Emory Surgery newsletter Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine

 

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Emory Surgery ranked #5 in NIH awards for 2010

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As reported on the website of the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine was ranked #5 in NIH awards for all departments of surgery nationwide in 2010, a position the Department has maintained since 2008. Blue Ridge obtains the information for the award files it posts from the NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT).

The ranking is based on a calculation of over $11,680,783 million in awards, a figure derived from direct plus indirect costs that excludes R and D contracts and ARRA awards. Dr. Chris Larsen and Dr. Allan Kirk were listed in the top five funded PIs, and Drs. John Calvert, Craig Coopersmith, Mandy Ford, Stuart Knechtle, David Lefer, Kenneth Newell, and Lily Yang placed in the top 300.

Maintaining this position is highly significant for the Department, especially considering that it had no NIH funded grants when Dr. William Wood became chair in 1991. However, when Dr. Wood passed the chair to Dr. Larsen in February 2009, the Department had risen to the 5th leading academic department of surgery in NIH funding nationwide based on 2008 statistics.

Despite continuing national trends of relatively flat federal funding and marked reductions in foundation and philanthropic giving, the Department continues to sustain its remarkable growth in research activities. Additional funding sources include the AST/ASTS, Georgia Cancer Coalition, DoD, FDA, CDC, JDRF, and numerous industry sponsors.

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Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP)
 
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Dr. Linda Cendales
Dr. Cendales

DoD approves funding of new hand transplant trial focusing on novel immune strategies to prevent rejection

The Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP) has recommended four-year funding of "Immunomodulation to Optimize Vascularized Composite Allograft Integration in Limb Loss Therapy," an Emory Transplant Center (ETC)-based clinical trial helmed by Dr. Linda Cendales. Associate investigators are Drs. Allan Kirk, Chris Larsen, and Tom Pearson. The study will evaluate the use of belatacept as an immunosuppressant in hand transplant patients. The grant was submitted to the DoD-DMRDP in the Regenerative Medicine, Pain, Sensory System category and accepted based on its high scientific merit and relevance to the programmatic goals of the DMRDP. Only 62 of the 120 submitted applications were invited to submit a full proposal for five awards.

Belatacept was developed by Dr. Larsen in collaboration with Dr. Pearson as well as other investigators at Emory and researchers at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Approved by the FDA in June 2011 for the prevention of graft rejection after kidney transplants, belatacept is considered a less-toxic alternative to the standard medications most transplant patients have been relying on to inhibit their immune systems.

By providing a platform to optimize integration of a limb after limb loss with a therapy based on a once-a-month medication, the immunomodulation study is the next stage in the lineage established by the first clinical trial of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) in hand transplantation that Dr. Cendales began conducting in 2008, an investigation which yielded the the first hand-transplant in the Southeast in March 2011 by a multi-disciplinary Emory team. VCA is the transplantation of multiple tissues (skin, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve, tendon, vessel) as a functional unit. The trial will also complement the ongoing experimental trials of belatacept for kidney transplant, liver transplant, and pancreatic islet transplant as an additional proving ground for the efficacy of the medication.

"The Department of Defense provides significant support for research programs addressing products and therapies to treat severe injuries suffered by those who give so much for our country," says Dr. Cendales, who leads the Vascularized Composite Transplantation and Microsurgery Laboratory of the ETC and assisted in the organization of the first hand transplant team in the United States in 1999. "This study will observe the integration of the recipient's use of their transplanted hand into their daily routine compared to their pre-transplant state; evaluate changes in the recipient's quality of life; and measure the degree that belatacept lowers the risks of rejection, alleviates the negative side effects of other immunosuppressants, and improves the benefits of limb reconstruction through transplantation."

The mission of the DMRDP is to advance the state of medical science in those areas of most pressing need and relevance to today's battlefield experience by discovering and exploring innovative approaches to protect, support, and advance the health and welfare of military personnel, families, and communities; accelerating the transition of medical technologies into deployed products; and facilitating the translation of advances in knowledge into new standards of care for injury prevention, treatment of casualties, rehabilitation, and training systems that can be applied in the theater or in the clinical facilities of the Military Health System.

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Dr. Salomone appointed president of EAST

Dr. Salomone at Grady
Dr. Salomone at Grady

Dr. Jeffrey Salomone has been a member of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) since 1998 and served as recorder as well as chair of the program and membership committees prior to the recent initiation of his tenure as president.

