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Research

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Surgery Training and Education

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Research Opportunities for Medical Students

Jason Spector, MD

The Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery investigates cutting edge translational technologies. The lab is a national leader in tissue engineering, with a focus on the creation of vascularized tissue constructs, dermal replacements as well auricular engineering. These cutting edge tissue engineering strategies integrate bioprinting, stem cell biology and microsurgery. Dr. Spector has an appointment in the Biomedical Engineering College of Cornell University where he has multiple collaborations with BME faculty. In addition to tissue engineering, the LBMS has projects investigating the development of peri-prosthetic capsular contracture, optimization of acellular dermal matrices and use of a novel anti-inflammatory polymer coating for medical devices. Opportunities for related clinical research also exist. The LBMS has a long history of medical student involvement resulting in numerous presentations at local and national meetings as well as publications in peer reviewed journals.

For more information visit the lab website www.bioregenerativetechnologies.com
Contact PI: Jason A. Spector, MD jas2037@med.cornell.edu

Thomas J. Fahey III, MD and Rasa Zarnegar, MD

The endocrine surgery section is focused on clinical and basic science research on endocrine disorders. Patients are now able to have surgical resection of their thyroid to differentiate benign from cancerous lesions when fine needle aspiration cannot distinguish between them. Our researchers have been developing new techniques for differentiating benign thyroid nodules from thyroid cancer without surgery. Our group identified an innovative molecular basis for differentiating benign from malignant thyroid cancer, an important new discovery that will enhance patient care. We plan to initiate clinical trials in patients with thyroid nodules. Our group is also involved in many multi-center clinical studies focused on improved diagnosis and management of numerous endocrine disorders.

Contact: Dr. Fahey at tjfahey@med.cornell.edu or Dr. Zarnegar at raz2002@med.cornell.edu

Sandip Kapur, MD, Jim Kim, MD, and Anthony C. Watkins, MD

The transplant division has a rigorous program of clinically based research in delayed graft function and acute rejection rates after extended-criteria deceased donor renal transplantation. Other studies involve the impact of ethnicity, transplant type, immunologic risk and other factors on outcomes under steroid-sparing immunosupression. Rituximbad is being investigated for its use in the prevention and treatment of antibody mediated rejection in renal transplants. Other research includes: evaluating steroid-free regimes; a new non-invasive urine test to diagnose rejection while minimizing immunosuppression; new methods for desensitizing transplant candidates to potential receipients; and clinical research in the developmental process of new immunosuppressive and transplant related pharmaceuticals. In addition, basic science work in the area of regulatory t-cells and the role of memory t-cells in regulatory t-cell's function and cell cycling are ongoing.

Contact: Dr. Kapur at sak2009@med.cornell.edu, Dr. Kim at jik9021@med.cornell.edu, Dr. Watkins at acw9003@med.cornell.edu.

Marco Seandel, MD, PhD

Dr. Seandel's lab has basic science and translational research projects that students are invited to participate in for varying periods of time. The lab has two separate interests: one in adult stem cell biology (using the spermatogonial stem cells of the testis as a model) and a second in the role of the vascular niche in solid tumor pathobiology. In addition, we have ongoing projects examining ways to manipulate vascular endothelial cell function for regenerative medicine purposes.

Contact: Dr. Marco Seandel at (212) 746-3071 or at mas9066@med.cornell.edu

Rache Simmons, MD

The Breast Surgery section welcomes students to help with retrospective data analysis studies, at any time during the academic year as well as in summer. Students will be taught detailed information about breast cancer pathology, diagnostic modalities, various surgical treatments, as well as adjuvant therapy. While they are working on the database, they will have the opportunity to observe a surgeon during office hours and will be invited to observe one breast operation. The student will be included as a co-author on abstracts and papers written using the data that they help us collect.

Contact: Dr. Simmons at rms2002@med.cornell.edu.

Jeffrey Milsom, MD and Koiana Trencheva, BSN

Particular areas of research interest are colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and anorectal conditions. Colorectal research projects include: development and testing of new surgical technologies and techniques for colorectal diseases; development and testing of new surgical devices used in open and laparoscopic surgical treatment of colorectal diseases; outcome research; conducting different types of clinical trials for IBD and colorectal cancer. Currently, the Colorectal Research group has more than 15 ongoing research projects. Medical students will have an opportunity to participate in basic science, translational and clinical research projects. Under professional research guidance, the medical students will take part in writing the scientific proposals for new projects; implementation of the ongoing research projects; participate in data collection and data analyses. Students will participate in the weekly Colorectal Research Conference.

Contact: Koiana Trencheva at kivanova@med.cornell.edu.

Alfons Pomp MD and Gladys Strain, PhD

The Section of Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery has several protocols that could involve the participation of medical students.

Contact: Dr. Pomp at alp2014@med.cornell.edu

Gregory Dakin, MD

The Department of Surgery has created a surgical simulation initiative entitled SAIL Skills Acquisition and Innovation Laboratory. SAIL allows for research into more effective methods of achieving surgical skill.

Contact: Dr. Dakin at grd9006@med.cornell.edu

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