2016 Karl Storz Research Award Winner Presentation
The Association of VA Surgeons 2016 Karl Storz Award was presented to Dr. Ryan M. Thomas in 2016. His research has finally been completed and he presented his findings at the meeting in 2018. Dr. Ryan M. Thomas is the Section Chief of General Surgery at the North Florida/South Georgia VAMC and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Florida. He has a basic science research focus on the role of the microbiome in pancreatic cancer development. He received the Karl Storz research award for his investigation entitled “Role of Gram Negative Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide in CXCR4-mediated Pancreatic Carcinogenesis”. Dr. Thomas previously demonstrated the role of the microbiota in pancreatic carcinogenesis and sought to investigate the role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), produced by Gram negative bacteria, with accelerating this processes through the CXCR4 chemokine receptor, a known regulator of pancreatic cancer. His data demonstrate that in a subset of pancreatic cancer cells, LPS can alter the expression of CXCR4 but likely is not responsible to accelerating pancreatic carcinogenesis alone. He and his group concluded that microbial-mediated pancreatic carcinogenesis is likely secondary to non-LPS factors. As a result of this award, Dr. Thomas has secured additional funding from the University of Florida Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society for his ongoing investigations.