Registration Now Open for the 2020 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium

Registration is open for the 2020 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium on Monday, April 6, 2020 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

The MedStar Health - Georgetown University Research Symposium and Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions are open to all members of the research and education community interested in learning more about scholarship at MedStar and Georgetown.

Beginning in 2019, the Research Symposium partners with the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE) at the Georgetown University Medical Center to host the Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions as part of the event. The Colloquium is an opportunity for those across the system focused on education to gather, share ideas and learn together.

This full day event brings together the MedStar Health and Georgetown University communities to celebrate the great work of our colleagues. It offers the unique opportunity to connect with researchers, educators, residents, executive leaders, and collaborative partners from across the region and our system to build meaningful relationships to further advance the health of our community.

The Research Symposium features scientific poster presentations from investigators across the system and the spectrum of care, information on research support services offered by MedStar Health Research Institute and the opportunity to connect with residents and researchers dedicated to advancing health. 

Learn more and register at


8:30 am – noon

Seventh Annual Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions

Hosted by GUMC’s Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE), the Seventh Annual Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions Colloquium is an opportunity for those across the system focused on education to gather, share ideas, and learn together.

8:45 am: Opening Remarks

9 am: Oral Session 1

9:50 - 10 am: Break

10 - 10:50 am: Concurrent Symposia

  • - Leadership and Management Curriculum in Graduate Medical Education: Resident Initiatives and Program Director Intuitions
  • - Medical-legal partnership as a boundary spanning educational model for health professionals

10:50 - 11 am: Break

11:10 am: Oral Session 2 - Curriculum Innovations

Noon – 1:15 pm

Plenary Speaker and Lunch

David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC President & Chief Executive Officer

1:30 pm2:15 pm

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Pre-Symposium Professional Development and Advancement Sessions 
These 45-minute optional workshops are offered before the Symposium and are intended to provide small group educational sessions hosted by experts from the MedStar Health & Georgetown University community. Each session focuses on a specific academic topic and is open to all Symposium attendees. Seats will be reserved for those who pre-register for the event. Attendees who do not pre-register for a session or who register on-site may attend these sessions on a first-come, first-seated basis.

  • Abstracts, Manuscripts, Journals - Oh my!
    Kristen Miller, DrPH, CPPS
  • Demystifying the IRB
    Jim Boscoe; Kristen Katopol, MS, CIM
  • GUMC Academic Appointments & Promotions Updates
    Elliott Crooke, PhD
  • How to “Thrive” in Wellbeing Research
    Mihriye Mete, PhD; Daniel Marchalik, MD, MA
  • Stats Fundamentals
    Stephen Fernandez, MS
  • Tips for Funding Success
    Angela Thomas, DrPh; Federico Asch, MD
  • Can You Entrust Your Student/Resident/Fellow With This Patient Care Activity? Using Entrustment-based Discussions to Support Your Decision (90-min session)
    H. Carrie Chen, MD, PhD
  • Giving Feedback in Clinical Learning Environments (90-min session)
    Robin Gross, MD, FCCP
  • Principles of Design Thinking (90-min session)
    Brian Boston, MA; Mindy McWilliams, MA

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

GME Town Hall
Residents, fellows, and faculty members from clinical sites throughout the MedStar Health GME consortium are invited to join for an interactive, system-wide town hall session.  Executive and administrative leaders representing MedStar Health corporate, hospitals, system GME, and local/institutional GME will present pertinent updates regarding our clinical learning and working environments, and be available to answer any questions that you may have.

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Resident & Fellow Oral Presentations
As part of the MedStar Health system-wide resident research day, residents and fellows with the top scoring abstracts are invited to give a short oral presentation on their research to attendees. These presentations allow residents and fellows to gain the experience of presenting their research and allow them to share their work with the larger MedStar Health & Georgetown University communities.

4:30 pm

Abstract Presentations & Moderated Poster Sessions
The main feature of the Research Symposium, the Grand Ballroom opens to showcase the peer-reviewed abstract presentations from across MedStar Health & Georgetown University. Ranging from health services research to critical care to orthopedics, all departments and entities are represented by established investigators, residents, and fellows. Also featured during this time is a moderated poster session for resident and fellow submissions.

