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Local Educational Options During Research Years:

 MPH- Colorado School of Public Health
Two to three-year specialized public health graduate degree program including capstone project and studies within statistics, epidemiology, environmental health, policy and behavioral sciences. Website: or 303-724-4613
CU Residents who have completed this program:
Terri Chin
MSCS- (Clinical Science Masters Degree and PhD) Program- University of Colorado Denver
One to three-year translational research graduate degree program including thesis and studies within statistics, clinical epidemiology, and health outcomes.
Contact:  Lisa Cicutto (program director) / Galtin Mankin (program coordinator)
CU Residents who have completed this program:
Daine Bennett
Lisa Foley
Nicole Townsend
Jeniann Yi
To find out more about the CLSC program click on the link below:

Recent Research Opportunities

Maggie Hodges presents at Research Symposium

Research/Academics in the General Surgery Residency at the University of Colorado
In addition to the five years of clinical general surgery training, categorical residents are expected to spend two to three years as a resident in research/academics. Most spend two years in research or academics. Opportunities for clinical as well as basic science research abound. Several of our residents have completed masters degrees during the two research years. Occasionally residents spend three years in order to satisfy the requirements for a Ph.D. The residents are also encouraged to participate in various clinical research projects in collaboration with the faculty. 
Diverse research opportunities are available to individuals seeking careers in academic surgery. Most surgical residents spend a two-year research fellowship working with established surgical faculty investigators.  Those entering the program with a Ph.D. are given the opportunity to set up an individualized curriculum. Residents pursue research spanning the full range of investigation from basic science to translational investigations, and clinical and outcomes-based research.

Dr. Carlton Barnett, Surgical Oncology PI,  at Grand Rounds December 12, 2016.

Recent Research opportunities (click here)


Heather Carmichael Drs. Robinson & Velopulos
Julia Coleman T32/Dr. Moore
Stephanie Davis Endocrine/Dr. Bryan Haugen
Lindel Dewberry CHCO - Dr. Liechty
Mohamed Eldeiry Dr. Reece
John Frankel Dr. Kovacs
Alison Halpern Thoracic/Dr. Weyant
Alicia Heelan Gladden Surgical Education/QI
Sarah Hilton CHCO - Dr. Liechty
Maggie Hodges CHCO - Dr. Liechty
Christina Kim Pediatrics - Dr. Karrer
Patrick Kohtz Thoracic/Dr. Weyant
Kaitlin McLoughlin NCI (Taylor Ripley) - (Away)
Eliza Moskowitz Memorial Hospital/Dr. Schroepel
Geoffrey Nunns T32/Dr. Moore
Jason Samuels T32/Dr. Moore
Gregory Stettler T32/Dr. Moore
Josh Sumislawski Trauma/Dr. Cohen
Robert Torphy Pancreatic/Dr. Edil
Becky Trinh Plastic Surgery/Dr. Deleyiannis

New Research resident project descriptions from 2017-18:

Christina Kim -
I am currently working with Dr. Steven Abman, a pediatric pulmonologist interested in bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  My research is currently focused on developing ways to improve and/or prevent lung disease in neonates through different types of drug administration.  This includes working with primary cell culture and small animal models to determine what mechanisms are involved in the development and prevention of neonatal pulmonary disease.
Allie Halpern-
 I work with Dr. Michael Weyant in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Lab which is a basic science lab.  Pat Kohtz is my co-resident and we collaborate on some projects but also work independently.  I work with lung and esophageal cancer cell lines to determine cell signaling pathways that influence cancer cell growth.  We also have a mouse model and I will perform in vivo studies looking at a cell signaling pathway inhibitor and its effect on lung cancer tumor growth this coming year. 
In addition to our basic science projects, we also perform clinical projects in the area of Thoracic Surgery.  We have just completed a review of outcomes in lung transplant for patients with Interstitial Lung Disease and we are also looking at factors effecting oncologic outcomes for esophagectomy using the NCDB with Dr. Gleisner in Surgical Oncology. Dr. Weyant is also one of the national PIs on a study which examines the outcomes for patients who have received an Ex-Vivo lung transplant (where marginal lungs are placed on an Ex Vivo machine and monitored for their ability to ventilate- this technique could improve the numbers of lungs available for transplantation). My personal interests include Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Oncology.
Sarah Hilton -
 I work with Dr. Liechty in the Laboratory for Fetal and Regenerative Biology. I work on both basic science and clinical projects in areas including diabetic wounds, pediatric and fetal surgery. Some of my projects include 3D printing for fetal repair of myelomeningocele, outcomes in congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and applications for nanoparticles in wound healing.  
Mohamed Eldeiry-
There are two main focuses in the aortic surgery research lab. Our basic science research revolves around protection of the spinal cord from ischemia reperfusion injury which can occur during complex thoracoabdominal aortic repairs and lead to paraplegia. This work includes neuron cell culture, a mouse model of spinal cord ischemia and more recently a pig model to evaluate techniques of augmenting collateral circulation to the spinal cord. In addition, as the aortic program has continued to grow, we have started a database looking at outcomes and interventions in aortic surgery that are paving the way for advancement of treatment of aortic disease.
Bobby Torphy -
 My research areas are basic oncology/tumor immunology research as well as clinical outcomes research in oncology.  My basic science research is focused on elucidating the function of a novel G-protein coupled receptor that may play an important role in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Concurrently, I am doing several clinical projects using the National Cancer Database and multiple University of Colorado surgical oncology databases. I am pursing a PhD in Clinical Science while I am in the lab. 


Examples of Project descriptions from 2016-17  research residents:

Brandon Chapman -

My research is focused in surgical outcomes and quality improvement, primarily in surgical oncology and colorectal surgery.  At University Hospital, I have helped develop a pancreatic database and have performed multiple retrospective chart reviews at our institution.  I also work with the Surgical Outcomes and Applied Research (SOAR) using large national databases including the National Cancer Database and ACS-NSQIP.  In addition, I am getting my Masters in Clinical Science at the University of Colorado Denver to learn biostatistics.

Peter Einersen- My research in the trauma lab involves clinical outcomes studies utilizing the extensive Denver Trauma Activations Protocol (TAP) database and translational basic science studies, primarily in rat and whole blood models, designed to validate the hypotheses generated in my clinical investigations. So far the highlights of my research have included validating thresholds for a thromboelastogram (TEG) driven massive transfusion protocol, which is now in use at Denver Health and developing a novel hypothesis for the cellular signaling responsible for post-traumatic hyperfibrinolysis, which I will be testing in animal models over the coming year.

Alicia Heelan Gladden-

My research time is focused on completing clinical research in the areas of breast surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and trauma surgery. Additionally, I am developing and executing a curriculum and a large scale project in quality improvement through the CU School of Medicine Institute for Quality, Safety & Efficiency (HQSE).

Patrick Kohtz-

I am doing basic research with Dr. Weyant with both esophageal and lung cancer cell lines. We are evaluating the different genetic, inflammatory proteins and immune system components essential to these cancerous cell lines growth and proliferation.  My clinical research projects include a VA ECMO outcomes and ex vivo lung transplant outcomes.

Dr. Anirban Banerjee and Dr. Ernest E. "Gene" Moore present about Trauma Research at the   "Match" Dinner.

Geoffrey Nunns -

My research is focused on trauma and the metabolic and coagulaton changes during hemorrhagic shock and tissue injury. Working with Dr. Moore's lab, I am studying the metabolic changes in animal models of trauma.  We are also studying the effect of these metabolites in vitro on coagulation abnormalities and ischemic reperfusion injury.

Doug Overbey -

My research is a combination of general and vascular surgery basic and clinical research. With Dr. Robinson at the VAMC, we are performing a clinical trial for loco-regional pain control affecting delirium, and benchtop studies of surgical energy and surgical fires. I am also working with Dr. Nehler and the vascular surgery team on quality improvement projects, surgical education, and database outcomes research specific to aortic surgery and acute limb ischemia.

Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, director of Burn Research, presents at the Research "Match" Dinner.

David Sprunger -

I am working with Dr. Jeff Swigris at National Jewish Health in the interstitial lung disease group on projects related to the epidemiology and molecular biology of pulmonary fibrosis. I am currently working on a pilot study for a clinical trial which will treat skeletal muscle dysfunction in these patients. In addition I am collaborating with the oncology group at NJH to build a nationalwide cohort of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer in order to better understand the unique mechanisms that lead to malignancy in these patients.

Becky Trinh-

I am investigating the effects of electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation on wound healing and flap survival. There are a number of other projects including a clinical/surgical trip to examine genetics and mosaicism in microtia in the Guatemalan pediatric population.
Bradley Wallace- (Bradley Wallace also serves as the 2016-17 Research Administrative Chief Resident). My research focuses on lung development in neonatal disease states. I work specifically with the Pediatric Heart Lung Center under Dr. Abman alongside Dr. Partrick and Dr. Marwan looking at models for ronchopulmonary dysplasia and congenital diaphragmatic hernias, as well as treatment under these disease phenotypes. I am also working on a wide variety of clinical projects alongside various members of the Pediatric Surgery Team at Children's Hospital Colorado.
Contacts below are of Research Mentors and PI's. These faculty were included in the Research "Match" dinner August 24, 2017 where research PI's and research residents presented their areas of investigation and a panel of research residents answered questions for the categorical residents to assist them in identifying their future research focus.  This year's Research "Match" Dinner took place August 24th  from 6-8:30 pm and all PGY-1 to PGY-3 categoricals, research residents, faculty PI's and research mentors were invited to attend.
Principal Investigators who have worked recently with Surgery residents and who participated in this year's August 24th, 2017 Research/Match Dinner:
Principal Investigators and Faculty Mentors, Research laboratories:
Thomas Schroeppel
Michael Weyant        
Ernest “Gene” Moore
Anirban Banerjee     

David Fullerton         
Brett Reece                
Muhammad Aftab     
Karl Hammermeister
William Henderson  
Robert Meguid          
Mitchell Cohen          
Trevor Nydam           
Martin McCarter        
Elizabeth Kovacs     
Ashley Vavra             

Catherine Velopulos
Steven Abman          
Steven Moulton        
Kenneth Liechty       
Rony Marwan            


David Fullerton, MD

Vice Chair of Surgical Research


Ernest E. "Gene" Moore, MD

Vice Chair of Trauma and

Critical Care Research