The Department of Surgery has six main research initiatives:


Adrenal Disease

Renal Perfusion


Medical Education



Surgical Research Service Ongoing Studies

  • The breast cancer projects researching the development of biomarkers to assist with diagnosis, and ultimate treatment, involve several physicians and scientists on campus, including Dr. Lesley Ann Hawthorn, a research scientist in the Augusta University Cancer Center.
  • Dr. Robert Nesbit, emeritus professor of surgery, has worked with the virtual patient team over the last several years to develop the breast health assessment modules that are now fully integrated into the surgery clerkship. The virtual patient team uses virtual characters - images of life-size humans cast on a wall or screen - to teach medical students medical history taking and parts of the physical examination. Virtual characters are developed as patients based on ethnicity, gender, age and disease (such as a 30-year-old African-American woman with a breast mass).
  • Dr. Steve Holsten, has developed to projects to be implemented shortly within the Department of Surgery. These projects involve assessment of resident competency in the performance of required procedures, as well as a review of the assessment and referral of trauma patients with known psychiatric disease issues, or with the likelihood of developing PTSD.
  • Dr. Jack Yu recently submitted a very large DOD grant with Dr. Carlos Isales to study the use of MultiStem® in the treatment of chronic decubitus ulcers.