Charles James Carrico, MD, FACS, whom everyone knew as “Jim,” was the epitome of an academic surgeon. Following the completion of his surgical residency at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, he fulfilled his military obligation at the U.S. Navy Hospital in San Diego, CA, where he was actively involved in research and was instrumental in establishing the Shock and Resuscitation Program. Returning to Dallas he became a leader in the trauma program at UT Southwestern until he moved to Seattle, WA, with his chairman, G. Tom Shires, MD, FACS (a Past-President of the American College of Surgeons [ACS]), when Dr. Shires accepted the chairmanship of the department of surgery at the University of Washington (UW) and Jim became the chief of surgery at Harborview Medical Center.
Over the course of the next 16 years, Dr. Carrico was a prolific researcher and publisher, eventually becoming the chairman of the department of surgery (1983–1990) at Harborview. During these years, he continued to inspire young faculty members to add surgical investigation to their clinical and teaching skills. Following his successful chairmanship at UW, he was lured back to Dallas to accept the chairmanship of the department of surgery at UT Southwestern, a position he held for the next 10 years.
Jim was a triple threat, respected by his colleagues for his technical skills, by his students and residents for his educational contributions, and by all of the surgical community as a researcher. He was the stimulus for many young surgeons to become actively involved in surgical investigation, and many of these surgeons identify him as their mentor. Nothing gave Jim greater pleasure than seeing protégés become successful as surgical investigators. Dr. Carrico was a major supporter of the ACS, having served on many committees, including as Chair of the Board of Regents and President-Elect of the College at the time of his death in July 2002.
The award and its champions
The ACS established the C. James Carrico, MD, FACS, Faculty Research Fellowship for the Study of Trauma and Critical Care in Jim’s honor. The ACS selection committee for the Carrico award has done an outstanding job. Each recipient of this award has become a successful academic surgeon, applying both their technical skills and their creative acumen to be prolific authors contributing to scientific publications. All six Carrico Champions also have been invited lecturers and successful in obtaining financial support for their ongoing surgical research. Besides being involved in ongoing research activities, they have maintained busy clinical roles within their departments and have been actively involved in teaching surgical students, surgical residents, and surgical fellows.
All six Carrico Champions have identified the important role that the Carrico award served in their professional development as academic surgeons. They describe how the Carrico award was a critical stimulus in their successful careers as academic surgeons and provided “traction” to obtain subsequent funding through a wide variety of local, regional, and national grants.
The ACS Foundation was instrumental in identifying the need for support of the Carrico award to these Champions. The Foundation emphasized that the Carrico fellowship provided the seed money to set up research laboratories for the awardees and to convince their department chairs that they were serious researchers who needed protected time to bring their creative projects to fruition. Based on their understanding of the importance of the Carrico award for future young academic surgeons, each of these Carrico Champions has made a commitment to become a major donor to the ACS Foundation in support of the continuance of the Carrico award.
Table 1. Carrico Champions
Carrico Champion projects
Information about the current Carrico Champions appears in Table 1. Their research projects are as follows:
- Jeffrey L. Johnson, MD, FACS, 2001–2003: The Genome and the Mechanisms by which Kinetic Variance, Like Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, Affect the Cellular Response to Insult
- Douglas J. Turner, MD, FACS, 2003–2005: The Role of Neuropeptide Substance P in Conjunction with Neurokinins in the Regulation of Intestinal Epithelial Cell Restitution
- Mark R. Hemmila, MD, FACS, 2004–2005: The Role of Lipopolysaccharide Binding Proteins in the Pathogenesis of Bacterial Pneumonia
- Terrence M. Myckatyn, MD, FACS, 2005–2007: Effects of Centrally and Peripherally Expressed Glial-Derived Neurotropic Factor Nerve Regeneration in a Novel Transgenetic Mouse Model
- Brian S. Zuckerbraun, MD, FACS, 2006–2008: The Use of Carbon Monoxide to Prevent Circulatory Collapse from Hemorrhage
- J. Jason Hoth, MD, 2007–2009: Regulation of Lung Injury by Toll-Like Receptors After Pulmonary Contusion
For more information about the Carrico Champions and the Carrico award, contact the ACS Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.