Mad Minute with Guan Wang

Mad Minute with Guan Wang

Share some details about your background and what solidified your decision to join the MCIRCC team.


I have been in the information technology field for over a decade serving scientific research communities. All my career so far is with the public sector and for the well-being of people. I am a full-stack software developer and a jack-of-all-trades IT professional.  I am pretty good on communication and I am a reliable team player. I enjoy building robust, efficient and scalable software systems and data management solutions to facilitate the advance of scientific discoveries, and translate research outcomes into practice.

MCIRCC is a unique institution. It is kind of like an academic startup, trying to change the world, with talented people and cutting edge technologies. I always enjoy working with researchers and scientists and hope, one day, my contribution could have an impact on people’s lives and make the world a better place to live. So MCIRCC is a perfect work place for me.


Describe your new role within MCIRCC’s Data Science Services department.

I am the leading software developer at MCIRCC. I will work closely with data scientists and analysts at MCIRCC, or Michigan Medicine if necessary, to provide software prototypes/solutions or advise best practices that meets all Michigan Medicine requirements in terms of compliance and security.

I will also be the system engineer here who is in charge of MCIRCC IT infrastructure. Planning, architecting systems for projects needing data analytics component.


What are you most excited about working on in your new position at MCIRCC?

I consider myself as an IT generalist. MCIRCC offers me the opportunity to take multiple roles and work on various challenging but fun IT projects. I really can apply my unique combination of skill sets here.


What hobbies do you have outside of work?

Other than playing with my kid and dog, I guess I have some typical hobbies for a geek:

I do computer algorithm challenges online for fun at free time. I also collect 1/6 military figures.

Pictured right: That’s a USAF PJ who is with special forces and provides recovery and medical treatment of personnel in combat environments. …I guess Dr. Ward may know more about PJ than I do…

Mad Minute with Omar Ahmed

Mad Minute with Omar Ahmed

Omar Ahmed, PhD Assistant Professor Psychology and Neuroscience

Omar Ahmed, PhD
Assistant Professor
Psychology and Neuroscience

Last year, you were one of the Massey TBI Grand Challenge winners. Can you tell us a little about your project and give us an update on your progress?
We use detailed biophysical modeling of neurons to predict what drugs can best treat TBI during the golden hours immediately after the injury. Our current work is testing a combination of two pre-existing drugs to see if they can offer improved neuroprotection after a brain injury in rodents, with promising preliminary results so far.

Your background is in psychology and biomedical engineering. How did you become so interested in TBI research?
I am a neuroscientist by training with an additional background in computer science. After completing my PhD, I moved to Mass. General Hospital to work with epilepsy patients and study the single neuron dynamics of seizures. This started me on a trajectory to understand how neuronal biophysics are altered during different phases of seizures. After starting my faculty position here at U-M, I realized that there were a number of connections between my work on epilepsy and the neural states seen in TBI.

As a Grand Challenge winner who's background isn't in medicine, what advice would you give to other "outsiders" who are considering applying?
It is clear that a combination of many different skill sets and expertise is needed to treat brain injuries. This means that there is a lot of room for innovative multi-disciplinary ideas and insight from basic scientists working in the life and physical sciences. Though I am not a clinician, I have spent over 4 years working with epilepsy patients in the hospital setting, and strongly recommend getting experience in the clinical setting to other basic scientists. This kind of clinical experience can help you make better connections between basic and translational science, and help to see how our basic research can be harnessed to better help and treat patients.

February is winding down quickly, which means spring can't be too far away! Do you have any fun trips or activities planned for the warmer weather?
This will be just our second full summer in Michigan, so we are looking forward to heading up north for the first time this summer. We plan to visit Traverse City and surrounding areas to explore the state with our two toddlers.


