Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryMarch 8, 2018

Emory Surgery Places 7th in NIH Funding Rankings for 2017

According to ranking tables of annual NIH funding posted by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the Emory Department of Surgery attained the 7th position in funding for all departments of surgery nationwide in 2017, rising from the 9th position it held for the prior two years. The 2017 ranking is based on a total of $10,979,725 million in awards (direct plus indirect costs are included, R & D contracts are not), and underscores the diversity, utility, and commitment to improving surgical care shared by the department's basic science, clinical, and translational research programs.
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Muralidhar Padala Honored with Levy Research Award for Advancing Scientific Knowledge
Muralidhar Padala, PhD, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Albert E. Levy Scientific Research Award in the Junior Faculty Division. When the University Research Committee in the Emory University Office of the Provost announced the award, it noted that Dr. Padala's scientific contributions to the field of cardiothoracic surgery are timely and significant in the development of a research program focused on bioengineering approaches to cardiovascular intervention. Dr. Padala directs the Structural Heart Research and Innovation Laboratory, and oversees an interdisciplinary team of engineers, biologists, and surgeons focused on improving the durability of certain heart surgery procedures and associated patient outcomes.
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Winship Clinicians Receive Grant to Improve Patient and Provider Adherence to Breast Cancer Treatments
Preeti Subhedar, MD, a breast surgical oncologist of the Department of Surgery based at Grady Memorial Hospital, and Mylin Torres, MD, a radiation oncologist and director of the Glenn Family Breast Center of Winship Cancer Institute, have received a two-year research award from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Pfizer Global Medical Grants for their study, "Care Pathway Development, Implementation and Assessment to Improve Outcomes in African American Breast Cancer Patients." The study is a step in redressing the fact that African American women in Atlanta display the most pronounced racial disparities for outcomes in breast cancer compared with the top 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.
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Emory and Morehouse Surgeons Establish REBOA at Grady

Emory trauma and surgical critical care surgeon Bryan Morse, MD, MS (left in photo), and his Morehouse School of Medicine colleagues K. Aviva Bashan, MD (left, inset), and Jonathan Nguyen, DO (right, inset), spearheaded the introduction of the Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) Program at Grady Memorial Hospital, and the hospital's Level 1 trauma center became the first facility in Georgia where the cutting-edge trauma procedure was performed. They also worked together to create the Grady Rescue and Endovascular Approaches to Trauma course (GREAT), which combines didactic material and simulation training using the latest catheter technology to teach other surgeons the procedure. REBOA is a minimally invasive technique that is intended as a temporary measure to sustain heavily bleeding patients before they get to the operating room, and involves placing a catheter into the femoral artery, maneuvering it to the aorta, and inflating a balloon at its tip to stop bleeding.
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Douglas Murphy and Michael Halkos Lead Worldwide Training in Cardiac Robotics
Douglas Murphy, MD, and Michael Halkos, MD, recently hosted an Intracardiac Robotics Conference for surgical teams from medical institutions around the world. Watch the Emory video on robotic heart surgery at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
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Douglas Murphy Assists With Launch of UK's First Robotic Heart Surgery Program
After attending the Intracardiac Robotics Conference, Paul Modi, MD, a surgeon from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, performed the U.K.'s first cardiac robotic heart procedure with the assistance of Douglas Murphy, MD.
Watch the BBC Video

