Philadelphia Academy of Surgery Annual Surgical Trainee Paper Competition Recognizes Three Cooper Surgical Residents

Left to Right: General Surgery Residents Clara Zhu, MD, Rebecca Platoff, MD, and Gaby Ghobrial, MD.

Left to Right: General Surgery Residents Clara Zhu, MD, Rebecca Platoff, MD, and Gaby Ghobrial, MD.

The Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, the nation’s oldest surgical society, recognized the work of residents earlier this month at the Annual Surgical Trainee Paper Competition. Medical schools and residencies throughout the region participated in the competition, which was attended by approximately 100 academic surgeons and surgical chairs and deans.

Cooper was well represented at the competition, with three surgical residents invited to present papers. For the second year in a row, a Cooper resident was awarded first prize. Cooper surgical resident Clara Zhu, MD, received the Chris Tzarnas Surgical Award for her paper, Novel Treatment Strategy of Targeting Epigenetic Dysregulation in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. The award honors the legacy of the Academy’s late president, Chris Tzarnas, MD, and is presented to the first prize winner of the Surgical Trainee Paper Competition.

Cooper surgical residents Rebecca Platoff, MD, MSc, and Gaby Ghobrial MD, were also recognized for their papers, Epigenetic Dysregulation Correlates with Oncotype Dx Score: Novel Implications for Adjuvant Therapy in Breast Cancer and Stem-Cell Therapy For Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Swine, respectively.

Congratulations to Drs. Zhu, Platoff, and Ghobrial! Thank you for representing Cooper University Hospital and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, and for highlighting the incredible accomplishments of Cooper’s surgical residents.

Cooper University Health Care offers a wide range of residency and fellowship opportunities, all of which are approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Learn more at

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