Mad Minute with Mike Dorsch

Mad Minute with Mike Dorsch

Mike Dorsch, PHARMD Clinical Associate Professor Clinical Pharmacy

Mike Dorsch, PHARMD
Clinical Associate Professor
Clinical Pharmacy

Not everyone makes the immediate connection between pharmacy and critical care. Can you explain what role you play as a pharmacist in the spectrum of critical care?
My clinical training and practice is in inpatient cardiology so critical care is a natural progression. In addition, many of the concepts in MCIRCC are present ambulatory cardiology (big data analytics, risk prediction, etc.).

What research projects are you currently working on?
I am currently enrolling for 2 clinical trials determining the effectiveness of mobile applications we have created for patient care. One helps support patient self-management in heart failure and the other can help patients identify low sodium food options at grocery stores and restaurants. We are also working on how to integrate these applications into the electronic medication record for clinical decision support. 

How has MCIRCC helped to facilitate those projects?
MCIRCC is facilitating a grant submission that will help build the bridge from our heart failure mobile application and the electronic health record. This submission will also create risk prediction models for inpatient and outpatient heart failure to accelerate knowledge of a patient becoming clinically worse.

Everyone starts a new year with at least one resolution in mind... Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2018?
I am pretty boring. I transition to a tenure track position at the College of Pharmacy in March so my resolution is to submit 2 “big” grants this year. I also just bought the book “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness” recently. I hope to finish this book sometime in 2018 : ).

Mad Minute with Megan VanStratt

Mad Minute with Megan VanStratt

Megan VanStratt MCIRCC Marketing Director

Megan VanStratt
MCIRCC Marketing Director

Tell us a little bit about your background... What brought you to MCIRCC?
I’m a Michigan native, raised in Northville, but have spent the last 11 years in Seattle, WA. My last job was at the University of Washington where I was Director of Alumni Relations and Communications for University Advancement. After my son, Shepherd, was born in February, my husband, Corey, and I decided it was time to get closer to our families here in the "Midbest." I was especially drawn to the position at MCIRCC by the passionate, mission-driven focus I saw within the organization and its staff and I was excited to work toward such an interesting and sustaining goal.

Are there any projects you're particularly excited about working on?
I’m looking forward to diving in feet first to the Grand Challenge this March.

Is there anything you want to tell members about your marketing strategy or vision?
My marketing strategy is pretty simple. Figure out your goal and then align your strategies and priorities to that goal. Stay organized, communicate well and often, strive for efficiency, and bring treats to your coworkers.

The holiday break is almost here! Do you have any big plans to celebrate?
This is my son’s first Christmas, and the first year in a long time that we will be around our families for the holidays so I expect lots of big gatherings, good food, and excessive weight gain.

Mad Minute with Fadi Islim

Mad Minute with Fadi Islim

Fadi Islim, RN, MSN, DNP (C) Clinical Nursing Informatics Analyst

Fadi Islim, RN, MSN, DNP (C)
Clinical Nursing Informatics Analyst

You're heavily involved in how doctors and nurses interact with electronic health records at Michigan Medicine. What’s been your biggest challenge? Your biggest success?
One of the biggest challenges faced by nurses and physicians is that very discipline has its own language and standards. Over time, this led to a separation of documentation which made it difficult to build on each other as a team. But as a nurse informaticist, I’ve learned both clinical and IT language and built a bridge between the two. This has saved wasted time spent on repetition of documentation, closed gaps among teams, improved the interoperability of the health information system, improved the efficiency of the treatment teams, and standardized terminology across disciplined. All of these outcomes combined make for a much better patient experience.

You're currently working with the MCIRCC Data Science team on technology that could potentially predict when patients will "crash." Can you give us some background on the project?
For a while now, I’ve heard clinicians discuss the need for predictive tools and how it could revolutionize healthcare. However, they didn’t seem to understand the difference between prediction and diagnostic tools. In my mind, true prediction is when you are able to forecast what direction the patient is heading in.

