Current Research Trainees

Catherine Beni, MD, PhD, 2019-2021

Dr. Beni is a research fellow in the T32 Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Trauma and Burns under the direction of Principal Investigator Dr. Grant O’Keefe, Professor in the Division of Trauma, Burn, and Critical Care Surgery. Dr. Beni’s work is focused on translational research for precision trauma resuscitation. She is working with existing ICU patient data to better understand current resuscitation practices after trauma, with the goal of creating decision-making tools and feedback-control algorithms (utilizing mathematical modeling) for fluid resuscitation. She is also working on improving the evaluation of volume status in critically ill patients. She ultimately intends to pursue a fellowship in trauma and critical care.

 

Sara Daniel, MD, 2018-2020

Dr. Daniel is working with the newly created University of Washington Tumor Immunonology and Microenvironment (UW TIME) lab group, which comprises multiple faculty from the Departments of Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology. Building off previous work by lab members on the tumor slice culture model, Dr. Daniel’s primary focus is evaluating the effects of hypoxia on the cancer microenvironment, particularly the immunosuppressive effects exhibited by the stroma and infiltrating lymphocyte phenotypes. While immunotherapy has previously had limited effects on pancreatic adenocarcinoma and other solid tumors, a better understanding of the interactions between tumors as well as the spatial relationships and metabolism of cells in the tumor environment will allow combination immunotherapy to activate intratumoral T cells. She is also working on a clinical trial with her primary mentor, Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, evaluating the effects of a somatostatin analogue on leak rates after pancreatic surgery.

 

David Droullard, MD, 2019-2021

Dr. Droullard is a trainee in the NIDDK–funded T32 fellowship in Gastrointestinal Surgical Outcomes Research at the Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) under the direction of Dr. David Flum, Professor in the Division of General Surgery. He is interested in comparative effectiveness research and health systems and policy. His research will involve multiple areas of general surgery with a focus on the evidence-based management of diverticulitis. During his fellowship, Dr. Droullard will also complete a Master of Science in Public Health at the University of Washington with a focus on Health Services. He plans to ultimately pursue a fellowship in colorectal surgery and a career as an academic surgeon.

 

Dara Horn, MD, 2018-2020

Dr. Horn is a research fellow in the T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Trauma and Burns under the mentorship of Dr. Grant O’Keefe, Professor in the Division of Trauma, Burn, and Critical Care Surgery. She will be focused on translational research, applying advances in nutrition and metabolomics to improve the outcomes and care of critically ill and injured patients, and ultimately provide more personalized therapy options. During this time, Dr. Horn will also pursue a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology through the UW School of Public Health, with a focus on clinical research methods. After residency, she plans to pursue a fellowship in trauma and critical care.

 

Kevin Labadie, MD, 2018-2020

Dr. Labadie is working as a research fellow under the mentorship of Dr. James Park developing an antibody–directed theranostic platform for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The antibody targets glypican–3 (GPC3), a tumor associated antigen serving as a unique molecular target in HCC. Their team has successfully conjugated different radiopharmaceuticals including Zirconium–89 for diagnostic immuno–positron emission tomographic imaging and Yttrium–90 for therapeutic application. In an orthotopic xenograft tumor mouse model, Dr. Labadie will further establish the efficacy of this theranostic antibody platform as a novel radiotherapeutic treatment approach to HCC. Dr. Labadie is also conducting research in the UW Tumor Immune Microenvironment (UW TIME) lab under the collaborative guidance of Drs. Venu Pillarisetty and Teresa Kim. Utilizing their tissue slice culture model, he plans to study the local immune microenvironment in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and soft tissue sarcoma with an emphasis on better understanding the role of tumor–associated macrophages (TAM) and their relationship to T–cells. He hopes to use the tissue slice culture model to study TAM–targeted therapeutics to augment and improve the efficacy of immunotherapy for pancreas and soft tissue cancers.

 

Alex Lois, MD, 2019-2021

Dr. Lois is a trainee in the NIDDK-funded T32 fellowship in Gastrointestinal Surgical Outcomes Research at the Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) under the tutelage of Dr. David Flum, Professor in the Division of General Surgery. His research will span a variety of clinical areas including health systems and policy, surgical ethics, and examining patient reported outcomes in general and foregut surgery. Additionally, Dr. Lois will be enrolled at the University of Washington, completing a Master of Science degree with a focus in Epidemiology. This advanced coursework in quantitative and qualitative research methodology and data analysis will facilitate his ongoing research at SORCE and help prepare him for a future career as a physician scientist. Following residency Dr. Lois plans to complete a fellowship in minimally invasive and foregut surgery with the goal of continuing a career in academic surgery.

 

Jamie Oh, MD, 2019-2021

Dr. Oh is a research fellow in the NIH-funded T32 Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Trauma and Burns under the direction of Principal Investigator Dr. Grant O’Keefe, Professor in the Division of Trauma, Burn, and Critical Care Surgery and Nicole Gibran, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education for Harborview Medical Center and Professor in the Division of Trauma, Burn, and Critical Care Surgery. Dr. Oh will focus on translational research involving animal models and human models for wound healing. He will be analyzing RNA and DNA genome data to elucidate genetic influences on scarring and long term functional outcomes following burn injury. He will also work on clinical projects involving the burn registry, such as determining racial and socioeconomic determinants for outcomes after burn injury. During these two years, Dr. Oh will also be enrolled in the Masters of Science in Epidemiology program through the UW School of Public Health, focusing on clinical research methods. He plans to ultimately pursue a fellowship in trauma and critical care.

 

Kavita Pandit, MD, 2018-2020

Dr. Pandit is a trainee in the NIDDK–funded T32 fellowship in Gastrointestinal Surgical Outcomes Research at the Surgical Outcomes Research Center (SORCE) under the direction of Dr. David Flum, Professor in the Division of General Surgery. Her research interests span multiple clinical areas, though she will focus on health disparities in surgical care across a variety of settings and populations. During this two year fellowship, Dr. Pandit will also be enrolled in the Master’s in Public Health program at the University of Washington with a focus on health services. This advanced coursework will help her develop knowledge of research methodology and data analysis. She plans to eventually pursue a fellowship and career in colorectal surgery.