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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Surgery

Surgery Research Lab

Surgery Lab - SUNY Downstate

Surgery Research Lab Location:

Rooms B8-330 and B8-325, University Hospital of Brooklyn, Hospital Building, 8th Floor
450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203


  • Chongmin Huan M.D., PhD, Assistant Professor, Director of Surgery Research
  • Albert Stanek, M.D., Adjunct Associate Professor of Surgery & PathologyCathy Mueller (Laboratory Manager)
  • Cathy Mueller (Laboratory Manager)


The Department of Surgery at Downstate has all the advantages of an academic residency program. Apart from its College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate consists of a Graduate School with Molecular and Cell Biology as well as Neuroscience and Biotechnology programs (for PhD studies), a School of Public Health (for MPH and higher degrees) and collaborations with Brooklyn Polytechnic and CUNY’s Brooklyn College. These resources provide diverse opportunities for pursuing academic and scholarly activities, strongly encouraged by the Program Leadership – some of whom have active, strong, inter-disciplinary research programs of their own.

Each academic year the Department funds 2-3 Lab Residents for 1-3 years, recommended after completing PGY 2. The positions are competitively assigned. These fellowships are encouraged with PI’s within the department as well as with those in other clinical departments within the College of Medicine and/or in Biomedical Laboratory Research in the Graduate SUNY.

New developments in genomic medicine, Downstate Institute for Genomic Health and the just inaugurated Clinical and Translational Science Center in which our department participates offer expanded opportunities to pursue clinical research.

Residents with a pre-existing documented extra-mural strong research connection outside Downstate are also accommodated when such research has clearly articulated translational goals. Some residents obtain MPH or other graduate degree during research time. All residents have faculty mentors and expected to publish at list one peer-reviewed research paper per academic year.

Research Focus

  • Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Cancer
  • Molecular Pathways in Acute Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic Regeneration
  • Defective B Cell Tolerance in Lupus


  • May 2016: Murry Friedman Research Competition First Place
  • May 2016: Furchgott Award for Excellence in Research
  • October 2015: American College Of Surgeons, Scientific Forum Excellence in Research
  • May 2015: Murry Friedman Research Competition First Place