With that being said, this type of innovation requires smart technology, skilled people, and defined process. At MCIRCC, we have all three, the cornerstone being the skilled staff in the Ideation Lab.

Where do you think data science and medicine will be in five or ten years? Do you think predictive analytics will be bedside by then?
I believe data science will be used more in healthcare to improve patient flow, reduce patient readmission, predict disease outbreaks, and utilized across all stages of care: emergency room, operation room, and even in the field of combat. Data will come directly from the human body as opposed to having to wait for manual documentation. This will give us a better understanding of the body’s behavior ­– not only the current state, but also what lies ahead – so we can change our workflow from treating patients to preventing illnesses in the first place.

As for being bedside, I remember learning about the human genome before it was decoded. The same will happen to the data science and predictive tools. Not only will it be at the patient bedside, but it will impact the entire workflow of patient care.

You recently had twins (congratulations)! Do you have any funny stories about adding two more little ones to your family?
We had a system where I would take care of the boy if he was crying at night, and she would take care of the girl. In the first two weeks, you couldn’t tell them apart. Sometimes I would swap their blankets (pink and blue), to confuse my wife so I could sleep a little longer. It didn’t last long, of course!


Mad Minute with Richelle Weihe

Mad Minute with Richelle Weihe

Richelle Weihe  Proposal Development Unit Manager

Richelle Weihe
Proposal Development Unit Manager

As the proposal development unit manager, could you explain to members some of the services you offer and how they can benefit most from them?
I take a holistic view to proposal management and that is why I offer proposal management services ranging from totally hands on to mostly hands off at three stages across the proposal process. Those stages are Pre-RFP, RFP, and Post Submission. At the Pre-RFP stage I can help members develop their strategy for a proposal by doing things such as tracking opportunities, helping them position for an opportunity, and by assisting them with opportunity planning through processes like compression planning and SWOT/GAP analyses. Once a member has an opportunity they want to pursue we are at the RFP stage. I add value to a proposal through things such as assessing an opportunity, developing win strategies and themes, checklist and calendar development, editing and graphics planning, and color team review coordination. My involvement in a proposal can, but doesn’t have to end after a proposal submission, which is what I consider to be the third stage of the proposal process. I am available to help plan, prepare and coach members for site visits, schedule and facilitate debriefing and lessons learned meetings, and if a proposal is unsuccessful, I can help incorporate sponsor feedback and determine next steps. Members can benefit most these services by simply taking that first step to call or email me to set up a quick consult so we can work together to see how I can add value to their proposals.

In terms of applying for funding, what's the best advice you can offer researchers?
I don’t think I can limit my advice to just one thing. I’d tell members to start thinking strategically year over year about where they want to go with their funding and research and put a plan in place to accomplish that goal, including specifics about which opportunities they want to pursue.  This is also something I’m happy to help them with. Also, in today’s funding landscape where things are becoming more competitive, I would encourage members to start the proposal development process (and contact me!) early whenever possible. Beginning early will enable them not just simply apply to an opportunity, but to apply competitively. Assessing competitiveness is also an area where I can add value.

You've recently launched a new funding opportunity website as an exclusive resource to members. How can members make the most of this site?
First, the site is really user friendly. Members can use their university credentials and their level 1 password to access the website and look around for opportunities. Once they’ve landed on the home page, they can either scan the list of curated opportunities or search for their research key words. Second, the information contained in the listing for each opportunity is very thorough. Members, at a glance should have enough information to help them determine if the opportunity is right for them. Finally, members can make the most of this site by never hesitating to contact me if they don’t see an opportunity they were expecting, or have basic information on an upcoming opportunity they want me to take a deep dive on, or to track for them. 

Halloween is just around the corner! Do you have any costume ideas or celebrations planned?
I LOVE Halloween! I also love to make my own costumes and usually start building/sewing them obscenely early, like in August/September. The more creative the better! I am fairly new to town so I don’t have any plans yet, but if I do find something, I may go as the tooth fairy (complete with 3-foot toothbrush) or I might re-use my owl or Flo from Progressive Insurance costume from years past. 

