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At the Top

Badger Pride was beating strong at the 2016 Academic Surgical Congress, which took place in Jacksonville, Florida, February 2-4. This annual conference is a combined program of the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) and the Society of University Surgeons (SUS). This year’s attendance broke all previous records, with more than 1,500 attendees. The University of Wisconsin once again held the title for the highest number of presentations, with 57 abstracts affiliated with the Department of Surgery.

In addition to our research accomplishments, a number of our faculty members hold leadership positions in the participating associations. Sharon Weber, MD, is current president of SUS and was intimately involved in the planning and success of the event. Greg Kennedy, MD, PhD, serves as SUS secretary, Gretchen Schwarze, MD, MPP, chairs the SUS Ethics and COI Committee, and Carla Pugh, MD, PhD, serves as SUS representative to the Association of American Medical Colleges-Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. During the conference, Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, was installed as president of AAS and Rebecca Sippel, MD, elected as the 2017-2018 president. Other leadership positions our faculty members hold in that organization include Rebecca Sippel, MD, secretary; Suresh Agarwal, MD, and Paul DiMusto, MD, councilors; and Jacob Greenberg, MD, EdM, Education Committee co-chair. A number of our residents, fellows, and faculty members serve as committee members for SUS and AAS.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is a Platinum Member of the Academic Surgical Congress, as well as a Founding Institutional Member. Thank you to everyone who participated in the meeting — your leadership and research efforts help maintain UW Surgery’s national prominence in the surgical field.


The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will fund Jon Odorico, MD, with a one-year grant in the total of $138,085.28 for his project “Encapsulation of human PSC-derived beta cells in a novel device combining dynamic nutrient delivery and a matrix-based niche microenvironment.” Congratulations, Dr. Odorico!

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation has awarded grants to two UW researchers. Robert Redfield III, MD, was awarded the twenty-sixth Franklin Martin, MD, FACS, Faculty Research Fellowship for his project “BLyS Inhibition for the Induction of Humoral Tolerance in Kidney Transplantation.” This two-year fellowship begins July 1, 2016, and supplies a $40,000 annual research stipend. General surgery resident Jennifer Philip, MD, PGY-2, under the mentorship of Shahab Akhter, MD, was awarded one of six resident research scholarships for her project “Regulation of Cardiac Fibroblast-mediated Ventricular Remodeling by Beta-arrestin1.” The two-year award begins July 1, 2016, and offers a $30,000 annual research stipend. Congratulations to both of you!

Juan Sebastian Danobeitia, MD, PhD, PGY-2, mentored by Luis Fernandez, MD, was awarded the 2016 Association of Academic Surgery and AAS Foundation Basic Science/Translational Research Fellowship Award. The one-year, $20,000 award will fund investigation of macrophage differentiation in the regulation of innate, adaptive immunity and fibrosis after renal transplantation. This award was announced during the 2016 Academic Surgical Congress. Congratulations, Sebastian, for earning this distinguished award.


The department was notified that the School of Medicine and Public Health CHS Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee endorsed the department’s recommendations to promote Ann O’Rourke, MD, MPH, and Dai Yamanouchi, MD, PhD, to the rank of Associate Professor (CHS), effective July 1, 2016. Congratulations to both of you on these well-deserved promotions.


On February 10, Amy Liepert, MD, chair of the Wisconsin Surgical Society (WSS) Policy Planning and Government Relations Committee, led a contingent of 15 WSS members at Doctor Day, a medical lobby day at the Wisconsin Capitol that attracted approximately 300 physicians from around the state. This long-standing annual event allows state legislators and their staffs the opportunity to interact with physicians. In years past, Wisconsin surgeons lacked an organized lobbying effort at the event. This year’s undertaking was made possible through hard work and planning led by Dr. Liepert and a $5,000 Advocacy Grant from the American College of Surgeons. There was surgeon representation from both private practice and academic centers, as well as from urban and rural practices. Additional participants from the UW Department of Surgery included Michael Garren, MD, current WSS president, and general surgery residents Christina Lee, MD, Lauren Taylor, MD, and Christina Papageorge, MD.

In the News

K. Craig Kent, MD, was a recent guest on the surgery-focused “Behind the Knife” podcast. He discussed the future of surgical research, his own basic science lab research into the cause of restenosis, and UW Surgery’s work in training rural surgeons. Take a listen — it’s a great conversation.

Dixon Kaufman, MD, PhD, appeared in a news story about the importance of employers providing time off for organ donors. Senator proposes organ donation leave of absence appeared on WISC-TV News 3 on January 26, 2016. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System