Washington Univerity’s Department of Surgery offers unparalleled research opportunities. Regardless of research interests, the program provides a rich research experience with world-class mentors. Below are the research opportunities available in the program.

Acute and Critical Care Surgery

Current research of faculty members in the Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery focuses on genetics, prevention of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and curriculum improvement in surgical education.

Learn more about research in the Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Laboratory is a joint laboratory of all the general thoracic and cardiac surgeons. The mission of the laboratory is: 1) to train future cardiothoracic surgeons in the basic sciences and methodology of research in order for them to become independent physician–scientists; and 2) to solve the clinical problems that arise in cardiothoracic surgery by understanding the basic physiology and pathology of the underlying problems. The cardiothoracic research-training program supports research fellows both from within Washington University and from other institutions.

Research is supported by NIH, NIST, private foundations, corporate and division funding.

The laboratory has a full-time staff with a range of skills. These include trained animal technicians, molecular biology technicians, computer and electronic engineering staff, and administrative support staff. These individuals are not only involved in research, but have a primary task of training students and research fellows.

Learn more about research in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Colorectal Surgery

The Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery has a strong commitment to medical and scientific research with ongoing collaborative projects that focus on state-of-the art research related to colorectal surgery.

The section also engages in collaborative projects on the genetics of colorectal cancer and its therapies and the CREATE (Comprehensive Research on Expressed Alleles in Therapeutic Evaluation) Pharmacogenetics Research Network at Washington University School of Medicine. More information can be obtained at the CREATE website.

Learn more about research in the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic & GI Surgery

Washington University hepatobiliary-pancreatic and gastrointestinal (HPB-GI) surgeons are leaders in research focused on developing novel pancreas cancer therapeutics, improving surgical safety, genomic analysis of primary and metastatic solid tumors, and the early detection of pancreas cancer and metastases, among other areas of investigation.

Learn more about research in the Section of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic and GI Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic and GI Surgery.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery faculty members are leaders in their fields of research which include outcomes for gastrointestinal (GI) laparoscopic procedures, metabolism in morbidly obese patients, and the development and testing of biomaterials used in hernia repair.

When the Washington University Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery (WUIMIS) was established in 1993, it was the first multidisciplinary group of surgeons in the country formed to advance research, education and patient care in minimally invasive surgery. Today, surgeons in 10 specialties remain dedicated to the Institute’s mission:

  • Promoting clinical excellence in minimally invasive surgery
  • Serving as a training and education center in advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Developing and standardizing techniques in advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Fostering clinical and basic-science translational research in the field

Learn more about research in the Section of Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Pediatric Surgery

Researchers in the Division of Pediatric Surgery are focused on research in several areas, including: intestinal adaptation to massive intestinal loss, necrotizing enterocolitis, short bowel syndrome, clinical outcomes, trauma and burn care, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Pediatric surgery researchers at St. Louis Children’s Hospital are participating in the ACS National Quality Improvement Program Focused on Pediatric Surgery (ACS NSQIP Peds). The program is designed to identify best practices at pediatric hospitals, develop quality improvement targets and improve patient care and outcomes.

Learn more about research in the Division of Pediatric Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Division of Pediatric Surgery.

Master of Population Health Sciences

The Master of Population Health Sciences (MPHS) degree program prepares physicians, clinical doctorates, medical students and health sciences students for distinguished clinical research careers by accelerating and deepening their expertise in population health and clinical outcomes research.

It is offered by the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery.

Public Health Sciences

The Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery conducts world-leading research, education and outreach to prevent cancer and other diseases, promote population health, and improve quality and access to health care in Missouri and beyond. Current faculty include epidemiologists, statisticians, behavioral scientists, economists, health communication scientists and more, who address a range of population health challenges.

Many surgery residents collaborate with division faculty on projects that affect strategies in clinical care and outcomes. Research projects range from those focused on eliminating health disparities in Missouri and the region, to conducting health services and comparative effectiveness research, to improving service delivery, to measuring outcomes for cancer survivors and other patient groups after major clinical or disease events. The division also provides a home for the Master of Population Health Sciences (MPHS), a degree program for clinicians who seek training in population-based clinical outcomes research methods. Residents are encouraged to contact division leadership to explore opportunities to lead and collaborate on research projects within the division.

Learn more about research in the Division of Public Health Sciences.

Meet the faculty in the Division of Public Health Sciences.

Surgical Oncology

Washington University physicians in the Section of Surgical Oncology are involved in leading research efforts to investigate cancer of the breast and of the endocrine system (the adrenal glands, pancreas, parathyroid, thyroid and other endocrine organs). Physicians in this section also are credited with identifying the Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome-2 (MEN-2) gene and continue with research into the MEN syndromes.

The goal of the T32 Surgical Oncology Training Program program is to provide surgical trainees the opportunity to develop fundamental skill sets in basic science, translational and public health research. This includes a focused mentored research experience and formal coursework.

Learn more about program.

Learn more about research in the Section of Surgical Oncology.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Surgical Oncology.

Transplant

The Section of Abdominal Transplantation maintains a strong interest in basic and clinical research related to liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation and non-transplant surgical conditions.

Learn more about research in the Section of Transplant Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Transplant Surgery.

Vascular

The Section of Vascular Surgery oversees the vascular diagnostic laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and also is responsible for the Vascular Surgery service. Researchers in vascular surgery study the mechanisms that influence arterial collateral formation and peripheral arterial atheroprogression in the setting of diabetes, as well as the pathophysiology of abdominal aortic aneurysm. The section actively participates in clinical trials of minimally invasive devices in collaboration with industry.

Learn more about research in the Section of Vascular Surgery.

Meet the faculty in the Section of Vascular Surgery.