Department of Surgery Celebrates 15th Annual Research Summit

Research Summit attendees explore the poster session.

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Department of Surgery celebrated its 15th annual Research Summit. The theme of this year’s summit was “Celebrating 15 Years of Innovation, Collaboration, and Discovery.”

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Katherine A. Gallagher, Professor of Surgery, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Leland Ira Doan Professor of Surgery at the University Michigan. She spoke about “Navigating a Career as a Surgeon-Scientist.”

Our invited UW-Madison campus speaker was Dr. Pallavi Tiwari, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Medical Physics at UW-Madison and the Co-Director of Imaging and Radiation Science at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Dr. Tiwari’s presentation discussed “Artificial Intelligence and Computational Imaging: Opportunity for Precision Medicine.”

As a part of the summit, several awards were given to recognize excellence in posters, presentations, images, and videos. The 2024 award winners were:

  • The Layton F. Rikkers, MD Best Basic or Translation Oral Presentation Award: Peter Chlebeck (Project PI: David Al-Adra, MD, PhD) Novel nano-particle therapy attenuates acute kidney injury after ischemia-reperfusion
  • The Louis C. Bernhardt, MD Best Clinical, Health Services, or Education Oral Presentation Award: Dawda Jawara, MD (Project PI: Luke Funk, MD, MPH) Patient and Provider Perceptions About Social Support After Bariatric Surgery: A Qualitative Study
  • The Debra A. Hullet, PhD Best Poster Award: Devashish Joshi, MD (Project PI: Inna Lobeck, MD) Implication of social determinants of health in access to and outcomes of fetal surgery
  • The K. Craig Kent, MD Best Poster Award, Student: Manasa Kalluri (Project PI: Daniel Cho, MD, PhD) Detecting single suture sagittal, unicoronal, and metopic craniosynostosis: evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of anthropometric measurements
  • The Charles N. Ford, MD Surgery Science Image Contest Award: Ligi Milesh, PhD (Le Lab) Brain in a Dish- 3D Brain Organoid
  • Surgery Science Technical Video Contest Awards: Bret Verhoven (Al-Adra Lab) and Weifeng Zeng, MD (Microsurgery and Regenerative Medicine Lab)

As always, there were a number of abstract oral presentations and posters depicting the extraordinary research ongoing within the department. Thank you to all who presented, to our judges and all who attended. 

Special thanks to our Research Summit planning committee: Co-Chairs Dr. David Al-Adra and Dr. Courtney Balentine as well as committee members Erin Alexander, Jingyu Hao, Jessica Karls-Ruplinger, Karen Lynch, Sarah Pavao, Susan Thibeault, Dr. Lee Wilke and Jennifer Zellner.  

Dr. Katherine Gallagher stands at the front of the auditorium gesturing towards the screen.
Dr. Katherine Gallagher delivers her keynote address.
Dr. Pallavi Tiwari stands at the podium and points towards the screen in the auditorium.
Dr. Pallavi Tiwari gives her presentation as the invited UW-Madison campus speaker.






Dr. Ruth Davis stands at the front of the auditorium with people sitting in the audience.
Dr. Ruth Davis, Assistant Professor in the Division of Otolaryngology, presents during the abstract oral presentations.
Dr. Jack Bontekoe stands at the front of the auditorium with people in the audience.
Dr. Jack Bontekoe, vascular surgery resident, presents during the abstract oral presentations.






An audience member is holding the microphone in the auditorium, with other audience members around him.
Audience members participating in Q&A during the abstract oral presentations.
Three surgery science image contest submissions sit on stands in Varsity Hall.
Surgery Science Image Contest submissions






Dr. Layton Rikkers and Peter Chelbeck stand next to each other as Peter accepts his award.
Dr. Layton Rikkers and Peter Chelbeck
Dr. Rebecca Minter and Manasa Kalluri stand next to each other as Manasa accepts her award.
Dr. Rebecca Minter and Manasa Kalluri








Dr. Rebecca Minter and Ligi Milesh stand next to each other as Ligi accepts her award.
Dr. Rebecca Minter and Ligi Milesh, PhD
Weifeng Zeng, MD and Bret Verhoven stand next to Dr. Rebecca Minter as they accept their awards.
Weifeng Zeng, MD, Dr. Rebecca Minter, and Bret Verhoven