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Academic Development Time

Residents are encouraged to participate in ongoing research activities, whether their ultimate career goals are clinical, academic, or a combination of both. For those considering an academic career, two research years are included in their residency program, with 3-4 residents per year opting to pursue this track. The two research years are taken between the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years.

The wide variety of research opportunities available ensures that a resident seeking research experience will be able to find a project that will match with his or her specialty interest. In addition, faculty research expertise contributes current knowledge and basic science information to the general training program, thereby enriching and complementing the resident’s experience. Residents have the opportunity to perform their research activities at our campus or to pursue research positions at outside institutions.

Those who remain at UMass receive dedicated space and statistical support and take part in a curriculum including research in progress meetings and journal clubs.

Recent residents have completed:

  • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Univesity of Massachusetts University Campus.
  • Masters of Business Administration in coordination with the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus.
  • Masters in Public Health at University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus.

PGY-2 residents undergo mentorship with the Surgical Research Scholars (SRS) Program to determine career goals and how research can play a role. After a selection process, residents identify a mentor at UMass or an outside institution. Funding is provided for residents who conduct their research time at UMass.

Research time includes:

  • Basic Science
  • Translational Science
  • Patient Safety and Quality with Process Improvement
  • Dense Development and Innovation
  • Clinical Outcomes
  • Global Surgery
  • Education

Our research residents continue to compile admirable records of national presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and academic research awards. Bibliographies can be seen in individual resident bios.

UMMS receive more than $254 million per year in research funding. https://www.umassmed.edu/research

Additionally, UMass Memorial was ranked as the most entrepreneurial medical school  in the US with $520 million per year in entrepreneurial and miscellaneous revenue, averaged over the last 5 years. 

Current Research Residents


Bryce Bludevich, MD

Bryce is the Pediatric Surgery Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. ​Her research is focusing on pediatric surgery clinical outcomes as well as surgical education programs. She will be assessing outcomes data from national databases, and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Current projects have focused on clinical measurements of pectus excavatum, and enhanced recovery pathway use in minimally invasive pectus excavatum repairs. Her mentors include Dr. Nicole Chandler (Research Fellowship Program Director), Dr. Paul Danielson, Dr. Raquel Gonzalez, and Dr. Chris Snyder. While completing this fellowship she will be taking clinical call with the Pediatrics Surgery Fellows. 

Hannah Buettner, MD

Hannah is working as a research fellow in the division of surgical oncology from 2019-2021. Her primary work is in translational research using humanized mouse models to develop and refine cancer immunotherapies, with a focus on better characterizing the tumor-immune interaction in pancreatic cancer to improve responsiveness to therapy by developing techniques in local tumor immunomodulation. Her mentors include Giles Whalen, MD (Division Chief), Jennifer LaFemina, MD, as well as Dale Greiner, PhD and Mike Brehm, PhD, of the Program in Molecular Medicine.

Sebastian Chung, MD

After two clinical years of general surgery, I am currently the appendiceal cancer and peritoneal disease fellow under Dr. Garrett Nash at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which involves clinical and translational research projects focusing on peritoneal metastasis of appendiceal and colorectal origin. One component of the fellowship is embedded in Dr. Steve Larson's lab studying radioimmunotherapy in a mouse model of peritoneal metastasis. I also plan on spending time with my family (mostly eating) and getting back into pre-residency shape.

Max Hazeltine, MD

Max is a Surgical Research Scholar from 2019-2021, performing Clinical Outcomes Research within the Division of​ Pediatric Surgery, as well as a Clinical Fellow in the Xue Lab, which is part of the RNA Therapeutics Institute. He is utilizing clinical registries as well as national databases such as the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID)​ to assess clinical outcomes and develop clinical tools to predict clinical outcomes, such as venous thromboembolism in trauma patients. His work in the Xue Lab is focused in creating a clinically relevant mouse model of hepatoblastoma as well as developing chemotherapy resistant tumor cell lines. His mentors in the Division of Pediatric Surgery are Michael Hirsh, MD, Jeremy Aidlen, MD and Muriel Cleary, MD, and he is being mentored by Wen Xue, PhD of the RNA Therapeutics Institute. Througho​ut his two years he will also pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.​

Erin Scott, MD

Erin is the current Global Surgery Research Fellow for the UMass Department of Surgery, working under the mentorship of Dr. Demetrius Litwin. She is working on a multi-center national trauma registry trial in India, a project developed by a former UMass General Surgery graduate, who remains actively involved as one of her mentors. Her previous global surgery experience includes the coordination of multi-institutional partnerships, aimed at implementing protocols for the collection of data on the current state of access to surgical care in low-to-middle-income countries, specifically in Latin America. Her interests include trauma, acute care surgery, global surgery, surgical systems building, and health policy. Erin is also an active member of the national resident-led Global Surgery Work Group, a committee of the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, she is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health degree program through the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences. 

