From The Labs

The 10th Annual Research Symposium of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery

The Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine celebrated its 10th Annual Research Symposium with poster and oral presentations in person on May 31 and June 1, 2022. The event, attended by about 250 guests, was an opportunity to highlight the academic achievements of the department trainees and staff, as well as to present exciting research activities by residents, fellows, staff and students working on the department’s divisions and affiliated hospitals.

Poster session during the 10th Annual Research Symposium, M.E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, May-June 2022. Image courtesy of the Department of Surgery.
Poster Presentations

On May 31, residents and fellows displayed their basic research work for the poster competition. Out of the 46 posters presented, the following were selected as best presentations:

Best Poster Presentation by a Resident or Fellow

“Hospital Variation in Resident Operative Autonomy”
Dr. Jorge Portuondo
Mentor: Dr. Nader Massarweh

Best Poster Presentation by a Student

“NQO1 Expression is a Biomarker of Sensitivity to mTOR Inhibitor Sapanisertib in Hepatoblastoma”
Saiabhiroop Govindu
Mentor: Dr. Sarah Woodfield

Best Poster Presentation by a Member of the Clinical, Research, or Education Staff

“Effects of Intradialytic Plantar Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Gait Performance in Individuals with Diabetes and End-Stage Renal Disease – Initial Results”
Naima Rodriguez
Mentor: Dr. Bijan Najafi

Second day
Dr. Omaida Velázquez University of Miami

The second day of the symposium included an enticing presentation titled “The Surgeon Scientist: Is Extinction Inevitable?” by keynote speaker Dr. Omaida Velázquez, professor and David Kimmelman Endowed Chair and Surgeon-in-Chief at University of Miami at Jackson Health Systems.

Dr. Velázquez’s research focuses on stem cells and angiogenesis, wound healing, atherosclerosis and limb salvage, all related to perivascular disease and vascular complications in diabetes. She has discovered mechanisms for homing and pro-repair functions of stem cells in post-natal revascularization of ischemic tissue (that with restricted blood supply).

View of the McMillian lecture hall where the symposium took place.

Her leadership as an academic surgeon has been recognized. In 2015, she was appointed the first Latina Chair of Surgery and Surgeon-Chief in the U.S.A.. In 2021, she received the Latina Pioneer of the Year Award.

Throughout the day, residents, fellows, students and members of the clinical, research or education staff gave oral presentations about their basic science research or clinical work.

Here are the awards on each category:


Best Clinical Research Presentation by a Resident or Fellow

“Surgical Resection for Pediatric Synovial Sarcoma: What Margin is Adequate?”

Dr. Andy Espinoza

Mentor: Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan


Best Basic Science Presentation by a Resident or Fellow

“Role of RIPK3-Mediated Smooth Muscle Cell Death in Sporadic Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Development”

Dr. Kimberly Rebello

Mentors: Drs. Scott LeMaire and Ying Shen


Best Quick Shot Presentation by a Resident or Fellow

“Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Differential Profiles of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells in Human Acute Ascending Aortic Dissection and Ascending Aortic Aneurysm”

Dr. Yanming Li

Mentors: Drs. Ying Shen and Scott LeMaire


Best Quick Shot Presentation by a Student

“Outcomes and Readmissions After Mitral Valve Replacement in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation and Pulmonary Hypertension”

John Treffalls

Mentor: Dr. Subhasis Chatterjee


Best Quick Shot Presentation by a Member of the Clinical, Research, or Education Staff

“A Prospective, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Arm Trial to Determine the Impact of the SELENE System on Positive Margin Rates in Breast Conservation Surgery”

Huma Javaid

Mentor: Dr. Alastair Thompson


For more information about the organizers of this event and the complete list of presentations, download the scientific program here.

Learn about the previous DeBakey Basic Research Symposiums here.


Hope to see you in 2023!



By Ana María Rodríguez, Ph.D.


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