Versaci Residents

Casasandra Parker, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term: 7/2019 - 6/2021
Mentor:  Wafik El-Deiry, MD

Research Project:  Dr. Parkers' research focuses on harnessing the TRAIL pathway with a novel combination treatment regimen to target gastric adenocarcinoma

Michael Danise, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term: 7/2019 - 6/2021
Mentor: Craig Lefort, PhD

Research Project: Neutrophil priming mechanisms and phenotype in hemorrhagic shock
Dr. Danise's research project involves understanding the mechanism and phenotype of hemorrhage induced neutrophil priming in  mice, with the eventual goal to genetically alter aspects of neutrophil priming to use in a transient cellular therapy

Michelle Wakeley, MD
PGY2 Surgical Resident
Term: 7/2018 - 6/2019
Mentor: Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research ProjectCheckpoint inhibitor protein modulation of immune dysregulation in neonatal sepsis
Dr. Wakeley's research attempts to identify novel targets for treatment of septic immune dysregulation by focusing on the role of checkpoint inhibitor proteins and their ligands including PD-1, PDL-1, and HVEM in modulation of neonatal sepsis in mice.

Molly Palilonis, MD
PGY2 Surgical Resident
Term: 7/2017 - 6/2019
Mentor: 

Research Project:  Dr. Palilonis researched burn injury and prevention both at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI and at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya.  

Eleanor Fallon, MD
PGY2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2015 - 6/2018
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Fallon’s research focuseed on investigating neonatal inflammation and sepsis, specifically the role of checkpoint proteins, such as Programmed cell death-1, in the modulation of the sepsis pathway.  

Tristen Chun, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2014 - 6/2016
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project:  Dr. Chun's research focused on investigating the role of innate lymphoid cells in inflammation and sepsis, specifically the role of interleukin-33 in mediating the production of Th-2 associated cytokines by Group 2 innate lymphoid cells, using a murine model of sepsis.

Currently: Dr. Chun is completing the Surgical Residency Program at RI Hospital.

Brittany Potz, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2014 - 6/2015
Mentor:  Frank Sellke, MD

Research Project: Dr. Potz' focus was on the discovery  of new medical therapies for coronary artery disease using a  novel  pig model of chronic myocardial ischemia in the setting of metabolic syndrome that translates to patients with CAD and their associated co-morbidities.

Currently: Dr. Potz is completing the Surgical Residency Program at RI Hospital.

Whitney Young, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2013 - 6/2015
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Young's focus was on the evaluation of immunologic alterations in sepsis, assessing expression and impact of Programmed Death-1 receptor and its ligand on hepatocytes following cecal ligation and puncture as a murine model for sepsis.

Currently: Dr. Young is completing the Surgical Residency Program at RI Hospital. 

John Young, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2012 - 6/2014
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Young's area of research was in the role of invariant natural killer T-cells in inflammation and sepsis, specifically the effect of Programmed death-1 and its ligand PD-L1 on these cells.

Currently: Dr. Young is a first year Cardio-thoracic fellow, Dept of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine in Queens, NY.

Maude Kettenman, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2011 - 6/2013
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project:  Dr. Kettenmann's area of research was the involvement of Herpes Virus Entry Mediator in septic mouse survival.

Currently: Dr. Kettenman a third year Resident-Dept, Emergency Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.

Nicholas Elisseou, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2010 - 6/2012
Mentor:  Jonathan Reichner, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Elisseou's research revolved around mechanosensing; studying how neutrophils interact with and react to the mechanical properties of their environment.

Currently:  Dr. Elisseou is completing the Surgical Residency Program at RI Hospital.

Sean Monaghan, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2009 - 6/2011
Mentor: Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Monaghan studied the role of PD-1 in trauma patients and in mice with indirect acute lung injury resulting from sequential shock and sepsis.

Currently: Dr. Monaghan completed a Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in 2015 and shortly thereafter joined University Surgical Associates and the Department of Surgery's Divison of Trauma at Rhode Island Hospital.

