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On Wednesday, January 12, more than 160 faculty, staff, residents and medical students gathered for the Department of Surgery’s Second Annual Research Summit at the Epicenter in Verona. The theme of this year’s event was translational research.

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The Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin is home to numerous research programs investigating the underlying mechanisms of disease, translating discoveries in the laboratory to clinical trials, and offering experimental options with the goal of improving patient care. Our portfolio of research funding exceeds $7 million annually with a large percentage from the National Institutes of Health.

Keynote addresses on translating science to clinical practice were presented by Dr. Paul Lambert, Professor of Oncology at UW’s McArdle Laboratory and Dr. Jeffrey Drebin, Chair of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Craig Kent, Chairman of the UW Department of Surgery, presented on progress made in the Department strategic research initiatives and gave a funding update. Drs. Nadine Connor and Gregory Kennedy served as Program Co-Chairs for this year’s event.

Seventy-one researchers presented posters and four awards were given in honor of Dr. Layton Rikkers and Dr. James Southard. Dr. Rikkers and Dr. Southard were present and recognized for their work supporting research for many years in the Department. Dr. Rikkers, our past Chairman for the Department of Surgery and a strong supporter of surgical research, was exceptionally instrumental in the growth of research in our department. Dr. Southard, well known for his research and development of UW Solution for organ preservation in collaboration with the late Dr. Folkert Belzer, served as vice-chairman for Research in the Department of Surgery for 13 years. During this time, Dr. Southard served as a valued mentor to countless students, residents, fellows and junior faculty members.

Award Recipients

Dr. Marie Stelzer
General Surgery resident in Dr. Paul Lambert’s lab
Layton Rikkers Translational-Clinical Award for her work on rapamycin inhibiting anal cancer

Gopika Nair
Graduate student in Dr. Jon Odorico’s lab
James Southard Basic Science Poster Award for her work modeling pancreas development in embryonic stem cells

Dr. Cathy Rasmussen
Assistant Scientist in Lynn Allen-Hoffman’s lab
Non-student Layton Rikkers Translational-Clinical Award for her work on stratified squamous epithelia from human embryonic stem cell-derived keratinocytes

Ankit Agarwal
Research associate in the College of Engineering
Non-student James Southard Basic Science Poster Award for work on integrating nanometer-thick polymer films containing ilver-nanoparticles in wound beds

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