Mad Minute with Michael Gaies

Mad Minute with Michael Gaies

Michael Gaies, MD  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

Michael Gaies, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

As someone who specializes in pediatric cardiology, what do you consider to be the biggest challenges in your discipline today?
We have made remarkable progress in treating pediatric and congenital heart disease to the point that there are now more adults living with these conditions than children.  This requires us to measure and impact outcomes beyond those in the short-term from surgery and critical illness such as mortality, and focus on metrics related to cognition, quality of life, and function in the work force.  As yet we do not understand how our care in the hospital impacts these long-term outcomes, and this is our challenge if we hope to change the way we care for our patients in hope of improving their lives.  Finally, we need to better harness the data we collect on our patients, particularly in the ICU, and convert that data into actionable information to be used at the bedside.

Your current research looks at improving cardiac surgery centers. What changes would you like to see in the near future?
I would love to see payers (public and private) mandate participation by hospitals in collaborative quality improvement, and to tie incentives to improving outcomes.  I would also support creation and expansion of networks consisting of large and small programs working together to regionalize complex care and sustain quality at smaller hospitals.

How has MCIRCC played a role in your research?
MCIRCC has created a network of potential collaborators to explore some of the data science projects we hope to undertake within cardiac critical care.  We hope to successfully compete for grant funding in partnership with these MCIRCC experts.

College football season is in full swing! Do you participate in any of the fall festivities? Perhaps a favorite game day snack?
I do love college football and we plan to tailgate several times this year (when I'm not on call in the ICU...). You can't beat smoked pork for game day victuals.

Mad Minute with Katsuo Kurabayashi

Mad Minute with Katsuo Kurabayashi

Katsuo Kurabayashi  Professor of Mechanical Engineering Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Associate Chair for Graduation Education, Mechanical Engineering

Katsuo Kurabayashi
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Associate Chair for Graduation Education, Mechanical Engineering

What current MCIRCC projects are you working on?
My MCIRCC projects are concerned with development of a new biosensor platform that enables point-of-care (POC) biomarker-guided precision diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI), sepsis, and other acute inflammatory disorders. My research team's approach is to achieve fast, sensitive, and sample-sparing measurement of biomarkers in serum, urine, and saliva using nanometer-scale light-matter interaction coupled with the surface binding of biomolecules called "nanoplasmonic biosensing." The ultimate goal here is to translate the biosensor platform into a fully integrated battery-operated module for use under a clinical setting with limited resources. 

How has MCIRCC and team science impacted your research goals?
As an engineering researcher, I have a professional goal to make use of cutting-edge technologies to help clinicians and clinical scientists develop powerful, effective health care techniques available at bedside. My collaboration with MCIRCC researchers is very critical to achieve this goal. My research has been tremendously benefitted from team effort with my collaborators. Clinical problems facing physicians and researchers in critical illness and injury often define my engineering research direction. Team science is the only way to allow us to solve these complex problems by gathering a wide spectrum of technical expertise all together. 

Where do you see the future of critical care research headed?
I believe that the future direction of critical care will be personalized treatment of individual patients based on precise analysis and intervention of their unique illness conditions and behaviors. Perhaps, this research area will see more engineers and computer scientists involved to collect and analyze big clinical data using advanced instrumentation engineering and artificial intelligence (AI)-based machine learning/data mining. You'll see more "techies" working with medical doctors to come up with new therapeutic techniques.  

With summer winding to a close, what are you looking forward to this upcoming fall season?
A few new PhD students interested in the MCIRCC projects will be joining my research lab this fall. They are very talented students. I look forward to working with them. 

Mad Minute with Brendan McCracken

Mad Minute with Brendan McCracken

Brendan McCracken  Laboratory Specialist Associate

Brendan McCracken
Laboratory Specialist Associate

You work in MCIRCC's specialized large animal intensive care unit. What sets this lab apart from others at this university and other institutions?

