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Components of Research Training

Award Winners at SCCM 2016

Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research in a wide range of areas using multiple research modalities (including basic science work [oxidative chemistry, molecular biology, protein chemistry, lipidomics, animal models], clinical research, epidemiology, and health services research). Active research programs in the department are studying traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, sepsis, mitochondrial function, physician and family decision-making, clinical epidemiology of critical illness, effects of regionalization of care, cost-effectiveness analysis, and multi-dimensional outcomes of critical care. In addition, motivated fellows can pursue advanced degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. Past fellows have obtained master degrees in public health, clinical research, and medical education.

In the first month of the program, fellows learn about research opportunities in the department at “Faculty Research Day,” during which faculty discuss their research programs and potential fellow products. Later in the year each fellow meets with the PCCM Research Director, Dr. Bayir, to discuss their research interests and make plans to meet with specific potential mentors. By the end of the first year, fellows are expected to have a project underway, and most fellows begin to submit abstracts of their work for presentation at national meetings starting in September of their 2nd year. Fellows’ research/scholarly responsibilities are facilitated and monitored by the program directors, research director, mentors, and Scholarly Oversight Committees.

The department has two large research centers and two NIH-funded T32 training grants. The department also includes scientists outside of these centers and has established collaborations with biostatisticians within the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to the T32 training grants, financial support for fellow research comes from the research programs of mentors and the Ann E. Thompson Fellow Scholarship.

  • The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research is directed by Dr. Patrick Kochanek.  It occupies a free-standing building that includes over 20,000 sq. ft. of lab/office/animal research space: Stations for animal surgery plus labs for functional outcome assessment, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology support animal/clinical studies. It has its own animal holding facility. In addition it houses molecular and biochemical laboratories for the analysis of CSF samples from infants and children with severe traumatic brain injury, which is one of the world’s largest CSF bank for pediatric TBI.
  • The CRISMA Center (Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness) of the Department of Critical Care Medicine provides extensive resources for outcomes analysis of critical care, as well as clinical, translational, epidemiological, and health services research. The CRISMA Center is directed by Derek C. Angus MD, MPH, and is comprised of six programs: Systems Medicine, directed by Gilles Clermont MD, MSc; Heathcare Policy and Management, directed by Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS; The Center for Critical Care Nephrology, directed by John Kellum, MD; Ethics and Decision Making, directed by Douglas White, MD, MAS; and Clinical Epidemiology directed by Sachin Yende, MD, MS. CRISMA includes adult and pediatric critical care researchers and dedicated research staff that specialize in translational research of the acutely ill. This large team of clinician-scientists, mathematicians, and epidemiologists enjoys superb funding from the NIH and multiple industrial sponsors.
PCCM Fellows and Faculty at the Research Symposium