Clinical Research

The Clinical Research group is involved in a variety of projects, reflecting the breadth of the specialty. Clinical trials at the Department of Anesthesiology address topics such as intraoperative patient management, pain, and intensive care. We participate in national and international multi-center trials. For example, we were part of the Intraoperative Hypothermia for Aneurysm Surgery Trial (IHAST), and are currently participating in the Perioperative Ischemic Evaluation (POISE)-2 trial. In addition, we take part in drug and device studies sponsored by industry, and we usually work on any number of investigator-initiated projects, which reflect the wide range of interests among our faculty.

The department’s clinical research effort is overseen by the Clinical Research Committee, and supported by several full-time Clinical Research Coordinators and Clinical Research Fellows. The clinical research program plays an educational role as well, as residents frequently take part in the design, execution, analysis and presentation of studies. One month during the intern year is set aside for research, and residents have the option to devote up to 6 months to research during training. Those with specific interests can expand this time even further. The department provides support for residents presenting research data at meetings.

A number of our residents and fellows have won the Resident Research Essay Contest of the American Society of Anesthesiology with clinical research projects:

  • Varhabhatla, N, Zuo, Z: The effects of chronic pulmonary disease on hospital length of stay and cost of hospitalization after neurosurgery. J Neurosurg. Published online April 15, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.3.JNS101608.
  • Herroeder S: Systemic lidocaine shortens length of hospital stay after colorectal surgery. First place, 2007
  • Sitzman BT: Local anesthetic administration for awake direct laryngoscopy: are glossopharyngeal nerve blocks superior? Third place, 1996


As a resident, Robert Thiele won the Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care Resident Travel Award in 2008 with this paper:

Thiele RH. Nemergut EC. Strict Glucose Control Does Not Affect Mortality in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patients Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care October 19, 2008: Orlando, FL

Recent grants received by the department for clinical research include:

  • Intrathoracic Pressure Regulation for Resuscitation. NIH Phase 2 Grant.  Edward Nemergut, Co-investigator (Keith Lurie, University of Wisconsin, PI).
  • Novel Non-Invasive Device for the Treatment of Elevated Intracranial Pressures. NIH Phase 2 Grant.  Edward Nemergut, Co-investigator (Keith Lurie, University of Wisconsin, PI).
  • The use of intravenous erythropoietin to prevent cognitive dysfunction following cardiopulmonary bypass. Institute for the Study of Aging Grant, Edward Nemergut, PI.
  • Real-Time Volumetric Ultrasound Imaging for Handheld Applications. Wallace Coulter Project for Translational Research, Mohamed Tiouririne, Co-investigator.


In 2010, The International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) named Jacob Raphael as recipient of the Clinical Scholar Research Award. This honor includes a grant to support Dr. Raphael’s research in cardiac anesthesiology.

For information on currently ongoing projects, please contact Ed Nemergut