Season 2, 2023

A podcast exploring basic, clinical, translational, and health services research from Stanford University's Department of Surgery through conversations with the authors.

Each episode focuses on a recently published paper by one of our faculty and/or trainees. Listen to the stories behind the data and be the first to hear what our PIs are working on next! 


Autologous Islet Cell Transplant with Dr. Vavara Kirchner

Dr. Varvara Kirchner, an associate professor in the Division of Abdominal Transplantation, explains autologous islet cell transplant. In addition to the procedure, its benefits, and its ideal candidates, she and host, Rachel Baker, also discuss the history of the procedure, Dr. Kirchner's mentors, and her future plans for the program.

The Cost of Firearms with Dr. Tom Weiser

Dr. Thomas Weiser attempted to take the politics out of the gun control topic buy looks at the dollars and cents of firearm injuries. After a first study showed that hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money was being used to pay for hospitalizations, he dug deeper and looked at the impact of firearm legislation and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

To read the paper published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, click here.

Learn more about the Gabby Giffords Gun Law Scorecard here.

Dr. Weiser is a Clinical Professor in the Division of General Surgery at Stanford University. He is a general, emergency, and trauma surgeon, and surgical intensivist. He is also the Director of Global Engagement for Stanford’s Department of Surgery.

A Career As A Surgeon Scientist with Dr. Jeffrey Norton

What does it take to become a surgeon scientist? Professor Emeritus Dr. Jeffrey Norton, who has been operating and conducting basic science experiments for more than 40 years, says the key is fun.

As he looks toward retirement, we take an opportunity to examine his legacy including his contributions to gene-directed surgery. We also talk about mentorship: his mentors Drs. Murray Brennan and Watts Webb, his mentees, and his mentorship philosophy.

If you want to learn more about the research Dr. Norton has inspired, please join us at his festschrift on Friday, October 13 at Stanford’s Center for Academic Medicine. RSVP here.

You can also watch his grand rounds presentation on hereditary diffused gastric cancer (CDH1 mutation) on YouTube.

Greening the OR with Dr. Paige Fox

DYK that one quarter to one half of all hospital waste is generated by the OR? Dr. Paige Fox, an Associate Professor in our Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, is trying to change that. She talks to us about her endeavor to green the OR using a method that she has shown works in different hospital settings and for different types of operations.

In addition to her sustainability work, Dr. Fox also operates a wet lab doing basic science and is the Director of Stanford’s PRS Residency Program. She gives us an update on her biosensor collaboration with Stanford School of Engineering legend Dr. Zhenan Bao and has advice for MS4s entering Match 2024.

Pediatric and Maternal Device Innovation With Dr. James Wall

What happens when an engineering major goes to medical school? You get someone like Dr. James Wall. Dr. Wall is a pediatric surgeon at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, but he’s also an innovator focusing on creating devices that solve health challenges faced by children and moms-to-be.

As Wall says during the show, children are 25% of the population, 100% of the future, but only a tiny percentage of medical patents. We talk about his work as a PI for the UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium and how one team of innovators made their idea a reality.

We also talk about his work as a Program Director for the Byers Center for Biodesign Fellowship Program and a new opportunity for global health made possible by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Special Two-Part Episode: Holman 2023 Poster and Podium Winners

Dr. Shaunak Adkar is a professional development resident in our Vascular Surgery Residency Program. He shares how he got involved in the Leeper Lab, finding a mentor in new faculty member Dr. Derek Klarin, and how he used a genome-wide association study to reveal shared heritability between intracranial aneurysms with aortic aneurysms and atherosclerosis.

Dr. Deshka Foster joins Scrubcast once again, but this time to talk about a different part of the fibroblast continuum: abdominal adhesions. Her winning presentation “Avoiding a ‘sticky’ situation: Translation of a sustained-release therapeutic to prevent abdominal adhesions” was six years in the making. She talks about her groundbreaking research and the importance of constantly digging deeper into a project.

In part 2 we speak with the winners in the clinical, educational, and health services research science category.

