Date February 23, 2023

Advance-K Scholar Spotlight: Sevdenur Cizginer, MD, MPH

Sevdenur Cizginer, MD, MPH, has been awarded an NIA Paul B. Beeson K76 Award by the National Institute on Aging.

Congratulations, Dr. Cizginer! Dr. Sevdenur Cizginer

Dr. Cizginer submitted her grant application as part of the 2019 Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program, while serving as Associate Professor of Surgery, Medicine, and Health Services, Policy &  Practice at Brown University. She also served as Medical Director of Geriatric Surgery at The Miriam Hospital. The yearlong Advance-K program from the Brown Division of BioMed and Advance-CTR gives one-on-one and group training to junior investigators with the goal of submitting a successful NIH K or equivalent proposal by the conclusion of the program. The NIA K76 Beeson Award will help Dr. Cizginer further launch and establish her independent research career.

The Study: Optimizing care for older surgical patients: a theory-guided implementation science approach 

As the Medical Director of Geriatric Surgery at The Miriam Hospital, Dr. Cizginer viewed first-hand the challenges associated with geriatric outcomes to surgery, in which risks of morbidity and mortality are increased. As a child, time spent in the studio with her father, an artist, led to her keen observation of patterns and how one small brush-stroke can change the entire canvas. Similarly, Dr. Cizginer observed that small adjustments to care pre-and-post surgery can positively change and inform health outcomes for geriatric patients significantly, while simultaneously resulting in reduced costs. 

Dr. Cizginer’s study will use implementation science to develop strategies to increase uptake of evidence-based standards introduced by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Geriatric Surgery Verification Program (GSV) designed to improve geriatric surgical patient outcomes, and then test those strategies.

“ Advance-K mentors know who you should reach out to for guidance—which institution or which research group or which person—they connect you right away. It was an absolute game-changer for me to have this much support to transition to the research pathway. ”

Keys to Success

Dr. Cizginer is appreciative of the support she received through the Advance K Scholar Program. 

“I’ve worked with Advance-K since the first cohort and it is a wonderful community and family,” she states. “You have the opportunity to grow and develop your skills and resources and connect with mentors and other faculty peers who are doing research and may have similar research, so you can share and learn together. Advance-K has been unique with a very dedicated mentorship team that at every stage of the [grant] submission process provided practical, theoretical, timely feedback; didactics on how to submit each part of the grant; and also helped me connect to others in the field. It is a powerful navigation system.” 

“Sign up for the Advance-CTR e-Newsletter and look for a way to communicate because there’s a wonderful family with all kinds of resources waiting for you.”

*Since the time of award, Dr. Cizginer has transitioned to the Center for Aging and Serious Illness, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Mongan Institute, Harvard Medical School.


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