MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center Launches Program to Support Residents | MedStar Health

MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center Launches Program to Support Residents

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WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 30, 2016)—The MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Health Academic Affairs, in conjunction with the MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center have officially launched their first joint program to support residents’ interest in conducting research.

The new MedStar Surgical Resident Research Program is designed to encourage  MedStar surgical residents in the Washington, D.C., region to pursue careers focused on clinical, translational and medical education research in academic surgery by providing faculty mentoring and structure, and bio-statistical and study design resources from the MedStar Health Research Institute’s Biostatistics and Bioinformatics department.

Recipients of the year-long research award are Filipe Carvalho, MD, Chris Devulapalli, MD, Conor Hynes, MD, and Michael Sosin, MD.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents to see a research project through to completion with the help of the very best in the business,” says Thomas J. Watson, MD, regional chief of MedStar Washington Integrated Surgery Service at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. 

Residents applied to new program by submitting research proposals for review by the newly formed MedStar Surgical Resident Research Program Council co-chaired by Shimae Fitzgibbons, MD, Jeff Shupp, MD, and Waddah Al-Refaie, MD.

 “As a novel program, this represents a pilot effort and, pending successful completion and review of program performance, may serve as a model for future expansion across MedStar Surgery,” says Dr. Al-Refaie, John S. Dillon Chair and chief of Surgical Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and surgeon-in-chief of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Sosin, a third-year general surgery resident, was selected to research benefits of nipple-sparing mastectomy. Dr. Sosin says, “I applied to this program because it offers a unique opportunity of supporting resident-driven research that can be translated to optimization of patient care at the bedside and surgical decision making in the treatment of breast cancer.”

The benefits of nipple-sparing mastectomy are tremendous including improved patient quality of life, increased sensation, and better aesthetic outcomes, Dr. Sosin, said, “And we hope to offer this surgery to more patients in the future.” Dr. Sosin will be mentored by Shawna C. Willey, MD, FACS, Eleni A. Tousimis, MD, FACS, and Troy A. Pittman, MD.

Dr. Carvalho is a second-year urology resident selected to research a pre-surgical medication alternative to chemotherapy for patients with bladder cancer; Dr. Devulapalli was selected to investigate incisional hernias following major abdominal cancer operations; and Dr. Hynes will examine the role of a type of stem cells in patients with diabetes mellitus, a condition that affects the body's ability to use energy in food.

The selected participants for this year’s MedStar Surgical Resident Research program are all from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital but the program is open to applications from MedStar Washington Hospital Center as well.

About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. Visit us at

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit