kaiser, Isabel Max, and Christine Cupps. "Those are the individuals who did most of the work," says Mueller.  

Of the five team members, Mueller says Etta was without a doubt the MVP. "Patrick blew everyone away. Originally, he felt he didn't even deserve this opportunity." Schick, one of the team members, says although she joined the team thinking it wouldn't be much fun, she quickly changed her mind. "It was initially nerve-wracking and kind of difficult, but it ended up being a lot of fun."

Written by Alexandra Leroux, Marketing and Communications Associate

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