Guest Speakers

2023-2024

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Dr. Ralph George conducts research in Oncology and Surgery, and currently works at the Department of Surgery with the University of Toronto. His most recent publication includes, ‘Proceeding report of the Symposium on Hidradenitis Suppurativa Advances (SHSA)’. 

Dr. Erika Rangel is an acute care and gastrointestinal surgeon as well as surgical intensivist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Rangel is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Associate Program Director for the General Surgery residency at MGH. 

Dr. Paul Ridgway is a Consultant Surgeon at Tallaght University Hospital with honorary appointments to Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and St Vincent’s Hospital. He also has a special interest in UGI Surgical Oncology, Sarcoma, and Melanoma. 

Dr. Richard Hilsden is a trauma and acute care surgeon and also an active member of the Canadian Armed Forces. He completed his medical school training at McMaster University in 2006 and went on to complete his family medicine residency in 2008. During Dr. Hilsden’s time in the military he worked as a family physician prior to retraining in general surgery and also went on to complete his MBA at the Richard Ivey School of business in 2013. In 2016, Dr. Richard Hilsden completed his General Surgery residency and his trauma surgery fellowship in 2018. 

His research is focused on surgery in extreme environments, point of care ultrasound for general surgery applications, and health systems analysis. His elective clinical interests also include minimally invasive and complex abdominal wall reconstruction, biliary disease, and benign/malignant colorectal disease. 

2021-2022

Dr. James Ellemere is a General and Gastrointestincal Surgeon at QEII Health Sciences Centre. He has also worked as the Director for Advanced GI Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program and as the Director for the Bariatric Surgery Program. 

Dr. Ellsmere completed his residency at Dalhousie University and a fellowship in Endoscopy as well as Laparoscopic Surgery at Harvard University. His research interests are focused on developing and evaluating endoscopy based technologies to improve the delivery of health care. Some examples of his past projects include improving the management of early esophageal cancer using endoscopic mucosal ablation techniques, improving the management of achalasia using endoscopic techniques, and improving the management of complicated pancreatitis using transgastric endoscopic drainage techniques. 

Dr. James Ellsmere is further a member of the Royal Canadian College of Surgeons and Physicians, the Canadian Association of General Surgeons, the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, amongst others. 

Dr. Doug Quan obtained his MD from the University of Saskatchewan in 1989, followed by his MSc in Pathology at Western University in 1995. Dr. Quan also completed his General Surgery residency at Western University in 1995. Following his residency, Dr. Doug Quan pursued a fellowship in Endoscopic Management of Biliary Tract Disorders as well as a fellowship in Multivisceral Transplantation in 1996. In 1997, he attended the University of Toronto where he completed a fellowship in Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery and at the University of Cambridge in 1998 completed his fellowship in Transplantation Xenotransplant Research. 

Please refer to 2023 above

Dr. Alexandra Istl received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Philosophy before completing her medical degree at Western University. She currently works and conducts research in Surgical Oncology. 

Major Shane Smith has been an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 20 years. Born and raised in Atlantic Canada, he has a Doctor of Medicine degree from Dalhousie University. After completing training as a family physician (Queen’s University), he was deployed to Afghanistan as a General Duty Medical Officer. This experience earned him the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. He completed a residency in General Surgery and a fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Western University. Aside from his certifications in Family Medicine, General Surgery, and Vascular Surgery, Dr. Smith holds two Masters degrees. His areas of active research include combat medicine and vascular trauma.

Dr. Nicole Saur is a minimally invasive surgeon. with a special interest in advanced laparoscopic techniques as well as the optimization of patients for surgery (prehabilitation). She further has clinical and research interest in caring for geriatric patients and is leading the geriatric surgery initiatives at Pennsylvania Hospital as the Director of the Geriatric Surgery Program. She is the vice-chair of the Surgical Ad-Hoc Committee of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology and the chair of the Geriatric Task Force for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. 

Dr. Darren Costain obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology, Master of Science degree (Pathology), Bachelor of Science in Medicine and Doctorate of Medicine from Dalhousie University. He subsequently completed his residency training in Orthopaedic Surgery in Halifax. As a senior resident he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award for the Department of Surgery. In 2007, Dr. Costain completed his subspecialty fellowship training in complex hip and knee arthroplasty. 

Dr. Darren Costain’s research interests include the use of tranexamic acid in hip fractures, the use of bone graft with orthopedic surgery, and computer-assisted surgery. He is currently conducting clinical research in these areas with the Orthopaedics Division at the Sault Area Hospital. 

2020-2021

Dr. Desmond Leddin is affiliated to the Division of Digestive Care & Endoscopy at Dalhousie University and is currently providing services as an Assistant Professor. He is actively associated with many different societies and academies and his academic career is decorated with several reputed awards and funding. Dr. Leddin’s research interests include colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and patient access to care. 

Dr. Muriel Brackstone reived her Honours Bachelor of Science in Physiology from Western University in 1992 and Master’s degree in Neurosciences in 1994. She then obtained her medical degree from Western University in 1999 and received her training there in General Surgery. Dr. Brackstone then completed a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto in 2005 at the Sunnybrook and Princess Margaret Hospitals. She soon thereafter joined the Divisions of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology in London, Ontario. Later in 2008, Dr. Muriel Brackstone completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Western University in 2008 followed by a PhD in Pathology from Western University from 2009-2014. 

In 2010, Dr. Brackstone created and became the founding Medical Director for London’s multidisciplinary Breast Care Clinic and in 2013 also created the London Tumour Bank; a biospecimen and patient data repository for translational research in collaboration with scientists from across the region. She sits on the breast cancer executive for the National Cancer Institute of Canada and Cancer Care Ontario holds many national level grants. Her research interests include health outcomes, translational breast cancer research, neoadjuvant window of opportunity trials and locally advanced breast cancer. 

Dr. Elliot Haut is the Vice Chair of Quality, Safety and Service in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a Professor of Surgery with secondary faculty appointments in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Haut also has a faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has been the Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at Johns Hopkins for over a decade and was a previous Trauma Medical Director at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital.

Dr. Elliot Haut has been active in the peer-review publishing process as a member on multiple editorial boards and has ad-hoc peer-reviewed for over 40 journals. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles as well as dozens of invited editorials, books, and chapters. 

Dr. Francis Sutherland graduated from the University of Calgary Medical School and did his General Surgery Residency in Calgary. From there he completed a fellowship in Transplantation at Western University. After his fellowship, Dr. Sutherland returned to Calgary and focused his surgical career on Hepatobiliary Surgery, taking a one year sabbatical to work under Professor Launois at the University of Rennes France. 

Currently, Dr. Francis Sutherland works at Foothills Hospital where his clinical practice evolves around General Surgery with a strong focus and interest in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery. He is also a valued member of the Hepatobiliary Multidisciplinary Clinic at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Dr. Sutherland’s research interests include studying the hepatobiliary anatomy and has also studied the ways to minimize blood loss during major hepatic resections