For the third year in a row, the Emory Department of Surgery's position in annual NIH funding for all departments of surgery nationwide has risen. According to ranking tables of annual NIH funding posted by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR), Emory Surgery placed 8th in NIH awards in 2016, marking a climb that began with the 12th position in 2014, then the 9th in 2015. The 2016 ranking is based on a total of $10,481,924 million in awards (direct plus indirect costs are included, R & D contracts are not), and attests to the Department's continued status as a locus for important translational research.
Transplant immunologists Christian Larsen, Andrew Adams, and Mandy Ford; novel cancer imaging and targeted therapeutic agents specialist Lily Yang; health services researcher Rachel Patzer; and sepsis and shock scientist Craig Coopersmith placed in the top 100 NIH-funded, department of surgery-based principal Investigators. Vascular disease investigators Luke Brewster and Shipra Arya were also highly ranked.
"Our new ranking is an exciting, external validation of the tremendous breadth and depth of research in the Department of Surgery," says Coopersmith, also the Department's vice chair of research. "While we are justifiably proud of this accomplishment, the true measure of our success is in how our research will ultimately benefit our patients, and I am confident that the discoveries made today by our fantastic researchers will translate into transformative changes in patient care in the future.'
Bradley Leshnower and Xiaoying Lou received support and recognition for their work in Emory's Cardiothoracic Surgery Center for Clinical Research (CCR) at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, held in Houston in January. The focus of the CCR is to develop and evaluate new procedures and technologies in cardiothoracic surgery to inform evidence-based practice.
Daisuke Onohara and Alicja Sielicka, postdoctoral research fellows in Muralidhar Padala's Structural Heart Research and Innovation Lab, received Top 10 Abstract Awards at the 2016 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association. The award presenter was Pavan Atluri, a member of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation Research Awards Committee.
The multidisciplinary Nutrition and Metabolic Support Service (NMSS) at Emory University Hospital has been recognized with the Clinical Nutrition Team Distinction Award of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). The current team is pictured above (save for Laura Jones), left to right: Glen Bergman, Erin McAllister, Dan Griffith, John Galloway, Tom Ziegler, Therese McNally, Vivian Zhao, and Nisha Dave.
The Emory Transplant Center has performed its first HIV-positive kidney transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor, made possible by the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. After being on the wait list for three-and-a-half-years, the patient consented to receive an HIV-positive kidney. Not only was this Emory's first HIV to HIV kidney transplant, it was also the first of its kind in Georgia and the first HIV to HIV positive kidney transplant in 2017.
Brendan Lovasik's American Transplant Congress Young Investigator Award will support his presentation of "Emergency department utilization among kidney transplant recipients in the United States" at the 2017 ATC meeting in Chicago. The study looked to determine if kidney transplant recipients had a high rate of emergency department visits, and if those visits were associated with lower rates of graft and patient survival.
E. Dean McKenzie, an internationally distinguished practitioner of pediatric cardiac surgery, is the new chief of pediatric congenital cardiothoracic surgery at Sibley Heart Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. McKenzie is also a professor of surgery in the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery in the department's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
A teenage patient presented at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital with a dissected aorta, a potentially lethal condition rarely seen in someone so young. Bradley Leshnower and Yazan Duwayri then performed thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), saving his life. Leshnower was the first surgeon to perform TEVAR at Emory, and he and his vascular colleagues have since built the TEVAR service into one of the nation's top such programs in patient volume and quality. TEVAR is described in the "Emory CT CCR Investigators" story above.
Manu Sancheti performs minimally invasive thoracic surgery in this Fox News feature to treat a 77-year old patient's lung cancer. The patient came to Winship Cancer Institute for a second opinion after the first surgeon she saw recommended a major operation that involved a six-inch scar and splitting her ribs. Sancheti prescribed a procedure requiring only three small incisions that would allow him to use his instruments to remove about a third of the patient's right lung and some nearby lymph nodes.
Joe Sharma, associate professor of general and endocrine surgery, has been appointed chief quality officer of the Emory Department of Surgery, taking over from department chair John Sweeney, MD, who had served in the position since 2008. "Dr. Sharma is more than up to the task," says Sweeney. "He's grown his practice significantly and matured as a surgeon since arriving here in 2007, and he's made considerable impact moving quality initiatives forward in Emory Surgery."
Surgical oncologist Cathy L. Graham has held positions at Georgia's Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, Northside Cherokee Hospital, and Marietta Surgery Center. She has extensive experience in breast conservation surgery, oncoplastic surgery, and mastectomy, including nipple-sparing mastectomy, partial breast brachytherapy, and intra-operative radiation therapy. She also holds special certification in breast ultrasound, ultrasound guided biopsy, stereotactic biopsy, and hidden scar breast surgery.
In the years prior to joining the faculty of the Emory Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vincent N. Zubowicz has held positions as clinical professor of surgery at Emory, director of the craniofacial clinic for cleft lip and palate at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital, and chief of plastic surgery at Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He has over three decades of experience as an aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, and his primary practice location is the Emory Aesthetic Center.
As the department's new program coordinator of simulation and special courses, DeShundra King will focus on the expanding portfolio of simulation training in Emory Surgery and in partnership with other departments, collaborating with faculty and simulation specialists in designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating simulation education activities and curricula. Prior to Emory, she retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 years of service. She was an aerospace medical service technician at 12 different medical treatment facilities, treating patients diagnosed with injuries ranging from complex traumatic blast injuries to minor illnesses. She also gained experience in managing education and training programs, instructing and documenting medical procedures and practices, and coordinating mass medical training events. King graduated magna cum laude from Trident University International with an MBA in International Business and a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education.
Rajesh Thaker has joined Emory Surgery as a senior financial analyst, and will partner with financial analyst Tabitha Brown in fiscally supporting the departments of surgery, urology, and otolaryngology. His duties will include account reconciliations, financial reports, budget planning, and monthly forecasts. As a senior financial analyst for the American Cancer Society, Thaker managed the Cancer Control department budget with $90M in annual expenses and $28M in mission-generated revenue. He was also a senior accountant for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., where he did Corporate Segment consolidated month-end and quarter-end Actuals reporting, accounting for annual expenses of approximately $175M, and cash flow consolidation for senior financial management and consolidated process and reporting. He received his MBA in finance and BBA in accounting at the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.
Scott Davis, director of the Emory Endosurgery Unit, has joined the editorial board of Surgery for Obesity and Related Disorders, and Keith Delman, the Carlos Professor of Surgical Anatomy and Technique, was appointed associate editor of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Surgical oncologist-scientist Shishir Maithel moderated a session on cancers of the pancreas, small bowel, and hepatobiliary tract at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium January 21-23 in San Francisco. Maithel is a co-founder and former course director of Winship Cancer Institute's Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, which will be held November 4, 2017, on the Emory campus.
The National Board for Certification of Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education has granted certification to Susan Ratliff, program coordinator of the Emory general surgery residency. TAGME has been certifying graduate medical education professionals since 2005, and acknowledges the expertise needed to successfully manage graduate medical education programs. Ratliff is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the ACGME-accredited general surgery residency, and assists program director Keith Delman in developing and maintaining the educational quality of the program, ensuring compliance, and other regulatory requirements. She also provides guidance to residents on program and GME policies and the program's non-clinical aspects.