Formed in 1986 as a reaction to the dearth of opportunities for young aspiring trauma surgeons to exchange knowledge, discuss advances in patient care, and develop their careers, EAST afforded a forum for educational discourse pertaining to the care and rehabilitation of the injured patient, furnished leadership and fostered advances in trauma care, and was dedicated to providing guidance and developmental avenues for young surgeons active in the field through interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarship, and fellowship.

Dr. Salomone's proclivity for trauma surgery dates from his high school years and his first EMT-Basic class, resulting in a certification that had to be delayed until he turned 18. He worked as a dispatcher and EMT during his undergraduate years at the University of Nevada in Reno, earned his National Registry Paramedic certification and taught EMT and prehospital trauma life support courses while in medical school, and was actively involved in EMS throughout his residency in general surgery and fellowship in surgical critical care at Tulane University. He joined the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Emory as well as the trauma center at Grady in 1996 and was appointed the official police surgeon for the Atlanta Police Department in 1997.

Dr. Salomone has authored numerous manuscripts, articles, and textbooks, including the 6th edition of the Basic and Advanced Prehospital Trauma Life Support Instructor's Manual, and has participated in various national and international research projects. He is currently PI of a pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluation of doripenem in critically ill patients, PI of a similar study evaluating daptomycin in critically ill patients, and the Grady-based site investigator for a multi-center, NIH-sponsored Phase III investigation of progesterone in traumatic brain injury.

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Dr. H. Kim Lyerly
Dr. Lyerly
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Deadline approaching for call for abstracts, 11th Annual Emory Surgery Research Day

The abstract submission deadline for the 11th Annual Department of Surgery Research Day is midnight, February 16, 2012. All Emory Surgery trainees (students, postdocs, residents, and fellows) are encouraged to submit their research, especially those in a dedicated laboratory rotation. All submissions will be considered for both oral and poster presentation. Please see the attached flyer for details. Surgery Research Day is scheduled for Thursday, May 3, 2012, from 1:00-6:00PM.

First and second place cash awards for oral presentations in both clinical and basic science categories will be presented, as well as awards for the top poster in each category. All winners will be invited to dinner with faculty immediately following the symposium.

The visiting professor for the symposium will be H. Kim Lyerly, MD, George Barth Geller Professor of Research in Cancer and associate professor of pathology at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Lyerly will initiate the symposium with a lecture at Surgical Grand Rounds and will assist in ranking the posters and presentations.

For more information, please contact Griselda McCorquodale at 404-727-8461 or gmccorq@emory.edu.

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Upcoming Events

EVENT DATE/TIME LOCATION
Surgery Faculty Meeting 5:30-7:00 PM, Jan. 31, 2012 B6300, EUH
Future Makers Lecture 2012
Looking Out, Looking In, Looking Forward – The Future of Healthcare Reform and What it Really Means

Featuring Steven H. Lipstein
– President and CEO, BJC HealthCare
– Vice-chair, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
–Chairman, Board of Directors, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
5:00 PM, Jan. 31, 2012 WHSCAB Auditorium
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
Annual J. C. Thoroughman Lectureship
Melanoma 2012

Presented by Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD
– Ben A. Reid, Sr, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, University of Louisville
7:00-8:00 AM, Feb. 2, 2012 EUH Auditorium
EUH Surgical Services Performance Day
A quarterly review and analysis of surgical services performance among anesthesia, surgery, and OR Staff of Emory University Hospital.
7:00-8:00 AM, Feb. 9, 2012 EUH Auditorium
State of the WHSC 2012
Presented by S. Wright Caughman, MD
– Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
– CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
– Chairman, Emory Healthcare
4:30-5:30 PM, Feb. 15, 2012 WHSCAB Auditorium
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
Contemporary Management of Mesenteric Ischemia

Presented by Charles Bailey, MD
– Chief Resident, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
7:00-8:00 AM, Feb. 16, 2012 EUH Auditorium
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
Robert A. Bays Lectureship
Facial Restoration: Military Medical Research to Address Severe Maxillofacial Battle Injuries

Presented by Col. Robert G. Hale, DDS
– Commander, US Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment, Fort Sam, Houston
7:00-8:00 AM, Feb. 23, 2012 EUH Auditorium
Surgery Division Chiefs Meeting 5:30-7:00 PM, Feb. 28, 2012 J.B. Whitehead Room, EUH
     
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