NIH T32 Research Training: Host Response to Trauma
Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death in the United States in individuals under the age of 44 years. More than 100,000 deaths each year in the United States alone are attributed to trauma. With the advent of new technologies and strategies to resuscitate, stabilize, and transport trauma patients, individuals are now surviving insults that in years past would have been lethal. This sets the stage for an often prolonged series of complications that may subsequently lead to death for reasons other than the original traumatic injury. A greater understanding of the biological mechanisms of traumatic injury and its complications may lead to the development of new diagnostics, treatment modalities and patient care practices.
Our trauma training program is designed to directly investigate those mechanisms. Our program is unique in that it involves numerous clinicians and scientists from multiple departments that offer a tremendous breadth of expertise and perspective. Trainees devote 2-3 years to conduct research on a topic related to trauma, burns or perioperative injury. In addition, didactic training is provided in the responsible conduct of research and research ethics and additional topics as necessary. The training program is entering its 22nd year and to date has trained over 40 individuals, many of which have gone on to successful academic careers. Program Faculty
Charles C. Caldwell, PhD, Professor, Department of Surgery
Bradley R. Davis, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Michael J. Edwards, MD, Professor & Chairman, Department of Surgery
Kenneth Greis, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology
Dennis Hanseman, PhD, Biostatistician
David A. Hildeman, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Jay A. Johannigman,MD, Professor, Department of Surgery
Jennifer M. Kaplan, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Alex B. Lentsch, PhD, Professor, Department of Surgery
Marshall H. Montrose, PhD, Professor & Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Timothy A. Pritts, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Hector R. Wong, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Basilia Zingarelli, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Sarah J. Atkinson, MD
Dr. Atkinson is involved in both basic and clinical research. The basic research program is focused on the role of matrix metallopeptidase-8 (MMP-8) in sepsis. Previous work in the laboratory indicates that inhibition of MMP-8 activity may be a novel therapeutic approach for sepsis. Because the immature host responds differently to a sepsis challenge, compared to a mature host, this concept needs to be explored across a range of developmental ages. Dr. Atkinson is using genetically modified animals and pharmacologic inhibitors to investigate the role of MMP-8 in a sepsis model that mimics the pediatric-aged patient. The clinical research program is focused on a novel, candidate sepsis diagnostic biomarker, interleukin-27 (IL-27). Dr. Atkinson is investigating the ability of IL-27 blood concentrations to distinguish between sterile systemic inflammation and systemic inflammation due to bacterial infection in critically ill surgical patients.
Teresa Rice, MD
Dr. Rice is involved in basic science research looking at the impact of burn-injury induced acid sphingomyelinase changes upon the immune system. More specifically, she is investigating how changes to the acid sphingomyelinase-ceramide system modulate immune depletion and immunosuppression after injury in a murine model. Additionally, Dr. Rice is investigating neutrophil derived microparticles and their influence on the immune response during sepsis. She will be elucidating how changing the biochemical pathways involved in neutrophil derived microparticle production alters leukocyte function.