University of Rochester School of Medicine

Michael Eaton

Dr. Michael Eaton’s general area of interest is the interaction of cardiopulmonary bypass with human blood, and the minimization of the adverse effects of this interaction. This is of particular importance in pediatric and neonatal cardiac surgery, where available knowledge is significantly less and patients are at higher risk due to an immature hemostatic system and the greater degree of hemodilution involved. Currently Dr. Eaton is investigating exploring a novel combination anticoagulant strategy for cardiopulmonary bypass without heparin using closed loop cardiopulmonary bypass models. He has a clinical trial underway randomizing infants undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass to supplementation with antithrombin III or placebo. He is also completing a study investigating the ability of traditional tube-based ACT testing compared with cartridge-based ACT devices to measure thrombin generation during bypass.

Laurent Glance

Dr. Laurent Glance’s primary research interests are focused on understanding the opportunities and limitations of health care quality reporting. His work has focused on the implications of using the Present-on-Admission Indicator (POA) in administrative data (data fields that indicate whether a secondary diagnosis was present on admission) to differentiate preexisting conditions from complications. This work led to publications showing that the addition of the POA indicator enhances the ability of existing comorbidity algorithms (Charlson Index and Elixhauser algorithm) to map ICD-9-CM codes to diagnostic categories accurately, and that the use of routine administrative data without POA indicators to construct hospital quality report cards may result in the misidentification of hospital quality outliers. Dr. Glance’s work has also focused on exploring the impact of non-public outcomes reporting on hospitals caring for injured patients. His group used the National Trauma Databank to construct the Trauma Mortality Probability Model (TMPM), and conducted an AHRQ-funded study to prospectively investigate the impact of providing benchmarking information on trauma outcomes. He is now helping to spearhead the development of a collaborative effort between the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to create a national benchmarking platform to measure and improve obstetrical outcomes in the United States: the ACOG-ASA Maternal Quality Improvement Program (ACOG-ASA MQIP). These data will be used to improve the quality of maternal care at the local level, establish national performance metrics for obstetrics and obstetrical anesthesia, and facilitate comparative effectiveness research.

Robert Dworkin

The primary focus of the research being conducted by Drs. Dworkin, Gewandter, and Smith involves methodological aspects of analgesic clinical trials, especially identifying factors that might increase the assay sensitivity of a trial to detect differences between an active and a control or comparison treatment. With research funding from the FDA and industry, they are currently examining in acute and chronic pain trials the relationships between study methodological features and study outcomes, as well as comparing the responsiveness to treatment effects of different outcome measures. The overall objective of these efforts -- which are being conducted under the auspices of the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION) public-private partnership with the FDA -- is to identify approaches to improving the efficiency and informativeness of clinical trials of pain treatments and provide the foundation for an Evidence-Based approach to analgesic clinical trial design.

Paul Brookes

The broad research interest of the Brookes lab is cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury and cardioprotection. They are interested in the protective mechanisms of ischemic preconditioning (IPC), and volatile anesthetic preconditioning (APC), and the role of mitochondria in protection. They employ a variety of physiological model systems including: isolated mitochondria, perfused mouse and rat hearts, isolated adult cardiomyocytes, in-vivo mouse open heart surgery, cultured cells and knockout mice. Many biochemical techniques are also used to investigate mitochondrial function. The lab currently consists of the PI, a research assistant professor, a post-doc, 2 graduate students (one in the MD/PhD program) and a technician. Research is divided into 2 main project areas:

Project 1: Sirt1, Nitrolipids and Metabolism in Cardioprotection. In this NIH-funded project (RO1 HL071158-12), the lab explores two novel mechanisms of protecting the heart from IR injury.

Project 2: Mitochondrial K+ Channels. In this NIH-funded project (Dual P.I. RO1 GM-087483-06, with Keith Nehrke, Department of Medicine), the research group is using the model organism C. elegans to identify mitochondrial K+ channels that are important in cardioprotection.

Gail Johnson

The primary focus of Dr. Gail Johnson’s research group is on the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration. The lab has a longstanding interest in the pathogenic processes in Alzheimer disease, stroke and more recently in glioblastoma multiforme. For their studies they use a wide variety of different approaches from in vitro enzyme assays with purified proteins, to studies in whole animals. This broad-based approach allows them to translate what they learn about a process or signaling pathway at the molecular level to the in vivo situation.