Our Lab is the just the best, obviously! But honestly, it’s a combination of the equipment and facilities. Our data acquisition equipment is state of the art, which allows us a unique ability to measure complex changes in physiology in real time. Specifically, hemodynamics and oxygen transport. We have ultrasound and X-ray imaging, as well as a complete blood lab right in the operating room allowing hematology, chemistry, coagulation, and blood gas analysis. Basically, if you’re interested in it, we can probably measure it. 

Our facilities are also unique. We have two surgical operating rooms that could allow as many as six procedures at any given time. Couple that with the adjacent two intensive care unit beds for extended monitoring and it’s really a place the likes of which are few and far between.

You're helping out with several different large animal models right now. Do you have a "favorite" study at the moment or any that stand out?

We have four major models we are working with right now: hemorrhagic shock, cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injury, and sepsis.

I don’t know about “favorite”, but I think our new sepsis model from Timothy Cornell, MD, FAAP, Kevin Ward, MD, and Hakam Tiba, MD, is really standing out; mostly because a model like this has never been done before. There are plenty of sepsis models out there, but they are all lacking in some way. Establishing the best model is the first step of studying any pathology. We are leading the way in creating a high fidelity, replicable, and most importantly clinically relevant model of sepsis, which will subsequently lead to more effective treatment strategies. 

While I'm sure the list is never ending, what do you consider to be the best part about your job?

I hope this doesn’t sound too cliché, but without a doubt it’s the people (the team, the team, the team!). I’m surrounded by so much ambition and innovation, coming from everyone from students to faculty. It’s inspiring. Collaborating with the investigators and their teams keeps me learning constantly, which both keeps me engaged and then allows me to spread knowledge by teaching our students and other visiting collaborators.

The MCIRCC team definitely appreciates their food... What's your favorite Ann Arbor restaurant and what's your favorite item on their menu?

I’m going to cheat a little bit on this question because it’s not exactly in Ann Arbor. There’s a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in Ypsilanti called La Fuente. My favorite is the Super California burrito smothered in Verde sauce. Warning: If you eat here, all of the other Mexican restaurants might just become disappointing.

Mad Minute with Esther Bay

Mad Minute with Esther Bay

Esther Bay, PhD, ACNS-BC  Clinical Associate Professor, Nursing

Esther Bay, PhD, ACNS-BC
Clinical Associate Professor, Nursing

Your research is very focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI). What makes you so passionate about innovating TBI care?

Studying traumatic brain injury is challenging and I have been inspired by the patients and their journeys back into functioning—they really have a challenge because so often, their appearance is fine! I began my nursing career in trauma ICUs when folks with severe TBI didn’t make it or went to nursing homes.  In the 80s, I noticed something—they got better and spent a long time in rehab! When I began my doctoral program here in the School of Nursing, I indicated interest in cognitive, behavioral, mood and symptom management after mild to moderate TBI.  My team said that was too much; pick one area and know that well.  I settled on depression, but have always studied the other components because the brain is the hub of everything.  That’s what attracted me to bench scientist Bruce McEwen and his allostatic load stress theory model focus on chronic stress and preventing this because it has brain consequences.  My patients totally get the concept; my peer reviewers in journals and grants still have questions.  So essentially, I am trying to translate bench to bedside because it will benefit patients.  Fortunately, some of the bench scientists at UCLA are providing us with better science to show that the biological stress response after TBI is hyper-responsive and perhaps affects recovery and chronicity. That’s why I need a team like MCIRCC; they do both basic & clinical research!

You are interested in what happens to patients after TBI. Can you tell us a little bit about your findings in developing these behavioral interventions?