Selected Abstracts, Publications and Presentations

  • Edwards JA, Tan N, Toussaint N, et al. Role of regenerating islet-derived proteins in
    inflammatory bowel disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2020;26(21):2702-2714.
    doi:10.3748/wjg.v26.i21.2702 (2020)
  • Edwards JA, Breitman I, Kovatch I, Dresner L, Smith TY, Brunicardi FC, Schwartzman A.
    Lessons Learned at a COVID-19 designated hospital. Am J Surg. 2020 Aug 4:
    S0002-9610(20)30483-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.07.029. Epub ahead of print.
    PMID: 32778399; PMCID: PMC7402213. (2020)
  • Edwards JA. Mentorship of underrepresented minorities and women in surgery.
    Am J Surg. 2020 Sep 22:S0002-9610(20)30579-1. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.09.012.
    Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32994040. (2020)
  • Edwards JA et al. Risk Factors for Barotrauma in Intubated COVID-19
    Patients at University Hospital of Brooklyn. American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality & Safety Conference (Virtual) (7/2020)
  • Edwards JA, Edwards A, Edwards G, Overhead: ‘Code Blue at nursing Station 2!                 Intubation!’. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Faculty Governance Committee Meeting (9/2020)
  • Edwards JA. A Novel Approach for Suppressing Chemoresistance in Pancreatic
    Cancers via Antibody-mediated Blockade of Regenerating Proteins’
    Pro-Survival Signaling Pathway SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Department of Surgery Grand Rounds (8/2019)
  • Edwards JA. A Novel Approach for The Treatment of Lupus
    SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Department of Surgery Grand Rounds (8/2019)
  • Risk Factors for Barotrauma in Intubated COVID-19 Patients at University Hospital of Brooklyn
    Jodi-Ann Edwards MD, Minyoung Kwak MD MPH, Kunfeng Sung MPH, Schneider K. Rancy, Tari-Ann Yates MD, Jared Bienstock CCP, Melissa Daniel MD, Binyamin RA Abramowitz, Tiara Simon PA, Daniel Rubin PhD, Diogo Hildebrand PhD, Alexander Schwartzman MD MBA FACS, Igal Breitman MD FACS
  • Huan C, Kim D, Alfonso A, Stanek A.  “Mechanisms of Interleukin-22’s beneficial effects in acute pancreatitis” World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol.  2016 Feb 15;7(1):108-16. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v7.i1.108 PMID: 26909233
  • Valentin A, Abdel-Naby R, Stanek A, Persaud Y, Helmi C, Niewiadomska Z, Mueller C, Ou P, Alfonso A, Huan C.  “REG1 Promotes the Development of Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Cancer Cells Through Activation of AKT” Journal of the American College of Surgeons.  2015 Oct; 221(4):S94 Link  (Winner: Excellence in Research, Surgical Forum)
  • Okochi S, Stanek A, Xu M, Seiden L, Mueller C, Ou P, Iovanna J, Sugiyama G, Alfonso A, Huan C. Regenerating Islet-Derived 3a (Reg3a) Is Required for Acinar Cell NFkB Activation and Tissue Protection in Experimental Acute Pancreatitis. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2014 Sep; Vol. 219, Issue 3, S26  Link
  • Abdel-Naby R, Wang K, Song D, Bozentka J, LaFonte M, Ou P, Stanek A, Mueller C, Alfonso A, Huan C.  “Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase (ERK)-dependent p21 (WAF1/Cip1) Expression Is Associated with Gemcitabine Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer Cells” Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2014 Sep; Vol. 219, Issue 3, S27  Link
  • Chakraborty M, Lou C, Huan C, Kuo MS, Park TS, Cao G, Jiang XC. “Myeloid cell-specific serine palmitoyltransferase subunit 2 haploinsufficiency reduces murine atherosclerosis.” The Journal of clinical investigation. 2013; 123(4):1784-97. PMID: 23549085
  • LaFonte MW, Stanek A, Mueller C, Zenilman ME, Sugawara A, Alfonso AE, Huan C. “Identification of Reg1 as a novel stellate cell activator in regenerating pancreas”. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2013; 217(3):S18.  Link
  • LaFonte MW, Stanek A, Mueller C, Gainosuke S, Alfonso AE, Iovanna JL, Huan C. “PAP1/Reg3b dependant MAPK activation mediates pancreatic regeneration after partial pancreatectomy in mouse” Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2013; 217(3):S19.  Link
  • Fu S, Stanek A, Hassanain E, Oylborhoro O, Mueller C, Brown N, Huan C, Zenilman ME.  “Acute Pancreatitis (AP) in Aging Animals” World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul 14;18(26):3379-88. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i26.3379   PMID: 22807607
  • Boucher G, Stanek A, Sharma S, Mueller C, Sugiyama G, Weber T, Ghilardi N, Ouyang W, Alfonso A, Huan C.  “Endogenous interleukin (IL-23) protects against acinar injury in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated mouse severe pancreatitis”. 2012 Sep; Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 215, Issue 3, S23  Link
  • Fu S, Stanek A, Mueller CM, Brown NA, Huan C, Bluth MH, Zenilman ME.  “Acute Pancreatitis in aging animals: loss of pancreatitis-associated protein protection?” World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul 14;18(26):3379-88. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i26.3379. PMID: 22807607
  • Li Z, Fan Y, Liu J, Li Y, Huan C, Bui HH, Kuo MS, Park TS, Cao G, Jiang XC. “Impact of sphingomyelin synthase 1 deficiency on sphingolipid metabolism and atherosclerosis in mice.” Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2012; 32(7):1577-84. PMID: 22580896
  • Hassanain E, Huan C, Mueller CM, Stanek A, Quan W, Viterbo D, Bluth MH, Zenilman ME. “Pancreatitis-associated proteins' regulation of inflammation is correlated with their ability to aggregate.” Pancreas. 2011 Oct;40(7):1151-3. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3182218006  PMID: 21926556
  • Kim D, Stanek A, Mueller C, Zeilman ME, Weber T, Alfonso A, Ouyang W, Huan C.  “Interleukin 22: A novel mediator of inflammatory inhibition and tissue damage in acute pancreatitis” 2011 Oct; 213(3): S14-15  Link
  • Huan C, Zenilman ME.  “A proteasome inhibitor to treat acute pancreatitis?  Maybe …“ J Surg Res. 2010 Jul;162(1):39-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2009.10.024  PMID: 20085842
  • Liu J, Huan C, Chakraborty M, Zhang H, Lu D, Kuo MS, Cao G, Jiang XC. “Macrophage sphingomyelin synthase 2 deficiency decreases atherosclerosis in mice.” Circulation research. 2009; 105(3):295-303. PMID:19590047