University Rounds

“Making it personal:  Personalized genomics in surgery"

Peter B. Dirks, MD
Division of Neurosurgery
The Hospital for Sick Children

Steven Gallinger, MD
Surgical Oncology Program
Mount Sinai Hospital

Lillian L. Siu, MD
Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair
Princess Margaret Hospital
Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
Auditorium, Main Floor
Women’s College Hospital

Newsworthy Items
Top 10 Points for Faculty to Remember about Undergraduate Medical Education
1.  Know the goals and objectives of the Deparment of Surgery program.
2.  Know the objectives of the course you are teaching.
3.  Be familiar with key policies about student injury.  As examples, know what to do when a student suffers a needlestick injury, or is mistreated. 
4.  Get involved as a PBL tutor, mentor or scholar.
5.  Take part in faculty development.  There are many ways to be involved!
6.  Watch your students interview and examine patients.
7.  Give the students regular and timely feedback.
8.  Be supportive and positive as role models.
9.  Help students understand what careers in medicine are about.
10. Complete your student evaluations in a timely manner.
Awards Received at the Cervical Spine Research Society Meeting
The Toronto Spine group paper: "Early vs. Late Surgical Decompression for Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: Results of the Surgical Trial in Spinal Cord Injury Study (STASCIS)" was selected as the outstanding clinical spine research paper by the Cervical Spine Research Society at the recent meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Toronto team also won two other awards --
Dr. Jefferson Wilson--neurosurgery resident and PhD student -3rd place award for residents and fellows for his paper.
Dr. Spyridon Karadimas (graduate student) received the second place basic science award for his paper: "A novel experimental model of cervical spondylotic myelopathy".
Successful Defence of Graduate Degrees
Bartolomeu Nascimento, Trauma Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre successfully defended his Master’s degree thesis through the Institute of Medical Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Sandro Rizoli.
Vanessa Palter successfully defended her PhD Thesis on the design and validation of a comprehensive competency-based simulation curriculum in laparoscopic colorectal surgery.  Her supervisor was Teodor Grantcharov. 
Mark Bernstein and Team Perform International Surgery Outreach in Ibadan and Sokoto Nigeria
Mark Bernstein, Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair in International Surgery, traveled to Nigeria this month with a team to teach neurosurgeons and residents the technique of awake craniotomy.  Mark also delivered several lectures in the cities of Ibadan and Sokoto.  He returns from 2 weeks in Nigeria after teaching and lecturing at 2 hospitals.  The photo depicts Mark in the company of his host neurosurgeon and family in their home.

Do Surgeons Need Coaches?
I encourage you to go to this link in the New Yorker to an article written by Surgeon-writer Atul Gawande who describes his experience in improving his own surgical technique through the use of a surgical coach.  I would like to thank Dr Ralph Manktelow, former Chair of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, for bringing this article to my attention.
Cardiac Surgery Team Discovers Common Roots Between Heart Disease and Breast Cancer

St.  Michael's cardiac surgeon Subodh Verma and his team have discovered a unique relationship between heart disease and gynecological cancers. In their study published in Nature Communications this month, Subodh and colleagues have shown that mice with a mutated BRCA1 gene had a 3-5 times higher incidence of death related to profound heart failure. Their findings suggest that BRCA1 may prevent DNA repair in muscle cells essential for recovery after a myocardial infarction. Their results have direct practical implications as doxorubicin is a common drug used to treat breast cancer. However doxorubicin has cardiac toxicity. Hence the need now to carefully consider how much drug to give in women with breast cancer who harbour the BRCA1 mutation.

Congratulations to Subodh and his colleagues for this high impact publication, and the attention it has received.

Hockey Tournament
The Department of Surgery is organizing a hockey tournament in February 2012.  If you are interested in participating, please let Stephanie know at s.neilson@utoronto.caor 416-946-4003.  Teams will be formed on a Divisional basis.
Slo-pitch Tournament
The Department of Surgery will be hosting a slo-pitch tournament in the spring of 2012.  If you would be interested in signing up for this event, please let Stephanie know at s.neilson@utoronto.caor 416-946-4003. 
Honours and Awards
Charles Tator Receives Council Award from The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Charles Tator, Professor of Neurosurgery, has received a Council Award from the CPSO recognizing his longstanding interests in patient care, teaching, research and advocacy.
Homer Tien Receives Order of Military Merit
Colonel Homer Tien, Medical Director of Sunnybrook’s Tory Regional Trauma Centre was invested with the Order of Military Merit on December 2 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The Order of Military Merit is given to those members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have demonstrated dedication and devotion beyond the call of duty, achieving conspicuous merit and demonstrating exceptional military service. 

New Cardiac Surgery Teaching Awards Granted to Faculty
The Hospital for Sick Children – The William G. Williams Award – Dr. Glen Van Arsdell
St. Michael’s Hospital – The James Yao Award – Dr. David Latter
Toronto General Hospital – The Lynda L. Mickleborough Award – Dr. Terry Yau
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre – The Bernard Goldman Award – Dr. George Christakis

High Impact Papers Hot Off the Press
Clavien PA, Lesurtel M, Bossuyt PMM, Gores GJ, Langer B, Perrier A.  Recommendations for liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: an international consensus conference report.  Lancet Oncol  DOI:10:1016/S1470-2045(11)70175-9
Filio Billia, Ludger Hauck, Filip Konecny, Vivek Rao, Jie Shen, Tak W. Mak. P-TEN inducible kinase 1 (PINK1/PARK6) is indispensable for normal heart function. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2011; 108: 9572-77 (epub ahead of print).
Fourney DR, Frangou EM, Ryken TC, Dipaola CP, Shaffrey CI, Berven SH, Bilsky MH, Harrop JS, Fehlings MG, Boriani S, Chou D, Schmidt MH, Polly DW, Biagini R, Burch S, Dekutoski MB, Ganju A, Gerszten PC, Gokaslan ZL, Groff MW, Liebsch NJ, Mendel E, Okuno SH, Patel S, Rhines LD, Rose PS, Sciubba DM, Sundaresan N, Tomita K, Varga PP, Vialle LR, Vrionis FD, Yamada Y, Fisher CG. Spinal instability neoplastic score: An analysis of reliability and validity from the Spine Oncology Study Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2011 Aug 1;29(22):3072-7.
Schliehe C, Redaelli C, Engelhardt S, Fehlings M, Mueller M, van Rooijen N, Thiry M, Hildner K, Weller H, Groettrup M. CD8-Dendritic cells and macrophages cross-present poly(D,L-lactate-co-gylcolate) acid microsphere-encapsulated antigen in vivo. The Journal of Clinical Immunology. 2011 Sep 1; 187(5):2112-21.
Yu WR, Fehlings MG.  Fas/FasL-mediated apoptosis and inflammation are key features of acute human spinal cord injury:  implications for  translational, clinical application   Acta Neuropathol. 2011 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]
Have a new high impact paper in press or published?  Let us know at
For further information on divisional events, please go to the Surgery Bulletin Board