New York Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center

The department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center/New York – Presbyterian Hospital (CUMC/NYP) supports advances in research for the generation and dissemination of knowledge that results in the advancement of our specialty, improvements in the delivery of patient care, and in the education of the next generation of anesthesiologists. Our departmental research mission is supported by departmental, institutional and extramural (foundation and federal) funding sources.

Basic and Translational Research

Our basic and translational research projects are led by NIH-funded investigators who are leaders in their field of research and who serve as mentors to junior faculty and to residents. A broad range of basic research is conducted within the areas of neuroscience, lung biology, organ protection, immunology and smooth muscle physiology. Within neuroscience, basic mechanisms of acute and chronic pain, modulation of synaptogenesis, ion channel physiology, anesthetic effects on neurodevelopment and the aging brain and neuroinflammation are under study. Lung research includes investigations into lung injury by sepsis, smoke exposure, ischemia reperfusion injury, allergic lung inflammation and ventilator-induced lung injury. Therapeutic strategies for protecting organs from injury during sepsis or ischemia-reperfusion injury are also being investigated in the kidney, liver and intestine. Therapeutic approaches for the modulation of smooth muscle tone are being investigated in uterine, airway and vascular smooth muscle. These investigations employ genetic, molecular, ex vivo and in vivo models and advanced imaging techniques including two-photon confocal microscopy and cryo EM studies of protein structure.

Clinical and Epidemiologic Research

Our clinical research projects help inform the perioperative care of our patients. With the support of the department of Anesthesiology, each of our clinical divisions engages and promotes research productivity. Recent examples include cardiovascular outcomes and TEE correlations, physiologic changes during labor, clinical biomarkers of organ injury, perioperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension in the obstetric population, clinical pain in obstetrics, and pediatric anesthesia and neuro-development assessment (PANDA). Many of these investigations are aligned with the Precision Medicine Initiative of the Institute of Genomic Medicine at Columbia. Epidemiologic and population research in our department is closely aligned with collaborations in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia and investigate clinical outcomes, risk stratification and injury using advanced statistical approaches employing ‘big data’ sets available from departmental, institutional and national databases. Our faculty and residents collaborate with a national and international network of multidisciplinary researchers.

Education Research

Education research in our department has been recognized and promoted by several intramural and extramural grants to explore innovations in medical education. Two of our faculty are recipients of FAER awards, which serves as a testament to the dedication of our physician-educators and our department in supporting excellence and research in medical education with collaborations with faculty at Teacher’s College of Columbia University. Innovative education research includes investigations into the effectiveness of virtual reality and serious gaming approaches integrated with clinical simulation training. Our faculty are also investigating the effectiveness of novel approaches to education such as the web based Anesthesia Toolbox.

Apgar Scholars Program

The Apgar Scholars Program, pioneered by the Department of Anesthesiology at CUMC in 2002, offers residency applicants to our department with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge for a career in academic anesthesiology. At the end of residency training, residents enrolled in this program complete a 2-year fellowship commitment that combines clinical and research fellowships, with the opportunity to participate in the NIH T-32 research fellowship program. Our NIH T-32 training grant has been continuously funded for 25 years. Many Apgar scholars are now academic faculty members with extramural funding to support their clinical and basic research programs.

The department’s website provides additional information: