UB professors granted over $1 million to train next generation of researchers

Department of Health grants two awards through Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program

The New York State Department of Health granted two $575,000 research awards to UB’s Liise Kayler and Ekaterina Noyes through the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program.

DOH grants the awards to teaching hospitals to help fund residents’ research training. This is the second time DOH has granted ECRIP awards in Buffalo –– the first to Kaleida Health and ECMC in 2013. Kayler and Noyes will now select residents to train who will join their teams and receive hands-on experience as researchers. Those working with Kayler will research postoperative kidney transplant recipients and those working with Noyes will analyze connections between obesity and cancer.

Liise Kayler, MD
Liise Kayler, MD

Kayler’s project attempts to better the experience of kidney transplant recipients by providing a health animation to postoperative patients. This will provide patients with easy-to- follow, repeatable directions to help their new kidney last “as long as possible.”

“There’s so much to learn [after transplantation]. When people are fresh out of transplant, they’ve just had a surgery, they’re trying to recover. It’s not that easy to start this regimen,” Kayler said. “And there are other self-care behaviors that they have to do too. So it’s a lot and they are often overwhelmed.”

Noyes’ project includes postoperative patients as well, analyzing whether bariatric patients have a lower risk of cancer post weight loss.

Ekaterina Noyes, PhD, MPH
Ekaterina Noyes, PhD, MPH

Noyes said the ECRIP award is beneficial as it helps hospitals teach residents to find solutions which they can implement into patient care.

“That’s probably the most useful [aspect], that not only are we doing great research, we’re also training a new generation of researchers,” Noyes said. “This is a kind of research that directly benefits patients because everything we learn, we implement back into patient care. It’s not that some research is going to get published and nobody’s going to ever look at it. This is all very much applied work.”

Kayler said research training will also teach residents how to excel in their chosen field, whether it involves research or not.

“This provides [doctors] with the opportunity to spend dedicated time doing research. What I’ve seen of people who spend that much time [researching is that] it is transformative, it does change their careers,” Kayler said. “It gives them the fundamental skills to be able to follow their passion. … At the end of the day, it’s applying yourself step by step in the process of conducting research that is going to empower you to be able –– in the future –– to answer whatever questions you have.”

JACKLYN WALTERS – Health Journalist

2019 Research Day Awards

Research Day at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science 2019
Research Day 2019 held in Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science

Oral Presentations

1st Place Winner

Pediatric vs Adult Trauma Centers: Closing the Gap in Non- Operative Management of Splenic Injuries – A National Trauma Data Bank Study

Authors: R Filipescu, C Powers, H Yu, DH Rothstein, CM Harmon, B Clemency, WA Guo and KD Bass

Presented by: R Filipescu

2nd Place Winner

Multisource Feedback Driven Intervention Improves Surgeon Leadership and Teamwork

Authors: J Hu, R Lee, S Mullin, S Schwaitzberg, L Harmon, P Gregory and PL Elkin

Presented by: J Hu

3rd Place Winner

The Association of Nodal Upstaging with Surgical Approach and its Impact on Long Term Survival after Resection of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Authors: M Hennon, A Groman, T Demmy and S Yendamuri

Presented by: L DeGraff


Group 1

Teaching Surgery Novices and Trainees Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing: A Trial and Tribulations

Authors: AT Train, J Hu, JR Narvaez, LM Miller, GE Wilding, L Cavuoto, E Noyes, AB Hoffman and SD Schwaitzberg

Group 2

Reentry Devices at the Infra-Popliteal Level

Authors: EN Fakhoury, M Rivero, SZ Khan, GS Cherr, LM Harris, ML Dryjski and HH Dosluoglu

Group 3

Ex Vivo Perfusion of Tumor Containing Human Liver Specimens: A Novel Model for Malignancy

Authors: MM Wach, SM Ruff, RI Ayabe, M Jafferji, K Remmert, I Alexander, S Sinha, A Ranjan, JD McDonald, S Gupta, M George, D Kleiner, JL Davis, and JM Hernande

Message from Dr. Schwaitzberg

The faculty and residents of the Department of Surgery

To all our prospective applicants and fellow colleagues in the surgical world, we welcome you to the University at Buffalo’s Department of Surgery webpage. Please enjoy your time learning about our ambitious program and residency.

Our department, much like the city of Buffalo, prides itself on hard work and determination to achieve success and we sincerely hope you will be a part of it with us as we look to train tomorrows surgical leaders today.

Dr. Steven Schwaitzberg

‘Nourishing the professional soul’

University at Buffalo surgical resident reinforces the value of her work with community service

Kelly Wagner volunteering

While most surgical residents fear work-induced burnout, Kelly Wagner is increasing her workload, and recommends other residents do the same.

Wagner is a surgical resident at the University at Buffalo and the president of the Buffalo chapter of the Association of Women Surgeons. She has been participating in community outreach through AWS since becoming involved with the chapter during her second year of residency. Wagner said her involvement in the community with AWS makes her happier and more invested in her work, despite the additional responsibility.

AWS held its most recent community outreach event at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, where volunteers educated students on the medical field and provided hands-on experience with surgical equipment.

Wagner said these events help increase local representation of women surgeons and provide underserved students with exposure to STEM fields.

volunteering event with high school

“I think sometimes all it takes is just a seven year old, or a seventh grader, or a high school girl to see, ‘Oh, you’re a surgeon, oh my god.’” Wagner said. “Sometimes it’s just seeing that person [who looks like you] and believing it is enough.”

Despite being an organization which highlights women in surgery, Wagner said all AWS’ events are inclusive try to uplift women without separating anyone else. Wagner also hopes to expand AWS’ outreach to include a mentoring program in the future, and is currently working on a Christmas in July event to give back to local organizations.

She said the extra work involved with AWS can be tiring, but the community engagement reminds her of the value of the work she provides.

volunteering event in soup kitchen

“By nourishing your professional soul by doing these other things that are still professional, but extracurricular, it makes you a better resident…” Wagner said. “You’re doing all these things and you’re so busy and it can be very easy to forget. But then when you go somewhere like the Ronald McDonald House, or you go to high schools and underserved areas and you see the community, you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is what we’re doing here.’ And it reminds you a little bit more why you’re here in the first place.”

JACKLYN WALTERS – Health Journalist