Research interests in the Division of General Surgery include active programs in oncology, shock, metabolism, biliary disease, and gastrointestinal motility. Opportunities are available for up to three years of individual research in these areas or in basic science laboratories. The residents are strongly encouraged to assist in clinical research projects, to author clinical reports and book chapters, and to present papers at regional and national surgical meetings.

The Division recognizes that research is a critical cornerstone in the development of new patient treatments and therapies. In the Bariatric Program, clinical studies are underway that focus on surgical weight loss; in General Surgery, Dr Holzman and others are studying a broad array of gastrointestinal disorders as part of its effective outcomes research, and in the Colorectal Research Center, faculty are studying the genetic basis for colorectal neoplasia and other diseases and conditions.


Palliative Care Research

Dr. Shinall's primary research interests are in using health services research methodologies to identify surgical patients who benefit from early consultation of palliative care specialists.  His work is currently funded by the NIH Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging. His past work has been supported by a GEMSSTAR Award from the National Institute on Aging and a K12 Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute via the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). In addition to his work in health services research, Dr. Shinall also has a strong interest in biomedical ethics and humanities and is a faculty member of Vanderbilt's Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.  He is currently the principal investigator of the Surgery for Cancer with Option of Palliative Care Expert (SCOPE) Trial (NCT03436290).  He has published his work in the Annals of Surgery, JAMA Surgery, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, and Health Affairs.  He has served on the editorial boards of PC-FACS and the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management and has been a member of the AAHPM Research Committee and the Health Services Quality and Effectiveness study section of the NIH.  His work has been recognized through an AAHPM Research Scholars Award, an NIH Rising Star Award, and a VICC Star Award.  Further information on his research program can be found at


Adjunct Research Faculty

Amosy E. M'Koma, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor