The Department of Surgery receives more than $1 million each year in extramural grants, which supports the department’s long tradition of involvement in both basic and clinical research. A number of research studies are conducted in collaboration with other departments of the Keck School of Medicine, including the Department of Medicine and its divisions of gastrointestinal and liver diseases, infectious diseases and oncology.
The Cardiovascular Research Program is a joint partnership between the Research Institute and the Heart Institute. The goal of the Cardiovascular Research Program is to support and advance the pediatric and adult cardiac and vascular programs through basic and applied research activities. The basic science research activities take place in the laboratories on the fourth floor of The Saban Research Institute. The clinical research is carried out at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and in the laboratories at the USC Health Science Campus (HSC).
Residents have the option to spend one year (or more in selected circumstances) to conduct basic science and/or clinical research in any surgical specialty. Most residents elect to spend dedicated time outside of the residency to participate in full-time research, typically following the PGY-3 year. This dedicated research time is encouraged, but it is not mandatory. The type of research, location and funding is left to the discretion of the resident. However, there are opportunities to obtain internal funding from the department to facilitate this process. Additionally, there are ample opportunities to participate in clinical or translational research while engaged in the clinical rotations of the residency. Residents are encouraged to submit their research to meetings and will receive the necessary support to present their work. Previous residents have used this time to obtain advanced degrees such as an MBA or even a PhD. Other residents have pursued a critical care fellowship. The research period can be tailored to the specific professional needs of the individual.