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Young Researcher Dr. Catherine Go Relishes Presenting Her Work

Encourages Other Young Surgeon-Scientists to Attend VRIC

Dr. Catherine Go had the opportunity last year to present her research at VRIC, answer questions about her work and talk collaboratively with others during the conference.

After her positive experience, she encourages other young researchers to attend this year’s Vascular Research Initiatives Conference with an eye toward submitting an abstract in 2020. (Abstract submissions are closed for this year’s VRIC, May 13, in Boston.)

Dr. Go, an integrated vascular surgery resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was awarded an SVS Foundation VRIC Trainee Travel Scholarship to present at 2018 VRIC. She also received the SVS Foundation’s Student Research Fellowship in 2013. Her VRIC presentation was on “Retrograde Hemorrhage and Ischemic Injury after REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) in a Porcine Model of Uncontrolled Aortic Injury.”

She found that by “occluding the aorta, endovascular balloons lead to spinal cord ischemia and organ malperfusion.” This was a smaller part of a larger project to compare the REBOA balloon to a retrievable self-expanding “rescue” stent that she and her fellow researchers envision using in aortic trauma patients.

“This was one my first experiences as a presenting author,” said Dr. Go. Mentor Dr. Bryan Tillman was invaluable to her success, she said. “He’s been very supportive, but also gives me the independence and confidence to answer discussion questions myself up at the podium, and that allows me to showcase my contribution to the project.”

Mentorship is vitally important, said Dr. Tillman. Mentoring “promising clinicians, such as Dr. Go, in research is an essential foundation for future advances in the care of our patients,” he said. “The VRIC has been instrumental in promoting young talent in our vascular community, as well as to provide a forum to discuss issues that are both timely and unique to the field of vascular surgery.”

She enjoyed all parts of VRIC. “It’s a great place to collaborate with others,” she said, adding she especially enjoyed the people who approached her to discuss their own REBOA experiences. And because the engineering department at UPMC is integral to her research team, she liked hearing about other researchers’ partnerships.

The annual Translational Panel discussion – last year’s was “The Road to Entrepreneurship” – also stood out, she said. “That was a nice break: we discussed basic science and research, and then talked about translating that to the hospital or industry.” This year’s topic is “Hard Science: Calcification and Vascular Solutions” – identical to the VRIC meeting theme – with time for audience input into the crippling disease.

As for this year, Dr. Go continues her research and hopes to continue her presentations. She has submitted an abstract for VRIC – and also for the Vascular Annual Meeting in June.