Vision & Mission

The Canadian General Surgery Foundation (CGSF) – formally the Canadian Surgery Research Fund – was founded in the early 1980’s to promote research performed by general surgeons and general surgery residents in both clinical and basic science. The CGSF currently funds two research projects per year as well as the sponsorship of a Research Retreat for Residents in General Surgery.

Canadian General Surgeons have pioneered the development and application of minimally invasive surgical techniques, cancer care, transplantation, the management of trauma and sepsis and in innovative & cost-effective, evidence-informed health care delivery.

2022 Operating Grant Competition Results

The CAGS Research Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Operating Grant Competition.

This year CAGS awarded 2 research grants for $ 40,000. We received over 15 submissions this year. Topics covering the breadth of research being done in this country were represented. As you can imagine, the quality of the grants was very high. We would like to congratulate the successful applicants.

Exploring the educational impact of AI-enabled operating room video-capture and assessment technology on residents’ assessments and the quality of narrative feedback

Dr. Boris Zevin, Queen’s University

Co-Investigators: Peter Szasz, MD, PhD, Queen’s University  Sarah Jones, MD, PhD, Queen’s University  Marisa Louridas, MD, PhD, University of Toronto Vanessa Palter, MD, PhD, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto) Teodor Grantcharov MD, PhD, University of Toronto

Rationale: Specialty post-graduate medical education in Canada has transitioned to Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME). High quality feedback and timely assessments of technical performance in the operating room (OR) remain a challenge in this transition despite the knowledge that both are critically important to becoming a competent surgeon. Provision of resident-centred feedback in the OR is often hampered by a discrepancy between how faculty provide feedback and how residents perceive
feedback, as well as feedback bias. Moreover, this transition to CBME has also placed a substantial burden of assessment on faculty. Implementation of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled OR videocapture and assessment technology may help us address these educational gaps in postgraduate surgery training both in terms of quality and efficiency.

Objective: To conduct a two-centre pilot prospective cohort study to explore whether implementation of an AI-enabled OR video-capture and assessment platform (Black Box Explorer (BBX)) can (1) automate the assessment of residents’ technical skills in the OR, (2) facilitate provision of high quality narrative feedback, and (3) provide a mechanism for residents to engage in self-assessment of their technical skills in the OR.

Improving access to trauma care for Indigenous Populations in Northern Quebec: Quantifying the need through the implementation of an electronic prospective database with real-time clinical guidance

Dr. Evan Wong, Dr. Tarek Razek, McGill University

Delivering medical care to the population of Northern Quebec presents unique challenges. Preliminary evidence suggests that Canadian Indigenous communities suffer from higher morbidity and mortality than the rest of the population. However, the epidemiology of traumatic injuries in Nunavik remains underreported as they are not routinely captured in governmental databases. Therefore, this study aims (1) to implement an electronic prospective registry of trauma patients onsite at the two main referral centers in Nunavik, (2) provide realtime guidance in the clinical management of trauma patients through educational resources imbedded within the registry and (3) describe the epidemiology of trauma patients in Northern Quebec. A novel electronic interface (AMBER) will be implemented at Kuujjuaq’s Ungava
Tulattavik Health Centre (UTHC) and Puvirnituq’s Inuulitisivik Health Centre (IHC). In response to feedback from local practitioners, to maximize use of the registry, clinical guidance prompts will be embedded within the application to guide clinical care in real-time. This will be complemented by a review of trauma admissions to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the primary referral center for patients from Nunavik, to capture data on transferred patients. This study will provide a more complete assessment of the epidemiology of trauma in Northern Quebec. The implementation of an application with immediate knowledge transfer capabilities will also help optimize quality of care. By filling a knowledge gap in the care of a neglected population, this study will identify targets for meaningful policy- and practice-changing interventions to ultimately improve outcomes.

2021 Operating Grant Competition Results

The CAGS Research Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 Operating Grant Competition.

