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Clinical Outcomes Research


The Thoracic Surgery Clinical and Health Services Research Lab focuses on analysis of clinical and administrative databases to assess cancer care outcomes and patterns of care. Some of the databases used in the past by medical students and residents include the Yale Thoracic Surgery Database, National Cancer Database, SEER, SEER-Medicare, American College of Surgeons-NSQIP, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. Throughout the experience, medical students and residents are part of a multidisciplinary team and participate in collaborations with other disciplines, allowing them to gain the skills to be effective partners in research. Furthermore, through close work with statisticians and epidemiologists, students and residents gain essential tools in biostatistics that they can use in their future careers. Prior experience in database research, statistics and coding is very helpful but also can be learned while in the lab. The Thoracic Surgery Research Lab has been a productive experience for a number of residents with recent publications in JAMA Oncology, JAMA Network Open, Annals of Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Surgery, Lung Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology, often with surgery residents as first author.

The Thoracic faculty research mentors include

  • Dr. Daniel Boffa
  • Dr. Frank Detterbeck
  • Dr. Justin Blasberg
  • Dr. Vincent Mase
  • Dr. Andrew Dhanasopon

Recent surgery residents in the lab have included Matthew Deluzio, Brian Arnold, Alexander Chiu, Benjamin Resio, and Michelle Salazar.

Transplant and Immunology

The Tietjen lab utilizes ex vivo normothermic perfusion as a platform to improve outcomes in clinical organ transplantation. We have two primary areas of emphasis that we are interested in having residents participate in:

  1. Marginal organ viability assessment and repair; and
  2. Site-specific organ immunosuppression without global immune impairment
Projects within these areas are designed to take advantage of residents’ surgical skills and give them opportunities for continued skill development. Additionally, there are opportunities to partner with postdoctoral and PhD trainees in biomedical engineering to help develop skills in team science and ensure projects move forward quickly. Emphasis is on rapidly transitioning our research ideas to publication to help our residents establish a trajectory towards becoming successful surgeon scientists.


In the Division of General Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care, residents have spent their research years under the mentorship Robert D. Becher, MD MS. Dr. Becher’s main research focus is on the systems of care for non-trauma surgical emergencies, and how best to improve the quality and safety of general surgery operations performed non-electively, especially at the hospital-level. He has received multiple grants for this work, including a K-award and the AAST EGS Research Scholarship, and collaborates with researchers throughout Yale, including the Section of Geriatrics & the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, the Yale School of Public Health, and the Yale School of Forestry. Dr. Becher believes strongly that the research years are not only a time to publish, but very importantly are a time to develop research skills (statistical programming; knowledge of research methodologies; etc) and advanced training (such as enrolment in a MS or MPH or PhD program) that you will use throughout your academic career. As such, residents develop research ideas and areas of inquiry that are uniquely their own, and start to build a strong academic foundation. Resident research topics include gun violence & victims of violence, surgical health disparities, and machine learning for EGS and trauma.