Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Holds First Annual William Ray Rumel Research Symposium
Aug 3, 2020 12:00 AM
On June 16, 2020, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah held the first annual William Ray Rumel Research Symposium. This virtual conference was created to showcase the research of our trainees and to highlight some of the innovative work being done by our faculty in Cardiothoracic Surgery.
This symposium was inspired by the life and work of William Ray Rumel, who was the first thoracic surgeon in the state of Utah. He left a legacy of excellence in his wake. He demonstrated a pioneering spirit, being the first in the state to perform many procedures in cardiac and thoracic surgery, including the first lobectomy and pneumonectomy, the first closed mitral commissurotomy, and the first Blaylock shunt, among others. He was an innovator, crafting instruments from common household items, among them the ubiquitous Rumel tourniquet used in every cardiac surgery to this day. He was also interested in furthering the education of thoracic surgeons, and as such, he created the first Thoracic Surgery Fellowship in Utah. To honor his legacy, the Rumel Symposium was created to highlight the education of our trainees, the pioneering new techniques being performed here, and the innovative solutions we are creating at the University of Utah.
The 2020 meeting began with presentations of current or finished research projects by our thoracic surgery fellows. Dr. Ken Howell presented a case report of a giant thymoma requiring an innovative approach and pneumonectomy for resection. Dr. Rosemarie Serrone presented an unusual case of anomalous coronary artery and left main coronary stenosis in the same congenital patient. This was followed by Dr. Ashley Morgan, who presented her work on right ventricular shape distortion with tricuspid insufficiency. Finally, Dr. Dimitrios Koudoumas presented ongoing work to improve the complication of mesenteric ischemia following cardiac surgery.
The four sections of the division then presented one project each that demonstrated the innovative work being performed at the University of Utah. Dr. John Stringham from the Thoracic Section presented on robotic resection of intrathoracic paraganglioma. Dr. Eric Griffiths then highlighted the work of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Section on liver disease following the Fontan procedure for single ventricle physiology.
Next, Dr. Joseph Tonna from the Section of Critical Care discussed his work predicting the survival of patients considered for emergency ECMO resuscitation after cardiac arrest, or eCPR. Finally, Dr. Jason Glotzbach, from the Adult Cardiac Surgery Section, presented on his work identifying familial risk of aortic aneurysm and bicuspid aortic valve disease.
Overall, the initial symposium was a resounding success, and will be repeated yearly, with the hopes of growing this over time to be a focal point of the Cardiothoracic Division. The hope is to include a visiting lectureship, bringing a noted innovative researcher to the University of Utah, and to expand the scope of presentations to also include cardiology and pulmonary medicine. Next year’s Rumel Symposium has been scheduled for June 18, 2021.