Rajan Thakkar, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2008 - 6/2010
Mentor:  Alfred Ayala, PhD

Research Project: Dr. Thakkar's research focused on the comparative contribution of epithelial vs. endothelial Fas expression to the onset of extra-pulmonary acute lung injury resulting from sequential shock and sepsis.

Currently: Dr. Thakkar is a pediatric surgeon and Associate Medical Director of the Trauma and Burn Programs at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH. 

Dipan Patel, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2008 - 6/2010
Mentor:  Jonathan Reichner, PhD

Research Project:  Dr. Patel had the opportunity to contribute to advancements in the field of mechanosensing by studying how white blood cells (neutrophils) respond to the mechanical properties of their environment, specifically substrate elasticity.

Currently: Dr. Patel is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at Grady Memorial Hospital, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

Alan Thomay, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2006 - 6/2008
Mentor:  Jorge Albina, MD

Research Project: Dr. Thomay's research included determining the role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in sterile inflammation and identifying the phenotypic characteristics of the wound macrophage.  Dr. Thomay also investigated the role of Interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R) on the fibrotic response of healing wounds.

Currently: Dr. Thomay is an Assistant Professor and specializes in general surgery and surgical oncology at Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in Morgantown, WV. 

Heather (Hansen) Hall, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2005 - 6/2007
Mentor: Jonathan Reichner, PhD

Research Project:  The role of cationic antimicrobial protein-37 in regulation of endothelial barrier function.

Currently:  Dr. Hall is a Medical Director in Vascular Surgery at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.

Hannah Huddleston, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2004 - 6/2006
Mentor: Thomas Tracy, MD

Research Project:  Molecular regulation of matrix metalloproteinase gene expression and activity in liver repair.

Currently:  Dr. Huddleston is a Board Certified Dermatologist in Carmel, IN.

Hadley (Smith) Ritter, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2003 - 6/2005
Mentor: Walter Biffl, MD

Research Project:  Hypertonicity attenuates transfusion induced endothelial cell activation via a mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade. 

Currently:  Dr. Ritter is a head and neck surgeon at Indiana University Health North Hospital in Carmel, IN.

Liana Tsikitis, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2002 - 6/2004
Mentor:  Jonathan Reichner, PhD

Research Project: Effect of fungally-derived beta-glucan on neutrophil; endothelial interactions.

Currently:  Dr. Tsikitis is a colorectal surgeon affiliated with the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, OR.

Eric Mahoney, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2001 - 6/2003
Mentor:  Jorge Albina, MD

Research Project:  Role of the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase in the regulation of inflammation and repair.

Currently:  Dr. Mahoney is a general surgeon in Critical Care at Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA.

David Singer, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2001 - 6/2002
Mentor:  Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD

Research Project:  Midface distraction using a new internal device following cleft palate repair in the congenital caprine model.

Currently:  Dr. Singer is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Paoli Hospital in Paoli, PA.

Paul Maggio, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2000 - 6/2002
Mentor:  Jack Wands, MD

Research Project: Overexpression of human aspartyl (asparaginyl)) beta-hydroxylase in breast cancer.

Currently:  Dr. Maggio is an Assoicate Professor of Surgery (General Surgery) at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Matthew Vrees, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2000 - 6/2001
Mentor:  Piero Biancani, MD, PhD

Research Project:  Inflammatory mediators and abnormal motor function of the colon in ulcerative colitis.

Currently:  Dr. Vrees is the Director of General Surgery and Colon & Rectal Surgery at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI.

Kevin Roggin, MD
PGY 2 Surgical Resident
Term:  7/2000 - 6/2001
Mentor:  Thomas Tracy, MD

Research Project:  The cellular and molecular mechanisms of matrix remodeling during liver repair after chronic injury.

Currently:  Dr. Rogin is the Program Director of the  General Surgery Residency Program at The University of Chicago Medicine in Chicago, IL.

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