Ryan Campagna (2016-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. Campagna’s research aims to better define the anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of several esophageal disorders. Working under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Hungness and Dr. John Pandolfino, his primary focus is on achalasia, a rare neurodegenerative esophageal motility disorder. Additional areas of investigation include gastroesophageal reflux disease and other non-achalasia esophageal motility disorders. Dr. Campagna also works in the Northwestern Simulation Lab, where he focuses on surgical mastery-learning. He is concomitantly pursuing a masters in medical education during his research time. Dr. Campagna is a postdoctoral fellow under the Gastrointestinal Physiology and Psychology T32 Training Grant.
Kristine Corkum (2016-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. Corkum is a current research fellow in the Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration (FHPR) Program at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago under the mentorship of Dr. Erin Rowell and Dr. Monica Laronda. Her current research is focused on fertility preservation options for prepubertal and young adolescent children facing fertility threatening diagnoses or treatments. She is studying the surgical technique for ovarian tissue cryopreservation in children, its affects on ovarian follicle health, and its impact on the future re-implantation of ovarian tissue for hormone and fertility restoration. She is also interested in the ethical considerations regarding experimental fertility preservation options for children.
Ryan Ellis (2017-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. Ellis’ research centers on surgical quality improvement and outcomes research pertaining to complex surgical oncology under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Karl Bilimoria. Specifically, he is focusing on hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgery and factors associated with adverse outcomes in this patient population. He will also be studying the effects of regionalization of complex surgical care, as well as developing national quality standards for management of patients before and after HPB surgery. In addition, he will be examining what factors drive patients to choose one hospital or surgeon over another prior to having surgery. Dr. Ellis is an American College of Surgeons Clinical Scholar as well as a T32 postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern Center for Healthcare Studies. He is currently working on a master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research at Northwestern University.
Ramiro Fernandez (2016-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. Fernandez' research is primarily focused on the role of autoimmunity in lung transplantation. Under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Ankit Bharat, Dr. Fernandez is studying the mechanisms by which lung recipients develop autoantibodies to self antigens expressed in the lung. These non-HLA antibodies have been linked to Primary Graft Dysfunction (PGD) and chronic rejection in lung allografts. Hence, we are also studying how these antibodies may promote development of primary graft dysfunction and chronic rejection in a mouse model of lung transplantation. Dr. Fernandez is a T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Transplant Surgery Scientist Training Program at Northwestern University.
Katherine Hekman (2017-Present) - Vascular Surgery Resident
Vascular disease—including narrowing and occlusion of blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart, vital organs and extremities—inflicts a significant public health burden for which improved methodologies to model disease, develop therapeutics, and design new interventions to alleviate disease may provide symptomatic relief and improve function. Dr. Hekman's project focuses on overcoming a major limitation in the development of patient-derived endothelial cells using induced pluripotent stem cell technology. This technology is currently limited by reprogramming-induced senescence whereby the mature cellular phenotype degenerates and is lost. She will work to overcome this barrier to generate functional patient-derived endothelial cells for clinical and therapeutic applications. She is a post-doctoral fellow supported by an F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA individual post-doctoral fellowship award from NHLBI.
Frances Lee (2017-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. Lee's research in the Luo lab relates to immunology and focuses on tolerance mechanisms in transplantation. Specifically, the Luo lab investigates potential curative therapies for Type I Diabetes (T1D), a chronic autoimmune disorder that is characterized by progressive destruction of pancreatic islet cells. Among current therapies for T1D, pancreatic islet cell transplantation is a promising treatment, but is limited by the lack of available human donors and continuous need for immunosuppression. Using mouse models of allogeneic (mouse to mouse) pancreatic islet cell transplantation, the Luo lab has developed a successful therapy that when given around the time of transplantation establishes tolerance (a permanent state of unresponsiveness to foreign antigen without the need for immunosuppression). To address the lack of human donor sources of islet cells and potential use of porcine islet cells for transplantation, these strategies have been expanded to xenogeneic (rat to mouse, pig to mouse, etc) islet cell transplantation and have had more complex results requiring further investigations to achieve tolerance. Dr. Lee's main project is currently investigating tolerance mechanisms in xenogeneic islet cell transplantation using humanized mouse models (genetically immunodeficient mice transplanted with a functional human immune system) as a means of studying the human immune system response to pig islet cell transplantation.
Michael Nooromid (2016-Present) - Vascular Surgery Resident
Dr. Nooromid's research focuses on the relationship of the microbe-derived metabolites produced by the intestinal microbiome and its impact on arterial remodeling after injury. Under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Karen Ho, Michael is studying how changes in gut microbial composition and diversity in rodents will affect the abundance of microbe-derived metabolites and how these changes will impact neointimal hyperplasia in a carotid injury model. Dr. Nooromid is a T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Vascular Surgery Scientist Training Program at Northwestern University.
Samuel South (2016-Present) - General Surgery Resident
Dr. South's research focuses on trauma and emergency medical systems strengthening in developing countries. Under the guidance of his mentor Dr. Mamta Swaroop and the Northwestern Trauma & Surgical Initiative, Sam is researching how lay-person first responders contribute to injury prevention and trauma systems in the developing world. To do this, he is working to develop and teach lay-person first responder courses in the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Sam is also using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods including expanding hospital based trauma registries, and conducting qualitative interviews to better understand the current state of trauma care in the region. These efforts will set the stage for improved resource allocation, the designation of trauma centers, the establishment of protocolized triage and notification systems, and establish the foundation for a sustainable emergency medical system in Bolivia.
Mimi Yue Wu Young (2017-Present) - Plastic Surgery Resident
Dr. Wu is a research fellow in the Laboratory for Tissue Repair and Regenerative Surgery under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Galiano and Dr. Thomas Mustoe. The primary focus of her research is tissue engineering of skeletal muscle for the treatment of volumetric muscle loss and its associated functional impairments. Her research is performed through the use of a rat latissimus dorsi defect model, decellularized muscle matrix, myoblast stem cells, and implantable bioreactors. She will also be developing a method for neurotization of the newly regenerated muscle in order to create functionalized muscle tissue in vivo.