ERAS 2.0 – A Multicentre Prospective Cohort Study of Same-Day Discharge for Laparoscopic Colectomy

Dr. Lawrence Lee
McGill University

Collaborators:  Jean-Sébastien Trépanier, MD Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montréal, QC, François Letarte, MD Centre Hospitalier Université de Laval, Québec, QC, Andrea Petrucci, MD Cité de la Santé, Laval, QC, Antonio Caycedo, MD MSc Kingston General Hospital, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston, ON

Enhanced recovery pathways have improved outcomes after colorectal surgery but can still be further improved. Discharge prior to gastrointestinal recovery and used of mobile health (mHealth) technology for remote follow-up may allow for same-day discharge (SDD) after minimally invasive colectomy. An initial study at the McGill University Health Centre recruited 48 patients undergoing laparoscopic colectomy for SDD with mHealth remote follow-up with 77% successfully discharged on the day of surgery. None of these patients required ED visit or readmission within the first 3 days. Prior to widespread acceptance, the feasibility and safety of SDD colectomy needs to be more widely replicated across different settings and patient populations. Therefore, we propose a Canadian multicentre prospective cohort study for SDD after laparoscopic colectomy. Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility and safety of SDD with mHealth remote follow-up for laparoscopic colectomy and stoma reversal across different practice settings and patient populations in Canada.




Past Recipients


No Operating Grant was awarded in 2020 due to the pandemic.


Dr. Marina Parapini, Dr. Pang Young, Dr. Jack Chiu, University of British Columbia

      “The Surgical Film Room – Post-Operative Laparoscopic Video as an Adjunct to Surgical Learner Training (POLVAULT Study)”

Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Kelly Vogt, Western University

      “The demand for emergency general surgery in Canada: A public health crisis”


Dr. Michele Benier, supervisor Dr. Saima Hassan, University of Montreal

“The role of PARP inhibition in estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer”

Dr. Tulin Cil, University Heath Network

“The Empress Trial: The Effect of Mental Practice and Rehearsal on Emotion, Stress and Surgical Skills”


Dr. Jerry Dang and Dr. Daniel Birch

“The Microbiology of Bariatric Surgery”

Dr. Yifan Wang and Dr. George Zogopoulos

“Using platinum-based chemotherapy to induce sensitivity to PD-1 checkpoint blockade in BRCA associated pancreas cancer”


Dr. Rebecca Auer, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
“Phase 1b study of perioperative arginine supplementation in resectable colorectal cancer”
Dr. Paul McBeth, Alberta Health Services
“Characterization of early coagulopathy in trauma patients with massive hemorrhage using rotational thrombelastography”


Dr. Guillaume Martel, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
“The PRICE Trial: Phlebotomy resulting in controlled hypovolemia to prevent blood loss in major hepatic resections”
Dr. Richard Garfinkle, McGill University
“Does Bowel Stimulation Before Loop Ileostomy Closure Reduce Postoperative Ileus? A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial”


Dr. Maria Abou Khalil, McGill University
“Less May be More: Loop Ileostomy with Colonic Lavage for Fulminant Clostridium difficile Colitis. A Prospective National Mutli-Centre Cohort Study”
Dr. Angel Arnaout, University of Ottawa
“The Specimen Margin Assessment Technique (SMART) Trial: A novel 3D method of identifying the most accurate method of specimen orientation in breast cancer surgery”


Dr. Amin Madani, McGill University (Ethicon Research Grant)
“A Curriculum to Teach Safe Use of Surgical Energy Devices: Does the Addition of a Simulation Module Improve Learning and Retention?”
Dr. Carl Brown, University of British Columbia (Ethicon Research Grant)
“To Determine the Effect of Honey Enema in the Treatment of Patients with Acute Pouchitis”
Dr. Steven Paraskevas, McGill University
“Pre-transplant T-reg function and recovery from ischemia-reperfusion injury”
Dr. Mantaj Brar, University of Calgary
“A Manpower and Waiting Times Assessment of Canadian Colorectal Surgery”


Dr. Gabe Chan, University of Montreal (Ethicon Research Grant)
“The effect of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy on the pharmacokinetics of immunosuppressive medications in the morbidly obese renal transplant candidate, a prospective clinical trial”
Dr. Troy Perry, University of Alberta (Ethicon Research Grant)
“Mechanisms of recurrence in post operative Crohn’s disease”
Dr. Sulaiman Nanji, Queen’s University
“Identifying molecular markers for prognostication and treatment in patients with hepatocellular cancer”
Dr. George Zogopoulos, McGill University
“Genetic susceptibility to pancreas cancer in Quebec”


