ASC LogoAcademic Surgical Congress LogoThough the 16 Annual Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) looked different than previous years, the UAB Department of Surgery still ranked number one in abstract submissions, the fourth year in a row that the department has held that distinction.

This year, ASC took place virtually on Feb. 2 - 4. Though the conference was not held in person, the Association for Academic Surgery and the Society of University Surgeons upheld the ASC mission to provide a rich and diverse environment for the development of academic surgical leaders in line with the core values: scholarship, leadership, professional development, mentorship, innovation, community and inclusion.

Alongside Co-Chair Carrie Lubitz, MD, MPH, Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery Associate Professor Melanie Morris, M.D., coordinated the 2021 ASC program, which included 1,163 abstract submissions (968 abstracts accepted), 1,700 registered participants, 922 presented abstracts, 106 full oral presentations and 130 moderators. As ASC Program Chair, Morris not only planned and oversaw the entire programming, but also introduced the highly-successful and interactive virtual format for this year’s congress, the first all-virtual ASC in history.

“Dr. Morris played a critical role in the planning and execution of the 2021 ASC. Program chair can often be a thankless job as it is easy to overlook when the program goes so smoothly, without a hitch,” said Herbert Chen, M.D., FACS, chair of the Department of Surgery. “However, I do want to take a moment and sincerely thank Dr. Morris for stepping into the role, pioneering the first virtual congress and doing such a wonderful job representing UAB Surgery on a national level.”

Additionally, Department of Surgery Professor and Vice Chair for VA Affairs at the Birmingham Veteran’s Affair’s Hospital, George Yang, M.D., Ph.D., was named the inaugural Society of University Surgeons (SUS) Trailblazer Award recipient at the 2021 ASC. According to the SUS, the Trailblazer Award honors surgeons who contribute meaningful avenues of research and academic thought to medicine.

Plus, Mark H. Deierhoi Endowed Professor in Surgery and Director of the Division of Transplantation Jayme Locke, M.D., MPH, was elected SUS councilor-at-large of scholarship.

In her new role, Locke will oversee the resident research scholars, junior faculty and mid-career awards on an annual basis. And, Department of Surgery Assistant Professor Brenessa Lindeman, M.D. MEHP, FACS, was elected to serve on the AAS Nominating Committee for 2021-2022; the committee aims to evaluate, establish eligibility and accept all qualified applicants for AAS councilor and officer positions.

In total, UAB Surgery faculty, trainees and medical student mentees submitted 79 accepted abstracts, and about 87% of those submissions were from trainees and medical students. The complete listing of abstracts can be found here. Several faculty moderated or participated in cutting-edge sessions:

  • “RVUs vs Ro1s: Chair’s Perspective” – Herbert Chen
  • “Tool Kit for Basic and Translational Research by Surgeon Scientists” – Vikas Dudeja
  • “Making Surgical Training Anti-Racist” – Brenessa Lindeman
  • “Education – General Surgery Oral Session” – Brenessa Lindeman
  • “Resident Education Quickshot Session 1” – Graeme McFarland
  • “Resident Education Quickshot Session 2” – Britney Corey
  • “Basic Science – Cross Disciplinary Quickshot Session” – Karin Hardiman
  • “Clinical/Outcomes Colorectal Quickshot Session” – Robert Hollis
  • “Clinical/Outcomes Transplant Surgery Quickshot Session 1” – Paige Porrett
  • Clinical/Outcomes Transplant Surgery Quickshot Session 2” – Babak Orandi
  • “Clinical/Outcomes Pediatric Quickshot Session 3” – Robert Russell
  • “Clinical/Outcomes Cardiothoracic Quickshot Session 1” – Panayotis Vardas

Next year, the AAS and SUS hope to host the 2022 ASC Feb. 1-3 in Orlando, FL.