Research

 

Our faculty and staff are innovators and leaders across the spectrum of critical care research, from basic science to clinical trials and outcomes research. Our work is conducted in one of our three research centers:

The Department also oversees two service centers that provide supportive research services to investigators throughout the Schools of the Health Sciences:

Research activities focus on six primary domains:

We are pursuing the basic mechanisms of sepsis and conducting multicenter clinical trials to test new approaches for improving short- and long-term outcomes for patients with sepsis and septic shock . This research includes:

  • Sepsis phenotyping and endotyping
  • Novel drug and device therapies to modify the immune response
  • Therapeutic approaches in the pre-hospital setting and emergency department
  • Personalized medicine

We study resuscitation in various shock states including sepsis, cardiac arrest, trauma, and organ donation. We have led the field in areas such as:

  • Functional hemodynamic monitoring
  • Systems modeling and suspended animation
  • Early warning systems to detect clinical deterioration
  • Medical emergency teams

Brain injury — both ischemic and traumatic — has been a centerpiece of our research beginning with the groundbreaking work in Pittsburgh of the late Peter Safar. Today our brain injury research focuses on:

  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and causes of neuronal injury
  • Mechanisms of cell death following traumatic brain injury
  • Novel neuroprotective agents and therapies
  • Improving long-term outcomes and reducing caregiver burden after brain injury

We have active research programs in brain, lung, heart, kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal dysfunction along with injury consequent to critical illness. Our investigators study:

  • Mechanical ventilation and ARDS
  • Prevention and early detection of acute kidney injury
  • Delirium and neurocognitive disfunction
  • Emotional support in the wake of critical illness

Our researchers are leading the field in the study of health care delivery, health policy and decision making in acute illness in adults and children. Studied topics include:

  • Critical care organization and management
  • Quality improvement and implementation science
  • Innovative use of the electronic medical record and telehealth
  • Improvement of the patient and family experience
  • End-of-life decision making