5:45 pm

Main Stage Presentations & Keynote Address
Join leadership from MedStar Health and Georgetown University in the main ballroom to recognize the importance of research and collaboration in our community and present awards to investigators with top scoring poster submissions. The keynote speaker for this year is David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC President & Chief Executive Officer.

6:30 pm

Post-Symposium Gratitude Reception 
Hosted by MedStar Philanthropy, all are invited to attend an on-site reception directly following the Moderated Poster Presentations & Awards in the main ballroom. This will provide further networking with MedStar leaders, researchers, associates, grateful patients and donors to research.


Patient Outcomes After Liver Directed Therapies: MedStar Health Teaching and Research Scholars Capstone

MedStar Health Research Scholar Alexander Kim, MD recently presented his preliminary work on improving patient outcomes after liver directed therapies at the Research Scholars Capstone event. His two research studies were focused on the use of radioembolization and patient outcomes. Radioembolization is a type of intra-arterial therapy wherein radiation particles are infused from the hepatic artery to treat liver cancers.  Previous research has demonstrated that radioembolization leads to high rates of local tumor response rates. However, randomized trials of radioembolization in various tumor types have not led to improve patient overall survival.

The objective for the first study was to identify a liver function test which could improve both patient selection criteria and define liver toxicity better than the current standard. A secondary goal was to identify methods to improve particle delivery to tumor and reduce particle delivery to normal liver which would improve disease response and reduce liver toxicity. The most commonly used parameter when assessing patients for radioembolization in clinical practice is the total bilirubin level. It is common for radiologists to use a total bilirubin level of 2 as the cutoff to determine treatment eligibility.

 The study recruited 15 patients who were being considered for radioembolization. The patients underwent Quantitative Liver Spleen Scan (QLSS) and Perfused Hepatic Mass (PHM) values were correlated with the total bilirubin level and other indicators of liver function used in various clinical situations including Albumin, MELD, the ALBI score/grade, and Child Pugh Score (CPS). The study results found there was a poor correlation between PHM and all parameters except for the ALBI score, which was a moderate correlation. To conclude, even though total bilirubin level is often used to determine patient eligibility for radioembolization, it appears to be a poor measure of liver function in patients being considered for liver-directed therapy.

The objective of the second study was to identify a method which would allow for improved radiation targeting to tumor and sparing of the background liver. The goal was to improve treatment response rates but also reduce liver functional impairment.

The rationale for radioembolization and other intra-arterial therapies is dependent on the unique blood flow of the liver. However, for patient who develop liver cancers, studies have shown that over 90% of the tumor blood flow is arterial in origin. The standard method of performing radioembolization is to deliver radiation particles through a standard microcatheter. However, a newer type of catheter has recently been introduced in the market. These catheters have been demonstrated to alter the blood pressure in the hepatic artery.

To test Dr. Kim’s hypothesis, the research team used an animal model (woodchuck HCC) to perform a pathologic assessment of particle distribution. The woodchuck is large enough to allow for the performance of arterial catheterization. For this study, three woodchucks underwent embolization (two using the pressure altering catheter (PAC) and one with a standard microcatheter). After embolization, the woodchucks were sacrificed and pathologic assessment of the liver was performed where particles in tumor and background liver were manually counted.

The study results found that more particles appear to be delivered with the use of the pressure altering catheter compared to the standard catheters. The tumor to normal particle distribution ratio appears to overlap between the two catheter types. However, there appears to be a much greater particle density in tumors in the animals embolized with the pressure altering catheters. To conclude, when comparing particle distribution in the central half to the peripheral half of the tumor, there is a much greater ratio of particle deposition in the central half of the tumor, suggesting that the pressure altering catheter allows for deeper penetration of the infused particles.

For future research, the research team has a prospective study designed with partial funding secured in hopes to follow liver function prospectively, before and after treatment with radioembolization. The long-term goal is to identify a better measure of liver function and improved tumor delivery to perform a clinical study to test their overarching hypothesis.