I began developing an explanatory model for why 25% of those with mild to moderate TBI didn’t get better; they continued to have cognitive, mood and behavioral issues (sleep problems, fatigue).  I used findings from bench scientists in depression and allostatic load stress theory to explain this phenomenon through hormones, specifically and first cortisol.  Then the questions began; what about cytokines, what about sex differences? What I did know was that the cortisol levels (salivary 12-hour profiles) were hypo-responsive in those with chronic mild to moderate TBI.  I persisted with this line of inquiry through R-applications, pilots, and DOD applications; there were always more questions from the reviewers than I could answer.  I proceeded then with post-doctoral studies in UM PM&R – the NIA was interested in studies with older adults and TBI and the allostatic load theory was well-developed in the healthy aging studies.  Then I was persuaded to try intervention work and a new set of pilots began with mindfulness therapy after mild to moderate chronic TBI.  The patients loved the 8-week intervention compared to our active control healthy living after trauma work and we showed that symptoms, mood, and stress was effectively reduced compared to active control.  Mindfulness scientists are developing neuroscience knowledge. Scientists have begun to show its potential to alter cognitive (executive function), behavioral, stress, and symptom burden through improvements in functional connections between amygdala and pre-frontal cortex, and decreases in inflammatory markers.  A large trial from Sam McLean at UNC along with many other ED researchers has shown that the mechanism for stress hyper-responsivity early after mild TBI is explained by genetic variants in glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity.  Those are the folks who develop chronic issues after MVC.  Therefore, mindfulness therapies may be effective for this type of cohort. Behavioral interventions may lead to a more clear understanding of the  explanatory mechanisms leading to chronicity after TBI.  

You've been working on TBI-related research for a long time. What do you see as the future of TBI care?

The only future for TBI-related care is to establish a team science approach that is multidisciplinary.  TBI potentially affects all aspects of the brain so personalized, tailored therapies that can be self-managed by the patients and/or families are the future.  Pharmacological therapies have failed for decades; we must have something to offer folks so they can get back to their daily living circumstances.  How to age with a TBI and/or multiple TBIs is in its infancy.  Prevention and early aggressive therapies are the mainstay for now, but we really need to also help those over age 75 manage after a TBI.  Those behavioral therapies will most likely focus on dyad work between caregivers and the patient.  

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. Do you have any traditions for the big holiday weekend?

I am fortunate to have a cottage a the foot of the National Lakeshore of Lake MI.  The 4th of July in that area is filled with tourists who do very extensive firework displays that are stunning.  Unfortunately, my hunting dogs do not like these high-pitched sounds, so we remain in the southeast portion of the state where it is quiet and less intense and their lives are spared mini-displays of flashing lights and high-pitched tones.  Fortunately, many of our friends enjoy the quiet times offered in southeastern MI while others celebrate with loud displays!

Mad Minute with Ross Kessler

Mad Minute with Ross Kessler

Ross Kessler, MD Instructor, Emergency Medicine

Ross Kessler, MD
Instructor, Emergency Medicine

You serve as the Co-Director of Clinical Ultrasound for the Emergency Medicine Department. Tell us a little bit about that role…

I am fortunate to work with other talented clinical ultrasound faculty, Nik Theyyunni and Rob Huang, to oversee the clinical ultrasound program in the emergency department at the University of Michigan. Responsibilities of the position include the curriculum development and education of all emergency medicine residents, clinical ultrasound fellows, and pediatric emergency medicine fellows in the practice of bedside ultrasound. Together, we promote the use of diagnostic and procedural bedside ultrasound to improve patient care and safety, and provide quality assurance for the studies performed in the emergency department. In addition, I am actively involved in the development of a curriculum to integrate ultrasound into medical student education. Beyond the clinical benefits of ultrasound training, medical educators have recognized that ultrasound can be a powerful adjunct in teaching the anatomic, physiologic, and pathologic concepts of the preclinical years. 

How do you see ultrasound being utilized when it comes to advancing critical care?

