Adil Haider, MD, MPH, Receives National Institutes of Health R01 Grant to Study Cultural Dexterity Curriculum for Surgeons

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, has received a $3.4M National Institutes of Health (NIH)  – National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) R01 grant for his study, “ Evaluation of Cultural Dexterity Training Program for Surgeons: The PACTS Trial“.

Improving the ability of providers to provide cross-cultural care is a necessary development in the effort to improve patient-centered care and reduce healthcare disparities. The trial will test the effectiveness of a novel cultural dexterity curriculum (PACTS) in improving surgical residents’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills in caring for patients of diverse cultural backgrounds.

The PACTS trial is a multicenter trial to be conducted at eight academic medical centers across the US. The added dimension of measuring patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes in response to the intervention, which has not been done previously, will provide evidence to support the connection between cultural dexterity and patient outcomes, and reinforce the anticipated impact of this initiative.


Adil Haider, MD Headshot
Adil Haider, MD, MPH

Adil Haider, MD, MPH
Kessler Director, Center for Surgery and Public Health
Associate Chair of Research, Department of Surgery
Associate Surgeon, Division of Trauma, Burn, Surgical & Critical Care
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, is an active trauma and critical care surgeon, prolific researcher, and the Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH), a joint initiative of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also the deputy editor of JAMA Surgery and president of the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS).

Dr. Haider is credited with uncovering racial disparities after traumatic injury and establishing the field of trauma disparities research. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on healthcare inequities in the United States, with projects focused on describing and mitigating unequal outcomes based on sex, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age and socioeconomic status. His other research focuses on long-term clinical and functional outcomes after trauma and emergency general surgery, optimal treatment of trauma/critically ill patients in resource-poor settings, and advanced analytic techniques for surgical health services research.

Dr. Haider has formally mentored more than 120 research trainees, published more than 275 peer-reviewed papers and serves as principal investigator on extramural grants worth more than $12M. He believes that equality is the cornerstone of medicine, and his professional goal is to eradicate disparities in healthcare in the United States.

Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD, Appointed Inaugural Rob and Karen Hale Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD
Elizabeth Mittendorf, MD, PhD

Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD
Rob and Karen Hale Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Director of Surgical Research, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) Breast Program
Director, Breast Immuno-Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Co­-Director, Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program, Breast Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Elizabeth A. Mittendorf is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH where she also completed a residency in General Surgery.  After completing her residency, she served on active duty in the United States military before completing a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Dr. Mittendorf also holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.

Prior to joining Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Mittendorf was a professor in the Department of Breast Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She joined the faculty at MD Anderson in 2008.

Dr. Mittendorf is board certified by the America Board of Surgery. She maintains a busy clinical practice and oversees a portfolio of clinical trials as well as a basic laboratory effort.

She is principal investigator on a number of clinical protocols including the phase III PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) study, and a multicenter phase II trial investigating the efficacy of a CD8+ T cell eliciting vaccine in combination with trastuzumab which is based on preclinical data generated in her laboratory and follows a phase I trial she conducted demonstrating the combination to be safe. This trial is supported by a Breakthrough Award from the Department of Defense (DoD).

Dr. Mittendorf is also the principal investigator on a multi-center trial supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) evaluating the impact of vaccination in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, a trial evaluating the impact of preoperative radiation therapy on the immune response in breast tumors, as well as two investigator initiated studies evaluating immune checkpoint blockade administered in the presurgical setting to breast cancer patients.

Her laboratory work is focused on identifying novel tumor antigens and investigating aspects of the tumor microenvironment that impact the response to immunotherapy. Specifically, she is investigating mutations in the ESR1 gene as targets for vaccination as well as the impact of standard therapies on the immune microenvironment with the goal of informing rational clinical trials evaluating the addition of immunotherapy to treatment regimens for breast cancer patients. This work is supported by the Komen for the Cure Foundation and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Final Service Conference and Graduation Awards

The following recipients were recently honored with awards at Final Service Conference and the Department of Surgery Graduation Dinner.

Student Teaching Awards

PGY 1: Bixiao Zhao, MD
PGY 2: Jason Pradarelli, MD
PGY 3: Danny Mou, MD
PGY 4: Bethany Strong, MD
PGY 5: Gaurav Sharma, MD  [Recipient of the Robert T. Osteen Award for Medical Student Education in Surgery]

Murray-Simonian Research Awards:

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD (mentor) and Alexander Cole, MD (mentee)
Robert Riviello, MD, MPH (mentor) and Kristin Sonderman, MD (mentee)

Surgery Class of ’63 Scholar: Gillian Fell, MD

PBB Scholar Award: Karan Chhabra, MD and George Li, MD (tie)

Grant Rodkey Award (VA Hospital Award): Anu Seshadri, MD

Christine Weeks Award (South Shore Hospital Award):  Lily Saadat, MD

Edward Kwasnik Award (South Shore Hospital Award):  Anupamaa Seshadri, MD

The Vollman Award (Faulkner Hospital Award): Becca Scully, MD

Francis D. Moore, Sr. Award: Gaurav Sharma, MD

Donald D. Matson Award: Brent Shoji, MD

Richard E. Wilson Award: Naomi Shimizu, MD