This research was presented as part of the MedStar Health Teaching and Research Scholars Capstone event, which culminates both the two-year programs.

Researching Educational Approaches: Directed Resident Reading Intervention in Anesthesiology Program

Research undertaken by a MedStar Health Teaching Scholar sought to increase resident engagement with lectures on anesthesiology through understanding educational needs for a diverse group of learners. Anesthesiology residency programs have implemented uniform lecture series for all trainees. All residents, regardless of level or rotation, attend the same early morning lecture.  Given this structure, it is likely that the topic of the lecture will not apply to the learning rotation or focus of the attendees. The goal of this intervention was to use technology to target learners in a more personalized way, based on the patients they are seeing that day.

“Enabling “Push Notifications” in Anesthesiology Training”, led by Sumeet Gopwani, MD sought to use a targeting approach with technology to increase resident reading and create a facilitative teaching tool. In order to encourage learning, it was important to understand residents to be adult learners and the importance of teaching that would be relevant to their experiences. For this group of learners, Just In Time methodologies such as personalized web-based resources were ideal. Residents read 4 hours/week on average and are most motivated to read for their clinical cases.

The study included 10 residents that were randomized to be enrolled in a directed reading intervention for 2 months. The resident reading time was compared from their baseline when they were enrolled in the program and how the residents’ reading changed during the study period.  The effect on teaching evaluations was also measured. Baseline resident reading levels were 6.5 hours/week. During the first phase of the study, residents in the directed reading group increased their reading by 2 hours/week, while the control group decreased reading by 0.5 hours/week.

Direct reading articles were sent to faculty to use a facilitative teaching tool but the analysis concluded that only 15% of the time did faculty discuss the articles with the residents. During the second phase of the study, residents in the control group had essentially stopped reading altogether. However, residents in the directed reading program continued to read at their baseline levels. The research showed that technological feasibility for personalized, automated, case-based, directed reading can be established.  Also, using the adult learning theory and an understanding of residents’ motivation for reading, the direct reading program showed significant increase in resident reading. While faculty did not regularly use the program as a facilitative teaching tool, the results show a large effect on teaching evaluations. 

The research team believes next steps will be to evaluate why the directed reading program did not fully succeed as a facilitative teaching tool. They would like to consider the faculty user experience and layering their teaching preferences into the targeting. Also, there is a plan to expand the project to additional anesthesiology programs.

This research was presented as part of the MedStar Health Teaching and Research Scholars Capstone event, which culminates both the two-year programs.

Congratulations to the 2020 MedStar Health Research Scholars and Teaching Scholars

We are pleased to announce the 2020-2022 cohorts of the MedStar Health Research and Teaching Scholars!

The MedStar Research Scholars program supports the development of MedStar clinicians who seek careers with a focus on clinical and translational research, in large part by addressing the need for research mentorship and critical feedback in project design, analysis, and presentation. MedStar Health Research Institute, MedStar Health Academic Affairs, and the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science offer this research career development program to clinical and junior research colleagues.

New Research Scholars
Victoria Lai, MD, MS (Surgery), MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Leila Shobab, MD (Endocrinology), MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Alexis Dieter, MD (Urogynecology), MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Blair (Amanda) Spence, MD (Medicine, Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

The MedStar Teaching Scholars program is a two-year longitudinal program leading to Medical Education Research Certification (MERC) and Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) certification. The program is led by MedStar Health Academic Affairs and MedStar Health Research Institute, in conjunction with the Association of American Medical Colleges, and has been in place since 2009.

The heart of the program is teaching clinician educators from across MedStar Health how to apply research principles to medical education; become informed consumers of the medical education research literature; to be effective collaborators in medical education research; and to develop as a leader in academic medicine. GME program directors, core clinical teaching faculty, clerkship directors and other clinician educators (with limited research training or experience) in all specialties and professions are encouraged to apply.

