UNC Research Newsletter issue 2


Issue Two- March 2016



Inaugural Surgery Research Day
and Visiting Professor
set for Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dr. Herbert Chen, MD, internationally recognized surgeon-scientist and medical educator, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and Surgeon-in-Chief of the UAB hospital will be our visiting professor! Some sneak peaks for the day will be a case presentation conference with the residents, didactic and informational sessions on setting up a database, basic statistical support, and “meet the professor” sessions (preliminary program below). Oral and poster presentations with best presentation awards.

Resident attendance and abstract submission mandatory. Fellows and medical students are encouraged and welcome. Abstract submission deadline April 10.  Submit abstracts athttp://www.med.unc.edu/surgery/research/2016-inaugural-surgery-research-day

Faculty attendance mandatory. Please join us and block out your clinical activities for Thursday May 5!

We still need poster judges. Contact jjyeh@med.unc.edu.

Have cases for case presentations? Contact mansi.shah@unchealth@med.unc.edu
Preliminary Program
11:30am – 12:30pm: Case presentations and lunch with Dr. Chen and residents
12:45pm – 1:45pm: Posters in NCCH/Women’s Lobby
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Oral Presentations G100
3:05pm – 4:10 pm: Parallel sessions
                Database/Statistics 101 with Paula Strassle, MPH
                Entrepreneurship with Don Rose, PhD
                                   Director Carolina KickStart       
                Academic time during residency with Dr. Herb Chen
4:15pm – 5:15pm: Dr. Chen Talk
5:30pm – 7:00pm: Carolina Inn Reception (announcement of oral, poster presentation and Proctor awards)

New Publications

  • Roughton M (PRS), DiEgidio P (Fellow, PRS), Stitzenberg K (Surgical Oncology)Zhou L, Meyer AMDistance to a plastic surgeon and type of insurance plan are independently predictive of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in press
  • Iyer S, Bauer T, Yeung M, Ramm C, Kiser AC (CT), Caranasos TG (CT), Vavalle JP. A heart team and multi-modality approach to percutaneous closure of a post-myocardial infarction ventricular septal defect.  Cardiovasc Diag Therapy (http://www.thecdt.org/article/view/8605 )
  • Egan TM (CT), Edwards LB. Effect of the lung allocation score on lung transplantation in the United States. J Heart Lung Transplant
  • Dark JH, Egan TM (CT). Lungs from the cDCDD donor – perspectives from the U.S. and beyond. Invited editorial re: Mooney et al., Lung quality and utilization in donation after circulatory determination of death donors. Am J Transplant


Congratulations to Katie Shoush (PGY-3) for being selected as a trainee for the Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP) at UNChttp://sph.unc.edu/hpm/the-cancer-care-quality-training-program/.
Dr. Thomas G. Caranasos (CT) is an investigator on a $1.8 million General Assembly Research Opportunities Initiative (ROI) Award (September 2015). The overall project is titled “Pharmacoengineering: Integrating engineering with pharmaceutical sciences to improve the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents.” Dr. Caranasos is co-leader (with Ke Cheng of NC State University) of a subproject on the grant to develop genetically engineered non-embryonic stem cells for heart tissue regeneration.


Society of Thoracic Surgeons Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Richard H. Feins (CT) is principal investigator of a study of whether surgery simulation training for cardiothoracic surgery residents can improve surgery skills and thereby improve patient safety. UNC has been the lead institution on the study, which is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Feins has co-investigators at seven other institutions (Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic, University of Rochester, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, University of Washington). The investigators recently produced a manual, “Cardiac Surgery Simulation Curriculum,” which was introduced at this meeting. The manual is also on the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association web site at:


Critical Issues America Coral Gables, FL
Ashish Jain (PGY-5) had a plenary presentation entitled “Short neck and juxtarenal aortic aneurysms: a case presentation”



Southeast Surgical Congress Atlanta, GA
UNC took first place the first annual Resident Jeopardy competition. 18 residency programs from the southeast competed. The UNC team of Michael Phillips (PGY-7), Mansi Shah (PGY-5), and Thaddeus Puzio (PGY-3) won in an exciting come from behind fashion.

Posters were presented by Nicole Lopez (Fellow, Surgical Oncology), Michael Phillips (PGY-7), Mansi Shah (PGY-5), Thaddeus Puzio (PGY-3), LT Knowlin (Burn Fellow), Jackie Carr (PGY-5), Rebecca Brown (PGY-4), Jared Gallaher (PGY-5), P Udekwu (WakeMed) and Sharon Schiro (Trauma). Oral presenters included Joanna Grudziak (PGY-4) and Mansi Shah (PGY-5).



Society of Surgical Oncology Boston, MA 
Posters were presented by Chelsea Becker (PGY-2), Kirk Caddell (PGY-5),and Tyler Ellis (PGY-5).


Other News

Dr. Thomas Egan (CT) was invited to submit commentary on the upcoming FDA Guidance on Organ Preservation Technologies; he submitted comments on Feb. 29, 2016. Dr. Egan spoke at a Lung Transplant Summit hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on Feb. 24, 2016, in Bethesda, MD. He was one of 20 experts in lung transplantation and/or cystic fibrosis who were invited to the meeting. The participants will help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation come up with a strategy to improve outcomes of lung transplant for CF patients by providing more CFF support for lung transplant care and research. More information:
Medical students Lourens Du Pisanie and John Cooper presented their work to physicians and medical educators from across the region at the Southern Society of General Internal Medicine Atlanta, GA. In a project started in 2015 under Dr. Fein’s (CT) guidance, Du Pisanie created a simulator that could teach surgical residents to perform a gastroesophageal anastomoses. After he successfully built that simulator, Du Pisanie and Cooper started building a simulator to teach medical students how to do thyroid exams. At the 2015 Medical School Student Research Day, Du Pisanie and Cooper were awarded a Harold C. Pillsbury Student Research Award for their project.https://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2016/february/du-pisanie2019s-research-comes-to-life

Upcoming Events

For those interested in developing collaborations with engineers, register ASAP for
Engineering Solutions to Health Problems 2016
Engineering Solutions to Health Problems is a workshop designed to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations between engineers and clinician investigators and capture the products of these collaborations. During this workshop, teams of clinician and engineers will work on one of four broad categories – Mobile Health, Clinical Devices, medical informatics, and regenerative medicine to develop research projects.
Carolina Club
George Watts Hill Alumni Center
Stadium Drive at Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0111
NC TraCS (Translational and Clinical Sciences) Institute
4/20/16, 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Call For Abstracts and Papers

2016 BMES Annual Meeting: Minneapolis Abstracts Submission Deadline - April 26!
Submit an abstract for the scientific program at the 2016 BMES Annual Meeting, October 5-8 in Minneapolis.http://submissions.mirasmart.com/BMES2016
British Journal of Surgery: Special Issue on Surgical Infection Jan 2017. Call for papers. Papers on surgical infection and wound healing, starting with prevention but including methods of treating surgical patients with infective complications and complicated wounds. Deadline July 31, 2016 htttp://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjs
Surgical Infections Case Reports. Clinically interesting and educational case reports on the prevention and management of post-operative infections, including complex cases.http://www.liebertpub.com/crsi
Contributed by Teddy Puzio (PGY-3)

Research Resources

We now have access to NIS, NSQUIP, and SEER. Information may be found at http://www.med.unc.edu/surgery/education/resident-research-opportunities/available-databases Thank you to Drs. Nicole Lopez (Fellow, Surgical Oncology) and Mark Koruda (GI) for helping with this.

Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP) at UNC http://sph.unc.edu/hpm/the-cancer-care-quality-training-program/. Application deadlines are early January.



Residents – want to know what projects faculty are working on? Check out the Mentors and Descriptions page http://www.med.unc.edu/surgery/education/resident-research-opportunities/mentors-and-descriptions or contact Dr. Yeh.


Happy Spring!


Jen Jen Yeh, MD
Vice Chair for Research