Name: Jill R. Cherry-Bukowiec MD
Title: Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery
Institution: University of Michigan
Clinical Specialty: Acute Care Surgery
Research Interest: Nutrition and Infection in Critical Illness
Institution during SIS Fellowship: University of Michigan
SIS Fellowship Mentor: Lena Napolitano, MD
SIS Fellowshp Project Title: Hepcidin and Anemia in Surgical Critical Care
Fellowship Years: 2010-2011
How did you hear about the SIS Fellowship?
Surgical Infection Society Meetings/Mentor
Who were the main influences on your choice to become an academic surgeon? Dr. L.D. Britt (General Residency Chairman) and Dr. Lena Napolitano (Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Director and Mentor)
How did you get involved in surgical infections research? During my Critical Care Fellowship through Dr. Lena Napolitano’s mentorship.
Can you describe how the fellowship helped your career? This fellowship has inspired me to complete a Masters in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis. As this project is the first funded project for which I am the principal investigator, it has helped me develop a significant amount of tools for all aspects of translational and clinical research - from start to finish. This project has sparked the plan to pursue additional funding for this line of research, and to develop new projects.
What is the current state of your research? We are just over half way completed with the project and we plan to continue this line of research in Trauma patients. Additionally, I plan to further investigate how Hepcidin and anemia in critical illness is affected by blood transfusions.
What would you tell medical students who are interested in surgery? Follow your dreams. To be able to perform an operation on a fellow human being is a daunting and incredible privilege. Those of us who practice the Art of Surgery are inspired to serve our neighbors in the hopes that we may intervene in processes that could significantly alter, or even end, their lives if not acted upon. If this is your calling, pursue it, engage it, and learn everything you can about it, for others will literally trust you with their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
What suggestions would you give to residents who would like to pursue research projects? For residents who are searching for research projects, I suggest find a mentor, or group of mentors, to assist you in your quest. Funding is available, but you must be prepared, develop a worthwhile project, and learn from others.
Is there anything else you would like to add? I would like to thank the Surgical Infection Society, Pfizer, and Dr. Napolitano, The University of Michigan Surgery Department, and my research coordinator, Kristin Brierley, for their support and assistance in making this project a success.