Dr. Vy Ho is a rising Chief Resident in our Vascular Surgery Residency Program. Like her colleague Shaunak, she also looked at aneurysms but from an HSR point of view. She shares her research recommended screening rates and possible barriers to care.

Dr. Kirbi Yelorda is a rising Chief Resident in our General Surgery Residency Program. As a future colorectal surgeon, it’s no surprise that her health services research project focused on colorectal cancer and how it is affected by social risk factors.

Treating Primary Hyperparathyroidism with Dr. Carolyn Dacey Seib

Dr. Carolyn Dacey Seib’s research focuses on primary hyperparathyroidism. We take a deep dive on some of her recently published papers including “Estimated Effect of Parathyroidectomy on Long-Term Kidney Function in Adults With Primary Hyperparathyroidism” in Annals of Internal Medicine  and “Risk of Fracture Among Older Adults With Primary Hyperparathyroidism Receiving Parathyroidectomy vs Nonoperative Management” in JAMA Internal Medicine. (Why internal medicine instead of surgery journals? We cover that too.)

Dr. Seib also shares her advice on how to position yourself to receive research grants (like the k76 she received from the NIH Institute on Aging) and what it’s like being an academic surgeon and starting a family.

Dr. Seib is an Assistant Professor in our Division of General Surgery’s Endocrine Section.

Are Vascular Surgeons Overusing Atherectomy? with Dr. Elizabeth George

Are vascular surgeons overusing atherectomy? Dr. Elizabeth “Lizzy” George joins the show to talk about modalities for treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and how possible policy changes could disincentivize atherectomy as a first-line treatment for intermittent claudication.

Dr. George is also the recipient of one of this year’s seed grants from the Department of Surgery. She shares a bit about her upcoming research endeavors as well as what it’s like to go from resident to faculty at the same institution.

AI-Based Video Segmentation with TECI Center

How can we make video-based review of surgical procedures more efficient?

Members of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center join the show to talk about their recent article published in the Journal of Surgical Research: “AI-Based Video Segmentation: Procedural Steps or Basic Maneuvers?”

To collect the data for this paper, the TECI team set up a booth at the 2019 American College of Surgeon Clinical Congress and asked surgeons of all expert levels to suture bowel while wearing a number of digital sensors. Despite some (hilarious) hiccoughs, they lived to tell their tale AND process mountains of data into an algorithm.

In this episode:
• Audrey Bowler, Executive Administrative Coordinator
• Sindhu Hosakote, Research Operations and Program Manager
• Calvin Perumalla, PhD Senior Research Engineer
• Brett Wise, Researcher and Fabrication Expert
• Su Yang, Research Data Analyst

Price Transparency in Healthcare with Dr. Cliff Sheckter

Dr. Clifford Sheckter joins the show to talk about a paper recently published in JAMA Surgery: “Commercial Price Variation for Breast Reconstruction in the Era of Price Transparency.” The Price Transparency Act in 2021 allowed Sheckter to gather data from hospitals across the country and compare the pricing of an important but nonemergent procedure. He explains the price differentials and correlations.

Dr. Sheckter also talks about his work as a burn surgeon at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – a Level I burn unit. As the winner of a Travel Fellowship from the American Burn Association he hopes to learn more about treating children who suffer from burn injuries.

Dr. Sheckter is an assistant professor in our Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts with Dr. Deshka Foster

Dr. Deshka Foster joins the show to discuss her recent paper published in Cancer Cell titled “Multinomic analysis reveals conservation of cancer-associated fibroblast phenotypes across species and tissue of origin.” 

We also talk about Dr. Foster’s career as a Stanford General Surgery resident. Dr. Foster says she was able to earn her PhD by adding an extra year onto her professional development time thanks to amazing mentorship and the Advanced Residency Training at Stanford (ARTS) Program.

Learn how she got interested in bench work, managed her time, got funding, and totally crushed it. 

p.s. “Desmoplasia” is actually spelled exactly how it sounds!