Vascular Voices
2019 | October Issue
Section Head Corner
Welcome   to our first issue of our quarterly newsletter, “Vascular Voices.” I am very excited that we are beginning this format to share with all the great happenings in the Section of Vascular Surgery. In this first offering, you will see activities in some of our fantastic research laboratories, education updates, clinical activity updates, upcoming events, and awards won by faculty, staff and trainees. We also have a feature we are calling “A Day in the Life,” the first highlighting our clinical research coordinator Heather Golden. I hope you will agree with me that this is an exciting time in Vascular Surgery and we have much to celebrate and be thankful for. 

Future issues will rotate in topics from all areas of our Section's efforts and initiatives including: additional research labs; inpatient and outpatient clinical support teams; alumni updates; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and our activities in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. We hope to bring you a splash of content from all of our missions on a quarterly basis.

Stay tuned and enjoy the first issue of “Vascular Voices.”

- Tom W.  
A Look Back: Clinical Activity & Research Funding
The Section of Vascular Surgery continues to be busy when it comes to clinical activity and research -- as a snapshot, shown here are the last few years for case volumes and research funding. Due to a few extended absences among clinical faculty in FY19, we anticipate FY20 to ramp back up to FY18 numbers and then some. FY20 has been off to a great start with an 8% increase in activity.

In terms of NIH Award Highlights, Vascular Surgery has already received $2,857,084 in committed NIH Awards for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019, which is a 5.8% increase over last year’s total NIH funding. Successful funding of a new K08 application by Dr. Nicholas Osborne pushed the FFY 2019 YTD funding total past the level of FFY 2018 funding.
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.
Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratories
  • The Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Labs (CJVRL) just wrapped one of the busiest summers ever with 10 student trainees.

  • Medtronic award to Drs. Obi and Myers for project titled, "Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) Thrombectomy: Swine DVT Model Development."

  • Angie Hawley celebrated 20 years with Vascular Surgery on August 1 - thank you, Angie, for your years of dedication!
Computational Cardiovascular Biomechanics Lab
· Jonas Schollenberger (pictured), a 5th year PhD student in the lab, recently won the overall student paper award at the SB3C Computational Biomechanics and Diagnostic Models PhD competition. 

· The lab recently submitted a “Frontiers” proposal to the National Science Foundation “Cyber-Physical Systems” entitled: “A Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems with Applications to Medicine and Natural Hazards.”

· The lab held a CRIMSON Software Workshop at the CMBBE2019 in Columbia University.

· Jonas Schollenberger has just published the article: “Practical considerations for territorial perfusion mapping in the cerebral circulation using super-selective pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling.” To appear in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. DOI: 10.1002/mrm.27936

· Dr. Vasilina Filonova has just gotten the following article accepted: “Verification of the Coupled-Momentum Method with Womersley’s Deformable Wall Analytical Solution.” To appear in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering.

· Dr. Figueroa just attended the 2019 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) Conference in San Francisco (Sept. 2019).

· Dr. Figueroa will be presented at the 11 th European Symposium on Vascular Biomaterials, in Strasbourg, France (Oct. 2019).

· Dr. Figueroa and Kritika Iyer will be attending the 2019 IMAG Machine Learning and Multi-Scale Modeling Symposium at the NIH (Oct. 2019).
Diagnostic Vascular Unit
  • Pictured here is the recent DVU outing at Painting with a Twist -- proving they are not only Picasso's with a transducer but with a brush, too!
  • Welcomed Michael Murray who started as a temporary Patient Services Assistant. He will be assisting in the CVC DVU in both technical assistant and scheduling roles during Tony’s leave. Our tech assistant, Shirley Kibbie, has also taken on scheduling duties to assist during this time.
  • Tony continues to be in good spirits and would like to let everyone know that he misses his vascular surgery family and is working hard to return. 
  • As a result of the vascular surgery clinic optimization project and through the collaboration with the call center, the implementation of decoupling studies from the clinic visit for new patients has been a success. Since the decoupling of studies, the bottle neck of coordinating the DVU and clinic appointments has been eliminated thus improving new patient access. An added benefit has been improved utilization across all DVU sites.
  • Through this project the DVU has also begun working on our DVU orders to make them more intuitive and easier to use.
  • On the patient care side of things, we would like to remind everyone the TCOM machine is out for repair.  We are awaiting an update from clinical engineering and will pass that along to the clinical care team.
Trainee Updates
AJ Davidson (pictured right) successfully passed in General Surgery Certifying Exam - Congratulations!

