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

2nd Year

Avanti Badrinathan, MD

Avanti Badrinathan, MD (Allen Scholar)

  • 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 (Allen Scholar)

  • 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.
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.

1st 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? I love being in the OR and managing inpatients.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Surgical education, robotics, surgical oncology, breast surgery
  • 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 critical care, vascular surgery, and rural surgery
  • Hobbies: Snowboarding, water activities, finding the best beer
  • What else should we know about you? I enjoy cooking
  • Favorite restaurant in Cleveland: Lindy’s Lake House
  • What do you reflect on at the end of a day of residency? Reflection is important. I like to first think about a positive patient experience. Then I try to think about how I could improve for the next day. Lastly, I make sure to think about any feedback I received and how I plan to use that information going forward.
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.
Aaron Tipton, MD

Aaron Tipton, MD

  • Hometown: Akron, OH
  • College: Ashland University, B.S. Biochemistry
  • Medical school: University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
  • Why surgery? I chose surgery to serve others every day and the opportunity to master my clinical and technical abilities.
  • Surgical and professional interests: Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Hobbies: Running, Traveling, Basketball
  • Favorite movie: Gladiator
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

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.