2020 | January Issue
Section Head Corner
Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s 2020 is off to a great start. Since our last newsletter, there have been many highlights that you will see in our current issue. The clinical service has been very busy, and we are well ahead of our pace for clinical activity from last year. A number of events occurred in the past 3 months. In the newsletter, we will highlight: the Inaugural International Pediatric Renovascular Hypertension Symposium led by Dawn Coleman; the 30 th Annual Conrad Jobst Lecture delivered by Omaida Velazquez MD from the University of Miami entitled “Innovations in Critical Limb Ischemia”; and the inaugural Gerald B Zelenock Lecture on Medical Education delivered by Jeffrey P Gold MD from the University of Nebraska entitled “Disintermediation of Healthcare: Challenge or Opportunity.”  

In this issue, you will read about recent research highlights from the Gallagher laboratory, a feature on Assistant Research Scientist, Vasilina Filonova, many accomplishments and awards from staff, trainees and faculty, and results from the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS) Annual Meeting.

During the holiday season, I am extremely grateful to the Section of Vascular Surgery faculty for donating over $1,650 to Arbor Hospice.  We have been blessed to have expanded our Vascular Surgery family with the births of Beau Gregory Golden, Evan Junyoung Taw, Calista Sloan Obi and Gibson Pierce Obi. Finally, we lost one of the great family members in the section, Tony Dornhoff who passed away late November. Tony was a fixture among the Frankel CVC and Diagnostic Vascular Unit. He will be missed tremendously but his spirit, warm smile, and enthusiasm for life will remain with all of us.   

Please enjoy reading about the happenings in the Section of Vascular Surgery over the past 3 months.

- Tom W.  
A Brief Bulletin of Research Happenings
Throughout our quarterly newsletters, we will be providing brief updates from a sample of our research labs and happenings.
Gallagher Laboratory
From Dr. Gallagher: My research program investigates the role of epigenetic and metabolic alterations in myeloid-progenitor cells on peripheral macrophage phenotype in wound and other vascular tissues. As a vascular surgeon-scientist, I have had a long-standing interest in how the innate immune system influences inflammation and vascular disease. In particular, a large body of my work focuses on macrophage-mediated inflammation in wound healing. My work has shown that type 2 diabetes has a systemic effect on bone marrow myeloid progenitor cells that results in monocyte/macrophages that are polarized towards an inflammatory phenotype. Additionally, we have found that histone methyltransferase enzymes, such as SETDB2, are important in regulating tissue macrophage phenotype and controlling inflammation. Further, this enzyme, in addition to others, does not function properly in type 2 diabetes and the result is macrophages that cannot transition from an inflammatory to a reparative phenotype. This work may provide insight for other chronic inflammatory diseases, including abdominal aortic aneurysms and atherosclerotic disease, where epigenetic programming of cell phenotypes promotes inflammation.

Other noteworthy activity:

· Dr. Gallagher’s lab has produced 9 manuscripts this past year. Most notable was the manuscript in the high impact journal Immunity.

· This month, three of Dr. Gallagher’s mentees are presenting oral talks at Academic Surgical Congress in Orlando Feb 4-6, 2020: Frank Davis, MD, Chris Audu, MD, PhD., and W. James Melvin, MD.

· Katherine Gallagher, MD, will be inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) April 3, 2020 in Chicago. This is a prestigious membership with a rigorous application - Congratulations, Dr. Gallagher!
Gallagher Lab: Meet the Team
· Aaron denDekker, PhD, Research Investigator: After finishing his post-doctoral fellowship studying epigenetics in cancer, Aaron joined the Gallagher lab, first as a post-doc and then successfully transitioned to a Research Investigator position. He successfully obtained a K12 grant to fund his work with SETDB2. He is also part of the MICHR translational research program. His work focusses on the role of epigenetic enzymes, specifically MOF and SETDB2, in wound healing and metabolism. This past year he had a first author publication in the prestigious Journal of Investigative Dermatology .

