Trinity School of Medicine students are a very proactive bunch. While this blog typically covers their humanitarian and clinical work, we wanted to give a quick research update. Today, we’ll cover four of our current students who recently presented at the 33rd annual meeting of the Academy of Surgical Research.


After that, we’ll fill you in on our alum Dr. Chris Saling, as he continues his streak of finding complex cases and turning them into a learning experience for himself and the medical community at large. His last visit to the Infectious Disease Society of America IDweek lead to a new delivery method for HIV medication. Read on to find out what he, and the students are up to in this research update.


Over the past year, Trinity students Paul Cartwright, Gianna Guzzardo, Aaron Salem, and Rashad Hammour have been drafting a case series regarding a novel approach to abdominal wall reconstruction. Their goal is to prevent and correct recurrent ventral hernias in patients with multiple comorbidities. The technique itself employs various strategies to combat this all too common problem. With the aide of mentor and Trinity professor of surgery, Dr. Musara, the group of students are in the final stages of proofing the paper before publication.


While waiting on the final publication, the group decided to present their  topic as a poster. The poster presentation has now been accepted to three conferences, the last being the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Surgical Research in Las Vegas, NV. After receiving their acceptance, Mr. Cartwright was actually asked by the academy to also give a 30-minute oral presentation with a short Q&A afterward on October 5th.  


Great work, all! Thank you for representing Trinity and your classmates so well.


In that same vein, we recently touched base with one of our graduates and prior alumni spotlight, Dr. Christopher Saling.


He recently published in the Journal of Heart Valve Disease, “1-3 Beta D Glucan Assay in Monitoring Response to Anti-Fungal Therapy in Fungal Endocarditis.” Chris is also active in presenting his topics at conferences.


Dr. Saling recently did a poster presentation at the 2017 Infectious Disease Society of America IDweek in San Diego. The abstract, entitled “A Case of an Atypical Resistant Hypertrophic HSV-1 and HSV-2 Ulceration in an AIDS Patient Treated with Intralesional Cidofovir” came from his experience in his residency.


Dr. Saling’s patient came in with a large exophytic hand lesion that she’d received antibiotics for by her prior doctor, but they were proving ineffective. Dr. Saling and his team empirically started the patient on antiviral therapy for possible herpes simplex virus. Acyclovir didn’t work but they were still suspecting herpes so they biopsied the lesion.


The biopsy isolated both herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, and the lesion was resistant to acyclovir. Their next step was to try famciclovir and imiquimod cream which improved the lesion only mildly. After these mixed results, they moved on to injectable cidofovir directly into the lesion. This has been done only a handful of times; there are only a few papers published on intralesional cidofovir for the treatment of herpes simplex.)


After 3 rounds of cidofovir, the lesion cleared. Dr. Saling’s case is the first hypertrophic atypical lesion whereby both HSV 1 and 2 were isolated, and he is currently in the process of writing it up for journal publication. 
As we mentioned, Dr. Saling has a distinct knack for finding and working with complex cases. While still early in his career, this is his second time at the Infectious Disease Society of America IDweek. In 2016 in New Orleans, he presented his research in an HIV drug regimen that was not as per the guidelines. The abstract, entitled “Dolutegravir 50mg + Rilpivirine 25mg (DTG+RPV) Daily in Treatment-Experienced HIV-Infected Patients” lead to no small amount of notice from pharmaceutical firms. Interestingly, this summer, the drug combo was made into a single pill form and sent to the FDA for new drug application. 
It’s always wonderful to receive these updates from our students and alumni network. The ultimate goal of Trinity is to provide the world with more active, engaged physicians. With students like Paul Cartwright, Gianna Guzzardo, Aaron Salem, and Rashad Hammour, as well as physicians like Dr. Saling and his colleagues out there, it looks like it’s working out pretty well, too.

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