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Year in Review: 2015

July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

The Department of Surgery continues to strengthen its core mission of education, patient care, and research. All of the departmental faculty have contributed to these activities. The past fiscal year included a recruitments of high quality faculty, clinical program development, investment in research programs, and success in attaining research funding.


Division of Cardiac Surgery is the market leader in Maryland. A Cardiac Surgery Program was initiated at Prince George’s Hospital Center where 70 cases were performed. The University of Maryland Multidisciplinary Mitral Valve Team performed the first transcatheter mitral valve repair in Maryland. The Cardiac Surgery team was the second in the US to use a respiratory dialysis machine called the Hemolung® for CO2 removal to save a patient with COPD exacerbation.

Division of Pediatric Surgery continues to grow the clinical enterprise with ambulatory sites in Bel Air, Easton Memorial, Sinai, Shipley’s Choice, Towson, White Marsh and Westminster.

Division of Plastic Surgery reported a profitable and productive year clinically.

Division of Thoracic Surgery welcomed Dr. Joseph Friedberg as Head, Division of Thoracic Surgery, surgeon-in-chief for the UM Medical System and Director of the University of Maryland Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Center. The first robotic thoracic surgical procedure was performed at UMMC, and the first extended pleurectomy/decortication for mesothelioma in the region.

Division of Transplantation: There were 260 kidney transplants (96 living donors) 117 liver transplants (13 living donors), 29 lung transplants, 15 heart transplants. The Kidney-pancreas transplant list is the largest, most thoroughly prepared and most highly active list in the history of the program. In March, 2015 transplant surgeons from the University of Maryland School of Medicine became the first in the country to remove a living donor’s kidney through a single incision in the belly button using a surgical robot. This use of robotics was approved by the University of Maryland Institutional Review Board as a feasibility study and marks another milestone for the Division of Transplantation in its mission to improve the living donation experience.

Division of Urology: new initiatives include development of IRB protocols for tissue procurement for prostate cancer, use of metabolic imaging for targeting prostate cancer and focal therapy of prostate cancer. MR/US fusion guided prostate biopsies have been performed. The breadth of robotic surgeries offered is increasing, notably robatic cystectomy with intracorporeal diversion.

Division of Vascular Surgery: There was a 20.4% increase in vascular surgical cases and 39.5% increase in clinical visits at Midtown.


University of Maryland SOM Department of Surgery ranked 21st in NIH funding among 72 Departments of Surgery in CY 2014, with $4.3 million in NIH funding according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (6/27/15). Notable awards are listed.

  1. MD TEDCO Award:
    • Dr. Xu (Cardiac Surgery): Development of Anti-Thrombosis Antibody
  2. Multi-PI award from Living Legacy Foundation (administered by Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Bromberg) to support research in various transplantation-related topics
  3. The following NIH research grants have been newly awarded or extended additional support:
    • Dr. Griffith/Dr. Wu (Cardiac Surgery): CF-VAD Induced Blood Dysfunction and Non-surgical Bleeding
    • Dr. Pierson (Cardiac Surgery): Immunomodulation for Heart Allograft Tolerance
    • Dr. Pierson (Cardiac Surgery): Coagulation and Adhesion Pathway to Protect Lung and Liver Xenografts
    • Dr. Lal (Vascular Surgery): Evaluation of Intimal Medial Thickness (HANDLS)
    • Dr. Bromberg (Transplant Surgery): Induction and Migration of Regulatory T cells: Role of Lymphotoxin
    • Dr. Bromberg (Transplant Surgery): Lymph Node Structure and Function in Tolerance: Role of Laminins
  4. Several Foundation or Society awards including:
    • Dr. Niederhaus (Transplant Surgery): Deceased donor kidneys with elevated terminal creatinine ( from National Kidney Foundation)
    • Dr. Kundi (Vascular Surgery): Functional benefit of exercise therapy after endovascular intervention in older patients with peripheral artery disease (from Soc. for Vasc. Surg.)
  5. A multi-corporation sponsored grant to Dr. Lal (Vascular Surgery) to develop the CREST 2 Registry - project that will lead to a rapid, regulated mechanism for introducing new medical technology in the treatment of disease


  • The rising chief residents in general surgery have matched into premium fellowships across the country including: plastic surgery fellowship at the University of Southern California, pediatric surgery fellow at St. Louis University, cardiac surgery at University of Miami as well as a vascular surgery fellowship here at the University of Maryland.
  • The Integrated 6 Cardiac Residency Program, one of a few in the country, recognized its first graduate, Dr. Zachary Kon.


The Department of Surgery received a total of $5.6 million dollars in new gifts and pledges from 350 donors. We were honored to receive the following gifts over $1 million:  $1.5 million pledge for a professorship in plastic and reconstructive surgery, $1 million pledge for an endowment in pediatric surgery, and $2 million outright gift for cardiac surgery. The resident research and education fund received a generous $100,000 pledge from a grateful medical school and general surgical trainee. Faculty in all divisions were recognized by grateful patients and their families with honor and memorial gifts.