Baylor College of Medicine

2023 Research Day and Surgical Society Alumni Symposium

Tiffany Harston

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2023 Surgical Research Day poster sessions

Conference a Perfect Blend of the Past and the Future of Surgery


This year, our 11th Annual Research Day was combined with the Michael E. DeBakey Surgical Society Alumni Symposium. The event was held on June 9 and 10 and featured sessions highlighting the clinical, educational and research accomplishments of the department and its alumni both nationally and internationally. 

“We were fortunate to welcome the alumni society back as it has been almost 10 years since we have hosted in 2014,” said Holly Shilstone, director of advancement and alumni affairs. “It is so important as we connect with our alumni and their amazing contributions in the field of surgery and also share with them the incredible growth and contributions of the department of surgery from all of our divisions and mission areas.”  

There were over 200 faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni in attendance for the two-day event that featured division highlights and abstract presentations. Social activities included an informal reception Friday night and a dinner party at the conclusion of the event on Saturday. 


Keynote Speaker

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Dr. Craig A. Miller
Craig Miller, M.D.

The keynote speaker, Craig Miller, M.D., author of A Time for All Things: The Life of Michael E. DeBakey, presented “Decadus Mirabilis: Michael E. DeBakey and the Ten Years that Made Vascular Surgery.” In appreciation of his enormously impactful work chronicling Dr. DeBakey’s contributions and preserving his legacy, Dr. Miller was inducted as an honorary member of the Michael E. DeBakey Surgical Society

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Research day 2023 Dr. Rebello



Best Clinical Research Presentation by a Resident or Fellow
Dr. Paige Brlecic 
“Lower Socioeconomic Status Adversely Affects Outcomes After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting” Mentor: Dr. Ravi Ghanta

Best Basic Science Presentation by a Resident or Fellow
Dr. Oluyinka Olutoya, II
“Investigating Sex-Based Differences in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia with a Novel Translational Model and Spatial Transcriptomics” Mentor: Dr. Sundeep Keswani 

Best Quick Shot Presentation by a Resident or Fellow
Dr. Christopher Ryan
“Machine Learning for Dynamic and Early Prediction of Acute Kidney Injury after Cardiac Surgery” Mentor: Dr. Ravi Ghanta

Best Quick Shot Presentation by a Student
Samantha Xu
“Energy Metabolism Dynamics in Sporadic Aortic Aneurysms and Acute Dissections” Mentors: Drs. Scott LeMaire and Ying Shen

Best Quick Shot Presentation by Clinical, Research, or Education Staff 
Dr. Alejandro Zulbaran-Rojas
“Electrical Stimulation to Regain Lower-Extremity Muscle Perfusion and Endurance in Patients with Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2: A Randomized Control Trial” Mentor: Dr. Bijan Najafi

Best Poster Presentation by a Resident or Fellow
Dr. Andy Espinoza
“Preclinical Testing Pipeline Reveals Novel Treatment Strategies for Chemotherapy Resistant Hepatoblastoma” Mentor: Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan

Best Poster Presentation by a Student 
Christopher Sylvester
“Dantrolene Inhibits Lysophosphatidylcholine-Induced Valve Interstitial Cell Calcific Nodule Formation” Mentor: Dr. Grande-Allen

Best Poster Presentation by Clinical, Research, or Education Staff
Naima Rodriguez
“Frailty Evaluation by Physical Activity Monitor in Veterans with Cancer”
Mentor: Dr. Bijan Najafi


DeBakey Surgical Society Advisory Committee


The Michael E. DeBakey Surgical Society, which merged into the Department of Surgery this past year, held its advisory committee meeting on June 9, with eleven of its committee members in attendance.  The society’s mission is to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Michael DeBakey by supporting the community of former and current trainees and faculty members of the department. Key activities include organizing periodic alumni scientific symposia and alumni events in conjunction with national conferences, selecting alumni award recipients and maintaining the alumni database, alumni communications and archives. 

The department plans on bringing the alumni back to Houston in two years for the Michael E. DeBakey Surgical Society’s next alumni symposium to be held in 2025. 

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