Resident Research

The Department of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina is dedicated to providing high quality patient care and we firmly believe that this mission is advanced through scientific inquiry. For example, the annual Surgery Research Day is designed to recognize and reward the research accomplishments of all trainees in the Department.

As such, we have structured the General Surgery Residency to provide a foundation in research techniques and data interpretation by establishing several mentored research requirements. Those interested in more intense research training may apply to spend time outside clinical duties with one or two years of dedicated research time and this process is discussed further below.

Dr. Jean Marie Ruddy is the Associate Program Director for Resident Research and oversees this aspect of resident development.

Resident Research Opportunities

Research Requirements

  • Intern Research Proposal

During the first year of general surgery training, residents will identify a research mentor and construct a formal research proposal. This project may focus on basic or clinical science and should be structured such that the resident is the principal investigator. The proposals will be scored by members of the Research Council and residents will get feedback on their proposals. For those interested in dedicated time away from clinical responsibilities (for instance, in a basic science research lab, or to complete an advanced degree such as MSCR, MPH, MBA, or to travel to another university for research experience), this proposal serves as the “application” and the residents with the highest scores will be selected to pursue the non-clinical training. The number of residents selected will vary from year to year.

  • Manuscript Requirements

Residents are required to write two publishable manuscripts during their time in residency. To assist with time management and organization, the research program is structured such that the first manuscript is due by the end of the PGY2 year and the second manuscript is due by the end of the PGY4 year. One of these manuscripts may be a case report but the other manuscript must represent original research in the form of a case series, retrospective chart review, meta-analysis, or prospective study. We encourage residents to submit all work to appropriate journals, but understand the challenges in achieving publication, therefore a manuscript meets the Departmental research requirement if it is “publishable” (arranged in Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections and represents a thoughtful analysis of the data). These manuscripts are submitted to Dr. Ruddy for approval, but she is also a resource throughout the research process to connect residents with on-campus services that assist with IRB construction/approval, statistics, manuscript preparation, etc.

  • Quality Improvement Project

During the PGY3 year, the resident is required to complete a Quality Improvement (QI) project and write a manuscript based on this experience. Dr. Alicia Privette oversees the QI projects and provides guidance on constructing a meaningful question, implementation, and manuscript preparation.

Basic Science Research Experience

All research endeavors are valuable to the growth and advancement of surgical practice, but at the MUSC Department of Surgery we are also invested in the exploration of disease pathology. Laboratories focused on basic science inquiries are grouped into four major categories: Cardiovascular, Transplant Immunology, Surgical Oncology, and Regenerative Medicine. Team science is employed in all groups such that surgeon-scientists work closely with PhD scientists and all labs have supported successful mentorship of undergraduate summer students, graduate students, medical students, and general surgery residents. Please see the individual research lab websites for additional information.

Recent Resident Awards and Presentations 

Presentations are an effective and important way for residents to discuss their findings at regional and national and international conferences. Here is a sampling of our residents awards and presentations:


  • Jerec Ricci, M.D. PGY 3 Research received a T-32 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH. His research is Mitigating Ischemia Reperfusion Injury and Vascular Thrombosis in Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation and it will be conducted in the laboratory of Drs. Carl Atkinson and Dr. Satish Nadig.
  • Resident Research Proposal Awardees: Julie Siegel, M.D. PGY-2: Mentor Nancy DeMore, M.D. SFRP2 antibody as an inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis and Leah Plumblee, M.D. PGY-2: Mentor Satsh Nadig, M.D., Ph.D. IRI exacerbates immunogenicity in ECs during organ transplant
  • Daniel Crane, M.D. PGY 7 Plastic Surgery received the Best Presentation Award in the Reconstruction/Burn/Microsurgery Session at the ASPS Resident Abstracts Session for Venous Thromboembolism Incidence and Risk Factors Associated with Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery: A NSQIP Analysis
  • Catherine Chung, M.D., PG-Y 3 awarded first place in the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN) Poster Abstract Award. The abstract was entitled: The impact of perioperative music therapy on patients undergoing dialysis access with moderate sedation. Dr. Vinayak Rohan is the senior author.

  • Lloyd “Mac” Felmly, M.D., PGY 4 CT Surgery Integrated presented Hybrid Double-Valve Replacement: Robot-Assisted Valve-in-MAC and Transfemoral TAVR at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery annual meeting. Dr. Marc Katz is the senior author.

