Faculty Awards, Honors & Publications
Recent Honors, Awards, Appointments and Publications (Listed by date)
Dr. Maziar Khorsandi
Received The ISHLT/O.H. Frazier Award
In Mechanical Circulatory Support Translational Research
(June 2022) Dr. Maziar Khorsandi, Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, received the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation/O.H. Frazier Award in Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)Translational Research. The purpose of this award is to support rising stars in the field of MCS at a critical time in their career. The award recipient will have already established a track record in the field of mechanical circulatory support and will stive to further develop their career in this area.
“We aim to demonstrate the utility of wireless pulmonary artery pressure monitoring (CardioMEMS HF) in the management of patients supported with durable left ventricular assist devices (LVAD),” said Dr. Khorsandi. “We expect that CardioMEMS HF can obviate the need for invasive hemodynamic studies in the cath lab and echocardiography to determine each patient’s optimal LVAD speed. Furthermore, the findings from this study will provide a potential mechanism for the closed-loop modulation of LVAD pump speed in future controller designs.“
Dr. Sara Kim Honored With Scripps’ College 2022 Distinguished Alumnae of the Year Award
(June 2022) Dr. Sara Kim, Research Professor, Division of General Surgery, was honored with Scripps’ College 2022 Distinguished Alumnae of the Year Award. First presented in 1978, the Scripps College Distinguished Alumna Award was established to celebrate the notable achievements of Scripps alumnae and to focus attention on Scripps’ role in the education of women. Dr. Kim has dedicated her career to UW as a medical educator, developing and delivering training in resolving interpersonal conflict in healthcare settings. Dr. Kim credits Scripps and the late Professor Jim Gould, her advisor at Scripps, for instilling the passion for lifelong learning. Dr. Kim states, “Professor Gould showed me that a value like kindness can be and must be a lifelong practice within us. As a leader in the medical school, collaboratively solving organizational challenges or teaching conflict management skills, I’m learning that kindness is the foundation of honoring the dignity of both myself and others. The early experience of kindness at Scripps and the lifelong remembrance of that experience molded me into who I am today.”
(June 2022) Dr. Teresa Kim, Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, received the National Cancer Institute Early-Stage Surgeon Scientist Program (ESSP) Award. ESSP is designed to train surgeon scientists and retain them in cancer research by supporting a program focused on cancer-related disease and basic/translational research. This program aims to bring together surgeon scientists from across the United States and build cohorts that will be trained together for up to three years per cohort.
“This award is so impactful. I am grateful that the NIH recognized and is proactively working to support early-stage surgeon scientists, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn alongside brilliant peers and continue building my own tumor immunology research program. Most importantly, I am grateful for the sustained support of the Department of Surgery – the investment in my scientific work, the sponsorship of opportunities like this, and the invaluable mentorship shared by senior surgeon scientists, Drs. Raymond Yeung and Venu Pillarisetty. Their passion, wisdom, guidance, and belief in my potential have been critical at many steps along the way. Excited to get to work, tackling immune resistance in colorectal cancer liver metastasis.”
(June 2022) Dr. Lorrie Langdale, Professor & Chief, Section of General Surgery, VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VA), received the Seattle Surgical Society Lifetime Service Award to recognize and honor her substantial life-long contributions to the health and well-being of citizens of the Pacific Northwest.
“It was a tremendous honor and surprise to receive the 2022 Lifetime Service Award from the Seattle Surgical Society,” said Dr. Langdale. “The Award was inaugurated in 2021 and presented to Dr. Michael Copass. Given his legacy to Seattle’s Emergency Response System and care of the injured patient, to be cast as having had anything close to his impact on our community was humbling. We all aspire to make a difference and there are many paths to achieving that goal. As a kid, I wanted to be either a doctor or a math teacher—as it happened, a fulfilling career at the Seattle VA in the UW Department of Surgery and School of Medicine allowed me to merge those dreams, teaching several generations of residents and students to care for patients both in and out of the operating room and mentoring those who wanted to follow. I have watched with pride the growth of so many friends who are now the go-to surgeons of their institutions. I am most gratified to have played a small role in their continued success.”
(June 2022) Dr. Rebecca Maine, Assistant Professor, Division of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care Surgery, received the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) Research and Education Fund Scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage young investigators to become a part of the AAST community, network with leading trauma surgeons, and engage in the cutting-edge program at the Annual Meeting.
