The Department's research agenda is focused on providing evidence to inform pain treatment in the ED. Our faculty has been in the forefront of identifying optimal treatment for migraines and low back pain. We have also created and tested regimens that take into account the large variation in need for pain medication for a heterogeneous set of painful conditions. Studies include:

  • Randomized controlled trials of specific intravenous and oral analgesics, analgesic combinations and treatment regimens for abdominal pain, back pain and migraine headaches
  • Methodological studies of pain assessment

Studies are conducted at three sites, the Moses Division of Montefiore Medical Center, the Weiler Division of Montefiore Medical Center and Jacobi Medical Center.

Research Team

The core research team consists of E. John Gallagher, MD, Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine; Polly Bijur, PhD, MPH; Adrienne Birnbaum, MD, MS; Benjamin Friedman, MD, MS; Douglas Barnaby, MD, MS; and David Esses, MD. The research team meets weekly to design studies and review work in progress. 

Research Resources

The Department supports a research staff of trained bilingual research associates who enroll patients in studies nearly 24 hours, seven days a week. They use an electronic data entry and management system, REDCap, that allows investigators to monitor their data in real time. A research pharmacist, Clemencia Solorzano, PharmD, is available to prepare medications and randomization schedules for randomized controlled trials. Dr. Bijur provides ongoing consultation on research design and statistics to members of the department.

Current Faculty Research Projects

  • A Composite Hemodynamic (Heart Rate Variability) and Biomarker (Mitochondrial DNA) Measure for the Early Detection of Severe Sepsis
    • PI: John Arbo, MD
  • Acetaminophen 1g IV vs Hydromorphone 1mg IV for the Treatment of Acute Pain in the Emergency Department
  • Assessing Illness Severity in Emergency Department Patients with Sepsis
    • PI: Douglas Barnaby, MD, MS
  • Predictive Modeling with Heart Rate Variability, Clinical and Laboratory Measures to Predict Future Deterioration in Patients Presenting with Sepsis
    • PI: Douglas Barnaby, MD, MS
  • Comparing the Efficacy of Five Oral Analgesics for Treatment of Acute Musculoskeletal Extremity Pain in the ED
  • Effectiveness and Feasibility of Patient Controlled Analgesia in the ED
  • IV Acetaminophen IV as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Elderly Patients with Pain
  • IV lidocaine for acute abdominal pain. A randomized, controlled trial
    • PI: Elliot Chinn, DO
  • CT scan vs. ED Ultrasonography for detecting hydronephrosis
    • PI: Jill Corbo, MD
  • Performance of an ED In-Situ Simulation Program Designed to Improve Sepsis Management
    • PI: Jill Corbo, MD & Adrienne Birnbaum, MD, MS
  • Stone size relationship to stone passage
    • PI: Jill Corbo, MD
  • Accuracy of Imaging Modality in patients with Suspected Nephrolithiasis
    • PI: Jill Corbo, MD
  • A Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial of IV Metoclopramide for Acute Post-traumatic Headache
  • Ibuprofen Plus Metaxolone, Tizanidine, or Baclofen for Low Back Pain: A Randomized Trial
  • Hydromorphone Versus Prochlorperazine + Diphenhydramine for Treatment of Acute Migraine. A Randomized, Emergency Department Based, Comparative Efficacy Study
  • The Montefiore Opioid and Pain Study. An Observational study
    • PI: Benjamin Friedman, MD
  • Greater Occipital Nerve Block With Bupivacaine for Acute Migraine
  • Orphenadrine and Methocarbamol for LBP
  • Corticosteroids for Acute Migraine. An ED-based, Randomized, Comparative Effectiveness Trial
  • Burnout Among Emergency Medicine Trainees: A Longitudinal Study
    • PI: Carlo Lutz, MD
  • Hookah-related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    • PI: Vincent Nguyen, MD