Research

The Department of Anesthesiology’s mission is to “provide better care tomorrow,” through state-of-the-art, high-quality perioperative anesthesiology, pain management and critical care for our patients. Through interprofessional collaborations with our colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, we leverage our energy to inform decisions in clinical operations, education and quality improvement to provide better care tomorrow here at Montefiore. Our national and international collaborations enable us to contribute to the progress of perioperative medicine around the world through multicentric studies that can be generalized to patients anywhere undergoing surgical procedures or with critical illnesses that require immediate treatment.

Our clinical research is the direct consequence of our colleagues’ discussion in the operating room and the intensive care unit. We use the generation and analysis of highly granular pharmaco-physiological patient data to understand the effects of new medications on patients’ recovery from surgery or critical illness. We regroup, validate, and utilize available health care record information from more than 1 million patients who underwent surgery at Montefiore or in one of our collaborating health care networks at Harvard. This powerful information helps us identify rare complications – and is the foundation for individualized perioperative treatment. We then confirm our results through clinical studies, improving the efficacy and implementability of promising treatment strategies.

Basic Science and Pediatric Anesthesiology Research

As a graduate of the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at Einstein-Montefiore, Dr. Jerry Chao designed prospective studies of the effects of anesthesia on the developing brain and parental perceptions of commonly employed anesthetic techniques, particularly regional anesthesia, for intraoperative and postoperative analgesia. Dr. Chao’s NIH-supported research focuses on obtaining and interpreting the non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) during general anesthesia and spinal anesthesia. He collaborates with and receives mentorship from a multidisciplinary team with expertise in epidemiology, pediatric neurology, biostatistics and computational neuroscience. This work will help us get a better understanding about mechanisms of sleep and anesthesia in infants and children.

Contact Information

 

Jerry Y. Chao, MD, MS
Pediatric Anesthesiologist
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

 


Clinical and Observational Research

How can we create an optimal treatment plan to minimize the risk of a stroke after surgery? Which patients are at high risk and should receive this new treatment? Our digital health databases provide this information in a standardized manner that allows us to test hypotheses around possibly improved treatments.

During the last 15 years, we have established and validated hospital registries in Boston and NYC – these databases are unique, since they provide a granular picture of patients’ perioperative risks. These risks are analyzed based on patients’ comorbidities, medications and the severity of the primary diseases leading to hospital admission and surgery, as well as integrating information about any added risks based on surgical procedure being performed. For example, did the patient have a major bleeding complication? Did the patient develop heart problems, low blood pressure, or a pulmonary complication during the operation? Did the patient need to get admitted to the intensive care unit?

A main research focus of our team is interprofessional quality improvement. For example, a current project in collaboration with Dr. Jeff Freda, Vice Chair of Perioperative Medicine, and Dr. Peter Shamamian, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, will result in a decreased risk of case cancellations. Case cancellations are unpleasant for patients who were scheduled to receive a procedure. Further, same-day cancellations reduce utilization of operating rooms, affect surgeon productivity and staff morale, and result in extra costs for patients, physicians, and hospitals. By understanding more about what factors impact the incidence of same-day cancellations, we can identify strategies to avoid them, which increases the quality of patient care.

In order to arrive at this goal, we currently identify patients at high risk of same-day cancellation using a prediction instrument. We then design a bundle intervention for these patients that provides additional resources to allow them to get the treatment they need on time.

Contact Information

 

Matthias Eikermann, MD Ph.D.
Frances F. Foldes Professor and Chair, Department
of Anesthesiology
Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

 


Clinical Trials

The mission of the Department of Anesthesiology’s clinical trials is to provide support for faculty, residents, students and pharmaceutical sponsors conducting research within the field of anesthesiology and its subspecialties at Montefiore and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

The clinical research core provides assistance in designing studies, protocol development contract executions, budget development, data collection, and statistical analysis. Additionally, the team works as a liaison between subspecialties within the department and other research organizations within the institution. The team’s staff is experienced in preparing IRB applications, preparing informed consents, submitting amendments and fulfilling other various IRB and research requirements.