Dr. Jason Park, University of Manitoba (Ethicon Research Grant)
“Optimizing Practice Schedules for Learning Basic Skills on a Computer-based Laparoscopic Simulator”
Dr. Jonathan Cools-Lartigue, McGill University
“Acute Bacterial Pneumonia Promotes Cancer Metastasis Through Toll Like Receptor Activation”
Dr. Lawrence Lee, McGill University
“Incisional hernia after midline versus transverse extraction incision in laparoscopic colectomy: a Pilot Randomized Trial”


Dr. Charles de Mestral, University of Toronto
“Early versus delayed cholecystectomy for acute calculous cholecystitis: Decision and cost-utility analysis”
Dr. Vanessa Davis, University of Alberta
“Changes in Metabolomic Profiles in Screening and Management of Pancreatic Neoplasms”


Dr. Carlos Chan, McGill University
“Molecular mechanism of the CEACAM family genes in cancer metastasis”
Dr. Liane Feldman, McGill University
“Development and validation of the Goals-IH module to assess performance of laparoscopic incisional hernia repair”
Dr. Jeremy Grushka, McGill University
“The effect of in vitro tracheal occlusion on branching morphogenesis in fetal lung explants from the rat nitrofen model of congenital diaphragmatic hernia”


Dr. Najma Ahmed, University of Toronto
“Crisis in the general surgery work force: Identifying barriers to career satisfaction and opportunities to manage attrition among residents and practicing general surgeons”.
Dr. Jonathan Spicer, McGill University
“The role of neutrophils in the early steps of hematogenous cancer metastasis.”


Dr. Allan Okrainec, University of Toronto
“Does virtual surgery translate to better surgery: The impact of high fidelity VR simulation on intraoperative performance”
Dr. Mae Cantos, University of Toronto
“The role of ceramide in oxidant-induced increase in surface TLR4 in macrophages”


Dr. Angel Arnaout, University of Toronto
“A prognostic study of the combined expression of EGFR and cSrc in primary breast cancers”
Dr. Saima Hassan, McGill University
“SDF-1 and CXCR4: Novel predictive plasma marker for breast cancer metastasis and therapeutic target”


Dr. Elijah Dixon, University of Calgary
“Pancreaticojejunostomy vs. Pancreaticogastrostomy Reconstruction Following Pancreaticoduodenectomy: A Meta-Analysis”
Dr. Lynn Mikula, University of Toronto
“Functional Analysis of TPC: a Novel Gene Implicated in Pancreas Cancer”


Dr. Paul Wales, University of Toronto
“Small Bowel Acellular Matrix as a Small Intestinal Substitute in a Porcine Model”
Dr. Sam Wiseman, University of British Columbia
“Tissue Microarray Analysis of Genomic Instability Marker Expression, Diagnostic Utility, and Prognostic Significance in Human Thyroid Carcinoma: A Pilot Study”


Dr. Moishe Liberman, McGill University (Co-Applicants): Dr. D.S. Mulder & Dr. J.S. Sampalis for
“Sonography after Thoracic Surgery (SATS)”
Dr. Belinda Hsi, University of Alberta (Co-Applicants): Dr. N.M. Kneteman & Dr. J. Akabutu for
“Hepatic Regeneration from Differentiated Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells”


Dr. David R. Urbach, University of Toronto
“Measuring Dysphagia in Patients with Achalasia”
Dr. Sulaiman Nanji and Dr. James Shapiro, University of Alberta
“Tolerance in Experimental Islet Transplantation, Induced by Costimulatory Blockade of the Novel ICOS-B7 Pathway, Using an Anti-ICOS Monoclonal Antibody.”


Dr. Geoffrey Porter, Dalhousie University
“Access to care for surgical treated malignancies”
Dr. David Evans, McGill University
“Evaluation of the Immunomodulatory effects of hypertonic saline in the severely injured patient”


Dr. Oliver Bathe, University of Calgary
“Tumor eradication using subsets of tumor-specific cytotoxic lymphocytes”
Dr. Daryl Gray, University of Western Ontario
“Nitric oxide synthase and heme oxygenase within the small intestine during the systemic inflammatory response syndrome”’


Dr. Mark Basik, University of Montreal
“Detection of naked tumoral DNA in the blood of breast cancer patients”
Dr. Carmen A. Giacomantonio, Dalhousie University
“Development of a gene therapy model using plasmid DNA vector AG85A to treat malignant melanoma”