skip to Main Content
Alexandria Byskosh, MD
2024 Winner: Alexandria Byskosh, MD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Collaborators

Reza Askari, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Associate Trauma Director, Division of Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Stephanie Nitzschke, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Associate Surgeon, Division of Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dane Scantling, DO, MPH
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Trauma Surgeon, Division of Acute Care/Trauma Surgery, Boston Medical Center

Project

Characterizing and Mitigating Post-Traumatic Splenectomy-Associated Infections: A Multi-Institutional Study Exploring Novel Immunotherapeutic Agents

The spleen is one of the most commonly injured organs in blunt abdominal trauma. While nonoperative management is preferred for less severe injuries, more severe injuries often require removing the spleen in a procedure known as a splenectomy. Splenectomies leave patients vulnerable to infections caused by organisms commonly cleared by the spleen. These infections can sometimes lead to overwhelming post-splenectomy infections (OPSI), which have mortality rates as high as 50%. Regardless of the severity, a traumatic injury sustained by the spleen significantly changes the immune system. This immune dysregulation, coupled with reduced immune function following trauma in general, further increases the risk of serious infections. Current preventative measures have limitations and require follow-up, emphasizing the need for new strategies. Two immunologic therapies — CpG-DNA and rapamycin — have shown potential in enhancing immune function and combatting infections in trauma patients.

With Stepping Strong Center funding, Alexandria Byskosh, MD, aims to uncover which immune mechanisms contribute to the increased risk of infection in trauma patients with splenic injury and evaluate the efficacy of CpG-DNA and rapamycin treatments. Integrating animal models and human blood samples, Dr. Byskosh aims to identify more effective preventive strategies that will reduce the risk of complications and death in post-trauma splenectomy patients.

Biography

Alexandria Byskosh, MD, is a postdoctoral research fellow in surgery at Harvard Medical School and within the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Byskosh earned her medical degree at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is completing her general surgery residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston and her postdoctoral research fellowship in trauma immunology within the Lederer Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Byskosh’s research interests include bridging the gap between health disparities and access to trauma care, and the trauma immune response at the cellular and molecular levels.

Back To Top