· Frank Davis, MD, post-doctoral Fellow: Frank is a vascular surgery resident who joined the Gallagher lab two years ago. Frank has won numerous grants including an NIH F32 (perfect score!!), ACS Resident Research Grant, VESS Resident Research Grant and the Coller Grant. His work focusses on the role of the epigenetic enzyme JMJD3 in wound healing and aortic aneurysm disease. He is currently pursuing novel collaborations with Department of Dermatology exploring single cell RNA-sequencing in vascular biology. He has four first author publications this year from the lab in Immunity, ATVB and Journal of Immunology. In January, he won the Association of Academic Surgery Outstanding Resident Research Award for Basic Science.

· Sonya Wolf Fortune, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow:  After finishing her PhD in Immunology in Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg's lab, Sonya joined the Gallagher lab. She recently won a prestigious fellowship to support her work on keratinocyte-macrophage interactions in wound repair.

· Chris Audu, MD, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow:  Chris is a vascular surgery resident who joined the Gallagher lab last year. He is currently on clinical duties, but will officially spend 2 years in the Gallagher lab starting this July. He will study the role of Notch and STING in wound repair. He recently won the VESS Resident Research Award to support this work. 
· James Melvin, MD, Post-doctoral Fellow:  James is a general surgery resident who joined the Gallagher lab last year. He is currently on clinical duties, but will officially spend 2 years in the Gallagher lab starting this July. He will study the role of TLR4/PGE2 in wound repair. He is presently a finalist for the Academic Surgical Congress Resident Research Award. 

· Amrita Joshi, PhD, Senior Technician, Lab Manager:  Amrita continues to be the backbone of the Gallagher lab and is wonderful at teaching and assisting members of the lab with their projects.

· Brenda Ngyuen, BS, Technician:  Brenda is vital to the Gallagher lab in helping with complex genotyping of over 20 strains of mice.  
Trainee Updates
A few brief updates on some trainee happenings these past few months:

  • Gloria Kim is a finalist for the Department of Surgery Innovation Prize for her Stroke Alert project.
  • AJ Davidson had a chapter published in the Endovascular Resuscitation and Trauma Management textbook
  • Frank Davis is the recipient of the 2020 Moses Gunn Young Investigator Award.
  • Bobby Beaulieu and Anna Boniakowski both presented at the 2019 AHA Annual Conference
  • Lastly, we are proud to share the (bittersweet) news on the whereabouts of our outgoing Vascular Surgery fellow, Bobby, and resident, Anna -- who have both accepted positions following their June graduation. Bobby will be headed to Ohio State University and Anna will be headed to Portland's Maine Medical Center for the start of their careers. You both will be missed!
Robert Beaulieu on Twitter

@AnnaBoniakowski representing Michigan well setting the stage for PAD debate! A chance to cut is a chance to cure or is the prescription pen mightier???

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Dawn Coleman on Twitter

Congratulations @ChrisAuduMD and mentor @BTBKGMD !! @UoMVascSurgery @UMichSurgery #VESS2020 https://t.co/JotjWiidmU

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This Issue's Feature:
A Dedication to Tony Dornoff
On Saturday, November 30, 2019, a pillar of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Diagnostic Vascular Unit and Vascular Surgery family passed away. Tony Dornoff, Patient Services Assistant, is deeply missed, however, his legacy continues to live on with those fortunate enough to cross paths with him directly and with those that he impacted along the way.

From Sandy Brown, DVU Manager:
Tony started with the DVU in May 2007, just before the CVC opened, as our third Patient Services Assistant. His passion for always putting the patient first was immediately evident and he never stopped going above and beyond to make each and every patient’s day better. Tony never missed an opportunity to shake the hand and thank every veteran for their service whether a patient, family member, staff or anyone whose path he crossed. 

For many years Tony was a member of the CVC Floor 3 Recognition Committee. He enjoyed collaborating with staff from clinic, pathology, echo and EKG to plan floor wide events to celebrate staff including potlucks, “tailgates”, cook-offs, and holiday celebrations. Of these his favorites were always the Christmas Sock Exchange, Halloween Boo-grams and the Valentine-grams that raised money for the committee. One of the most successful, and memorable for staff, was the year Tony was in charge of the Valentine Carnations. His promotion of this event and selling the carnations for $1.00 each was a hit. True to his spirit, Tony personally delivered about 300 carnations throughout the CVC and everyone that day was talking about “Cupid Tony”.

