Justin Choi in lab (320x240)
Research Resident Justin Choi, M.D. conducts research in our state-of-the-art lab.

Students who are committed to developing careers in surgical research are encouraged to apply for our formal Research Track. Through the match, we accept four residents into the Research Track every year. During their first two years of clinical training, Research Track residents identify potential mentors and work with them to develop formal research proposals. After completion of their second year, these residents begin a two-year research fellowship under the direct supervision of their mentor.

The fellowships can focus on traditional basic or applied science laboratory research, clinical research, or health services and outcomes research, and are available across all the surgical disciplines within our department, including cardiothoracic surgery, critical care, gastrointestinal surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, surgical oncology, transplantation, trauma, and vascular surgery.

During the fellowship years, residents work on multiple scientific projects while participating in an advanced research curriculum, through which they receive intensive instruction on how to present and publish their work.

To supplement this curriculum, all Research Track residents receive support to attend the Association for Academic Surgery Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course and Career Development Course, both of which are held immediately prior to the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. All our Research Track residents present their work at major regional and national scientific conferences—where many win major awards for their work—and publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. Many Research Track residents obtain a master’s degree or other advanced degree during their fellowship.

Research Track Residents


Downloadable Links

Resident Research Track Timeline

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Research Proposal Format

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Proposal Guidelines

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Sample Funded Proposals

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Resident Research Career Development Program

The unique Resident Research Career Development Program is designed to launch the careers of residents who are committed to surgical research by providing structured support during residency and guaranteed faculty positions within our department. Residents in the Research Track can qualify for this program by achieving key milestones during their training, including successfully obtaining a postdoctoral fellowship award and developing a competitive career development award proposal. Upon completion of the seven-year residency, qualifying residents enter our department’s Faculty Scholar Program, in which they will continue to receive structured support as they progress toward becoming independent investigators with major extramural funding.

Resident Research Day Symposium

Nicole Tapia Research Day (320x240)
Resident Nicole Tapia, M.D., presents her research.

In June, we celebrate the research achievements of our residents and students at our annual Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery Resident Research Day. This event features podium and poster presentations highlighting the research being conducted by our trainees, awards for the best presentations, and a keynote address from a distinguished surgeon-scientist.

Find out more about our Research Day Symposium

Research Interests of Our Faculty Mentors

To assist residents in selecting faculty mentors, we provide summaries of the research interests and publications of all our faculty members with active research programs. Our faculty mentors include surgeons from each of our divisions as well as full-time Ph.D. scientists.