Research, both clinical and basic science, is an essential part of the field of anesthesiology, and is the road by which the specialty progresses. It is therefore an essential part of the mission of the UVA Department of Anesthesiology.

Basic Science

The Department of Anesthesiology maintains an active program of basic science research in mechanisms of anesthetics.  We have faculty members who hold both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees:  active as clinical anesthesiologists, while devoting the majority of their time to responsibilities as principal investigators directing NIH-funded research labs.

Six of our anesthesiologists (Dr. Bhiken Naik, Dr. Lynn Kohan, Dr. Randy Blank, Dr. Julie Huffmyer, Dr. Katherine Forkin and Dr. Lauren Dunn) have primary responsibilities as educators and clinicians while maintaining significant clinical research commitments.

Dr. Zhiyi Zuo, Dr. Nadia Lunardi and Dr. Robert Thiele are researchers in the department  who hold K-08s.  Dr. Zuo, the Vice Chair of Anesthesiology Research, runs a lab with many visiting scholars, mentors other department researchers and lectures nationally and internationally. He also carries a clinical load working in the OR as a neuro-anesthesiologist and a Board Runner.  Dr. Lunardi and Dr. Thiele commit significant time to basic research while also carrying a clinical load in the ICU.

Manoj Patel, Ph.D, focuses one hundred percent of his time to research in anesthesiology.  Two researchers (Drs. Bayliss and Palmer) maintain primary affiliation with other departments and hold secondary appointments in Anesthesiology.

The overall focus of the basic research effort of the Department is neuroscience and anesthesia. Although the time required to learn research-specific techniques limits the ability of residents to participate in basic research, some residents have done so, presenting and publishing their research results. For dedicated trainees (particularly those with prior basic science experience), opportunities can be created.

For more information about our basic science laboratories and principal investigators, contact them directly

Douglas A. Bayliss, Ph.D.

Nadia Lunardi, M.D., Ph.D.
Lunardi Lab Website)

Lisa A. Palmer, Ph.D.

Manoj Patel, Ph.D.

Jacob Raphael, M.D.

Zhiyi Zuo, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Research

The clinical research program is broader in scope, reflecting the diverse interests of the faculty. Also, a wide variety of types of clinical research is performed, ranging from participation in large multi-center trials (currently POISE-2, for example) to small faculty-initiated projects funded through departmental accounts. Overall, several dozen trials are active at any time, overseen by the departmental Clinical Research Committee.

This wide-ranging clinical research program offers excellent opportunities for resident participation, not only in data collection, but also in research design, analysis, and presentation. The department is also open to resident-initiated clinical trials, and many research ideas, proposed and brought to completion by residents, have led to publications.

Technology in Anesthesia and Critical Care

Under the direction of Dr. Robert Thiele, the Technology in Anesthesia and Critical Care Group includes researchers from the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who share an interest in biomedical devices.

Celebration of Research

I have visited many universities, including the top 5 with heavy research infrastructure and lots of foundation support, but yours stands out in my mind for getting all kinds of people engaged in research and apparently having fun doing it. Congratulations!

– James C. Eisenach, Visiting Professor, 2015

In 2014, the Department of Anesthesiology established an annual Celebration of Research with a generous grant from professors Slobo Todorovic and Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic. The event showcases research within our department and provides helpful feedback to research in progress and to junior researchers and provides an early look at projects in progress. Senior members of the research faculty provide the critiques and award prizes. The event incorporates our regularly scheduled Tuesday research seminars and Wednesday Grand Rounds lectures and we invite a distinguished visiting professor to participate.

In 2014, Zeljko J. Bosnjak, PhD, Vice Chair for Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was our visiting professor for the inaugural event. James C. Eisenach, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology & Pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesiology, was our visiting professor for the 2015 Celebration of Research.

Christine N. Zanghi, MD, PhD, was awarded the Slobo and Vesna Todorovic Excellence in Anesthesiology Research Award for Outstanding Investigation by a Faculty Member. For more information about the 2015 awards, click here. A full list of the award winners is here.

The Celebration of Research was coordinated by Carl Lynch III, Professor of Anesthesiology, with administrative support from Tara Devlin. Contact Dr. Lynch if you would like more information about this year’s event or would like to attend the 2018 event.