New Teaching Scholars
Elizabeth Clienti, MD, MPH 
(Internal Medicine), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Kathryn Hart, MD, FAAFP (Family Medicine), Georgetown University
Nicholas Hazen, MD (OBGYN), MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Laura Johnson, MD, FACS, FCCP (Burn/Surgery), MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Mark Mattar, MD (Medicine-Gastroenterology), MedStar Georgetown
Gregory Nizialek, MD (Internal Medicine), MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Anita Tammara, MD, MBA, MPH (Medicine), MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Rachelle Toman, MD, PhD (Family Medicine), MedStar Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Georgetown University

Congratulations to the new scholars for 2020-2022!

February Peer-Reviewed Publications from MedStar Health

Congratulations to all MedStar researchers who had articles published in February 2020. The selected articles and link to PubMed provided below represent the body of work completed by MedStar Health investigators, physicians, and associates and published in peer-reviewed journals last month. The list is compiled from PubMed for any author using “MedStar” in the author affiliation. Congratulations to this month’s authors. We look forward to seeing your future research.

View the full list of publications on here.

Selected research:

  1. Pharmacologic Management of Gout in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Failure.
    American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, 2020. DOI: 10.1007/s40256-020-00400-6
    Mouradjian MT, Plazak ME, Gale SE, Noel ZR, Watson K, Devabhakthuni S.
  1. Synthetic coracoclavicular ligament vs. coracoclavicular suspensory construct for treatment of acromioclavicular dislocation: a biomechanical study.
    Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, DOI: 10.1016/j.jse.2019.11.017
    Lobao MH, Canham RB, Melvani RT, Parks BG, Murthi AM.
  1. The Effects of Capitate Height Alteration on Dorsal Intercalated Segment Instability.
    Journal of Wrist Surgery, 2020. DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1697651
    Nayar SK, Marjoua Y, Colon AF, Means KR Jr, Higgins JP.
  1. Neonatal and maternal outcomes of pregnancies with a fetal diagnosis of congenital heart disease using a standardized delivery room management protocol.
    Journal of Perinatolog: y, 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41372-019-0528-1
    Adams AD, Aggarwal N, Fries MH, Donofrio MT, Iqbal SN.

MHRI Goes Red for Heart Health

Every February at MHRI, we celebrate “Heart Healthy” and take the time to “Go Red!” for heart health. Associates were invited to wear red in support of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) fight against heart disease in February. Throughout the month, associates gathered together to show their commitment to heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At MedStar Health Research Institute, many of our research efforts are designed to improve quality of life for heart patients. Chances are we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke because about 2200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. That’s an average of one death every forty seconds.

As we have for the last eight years, we accepted submissions for a photo challenge! Associates showed off in their red outfits and team spirit. View all the photo submissions from MHRI teams below. Thank you to all who took the time to participate. Winners will be announced in an upcoming edition of Important Things to Know for all MHRI associates.

Thank you to all who showed their support for this important cause!

Take the time to take care of your heart. You can learn more about taking care of your heart health from the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute:


Professional Development Learning Opportunities for 2020

Organized by the Department of Continuing Professional Education, MedStar Health is offering a variety of CE conferences this spring that provide an opportunity to gain knowledge of new treatments and techniques and network with leaders in the field through interactive case studies and presentations. MedStar associates may earn CE credits and discounted registration is available. You can view other CE activities from MedStar here. For questions or additional information, contact [email protected].

Prostate Cancer 2020 - March 28
The Wink, Washington, D.C.
Course Directors: George K. Philips, MD; Ross E. Krasnow, MD, MPH; Keith J. Kowalczyk, MD; Young Kwok, MD

2nd Annual Play with Aces and Always Win:  Pelvic Surgery at Its Best - April 3-4
Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.
Course Directors: Vadim V. Morozov, MD; James K. Robinson, MD
MedStar Associates save 50% on registration with code: PELVIC50

Diabetic Limb Salvage (DLS 2020) - April 15-18
JW Marriott, Washington, D.C.
Course Directors: Christopher Attinger, MD; John Steinberg, MD