Survey Defines Most Common Myths That Impact Organ Donation

Marty Sellers, MD, led the development of a survey about organ donation and transplantation that found that misperceptions about the lifesaving process are the most common deterrents for donating organs. The survey responses and findings were recently published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. "The myths chosen to evaluate in our survey were known from prior studies to be reasons people cite that interfere with their willingness to donate," he says. "These myths were the focus of this publication, since they represent things that are 'correctable' through outreach and education."
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Emory's First HIV-positive Liver Transplant From HIV-positive Deceased Donor a Success
Coming one year after the Emory Transplant Center transplanted its first HIV-positive donor kidney into an HIV-positive recipient, the ETC has performed its first liver transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor to an HIV-positive recipient, thanks to the implementation of the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. The successful procedure is also the first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant in the state of Georgia and one of the first in the Southeast. The HOPE Act authorizes clinical trials of the use of organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive recipients.
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Wife Gives Husband a Kidney for Valentine's Day
At Emory University Hospital, Kerrie Poirot donated one of her kidneys to her husband Michael in the pre-dawn hours on the eve of Valentine's Day. Michael was born with polycystic kidney disease, and the Poirots have known that he would need a transplant at some point, though they didn't know that Kerrie would end up being an excellent donor match. "They're selfless,"  says Nicole Turgeon, MD (shown with Kerrie above), surgical director of Emory's living donor kidney transplant program, when she describes living donors like Kerrie. "They give an organ. They undergo surgery that they wouldn't otherwise have to have."
Watch the Story on Fox 5
New Faculty: Kendra J. Grubb, MD, MHA
Dr. Kendra Grubb is the new surgical director of the Emory Structural Heart and Valve Center. Prior to joining Emory, she was the director of minimally invasive cardiac surgery and the surgical director of the heart valve program at the University of Louisville. Dr. Grubb is committed to treating women's heart disease, though she is equally dedicated to improving the lives of all patients, both male and female, through innovation and by building collaborative teams to promote a patient-centered approach to the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Grubb's Faculty Profile
Felmont Eaves' Start-up Receives Annual OTT Award
Emory's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) has selected EMRGE, LLC, founded by Felmont F. Eaves, III, MD, to receive the Start-up of the Year Award at its 12th Annual Celebration of Technology and Innovation, March 15, 2018, at the Emory Conference Center. EMRGE, LLC, is a medical device company developing simple, cost-effective solutions for key needs in wound care, wound closure, and scar treatment. Dr. Eaves plans for EMRGE to begin marketing products by the end of 2018.
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Sotsky Award Will Fund Alexandra Lopez-Aguiar's Presentation of Study
Alexandra Lopez-Aguiar, MD, a general surgery resident on research sabbatical in the lab of Emory surgical oncologist-scientist Shishir Maithel, MD, has been awarded the Steve Sotsky Pancreatic Cancer Research Gift. The award will fund her attendance of the 2018 Annual Meeting of Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA), March 7-11 in Miami Beach, where she will present her abstract, "The Conundrum of <2 cm Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Preoperative Risk Score to Predict Lymph Node Metastases and Guide Surgical Management."
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Med Student Grants Fund Constance Shreckengost's Melanoma Research
Constance Shreckengost, PhD, a fourth-year medical student applying for residency in general surgery and recent graduate of the Emory Graduate Neuroscience Program, has received the American Skin Association's Hambrick Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer and the Melanoma Research Foundation's Medical Student Research Grant. Both awards will be used to fund investigations she will conduct with her mentor and Emory surgical oncologist Michael Lowe, MD, of the effects of obesity and skin stress signaling on melanoma.
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Emma Rooney Presents at 2018 Southeastern Surgical Congress
PGY-1 general surgery resident Emma Rooney, MD, presented "Are Lymph Node Characteristics on Axillary Ultrasound Associated with ≥3 positive Lymph Nodes in Patients Managed by ACOSOG Z0011 Criteria?" at the 2018 Southeastern Surgical Congress meeting. Her oral presentation was selected as part of the Gold Medal plenary competition, and she placed third overall. For the study, Dr. Rooney and her Emory Surgery faculty co-authors Theresa Gillespie, PhD, Cletus Arciero, MD, and senior author Preeti Subhedar, MD, examined whether ultrasound characteristics of axillary lymph nodes could be associated with the need to perform an axillary dissection.
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MS3 Kathleen Doyle Receives STS Med Student Scholarship
Third year Emory medical student Kathleen Doyle was awarded a competitive Looking to the Future Medical Student Scholarship by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), which underwrote her expenses to attend the STS 54th Annual Meeting. The primary goal of the scholarship is to provide mentorship for qualified residents and medical students in hopes of encouraging them to pursue CT surgery. Under the mentorship of Allan Pickens, MD (pictured above with Ms. Doyle), and other Emory CT surgeons, Ms. Doyle rotated on the thoracic surgery service and participated in research. Dr. Pickens sponsored her application.
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Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital Hosting Run for Mercy 5K

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital is hosting the second annual Run for Mercy 5K Run/Walk, a family-friendly Peachtree Road Race qualifier event on March 24. The race benefits Emory Saint Joseph's and Mercy Care Atlanta, and attracts runners and walkers of all levels. Event registration begins at 7:00 a.m., followed by the race at 8:00 a.m. at Dillard's, Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road.
Read More and Register

Duly Noted

Albert Losken, MD, presented "Optimal Timing for Oncoplastic Reconstruction" and was a panelist for the final discussion of the "What's New in Breast Conservation and Oncoplastic Surgery" session at the Breast Cancer Coordinated Care (BC3) Conference, March 1-3, in Washington, DC.

Ravi Rajani, MD, was named vice chair of the Conflict of Interest Committee of the Society for Vascular Surgery and re-appointed to the SVS Education Council. The primary role of the COI Committee is to conduct an annual review of all SVS activities to assure that all programs and operations comply with its COI policies and guidelines.

Virginia Shaffer, MD, has been appointed to a two-year term as co-chair of the Membership Committee of the Association of Academic Surgery. Her responsibilities include evaluating, establishing eligibility, and accepting all qualified applicants for active, senior, or candidate membership; nominating three candidates to stand for election as the Councilor representing the most recent class of applicants; and developing a system for collecting data on research interests that will enable members with similar research interests to connect.

Recent Faculty Publications

"Short-term and family-reported long-term outcomes of simple versus complicated gastroschisis." Arnold HE, Baxter KJ, Short HL, Travers C, Bhatia A, Durham MM, Raval MV. Journal of Surgical Research. 2018 Apr;224:79-88.

"De novo donor-specific antibodies in belatacept-treated vs. cyclosporine-treated kidney transplant recipients: Post-hoc analyses of the randomized Phase III BENEFIT and BENEFIT-EXT studies." Bray RA, Gebel HM, Townsend R, Roberts ME, Polinsky M, Yang L, Meier-Kriesche HU, Larsen CP. American Journal of Transplantation. 2018 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]

"Updates on gallbladder cancer management." Zaidi MY, Maithel SK. Current Oncology Reports. 2018 Mar 2;20(2):21.

"Differential effects of operative complications on survival after surgery for primary lung cancer." Fernandez FG, Kosinski AS, Furnary AP, Onaitis M, Kim S, Habib RH, Tong BC, Cowper P, Boffa D, Jacobs JP, Wright CD, Putnam JB. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2018 Mar;155(3):1254-1264.

"Optimal timing of initial debridement for necrotizing soft tissue infection: A practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma." Gelbard RB, Ferrada P, Yeh DD, Williams B, Loor M, Yon J, Mentzer C, Khwaja K, Khan M, Kohli A, Bulger EM, Robinson BRH. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2018 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]

"Incidence and predictors of venous thromboembolism in abdominoplasty." Keyes GR, Singer R, Iverson RE, Nahai F. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2018 Feb 17;38(2):162-173.

"Surgical intervention for peripheral artery disease does not improve patient compliance with recommended medical therapy." Halle TR, Benarroch-Gampel J, Teodorescu VJ, Rajani RR. Annals of Vascular Surgery. 2018 Jan;46:104-111.

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