Through inquiry and creative questioning, we seek to push current medical understanding to new realms, improving the way pediatric surgery is practiced across the profession.

“Research is an integral part of our culture — a reflection of who we are. Challenging current dogma is a hallmark of how we practice pediatric surgery.”

Samir K. Gadepalli, M.D., M.B.A., Director of Clinical Research for Pediatric Surgery

Discovering the Future of Pediatric Surgery

With several million dollars in annual external support for primary investigators, the University of Michigan Section of Pediatric Surgery is one of the most established and well-funded units dedicated to discovery and education in the country. 

Our research enterprise is enriched by the connections we make across Michigan Medicine, where 2.3 million patient visits a year provide rich material and inspiration for discovery, and across institutions, where we partner with colleagues around the country and the world, such as through the Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium, which unites the efforts of more than 10 children’s hospitals to perform multi-center clinical studies for pediatric surgical diseases. We work with trainees at various stages of their career, from University of Michigan undergraduates in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) to fellows in the Pediatric Surgery Research Fellowship, to advance the field of pediatric surgery with innovative investigations.

From basic science to health outcomes research, our faculty cover a lot of ground. Our current projects include:

  • Streamlining clinical trials: Through consortial partnerships, we work to make it easier to conduct clinical trials. Current efforts include trials in children’s oncology for Wilms’ tumor, and to study a non-operative approach to treat appendicitis.
  • Translational science: Pediatric Surgery researchers are pursuing the development of an artificial lung that would serve as a crucial bridge to transplant or recovery from illness; the development of an artificial placenta to support life for extremely premature babies; and study of the underlying mechanisms of neuroblastoma in order to identify new therapeutic targets for this common childhood cancer.
  • Improving health outcomes: Pediatric Surgery researchers are strongly represented among faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, U-M’s hub of health care services and outcomes research. Through our efforts to improve how healthcare is financed, how health education is delivered, and how access is increased, we provide vital information to policymakers.