Recent Research Residents


Kaitlan Ahrens, MD

Kaitlan worked as a Transplant Surgery Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2018-2020.  She worked in the laboratory of Dr. Joren Madsen, MD, DPhil, Director of MGH Transplant Center and Co-Director of Center for Transplantation Science. Her research focused on investigating mechanisms of tolerance of organ transplantation in non-human primates. Kaitlan gained experience in large animal surgical care, clinical laboratory diagnostics, and cellular and molecular assays.

David Meyer, MD, MSCI

David worked as a research fellow with the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, from 2018-2020.  His research focused on outcomes and quality improvement related to colorectal disease.  As part of the Surgical Research Scholars program, he earned his Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) offered by the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Niti Shahi, MD

Niti was a surgical research fellow at Children’s Colorado working with Dr. Steven Moulton in the field of pediatric surgery from 2018-2020. Her research focused on pediatric burns, pediatric trauma, and quality improvement/outcomes. She performed research in the use of CRI (compensatory reserve index) to better evaluate cardiovascular status to guide resuscitation and management in a pediatric population.

Christopher Strader, MD, MPH

Christopher was a Paul Farmer Global Surgery and Social Change fellow from 2018-2020.  Additionally, Christopher earned his Masters of Public Health at the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health.  His previous global health experience includes work with emergency medicine and diabetes education in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  While with PGSSC, Chris was involved in projects focused on delivery of care and obstacles to delivering that care with a regional emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Vijaya Daniel, MD, MPH

Vijaya was a UMass Surgical Research Scholar (2016-2018) and NIH TL1 Grant Awardee through UMMS Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Her focus was to identify the role of intestinal microbiome on outcomes after emergency surgery for gastrointestinal perforations using both prospective translational research methods in conjunction with large database outcomes analyses. Her lead mentors were Heena Santry, MD, UMass Associate Professor of Surgery and Quantitative Health Sciences, and Beth McCormick, PhD, Founder and Director of UMass Center for Microbiome Research..

Ryan Hendrix, MD

Ryan was a Surgical Research Scholar at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) performing Clinical Outcomes Research within the Division of Surgical Oncology. Utilizing clinical registries and national administrative databases (ACS NSQIP), he addressed questions related to high risk gastrointestinal cancers, specifically hepatobiliary, pancreatic, peritoneal and gastric malignancies. Through the UMMS Avatar Program, he participated in translational studies leveraging existing humanized mouse models for the study of local tumor immunomodulation. Concurrently, he obtained a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Investigation. His mentorship team consisted of Jennifer LaFemina, MD, Program Director, Giles Whalen, MD, Chief of Surgical Oncology and Vice Chair of Surgery, and Dale Greiner, PhD, Berman Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research

Robert McLoughlin, MD

Robert worked with Drs. Aidlen, Cleary, Hirsh and Nazarey on a variety of Pediatric Surgery topics. His projects include analyzing injury patterns related to snowboarding and skiing, pediatric trauma and injury prevention as well as working with Dr. Jon Green on a pediatric obesity project. He worked towards a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation offered by the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Chau Hoang, MD

Chau was the inaugural Mark Kusek Colorectal Cancer Research Fellow, collaborating with the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, under Justin Maykel, MD (Division Chief), Jennifer Davids, MD and Karim Alavi, MD, MPH.  Her research focused on outcomes and quality improvement research projects centering on pre and post-resection management of colorectal diseases. As part of the Surgical Research Scholars program, she pursued the Master of Science Degree Program in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) at UMass, which provides her with the necessary tools to succeed in her research endeavors.

Ashley Russo, MD

Ashley worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as the Surgical Outcomes Research Fellow under Dr. Vivian Strong. She worked with the Memorial Sloan Kettering secondary surgical events database, NSQIP data, and patient reported outcomes to collect patient data. Together with multiple other departments outside of surgery, including the departments of rehabilitation services and geriatrics, she spent her research time engaging in multidisciplinary collaborations to investigate and elucidate ways to improve patients' postoperative outcomes.

Stacy Sanders, MD, MS, MHA

Stacy was the Department of Surgery's first Surgical Research Scholar in Quality and Patient Safety.  In her role, Stacy applied the knowledge and skills that she previously acquired in her role as a hospital administrator to new research initiatives which directly impact patients in the clinical setting.  She worked with large databases (NSQIP, TQIP, UHC) and fellow practicing clinicians to identify opportunities to improve the delivery of care within the Department of Surgery.  Her work used evidence-based medicine and lean management principles to enhance the processes by which care is delivered.  She participated in the UMass Quality Scholars program where she focused on projects that reduce the rate of hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE).  She was mentored by Dr. Demetrius Litwin, Dr. Heena Santry, and Dr. Fred Anderson.

Prior Academic Development Residents (PDF)