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.

2021 Operating Grant Competition

Applications have been received for the 2021 Competition, and are currently under review.

2021 Operating Grant details

2020 Operating Grant Competition

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

2019 Operating Grant Competition Results

The CAGS Research Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Operating Grant Competition.

This year CAGS awarded 2 research grants for $ 10 000. We received over 20 submissions this year. Topics covering the breadth of research being done in this country – ranging from basic science, to health policy to physician wellness were represented. As you can imagine, the quality of the grants was very high. We would like to congratulate the successful applicants.

– Dr. Alice Wei, Research Committee Chairwoman

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

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

The development of innovative teaching tools is crucial in the new era of surgical education, where a combination of work hour restrictions, decreased trainee autonomy, focus on patient safety, and time constraints in the operating room have decreased the total operative volume experienced by residents.  Borrowing from other high-performance domains such as professional athletics, coaching facilitated by video review is an underutilized opportunity in surgical training.  Modern laparoscopic suites have easily activated recording capabilities, allowing for access to surgical “game films” and providing a rich source of material for review.  Video coaching has been shown to improve surgical skill acquisition, technical skills, reduce adverse events, and improve self-assessment skills.  Previous studies have shown promising results from video coaching in discrete tasks, such as laparoscopic knot tying, but there are few studies evaluating its role in full-length procedures, particularly in the context of junior resident level training.  The aim of this project is to conduct a prospective cohort study to evaluate post-operative video review as a multimodality tool in resident self-assessment, training, and evaluation. The pilot project will consist of junior residents doing laparoscopic appendectomies, with the potential to expand to laparoscopic cholecystectomies for mid-level residents, and ultimately full-length procedures like right hemicolectomies for senior residents.  New adjuncts to surgical education are necessary to improve the efficiency of training, especially in the current competency based educational reform. With its relatively low costs of implementation, video review and coaching may have a significant impact as a useful teaching tool.

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

Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Kelly Vogt
Western University

The demand for emergency general surgery (EGS) in Canada is unknown. The lack of epidemiological data limits development of infrastructure, development of protocols, standardization of care and planning for future growth. Emergency general surgery services are currently undergoing a transformation akin to trauma surgery in the 1970s. Individual centers are beginning to develop systems and infrastructure to care for a traditionally fractured group of patients, patients with acute surgical illnesses. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the burden of emergency general surgery across Canada, including patients managed with, and without, an operation. To achieve this goal, we will use data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information to identify the yearly incidence of EGS admissions and operations.  High level regional differences will be examined by comparing adjusted mortality for all EGS admissions. This national snapshot will allow the development of benchmarks, standardization and ultimately improve the quality of emergency general surgery services in Canada.




Past Recipients


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”