ORBIT Overview

orbit logoThe Office of Research, Biomedicine, Innovation and Technology—ORBIT—supports and promotes research, innovation and global surgical activities in the Department of Surgery at VCU School of Medicine. Through coordinated avenues of basic science research and translational research/clinical trials, ORBIT supports the development of true surgeon-scientists. 

ORBIT facilitates multidisciplinary research by matching surgeons with like-minded scientists in fields such as engineering, biochemistry, pharmacology, arts, and outcomes research. These collaborations support academic surgeons to develop their ideas into testable hypotheses, experimental models, and tangible outcomes resulting in market-based discoveries.

See: Virginia Biotechnology Research Park

In addition, ORBIT contributes to improving opportunities and partnerships in the areas of global surgery education, mentorship, research, skills training, and clinical care. We feel this infrastructure will enable us to recruit the best researchers in the field of surgery, as well as support our current faculty to secure research funding.

See: VCU Office of Research and Innovation

As an emerging leader in surgical collaborations, ORBIT provides:

  • Support and mentorship to junior faculty and researchers who are interested in pursuing external funding; connecting them with research mentors. 

  • Resources to assist with notification and distribution of internal and external funding opportunities and supplement competitive projects.

  • "Start-to-finish" administrative support to improve communication and reduce duplication of tasks.

  • Financial incentives such as our Internal Grant Program, Housestaff Research Award, or Faculty NIH Grant Submission Award.

Research by the Numbers



in funded clinical trials



in grant-funded research awards



in peer-reviewed educational, medical, and research journals



in total grants to support Global Surgery

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research is about possibilities. We're doing our part to make those possibilities a reality. We're committed to providing you with the very best treatment opportunities. Some of those opportunities are only available through clinical trials. 

Clinical research at VCU Health
What is Clinical Research? What is Clinical Research?
Our research programs are focused on you, providing you with access to diagnostic and treatment options not yet widely available.

Christine B. & David E. Cottrell Surgical Innovation Laboratory

vk posing with cottrells

In gratitude for and acknowledgement of the generous gift from Christine and David Cottrell, VCU School of Medicine announces the new surgical innovation laboratory will be named in their honor.

About the Christine B. & David Cottrell Surgical Innovation Laboratory

Meet the Co-Chairs of ORBIT

ORBIT: Where team-based science can flourish.

Adam P. Klausner, M.D.
Associate Chair, Clinical and Translational Research
Eminent Scholar and Warren Koontz, M.D., III, Professor of Urology Research
Director, Neuro-Urology & Voiding Dysfunction
Program Director, Urology Residency

Martin J. Mangino, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Basic Science Research
Professor, Departments of Surgery; Emergency Medicine; Physiology and Biophysics (joint appointments)

Contact ORBIT

h&s amanda_ORBIT

Amanda Jabri
Research Coordinator
(804) 828-8290

2019 Surgery Residents & Fellows Research Day

April 4, 2019 7:00 am–12:00 pm

Join the Department of Surgery on April 4 for Surgery Research Day at George Ben Johnston Auditorium. Our 2019 Visiting Professor and guest judge is Timothy Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Ohio State University College of Medicine and the Urban Meyer III and Shelly Meyer Chair of Cancer Research. 

Learn More about Dr. Pawlik


7:00 AM __ Grand Rounds, Guest Speaker, Timothy Pawlik, MD, Ph.D., MPH
George Ben Johnston Auditorium
305 N 12th St, Richmond, VA 23219
Moderator: Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD, Stuart McGuire Professor and Chair, VCU Department of Surgery

8:00–8:50 __ Continental Breakfast, George Ben Johnston Foyer

9:00 __ Welcome & Introduction of Visiting Professor & Judges by Martin Mangino, Ph.D., Associate Chair for Basic Science Research

2019 Judges:

Timothy Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor of Surgery
Martin Mangino, Ph.D., Professor of Surgery             
Kirsty Dixon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Stefano Toldo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cardiology 


Presentations (7 minute presentations to be followed by 3-4 minutes Q&A)


9:059:15 Nina Wickramaratne: Low Volume Resuscitation with Polyethylene Glycol-20k Confers Survival after Severe Hemorrhagic Shock.

9:159:25 Ria Fyffe-Freil: Mechanisms of Hepatocyte Preservation Injury: Spingosine-1-phosphate Signaling

9:259:35 Jad Khoraki: Low Volume Resuscitation with Polyethylene Glycol-20k for Uncontrolled Severe Hemorrhagic Shock

9:359:45 Nina Wickramaratne: Molecular mechanism of Ischemic Cholangiopathy in cadaveric donor livers.

9:459:55 Naveen Nandanan: Quantification of Acute Dynamic Elasticity In An Ex Vivo Isolated Pig Bladder Model

9:55–10:05 Uzoma Anele: Urinary dysfunction in transgenic sickle cell mice: model of idiopathic overactive bladder syndrome

10:15–10:40 BREAK (view poster exhibits)


10:4010:50 Ashley Rosenberg: Innovative mobile solutions for ambulances in low resource settings

10:5011:00 Ben Rothstein: Predictive hemodynamic monitoring in cardiac surgery; an observational validation study of the Hypotension Prediction Index

11:0011:10 Wayne Tse: Post-Operative Urinary Retention (POUR): A   Common and Costly Complication in Hernia Repair

11:1011:20 Jonathan DeAntonio: Providing Care to Children from Low and Middle-Income Countries with Complex Surgical Problems: An 18 Year Review

11:2011:30 Bernardo Pessoa: Endoscopic Assisted Laparoscopic Repair of Distal Esophageal Perforation in Boerhaave’s Syndrome  

11:3011:40 Jeffrey Stern: Pre-transplant Recipient Blood Lipid Signature Predicts Rejection In First Year Post Kidney Transplant

11:4011:50 Christine Bierema: Evaluation of Inhalation Injury: Is Higher Level of Care Always Beneficial?

11:5012:00 Natalie Swavely: Multi-channel Urodynamics in Healthy Volunteers:  Challenges in Defining “Normal” 

12:00  Closing Remarks and Acknowledgement of Judges by Department of Surgery Chair, Vigneshwar Kasirajan, M.D.


POSTER DISPLAYS (George Ben Johnston) 

  1. Yahya Alwatari: Racial Disparity in Access to Healthcare for Patients with Lung Cancer Observed in a Large National Database

  2. Isaiah Brown: Unresolved hyperparathyroidism due to mediastinal parathyroid adenoma

  3. Daniel Lima Galvez: Case Report: Unusual cause of a rapidly growing thyroid mass compressing the airway

  4. Ashley Rosenberg: Management of Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Prehospital Setting in Kigali, Rwanda

  5. Wayne Tse: Application of the Risk Analysis Index in Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair Procedures

  6. Naveen Nandanan: Surgical Delay for Radical Prostatectomy May Be Associated with Higher Positive Surgical Margin Rates and Increased Biochemical

  7. Jeffrey Stern: Pseudocyst of Pancreas Transplant Allograft, a Rare Complication