The mission of the Department of Surgery's research program is to conduct important research in surgical disease to improve treatment and quality of life for affected patients, and to train future leaders in academic surgery.

We are dedicated to creating an environment where surgical investigators discover new knowledge, develop innovations, and translate research advances into improvements in patient care. Our efforts to accomplish these goals coalesce into three distinct programs:

Division of Surgical Research, led by Dr. Changyi (Johnny) Chen, brings together our basic science researchers and Ph.D.s in a unit that encourages collaboration and interaction with clinicians and physician scientists;

Surgical Research Core, led by Dr. Barbara W. Trautner, is a team of nearly twenty professionals, including grants managers, clinical research coordinators, database managers, a biostatistician, a medical illustrator, and a medical editor and writer, who provide easily accessible, centralized expertise in clinical research;

Resident Research Training sabbaticals, which offer to four of our eight general surgery residents two-year focused research sabbaticals during their general surgery residency training.

Surrounding these core programs are a matrix of faculty seed grants, DSR-sponsored weekly research symposia and grant review sessions, newly created resident research requirements that are coupled with research training sessions led by vice chair for research Dr. Scott LeMaire, and our departmental innovation incubator led by Dr. William Cohn, all designed to foster and support the research mission. A growing number of campus-wide databases offers the promise of clinical research evaluating patient care provided “The Baylor Way.”

Research Efforts by Division:

The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery conducts basic science  and clinical research in the laboratories of Baylor College of Medicine and at individual hospitals in the Texas Medical Center.

Research Programs

3D Model of Berlin Heart
credit: Scott Holmes

Clinical and basic science research programs within the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery continue to raise their standards each year. The success of the individual programs is recognizable through research funding, publications, presentations, training and academic services, which significantly enhance the national and international reputations of the department.

Since July 1, 2011, the department has made several changes in order to increase the quality of research. A new internal research committee has formed to discuss our long term goals and strategic plan for our multidisciplinary research programs, which focus on disease-oriented translational research such as biomarkers, genomics and health care services.

We are continuously building up an outstanding research infrastructure and environment in the department. We have collected updated research summaries from all faculty members and enhanced communications and collaborations in research among our faculty investigators. A new mentoring plan for junior faculty is under active discussion.

We have implemented a new management system for research track surgical residents. For example, a weekly research forum is organized for the ten current research residents. Several of our faculty members and other research experts have been invited to give lectures for the residents based on their academic needs. Leadership training becomes part of the research training.

Through department support, residents have been able to attend the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) Fall Courses, the Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course and Career Development Course.

Learn about research opportunities for residents in our General Surgery Residency.