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Recap of the 5th Annual Rumel Research Symposium

Rumel Symposium 2023

On May 23, 2023, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery held the fourth annual William Ray Rumel Research Symposium, named for the first Thoracic Surgery Fellowship program director. This symposium highlights and celebrates the research accomplishments of our trainees and faculty and fosters innovation and collaboration within the Division. 
This year, a total of twelve abstracts were presented during the event. The Cardiothoracic Surgery fellows presented completed or ongoing research projects. Dr. Praveen Sridhar discussed the role of expert coaches and trainees’ self-evaluation of their surgical skills in a simulated laboratory setting. Dr. Nicolas Contreras presented on the use of a digital drainage system for post-operative patients. Dr. Laura DiChiacchio presented her work on using direct aortic implantation of the Impella 5.5 via right mini-thoracotomy as a bridge transplant candidacy. At the same time, Dr. Ammar Asban discussed his use of a national database to assess the financial impact of sublobar resection for early-stage lung cancer. Second-year integrated resident Dr. Joe Heiler spoke about his project of screening first-degree relatives of patients with bicuspid aortic valves. First-year integrated resident Dr. Lauren Levy was unable to present at the symposium but has been working on a study exploring clinical and familial markers associated with increased risk of thoracic aortic dissection in those with bicuspid aortic valve aortopathy. Second-year perfusion students Sean Jameson, Kamil Brzozowski, Abbie Blessant, Christine Toone, and Taylor Ruckle also presented on their ongoing project. Jameson and Brzozowski discussed the effect of ECPELLA – the simultaneous use of ECMO and Impella – on ejection fraction, in-hospital, and long-term mortality, while Blessant spoke about the effect of mannitol administration during cardiopulmonary bypass on post-operative acute kidney injury. Toone and Ruckle presented a comparative analysis of durable LVAD and non-VAD recipients using the vasoactive inotropic score (VIS) as a predictor of outcomes in adult heart transplantation populations. Finally, four of our faculty members presented their research. Dr. Eric Griffiths discussed a project he has been working on with student Dr. Tighe Marrone, looking at ECG abnormalities, diastolic blood pressure, and adverse events after systemic to pulmonary artery shunts. Dr. Jason Glotzbach presented on transcriptional profiles in aortic tissue samples from patients with aneurysms with bicuspid and tricuspid leaflet aortic valves. Dr. Brian Mitzman discussed his project using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database to explore the impact of guideline concordance for lung resection on patients’ need for supplemental oxygen at discharge. Lastly, Dr. Joseph Tonna presented a preliminary analysis on worldwide variation in the cost-effectiveness of ECMO.
This impressive set of presentations showcased the incredible work being done by our students, trainees, and faculty members! The fifth annual Rumel Research Symposium is scheduled for May 2024.