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Departmental Research Overview

Dr. Susan Safley conducting islet research in the lab.

Propelled by a philosophy of collaboration across disciplines whenever advantageous, state-of-the-art lab facilities, and an emphasis on expeditiously and safely translating discoveries to patient care, the Department of Surgery of the Emory University School of Medicine is in the top tier of the country's academic research institutions.

The Department's prominent research programs include transplant immunology, cross-species islet transplantation, engineering of artificial vascular tissues, minimally invasive surgery, critical care systems and processes, nanotechnology for cancer therapy, and cardioprotective strategies. Faculty researchers and residents collaborate regularly, particularly when residents embark on research sabbaticals.

Since 2008, the Department has consistently placed in the upper ranks of departments of surgery nationwide in annual NIH funding, and several of our researchers have regularly placed in the NIH's surgery PIs listings. According to ranking tables of annual NIH funding posted by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the Department placed 8th in NIH awards for all departments of surgery nationwide in 2016, marking a three-year climb that began with the 12th position in 2014, then the 9th in 2015.

Transplant immunologists Christian Larsen, Andrew Adams, and Mandy Ford; novel cancer imaging and targeted therapeutic agents specialist Lily Yang; health services researcher Rachel Patzer; and sepsis and shock scientist Craig Coopersmith placed in the top 100 NIH-funded, department of surgery-based principal investigators in the 2016 listings. Vascular disease investigators Luke Brewster and Shipra Arya were also highly ranked.

Our faculty publish regularly in the peer reviewed literature and various high impact journals, and their timely and incisive studies are often cited by the press and their peers.