Tony was instrumental in keeping the DVU running and functioning. He was a MiChart superuser and helped many on floor 3 during that roll out, and although he poked fun, he really was happy to wear the “superhero, superuser, big yellow t-shirt”! He was a mentor to many clerical, call center and surgery scheduler staff who rotated through the DVU for training, as well as to all the vascular sonography students through the years.  A little known fact was that he always gave each student a little gift to remember their time in the DVU at Michigan. His willingness to always try something new allowed him to impact many changes over the years, especially in the realm of scheduling and billing. In his final role as Patient Services Senior, he was an integral part of moving both the DVU and vascular surgery clinic operations forward through the optimization project, working especially close with the call center to improve access through decoupling DVU studies from clinic appointments. 

Above all, Tony was a compassionate soul who cared for others more than himself. Even as his health was declining, he was only worried about others, his family, his DVU and CVC family and his caregivers, thanking everyone and wanting to make them smile. His passing has left a big void in the DVU, but although we may not see Tony every day, he will always be with us in every Tony-ism that we fondly share, every song we hear that he sang and every time a memory brings a smile. So, as Tony would say “there’s no crying in baseball”, “the chicken is in the hen house, I repeat the frost is on the pumpkin”, “groovy like a drive in movie”, “never used to have this much snow on the roof”, “signing off the Big Guy”. What’s it all mean? Well, that Tony’s mission was accomplished, I bet you are all smiling.
For those who had the pleasure of knowing our beloved Tony, we truly can reminisce his magnificent presence and dedication he carried with him every single day. As part of our DVU (Diagnostic Vascular Unit) family, he showed such compassion for his work to both patients and staff. Tony was quite the Michigan Man and would always go the extra mile to show others the Michigan Difference. We can always cherish not only his motivational words but also his humor, unforgettable laugh, Tony-isms and of course his wonderful singing. He is forever missed, but never forgotten.
– Krystal Samulak, DVU Vascular Tech
A Day In the Life of: Vasilina Filonova
Vasilina Fil onova, PhD is an Assistant Research Scientist with the Computational Vascular Biomechanics Laboratory, led by Dr. Alberto Figueroa. She has shared some insights on her role and interests as a research faculty member with the Section.

From Vasilina:
My background is in Computational Mechanics. I received my PhD in Fluid Dynamics at the School of Mechanics and Mathematics at Moscow State University, Russia. I would say I received a classical mathematical education throughout my earlier years in Russia and focused on Mechanical Engineering during graduate school. I then moved to New York where I spent several precious years at Columbia University doing research on mechanics of heterogeneous materials and developing computational methods to describe averaging of material properties. Almost 3.5 years ago I moved to Ann Arbor and joined Prof. Figueroa’s group at UM where I found myself in an entirely new world applying computational mechanics to cardiovascular clinical research. 

I joined the lab in 2016 as a research fellow and was subsequently promoted to research faculty in 2018. My research is aligned with a goal of the lab to develop computational frameworks for blood flow simulations. We aim to provide state-of-the-art computational tools for clinicians to assist with the assessment and prediction of patient hemodynamics in various vascular diseases. My research interests include: modeling pulmonary circulation for patients with pulmonary hypertension; assessment of vascular tree morphometry; microcirculation; mathematical description of vascular homeostasis and growth and remodeling; and computational verification of methods we use for blood flow simulation. My main project deals with pulmonary circulation. Currently, I am pursuing a project on modeling Fontan circulation for young patients undergoing Fontan surgery. Besides doing my research, my responsibilities include consulting PhD students on their projects.

For many years my typical day would consist of writing programming code, formulating mathematical descriptions of models that I work on, reading papers or reports, and working on my own research papers, or peer-reviewing manuscripts from other researchers in the field. I would also have regular meetings with students, my advisor and other colleagues to discuss projects, in addition to research seminars. However, since recently, given my new role as a research faculty, I have been mostly focused on preparing proposals to pursue my own funding. Now I mostly read, write, plan logistics and try to communicate with collaborators. It takes time, patience and new skills that I am acquiring along the way. I am thankful to the department and the lab for their support during this transition.

The most exciting and enjoyable part of my work is extending my engineering/mathematical knowledge to clinical applications. I love being able to feel the impact of the research we do in the lab. Another aspect of my work that I enjoy is the opportunity to work in a group of very talented and motivated people of different backgrounds. Our lab consists of medical physicians, biomedical and mechanical engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians from multiple countries. We all have a lot to learn from each other!

