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Surgical Research


Research Day for Surgery Residents
Research Day for Surgery Residents
Research Day for Surgery Residents in Lecture
Research Day for Surgery Residents in Lecture
Research Day for Surgery Residents in Lecture
Research Day for Surgery Residents
Research Day for Surgery Residents
Research Day for Surgery Residents

Surgical Research

A two year surgical research experience following the PGY2 year is encouraged but considered optional. Alternatives including shorter or longer research time can be considered. This research experience is an invaluable way to augment the surgical education received during the clinical years for residents interested in a career in academic surgery. Annually, the Surgery Department has a Research Day with research presentations highlighting the work of our faculty, residents, and medical students.


University Hospitals Dudley P. Allen Scholarship

The Dudley P. Allen Scholarship is a research program that includes animal, basic science, health services and clinical research opportunities. In addition to working with numerous surgical-scientists within the department of surgery, there are opportunities for collaboration with Case Western Reserve University researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Center for Imaging Research and others. There is a robust infrastructure for clinical outcomes research with UH RISES (Research In Surgical outcomes & EffectivenesS). Current areas of active research includes:

  • Cardiac surgery
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Transplant surgery and immunology
  • Vascular surgery

Allen Scholars Expectations

Purpose: To create a more robust, accountable and productive research experience for our Allen Scholars

  • Allen Scholars will attend Wednesday Morning Resident Education Conferences
  • Allen Scholars will attend Wednesday morning M&M and Grand Round Conferences at UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Allen Scholars will be asked to attend UH RISES meetings and contribute to UH RISES on a regular basis (2nd/4th Monday of the month from 2-4 p.m.)
  • Monthly lunch meeting for Allen Scholars. These lunches will include journal club/research basics/mentoring talks by members of the faculty or guests. Schedule to be coordinated by UH RISES Research Coordinator.
  • Semi-Annual Update: Each Allen Scholar will be asked to provide a brief synopsis of the Allen Scholar’s work to the research committee on a semi-annual basis.

Current Allen/Research Scholars

3rd Year

Alexander Kreger, MD

Alexander Kreger, MD

  • Hometown: Chagrin Falls, OH
  • College: Duke University, B.S. Neuroscience
  • Medical school: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Why surgery? I like doing things with my hands, and I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the rotation in medical school.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Pediatric surgery, minimally invasive surgery
  • Hobbies: Soccer, tennis
  • What else should we know about you? My parents are both accountants and I was born on Tax Day.
  • Best pizza in Cleveland: Il Rione

2nd Year

Aria Bassiri, MD

Aria Bassiri, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Tehran, Iran
  • College: University of Toronto, B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology, B.Sc. Human Biology: Health and Disease
  • Graduate education: Boston University, M.S. Medical Sciences
  • Medical school: Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Why surgery? Because its the best field in medicine! See the problem, find the answer, and fix it.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Thoracic surgery, trauma surgery, medical education
  • Hobbies: Soccer, working out, watches, video games
  • What else should we know about you? I own 53 watches and counting
  • Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Mabel’s BBQ
  • Any other interesting thing about Cleveland? The river once caught fire...
Saher Zahra-Khan, MD

Saher Zahra-Khan, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Wayne, PA
  • College: Villanova University, B.S. Chemical Engineering
  • Medical school: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Why surgery? In addition to taking care of our diverse and complex patients inside and outside of the OR, there is so much knowledge, confidence, teamwork, and most importantly compassion to be gain in this field.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Colorectal Surgery, Abdominal Wall Reconstruction, Surgical Education
  • Hobbies: Bouldering, playing Scrabble, working out, happy hour, anything social
  • Most scenic spaces in Cleveland: Hilton Downtown Rooftop Bar, Edgewater Beach
  • What is one piece of advice you would like to share? The best advice I’ve heard so far is that you are never alone. There are always people around you here that are both able and happy to help! So never be afraid to reach out.  
Alexander Loftus, MD

Alexander Loftus, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • College: Cornell University, B.S. Biological Sciences
  • Medical school: University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Why surgery? I want to become a surgeon for the opportunity to deliver compassionate, cutting edge, and safe care to my patients. I believe that as I surgeon I will be able to use both interventional and medical treatment to help patients.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Surgical Oncology, Surgical Critical Care
  • Hobbies: Snowboarding, water activities, Cooking & Beer
  • Research Interests: Melanoma & Pancreatic Cancer Metabolism and Novel Therapies, Cancer Surgery Outcomes
  • Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Zhug
Daniel Mowoh, MD

Daniel Mowoh, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Bamenda, Cameroon
  • College: University of Maryland, College Park
  • Medical school: Howard University College of Medicine
  • Why surgery? Surgery is the specialty where we see our patients at their most vulnerable and a lot of times on their worst days so we become instruments capable of changing the course of their lives. I couldn’t think of a more rewarding and humbling endeavor that I get to partake in as take responsibility for my patients while advocating for them at their most vulnerable.
  • Surgical and professional interests: I am very passionate about healthy lifestyle and weight loss hence I became drawn to MIS bariatric surgery.
  • Hobbies: Playing soccer, biking, watching anime, and reading manga.
  • What else should we know about you? Baking enthusiast
  • Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Morton’s Steakhouse
  • What do you reflect on at the end of a day of residency? I reflect on the immense honor it is to be given the opportunity to take care of my patients. I reflect on limitations that I could improve to make my patient’s care more optimal and strive to let every day be an opportunity to improve upon my previous day.
  • Any important thoughts to share with new residents: Amidst the hustle and bustle of being new interns, always make sure caring for your patients come first.
Heming "Hannah" Zhao, MD

Heming "Hannah" Zhao, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia
  • College: Cornell University: B.S. Biological Engineering
  • Medical school: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Why surgery? I love to operate, being in the OR, and managing surgical patients.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Undecided for now
  • Hobbies: Hiking, Spartan race, hanging out with friends
  • Greatest accomplishment: Completing a Spartan race

1st Year

Christina Boutros, DO (Allen Scholar)

Christina Boutros, DO (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Oyster Bay, NY
  • College: New York Institute of Technology
  • Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Why Surgery: The fast pace, ability to master a skill, and the ability to make an immediate and tangible impact on a patient’s life.
  • Surgical and Professional Interests: Surgical Oncology, Thoracic Surgery
  • Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, playing guitar, playing with my dog, travel
  • Any important thoughts to share with new residents: Always be happy to help and keep a smile on your face! :)
Megan Chiu, MD

Megan Chiu, MD

  • Hometown: West Lafayette, IN
  • College: Purdue University
  • Medical school: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Why surgery? Where do I start? I love being able to be support patients during what may be for many a scary and intimidating process. I enjoy how patient-centered the specialty is. As part of a surgical team, everyone is focused and dedicated to finding solutions and providing the best care for patients through dedication, innovation, and collaboration.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Rural/Global Surgery, Advocacy and Outreach, Health Disparities
  • Hobbies: Hiking, travel, dancing, cooking/baking, just food in general
Susan Doh, MD (Allen Scholar)

Susan Doh, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Glenview, IL
  • College: University of Chicago
  • Medical school: University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
  • Why surgery? I love operating and the teamwork involved, the breadth of the field, the technological applications of surgical care, and the capability to directly improve patients’ health and lives.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Surgical oncology, disparities in surgical outcomes, surgical education, systems improvement, sustainability research within the field of surgery
  • Hobbies: Cooking, Biking, Hiking, rock climbing, travel, playing music, crocheting
  • Fun fact about Cleveland? Bill Watterson, the artist and author of the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” grew up in Cleveland.
  • Any important thoughts you’d like to share with new residents? Never stop learning, ask for help, and build in time for people and things you care about, find the humor and joy in small things.
Jessica Hungate, MD (Allen Scholar)

Jessica Hungate, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • Hometown: Sugar Land, TX
  • College: University of Texas at Austin
  • Medical school: Texas Tech University – El Paso
  • Why surgery? Surgery is the perfect combination of hands-on intervention and immediate results. Also, surgery allows me to support patients during some of the most difficult times of their lives.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Trauma/critical care, vascular surgery
  • Hobbies: Travel, yoga, exploring Cleveland

Off-Site Research

Our residents have received funded opportunities at outside institutions as well, and this can be an alternative option for the research experience.