Research Syposium

Research Symposium

The Department of Surgery's annual Research Symposium brings together faculty, project scientists, residents, research fellows, post-doctoral scholars, and medical students who are interested in our research enterprise.


The main goals of this event are 1) prepare future leaders in surgical sciences research; 2) foster systematic and evidence-driven research; 3) incubate junior researchers for applying for research grants; and, 4) improve health outcomes among surgical patients through basic, clinical, and transitional research.

The Symposium consists of keynote lectures, oral sessions, quick shot presentations, and networking.  It enables the sharing of research and accomplishments as well as the review of research being conducted by peers. Following each presentation, faculty and students alike can debate the research topic, ask questions, and provide commentary.

The program is planned and organized with the help of the Symposium Organization Committee that includes Dr. Bellal Joseph, MD (Vice Chair of Surgery), Dr. Kenneth Liechty, MD (Vice Chair of Research), Carlos Zgheib, PhD (Associate Professor), Dr. Abdul Tawab Saljuqi (Research Scientist), Charlotte Smith (Department Administrator), Jessica Montoya (Administrative Support Manager), and Emma Dickey (Marketing Specialist).

The Organizing Committee will prepare the call for abstracts, which will be disseminated through the DOS research newsletter and all DOS listservs two months before the Symposium. Abstracts will be reviewed by a group of experts from different research backgrounds ranging from basic science to clinical research to transitional research.

Join the Department of Surgery for the 2024 Research Symposium on Wednesday, May 29 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Health Sciences Innovation Building lobby.

This year, our keynote speaker will be Hasan Alam MD, Loyal and Edith Davis Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


The schedule for the 2024 Research Symposium is as follows:

7:00 - 7:05 a.m: Opening Remarks

7:05 - 8:25 a.m: Oral Presentations

8:25 - 8:35 a.m: Break

8:35 - 9:15 a.m: Invited Faculty Speakers

  • Jason Wertheim, MD, PHD, FACS
  • Stephanie Worrell, MD, FACS

9:15 - 9:25 a.m: Mentorship Appreciation Award 

9:25 - 10:25 a.m: Quick Shot Presentations 

10:25 - 10:40 a.m: Break 

10:40 - 11:00 a.m: Highberger Research Award 

11:00 - 12:00 p.m: Keynote Address

Save the Date:

The 2024 Research Symposium will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

RSVP to the 2024 Research Symposium

Get to know the featured speakers

Hasan Alam, MD

Hasan Alam, MD
Loyal and Edith Davis Professor of Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery, Northwestern University 

Hasan Alam, MD, is the Loyal and Edith Davis Professor of Surgery, and Chair of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University. Dr. Alam is an Acute Care Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

With over 20 years as a physician-scientist, Dr. Alam has gained international recognition as a trauma and general surgeon. His clinical interests revolve around the areas of trauma, emergency general surgery and surgical critical care. Dr. Alam has established himself as an exceptional investigator. His research interests are in the areas of novel resuscitation strategies, hemorrhage control, modulation of cell protective strategies, consequences of septic shock, and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Alam is currently involved in multiple clinical trials, several of which he is the principal investigator. In addition, his research is funded by large federal grants including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Alam has also earned numerous awards for excellence in teaching and research, and holds numerous patents as an inventor.




Stephanie Worrell, MD, FACS
Section Chief, Thoracic Surgery
Clinical Associate Professor,  Surgery
Associate Program Director, General Surgery Residency

Stephanie Worrell, MD, is clinical associate professor and thoracic section chief in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Dr. Worrell held the titles of assistant professor of surgery, associate program director of the Thoracic Surgery Fellowship and chair of the Robotic Steering Committee at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, where she received the Mary Hellerstein Junior Faculty Development Award and was selected for FLEX IX Leadership Program.

Dr. Worrell completed her fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Michigan and her residency in general surgery at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. While at USC, Dr. Worrell worked as an esophageal research fellow and was awarded administrative chief resident of the year. She also received the Best Teacher-Chief Resident Award and the most Outstanding Scholar Award from USC's Department of Surgery. She received her Medical Degree from the Creighton University School of Medicine.

Dr. Worrell is active nationally in many societies and holds numerous leadership positions. She is the mentorship chair for the Women in Thoracic Surgery organization, chair of the esophageal cancer guidelines through the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and member of the workforce on evidence-based guidelines and the workforce of the annual meeting.

She has published many peer-reviewed articles on thoracic surgery, with a focus on outcomes and treatments for esophageal and lung cancer, and she is currently an associate editor of the Foregut Journal and section editor for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons learn curriculum. Dr. Worrell is board certified in both thoracic and general surgery.

Jason A. Wertheim, MD, PhD

Jason Wertheim, MD, PHD, FACS​
Vice Dean, Research and Graduate Studies
Professor, Surgery
Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Jason Wertheim, MD, PHD, FACS, joined the University of Arizona from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he served as vice chair for research in the Department of Surgery and associate director of the MD-PhD program. Dr. Wertheim’s NIH- and VA-funded laboratory investigates new methods to bioengineer liver and kidney tissue as a future solution to organ shortage in transplantation.

Dr. Wertheim holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained a doctoral degree in bioengineering and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his clinical training in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a transplant surgery fellowship at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Wertheim was awarded the highly coveted Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2019.

CME CREDIT PROVIDED BY UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA COLLEGE OF MEDICINE - TUCSON. Overall Series Objectives: 1.) Incorporate into practice intraoperative teaching and feedback to improve operative performance. 2.) Incorporate cutting-edge surgical techniques and patient management strategies. 3.) Incorporate into practice results from recent randomized-controlled trials/studies. 4.) Communicate operative knowledge effectively to peers. Accreditation Statement: The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Disclosure Statement(s): All Faculty, CME Planning Committee Members and the CME Office Reviewers have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with commercial interests that would constitute a conflict of interest concerning this CME activity.