Thank you, Vasilina, for your tremendous efforts to the team -- and Congratulations on your second child on the way, a baby boy expected in April!
Awards, Recaps & Recognition
We know there is great work happening all over the Section! Here's a collection of some of the awards, event recaps and recognition from this quarter. If we missed anything from your area, let us know so we can include it in the next issue.
  • In November, Dr. Eliason was awarded the 2019 Dean's Innovation and Commercialization Award. His innovation pertains to his development of REBOA. He was honored at a dinner hosted by the Medical School (pictured).

  • Dr. Figueroa was elected a Fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He was also awarded the Frankel Cardiovascular Center Aikens Aortic Grant award.

  • Dr. Henke received formal notice on funding for 4 years from the NIH for his RO1 project, "The Monocyte/Macrophage Role in Experimental Deep Vein Thrombosis Resolution and Vein Wall Injury" -- beginning February 2020.

  • In January, Dr. Corriere was inducted as the President of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society.
The months of November, December and January were busy months for the entire Vascular Surgery team -- aside from the bustling Holidays, we had team members participate in the AHA Annual Conference and VEITH Symposium in November; and others traveled for invited lectures, including Dr. Coleman to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Dr. Gallagher at the University of Miami as the JJ Karmacharya Visiting Professor. Dr. Vemuri also led the Frankel CVC Aikens Innovation Challenge in November. Whether traveling near or far -- the Vascular Surgery team had a great showing of maize and blue these past few months!
Thomas Wakefield on Twitter

A great day at the Frankel CVC Aikens Innovation Challenge and Aikens Academy Updates. Congratulations Chandu Vemuri and Hamid Ghanbari, Alberto Figueroa, Matt Corriere, Gloria Kim, and all involved!!

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Dawn Coleman on Twitter

Great talk from @UoMVascSurgery 's @AndreaObiMD highlighting the risks of breakthrough VTE #veith2019

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Robert Beaulieu on Twitter

The bosses (@henke1965 and @thomaswakefield ) getting work done. Awesome example of bringing basic science to the bedside!

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Thomas Wakefield on Twitter

Nick Osborne presenting at VEITH2019 on his work with the VQI and varicose veins in New York!

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30th Annual Conrad Jobst Lecture
On November 8th, we hosted Dr. Omaida Velazquez as the 30th Annual Jobst Lecturer. Dr. Velazquez is Professor and Chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System, and is the David Kimmelman Endowed Chair in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.

The title of her talk was "Innovations in Critical Limb Ischemia". In addition to her lecture, Dr. Velazquez participated in a resident and fellow luncheon with our partners at the Jobst Vascular Institute in Toledo (pictured here).

Inaugural International Pediatric Renovascular Hypertension Symposium
The University of Michigan multi-disciplinary Pediatric Renovascular Hypertension Center is co-directed by vascular surgeon Dawn Coleman, and nephrologist Zubin Modi. The website, which continues to evolve, can be accessed here. The Center continues to expand its network through intentional partnerships and how it is being marketed to patients and their families.

In November, the Inaugural International Pediatric Renovascular Hypertension Symposium was hosted at the University of Michigan , as supported by the Taubman Institute. The symposium was co-directed by University of Michigan vascular surgeon Dawn Coleman and The Hospital for Sick Kids nephrologist Rulan Parekh. A collaborative planning committee created the 2-day program with multi-disciplinary representation from additional centers of excellence, including: The Great Ormond Street Hospital (London), Boston Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

In total, 40 invited guests convened from 15 centers across 5 countries and 12 specialties alongside an additional 80 course registrants. The program was extremely successful, the participants fully engaged and the closed working group discussions quite productive. More work to come after these fruitful dialogues and ongoing partnerships!

