Jamie Robertson, PhD, MPH, Appointed Clinical Learning Environment Advocate for the Brigham Department of Surgery

In addition to her role as director of Innovation in Surgical Education, Dr. Robertson has assumed the role of clinical learning environment advocate (CLEA) in the Department of Surgery. The mission of the CLEA is to support the department’s commitment to providing a positive learning environment for all trainees—students, residents and fellows. This role is designed to serve as a neutral, third party to hear comments and feedback about the teaching and learning environment within the Department of Surgery.

The CLEA serves as a confidential resource for trainees of all levels and will be an impartial, private resource to report and seek assistance for concerns. The CLEA will be a resource to educators (program directors, faculty, residents and others in a teaching role), staff and administration to discuss and resolve learning environment concerns. The CLEA will also give trainees in small programs, such as fellowships, a place to provide feedback and relay information as appropriate to program leadership.

Jamie Robertson, PhD, MPH
Director, Innovation in Surgical Education, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Clinical Learning Environment Advocate, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Robertson earned her MPH in behavior and community health sciences and her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. For the past six years she has been involved in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education, using her experience in the creation of curricula and assessments for learners in a variety of specialties.

Dr. Robertson is the director for Innovation in Surgical Education at the Brigham Department of Surgery. Previously, she was the director of Education at the Brigham STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation, where she oversaw the development and implementation of simulation-based education and assessment programs.

Her interests are in creating faculty development programs to promote the use of innovative teaching methodologies to improve learning and feedback for students and residents. Her funded research focuses on communication and team behavior during high-acuity, low-frequency events for teams.

Incoming General Surgery Interns for AY 21-22

Categorical General Surgery

  • Abena Appah-Sampong – University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Orly Farber – Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Jamie Hillas – Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • Daniel Hoffman – University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
  • Kara Kennedy – University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Joshua Roshal – Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Ashley Siegel – University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Sarah Tsou – UCSF School of Medicine
  • George Zhang – Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Cardiothoracic Integrated I – 6

  • Philip Allen – Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons


  • Varnel Antoine – Harvard Medical School
  • Christopher Magnani – Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Zhiyu ‘Jason’ Qian – David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Harvard Plastic Surgery

  • Ryoko Hamaguchi – Harvard Medical School
  • Harriet Kiwanuka – Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Ogonna Nneka Nnamani Silva – UCSF School of Medicine

Preliminary General Surgery

  • Sarita Ballakur – Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Sam Clarkson – David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Brian Deutsch – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Solomon Seckler – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • John Wieser – University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Bardia Nadim – Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine [IR]
  • Minh-Thuy Nguyen – Boston University School of Medicine [IR]

Oral Medicine

  • Lama Alabdulaaly – King Saud University/Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • Petros Yoon – University of Colorado/Denver Anschutz Medical Campus School of Dental Medicine

Thanh U. Barbie, MD, Awarded a $2M National Institutes of Health Grant

Thanh U. Barbie, MD, has been awarded a five-year $2M R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study, “Optimizing therapeutic STING agonism in triple negative breast cancer.”

Preliminary research has identified STING (stimulator of interferon genes) agonists as a potential therapy for triple negative breast cancer, which is a highly aggressive disease that results in a disproportionate number of metastatic cases and breast cancer deaths. The goals of the study are to identify the best clinical context for STING agonist use, amplify its cellular response and retain it in the tumor microenvironment. At the completion of the proposed project, it is anticipated that the findings will result in a presurgical window trial for patients with triple negative breast cancer, who have had a limited response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Thanh U. Barbie, MD
Associate Surgeon, Division of Breast Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Barbie is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a breast cancer surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Faber Cancer Institute. Dr. Barbie’s research focuses primarily on elucidating pathways in triple negative breast cancers to develop novel targeted therapies. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, among others. Dr. Barbie received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her medical degree from the University of Vermont Medical School. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital. She completed her fellowship in breast surgery at the Siteman Cancer Center of Washington University in St. Louis.