The use of clinical ultrasound is essential to the management of the critically ill patient, especially in the undifferentiated patient presenting in shock. Bedside ultrasound provides invaluable information to diagnose acute life-threatening conditions and guide invasive procedures. Ultrasound allows real-time evaluation of a patient’s disease process, including cardiac dysfunction, lung pathology,  and intravascular volume status. To deliver the highest quality and most advanced critical care, we consistently integrate ultrasound into the management of critically ill patients to guide resuscitation. In the future, we hope to develop automated, non-invasive ultrasound technology that provides continuous hemodynamic monitoring in our patients in shock. 

You are also responsible for the critical care ultrasound curriculum for the aeromedical transport program. What does that entail?

In order to improve the care of our critically ill patients, and in accordance with our mission to create the future of emergency care, we decided to teach Survival Flight, the University of Michigan’s medical transport flight nursing staff, the basic skills necessary to provide clinical ultrasound for patients during transport. Through didactic and hands on training, the flight nurses were trained utilizing portable ultrasound machines in the core critical care ultrasound applications. With the support of the emergency department and the enthusiasm of the flight nurses, nearly every nurse has passed a competency exam and is approved to carry and use portable ultrasound in the management of our most critically ill patients being transferred to the University of Michigan.  

The weather is really starting to get nice out there. Do you have any favorite warm weather activities in Ann Arbor?

I am still getting used to these Ann Arbor winters and am really looking forward to the warm weather. I enjoy taking walks to the farmer’s market or going to one of the playgrounds or parks with my wife and two small children. I am hoping to explore northern Michigan and all it has to offer this summer. 

Mad Minute with Cindy Hsu

Mad Minute with Cindy Hsu

Cindy Hsu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor, Acute Care Surgery

Cindy Hsu, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor, Acute Care Surgery

You recently completed your trauma/surgical critical care fellowship at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center... Tell us a little bit about that experience.
It was truly an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to learn from and work alongside of some of the most talented, dedicated surgeons and intensivists in the country. The volume and acuity there were unparalleled. We were inspired by Dr. Tom Scalea, the physician-in-chief, to provide the best and most cutting-edge trauma care to all patients. My clinical training there also serves as the foundation for many interesting research questions that I hope to carry forward in my career. It was an incredible honor to call Shock Trauma home and wear the pink scrubs for two years.

You have a wide variety of research interests ranging from asynchronous medical education to point-of-care ultrasound. Tell us about one of your favorite research projects?
I am most excited about two projects. The first project is examining the role of valproic acid for post-cardiac arrest neuroprotection using a porcine cardiac arrest model, with hope to translate those findings into an early phase 2 clinical trial. I was fortunate to receive the NHLBI K12 Career Development Award in Emergency Critical Care Research for this study. The second project is an asynchronous critical care education website called Michigan Critical Care Project. It will host free videocasts on emergency critical care topics, with a large emphasis on point-of-care ultrasound. This project is funded by the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Faculty Development Fund.

You're a co-principal investigator of an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma multicenter study. Can you give us some more info on that?
This study began as single-center retrospective study during my fellowship at the Shock Trauma Center. I had the opportunity to take care of quite a few unfortunate patients who sustained cardiac arrest from suicidal hanging, and I was curious whether targeted temperature management (TTM) could improve their outcome. EAST was kind enough to accept our multicenter study proposal so that we can collect more outcome data on this patient cohort. We are up to 18 participating centers now. This study will be the largest outcome study on hanging patients, and one that specifically examines the role of TTM in those who sustained post-hanging cardiac arrest.

This one is a two-part question. First, are you sweet or salty snack person? Second, what is your favorite snack?
This is a tough question…it really depends on my mood at the given moment. That’s why I always stock my pantry with Trader Joe’s Herbs & Spices Popcorn AND Kettle Corn. 