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) - April 4
Bethesda Marriott, Bethesda, Md.
Course Directors: Sandra Swain, MD; James Welsh, MD; Max Smith, PharmD

Abdominal Wall Reconstruction (AWR 2020) - June 4-6
Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
Conference Chair: Parag Bhanot, MD

Spring 2020 – SAVE THE DATE (registration coming soon)
Frontline Cardiology 2020
May 2, 2020, College Park Marriott, College Park, MD

For more information and to stay up to date, please visit

Build Your Healthcare Career: John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship

Do you know someone who exemplifies excellence, leadership, and commitment? Each year, MedStar Health associates have the opportunity to win a John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship is for five MedStar Health associates, each equaling up to $3,500. Recipients of the scholarship may use funds for tuition and/or fees for the current academic semester (in which the applicant is currently enrolled) or for the upcoming academic semester.

Established in 2003, the John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship awards academic scholarships to highly-motivated, MedStar associates who strive to advance their leadership career in health care.  For application consideration, you must:

  • Serve in a management or supervisory position
  • Work for a minimum of two years at any MedStar entity
  • Be actively pursuing a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree (or higher) in a field applicable to healthcare administration/leadership
  • Maintain good-standing with the organization, including no disciplinary actions on file within the past year
  • Strive to advance your leadership career in healthcare
  • Identify as:
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African-American
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

The John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship honors the late John L. Green, executive vice president, Corporate Services. From 1983 to 2002, Green held executive leadership roles at Medlantic Health Care Group and MedStar Health, as well as on the Morgan State University Board of Regents in Baltimore. He served as chairman of the Morgan State University board from 1990 to 1995.

The scholarship is reserved for exceptional individuals who share Green’s traits of excellence, leadership, and commitment to the vision, mission, and values of MedStar Health. This targeted scholarship reflects Green’s commitment to increasing minority representation in leadership positions in health care.

The scholarship is funded entirely by a grant from the MedStar Health Board of Directors to commemorate Green’s contributions and his legacy of excellence.

Recipients of the John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship are awarded up to $3,500 for assistance with tuition and fees for the current or upcoming academic semester. Interested associates must meet the scholarship criteria and submit a completed application by April 18.

For questions about the John L. Green Generation of Leadership Scholarship, call 410-772-6751 or email Helene Leclercq-Buchwald.

Research Grand Rounds: Alzheimer’s Disease Spectrum Trials: Where Are We Now? – March 13, 2020

Research Grand Rounds are sponsored by MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) and bring together the MedStar Health community for a learning experience focusing on a different topic each month.

On behalf of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and MedStar Health Research Institute, you are invited to Clinical and Translational Research Grand Rounds on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. The speaker this month will be R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD. The Talk is titled, “Alzheimer’s Disease Spectrum Trials: Where Are We Now?

Dr. Turner is a Professor of Neurology and Director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University. His clinical and translational research focuses on prediction, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, including imaging and biomarker studies, mechanistic studies, and clinical trials. He will present recent research findings - including results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-site Phase 2a trial of nilotinib for Alzheimer's disease (submitted for publication).

Alzheimer’s Disease Spectrum Trials: Where Are We Now?
R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD. 
Professor of Neurology and Director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University

March 13, 2020

12 Noon to 1 PM – Presentation

Please note that this month’s talk will be streamed online, and we will not meet in person.
Live Stream Link:

If you have any questions regarding the Research Grand Rounds program, please contact [email protected] or visit

2020-2021 TL1 Translational Biomedical Science Program

The goal of the Translational Biomedical Science (TBS) program offered through the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) is to prepare pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows (MDs and PhDs) to serve as the critical link in advancing the translation of basic science into improved outcomes for health, aging and disease. 

Learn more about the program by attending one of the upcoming online information sessions.

  • Wednesday, March 11th at 3pm
  • Monday, March 17th at 10pm
  • Monday, March 23rd at 4pm

Register Here for Informational Sessions

Application Deadlines:

Optional Interest Form: April 1, 2020
Final Application: June 30, 2020

For questions contact Emily Bujold at [email protected]  | Learn More