Congratulations to Dr. Lara Oyetunji, General Surgery Chief Resident, for winning the Dr. Claude H. Organ, Jr. Resident Award Competition from the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) at its recently concluded meeting in April, 2016. Her winning paper was entitled “Cigarette Smoke Induces MicroRNA-145 Dysregulation During Esophageal Carcinogenesis,” which included the results from her work as a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute from 2012-2014.
Dr. Oyetunji researched the role of tobacco smoke in esophageal cancer by using a novel in-vitro model system to examine microRNA alterations potentially contributing to tobacco-induced esophageal carcinogenesis. She then identified novel microRNAs that are dysregulated by cigarette smoke exposure and characterized the mechanisms by which these microRNas and their targets drive esophageal adenocarcinogenesis in in-vitro and in-vivo models.
Claude H. Organ, Jr., MD, FACS (1926-2005) was a world renowned academic surgeon and a major force in shaping and supporting the lives and careers of thousands of young surgeons. In 1989, Dr. Organ and several other black academic surgeons founded SBAS and held its first meeting at Duke University. Throughout his career, he oversaw the training of dozens of surgeons, including several African-American women. His lifelong dedication to mentoring young surgeons and encouraging diversity in the field of surgery is represented in the annual Claude Organ. Resident Paper Competition.
Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, President & CEO, Cleveland Clinic, committed funds from the Cleveland Clinic’s endowment for the prize. Starting in 2008 and continuing into the subsequent years, Cleveland Clinic’s sponsorship of the Claude Organ. Resident Paper Competition helps insure the success of the future generations of surgeons.