CACSR Representative: Dr. Michael Fehlings

 Email Address:



The Department of Surgery Research Committee represents the research interests of all members of the Department of Surgery across the Health Sciences Complex (HSC) of the University of Toronto.  The Chair of the Committee is selected by the Departmental Chair of Surgery and functions as the Vice Chair Research for the Department.  A staff member from each Division as well as two residents in the Surgeon Scientist Training Program (SSTP) are invited to be members of the Research Committee representing the residents in the SSTP. A scientist Associate Vice Chair Research is also chosen to represent the scientist staff in the Department. The Chair of the Department in consultation with the Chair of the Committee and the Senior Advisory Committee of the Department are selected members of the Committee.  Over 300 staff members continue to be shining stars locally, nationally and internationally with their promotions, grants received and high impact journal articles. Our staff have published over 7250 high impact journal articles in the last 5 years. Presently we have 52 scientists, 126 surgeon-investigators, 62 surgeon-scientists and 195 surgeon-teachers full time staff members. The SSTP is a positive model for other departments and universities.

We continue to attract residents who take a break from clinical training to work on their research path towards a MASc, MEd, MSc or PhD. Since 1983, 359 residents have taken advantage of this route. Presently there are 44 SSTP residents in the Program. The White Paper for Surgeon Scientists and Scientists were approved by the Department Executive Committee. Gallie Day is the jewel of the Department. E-poster presentations was successfully introduced in 2014. The Research Committee continue to suggest impactful Gordon Murray Lecturers as well as the cutting-edge themes of the day. We host SSTP Career Night once a year which comprises of an informal panel discussion with surgical faculty who have strong interest in helping residents succeed in their careers. We also host a PGY 1 and PGY 2 Research Orientation where residents attend an evening with SSTP trainees, former SSTP trainees and staff, who advise residents who have thoughts of entering the SSTP.

Every year Dr. Michael Fehlings and the Research Committee invite internal and external speakers for the Dept of Surgery Research Rounds. As our 2012-2017 Strategic Plan enters its final phases, we have been ambitiously looking ahead to plan for an even more successful five-year track. Our overall vision for the 2018-2023 period is to create a collaborative and integrated research enterprise within the Department of Surgery in which all researchers are productive and performing at optimal levels. To accomplish such an all-encompassing vision, we are focusing our efforts on cross-discipline knowledge translation, creation of a formalized process for navigating the commercial and/or innovative process, and ensure sustained funding for early-stage innovators. Furthermore, we are committed to providing our researchers with mentorship from early to later career stages and will leverage these relationships under our new strategic mandate.  We have had an overwhelming successful year of external funding.

Our researchers continue to make us proud to be part of their career footprints. In 2016 our Department staff obtained over $63,000,000 in external funding. Moreover, the excellence of our faculty and the support of the community is reflected by 65 Endowed chairs in the Department of Surgery. In summary, research is a core strength and priority of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and this is reflected by the excellence of our faculty and trainees.