Frank Davis was awarded the
1) American Heart Association Peripheral Vascular Disease Travel Grant 2019
2) Association of Academic Surgery Subspecialty Young Investigator Award 2019

Finally, we are excited to be approaching the 2020 residency interview season and will be hosting our first round of candidates in December.
Matthew Corriere on Twitter

Congratulations to @BTBKGMD and @FrankMDavisMD for their paper in Cell Immunity. Surrounded by great scientists @umichCVC

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Thomas Wakefield on Twitter

Bobby Beaulieu presenting his great work at the 65th meeting of the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society which won this year's Jobst Award with senior mentor Peter Henke! Congratulations Bobby!!

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Matthew Corriere on Twitter

Dr. Gloria Kim and UM student Tiffany Bellomo presenting research from @@UoMVascSurgery at #SMDM19 ! Lucky to work with such bright and talented investigators!

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This Issue's Feature: Clinical Trials
Check out the list of all Clinical Trials Vascular Surgery is actively enrolled in. For more information, contact Heather Golden at or Linda Batrow at

CREST 2 : (Carotid revascularization for primary prevention of stroke) Two independent multicenter, randomized controlled trials of carotid revascularization and intensive medical management vs medical management alone in patients with asymptomatic high-grade carotid stenosis.
  • PI: Osborne
EXCLUDER AAA : (Assessment of the GORE EXCLUDER Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis in the treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms). Prospective, non-randomized, international, multicenter study comprised of two parallel sub-studies to assess the safety and effectiveness of the Gore Excluder-C AAA endoprosthesis to treat an infrarenal aneurysm located in the abdominal aorta.
  • PI: Eliason
BEST-CLI*:  (Best Endovascular vs Best Surgical Therapy in Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia). Comparing the effectiveness of best available surgical treatment with best available endovascular treatment in adults with critical limb ischemia who are eligible for both treatment options. Patients are randomized to receive either open surgical treatment or endovascular treatment.
  • PI: Henke
PHOTO-V*:  (Post-market, prospective evaluation of PHOTO-oxidized decellularized bovine pericardium used as a patch in Vascular repair and reconstruction surgery). Post-market study to provide additional information on risks, benefits, and optimal use for the CryoLife PhotoFix patch.
  • PI: Osborne
MRI in Cerebral Blood Flow : (Quantification of cerebral blood flow and tissue perfusion in patients with cerebrovascular occlusive disease by combining imaging and computational methods). Candidates have an MRI before and after planned CEA/stent for stenosis to compare perfusion differences. For patients being medically managed, they will have one MRI at initial recruitment. 
  • PI: Figueroa

PAD Epigenetics : A longitudinal cohort study seeking to find associations between inflammatory epigenetic signatures from peripheral blood monocytes and clinical outcomes in PAD.
  • PI: Gallagher and Corriere

Surgical Informed Consent: (Patient eye tracking during preoperative review of informed consent documents) Non-randomized, single-center study using a screen-mounted eye tracking system to evaluate how pre-operative patients review and process informed consents based on regions of interest.
  • PI: Corriere

Social vs. Conventional Survey Sampling: (Comparing respondent-driven versus convenience-based sampling for clinical survey research) Non-randomized, single-center study utilizing social media to explore ways that respondent-driven sampling (including both patient and healthcare provider participants) can be leveraged to support identification, recruitment, and enrollment of candidates unknown and otherwise inaccessible to the investigator.
  • PI: Corriere
Frailty Phenotyping: (Frailty phenotyping to improve cardiovascular treatment selection and outcomes) Non-randomized, single-center study using a convergent parallel design mixed methods approach including visual assessment and grip strength measurement, to characterize the frailty phenotype in patients with cardiovascular disease.
  • PI: Corriere

*No longer actively recruiting for these studies - recently transitioned to follow-up only.
A Day In the Life of: Heather Golden,
Clinical Research Coordinator
A Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) plays an important role in ensuring the success of a research site and is often considered the “heart” of a clinical trial - the champion of the protocol, the guardian of the patients, and the taskmaster of the research study team. We are held to high levels of ethical standards and data integrity. A typical day in the life of my job as a CRC for the Section of Vascular Surgery is often a mix of juggling multiple priorities beginning between 6-7am each day and ending around 3-4p, with occasional work required outside of normal hours to ensure that investigator concerns or questions are addressed quickly. My morning begins with preparing for patient visits, checking emails, and filing paperwork. Depending on the day, I may have one or two study patient visits lined up for the day, mixed in with patients that are being seen in clinic that I’ll need to speak to about their participation in a study. Each study patient visit varies in length, complexity, and follow up after the patient has left to go on with their day. Many days I’ll be paged to speak to new patients in clinic about enrolling into one of our studies. When not seeing patients, I’m able to return to my office to work on my administrative duties, which for a typical day includes scheduling and tracking patient or monitor visits, performing data entry, preparing and reviewing IRB submissions, conference calls with study sponsors, meetings with investigators and the CTSU, maintaining regulatory binders, and reviewing upcoming OR and clinic schedules to identify potential patients to enroll into a clinical trial. 

