Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Surgery

Faculty Research

Antonio E. Alfonso, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Distinguished Teaching Professor, Clarence & Mary Dennis Research Professor & Chairman, Department of Surgery

  • Thyroid cancer management outcomes.
  • Pancreatic regeneration.
  • Parathyroid disorders.

Joshua Burack, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery - Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

  • Lung cancer screening and outcomes in an underserved urban population.
  • Creation of a living textbook of Human Anatomy

Chongmin Huan, PhD, M.D. and Albert Stanek, M.D.
(Professor of Pathology)

Dr. Huan - Assistant Professor, Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory
Dr. Stanek - Professor of Pathology

The laboratory focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of pancreatitis, chemotherapy resistance in human pancreatic cancer cells and mechanisms of pancreas regeneration using transgenic mice.

  • Having identified the pancreatic acinar cell protein Reg 1 as a physiological activator of stellate cells required for normal pancreas regeneration and discovered differential anti-inflammatory and tissue protective effects of the related PAP1 and PAP2 proteins via NF?B activation in acinar cells, the lab is using PAP1 KO and PAP2 KO mice to explore new therapeutic approaches to pancreatic disease.
  • Investigation of Reg/PAP- associated signals that directly activate PI3K/Akt and ERK signaling in pancreatic cancer cells.
  • Collaboration with the Departments of Cell Biology and Medicine studying novel functions of sphingolipid synthesizing enzymes in the regulation of cell polarity and the pathogenesis of autoimmunity in mice and humans.

Lisa S. Dresner, MD, FACS

Program Director - Associate Professor of Surgery

  • Choice of breast conservation vs reconstruction
  • Surgical Education
  • Optical tomography and breast cancer identification / screening

John G. Kral, M.D.

MD, PhD, FACS – Professor of Surgery, Medicine and Molecular and Cell Biology - studies mechanisms for the chronic overnutrition syndrome, “obesity” with a view to prevention and treatment.

  • Predictors of gestational weight gain and maternal-fetal health leading to childhood obesity, using questionnaires, anthropometric measurements and assays of cortisol and regulatory peptides. Private funding.
  • Epigenetic markers explaining mechanisms of beneficial metabolic effects of maternal bypass surgery on subsequent pregnancy outcomes and offspring diseases carried into adolescence. In collaboration with the Department of Surgery and Institute of Nutrition at Laval University, Quebec City. Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • Intestinal perfusion with macro-nutrients in spontaneously obese non-human primates to identify metabolic mechanisms of weight loss and assess the kinetics of mucosal adaptation. Collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. Funding: NIH.
  • The predictive capacity of phenotypes and polymorphisms affecting outcomes of mechanistically different operations for severe metabolic obesity. Multi-national collaboration with surgeons, endocrinologists and geneticists in Europe. Funding: Various European agencies.
  • Novel exercise program using a NASA-developed anti-gravity treadmill (AlterG) to study carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, muscle lipid and body composition in obese middle-aged women in Downstate’s catchment area. Private funding
  • Comparative GWAS studies of primate species' differences in stress, energy balance and oncogenes. Collaboration with Molecular Pathology at Columbia University. NIH grant submitted
  • Intracerebral drug delivery via a subdural pharmacodialysis device in sheep. Collaboration with Nandor Ludvig MD, PhD and Dept of Neurology. (NIH, submitted).

Thomas McIntyre, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery – Kings County Medical Center – studies Urban Health in local and international settings from a surgical perspective

  • Mental illness and trauma
  • Outcomes in inner-city safety-net hospitals
  • Road traffic injuries in central Brooklyn
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor experience at an urban safety-net hospital

Robert DiRaimo, M.D. & Mark Song, M.D.

Dr. DiRaimo - Assistant Professor of Surgery, Director - Vascular Surgery Lab.
Dr. Song - Assistant Professor of Surgery , Chief, Division of Vascular Surgery

  • Vein anatomy and diameter related to body habitus and vascular complications of hemodialysis.
  • Disparities in surgical subspecialty recruitment.

Gainosuke Sugiyama, MD, FACS

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Clerkship Director

  • Outcomes of hernia repair in patients with ESRD.
  • Robotic surgery: Comparison with laparoscopic approach in HIV patients.
  • Exam-focused lectures' effects on NBME Shelf examination performance of third year medical students.
  • 30-Day postoperative mortality risk score for coronary artery bypass graft surgery using the ACS NSQIP database.

Thomas K. Weber, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery - Director of Surgery VAMC, Brooklyn leads projects investigating the genetics of predisposition to colorectal cancer. Goals include improving patient access to state-of-the-art cancer and genomics research.

  • Causes of the increasing rates of colorectal cancer among young men and women in the United States.
  • Overall contribution of specific genetic elements to colorectal cancer incidence in special populations.
  • Carrier frequencies of pathologic alleles in genes associated with CRC incidence in the general population.
  • Novel genetic elements associated with CRC predisposition through linkage, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and haplotype analyses and genome wide association studies (GWAS).
  • Whole exome / whole genome sequencing to identify novel genetic elements associated with colorectal cancer incidence. Collaboration with New York based academic medical centers.
  • Above genetic methods applied to oligopolyposis patients and those with multiple and/or large adenomatous polyps not fitting classic clinical definitions of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or the Lynch syndrome(s).