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Professional Development and Research

Residents in lab

The Department of Surgery at the University of Cincinnati has a long and distinguished history of surgical research that is recognized nationally and internationally. Premier surgeon-scientists and postdoctoral researchers are drawn to the UC Department of Surgery to pursue innovative and exciting research in state-of-the-art laboratories, with a focus on applying the discoveries made in the laboratory directly to the bedside for the advancement of patient care. Clinical trials not available elsewhere are also offered for a variety of surgical diseases, giving hope to patients with critical illness who were once considered untreatable.

The research mission is to:

  1. Advance the state-of-the-art and scientific basis of the discipline of surgery.
  2. Help develop new applications and treatments for clinical care.
  3. Provide outstanding research training for surgical residents and junior surgical scientists.

The Department of Surgery occupies 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratories in the Surgical Research Unit, the Cardiovascular Center, the UC Metabolic Diseases Institute, and the Medical Sciences Building. Additional research space is utilized at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Shriners Burns Hospital Cincinnati.



All of our residents spend their third and fourth post graduate years developing as surgeon scholars. During their PGY-2 year, residents pick among several available research tracks and mentors. Tracks include Trauma/Critical Care, Surgical Oncology, Pediatric Surgery, and Outcomes/Education Research or another of the resident’s design either at UC or another institution. Our residents have a long track record of productive research and collaboration on a broad variety of projects both within and outside of their chosen tracks, with over 300 publications since 2015. Throughout the research years, our residents are offered courses in the fundamentals of research, statistics, and career development. Some research residents also choose to pursue Master's degrees and PhD's. Additionally, many of our research residents are involved in mentoring and educating our medical students and interns transitioning into residency.

Our residents can be found presenting at many major national conferences, with recent accepted podium presentations at major academic conferences including American College of Surgeons, SAGES, EAST, Society of Surgical Oncology, American Surgical Association, Central Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, SSAT, APDS, AAS, AHPBA, American Transplant Congress, and more. Travel to conferences is supported by the department.Resident presenting at national meeting

Resident salaries are fully supported throughout their research years by the department, NIH T32 grants or outside resources. Additionally, we offer moonlighting opportunities appropriate for level of training during these research/differentiation years.

Resident publications 2018-2023


Trauma/Critical Care
One of our primary research strengths is in the field of injury biology. Our multidisciplinary team investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which insults such as trauma and infection can lead to multiple organ failure and death. This group is comprised of multiple basic scientists, surgeon-scientists, and residents, thereby providing a comprehensive approach to scientific problems that have clinical significance. These investigators have multiple federally-funded research projects, including molecular mechanisms of hemorrhagic shock and the impact of novel resuscitation strategies, alterations in immune function during sepsis and burn injury, transcriptional regulation of local and systemic inflammation, traumatic brain injury effects on coagulation and inflammation. We also partner with the  Institute for Military Medicine on various projects funded by the Department of Defense, United States Air Force, Office of Naval Research, and NIH. 

Dr. Leah WinerDr. Mack Morris

Leah Winer, MD
Current PGY-6
26 Publications

Mackenzie Morris, MD
Current PGY-5
30 Publications


Pediatric Surgery
Cincinnati Children's Hospital is a world-renowned institution with a multitude of research positions available to our residents in the departments of General and Thoracic Surgery, Congenital Cardiovascular Surgery, and Critical Care. Research focuses include intestinal stem cells and rehabilitation, hepatoblastoma, biliary atresia, congenital heart disease and mechanical circulatory support, shock, inflammatory response in sepsis, and ischemia/reperfusion injury. 

Dr. Alex CortezDr. Ali Kassam

Alexander Cortez, MD
Current PGY-6
27 Publications

Al-Faraaz Kassam, MD
Current PGY-5
22 Publications


Surgical Oncology
The Department of Surgical Oncology as well as the UC Cancer Institute provide a multitude of resident research opportunities. Residents participate in basic science research involving tyrosine kinase signaling in stem cells and angiogenesis, as well as in the development of murine models of tumor growth. Currently, we are building a prospectively collected library of patient samples to analyze for treatment resistance utilizing single nucleus RNA analysis. Additional work in discovering is done in discovering novel autophagy pathways leading to tumor progression. Our high volume of pancreas, GI, breast, and melanoma surgery, in combination with national databases allow for productive outcomes research.

Dr. Richard HoehnDr. Greg Wilson

Richard Hoehn, MD
Graduate, Surgical Oncology Fellowship
at the University of Pittsburgh
49 Publications

Gregory Wilson, MD
Graduate, Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh
42 Publications


The Cincinnati Research on Outcomes and Safety in Surgery (CROSS) as well as the Cincinnati Research on Education in Surgical Training (CREST) groups involve multiple attendings across the departments of Transplant Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Colorectal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Endocrine Surgery, and Trauma Surgery to evaluate outcomes using data from our institution and national databases with support of our biostatisticians. We are also productive in the field of resident education, assessment, and burnout. The past two residents in the Outcomes track have received Masters Degrees in Clinical and Translational Research funded by our department.

Dr. Vikrom DharDr. Tiffany Lee

Vikrom Dhar, MD
PGY-7, Matched into Advanced GI/Minimally
Invasive Surgery Fellowship at Weill Cornell 
37 Publications

Tiffany Lee, MD
Current PGY-5 
17 Publications

Dr. Silski and resident researchersPritts LabResident researchers

Jeffrey J. Sussman, MD
General Surgery Residency Director

Jenna M. Lengerich, MHA
General Surgery Residency Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-4206

Debbie Browne
General Surgery Residency Assistant Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-5862

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Department of

University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Department: 513-558-4748
Education: 513-558-4206