Current Research and Scholarly Projects

Gastrointestinal and Bariatric Surgery

  • Evaluation of gastric bypass vs. vertical banded gastroplasty in treatment of morbid obesity
  • Comparison between Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass vs. laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding
  • Cellular mechanisms of improved insulin sensitivity in adipose tissues following gastric bypass surgery
  • Evaluation of ursodeoxycholic acid versus placebo for gallstone prophylaxis during rapid weight loss following gastric bypass surgery
  • Comparison of ampicillin/sulbactam vs. cefazolin for prevention of infection in the morbidly obese following gastrointestinal bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty
  • Laparoscopic colectomy for cancer--NSABP Protocol
  • Robotics for general surgery procedures
  • Anorectal physiology evaluation for fecal incontinence and pelvic floor disorders

Cardiac Surgery

  • US Surgical Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery
  • International training site for Intuitive Surgical for training teams to use robotics in the operating room
  • Use of telementoring in developing robotic centers
  • NASA consultation regarding robotic surgical systems for the space program
  • Principal investigators for Phase I institutional sponsored Investigation Devices Exemption Trials evaluating feasibility of robotic mitral valve surgery and robotic coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Principal investigators for Phase II multicenter trial for the FDA determining reproducibility of robotic mitral valve surgery
  • Collaboration with NC State University School of Engineering to develop alternative materials for robotic surgical instruments
  • Noncardiac injury associated with cardiopulmonary bypass, especially as related to glucose regulation, platelet function, and cerebral metabolism

Surgical Education and Curriculum

  • Surgical resident curriculum model development with three national editions published
  • National residency guidelines and curriculum in surgical geriatrics
  • Developing curricular approaches to maximize effectiveness of teaching surgical geriatrics for improved outcomes
  • Surgical faculty assessments developed for peer and learner evaluation of teaching

Surgical Oncology

  • Combined therapy of esophageal cancer with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery
  • Accuracy and significance of polymerase chain reaction detection of sentinel node metastases in breast cancer
  • Psychosocial factors affecting breast cancer presentation
  • Breast cancer risk and symptom care in black women aged 40-49
  • NSABP breast cancer prevention trial
  • Role of genetic and biochemical markers in breast cancer
  • Resection and adjuvant immunotherapy for melanoma metastasis to lung and thorax
  • Nonpalpable vs. palpable invasive breast tumors treated with breast-conserving surgical management
  • Differential lymphatic mapping using fluorescein and rhodamine B, isosulfan blue, and technetium sulfur colloid
  • Multi-center randomized trial of melanoma vaccine and interferon for Stage III and IV melanoma patients
  • Cell surface markers for melanoma

Pediatric Surgery

  • Preoperative bronchoscopy in the repair of tracheoesophageal fistula/esophageal atrium
  • Nephrectomy in high-risk neuroblastoma affecting completeness of resection
  • Perfluorocarbon: improved ventilation and decreased mortality in neonatal tracheobronchial injury
  • Pediatric burn trauma
  • Effect of INFASURF on ARDS due to smoke inhalation
  • Prognostic indicators of respiratory failure following inhalation injury in children

Identification of substances in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid predictive of the presence of inhalation injury and survival in burn patients

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

  • Wound healing and keloids
  • Facial and extremity trauma
  • Reconstructive microsurgery education
  • Laser, tissue interaction
  • Craniomaxillofacial deformities, including cleft lip and palate
  • Physiologic effects of V.A.C. therapy

Endoscopic and robotic applications in plastic surgery

Surgical Endoscopy

  • Long-term endoscopic follow-up of gastric bypass patients
  • Intraoperative endoscopy
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
  • Minimally invasive techniques--laparoscopic applications to a broad range of abdominal procedures


  • Role of anti-donor antibody and cytokine gene polymorphisms in renal allograft rejection
  • Vascular endothelial cell homing to sites of neoangiogenesis
  • Living renal donation in the African-American community
  • Warm preservation of kidneys and other organs
  • Role of vascular endothelium in cell mediated xenogeneic responses
  • Gene therapy strategies for graft prolongation
  • Humoral factors in xenograft transplantation and immunity

Strategies for tolerance induction in xenotransplantation


  • Cellular correlates of traumatic shock
  • Use of methylene blue in shock resuscitation
  • Multicenter study of small bowel injury
  • Popliteal artery injuries
  • Patient outcomes: Brief Interval Transfer vs. scene run
  • Geriatric trauma
  • Use of PA catheter in ARDS
  • Anemia in the ICU
  • Telemedicine in Regional System Development
  • Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
  • Antibiotic research

Vascular Surgery

  • Endovascular aortic grafting for aortic aneurysms
  • Evaluation of aortic remodeling after endovascular grafting for abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Autogenous venous reconstruction for aorto-iliac graft infection
  • 3-D computer reconstruction for vascular imaging
  • Minimally invasive lower extremity bypass
  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for subclavian artery stenosis
  • Cerebral oximetry during carotid endarterectomy
  • Thrombolysis of arterial occlusions
  • Renovascular hypertension and microcirculation
  • Heparin induced thrombocytopenia
  • Endothelial cell immunology in diabetes
  • Defining surgical functional outcome scores
  • Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) of lower extremity wounds in patients with vascular disease
  • Vascular wound outcomes in the home care setting
  • Vascular surgical site infection surveillance program
  • Interdepartmental collaboration on the acute management of patients with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease

Medical Records

Development of an electronic medical record for study of large populations:

  • New approaches to the delivery of care to Medicaid recipients
  • Development of a national bariatric surgical registry

For broader coverage of Department of Surgery research, visit our faculty webpages.