Duke Surgery Annual Research Day

Duke Surgery's 8th Annual Research Day will be held on April 17, 2024.

2024 Program Directors

Basic Science
Aravind Asokan, PhD
Professor of Surgery
Director of Gene Therapy
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Clinical Science
Jennifer K. Plichta, MD, MS, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences
Director, Breast Risk Assessment Clinic, Duke Cancer Institute





Abstracts should be submitted by February 4, 2024


Abstracts may be submitted by learners in the Department of Surgery. This includes fellows (MD or PhD), residents, graduate students, medical students, and undergraduate students working in a lab within the Department of Surgery. The presenting author should be the first author on the abstract, and the author list should state the learner's status and the name of the division represented. The first author is expected to be a learner and will be expected to present on Research Day, April 17, 2024, if selected as a podium presenter.

Employees of Duke or the Department of Surgery are not eligible.

Abstracts can cover basic/translational or clinical research and should state the most applicable category after the title. Learners may only submit one abstract per category (clinical or basic/translational). Research should be relatively recent but may have already been presented and/or published within the past year. Learners must be available to attend Research Day on April 17, 2024.

The abstract submission file should include two pages: (1) a title page and (2) the abstract including figures or tables. Please use 11-point font and include 1" margins in your file. Submit the title page and abstract in the same file for tracking purposes. Your abstract file must be submitted in PDF format.

Title Page

The title page should list the following information:

  • Abstract title
  • Clinical or basic/translational research
  • Submitter's name (as you would like presented on all materials)
  • Submitter’s current title  (medical student, resident, postdoctoral fellow/associate, research or clinical fellow, graduate student, pre-med student, undergraduate student)
  • Division represented
  • All authors with full names and degrees, if available


The abstract should be divided into the following sections:

  • Background & Hypothesis
  • Methods & Results
  • Conclusions


Please contact Tracy Wilson with any questions.

Tracy Wilson


Previous Research Day Winners

Basic Science

Moronke Ogundolie, MS

Construction of a Data Pipeline to Facilitate Efficient Access to Social Determinants of Health

Moronke Ogundolie, MS

Mentor: Lisa McElroy, MD


Clinical Science


Anti-CD40L-Based Desensitization and Immunosuppression Promotes Long-Term Graft Survival in Allosensitized Nonhuman Primate Kidney Transplantation

Imran Anwar, MD

Mentor: Stuart Knechtle, MD

Basic Research

Li-Chung Tsao, PhD, and Shelley Hwang, MD

Trastuzumab/Pertuzumab combination therapy stimulates anti-tumor responses through complement-dependent cytotoxicity and phagocytosis
Li-Chung Tsao, PhD
Mentor: Herbert Kim Lyerly, MD, PhD

Clinical Research

Neel K. Prahbhu and Shelley Hwang, MD

Machine Learning for Improved Size Matching in Lung Transplantation
Neel K. Prabhu
Mentor: Matthew G. Hartwig, MD

Basic Research

Inducing tolerance of HLA-mismatched Kidney Transplants Following Donor Derived Apoptotic Cell Infusion in Non-Human Primates
Chloe Nobuhara, Brian Shaw, Irma Hussain, Angil Danghi, Miriam Manook, Jeffrey Ord, Dimitrios Moris, Robin Schmitz, Kyha Williams, Xunrong Luo, Allan Kirk


Clinical Research

Machine Learning for Urodynamic Detection of Detrusor Overactivity
K. Tyler Hobbs, MD; Nathaniel Choe, Leonid Aksenov, MD; Lourdes Reyes; Wilkins Aquino, PhD; Jonathan C. Routh, MD, MPH; James A. Hokanson, PhD

Basic Research
Targeting S1P1 Internalization Avoids T cell Sequestration and Provides a Novel Immunotherapeutic Approach to Intracranial Tumors
Cosette DeChant, Pakawat Chongsathidkiet, Lindsey Rein, Alem Kahsai, Xiuyu Cui, Michelle Yang, Daniel Wilkinson, Robert Lefkowitz, and Peter Fecci.

Damage- and Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns Play Differential Roles in Late Mortality After Critical Illness
John Eppensteiner, Jean Kwun, Uwe Scheuermann, Andrew Barbas, Alexander T. Limkakeng, Eric Elster, Allan D. Kirk, Jaewoo Lee.


Clinical Research
A Mixed Method Implementation Analysis Assessing Barriers and Facilitators to Improving Safety Culture in a Pediatric Perioperative unit in Guatemala City
Isabelle Sico, Bria E. Johnston, Mónica Orozco, Angie Aguilar-González, Sindy Mendez Soveranis, Astrid Tello, Caroline Doherty, David Boyd, Joy Noel Baumgartner, Jennifer Headley, Kelsey Landrum, Randall Lou-Meda, and Henry E. Rice.

Basic Research

Basic research winner Ibrahim
Implantable Oxygen Platform for Continuous, Real-Time Detection of Vascular Perfusion and Ischemia
Mohamed Ibrahim, Ryan Schweller, Mahmoud Mohamed, David Powers, and Bruce Klitzman


Clinical Research

Clinical research winner Ashley Wietsma
Just a Nudge: Applying Behavioral Incentives to Engage Residents in Quality Improvement Education
Ashley Wietsma, Eugene Cone, Johnathan Bergman, Tannaz Moin, Arlene Fink, Jonathan Routh, B. Price Kerfoot, and Charles Scales Jr.

Basic Research
Low-Dose Exposure to a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Mixture Promotes Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation: A Model Using Creosote-Contaminated Sediment from a Superfund Site
Larisa M. Gearhart-Serna, John B. Davis, Scott J. Sauer, Nishad Jayasundara, Richard Di Giulio, and Gayathri R. Devi

Lymphoid Isolation as an Adjuvant Maneuver for Belatacept-Based Immunotherapy
Michael Mulvihill, Kannan Samy, Robert Patrick Davis, Francis Leopardi, Brad Collins, and Allan D. Kirk


Clinical Research
The Impact of Targeted HER-2 Therapy on Breast Reconstruction Outcomes: A Propensity-Matched Analysis
Ronnie L. Shammas, Eugenia H. Cho, Adam D. Glener, Luke P. Poveromo, Lily R. Mundy, Rachel A. Greenup, Kimberly L. Blackwell, and Scott T. Hollenbeck

Basic Research
Oncolytic Poliovirus Activates Antigen-Presenting Cells and Promotes Anti-Cancer Cytolytic Responses in Vitro
Michael Brown, Eda K. Holl, David Boczkowski, Darell D. Bigner, Matthias Gromeier, and Smita K. Nair


Clinical Research

Rethinking the Current AJCC Staging System for Medullary Thyroid Cancer: An Analysis of 3315 Patients
Mohamed Adam, Samantha Thomas, Sanziana Roman, and Julie A. Sosa