The research mission of the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina is to develop new knowledge in areas relevant to perioperative medicine by conducting innovative and important clinical, translational, and basic science research. We seek to better understand disease and pain mechanisms that occur during the perioperative period and severe illness and thereby identify novel and innovative therapeutic targets, technologies, delivery systems, and other strategies that will improve the care and outcome of patients who require perioperative, critical care, and pain treatment.
The rationale for pursuing an aggressive research agenda is based upon the need to create — and the intrinsic value of creating — new knowledge, in order to make enduring contributions to society. In addition, this program is based upon the principle that generating meaningful new knowledge is perhaps the best methods to increase professional and personal satisfaction, enhance professional standing and that of the Department and University, and drive the future of the specialty.
The overall strategy of this effort can be summarized as follows:
- Organized conceptually as an integrated center whose overall purpose is to improve perioperative and long-term outcomes following surgery and intensive care.
- Capitalize on existing areas of strength: ongoing efforts that address issues related to improving patient outcome will be expanded.
- Develop key new areas aligned with Departmental and COM strengths.
- Integrate and try to leverage with COM’s Research Strategic Plan (Genetics/Genomic Medicine, Population Science, and Public Health).
Anticipated target areas include:
- Novel and improved therapies for acute and chronic pain.
- Molecular, cell, and genetic biology of injury, cellular stress responses, and wound healing.
- Pathobiology and treatment of inflammation and blood loss.
- Cell-based therapies to restore damaged organ function.
- Human factors research, innovative operating room and intensive care unit design and management.
- Uses of medical simulation to improve patient safety and clinician education.
Key programmatic elements include:
- “Protected time,” project funds (starter-type grants).
- Formalized, transparent application and award process.
- Patient enrollment, data collection, IRB, funds management assistance (for extramural awards) by dedicated support staff.
- Statistical consultation and collaboration — (Dr. Beth Wolf).
- Monthly research conference to review project ideas, methods, data collection and analysis, present new techniques and resources, etc.
- Establish research “pods” for mentoring and oversight, as well as to develop a community of researchers whose sum is larger than the individual parts.