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Trainees

Duke SCORES is pleased to welcome trainees from the Duke Department of Surgery who are interested in health services research (HSR).

Previous SCORES Trainees

 

Corbin Jacobs, MD

 
Biography

Corbin Jacobs is in his fourth year of Radiation Oncology residency training at Duke University.  He graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science as well as a minor in Spanish.  He completed his medical school training at the University of Texas Southwestern where he graduated first in his class and received the American Medical Association Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Award.  His mother, who valiantly battled colorectal cancer for 24 years, is his inspiration for actively contributing to cancer research.  He is happily married and has two rambunctious children – or three if you count the fluffy golden doodle.

Research

Corbin Jacobs will collaborate with a variety of mentors from multiple specialties including Radiation Oncology, Otolaryngology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Urology, Colorectal Surgery, and Medical Oncology.  He plans to investigate how to optimally treat synchronous prostate and rectal cancers which are increasing in incidence.  Another research focus will be how to optimally integrate immunotherapy and radiotherapy to improve patient outcomes.  He also plans to study the impact of concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy in certain high-risk populations, create nomograms to predict the survival benefit of radiotherapy, use the National Cancer Database to study rare malignancies, evaluate the impact of changes in radiotherapy technique over time, determine the prognostic value of nodal micrometastases and isolated tumor cells in sentinel lymph nodes, and evaluate the incidence of various late toxicities of radiotherapy.  He is interested in mentoring medical students and fellow trainees to accomplish these many research goals through altruism and collaboration.

 

Whitney Lane, MD

(Bio forthcoming)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keven Ji

 
Biography

Keven Ji is a rising 3rd year student at Duke University SOM. He graduated with a B.A. in biology from University of Pennsylvania. He has most recently presented his findings for his abstract: Impact of Neoadjuvant Dose Escalation on Downstaging & Preoperative Mortality in Esophageal Cancer at the Academic Surgical Congress. He is interested in pursuing a career in surgery, and aims to apportion his time between taking care of patients and engaging in outcomes and clinical trials research in the future. In his free time, he enjoys reading and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling.

Research

Keven Ji’s research interest lies in characterizing national practice patterns of lymph node evaluation in papillary thyroid cancer patients undergoing surgery in light of novel recommendations for the number of lymph nodes deemed adequate to rule out occult nodal disease with a high degree of confidence.

 

Maya Talbott

 
Biography

Maya Talbott obtained her first research position at Stanford School of Medicine at the age of 15. For the next eight years, Ms. Talbott continued to develop her technical and laboratory skills as a member of several different labs in both the basic and translational sciences, holding research positions throughout her time as an undergraduate studying Biology at Stanford University, and during her two post-graduate years working at the UCSF Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, before moving cross-country to attend Duke School of Medicine.

Research

Ms. Talbott will be completing her research and training under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Ann Sosa (Endocrine Surgery, DCI Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, and DCRI), as well as a cross-disciplinary team of co-investigators, including Dr. Sara Ahmadi and Dr. Susan Spratt (Endocrinology). Together they are working on a novel project, titled “Patient Preference for Thyroid Cancer Surgery Strategies: A Discrete-Choice Experiment Study,” the goal of which is to determine which tradeoffs a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed differentiated thyroid cancer would be willing to make to balance the benefits and harms of thyroid lobectomy vs. total thyroidectomy.

 

Alan Zambeli-Ljepovic

 
Biography

Originally from Zagreb, Croatia, Alan studied biomedical engineering at Columbia. Although his undergraduate research focused on CT image analysis for detection of subclinical emphysema, his mentor also introduced him to global health work. During a summer in Kampala, Uganda, he established a collaboration between the biomedical engineering departments at Makerere and Columbia resulting in a grant that currently supports students from both universities on jointly-run projects for Mulago hospital. Between college and medical school, he spent a year at Mass General learning to apply biomedical engineering to increase success rates in breast cancer surgery. Over the past two years, Duke has introduced him to inspiring clinical mentors and allowed him to continue exploring practical ways we can improve surgical outcomes.

 
Research

Alan will be working to clarify the best course of treatment of elderly people with differentiated thyroid cancer, a relatively benign disease that is often much more aggressive in this population. His initial research goal is to evaluate how effective we have been at treating elderly patients with thyroid cancer. Looking forward, however, this project will lay the groundwork for exploring more complex, pressing issues in endocrine surgery: are the current national guidelines for thyroid cancer treatment appropriate for the elderly? How do they balance improvement in survival with quality of life, a metric perhaps more important at that age?