Skip to main content

SMD Logo

Education / Graduate Medical Education / Prospective Residents / General Surgery Residency Program / Research


first annual department of surgery resident research synposium pictures

First Annual Department Of Surgery Resident Research Synposium

Biomedical research within the Department of Surgery encompasses opportunities in basic science and clinical research. Positions include standard basic science laboratory practicum for two to-three years with a mentor chosen by the resident in an NIH-funded laboratory. Research cores include cardiac and vascular biology, cancer biology, immunology, wound healing and the systemic response to sepsis, neurotology, shock and trauma, and gastrointestinal disease.

The research mission of the General Surgery Residency Program is accomplished within the context of the University of Rochester's peer review-funded basic science and clinical research programs. The University ranks in the top third of medical schools with NIH peer review grant funding.

The University of Rochester offers exciting research opportunities in addition to excellent clinical training.  Whether your interests lie in molecular or cell biology, surgical simulation, resident education, cancer outcomes, population health sciences, systems analysis or any other surgical discipline, we will work together to design a research experience with outstanding mentors.  Our goal is for our trainees to be prepared to be the leaders in the next generation of academic surgery.

The research opportunities available for residents during training at the University of Rochester are diverse.  Many general surgery residents spend between one and three years of dedicated research time during their residency training between their PGY 2 and PGY3 years, but scheduling of this experience is flexible.  While research during surgical residency years is optional, the majority of residents take advantage of the opportunity to expand their academic pursuits for career advancement.

Residents can pursue research opportunities in laboratories in the surgical basic science or other clinical science departments at the University of Rochester.  It is important to know that residents are not limited to laboratory work.  Many choose to engage in clinical research and participate in the University of Rochester’s Surgical Health Outcomes & Research Enterprise (SHORE) program. Additionally some have chosen to obtain additional advanced degrees such as a Master of Public Health or Master of Science in Clinical Investigation.

A particularly unique resource in our department is the Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Cancer Control and Survivorship Programs led by Gary R. Morrow, Ph.D., M.S., with world-class opportunities for scholarly pursuits to investigate cancer related side effects.  The National Cancer Institute awarded $24.8 million to fund Dr. Morrow and is team in their efforts to design and manage clinical studies that will be implemented nationally.  Wilmot is one of only two academic cancer centers in the U.S. to be chosen by the NCI as a research hub for the NCI Community Oncology Research Program.

Importantly, funding is available for laboratory expenses and salary for residents during their research years.  Many surgical sections have funding to support residents performing specialized clinical and basic science research within their division.  As part of their research training, all residents will learn grant writing skills and have the opportunity to present their work at local and national meetings.  Residents are also eligible to apply for medical school loan repayment programs through the National Institutes of Health, which may yield an additional $35,000 a year for each spent in laboratory research, in addition to regular salary support.

Last year marked the Department of Surgery’s First Annual Resident Research Symposium in which Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MSHS, our keynote speaker, presented a talk entitled “Achieving Optimal Care in Outcomes:  Observations from the American College of Surgeons Quality Programs.”  His lecture was followed by an abstract competition in which residents presented their research to a panel of peers and a research fair highlighting over 40 poster presentations from the Department of Surgery.  Residents whose presentations and posters were awarded the highest scores were given awards.

Kathleen Raman

Residents are also free to moonlight during the research years, provided it does not interfere with their research responsibilities.

As Associate Program Director for Research, it is my responsibility to ensure that each resident finds a research opportunity that meets his/her academic and career goals.  Towards this end, I meet with each resident early and often during the early years of residency to begin this process and ensure progress.

Kathleen G. Raman MD, MPH

Associate Program Director for Research

Research Residents

Courtney Boodry, MD (PGY-2)

Courtney BoodryResearch Interest

Surgical health outcomes research focusing on morphometric analysis.

Nathania Figueroa-Guilliani, MD (PGY3)

Nathania Figueroa-GuillianiResearch Interest

Surgery: Pre-clinical research characterizing the role of myeloid derived supperessor cells in cholangiocarcinoma.

Carla Justiniano, MD (PGY-2)

Carla JustinianoResearch Interest

Surgical health outcomes research focusing on transitions of care and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS).

Ankit Patel, MD (PGY-2)

Ankit PatelResearch Interest

The study and inibition or immune suppressive monocytes and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment of pancreas cancer.

Colin Powers, MD (PGY-3)

Colin PowersResearch Interest

Oncology Surgery: Regional cancer therapy using a model of direct intra-hepatic arte­rial chemotherapy infusion of Curaxin for treatment of a liver metastasis model of various types of murine cancer models, primarily colon and breast as well as a woodchuck model of HCC.

Aqsa Shakoor, MD (PGY-3)

Aqsa Shakoor

Research Interest

Pediatric ECMO/research fellow at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York. The clinical component of the fellowship involves management of critically ill neonatal and pediatric patients on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. The basic science component of the fellowship entails investigating gene expression in lymphatic malformations with translational research focusing on the in vivo therapeutic potential of Sirolimus and Propranolol. 

Zhaomin Xu, MD (PGY-2)

Zhaomin XuResearch Interest

Colorectal Surgery: Surgical health outcomes research with a focus on cancer survivorship.