University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Week in Review – October 24, 2016

At the Top

The UW Health Transplant team recently transplanted the first liver in the United States perfused on the investigational OrganOx metra device, a new technology in organ preservation that is being utilized in a multi-institution clinical trial. The donor was a 48-year-old local DCD (donation after cardiac death), and the liver was perfused for approximately 5.5 hours. The recipient is doing very well. With the expertise and commitment of the UW team, the first investigational warm case in the trial was a success. This study demonstrates the strong collaboration between our organ procurement and transplant programs, and it advances our history of innovation and organ preservation. Kudos to our surgical leaders in the liver transplant program, Dixon Kaufman, MD, PhD, Luis Fernandez, MD, and Anthony D’Alessandro, MD, and the transplant clinical trial group who successfully and quickly obtained approval for this complicated trial.


More than three dozen faculty members, residents and staff from the UW Department of Surgery attended the 2016 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington DC, October 15-20. About 40 UW faculty, staff, and alumni of our department were involved in Scientific Sessions, Poster Presentations, Panel Sessions, Town Hall Meetings, and other events throughout ASC and affiliated meetings. You can view the list here. Monday night of the convention, the department hosted 60 guests at a special dinner for the unveiling of its new alumni association — the Layton F. Rikkers Surgical Society. All current faculty, residents, and fellows; graduates of our residencies and fellowships; and former faculty are considered members. Michael Bentz, MD, interim chair, honored Dr. Rikkers and introduced the Forward Award, which will commend a member of the new surgical society who best exemplifies the spirit and mission of the UW Department of Surgery. Bruce Harms, MD, MBA, chair of the Alumni Planning Committee, and Chip Foley, MD, residency program director, emphasized the society’s resident-focused fundraising mission. We are excited about the strength and organization a formal surgical society can offer, and look forward to engaging with the broader UW Surgery community to advance surgical education and train the next generation of surgeons.


The Great Lakes Transplant Immunology Forum was held October 10-11 in Chicago, Illinois. Several UW transplant researchers attended, and two awards were received. Vrushali Agashe, MS, a graduate student in the Burlingham lab, and Amin Afrazi, MD, PhD, a general surgery research resident in the Mezrich lab, both won AAI Young Investigator awards for their posters titled “Differential Effect of Leukocyte Associated Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor 1 (LAIR1) on Th1 and Th17 Responses” and “Prolongation of Transplant Skin Allograft Survival with Dietary Supplementation of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligands,” respectively. Congratulations!

Clinical Kudos

UW Health Patient Relations recently received a compliment about Gregory Hartig, MD, Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery: “Dr. Hartig operated on my ear and I was so impressed with him. He was so professional and kept me informed throughout the entire process. He went out of his way for me and I am so thankful. I can’t thank him enough, and I think the world of him. I am 100% satisfied with everything.”

Patient Comments from Hospital Survey

Katherine McConville, MA, CCCSLP (Otolaryngology):
“Kate has done a great job with me. She makes my visits informative and calming. I appreciate her knowledge and expertise in her field. Thank you!”

Bruce Harms, MD, MBA (Colorectal Surgery):
“Dr. Harms was honest, concise, and open to any and all questions.”

Maia Braden, MS, CCCSLP (Peds – ENT):
“We really felt we were being taken care of well. I felt Maia understood our concerns. She was very knowledgeable and communicated well with us. She is a joy to work with!”