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About Our Research
Anesthesiology has been undergoing major changes globally, expanding roles beyond the operating room in offering high quality personalized services in peri-operative health, pain management, critical care and other medical disciplines. Research has been a major factor underlining these changes and will continue to be an essential force driving the evolution of the specialty.
Stanford Anesthesia research includes a wide spectrum of programs in basic, translational, clinical, health service, and medical education areas. Project fields range from subcellular mechanisms of anesthesia, pain, and opioid addiction, tissue/organ injury, novel anesthesia agents, techniques and devices, treatment effectiveness, epidemiology, patient safety, health economics and other areas. Interdisciplinary collaborations are increasingly a feature. Our department has been among the top five NIH funded anesthesia departments since 2011, with current external research grants and contracts totaling $17 million annually.
Stanford Anesthesia pays special attention to research training for the next generation of anesthesiologists and has established a research-training continuum bridging between medical student and faculty stages. We place special emphasis on supporting the residency-fellowship-junior faculty period. A key part of this support is the Fellowship in Anesthesia Research and Medicine (FARM) program and our two NIH supported T32 training grants.
In the Press
- – The Journal of Physiology
Angiotensin receptor blockade mimics the effect of exercise on recovery after orthopaedic trauma by decreasing pain and improving muscle regeneration
The Tawfik Lab, in collaboration with the labs of Dr. David Clark and Dr. Thomas Rando, publishes a study on how a commonly used anti-hypertensive may reproduce the effects of exercise on muscle regeneration in The Journal of Physiology.
- – News Center
Stanford team separates therapeutic and addictive effects of party drug MDMA
The rave drug MDMA ('ecstasy') may have powerful therapeutic properties, and is currently in clinical trials to treat PTSD. It could also be prone to abuse. Using mouse models, a team of Stanford researchers has shown that the neural circuits for these effects can be separated, and may lead to safer therapy development.
- – Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
Researchers enhance neuron recovery in rats after blood flow stalls
Stanford researchers blocked a molecule to help restore neurons in rats in which the flow of fresh blood to the brain was reduced. The approach could lead to new treatments for people who have suffered a stroke or cardiac arrest.
- – Scope
Predicting women at risk of preeclampsia before clinical symptoms - Scope
Stanford researchers are developing a blood test to predict preeclampsia, using new technology to survey changes in the immune system during pregnancy.
- – Two from Stanford named 2019 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars
Two from Stanford named 2019 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars | The Dish
The Rita Allen Foundation has named LAUREN O’CONNELL, assistant professor of biology, and VIVIANNE TAWFIK, assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, to its 2019 class of Rita Allen Foundation Scholars, celebrating 10 young leaders in the biomedical sciences whose research holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health. The scholars… Read more
- – Scope
Make it stop: New frontiers in pain research offer hope - Scope
A Stanford anesthesiologist is working to understand why pain becomes agonizing and chronic by examining the role of cells known as microglia.
- – News Center
Immune profile two days after stroke predicts dementia a year later
Stanford researchers have found that transient changes in the numbers and activation levels of a handful of circulating immune cell types can predict the likelihood of dementia one year after a stroke.
- One in five children report chronic pain or migraine. However, a new international review, including Stanford’s Dr. Lauren Heathcote and Dr. Elliot Krane, found very a serious lack of evidence for drug treatments in children with pain.
- Dr. Boris Heifets, Anesthesia, and Dr. Robert Malenka, Psychiatry, map research strategies to understand a new class of consciousness-altering drugs, including ketamine, MDMA and psilocybin. Link to article.
- Basic science research has made a breakthrough in anesthetic agent design by creating new agents that target specific neurotransmitter receptors to eliminate unwanted, life threating, side effects. See Cayla et al PNAS 2019.