Final Report: 2016 Annual William C. Wood Research Symposium

Department of Surgery faculty with the 2016 WCW Symposium winners, left to right: Nicole Turgeon, MD, Brendan Lovasik, David Mathews, John Sweeney, MD, Bridgette Peake, MS, Benjamin Flink, MD, Craig Coopersmith, MD.

Department of Surgery faculty with the 2016 WCW Symposium winners, left to right: Nicole Turgeon, MD; Brendan Lovasik; David Mathews; John Sweeney, MD; Bridgette Peake, MS; Benjamin Flink, MD; Craig Coopersmith, MD.

March 2016

The 15th Annual William C. Wood Research Symposium showcased the basic and clinical science research of the Emory Department of Surgery's students, postdocs, residents, and fellows, and was held on March 31 from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. in the Emory University Hospital Auditorium. The keynote speaker was Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH, George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery and chief of the of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Michigan. Dr. Dimick spoke on innovative approaches for improving surgical quality.

Following the lecture, oral and poster presentations were held from 8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Of the 53 abstracts that were originally submitted, five basic science and five clinical science abstracts were selected for oral presentations, and eight basic science and eight clinical science abstracts were selected for poster presentations. Faculty judges determined the most outstanding presentations in all four categories.

The 2016 William C. Wood Research Symposium winners were:

Bridgette Peake, MS, Most Outstanding Basic Science Oral Presentation for "Growth differentiation factor 15 promotes epithelial-mesencyhmal transition and invasion in HER2+ breast cancer." Ms. Peake is a 4th year molecular and systems pharmacology doctoral candidate working in the surgical oncology nanomedicine research lab of Lily Yang, MD, PhD.

Benjamin Flink, MD, Most Outstanding Clinical Science Oral Presentation for "Rural residence predicts treatment at low volume surgical centers and poorer survival for pancreatic adenocarcinoma." Dr. Flink is a PGY4 on research sabbatical. In addition to working with clinical oncology researcher Theresa Gillespie, PhD, he is a VA Quality Scholar at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

David Mathews, Most Outstanding Basic Science Poster for "Novel combined CD122 and costimulation blockade prolongs allograft survival by controlling expansion and effector function of memory CD8 T cells." Mr. Mathews is a 4th year MD/PhD student working in the transplant immunology research lab of Andrew Adams, MD, PhD.

Brendan Paige Lovasik, Most Outstanding Clinical Science Poster for "Emergency department utilization among kidney transplant recipients in the United States." Mr. Lovasik is a 4th year medical student and a mentee of transplant health services and outcomes researcher Rachel Patzer, PhD, and Dr. Andrew Adams.

The Emory Surgery Research Advisory Committee, which plans and manages the symposium, thanks all that were involved in making the 2016 installment a success, congratulates the winners and all of the presenters, and is already looking forward to the 2017 symposium.

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