Clinical Research


The Department of Surgery is involved in various clinical research, translational research and clinical trials.

It is a priority of our department to investigate the latest innovations and remain leaders of the field in developing and investigating the newest technologies and treatments.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

The division is involved in a number of clinical trials, such as barrier films to prevent adhesions during open-heart surgery and the use of Viagra to treat pulmonary hypertension. The group is exploring new surgical techniques for the repair of congenital cardiopulmonary defects in neonates. Mark L. Barr is working to advance organ preservation technologies and to develop new strategies for the treatment and prevention of chronic rejection in heart and lung transplant patients.

Vascular Surgery

The division of vascular surgery is continually examining clinical outcomes and looking for ways that our experience can contribute to medical knowledge and advancement of the care of patients with vascular disease. We have active clinical trials studying novel treatments for critical limb ischemia, arteriovenous fistulas, abdominal aortic aneurysms and hypertension, among others.

Colorectal Surgery

The division of colorectal surgery is actively involved in innovative research in the following key areas:

  • Diverticulitis and Diabetes
  • Citrulline supplementation: safety assessment and effect on ADMA and SDMA levels and Arginine/ADMA ratio in patients after elective colorectal surgery.
  • Peri-operative investigation of molecular levels of L- Citrulline, ADMA, SDMA, and Arginine.
  • Creation of Serum Bank – used to bank blood for the future investigation of certain markers that may be predictive of response to treatment, etc.
  • Identification of transcription factor specific to radiation induced skin damage – Collaborative study with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  • Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Non-Healing Radiation-Induced Wounds – Collaborative study with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  • Inflamatory Bowel Disease – outcomes research on effect of disease severity and treatment compared to surgery.
  • Effect of 3d laparoscopy on surgeon training.
  • Various Outcomes research projects looking at factors influencing anastomotic leak, hernias after surgery and infections after surgery.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The integration of basic science with clinical research has led the way for most of the important advances in reconstructive surgery. Our faculty, post-doctoral fellows and medical students are closely involved with many varied basic science disciplines and surgical specialties. Working together, we are meeting our common challenges and finding solutions for shared problems.

Our areas of focused research include new microsurgical methods to more safely transplant a wider variety of tissue, new and improved wound treatment and the development of artificial bone and skin. We are also exploring why birth defects occur and how to effectively treat them.