Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Surgery

News and Announcements

Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
  • VA surgeon researching cell-based tools to create artificial kidney
    03.24.2017 - Organ Transplantation
    Dr. Jason Wertheim, surgeon and biomedical engineer at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center is part of a project called (Re)Building a Kidney (RBK), a consortium led by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health. The consortium, which includes about 25 biologists and engineers from around the country, is trying to develop tools that will facilitate development of an artificial kidney in the future.  To read more please click here.
  • Community Outreach and Awareness: Mended Hearts
    03.15.2017 - Vascular Surgery
    Courtney Morgan, M.D., Chief Resident of Northwestern's Integrated Vascular Program, counseled members of Mended Hearts of Chicago with a talk entitled, "Peripheral Vascular Disease: What's New?" Mended Hearts is a national nonprofit organization serving the community through education on cardiovascular health. Visit the Mended Hearts webpage for more information and upcoming meetings.  
  • Dr. Abecassis discusses increase in organ transplants
    02.27.2017 - Organ Transplantation
    Dr. Abecassis discusses increase in organ transplants due to recent change in donation age and living donor programs on FOX 32 Morning News. Click here to watch interview. 
  • Illinois plans to lower age requirement to be organ donor
    02.03.2017 - Organ Transplantation
    Dr. Leventhal was recently featured in a news story regarding Illinois' plans to lower age requirement to be organ donor so that more lives can be saved.  Please click here to watch the story.
  • Congratulations Drs. Leventhal & Mathew
    02.01.2017 - Organ Transplantation
    Congratulations to Drs. Leventhal and Mathew who were awarded a $300,000 Falk Catalyst Award for their project "Clinical Transplant Tolerance Induction by the Use of Ex Vivo Expanded Antigen Specific Regulatory T Cells" . The Catalyst Awards provide an opportunity to conduct preliminary work on high-risk, high-reward research addressing a wide variety of clinical disease areas.
  • Department of Surgery rises in NIH rankings to #9 in 2016
    01.25.2017 - Research

    Department of Surgery rises in NIH rankings to #9 in 2016. 

    The Department of Surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine rose to 9th place among U.S. departments of surgery in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2016.  Award figures are obtained by Blue Ridge from the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) at the NIH. The report’s calculations include direct and indirect costs, but do not include contracts or other specialized mechanisms.

  • 5th Annual John J. Bergan, M.D. Lecture
    03.02.2017 - Vascular Surgery
    Lazar J. Greenfield, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Chair Emeritus at the University of Michigan will be presenting, "The Filter at 45: Lessons Learned," on March 2, 2017. The lecture will be held in Northwestern's Prtizker Auditorium (251 E. Huron, 3-506, Chicago, IL) at 7:00 am with a morning reception to follow. This is part of the Department of Surgery Grand Rounds Series. Click here to access more information.
  • Dr. Wertheim receives funding award
    11.30.2016 - Organ Transplantation
    Dr. Jason Wertheim’s application for a VA Merit Review Award, Extracellular Matrix Induction of Renal Stem and Progenitor Cell Development, was selected for funding by the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
  • Congratulations to Drs. Juan Carlos Caicedo and Elisa Gordon
    11.29.2016 - Organ Transplantation
    Congratulations to Drs. Juan Carlos Caicedo and Elisa Gordon on receiving the 31st Annual Gift of Life Award by the National Kidney Foundation for  Their contributions to the this culturally sensitive website which educates thousands of people in the Latino community on the benefits and risks of living donation was recognized at the Gift of Life Gala on November 12.
  • Congratulations Mamta Swaroop, MD
    11.22.2016 - Trauma and Critical Care
    Congratulations to Mamta Swaroop, MD, FACS who has recently been promoted to Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award
    10.13.2016 - Vascular Surgery
    Dr. Mark Eskandari and Dr. Karen Ho have received the 2015-2016, "Excellence in Teaching," Award.  The award recognizes faculty members who excel at supporting resident and medical student learning. This is the 2nd annual award for Dr. Ho, and the 5th annual award for Dr. Eskandari. Join our division in giving them a big round of applause!
  • Dr. Shari L. Meyerson Receives Excellence in Teaching Award - Hall of Fame
    10.12.2016 - Thoracic Surgery
    The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recognizes outstanding faculty educators annually with Teaching Awards.  Dr. Shari L. Meyerson has again won the Excellence in Teaching Award for the Department of Surgery.  Congratulations!
  • Congratulations Teaching Award Recipients
    10.12.2016 - Organ Transplantation
    The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recognizes outstanding faculty educators annually with Teaching Awards.  Recipients from the Comprehensive Transplant Center this year include Drs. Jonathan Fryer, Felicitas Koller and Bing Ho.  Congratulations!
  • Heron Rodriguez Named to Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago
    10.06.2016 - Vascular Surgery

    Heron Rodriguez, M.D., was named to Negocios Now, "Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago." Dr. Rodriguez is a recognized professor, researcher, published author, and international speaker. Dr. Rodriguez serves as the program director for Northwestern University's Vascular Surgery Integrated Residency Program, Associate Program Director for the Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program, and is co-director of the limb preservation program at Northwestern's Vein Clinic. Dr. Rodriguez's clinical interests include arterial and venous surgery and percutaneous interventions. To learn more about Dr. Rodriguez, Please visit his faculty page.

