The Division of General Surgery has an active research program with areas of excellence in translational research, perioperative and surgical clinical trials, clinical epidemiology and surgical education.

The division currently supports two University of Ottawa Clinical Research Chairs and two New Investigator Salary Awards for surgical investigators. We also support surgical residents (between the PGY-2 and 3 year) to undertake graduate degrees as part of the Surgeons Scientist Program, in conjunction with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Clinician Investigator Program ( )

The surgical investigators led research programs include:

Dr. Rebecca Auer ( ) is a Surgical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital, a Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine with a cross-appointment to Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology. She currently leads a translational research program evaluating perioperative immune therapies designed to reverse postoperative immune suppression and prevent postoperative cancer recurrence and metastases. She has a basic science laboratory and conducts clinical trials evaluating perioperative treatments. For more information visit

Dr. Angel Arnaout is a Breast Surgical Oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital, Associate Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute ( ), and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa. She leads several "window of opportunity" phase II clinical trials with the ultimate goal of expediting drug development in breast cancer and reducing the anxiety of patients who are waiting for definitive surgical treatment.   Dr. Arnaout’s research is also committed to improving access and delivery of high quality care to breast cancer patients in Ontario. She is the leader of two specialty programs (TEAM and RADS) that have demonstrated reduced wait times and increased satisfaction for breast cancer patients in Ottawa.

Dr. Erin Cordeiro is a Breast Surgical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital, a Senior Clinical Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. She has a Master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology and is interested in quality improvement initiatives. She is currently conducting observational studies examining predictors of post-operative complications in breast cancer surgery and is helping initiate a program to decrease variation in treatment received. She also has an interest in high-risk benign breast disease and is examining current practice patterns regarding benign breast disease in Canada.

Dr. Carolyn Nessim (  ) is a Surgical Oncologist, Assistant Professor of Surgery and a Clinician Investigator in the Cancer Therapeutics program at the OHRI. Her main research interests involve evaluating neo-adjuvant approaches to locally advanced and resectable oligometastatic melanoma using combinations of targeted and immunotherapy and identifying biomarkers of clinical response. She also collaborates with scientists at OHRI being involved in the evaluation of response to various cancer treatments on ex-vivo melanoma, sarcoma and GIST cells. Currently she is collaborating on a project evaluating the use of oncolytic viruses in the treatment of melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma as well as evaluating the mechanisms of resistance of immunotherapy. She also focuses on outcomes research evaluating quality measures in the diagnosis and treatment of Melanoma and Soft Tissue Sarcoma/GIST and is a member of the Trans-Atlantic Retro-Peritoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG), Cancer Care Ontario’s working group for guidelines in melanoma care and is an active member of the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB). For more information visit: 

Dr. Jacinthe Lampron is a trauma surgeon at the Ottawa Hospital, a clinical investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Department Surgery. She currently lead a clinical research program evaluating trauma care, including trauma system and clinical care. For more information, visit