Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH, Receives Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH, was awarded a 2019 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference.

The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award honors program directors who find innovative ways to teach residents and to provide quality health care while remaining connected to the initial impulse to care for others in this environment. Parker J. Palmer’s book The Courage to Teach promotes the concept of “living divided no more,” which has proven relevant to teaching in academic health centers.

Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH

Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH
Associate Chair of Education, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Program Director, General Surgery Residency, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH, is a minimally invasive general surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests include foregut surgery, biliary tract disease and abdominal wall hernias.

Dr. Smink received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, completed a General Surgery Residency at BWH and a Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is the associate chair of education in the Department of Surgery and program director of the General Surgery Residency.

Dr. Smink is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Surgical Education and serves as a member of the editorial board of the Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE).

His research focuses on resident and faculty education through simulation and he is co-leader of the Surgical Culture Program at the BWH Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH), where he studies how to teach communication, leadership and decision-making to surgeons and surgical teams.

Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, Appointed Associate Chair for Research

Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, has been appointed associate chair for research in the Department of Surgery (DoS). In this role, Dr. Mittendorf will chair the DoS Research Committee.

The Research Committee has oversight and advisory responsibility for the Surgical Research Office and research activities of the DoS, including the review and recommendation of funding support for DoS research activities, specifically including bridge funding and utilization of start-up funding. The Research Committee also oversees the General Surgery resident research placement and funding process.

Dr. Mittendorf is an established researcher and well positioned to mentor DoS researchers particularly regarding research funding strategies, as well as to guide enterprise-wide innovations in surgery research.

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

Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
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.