June 13, 2024

2024 Moses Gunn Research Conference highlights

Faculty members discussing a research poster at the conference
Yongquing Li, M.D., Ph.D., looks at a poster during the poster session.

The Department of Surgery held the 35th annual Moses Gunn Research Conference on June 7 at the Michigan League to showcase the cutting-edge surgical research happening within the department. To participate, residents, medical students, and other researchers submitted abstracts of their work to be considered for a poster or an oral presentation at the conference.

The presenter program got off to a great start in the morning with our residents in academic development time, whose research covering topics in basic and translational science and health services prompted a lot of thoughtful questions from the audience. Faculty also shared updates from various department centers, like the Center for Global Surgery, before the lunch break.

Room full of people watching a presentation.
General Surgery Resident Jessica Millar, M.D., delivers her talk during the morning session.


A man in a suit asking a question at a microphone in a crowd of people.
Frank Davis, M.D., asks a presenter a question after their talk.
Dr. Petroze giving a presentation about the Center for Global Surgery
Vice Chair for Global Surgery Robin Petroze, M.D., shares updates on the Center for Global Surgery.

After lunch, attendees enjoyed the afternoon program featuring more fantastic research from medical students, undergraduates, and surgery faculty and staff. Then, the keynote speaker, Jayme Jocke, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, spoke about her journey as a transplant surgeon in research.

Following that, it was time for a poster session so that attendees could get a peek at even more research happening in the department. In total, there were nearly 80 posters on display.

3 men in suits looking at a scientific research poster
General Surgery Resident Tyler Bauer, M.D., checks out a poster during the poster session.

The day ended with an awards ceremony, which began with five poster presenters receiving blue ribbons for their excellent work. Every year, awards are given to spotlight resident, fellow, and medical students who stand out because of their exceptional commitment to research.

7 people in business dress holding blue award ribbons
The poster ribbon winners. From left to right: Event co-chair Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.S., with Susan Pitt, M.D., M.H.P.S., Sanjna Chokshi, Jamie Mills, M.D., Ph.D., Aadith Kumar, Brennan Callow, and co-chair Katherine Gallagher, M.D. 

Chief Resident Ryan Howard, M.D., M.S., received the James W. Crudup award for his outstanding research accomplishments during his residency training. Howard was in the O.R. when the award was announced, demonstrating his commitment to the clinical mission as well.

Sara Schaefer, M.D., received the Young Investigator award for her originality and scientific merit in research.

Two women in dresses and a man in a suit. The woman in the middle is holding an award plaque.
Young Investigator Award winner Sara Schaefer, M.D., with event co-chairs Katherine Gallagher, M.D., and Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.S.

Luca Borah received the Student Research award for their originality and scientific merit in research.

A woman in a dark dress with a person in dark business clothes holding a plaque and a man in a dark suit.
Student Research Award winner Luca Borah with Katherine Gallagher, M.D., and Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.S.

This year also included a new award, the Faculty Mentor award, which was given to Katherine Gallagher, M.D., for her excellent mentorship of surgical residents and medical students.

A woman in a dark dress holding a blue and yellow football helmet in a clear box with a man in a dark suit.
Faculty Mentor award winner Katherine Gallagher, M.D., with Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.S.

Moses Gunn presided over the event both in spirit and as a life-sized cutout. His pre-conference preparations can also be seen on Instagram, which included reviewing abstracts and visiting the Frankel lab.

View photos of the conference here.

Review the conference abstracts here.


Moses Gunn presenter sessions

ADT Resident talks

  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands promote pancreatic cancer through pro-tumorigenic T cell polarization | Brian Griffith, M.D.
  • Sex-Specific Variations in NLRP3 Inflammasome Signaling in Thoracic and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Development | Jessica Millar, M.D.
  • Higher Rates Of Emergency Surgery, Serious Complications, And Readmissions In Primary Care Shortage Areas | Sara Schaefer, M.D.
  • Failure to rescue females undergoing high-risk surgery | Catherine Wagner, M.D.
  • The Histone Demethylase JMJD3 in Smooth Muscle Cells Regulates Blood Pressure and Arterial Remodeling via Endothelin Signaling | Kevin Mangum, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Evaluating Access-Sensitive Surgical Conditions | Shukri Dualeh, M.D.
  • Abdominal Wall Component Separation: Utilization and Outcomes | Brian Fry, M.D., M.S.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy Reduces Fructose-derived Metabolite Delivery to the Liver | Neil Blok, M.D., Ph.D.
  • A Qualitative Analysis of Sociocultural Attitudes and Perceptions about Breast Reconstruction in sub-Saharan Africa | Brigit Baglien, M.D.

Scientific session 1

  • Altering PERK/ATF4 Activation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Controls Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Development | Brennan Callow
  • Modeling the persistence of low-value preoperative testing: An integrative literature review to aid in de-implementation | Nico Robinson
  • Factors That Could Affect Decision Making on Lobectomy vs Sublobar Resection for cT1N0 Lung Cancers | Antonela Muca, MD
  • Nonsmokers with NSCLC have an Immune Microenvironment Associated with Poor Response to Immunotherapy | Cameron Speyer
  • Personalized Patient Education: Using Anatomically Accurate 3D-Printed Models for the Explanation of Living DonorTransplantation Surgeries | Jasnoor Singh
  • “This Can’t Happen Like This”: A Qualitative Study of Survivorship in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Patients | Claire Ashmead-Meers
  • Red Light Reduces Blood Clotting in an In Vitro Model of Extracorporeal Circulation-- Danika Meldrum
  • Understanding Patient Experiences to Improve Care for Females Groin Hernia: A Qualitative Study | Deena Sukhon
  • Snail1 controls CD8+ T cell effector function and tumor immunity | Karolina Okla, PhD
  • Admiration, Amazement, and Joy: Examining Emotion in Surgery | Julie Evans

Scientific session 2

  • Expanding Telehealth for Equitable Subspecialty Care: Insights from Underserved Michigan on Pediatric Craniofacial Abnormalities | Hannah Xu
  • Differences in Gene Expression and Potential Therapeutic Targets in Recurrent Liposarcoma | Jessie Dalman
  • Challenges in Geographic Access to Specialized Pediatric Burn Care in the United States | Jacob Dougherty
  • The role of PAI-1 & the protease inhibition domain in venous fibrosis | Kiran Kumar
  • Advancing Equitable Healthcare Access and Delivery: Lessons Learned from a Novel Healthcare Equity Consult Service (HECS) | Keyonna Williams, MD
  • Leveling the Playing Field for Laparoscopy: The Impact of a Low-Cost Simulation-Based Training Platform in Cameroon | Erin Kim
  • TNFa-Setdb2 pathway regulates fibroblast to myofibroblast transition in wound repair | Tyler Bauer, MD
  • Understanding the Lived Experiences of Black Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Qualitative Study | Noelle Thompson
  • Therapeutic Potential of a Novel Humanized CitH3 Antibody in Sepsis | Wenlu Ouyang
  • The Impact of Vehicular Data on Trauma Outcomes After Motor Vehicle Crashes | Sarah Diaz