(June 2022) To honor the late Dr. Patricia L. Dawson, MD, FACS, Ph.D, and her 40 year legacy of advocating for healthcare equity, an endowed faculty fellowship in the UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity was created in her name. This fund will “support the work of a faculty leader at UW Medicine to operationalize the goals of the UW Medicine Healthcare Equity Blueprint, an innovative roadmap for improving equity outcomes written by UW Medicine leaders and initiated by Drs. Houston and Dawson.” Dr. Shakirat (Lara) Oyetunji, Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was the inaugural recipient and says of this honor, “Dr. Dawson was a visionary leader and a remarkable surgeon with a passion and career dedicated to eliminating healthcare inequities. It is an immense honor to be selected as the inaugural recipient for this endowed faculty fellowship. I hope that I can rise to the legacy that this endowed fellowship commands and very much look forward to working with the Office of Health Care Equity, the UW Heart Institute, the Department of Surgery, and local partners on moving the needle pertaining to the cardiac care that UW Medicine provides to our patients and community.”
(June 2022) Dr. James Park, Professor, Division of General Surgery, in collaboration with Dr. Yawen Li in Radiation Oncology were awarded the Wayne D. and Joan E. Kuni Foundation Imagination Grant to support their work in advancing liver cancer imaging. The Imagination Grants serve as catalysts for strengthening or expanding the cancer research capabilities of an institution in service of its mission to fulfill an unmet need and to advance the impactful and innovative work into the next critical phase.
“This generous support from the Kuni Foundation will provide funding to humanize our antibody, a critical next step in bringing our research from bench to bedside. Our innovative platform will detect liver cancer at sizes ten times smaller than current best imaging and treat advanced stage disease when other options are not feasible. This type of imaging will be paradigm shifting, preventing early recurrences after invasive therapies, and will provide a novel treatment to patients with limited options.”
(June 2022) Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, Professor, Division of General Surgery, and Evan Newell, Associate Professor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, received Brotman Baty Institute funding for their research developing personalized T cell therapeutics that target an individual patient’s cancer.
Dr. Pillarisetty, who has been studying immunology for over 20 years, noted, “this work is a passion of mine. In some ways, our study represents an interesting pairing. Kidney and pancreatic cancers are very different and respond differently to immunotherapies. Up to this point, pancreatic cancer has not really responded very well to immunotherapy, while kidney cancer has.”
(June 2022) Dr. Jonathan Sham, Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, received the Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr., Fellowship Award from The Hope Foundation. The primary purpose of this award is to engage outstanding early-career investigators from SWOG-affiliated institutions in learning clinical trial methodology within an academic and network group environment that will lead to independent clinical research, while honoring the legacy of long-time SWOG Chair and leader, Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr. Dr. Sham’s study aims to evaluate the effect of lanreotide on postoperative pancreatic fistula.
“This award presents a unique opportunity to gain career-changing guidance from SWOG leaders about the development and execution of multi-institutional clinical trials,” said Dr. Sham. “I would not have been competitive for this award without the support of my partners in HPB surgery, division mentorship team, and department leadership.”
(June 2022) Dr. Estell Williams, Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, was awarded the inaugural Association for Surgical Education Research Fellowship award. The Surgical Education Research Fellowship program (SERF) is a one year, home-site fellowship designed to equip investigators with the skills and knowledge needed to plan, implement and report research studies in the field of surgical education. Following acceptance into the SERF program, each fellow is carefully matched by the program’s faculty with a SERF Advisor, a respected and knowledgeable researcher who will serve as the fellow’s mentor and consultant on their particular project.
“I thank Society of Black Academic Surgeons and Association for Surgical Education for this amazing opportunity,” said Dr. Williams. “I am so proud to represent my Department of Surgery family and gain the support and skills to continue to advance my academic career.”
(June 2022) Dr. Raymond Yeung, Professor, Division of General Surgery, received a Pilot Award funded by the Cancer Center Support Grant, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, to investigate calcium signaling in fibrolamellar cancer. The goal of this research is to explore a new mechanism that may drive the development and progression of this rare form of childhood liver cancer, which currently has no effective systemic therapy. He will team up with Dr. Yasemin Sancak, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, to further expand inter-departmental collaboration in basic oncology research. “This work represents an extension of our Translational Team Science Award from the Department of Defense to find new therapeutic targets for fibrolamellar cancer,” said Dr. Yeung. “I’m grateful for this support that will continue to promote bench-to-bedside investigation for a deadly disease that afflicts otherwise healthy children and young adults.”
(January 2022) Dr. Farhood Farjah, Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, received an NIH grant award for his project “Comparative-Effectiveness of Pretreatment Lung Cancer Nodal Staging.” “Our team’s goal is to reduce diagnostic and treatment errors, improve survival, and increase the value of care for lung cancer patients by improving our ability to select patients who benefit from a lymph node biopsy prior to starting treatment,” said Dr. Farjah. “This investigation determines the effectiveness of guideline recommended selection criteria for a pretreatment lymph node biopsy, and it tests whether a novel approach to selecting patients for lymph node biopsy is equivalent to guideline recommended strategy in terms of survival but superior in terms of lower biopsy-related severe adverse events and health expenditures. Findings from this study will lead to: 1) developing and testing implementation strategies designed to increase guideline-concordant lymph node evaluation, 2) alternative guideline recommendations for lymph node evaluation, and/or 3) justifying trials comparing outcomes between different lymph node evaluation strategies.”
(January 2022) Dr. Tam Pham, Professor & Chief, UW Medicine (UWM) Regional Burn Center, Harborview Medical Center (HMC), was recently named the David and Nancy Auth – Washington Research Foundation Endowed Chair for Restorative Burn Surgery. Dr. David Auth, an innovator who helped countless lives by successfully devising minimally invasive surgical technologies, created this endowment in partnership with the Washington Research Foundation to support research and other work to improve burn patient outcomes. The first holder of this Chair was Dr. Matt Klein (2008-2011). Over the next decade, this endowment supported Dr. Gibran’s research endeavors in scar and patient functional outcomes. Following Dr. Gibran’s retirement in July, the selection committee was unanimous concluding Dr. Pham “meets all expectations and criteria set forth in the endowment agreement and will utilize the benefits of the Chair to further enhance and enrich the quality and excellence of care for burn patients at the outstanding regional resource of which he is currently Director.” In addition to being an outstanding and internationally recognized burn surgeon, Dr. Pham is also a consulting physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Assistant Program Director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship-HMC. As current holder of this prestigious Chair, Dr. Pham is committed to continuing burn center research support and modernizing scar management.
(January 2022) Dr. Nicholas Vedder, Professor & Chief, Jamie Hunter Endowed Chair in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, was awarded the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) Distinguished Fellow Award. The AAPS, the oldest and most prestigious plastic surgery organization in the world, acknowledged Dr. Vedder for his personal achievements and lifetime contributions to the field of plastic surgery. Dr. Donald Mackay, AAPS Past President (2020-21) and Honors Committee Chair, presented the award to Dr. Vedder, AAPS Past President (2018-19), at the 100th AAPS Annual Meeting in April 2022.
“Over the past two decades I have had the privilege of watching the University of Washington Plastic surgery program grow exponentially under Nick’s careful leadership. Stable growth from six residents to 30 residents, and six faculty to 17 could have only happened under a leader with Nick’s skill, support and dedication.
—Dr. Richard A. Hopper
Chief, Division of Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery
Surgical Director, Craniofacial Center
Seattle Children's Hospital
Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery
“This award is a tremendous honor for Dr. Vedder and for our Division of Plastic Surgery. It is confirmation of what those of us here in Seattle, and the entire membership of the AAPS have known for a long time: that Dr. Vedder has made it his life’s work to elevate the field of plastic surgery, and to ensure that the American Association of Plastic Surgeons remains at the vanguard of our specialty.”
—Dr. Jeffrey Friedrich
Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery
”Dr. Vedder has been awarded the AAPS Distinguished Fellow award in recognition of a lifetime of achievements and contributions to the field of plastic surgery. This is one of the highest awards given from the American Association of Academic Plastic Surgeons, the oldest and one of the most prestigious plastic surgery societies, and is certainly well-deserved given all his accomplishments in a remarkable career.“
—Dr. Otway Louie
Section Chief, UW Medicine Center for Reconstructive Surgery
Associate Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery