July 2012 Emory Surgery newsletter Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine

 

CONTENTS

Emory Surgery ranked #5 in NIH awards for 2011

scene from the lab

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 2011, a position the Department has maintained since 2008.

Chris Larsen and Allan Kirk were listed in the top five funded PIs, and Craig Coopersmith, Mandy Ford, Stuart Knechtle, David Lefer, Kenneth Newell, and Lily Yang placed in the top 250. Blue Ridge obtains the information for the award files it posts from the NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT).

"The Department maintained this ranking despite explicitly working to diversify away from NIH funding as our most significant funding source," says Dr. Kirk, the department's vice chair of research. "Our faculty have had success with numerous other federal funders not accounted for the in the NIH-only rankings, including the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."

double rule
Dr. Mark Wulkan
Dr. Wulkan
spacer
Dr. Sarah Hill
Dr. Hill

Cardiaplication study receives funding

Dr. Mark Wulkan, chief of the division of pediatric surgery, and Dr. Sarah Hill, an Emory general surgery resident and pediatric surgery research fellow, successfully applied for SEED Grant funding from the Emory Egleston Children's Research Center to evaluate a new technique for treating medically refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants. The study received an initial $50,000 start-up fund and the opportunity to apply for renewal after one year. Dr. Wulkan, who has been Dr. Hill's pediatric laparoscopic research mentor since 2010, is the grant's PI.

The traditional surgical treatment for pediatric GERD is nissen fundiplication, though there is a 10-20% recurrence rate with the procedure. The technique involves extensive dissection in the hiatal area around the stomach, creating a significant amount of scar tissue that may limit normal growth of the stomach, cause hiatal hernia, and influence recurrence.

Using animal models and a few select clinical scenarios, Drs. Wulkan and Hill have developed a modified reflux procedure called cardiaplication that involves minimal dissection on the left side of the stomach, after which the stomach is inverted and secured in place with two-to-three stitches. Results have been positive, but further study in a larger patient population is necessary.

The research team plans to begin enrolling patients in the clinical trial within two months. It is hoped that the results of the trial will strengthen future application for NIH funding.

back to top

double rule
Dr. Steven Hughes
Dr. Hughes
spacer
Dr. W. Dean Warren
Dr. Warren

18th Annual W. Dean Warren Lectureship

As visiting professor for the upcoming W. Dean Warren Lectureship on September 6, 2012, Dr. Steven J. Hughes will discuss "Implementing Minimally Invasive Techniques to Pancreatic Disease" at 7:00 a.m. in the Emory University Hospital Auditorium.

Dr. Hughes is chief of general surgery of the Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine. Prior to his 2010 UF appointment, Dr. Hughes was chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He specializes in minimally invasive surgical treatments for cancers and other diseases of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts, and was the first surgeon at UF to perform a laparoscopic Whipple procedure. His research interests center on improving the understanding of gastrointestinal tumor biology through genetic analysis and assessing the response of these historically stubborn tumors to tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

The Warren Lectureship was initiated in 1995 to honor Dr. W. Dean Warren, chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory from 1971 until his death in 1989. A leading investigator of portal hypertension for three decades and the co-originator of the distal splenorenal shunt, Dr. Warren instilled his own commitment to academic research in both the Department and the residency. During his career, Dr. Warren served as president of the American Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Whipple Society, and the Society of University Chairmen. In 1986, he was installed as the 67th president of the American College of Surgeons.

back to top

double rule

Faculty promotions

Congratulations to the following faculty for their recent promotions:

Edward Chen, Associate Professor of Surgery, CT; S. Scott Davis, Associate Professor of Surgery, CT; Megan Durham, Associate Professor of Surgery, MEST; Kurt Heiss, confirmed switch to MEST; Walter Ingram, Associate Professor of Surgery, MEST; Paul Tso, Associate Professor of Surgery, MEST; Nicole Turgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery, CT; Ravi Veeraswamy, Associate Professor of Surgery, CT; Amy Wyrzykowski, Associate Professor of Surgery, MEST; and Lily Yang, Professor of Surgery with tenure.

back to top

double rule

Lynne Bentley receives Above and Beyond Award

Hillary Harding, Lynne Bentley, Lisa Carlson, Heather Hamby
(left to right) Hillary Harding, Lynne Bentley, Lisa Carlson, Heather Hamby

At the SOM Staff Awards and Appreciation Event on August 3, 2012, Lynne Bentley was honored with the first SOM Above and Beyond Award. Ms. Bentley is a program coordinator and provides administrative support for the Department of Surgery. As part of the award's observance, her name will be the first entry on a perpetual plaque housed on the 4th floor of the SOM Building.

The award committee received numerous letters nominating Ms. Bentley, including a letter from vascular surgery chief Dr. Thomas Dodson which stated: "Lynne consistently goes above and beyond expectations in her job. She stays late most evenings, is compulsive about accomplishing all of her tasks, and follows up with all of us to make sure that our expectations have been met. She is always in a good mood and is a delight to work with. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this recognition."

Ms. Bentley began temping for the Department of Surgery in December 2009 and accepted her current full-time position in April of that year. Prior to Emory, she was an accountant in the Georgia Public School System for 21.5 years.

back to top

double rule
Dr. Cheng
Dr. Cheng
Dr. Fang
Dr. Fang
Dr. Cardona
Dr. Cardona
Dr. Russell
Dr. Russell

New arrivals

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

(Assistant Professor of Surgery) Angela Cheng, MD, completed her general surgery residency at the University of Texas-Houston, her plastic surgery residency at the University of Virginia, and her breast and microsurgery fellowship at UT Southwestern. Her clinical specialties include breast surgery, breast reconstruction, microsurgery reconstruction, lymphedema surgery, and body contouring. Her primary research interest is breast reconstruction.

(Assistant Professor of Surgery) The extensive clinical interests of Robert Fang, MD, include breast reconstruction, microsurgery, Mohs reconstructive surgery, aesthetic and cosmetic surgery, scar revision, limb salvage, and peripheral nerve surgery, while his research focuses on chronic wound healing and obstetric brachial plexopathy. Dr. Fang did his general surgery residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, his plastic surgery research fellowship and residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and a fellowship in hand and microsurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Division of Surgical Oncology

(Assistant Professor of Surgery) An Emory alumnus, Kenneth Cardona, MD, completed his general surgery residency at Emory University Hospital as well as a research fellowship in transplant immunology under the mentorship of Dr. Chris Larsen. Throughout his post-graduate years he received a variety of clinical and research awards, presented at national meetings, and authored numerous publications in high-impact journals. With an interest in tumor biology and management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies, he completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

(Assistant Professor of Surgery) Maria Russell, MD, also completed her general surgery residency at Emory, a research fellowship in transplant immunology with Dr. Larsen, and actively published, presented at national meetings, and was recognized with various awards during her post-graduate years. After completion of her surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center, she returned to the Department of Surgery as a faculty member with a specific focus on complex gastrointestinal malignancies and melanoma.

back to top

double rule

Emory reception at the ACS Clinical Congress

ACS Clinical Congress

Emory Department of Surgery alumni, faculty, and trainees are invited to attend a buffet reception hosted by the Department during the 98th Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago. The reception will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, 1401 South Michigan Avenue. Please RSVP by September 21, 2012, to surgeryeventsrsvp@emoryhealthcare.org.

back to top

double rule

Upcoming events

EVENT DATE/TIME LOCATION
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
18th Annual W. Dean Warren Lectureship

Implementing Minimally Invasive Techniques to Pancreatic Disease
Presented by Steven Hughes, MD
– Associate Professor and Chief of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine
7:00-8:00 a.m., Sept. 6, 2012 EUH Auditorium
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
Regional Heterogeneity Within the Aorta: Relevance to Aneurysm Disease

Presented by Jean Marie Ruddy, MD
– Vascular Surgery Resident, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
Operating in an Austere Environment: The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
Presented by Kevin A. Brown, MD
– Vascular Surgery Resident, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
7:00-8:00 a.m., Sept. 13, 2012 EUH Auditorium
American Heart Association Metro Atlanta Heart Walk Sept. 22, 2012 Details
Surgery Division Chiefs Meeting 5:30-7:00 p.m., Sept. 25, 2012 Whitehead Room, EUH
SURGICAL GRAND ROUNDS
Gender Reassignment Surgery

Presented by Renee Gasgarth, MD
– Chief Resident, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
7:00-8:00 a.m., Sept. 27, 2012 EUH Auditorium
Winship 5K Win the Fight Walk/Run to support cancer research and care Oct. 13, 2012 Details
     
2011 Emory Surgery footer

PDF version of the October 2011 Emory Surgery newsletter Current Online Issue Contact Us Emory Surgery Newsletter Archives Emory University School of Medicine Department of Surgery