What she loves about her job: No day is ever the same!

Fun Fact: Heather has a daughter and is expecting her second child, a boy, around the end of October. Another fun fact is that she still holds the record for most “kills” and blocks in volleyball in her high school sports hall of fame, with 306 kills and 119 blocks in a season. She says she expects nothing less from her daughter!
Awards, Recaps & Recognition
We know there's 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.
Dr. Andrea Obi Named 2019 Wylie Scholar
Dr. Andrea Obi received the 2019 Wylie Scholar Award for her work on “Impact of bone marrow progenitor cells epigenetic memory on venous thrombus formation and resolution.” Her lab seeks to better understand how blood clots in our veins form, the root cause of life-threatening conditions known as  Deep Vein Thrombosis  (DVT) and  Pulmonary Embolism  (PE).

  • Dr. Corriere was honored at the American Heart Association's Heart Ball with the Sarns Innovation Excellence Award, celebrating his professional accomplishments resulting in medical breakthroughs contributing to longer, healthier lives in our community
Dawn Coleman on Twitter

GoBlue! #MVSS2019

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  • Dr. Osborne was awarded a K08 Grant for his project titled, "Understanding Real-World Outcomes of Endovascular Treatment of Claudication.”
Matthew Corriere on Twitter

Honored to have @VascularSVS International Scholar Dr. Christian Behrendt visiting @UMichSurgery @umichCVC from University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf 🇩🇪

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Katherine Gallagher on Twitter

Look at my amazing partner @MCorriereMD and friend winning the innovation award from the AHA! 💥 that's how it's done. @UMichSurgery

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  • Dr. Ghosh was awarded a CVC Travel Grant to present at the Annual D. Dan and Betty Kahn Symposium in Biomedical Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

  • Dr. Vemuri was appointed by the University of Michigan Medical Group (UMMG) as the Ambulatory Care Clinical Chief (ACCC) for Vascular Surgery (3-year commitment); also selected by the Department of Surgery to serve as the Vice Chair of Business Intelligence (3-year commitment).
  • Dr. Coleman (pictured above) was inducted into the second cohort of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™ on October 4th in Chicago. Dr. Coleman is among a group of 83 esteemed surgical educators inducted into membership in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™.

  • More to come: anticipated R01 funding for both Dr. Henke and Dr. Gallagher. Congratulations to all of those involved for scoring within fundable range!
Vascular Surgery Headlines
Integrating Military Service into an Academic Surgical Career
I confess, my pathway to academic surgery at the University of Michigan has been non-traditional. It started with my early enthusiastic steps toward a career in ‘Disaster Medicine’. Born of a family with a strong history of military service, and drawn to the University of Michigan by a very academic Emergency Medicine Residency, I commissioned with the US Army Reserve as a Captain in 2003. It was a decision that I made independently, and quietly, without the consultation of family, friends or mentors. It was a decision I thought might complicate my future relationships and academic potential. It was a decision that I made, however, without hesitation or regret as I felt a compelling need to serve our Country selflessly and to be a part of something much bigger than any one individual.

I continue to serve because I am certain this experience makes me a better surgeon, a better leader, a better friend, a better wife, a better mother and a better human. 

How an App Can Help PAD Patients Choose Their Care Plan

Tough conversations - and treatment decisions - are necessary after a complex diagnosis. A Michigan Medicine vascular surgeon designed a tool to help start them.

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Chronic Back Pain Leads to Serious Vascular Diagnosis

An unexpected diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome led to surgery and relief for one patient suffering from severe back pain.

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Why Do Venous Stents Fail?

An article with the American Venous Forum from Dr. Obi -- see page 19.

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Upcoming Events
Introducing the new FCVC Education & Events Calendar
Bookmark the calendar link at and visit often to stay up to date with educational opportunities, professional development seminars, symposiums, and other events happening at the CVC and across campus!

...Including check out the upcoming 11/14 FCVC Innovation Challenge and Innovation Grand Rounds!