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Research Opportunities

Lab identifier: Colorectal Surgery, Division of General and GI Surgery – Laboratory of Surgical and Metabolic Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
PI: James Yoo
Contact Information: jyoo@bwh.harvard.edu, 617-732-5997

Key projects:

  1. Tumor-stromal interactions in the context of colitis-associated cancer.
  2. Regulation of the gut microbiome by angiogenin and its role in colitis-associated cancer.

Representative publications:

  • Plummer R, Hu GF, Liu T, Yoo J. Angiogenin Regulates PKD activation and COX-2 Expression induced by TNF-α and Bradykinin in the Colonic Myofibroblast. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2020; 525(4): 870-876.
  • Plummer R, Papageorge M, Ciomek N, Liu T, Yoo J. Myofibroblasts Enhance Tumor Growth in a Novel Mouse Model of Colorectal Cancer. J Surg Res. 2019; 244: 374-381.
  • Khalil HA, Lei NY, Nie W, Lewis M, Stelzner M, Martin MG, Dunn J, Yoo J. Primary Myofibroblasts Maintain Short-Term Viability Following Submucosal Injection in Syngeneic, Immune-Competent Mice Utilizing Murine Colonoscopy. PLoS One, 2015 May 27;10(5):e0127258.

Posted on: 08/27/2021

Lab identifier: Division of Cardiac Surgery at VA Boston & Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School; Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery Lab; specialty: cardiac surgery
PI: Marco A. Zenati, MD (Co-investigators: Lauren R. Kennedy-Metz, PhD; Roger D. Dias, MD MBA PhD; George Avrunin, PhD; Leon Osterweil, PhD; Lori Clarke, PhD; Steven Yule, PhD; Julian Goldman, MD)
Contact Information: marco_zenati@hms.harvard.edu, web page

  • A summary of key projects (limit to 250 words)
    • Randomized Endo-Vein Graft Prospective (REGROUP) Trial (ClinicaTrials.gov number, NCT01850082): Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the most common major surgical procedure in the United States with over 300,000 cases performed each year. To restore blood flow to the heart, vascular conduits from another part of the body are procured to create a bypass around critically blocked coronary arteries. The left internal thoracic artery is the conduit of choice for CABG due to its superior long-term patency. However, almost all patients referred for CABG require additional grafts to provide complete revascularization. This necessitates the harvest of other vessels, most commonly the saphenous vein which is used almost ubiquitously in contemporary CABG with an average of two vein grafts per CABG procedure. In the last 10 years, Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) has been recommended as the preferred method over the traditional open harvesting technique (OVH) because it provides a minimally invasive approach. However, more recent investigations indicate potential for reduced long-term bypass graft patency and worse clinical outcomes with EVH. The long-term impact of EVH on clinical outcomes has never been investigated on a large scale using a definitive, adequately powered, prospective Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) with long-term follow-up. The REGROUP Trial systematically evaluated this impact at 16 VA institutions across the country, and is currently in the passive follow-up phase.

    • Novel Cognition-based Guidance System to Improve Surgical Safety: The rates of preventable harm to patients in the U.S. are at concerning levels. The operating room is the most common site for adverse events in the hospital. To enhance surgical patient safety we introduce a novel approach that leverages advances in information technology. Through this project, we are developing and analyzing innovative surgical process models to facilitate standardization of critical procedural steps in cardiac surgery (smart checklists). An example of what the smart checklist looks like in its current form is available below, but this interface is being updated and evaluated based on user feedback. We are also further expanding upon this smart checklist by creating a context-aware system anticipatory of cognitive states of surgical team members by buliding in patient information, procedural/process data, and information indicative of the providers' cognitive states. We have assembled an experienced multidisciplinary team and we anticipate that our novel approach will contribute to a transformational redesign toward a health system that is waste-free, harm-free and highly reliable.

  • 3-4 representative publications
    • Zenati, Marco A., et al. "Randomized trial of endoscopic or open vein-graft harvesting for coronary-artery bypass." New England Journal of Medicine 380.2 (2019): 132-141.
    • Kennedy-Metz, Lauren R., et al. "Computer Vision in the Operating Room: Opportunities and Caveats." IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics (2020).
    • Kennedy-Metz, Lauren R., et al. "Analysis of Dynamic Changes in Cognitive Workload During Cardiac Surgery Perfusionists? Interactions With the Cardiopulmonary Bypass Pump." Human Factors (2020).
    • Zenati, Marco A., Lauren Kennedy-Metz, and Roger D. Dias. "Cognitive engineering to improve patient safety and outcomes in cardiothoracic surgery." Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Vol. 32. No. 1. 2020.