  • Ryan King, M.D. PG Y 2 Vascular Surgery Integrated gave a rapid-pace presentation Occlusion of the Celiac Artery During Endovascular Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair is Associated with Increased Perioperative Morbidity and Mortality at this year's Vascular Annual Meeting. Mathew Wooster, M.D. is the senior author

  • Avi Bunnell, M.D. PGY 5 Vascular Surgery Integrated presented Elevated cardiopulmonary complications after revascularization in patients with severe mental health disorders at the Association of VA Surgeons

  • Joseph Anderson, M.D. PGY 3 Vascular Surgery Integrated presented Discharge To A Facility Is Not Protective Against Wound Events Following Emergent Femoral Artery Repair at the VESS 2019 annual meeting

  • Ryan King, M.D. PGY 2 Vascular Surgery Integrated awarded 2nd place of resident presentations at 13th Annual Introduction to Academic Vascular Surgery conference. Abstract entitled: Outcomes for peripheral vascular intervention and lower extremity bypass in kidney transplant recipients are superior to outcomes of patients remaining on dialysis. Podium presentation. Dr. Thomas Brothers was senior author.  

  • Ryan King, M.D. PGY 2 Vascular Surgery Integrated presented Temporal Trends in Mortality and Morbidity after Open and Endovascular Interventions for Treatment of Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease at the Interactive Poster Session during the Vascular Surgery Annual Meeting. Thomas Brothers, M.D. is the senior author.

  • Sami Tarabishy, M.D. PGY 2 Plastic Surgery Integrated  presented Thrombocytosis Is Associated with Complications after Microvascular Free Flap Surgery: A Review of NSQIP  at the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery Annual Meeting Fernando Herrera, M.D. is the senior  author


  • Denise Garcia, M.D., PGY-2 presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Garcia is co-author of the paper “The Value of Second Opinion in Breast Cancer Patients Referred to an NCI-Designated Cancer Center with a Multi-disciplinary Breast Tumor Board.”
  • Gabe Chedister, M.D., PGY-4 was selected to give two podium presentations at the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting in Nashville, TN. Dr. Chedister presented two video presentations: “Robotic Assisted APR with Robotic Harvest of Rectus Abdominin Muscular Flap for Vaginal Reconstruction” and “Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery for Rectal Stricture.”
  • Ashley Hink, M.D. PG-Y 5, Resident Winner for the 2017 Oriens Essay Award for Careers in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, gave an oral presentation of her award-winning essay at the 2017 EAST Oriens Award Session held during the 30th EAST Annual Scientific Assembly, in Hollywood, Florida.
  • Kunal Patel, M.D., PGY-3, gave an oral presentation on his abstract “Complement inhibition in brain dead donors mitigates post-lung transplantation inflammation and injury in a murine model” at the 10th Aegean Complement Therapeutics Conference held in Crete, Greece.
  • Tahlia Weis, M.D., who graduated in May, 2017 from the integrated vascular surgery residency program, presented her paper “The Current Risk-Benefit Outlook for Endovascular vs. Open Surgical Bifurcated Aortoiliac Arterial Reconstruction Therapy for Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease” at the 2017 Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society Annual Meeting in Steamboat Springs, CO.
  • Daniel Crane, M.D. PGY-7 received the Best Presentation Award in the Reconstruction/Burn/Microsurgery Session 3 for his paper Venous Thromboembolism Incidence and Risk Factors Associated with Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery: A NSQIP Analysis, presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Resident Abstracts Session in Chicago, IL. 

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residents and Integrated Residents who presented their research during Plastic Surgery – The Meeting, the annual meeting for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons held September 28 – October 1, 2018 in Chicago. The annual meeting is the premier educational and networking event for plastic and reconstructive surgeons. 

  • Craig Moores, M.D. -- Significantly Decreasing Narcotic Prescriptions in A Residency Training Program Did Not Affect Overall Provider Rating Scores Of Attendings.
  •  Zachary Young, M.D. -- A Reduction Mammoplasty NSQIP Analysis of 12198 Patients, Identifying Risk Factors Associated with Complications in the Elderly Population. 
  • Jon "Simon" Ivey, M.D. -- Patient Demographics and Factors Influencing Cosmetic Procedures at an Academic Medical Center. 
  • Daniel Crane, M.D. -- Venous Thromboembolism Incidence and Risk Factors Associated with Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery: A NSQIP Analysis.
  • Sami Tarabishy, M.D. -- The Epidemiology of Upper Extremity Nerve Injuries and Associated Cost in the United States Emergency Departments, 2014. 
  • Yemi Ogunleye, M.D., surgical alumnus -- Collagen 1A1 gene expression levels in resected skin predict acute wound healing complications after skin reduction procedures. 

In 2017, Three plastic surgery residents presented their research during Plastic Surgery – The Meeting, the annual meeting for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in Orlando, Florida.

  • Craig Moores, M.D., PGY-7, Plastic Surgery Resident presented “Free Microvascular Transfer of the Proximal Fibular Epiphysis to Reconstruct the Lateral Malleolus in a Pediatric Patient: A Case Report and Review of the Literature”
  • Adeyemi Ogunleye, M.D., PGY-8, 2018 Chief Plastic Surgery Resident, presented “Robotic-Assisted Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap for Breast Reconstruction
  • Kiandra Scott, M.D., PGY-2, Plastic Surgery Integrated Resident, presented “The Effects of Obesity on the Complication Rates after Breast Reduction.”