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 Monday 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

2nd Year

Jonathan Hue, MD

Jonathan Hue, MD

Current Position: 2nd Year Surgical Oncology Research at UH CMC
Hometown: Greensburg, PA
College: Pennsylvania State University, B.S. Chemistry
Medical school: Temple University School of Medicine
Why surgery? Human anatomy is miraculous
Surgical and professional interests: Basic science research related to pancreatic cancer-associated depression and the role of immune cells in pancreatic cancer, clinical research focused on cancer associated weight loss, neoadjuvant therapies, and surgical outcomes in elderly patients
Hobbies: Antique wooden furniture restoration, DIY construction, hiking and camping, running with my dog
Greatest accomplishment: Dancing for 46 straight hours during the Penn State Dance MaraTHON which raises money for pediatric cancer
Any recent goals? I’m trying to visit all the national parks. Five down, lots to go!

1st Year

Christine Alvarado, MD

Christine Alvarado, MD

Current Position: 1st Year Thoracic Surgery Research at UH CMC
Hometown: Rochester Hills, MI
College: University of Michigan, B.S. Neuroscience
Medical school: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Why surgery? To transform and make an impact on patients’ lives.
Surgical and professional interests: Surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, endocrine surgery, surgical education, clinical and outcomes research
Hobbies: Yoga, music, eating, movies, paddle tennis, traveling
Any fun fact about yourself? I have the same birthday as Harry Potter
What’s one of your favorite things about being a UH Surgery resident? My co-residents.

Avanti Badrinathan, MD

Avanti Badrinathan, MD

  • Hometown: Oak Park, IL
  • College: Northwestern University, B.S. Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate education: University of Michigan, M.S. Biomedical Engineering
  • Medical school: University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
  • Why surgery? I worked a lot with medical devices as an engineering student and surgery was a natural extension of my past work with biomedical engineering.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Trauma surgery, critical care, burns
  • Hobbies: Playing with my cat, classical piano, video games, cooking/baking, painting
  • Favorite surgical instrument: #10 blade
  • What else should we know about you? I placed world level ranking in a video game called Super Mario Rainbow Road
Lauren Drapalik, MD

Lauren Drapalik, MD

  • Hometown: Naperville, IL
  • College: University of Notre Dame, B.S. Biological Sciences
  • Medical school: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Why surgery? The OR is my happy place.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Breast surgery, surgical education
  • Hobbies: Baking, hanging with my cat, boating
  • Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Ginko
  • What is one piece of advice for new interns? When you’re having a rough day, don’t hesitate to reach out to those above you. Everyone has been there and everyone wants to help.
Matthew Johnson, MD

Matthew Johnson, MD

Current Position: 1st Year Pediatric Surgery Research at UM
Hometown: Monroe, MI
College: Defiance College, B.S. Molecular Biology, B.S. Chemistry
Graduate education: Wayne Sate University School of Medicine, M.S. Medical Sciences
Medical school: University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Why surgery? I love operating
Surgical and professional interests: Pediatric surgery, pediatric cardiac surgery, ECMO
Hobbies: Soccer, guitar, piano, triathlons
Favorite hangout spot: Platform Brewery
Most scenic space in Cleveland: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Sami Kishawi, MD

Sami Kishawi, MD

Current Position: 1st Year Trauma Research at MetroHealth
Hometown: Chicago, IL
College: University of Chicago, B.S. Biological Sciences
Graduate education: Loyola University Chicago, M.S. Medical Physiology
Medical school: University of Central Florida College of Medicine
Why surgery? I wanted the technical skills, knowledge, and comfort level to handle the highest acuity situations in the hospital.
Surgical and professional interests: Trauma surgery, colorectal surgery, disaster relief, critical care, application of surgical science in space exploration, hospital architecture
Hobbies: Basketball, experimental cooking, narrative medicine, sunset photography
Greatest accomplishment: Winning an Oreo stacking contest when I was 7 years old
Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Le Petit Triangle
What's the most important thing you've learned in residency so far? Patients understand how busy and rushed we are, but even the smallest gesture can go a long way. Sit and meet them at eye level and actively listen. And never leave the room without tucking them in.

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
Kimberly Rebello, MD

Kimberly Rebello, MD

  • Hometown: Farmington, CT
  • College: University of Connecticut, B.S. Chemistry, Minor in Mathematics
  • Graduate education: University of Connecticut, M.S. Synthetic Bioorganic Chemistry
  • Medical school: University of Connecticut
  • Why surgery? Surgery is a unique field that combines pathophysiology, engineering, and technical skills to create a work of art that allows you to become a part of a person's life.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Hobbies: Drawing, playing saxophone, baking
  • What else should we know about you? I'm a diehard Mortal Kombat fan
  • Fun fact about Cleveland? The term "rock and roll" was coined in Cleveland
  • What's the best piece of advice you've received? Be able to laugh at yourself, be able to forgive yourself, avoid making the same mistake again, and no matter what, push forward.
Emily Verbus, MD

Emily Verbus, MD

Current Position: 1st Year NCI Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship
Hometown: North Ridgeville, OH
College: University of Chicago, B.S. Biochemistry, B.A. Chemistry
Graduate education: Case Western Reserve University, M.S. Medical Physiology
Medical school: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Why surgery? I could not imagine practicing medicine without being in the OR
Surgical and professional interests: Surgical oncology and hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery
Hobbies: Cooking, reading, house plants
What else should we know about you? I have anisocoria
Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Astoria
What is the best thing about UH Surgery? The residents


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.