Event guests from 15 centers across 5 countries and 12 specialties
Some of the Planning Committee members representative of centers across the globe
Inaugural Gerald B. Zelenock Lecture on Medical Education
The Inaugural Gerald B. Zelenock Lecture on Medical Education, hosted on January 9, 2020, was made possible due to contributions of Gerald B. Zelenock, MD. Dr. Zelenock began his academic career as a clinician and teacher at UM – where he received his MD degree from the UM in 1973, General surgery residency at UM in 1978, and then joined the faculty. He received the Galen’s Silver Shovel twice, the Kaiser-Permanente Award and the William W. Coon Teaching Award given by residents-in-training. Dr. Zelenock's national stature as an educator was underscored by the Association for Surgical Education’s Outstanding Teacher Award. His contributions to medical education also included new training paradigms and the economics of medical practice with 120 scientific articles, more than 50 book chapters, and 200 national/international presentations.

The Inaugural Lecture was provided by Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold – the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Vice President of the University of Nebraska System and the Chair of the Board of the Nebraska Medicine Health System. The title of his talk was "Disintermediation of Healthcare: Challenge or Opportunity."
Drs. Zelenock, Stanley, Gold and Wakefield standing in front of the new Zelenock plaque in Vascular Surgery
Dr. Zelenock, his wife Christine and daughters
Dr. Gold’s presentation, "Disintermediation of Healthcare"
Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS) Annual Meeting
The 44 th Annual Meeting for the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society (VESS) occurred at the end of January – at which Michigan Medicine’s Vascular Surgery team had a great showing among team members who attended and participated, including: Drs. Chris Adu, Anna Boniakowski, Dawn Coleman, Matt Corriere, AJ Davidson, Jon Eliason and Katherine Gallagher, and medical student Tiffany Bellomo.

Among the many highlights from VESS, include:
  • The induction of Dr. Corriere as the President of VESS
  • An update from Dr. Obi as the 2019 Early Career Faculty Award, which was provided by Dr. Gallagher in a talk titled "Epigenetic Influence on Macrophage Phenotype and Development of DVT"
  • Chris Adu was awarded the VESS/Medtronic Resident Research Award for his research with mentor Dr. Gallagher, titled "cGAS-STING Regulates Macrophage Mediated Inflammation in Diabetic Wound Healing”
  • Dr. Coleman provided a talk on “Keys to Success in Academic Vascular Surgery”
  • Dr. Eliason delivered the nominating Committee Report as immediate past President

  Scientific session presentations by:
  • Tiffany Bellomo, titled “Industry Compensation to Physician Vascular Specialist Authors of Highly Cited Aortic Aneurysm Manuscripts” – research conducted with Charles Hwang, Gloria Kim, Nick Osborne, Jim Stanley, and Matt Corriere
  • Anna Boniakowski, titled “Mid-Aortic Syndrome with Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease and Venous Stasis Ulceration” – research conducted with Bobby Beaulieu, Jon Eliason, and Dawn Coleman
Dawn Coleman on Twitter

Thanks for your leadership Dr Black as @VESurgery President for the last year!! Congrats to my friend and partner @MCorriereMD!! #GavelExchange

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Matthew Corriere on Twitter

UM medical student Tiffany Bellomo delivering the lead off scientific presentation @VESurgery oN industry compensation to authors of highly cited aortic aneurysm manuscripts #VESS2020 #GOBlue

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Other Announcements
Welcome to the New Additions to the Vascular Family!
Heather Golden, Clinical Research Coordinator, her husband (and daughter) welcomed their son, Beau Gregory Golden, into their family on November 15, 2019.
Gloria Kim, PGY-4, and her husband welcomed their son, Evan Junyoung Taw, into their family on December 11, 2019.
Dr. Obi and family welcomed twins into their family on December 24, 2019; daughter, Calista Sloan Obi and, son, Gibson Pierce Obi.
Dr. Wakefield and his wife, Mary, pay a visit to Calista and Gibson -- certainly Dr. Wakefield shared with the twins his stories on the wonderful field of Vascular Surgery!
Vascular Surgery Headlines
Extensive Vascular Surgery Helps Spare Cancer Patient's Leg

An extensive vascular surgery by a team of Michigan Medicine surgeons helped one patient get back on his bike.

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To Remember Her Surgery, a Young Mom's Unique Keepsake

After undergoing neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, one patient kept a unique souvenir.

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The Histone Methyltransferase Setdb2 Modulates...

Setdb2 regulates macrophage plasticity during normal and pathologic wound repair * Setdb2 expression in wound macrophages depends on IFN-I/JAK/STAT1 signaling * This pathway is altered in chronic diabetic wounds because of failed surge of IFN-I * ...

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