Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award

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Acceptance Speech

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Lillian S. Kao, M.D., M.S., is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery and faculty for the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHSC). She also serves as the Vice-Chief of Surgery at the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston. Dr. Kao’s main research interest is the prevention and treatment of surgical infections. She has several grants for her clinical research, including an NIH career development award. In 2006, Dr. Kao was the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholar to study interventions to improve the prevention of surgical site infections, which are a significant problem resulting in worsened patient outcome and increased health care expenditures. In particular, she is interested in maximizing compliance with evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of these infections within a county hospital system with limited resources. Her other interest is in educating surgeons about clinical research. She has co-founded a Center for Surgical Trials and Evidence-based Practice (C-STEP) at UTHSC, co-directed the Fundamentals of Surgical Research Course (a yearly national course which is put on by the Association for Academic Surgery or AAS, a society for academic surgeons of which she is the Secretary on the Executive Council), participated as guest faculty at international research courses (i.e. Developing a Career in Academic Surgery in Australia), and recently was the AAS Visiting Professor to the Taiwan Surgical Association where she lectured on evidence-based surgery. Dr. Kao received her medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, completed surgical residency and a fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, and completed a surgical critical care fellowship and obtained a Masters Degree in Clinical Research at UTHSC.

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