Rochester Medicine

Meet Our Surgeon-Scientists: Doran Mix (MD ’13, Res ’19)

Jan. 5, 2022
Surgeon-Scientist Doran Mix
Doran Mix, MD
Doran Mix, MD

RM: Why do you think it’s important to be a surgeon-scientist?

Mix: As surgeon-scientists, we are given the opportunity to explore translatable research that directly affects the care of our patients and the entire burden of human disease. Surgeons intimately know the destructive power of disease on tissues and organ systems as we struggle to restore homeostasis in the operating room. Naturally, surgeons continually strive to improve the surgical management of disease as the results of our procedures are as much our patients as they are our own. It is only with the rigorous application of the scientific method that our clinical suspicion can be forged into new treatment paradigms for future patients.      

RM: Tell us about your current research-related activity

Mix: Our goal in the Cardiovascular Engineering Lab is to apply novel, noninvasive imaging techniques to determine the biomechanical properties of arterial tissue, i.e. “stiffness,” to inform clinical decision-making related to aortic dissections and aneurysmal disease. Our multidisciplinary team has created an innovative ultrasound technique that is currently being utilized to study how aortic stenting changes aortic wall deformations in idealized 3D printed hydrogel models. We are also using this technique clinically to analyze the biomechanical properties of the aorta immediately before and after stenting in the operating room. Our team is also investigating a novel MRI technique that directly measures stiffness changes in the wall of aortic dissections to predict when they will degenerate into aortic aneurysms.