Ask the Residents: What Are Your Research Interests?

Residents in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are part of an academic program with diverse surgical training, strong research opportunities and mentors who are national leaders in their fields.

With residency programs in General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery, residents in every specialty have access to world-class training. What makes each of these programs truly special is the community and camaraderie.

Choosing a residency program is an important decision—one that determines where a person will spend the next five or more years of their life training to become a surgeon. Residents at the School of Medicine are eager to help facilitate that decision by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the residency programs in the Department of Surgery.

With strong research opportunities in each program—including National Institutes of Health-funded training grants in surgical oncology, the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratories, a breadth of research at the forefront of urologic studies, and basic, translational and clinical investigations in vascular surgery—residents at Washington University have unparalleled opportunities to pursue their research interests while becoming experienced surgeons.

Tiffany Brocke, MD

General Surgery PGY-1

Tiffany Brocke says: "I have a background in the history of medicine. I plan to research the history of autonomy in surgical education and the American cultural trends of the last sixty years that have influenced changes in surgical educational structures and attitudes."

Katharine Caldwell, MD

General Surgery Lab Resident

Katharine Caldwell says: "How long do you have?  In basic science, I'm really interested in studying the metabolic vulnerabilities of cancer and how they can be used to develop better treatments for individuals with pancreatic cancer.  My other love is educational research. Coming from a background in cognitive science, I've been really interested in how we teach residents to be teachers and how we continue to improve trainee autonomy in a field like general surgery that is constantly changing and growing."

Grant Henning, MD

Urology PGY-3

Grant Henning says: "I really enjoy oncology research and trying to improve decision-making when there are multiple options for going forward. How do we provide an individual patient the most accurate information about their disease in an easily understandable way?"

Momodou Jammeh, MD

Vascular Surgery PGY-3

Momodou Jammeh says: "I am interested in studying inflammation in vascular disease, as well as surgical capacity development in low income countries."

Leah Jensen, MD

General Surgery PGY-1

Leah Jensen says: "I've worked on various research topics, including the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophy, testing novel treatment options for ALS disease, and analyzing the characteristics of autoimmune encephalitis on PET/CT."

Anna Rose Johnson, MD, MPH

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery PGY-1

Andrew Linkugel, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery PGY-4

Hannah Phelps, MD

General Surgery PGY-2

Hannah Phelps says: "I developed an early interest in pediatric surgery in medical school. After this year, I will be joining Dr. Warner’s lab for my dedicated research years. The lab studies intestinal adaptation after massive small bowel resection, with a recent focus on liver injury in this context. My project will focus on the unfolded protein response as it relates to liver injury after small bowel resection. With the long-term career goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon-scientist, I look forward to the opportunity to work with and learn from this group of world-class researchers."

Nick Pickersgill, MD

Urology PGY-2

Nick Pickersgill says: "Urologic oncology, specifically in minimally-invasive surgical approaches to prostate and kidney cancer."

Carrie Ronstrom, MD

Urology PGY-4