The clinical research team coordinates and guides researchers on how to obtain assistance from the Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) facilities such as the Montefiore Office of Clinical Trials (OCT), the Clinical Research Center (CRC), and the Biostatistics and Study Design Department. The OCT assists investigators in budget negotiations, contract executions, invoicing for services, subject recruitment, and retention planning. The CRC provides a space for expert staff to conduct outpatient research studies. The core laboratory facility associated with the CRC assists in collecting, processing, and shipping biological specimens. The Biostatistics and Study Design Department offers expertise in designing complex study protocols and providing analytical solutions for preparing manuscripts.

 

 

 

Contact Information

 

Singh Nair, M.D.
Director of Anesthesiology Clinical Research Studies
Instructor of Anesthesiology

 


 

Recent Department Publications

 

On-admission anemia predicts mortality in COVID-19 patients: A single center, retrospective cohort study
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. March 2021

Seung Mi oh, John Skendelas, Eric Macdonald, Michael Bergamini, Swati Goel, Jacun Choi, Katheryn Segal, Kumar Vivek, Singh Nair, Jonathan Leff

 

Successful Use of Peripheral Nerve Blocks as the Primary Anesthetic in High-Risk Patients Undergoing Hip Surgery: A Case Series
A A Pract. 2021 Jan 14;15(1):e01367. doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000001367

Bryan A, Montilla E, Steinberg S, Farah F, Muse IO

 

Electroencephalographic Assessment of Infant Spinal Anesthesia: A Pilot Prospective Observational Study
Paediatr Anaesth. 2021 Sep 12. doi: 10.1111/pan.14294. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34510633

Whitaker EE, Chao JY, Holmes GL, Legatt AD, Yozawitz EG, Purdon PL, Shinnar S, Williams RK

 

On the Importance of Language in Reports Discussing Racial Inequities
Anesthesia & Analgesia. June 2021 - Volume 132 - Issue 6 - p e117-e118 doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005534

Tracey Straker MD, MS, MPH, CBA, FASA et al.

 

Difficult Airway Management in Adult Covid -19 Patients, A Statement by the Society for Airway Management
Anesthesia & Analgesia. March 12, 2021 - Volume - Issue - 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005554

Straker TM, Wong David, Hagberg CA

 

Association Between Intraoperative Arterial Hypotension and Postoperative Delirium After Noncardiac Surgery: A Retrospective Multicenter Cohort Study
Anesth Analg. 2021 Sep 13. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005739. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34517389

Wachtendorf LJ, Azimaraghi O, Santer P, Linhardt FC, Blank M, Suleiman A, Ahn C, Low YH, Teja B, Kendale SM, Schaefer MS, Houle TT, Pollard RJ, Subramaniam B, Eikermann M, Wongtangman K.

 

International Early SOMS-guided Mobilization Research Initiative. (2016) Early, goal-directed mobilisation in the surgical intensive care unit: a randomised controlled trial
The Lancet. 388(10052), 1377-1388.

Stefan J Schaller, MD, Matthew Anstey, MPH, Prof Manfred Blobner, MD, Thomas Edrich, MD, Stephanie D Grabitz, cand.med, Ilse Gradwohl-Matis, MD, Markus Heim, MD, Timothy Houle, PhD, Prof Tobias Kurth, MD, Prof Nicola Latronico, MD, Jarone Lee, MD, Matthew J Meyer, MD, Thomas Peponis, MD, Prof Daniel Talmor, MD, Prof George C Velmahos, MD, Karen Waak, DPT, J Matthias Walz, MD, Prof Ross Zafonte, DO, Dr Matthias Eikermann, MD

 

Association of Preoperatively Diagnosed Patent Foramen Ovale With Perioperative Ischemic Stroke
JAMA. 2018;319(5):452–462. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21899

Pauline Y. Ng, MD; Andrew K.-Y. Ng, MD,; Balachundhar Subramaniam, MD, MPH; Sara M. Burns, MS; Fanny Herisson, MD; Fanny P. Timm; Maira I. Rudolph; Flora Scheffenbichler; Sabine Friedrich; Timothy T. Houle, PhD; Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH; Matthias Eikermann, MD, PhD

 

Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Hospitalized and Critically Ill Children and Adolescents with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at a Tertiary Care Medical Center in New York City
J Pediatr. 2020 Aug; 233:14–19.e2-e164. doi: 10.1016/j.peds.2020.05.006. PMID: 32407719 PMCID: PMC7212947

Chao JY, Derespina KR, Herold BC, Goldman DL, Aldrich M, Weingarten J, Ushay HM, Cabana MD, Medar SS

 

Electroencephalographic Findings and Clinical Behavior During Induction of Anesthesia with Sevoflurane in Human Infants: A Prospective Observational Study
Anesth Analg. 2020 Jun; 130(6):e161-e164. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004380. PMID: 31453873 PMCID: PMC8456618

Chao JY, Legatt AD, Yozawitz EG, Adams DC, Delphin ES, Shinnar S

 


 

Research Programs

Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) – Summer Program

The Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship Summer Program provides students with a challenging and rewarding experience that exposes them to the opportunities within the medical field of anesthesiology and research.

Medical students who participate in the summer anesthesia research fellowship can expect:

  • Eight weeks of focused research related to anesthesiology.
  • A dedicated mentor who will provide guidance and training in research techniques and scientific methods.
  • The opportunity to make a scientific poster presentation at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting, during the FAER MSARF Symposium.
  • A $400 per week student stipend, ASA student membership dues, plus additional funds to help cover the costs of travel to the ASA meeting.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education and Research Program

Dr. Alexander Bastien, Dr. Tracey Straker, and Dr. Isabel Pesola have worked with Dean Kerrigan, Dean of Admissions at AECOM, to formalize a mentoring program for African American and Latin students. This initiative includes recruitment, mentor/mentee pairs, virtual and in-person meetings, and a structured plan of action from student acceptance until graduation.

ASA Mentoring Grants/Research received in department 2021:

  • Alex Bastien, MD and Terry-Ann Chambers, MD – Tackling Inequities in Perioperative Healthcare Delivery – “there’s an app for that!”
  • Sujatha Ramachandran, MD, MACM and Camille Fontaine, MD – Enhancing Recruitment Processes to Facilitate a Diverse Work Force
  • Isabel Pesola, MD - Improving Perioperative Assessments in the Bronx via Telemedicine
  • Shamantha Reddy, MD, FASA and Karen Paltoo, MD – COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Healthcare Workers- Does Age, gender, level of education, occupation and racial /ethnic background play a role?
  • Adela Aguirre-Alarcon, MD, MS and Felix Dailey Sterling, MD – The Association Between a Patient’s Race and Ethnicity and the Loss of the Ability to Live Independently after Surgery - A hospital Registry from a healthcare network in the Bronx
Contact Information

 

Tracey Straker, M.D.
Vice Chair of Clinical Operations
Director of ASA Mentoring Grant

Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP)

Since 2011, the Montefiore-Einstein Anesthesiology Department has sponsored at least one junior faculty in the mentored research training, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through these and other funding mechanisms, Anesthesiology faculty are enrolled in and have graduated from Master of Science programs in Public Health and Business Administration at Columbia University, Georgia Tech and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

We are actively seeking qualified faculty and fellows to continue this initiative.

Current Enrolled Faculty
Michael E. Kiyatkin, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Faculty Alumni
Jerry Chao, MD, MS (2016), Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Adela Aguirre-Alarcon, MD (2016), Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Galina Leyvi, MD (2013), Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Cardiothoracic Fellowship Research Program

The Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology are active educators and researchers in the areas of perioperative echocardiography, blood management, point of care testing, mechanical assist devices, neuromonitoring during cardiopulmonary bypass, and remote patient monitoring (RPM). In 2020, Dr. Jonathan Leff received a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) catalytic grant for the study of RPM in COVID-19 patients. In addition, Dr. Leff was P.I. at Montefiore for the Transfusion Requirements In Cardiac Surgery (TRICS III) trial, a multicenter international randomization transfusion trial funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and will be participating in the upcoming TRICS IV trial.  Moreover, funded research is ongoing through collaboration with Edwards Lifesciences for data collection on predicting right ventricular failure.

Contact Information

 

Jonathan D. Leff, MD, FASE
Chair, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
Vice Chair of Professional Affairs