Posted on: 06/22/2021

Lab identifier: Health Services Research in Pediatric Surgery (Dept. of General Surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital)
Name: Shawn J Rangel, MD, MSCE
Contact Information: shawn.rangel@childrens.harvard.edu

Summary of research investigation & fellowship experience: We offer a three-year Fellowship in Clinical Effectiveness & Health Services Research, now accepting applications for the July, 2023-June, 2026 position. The three-year fellowship is designed for surgery residents who wish to pursue a career in pediatric surgery with a focus in health services and comparative effectiveness research. Ongoing research efforts include development of novel quality metrics and prioritization strategies for hospital-level comparative analysis, characterization of causes and financial implications of practice variation for resource-intensive surgical conditions, and development of best practices surrounding SSI prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, & management of pediatric appendicitis, among others. As an integral part of the fellowship, the Department of Surgery will sponsor the fellow to obtain a Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Clinical Effectiveness Research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

3-4 representative publications:

Hills-Dunlap JL, Melvin P, Graham DA, Kashtan MA, Anandalwar SP, Rangel SJ. Association of sociodemographic factors with adherence to age-specific guidelines for asymptomatic umbilical hernia repair in children. JAMA Pediatr. 2019 Jul 1;173(7):640-647.

Kashtan MA, Graham DA, Melvin P, Cameron DB, Anandalwar SP, Hills-Dunlap JL, Rangel SJ. Ceftriaxone with Metronidazole is superior to Cefoxitin in the treatment of uncomplicated appendicitis in children. Ann Surg. 2020 Mar 5. doi: 10.1097.

Cameron DB, Serres SK, Glass CC, Milliren CE, Graham DA, Anandalwar SP, Thangarajah H, Rangel SJ. Leveraging the incidence, burden, and fiscal implications of unplanned hospital revisits for the prioritization of prevention efforts in pediatric surgery. Ann Surg. 2020 Jan;271(1):191-199.

Cameron DB, Anandalwar SP, Graham DA, Melvin P, Serres SK, Dunlap JL, Kashtan K, Hall M, Saito JM, Barnhart DC, Kenney BD, Rangel SJ. Development and implications of an evidence-based and public health-relevant definition of complicated appendicitis in children. Ann Surg. 2020 May;271(5):962-968.

Posted on: 04/13/2021

Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Research Lab
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington MA

Division of General Surgery Dmitry Nepomnayshy MD MSc, Bariatric Surgeon
Email: dmitry.nepomnayshy@lahey.org

This 1 year research opportunity involves working closely with our clinical bariatric and metabolic surgery team as well as our basic science translational laboratory to develop research on how to improve the care of the morbidly obese patient. The scope of the research will be determined by the interests and abilities of the applicant.

We are a busy bariatric surgery service who work closely with a medical obesity treatment center. Together, we see thousands of patients per year, and we perform hundreds of primary and revisional bariatric surgery operations per year.

Representative Research:

Doyon, Christ, Sherman, Sullivan, Brams, Schnelldorfer, Nepomnayshy "Pre Operative Serum Micro RNA Profiles Associated With Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery" 2020 SOARD, 16:1802-1807

Wilson, Powell, Kim, Nepomnayshy "Obesity" FP Essent. 2020;492:1-48

Abdulhai, Sedeeq, Nepomnayshy "Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Perioperative Complications? A Retrospective Study Using a Modified NSQIP Database" 2020 World Journal of Surgery, 44:2609-2613

Posted on: 04/07/2021

Funded and accredited American College of Surgeons 1 year Simulation and Education Fellowship Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington MA

Division of Simulation and Professional Development, Dmitry Nepomnayshy MD MSc – Director.
Email: dmitry.nepomnayshy@lahey.org


The goal of this fellowship is to create leaders in medical education who are particularly interested in the use of simulation training to maximize student learning and help achieve institutional educational, patient safety and quality goals. Graduates of the Fellowship Program will obtain the skills necessary to lead graduate and postgraduate medical education programs as well as conduct research to advance the field of medical education through simulation.

This fellowship is intended for surgical or anesthesia residents to spend one year working and learning in the Lahey Simulation Center under the supervision of experienced faculty in order to develop their expertise in the field of simulation-based health professions education and achieve academic productivity to help advance their academic career. Educational content is supplemented through Lahey’s affiliations with professional development courses at Tufts University School of Medicine and Center for Medical Simulation (CMS), a Harvard-affiliated training center.

The fellow will participate in and lead research projects with mentorship from faculty and staff at the medical center. They will present and disseminate their research through participation at regional and national meetings and manuscript submissions. They will receive assistance in manuscript preparation and travel to present their work.

Representative papers:

Gabrysz-Forget, Nepomnayshy, Nguyen "Surgical Errors happen, but are Learners trained to Recover from them? A Survey of North American Surgical Residents and Fellows" 2020 J Surg Ed 77:1552-1561

Gabrysz-Forget, Rubin, Nepomnayshy, Dolan, Yarlagada “Development and Validation of a Novel Simulator for Parotidectomy and Facial Nerve Dissection” Otolargyngology Head and Neck Surgery (2020) On Line https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599820913587

Gabrysz-Forget, Alseidi, Ghaderi, Nepomnayshy "Practicing on the Advanced Training in Laparoscopic Suturing Curriculum (ATLAS): Is Mastery Learning In Residency Feasible to Achieve Expert Level Performance in Laparoscopic Suturing?" 2020 J Surg Ed 77:1138-1145

Posted on: 04/07/2021

Lab Identifier: Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery
Name: Peter Marcello MD; Lisa Breen MD; Angela Kuhnen MD; David Kleiman MD MSc; Julia Saraidaridis MD MMSc; Jonathan Abelson MD MS
Contact Information: 781-883-4141; Email; Website

A summary of key projects: The Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center continuously contributes to innovative research projects as part of an ongoing effort to enhance patient care and improve quality of life. Our group is routinely a study site for national trials to better understand the role of surgery in various colorectal conditions. Current research and clinical trials employ a prospectively maintained institutional database to identify predictors of improved patient outcomes. Specific clinical research projects include long-term follow-up of ileal anal pouch function, the use of stem cells to treat complex perianal fistulas, use of an endoscopic step-up approach to advanced neoplastic colorectal polyps, and the impact of patient-reported outcome surveys to determine optimal surgical management. Our group is also interested in enhancing the diversity and effectiveness of the surgical workforce through several collaborative mixed-methods research studies.

  • Cohan JN, Donahue C, Pantel HJ, Ricciardi R, Kleiman DA, Read TE, Marcello PW. Endoscopic Step Up: A Colon-Sparing Alternative to Colectomy to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs for Patients With Advanced Neoplastic Polyps. Dis Colon Rectum. 2020 Jun;63(6):842-849.

  • Pantel HJ, Jasak LJ, Ricciardi R, Marcello PW, Roberts PL, Schoetz DJ Jr, Read TE. Should They Stay or Should They Go? The Utility of C-Reactive Protein in Predicting Readmission and Anastomotic Leak After Colorectal Resection. Dis Colon Rectum. 2019 Feb;62(2):241-247.

  • Fleshman J, Branda ME, Sargent DJ, Boller AM, George VV, Abbas MA, Peters WR Jr, Maun DC, Chang GJ, Herline A, Fichera A, Mutch MG, Wexner SD, Whiteford MH, Marks J, Birnbaum E, Margolin DA, Larson DW, Marcello PW, Posner MC, Read TE, Monson JRT, Wren SM, Pisters PWT, Nelson H. Disease-free Survival and Local Recurrence for Laparoscopic Resection Compared With Open Resection of Stage II to III Rectal Cancer: Follow-up Results of the ACOSOG Z6051 Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Surg. 2019 Apr;269(4):589-595.

  • Hall JF, Roberts PL, Ricciardi R, Read T, Scheirey C, Wald C, Marcello PW, Schoetz DJ. Long-term follow-up after an initial episode of diverticulitis: what are the predictors of recurrence? Dis Colon Rectum. 2011 Mar;54(3):283-8.

Posted on: 03/25/2021

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