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by Paula Jones | Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 9:11 AM
Two Vanderbilt University Medical Center surgeons, Addison May, M.D., professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology, and Nipun Merchant, M.D., professor of Surgery and Cancer Biology, were elected members of the American Surgical Association (ASA) at the 133rd annual meeting of the organization and will be officially inducted at the 2014 annual meeting.
In addition to his duties as a professor in the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, May serves as the medical director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and as the director of the fellowship program in Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery at Vanderbilt. The fellowship program is the largest acute care surgery program in the United States to have been approved by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
May, who also serves as the director of Research for the Division, focuses his studies on improving surgical outcomes in critical illness and injury. To this end, he examines topics as diverse as antibiotic stewardship in the treatment of infections, the effects of critical illness on glycemic control and the possibility of using progesterone in patients with head injuries to improve their surgical outcomes.
“To be chosen as a member of the American Surgical Association is quite an honor. The selection process is extremely rigorous, taking at minimum 13 months to complete, with membership capped at 460 active members,” May said. “And, as a member, you are in the excellent company of fellow senior academic physicians who bring various experiences and viewpoints to the table, making the opportunities for learning endless.”
Merchant serves as the director of the Vanderbilt Pancreas Center, a division of the Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Center, and is the section chief of Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology. He is also a member of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Merchant’s research focuses on pancreatic cancer, which the American Cancer Society estimates will kill approximately 38,000 Americans in 2013. At any stage, it is considered to have one of the poorest prognoses among cancer types. Specifically, he is interested in ways to overcome therapeutic resistance often encountered in treating pancreatic cancer. His laboratory examines the interaction between tumor cells and stromal cells, which Merchant says are known to play a significant role in tumor growth and resistance to therapy.
“Being selected for membership into the American Surgical Association, which includes the most prominent surgeons from the U.S. and around the world, and follow in the footsteps of several Vanderbilt surgeons, is truly an honor,” Merchant said.
“Selection into this society provides an opportunity to interact with diverse leaders in academic medicine and contribute toward continually elevating the standards of our profession.”
Paula Jones, (615) 322-4747
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