The AAS and AAS Foundation sponsor several travel, research and presentation awards in conjunction with the annual Academic Surgical Congress. We are delighted to present the 2021 Winners!
Joel J. Roslyn Faculty Research Award
This award provides early-career research support to junior faculty members of the AAS. The award is a one-year $50,000 research grant:
Jashodeep Datta, MD: “Reprogramming tolerogenic signaling in myeloid derived suppressor cells by targeting tumor-intrinsic Cxcl1 in Ras-p53 cooperative pancreatic cancer”
Dr. Jash Datta is a hepatobiliary, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal surgical oncologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His laboratory in GI cancer immunology focuses on understanding how tumor-intrinsic transcriptional programs orchestrate immune suppression in the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, specifically deciphering and targeting the dominant tolerogenic myeloid cell-derived signaling mechanisms that govern T-cell exclusion. His clinical and translational research interests are in optimizing the physiologic and biologic selection of patients for neoadjuvant therapies in GI cancer, and leveraging the neoadjuvant platform to discover novel predictive biomarkers of therapeutic response and resistance.
Global Surgery Research Fellowship Award
This award is designed for individuals who are interested in advancing the field of Global Surgery. The award is a one-year $30,000 research grant:
Barnabas Alayande, MD: “Developing and Testing a Non-Technical Skills for Surgery (NOTSS) Programme for the Nigerian Context”
Barnabas Alayande is a general surgeon with the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and a general surgery senior registrar with the West African College of Surgeons, trained at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. He serves as the inaugural Global Surgery Fellow at the University of Global Health Equity, a current Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellow with the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. He developed his interest in global surgery at a WHO collaborating centre and through various volunteer surgical activities in low resource settings. He is passionate about local surgical improvisation and contextualised surgery in African settings. His research interests are focused on driving advances in surgical education, localising Non Technical Skills for Surgery, expanding African trauma care systems, conference equity, and filling gaps in health management. He is currently building capacity to coordinate a West African global surgery hub, to revamp LMIC surgical education through creative curriculum development and to provide high-level leadership in LMIC surgical colleges.
AAS/AASF Research Fellowship Awards
These awards provide an eligible resident or fellow who has completed at least two years of postgraduate training the opportunity of a full-time research position with an AAS member. The award is a one-year $30,000 research grant:
For Clinical Outcomes/Health Services Research: Laura Krecko, MD: “Exploring the effects of role-reversal simulation on interprofessional communication practices and perceptions”
Laura Krecko, MD is a general surgery resident at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. She was born and raised in Hershey, PA and completed her undergraduate education at The Pennsylvania State University. She attended medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine where she discovered her love for surgery and fostered her interests in education and communication. As a current research fellow at UW, her interests include investigating interprofessional communication to improve the quality of interdisciplinary collaboration and care.
For Education Research: Jennifer Geiger, MD: “Achieving core competencies in primary palliative care: a formal curriculum to help surgical residents meet their milestones”
Jennifer Geiger is a general surgery resident at UC Davis Medical Center. Native of Toledo, Ohio, she obtained both her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan as well as an MPH from Harvard University. Her AAS Trainee Education Research Fellowship will be spent implementing a primary palliative care curriculum to help residents attain core competencies required for the care of surgical patients with serious illness. Her goal is to become an academic surgeon with a focus on patient-centered outcomes and health services research, with current plans to pursue a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery to better serve older adults.
For Basic Science/Translational Research: Jessica L. Mueller, MD: “Modifying the extracellular matrix to improve enteric neuronal stem cell migration following cell therapy in Hirschsprung disease”
Dr. Jessica Mueller is a third-year general surgery resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Starting in July 2021 she will undertake two years of protected academic development time conducting pediatric surgery research in the lab of Dr. Allan Goldstein, MD. With the support of the Association for Academic Surgery, Dr. Mueller will modify the microenvironment after enteric neuronal stem cell transplantation in order to enhance the migration of transplanted cells, ultimately seeking to advance therapeutic options for Hirschsprung’s disease and other neurointestinal diseases. After residency, she intends to pursue fellowship training in pediatric surgery.
Dr. Mueller attended Harvard Medical School, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2018. While a medical student, Dr. Mueller participated in surgical outcomes research at the Codman Institute for Surgical Effectiveness at MGH. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Mueller conducted research at MGH as an NIH NIDDK Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Gastroenterology, investigating potential biomarkers for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and the role of various single nucleotide polymorphisms in outcomes following transplantation for hepatitis C.
Dr. Mueller earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Amherst College, completing an honors thesis on the mathematical matrix modeling of weakly bound complexes. Additionally, she was a four-year varsity athlete at Amherst, competing as a sprinter and jumper and serving as captain of the women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Dr. Mueller lives with her husband in Cambridge Massachusetts. Outside of medicine she enjoys spending time outdoors skiing, boating, and hiking, as well as spending time with her two rescue cats.