    Heron E Rodriguez, MD
  • Karl A. Illig, M.D., Visiting Professor for Vascular Conference
    10.07.2016 - Vascular Surgery
    Dr. Karl A. Illig, M.D. will speak at Northwestern University's weekly Vascular Conference on November 2, 2016 from 5:00 - 6:00pm. Dr. Illig will present, Aggressive management of venous thoracic outlet syndrome in athletes (and others). The event will be held in the Department of Surgery Videoconference Room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Arkes Pavilion, 6th Floor.
  • Dr. Leventhal hosts 2nd Annual International Workshop on Clinical Tolerance
    09.30.2016 - Organ Transplantation
    Dr. Joseph Leventhal hosted the 2nd Annual International Workshop on Clinical Tolerance on September 30 - October 2, 2016.  Sixty international attendees participated in this workshop, which included a comprehensive review of all ongoing trials of tolerance in solid organ transplant and a discussion of current and future challenges to widespread clinical application of tolerance induction protocols.
  • Dr. Abecassis hosts colloquium highlighting work from Program Project Grant (P01)
    Dr. Michael Abecassis hosted a colloquium highlighting the work from the first year of the Program Project Grant (P01).  The half-day session, CMV P01 Symposium: Epigenetics of Cytomegalovirus Latency and Reactivation, featured expert speakers from around the country. The following day the annual joint meeting of the P01 Internal and External Advisory Boards was held.  During this meeting, all three projects and the three cores presented progress and next steps and gained valuable feedback from the Advisory Board members.
  • Organ Summit at The White House
    07.11.2016 - Organ Transplantation

    On Monday, June 13, Northwestern Medicine transplant surgeon Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD, traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in the White House Organ Summit hosted by the Obama Administration. At the Summit, Dr. Wertheim joined Senior Administration Officials and representatives from companies, foundations, universities, hospitals and patient advocacy organizations that are working to increase access to organ transplants, reduce the organ waiting list and even develop new regenerative medicine technologies to one day create tissues and organs for all patients in need of a transplant.  For full story, please click here.

  • Congratulations to Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD
    07.07.2016 - Organ Transplantation

    Congratulations to Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD on receiving an AST-TRN Faculty Research Grant, “Engineering Podocyte Microenvironments”.   Dr. Wertheim is also the recipient of a VA Merit Review grant, “Extracellular Matrix Induction of Renal Stem and Progenitor Cell Development”.

  • Congratulations to Mike Ison, MD
    07.01.2016 - Organ Transplantation
    Congratulations to Mike Ison, MD on being selected for a BAA-NIAID-DMID-NIH-AI-2014028 Award, entitled "Targeted Clinical Research to Address Select Viral Infections."  This is a national study with 13 sites, including NU.
  • Dr. Bharat receives 2016 Jacobson Promising Investigator Award
    06.29.2016 - Research
    Congrats to Dr. Ankit Bharat for being the 2016 Jacobson Promising Investigator Award winner from the Academic College of Surgeons.
  • Four Vascular Surgery Trainees Given Teaching Awards
    06.20.2016 - Vascular Surgery
    Four trainees in the Division of Vascular were presented with teaching awards at this year's Edelstone-Bendix Day.  Mila Ju MD, Dustin Yoon MD and Courtney Morgan MD received the 2016 Resident as Teacher Award and Micah Girotti MD received the 2016 Fellow as Teacher award.  The award are given to housestaff who are "excellent role models, clinicians and learners to their peers, students, and other health professionals".
  • Vascular Surgery Resident Wins Research Award
    20.16.0620 - Vascular Surgery

    Resident Neel Mansukhani MD won the Best Resident Basic Science Research Award at this year's Edelstone Bendix Research Day for his paper "Targeted Nanotherapeutics for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis".  Neel is a third year vascular surgery resident currently in his first research year.

  • Innovative cell-based approaches induce immune tolerance in kidney transplant recipients
    06.06.2016 - Organ Transplantation

    Northwestern Magazine's Spring Issue contains an article on the research lead by Dr. Joseph Leventhal.  To read full article on Innovative cell-based approaches induce immune tolerance in kidney transplant recipients please click here.  To learn more about the study please email

  • 2016 Edelstone-Bendix Award Winners
    05.24.2016 - Research

    On behalf of the 2016 Edelstone-Bendix Awards Selection Committee, we are pleased to announce that the following abstracts have been selected as the winners to the open competitions. 

    Fellow Competition

    The Effect of BMI on OR Utilization in Breast Surgery

    Julie Dunderdale, M.D.

    Fellow, Breast Surgery

    Resident Clinical Research Competition

    Fear versus Knowledge:  A Qualitative Assessment of the Effect of Medical Malpractice Environment on Surgical Clinical Practice

    Christina Minami, M.D.

    Resident, General Surgery

    Resident Basic Science Research Competition

    Targeted NANOtherapeutics for treatment of atherosclerosis

    Neel Mansukhani, M.D.

    Resident, Vascular Surgery

  • Mark Knab is selected as 2016 Dr. Susan Perlman Award Winner
    05.24.2016 - Research

    Please join us in congratulating chief resident Mark Knab, who has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Susan Perlman Award by the NMH Medical Staff Officers. The Perlman award is given to one senior trainee chosen from all of the senior residents and fellows in the institution who shows not only academic excellence, but has special leadership skills and compassion for patients. We are thrilled that Mark has received such a well-deserved honor. 

  • Evaluating an Alternative to Open-Heart Surgery
    05.17.2016 - Cardiac Surgery

    Evaluating an Alternative to Open-Heart Surgery

    By on

    A minimally invasive procedure to repair aortic stenosis may be preferable to open-heart surgery when treating patients at intermediate risk of surgical mortality, according to a recent observational study co-led by Northwestern Medicine investigator S. Chris Malaisrie, MD, and published in The Lancet.

    Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve narrows, limiting blood flow to the heart. It’s usually caused by age-related scarring and calcium buildup in the valve cusp – a flap that opens to allow blood flow through the valve. The standard of care for aortic stenosis has been open-heart surgery to replace the damaged valve, but this treatment is too risky for some patients.

    One alternative to open-heart surgery is transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a procedure in which a collapsible replacement valve is inserted into the heart through a catheter. Previous research has shown that TAVR is safe and effective for high-risk patients. The new study evaluated this method for intermediate-risk patients.

    “The study showed that a third generation transcatheter valve called SAPIEN 3 seemed to be superior to standard aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic stenosis who we considered to have intermediate risk of surgical mortality,” said Malaisrie, an associate professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiac Surgery, who was principal investigator of the study’s Northwestern site.

    The investigators assessed 1,077 intermediate-risk patients who received TAVR at 51 sites in North America and compared their results to patients who received open-heart surgery for surgical valve replacement. A year after surgery, the patients treated with TAVR had superior outcomes, including better rates of survival, stroke incidence and re-intervention.

    “Lower-risk patients now have another option for their treatment that appears to be just as good as open-heart surgery,” Malaisrie said. “In some centers, TAVR will become the favored option.”

    A major benefit of TAVR is that recovery time in the hospital is just three days, compared to five days for open-heart surgery.

    In a future study, Malaisrie and his colleagues plan to test TAVR in low-risk patients.

    Edwards Lifesciences, the manufacturer of the SAPIEN 3 transcatheter valve, supported some of this research. Malaisrie did not receive compensation from the company for his work in the trial.

  • First Vascular Surgery Integrated Residents to Complete Program
    05.16.2016 - Vascular Surgery

    On June 30, 2016, the Division of Vascular Surgery will graduate its first integrated residents.  Mila Ju MD, who has been with the division since 2009, will be taking a position in Pennsylvania and Dustin Yoon MD, who has been with the division since 2011, will be taking a position in Maryland.
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital Recognized by CDC for Innovative, Lifesaving Efforts to Prevent Blood Clots in Hospitalized Patients
    04.05.2016 - Research

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital was one of eight hospitals and health systems recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as Healthcare-Associated Venous Thromboembolism (HA-VTE) Prevention Champions. "Approximately half of all VTE occur in patients who are hospitalized or recovering from surgery," said Karl Y. Bilimoria, MD, MS, vice chair for quality in the department of Surgery for Northwestern Medicine and director of the Northwestern Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center. "To ensure that we were providing the best possible care for our patients, we implemented a comprehensive, multi-year initiative to prevent blood clots after surgery. We are proud to be recognized for this team effort that involved physicians, nurses, patients, process improvement engineers, quality improvement experts and our executive leadership."  Click here to read full article.

  • Dr. Melina Kibbe Wins 2016 Tripartite Prize
    03.23.2016 - Research
    Dr. Melina Kibbe, Edward G. Elcock Professor of Surgical Research and vice chair of Research in the Department of Surgery, has been named the winner of the 2016 Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize in Translational Science and Education.