October 18, 2023

VUMC’s Wei Kelly Wu, Siru Liu named 2023 Stat Wunderkinds

Vanderbilt’s Wei Kelly Wu, MD, and Siru Liu, PhD, have been named 2023 Stat Wunderkinds.

Wei Kelly Wu, MD

Vanderbilt University Medical Center surgical resident Wei Kelly Wu, MD, and Siru Liu, PhD, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics, have been named 2023 Stat Wunderkinds.

Stat is a health-oriented news website launched in Boston in 2015. Their Wunderkinds program annually recognizes promising early-career researchers in health and medicine across North America. Eligible candidates include postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, interns, medical fellows and industry scientists who have completed their terminal degrees and are in their initial job or training program. This year Stat named 28 Wunderkinds.

Siru Liu, PhD

Liu was recognized for her work harnessing artificial intelligence to enhance patient care. Among other projects, she has used AI to predict delirium in ICU patients. Her research on generative AI models like ChatGPT holds promise for refining automated alerts in electronic health records.

“Siru is still early in her career, but her star has risen quickly, and she’s already made a huge impact,” said Adam Wright, PhD, professor of Biomedical Informatics, who serves as a mentor to Liu. “She’s working at the intersection of clinical decision support and machine learning. Her research has already improved the quality of care here at VUMC, and she’s also made important basic discoveries in both informatics and artificial intelligence.”

Wu was recognized for her research addressing organ transplant shortages, and more specifically her work on a method called xenogeneic cross-circulation, linking a donated organ to the blood circulation of an anesthetized animal. This approach seeks to rehabilitate organs that would otherwise be deemed unfit for transplantation. Her work on connecting donated livers to pigs was recently featured on the cover of the journal Hepatology.

“Kelly brings intelligence, focus and dedication at levels rarely seen in her peers, and has proved to be one of the finest research fellows with whom I have worked,” said Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MA, MBA, professor of Cardiac Surgery, who has served as a mentor of Wu. “She is tenacious in her pursuit of understanding the literature, integrating it into her experimental approach, and expanding upon it, which is clearly reflected in the quality of her publications. I am confident she will become a stellar surgeon-scientist.”

Stat Wunderkinds were first named in 2017. Heather Burrell Ward, MD, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at VUMC, was also named a Stat Wunderkind in 2021.

This year 170 researchers were nominated as Wunderkinds. For more information or to nominate someone, visit the Wunderkinds FAQ page.