May 20, 2019

31st Annual Moses Gunn Research Conference

On Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, The University of Michigan held its 31st Annual Moses Gunn Research Conference at North Campus Research Complex. This conference is special one as it’s an opportunity for students and residents to showcase their hard work and dedication to improving the field surgery.

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Moses Gunn Conference Visual Abstract


The conference is named after Dr. Moses Gunn. Dr. Gunn was born in East Bloomfield, New York, and during his journey in medicine, apprenticed himself to Dr. Edison Carr. When the University of Michigan opened a Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1950, he was invited to become a member of the original Faculty as Professor of Anatomy and Surgery. In 1854, the chair was divided, and he chose the chair of Surgery, which he held for 13 years before moving to Chicago. Over his career, Dr. Gunn earned a high reputation as a surgical leader, and he was among the founders of the American Surgical Association (ASA), the most prestigious surgical society in all of American Surgery. He later went on to become president of the ASA in 1885.

2019 Conference

This year’s 31st Annual Moses Gunn Conference was very special. Dr. Nipun Merchant, the Alan S. Livingston Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology and Professor of Surgery at the University of Miami, was selected as the keynote speaker. In his address, he highlighted the history of cancer care, but more importantly, how cancer care is changing rapidly to patient-directed care in the near future. Awards were also presented to Charles Hwang, Dr. Kyle Sheetz, and Dr. Kavitha Ranganathan for their outstanding work in heterotopia (Student Research Award), safeguards in robotic surgery (Young Investigator Award), and empowering children during surgical decisions (James W. Crudup Award), respectively. The conference also featured 15 oral presentations from some of the brightest students and residents, highlighting topics from agents improving outcomes in trauma and cancer, to how sepsis alters long-term wound healing, to reducing opioid prescribing across the State of Michigan. A total of 78 high quality posters were also presented. 


From an attending’s view, it is always highly gratifying to witness the high quality, sophisticated, and cutting-edge research that is being done by the surgical trainees and medical students at the University of Michigan.  In fact, the caliber of the scientific work was so high that most tenure track faculty members across the country would have been proud to be on the podium delivering the talks.  In addition to the quality of the data, one of the most impressive things was the level of confidence and enthusiasm exhibited by the presenters.  In short, the conference was a powerful testament that the Department of Surgery is not simply producing great surgeons, but is really training the future leaders of American Surgery- a mission truly befitting the legacy of Dr. Gunn.

From a resident viewpoint, this is an amazing conference to attend. Unlike other conferences where you only get to see select presentations from colleagues, Moses Gunn affords the opportunity to see all of the ongoing research across the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan. Both the quality and volume of the surgical research is remarkable. Attending the annual Moses Gunn conference is also highly inspirational as it provides an opportunity to collaborate with those with similar interests. Also, being around colleagues that generate such influential surgical research also motivates you to be the best you can be.

The dedication and hard work to improving surgical care continues to become more impressive and remarkable each year. The Annual Moses Gunn Conferences provides a unique opportunity to view these efforts. Without a doubt, the future of Surgery is in good hands and has a remarkable future ahead. We look forward to seeing how the University of Michigan will take lead and change the face of American Surgery.

Article by Hasan Alam, MBBS (Twitter: @DrHasanAlam) and Aaron Williams, MD (Twitter: @AMWilliamsMD)

Contact Us

Reach out to join the conversation or to learn more about how to implement the Michigan Promise. Connect with the Department of Surgery or our faculty on Twitter to share your ideas or get in touch with the Office of Faculty & Resident Life to schedule a Michigan Promise presentation at your institution. You can also fill out our Michigan Promise Inquiry Form with any questions or comments.

Department of Surgery Office of Faculty & Resident Life
2210F Taubman Center
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734-232-5528


Twitter: @UMichSurgery

Hashtag: #MichiganPromise

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