Message from the Vice Chair of Research

Kenneth Liechty, MD

As the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery, it is an honor to highlight the research efforts in our department, and to be given the responsibility for supporting the research development of faculty, trainees, and students through the development and management of research initiatives and efforts. A key feature of this is optimizing resource sharing and promoting collaboration between surgery faculty and the broader range of investigators at the College of Medicine-Tucson and affiliated institutions. The goal is to bridge the gaps between basic and translational science and clinical practice with novel ideas and new technologies.  

The research system at the Department of Surgery includes researchers, patients and their families, and administrative support. Our researchers, both clinical track and research track faculty, dedicate their time to designing and implementing research. We have dedicated research coordinators and administrative staff who support our research efforts. Our patients and their families are integral to our research, and we are committed to expanding our community engagement to ensure that their voices are heard. Our research policies, regulatory protocols, funding, and resources, such as research lab space and equipment, provide the foundation for successful research.

Our core research team is composed of biostatisticians, grant writers, medical editors, and research administrative staff. They are the backbone of our research efforts and provide support for all aspects of research. The team produces the Research Corner Newsletter, which provides information about funding opportunities and news and announcements. They also coordinate regular research meetings and the annual research symposium. Additionally, the team coordinates IRB and IACUC related regulatory procedures for all DOS researchers and provides regular training for faculty on these procedures.

Our future vision for the department includes expanding collaborations with outside departments and creating new innovations in surgery. We are proud to highlight our extramural funding with Dr. Gurtner’s Lab, which is NIH funded and focuses on healing in skin and tissues, and Dr. Liechty’ s lab, which is also NIH funded and focuses on tissue regeneration. In the past year we have gone from 45th to 36th in Blue Ridge Rankings, a measure of NIH funding.  In the future, we will expand our collaborations with other university partners, particularly in the areas of Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacy, Public Health, College of Nursing, and the Bio5 institute.

In summary, the Department of Surgery is a thriving research community, and we invite future residents, fellows, and junior doctors to join our team of surgeon scientists and become part of our exciting research efforts.

Kenneth W. Liechty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery
Vice Chair, Research
Director of Fetal Medicine