basic research web

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ranks among the top three recipients in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. With nearly $27 million per year in extramural (direct and indirect) research support, the Department of Surgery ranks among the top five academic surgical departments in NIH funding. With faculty appointments at Harvard and MIT, our surgical faculty are members of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard-MIT Broad Institute, the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, and CIMIT.

Following the third clinical year, residents are required to pursue a two-year research elective in any number of available areas that include basic science or clinical outcomes. It is also possible for residents to seek advanced degrees in public health, business administration, or education. The Department of Surgery has agreed to support tuition for one individual annually to pursue a master’s degree in any of the Harvard schools of graduate education. This is a competitive process that is awarded to the resident proposing the most meritorious project.

These opportunities are intended to teach residents the requisite skills to become leaders in academic surgery and make an impact early in their careers. BIDMC surgery residents have been very successful in obtaining high-quality research and clinical fellowships in Boston and nationwide.

Residents are candidates for support by one of three mechanisms:

  • Four NIH-funded NRSA training grants (Surgical Critical Care, Gastroenterology, Vascular Surgery, and Transplantation)
  • A principal investigator in Surgery may support the salary for two fellowship years
  • A prospective fellow and principal investigator may apply for the NRSA fellowship grant from the NIH or apply for funding through many other mechanisms available to support fellowship research

Opportunities are also available for surgical housestaff during their clinical training to participate in clinical research conducted by members of the Department of Surgery.

Selected Research Programs

Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research

Lijun Sun, PhD

Design of new therapeutic compounds in the fields of oncology, immunology, and innate immunity. Dr. Sun has taken four compounds to phase 3 clinical trials

Acute Care Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care

Charles Cook, MD 
Bacteria sepsis and reactivation of latent cytomegalovirus 

Carl Hauser, MD 
Regulation of innate immunity in trauma with an emphasis on translational biology

Wolfgang Junger, PhD 
Inflammatory responses to trauma

Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD 
DNA damage and trauma

Cardiac Surgery

Kamal Khabbaz, MD 
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), mitral valve repair, predictive markers of postoperative adverse events, 3D printing for cardiac repair

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Vitaliy Poylin, MD 
Neuropeptides in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases 

Gastrointestinal and Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery

Mark Callery, MD 
Outcomes research in high-acuity pancreaticobiliary surgery

Susan Hagen, PhD 
Cellular mechanisms in the development of gastric cancer 

Tara Kent, MD, MS 
Outcomes research in high-acuity pancreaticobiliary surgery

A. James Moser, MD 
Multi-center research study of biomarker discovery for therapeutics in pancreatic cancer

Barbara Wegiel, PhD 
Heme degradation pathway and the cytoprotective protein heme oxygenase-1 in the development and prevention of cancer

Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD 
Cell signaling: approaches to targeted cancer therapy

Jin-Rong Zhou, PhD 
Mechanisms of nutraceutical components on the prevention and treatment of cancer

Metabolism and Obesity 

Daniel Jones, MD 
Comparative effectiveness and outcomes of bariatric surgery; evaluation of new clinical interventions for the treatment obesity; simulation in surgical education

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Bernard Lee, MD, MBA, MPH, FACS 
Near infrared imaging technologies for flap perfusion in face transplantation models; clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in breast reconstruction surgery

Samuel Lin, MD 
Microelectromechanical systems devices for peripheral nerve modulation; clinical outcomes in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery

Transplant Surgery

Amy Evenson, MD 
Clinical outcomes in abdominal transplantation, hepatobiliary surgery, and dialysis access

Robert Fisher, MD 
Hepatocyte transplantation for fulminate hepatic failure, living donor liver transplantation, liver cancer treatment

Maria Koulmanda, PhD 
Molecular and cellular basis of tolerance to islet allograft and xenograph rejection.

Leo Otterbein, PhD 
Therapeutic strategies to limit maladaptive inflammatory responses that contribute to acute injury, chronic disease, and cancer

James Rodrigue, PhD 
Behavioral health aspects of organ transplantation and organ donation

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD 
Thrombosis, atherosclerosis, biologically inspired materials and drugs, tissue engineering

Mauricio Contreras, MD 
Developing novel biomaterial surfaces 

Christiane Ferran, MD, PhD 
Role of A20 in organ transplantation, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and hepatitis

Elzbieta Kaczmarek, PhD 
Role of purinergic signaling in vascular biology

Frank LoGerfo, MD 
Developing novel biomaterial surfaces; mechanisms of prosthetic arterial graft failure and prevention of intimal hyperplasia in vein grafts; role of neuropeptides in diabetic wound healing

Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk, PhD 
Mechanisms of prosthetic arterial graft failure and prevention of intimal hyperplasia in vein grafts; role of neuropeptides in diabetic wound healing 

Marc Schermerhorn, MD 
Re-engineering the delivery of care for patients with vascular disease; comparative effectiveness of surgery and endovascular therapy for treatment of vascular disease

Aristidis Veves, MD, DSc 
Mechanisms of microvascular disease, wound healing, and peripheral neuropathy in diabetes