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)
CURRENT RESEARCH RESIDENTS:
||Drs. Robinson & Velopulos
||Endocrine/Dr. Bryan Haugen
||CHCO - Dr. Liechty
||CHCO - Dr. Liechty
||CHCO - Dr. Liechty
||Pediatrics - Dr. Karrer
||NCI (Taylor Ripley) - (Away)
||Memorial Hospital/Dr. Schroepel
||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
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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:
and Faculty Mentors, Research laboratories:
David Fullerton, MD
Vice Chair of Surgical Research
Ernest E. "Gene" Moore, MD
Vice Chair of Trauma and
Critical Care Research