Congratulations to all the young researchers who presented outstanding work at our department’s March 10 Scientific Evening! Their research included hypothesis-based oral and poster presentations, as well as complex-case poster presentations, and the work was carefully reviewed and judged by a panel of faculty members. Special congratulations to the winners:
• Cardiothoracic Fellow Nicole Yin, MD, received the Leonard F. Walts, MD, Research Excellence Award for the best overall presentation. With the guidance of her mentor, Soban Umar, MD, PhD, she presented hypothesis-based research on the topic, “Right ventricular failure is associated with endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition mediated via transcription Factor Snai1 in pre-clinical and clinical pulmonary hypertension.”
• Cardiothoracic Fellow Daniel Garcia, MD, earned the 1st Place Fellow award for his poster presentation: “Artificial intelligence enabled control of hemodynamic responses by vasopressors and narcotics in cardiac surgery patients.” Dr. Garcia’s mentor is Prince Neelankavil, MD.• Cecilia Canales, MD, MPH, received the 1st Place Resident award for her oral presentation on “Preoperative ultrasound-based frailty assessment as a predictor of surgical outcomes.” Her mentor is Sumit Singh, MD.
Also honored with 2nd place awards were the following:
• 2nd Place Fellow: Pamela Chia, MD, for her research with mentor Eva Boyd, MD, on “iPACK block has no additional benefit to patients who receive an adductor canal catheter and intraarticular injection for total knee arthroplasty.”
• 2nd Place Resident: Emily Walters, MD, PhD, for her oral presentation, under the guidance of Maxime Cannesson, MD, PhD, on “Development and validation of a machine-learning model to phenotype surgical patients at risk of developing postoperative sepsis.”
• 2nd Place Research Trainee/Basic Science: Postdoctoral Fellow Lejla Medzikovic, PhD, for her work in the laboratory of Mansoureh Eghbali, PhD, on how “miR-129-5p prevents and rescues cardiac fibrosis by targeting cardiac fibroblast plasticity.”
Soban Umar, MD, PhD, who serves as our Director for Resident Scholarly Activity, gave a special mention to UCLA medical students John Park, PhD, and Varina Clark, BS , for their high-quality oral presentations.
Although James Eisenach, MD, president of the Foundation for Anesthesia Research and Education (FAER) was unable to serve as visiting professor and guest judge due to current travel restrictions, an eminent panel of our own faculty served as judges: Tristan Grogan, MS, Rajesh Kumar, PhD, Emily Methangkool, MD, MPH, Wendy Ren, MD, and Susana Vacas, MD, PhD. The oral presentations were moderated by Vice Chair for Research Maxime Cannesson, MD, PhD.
To the groans of the audience, Dr. Cannesson announced at the end of the evening that the winners wouldn’t be announced until the next day because the quality of the entries was so high that the judges needed additional time to complete their scoring. There was mention of difficulties with computer tabulation, leading to some amused comparisons with the recent Iowa caucuses, and surprise that our department’s considerable expertise with machine-learning couldn’t overcome the glitch. However, the results were delivered, as promised, the next day. Our annual Scientific Evening provides excellent preparation for residents as they fine-tune their work for presentation at the Western Anesthesia Residents Conference, to be held (as of this writing) from May 1-3 and hosted by the Stanford University Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.