Translational and Clinical Science


The CRISMA Program on Translational and Clinical Science (TraCS) leverages translational science, epidemiology and health services methods, randomized trial expertise, and electronic health record data to optimize patient-centered outcomes in the field of critical illness and sepsis. Program researchers study novel ways to diagnose and treat sepsis and other critical illness conditions worldwide. TraCS maintains a number of cross-cutting collaborations both within CRISMA and with outside partners including the departments of Surgery and Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Health System.

Primary Faculty

  • Derek Angus, MD, MPH
  • Sherry Chou, MD, MSc
  • Idris Evans, MD
  • Timothy Girard, MD, MSCI
  • David Huang, MD, MPH
  • Florian Mayr, MD, MPH
  • Kristina Rudd, MD, MPH
  • Sachin Yende, MD, MS

Affiliated Faculty

  • Matthew Rosengart, MD, MPH, Department of Surgery
  • Melanie Scott, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery
  • Faraaz Shah, MD, MPH, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Program staff

  • Kelsey Linstrum, MS, Senior Research Project Manager, Team Lead
  • Valeria Altamirano, MAS, Research Assistant
  • Nicole Benson, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Dylan Burbee, Research Assistant
  • Elizabeth Gimbel, BS, Data Project Manager
  • Ashley Harner, BS, BA, Project Manager
  • Jason Kennedy, MS, Research Project Manager
  • Amanda McNamara, Implementation Specialist
  • Stephanie Montgomery, MAS, Research Project Manager
  • Ali Smith, Project Manager
  • Dara Stavor, Clinical Research Coordinator

Current trainees

  • Emily Brant, MD, T32 scholar, Department of Critical Care Medicine
  • Kim Demerle, MD, T32 fellow, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Andy King, DMBI T32 fellow, Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Biomedical Informatics
  • Katherine Reitz, MD, General Surgery PGY4, T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Departments of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine

Procalcitonin Antibiotic Consensus Trial (ProACT)
This study targets emergency department patients with clinically diagnosed lower respiratory tract infection and tests the effects of implementation of a procalcitonin antibiotic guideline for LRTI. Funding: NIH/NIGMS 1R01GM101197 (PI: Huang)

Microbiome And Procalcitonin Long term outcomes Epidemiology (MAPLE)
This study will help answer how the bacteria of the mouth and GI tract interact and change over time and the associated impact on outcomes. Funding: ThermoFisher #0052116 (PI: Huang)

Sepsis ENdotyping in Emergency Care (SENECA)
This project aims to identify novel phenotypes within sepsis through the use of large retrospective EHR and clinical trial cohorts, and to further understand those phenotypes through the use of a light-touch prospective biomarker study of patients with sepsis presenting to the ED, in hopes of optimizing patient groupings for enrollment into clinical trials. Funding: NIH/NHLBI R35GM119519 (PI: Seymour)

DEterminants of COgnitive DEcline in Sepsis (DECODE Sepsis) 
This prospective cohort study is examining whether alterations in metabolic pathways that are affected by mitochondrial function are risk factors for delirium and long-term cognitive impairment due to sepsis with or without ARDS. Funding: NIH/NHLBI 1R01HL135144 (PI: Girard)

Imaging DEterminants of COgnitive DEcline in Sepsis (DECODE Imaging) 
This prospective cohort study aims to determine whether increased neuroinflammation and blood-brain barrier disruption are associated with delirium and long-term cognitive impairment due to sepsis with or without ARDS. Funding: NIH/NHLBI 1R01HL135144-S (PI: Girard)

Maximizing Extubation Outcomes Through Educational and Organizational Research (METEOR)
This project seeks to improve the outcomes of high-risk patients who are recovering from acute respiratory failure by completing a series of studies that will culminate in the development and evaluation of three new continuing education strategies that promote the use of post-extubation noninvasive ventilation among high-risk patients. Funding: NIH/NHLBI 1U01HL143507 (PI: Girard)

Strategies to Promote ResiliencY (SPRY), An Adaptive Randomized Clinical Trial of Metformin in High Risk Surgical Patients
This project investigates the effectiveness of metformin on improving surgical outcomes in nondiabetic adults having significant frailty or propensity for frailty following elective surgery at a UPMC facility. Funding: UPMC/Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (PI: Angus/Neal) 

The Global Burden of Sepsis 
This project leverages the Global Burden of Disease Study's data and modeling strategies to estimate the global incidence, mortality, and case fatality of sepsis. Funding: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (PI: Rudd, Murray, Naghavi)

A preciSion medicine frameworK to improve Long-term outcomEs in sePsis survIvOrS (ASKLEPIOS). 
This project aims to identify distinct phenotypes of sepsis survivors who are at high risk for adverse outcomes at six months to subsequently develop and test tailored interventions for this high risk group of sepsis survivors. Funding: NIH/NIGMS K23 GM132688-01 (PI: Mayr)

For information on program activities or to inquire about collaborations and training opportunities, please contact rlm85 [at] (Rochelle Mason).




Christopher Seymour, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine