Dr. Oscar Serrano, MD will give the keynote talk at the 31st Annual UBRP Conference on Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 10:00am to 11:00am in the Environment and Natural Resources 2 Building (1064 E. Lowell Street), Room N120 on the University of Arizona main campus. Following the talk, student researchers will present their work from 11:00am to 2:00pm during two poster sessions.
Dr. Oscar K. Serrano is a proud alumnus of the UBRP and BRAVO! Programs. An immigrant of Mexico, he spent his teenage years in the rural mining town of Globe, Arizona. In 1996, he enrolled at the University of Arizona, which fueled his passion for scientific inquiry and medicine. He credits Marc Tischler, Bill Dantlzer, and Carol Bender for their guidance and mentorship, along with countless other UA faculty who nurtured his passion and ambitions. During his last year at the UA, Dr. Serrano spent a semester abroad with the BRAVO! Program at the University of Wurzburg in Germany working with Drs. Michael Gekle and Stefan Silbernagl on renal ion transplant in the mammalian kidney. Upon his return from Germany, his thirst for international scientific work and collaboration flourished and he decided to defer matriculation to medical school to complete a year abroad with BRAVO! and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Florence in Italy working with Giancarlo Pepeu and Renato Corradetti on electrophysiology of the rat hippocampus. This experience would evolve into one of the most transformative and enjoyable experiences of his life, and one which he attributes to the work and vision of Carol Bender.
Upon his return from Italy, he enrolled at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2001. During his tenure at Stanford, he focused his research on cancer immunology and immunotherapy. He deferred graduation to spend a year at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He began his General Surgery residency in 2006 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he met his wife, Kate. After 2 years, he returned to NIH to complete a 2 year Intramural Research Training Grant studying cancer pharmacology and metabolism. In 2010, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He completed his General Surgery residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC where his first child, Sophie Claire, was born in 2015. After residency, he completed a 2-year multiorgan abdominal transplant fellowship at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where his second child, Connor Javier, was born in 2017.
Today, he is an abdominal transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon at Hartford Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Hartford, Connecticut. His primary clinical interests include kidney and liver transplantation, pediatric transplantation, and gastrointestinal cancer surgery. His research focuses on finding causes for disparities in access to care in transplantation and cancer care, specifically for Hispanic patients. He has published more than 55 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has traveled all over the world to present his research. Despite having traveled extensively and worked at many different institutions, he believes there is no place quite like the University of Arizona. He remains a proud Wildcat!