Addison Heffernan ’25 presents research at Surgical Infection Society

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA (April 26, 2023) – Bishop Hendricken High School sophomore, Addison Heffernan ’25, presented at the Surgical Infection Society’s (SIS) 42nd Annual Meeting in Westlake Village, California earlier this April. The SIS is a group that leads research about prevention, detection, and treatment of surgical infections worldwide. Heffernan is only the second high schooler to ever present at the event, a truly historic accomplishment.

Heffernan presented his research from Brown University addressing machine learning and how it is critical to detect and potentially correct subconscious racial biases within surgical infections. For his research, he earned the award for the Best Use of Technology in Addressing Surgical Infections.

“Given the rapidly increasing use of machine learning in day-to-day hospital decision-making, it is critical to detect potential racial biases which may be present in the medical datasets on which machine learning models are trained,” Heffernan warns.

Not only was Heffernan provided the opportunity to meet and discuss his own work with high-profile doctors and surgeons, he also met and spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Upperman, the current president of the SIS, and Dr. Robert Sawyer and Dr. Gary An, leaders in medical machine research.

Heffernan is due to be published in the peer-reviewed journal, Surgical Infections.



CONTACT: Christian Kabbas ’14
Director of Communications & Marketing