Mad Minute with Justin Jones

Mad Minute with Justin Jones

Justin Jones Research Manager, Emergency Medicine

Justin Jones
Research Manager, Emergency Medicine

You've worked at the University in several different fields… How has your experience with lab animal medicine and endocrinology shaped your outlook on Emergency Medicine?
Having worked with other groups has shaped my outlook on research and let me see that we are all part of a working community with a common goal. I like to think that whether our groups intersect or run parallel we are all working for the greater good. Other groups have shown me that there is sometimes more than one way of doing something while yielding the same results.

You work with multiple research teams in Emergency Medicine. What are some of the most interesting projects you’re involved with?
After working for 12 years in Endocrinology specifically with mice, I have to say the large animal models are most interesting research projects for me. Hemorrhagic shock and the sepsis model are the two I find the most interesting. I was most impressed with the degree at which the animals were cared for and studied. The environment is very controlled and technologically advanced. I have been in human ORs before and they did not have the equipment and instrumentation that EMR has. I find it fascinating that we can recreate these two life threatening conditions, in a controlled environment, to gain a better understanding for future treatments. I am confident that we will make great steps going forward.

What would you tell someone who is interested in joining MCIRCC?
I would say don’t hesitate.  You can be a part of a village that has a broad network of knowledge and support.

Do you have any fun plans or traditions to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Being part Irish, my family usually has a traditional Irish dinner including corned beef and cabbage. I grew up eating this and I would like my children to also have this experience. We also talk about our ancestry and the struggles they had coming to America.

Mad Minute with Michael Maile

Mad Minute with Michael Maile

Michael Maile, MD Professor of Anesthesiology

Michael Maile, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology

You're the program director for the Anesthesia Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at UM. Why is this role important to you?
I enjoy the opportunity to share my passion for critical care medicine with others and have been fortunate to work with phenomenal trainees.

Can you tell us about some of your most recent research and how it relates to critical care?
Much of my research is focused on the impact of cardiac dysfunction on individuals undergoing noncardiac surgery or critical illness. While a great deal of research has been completed to improve the long-term outcomes of this population, many questions still exist about how to support the failing heart during times of physiologic stress. My goal is to generate evidence that can be used to guide the treatment of these individuals during their time in the operating room and intensive care unit.

What was exciting to you about becoming an associate director at MCIRCC?
I believe that patients receive the best care when treated by a multidisciplinary team. I have promoted this clinically and educationally through my role as a program director and associate ICU director. As an associate director of MCIRCC, I am excited to pursue a similar goal with critical care research. Hopefully, by building teams of experts from various backgrounds, we will be able to produce groundbreaking and transformative improvements in our ability to care for patients.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
It would be great to never get sick.

Mad Minute with Ryan Bailey

Mad Minute with Ryan Bailey

Ryan Bailey, PhD Robert A. Gregg Professor of Chemistry   r

Ryan Bailey, PhD
Robert A. Gregg Professor of Chemistry

The Bailey Lab is working on developing analysis tools. Can you tell us a little bit about that project?
The overarching focus of our group is developing new analytical methodologies to enable individualized disease management. Major efforts at present are the development of low cost, array-based sensors for point-of-care biomarker diagnostics, and microfluidic devices that can enable rapid epigenomic analyses. Both of these technologies have broad applications within critical care. We are particularly interested in interfacing our high information content-analytical methods with robust informatics tools that, together with other clincial data streams, can better enable real-time decision making.

How do you see those tools directly impacting critical care in the future?
It is becoming increasingly clear that inflammation is a major driver in many human illnesses and disease, and inflammation is ubiquitous within the critical care setting. We are applying our array-based biomarker detection technology to the longitudinal profiling of biochemical signatures of inflammation that can help establish individualized patient trajectories. Essentially, we are trying to eavesdrop on the immune system to see whether a patient's condition is improving or worsensing before it might be evident using more conventional metrics. On the epigenomic front, we are interesting in deploying these tools to help identify who might benefit most from certain therapeutic strategies that can modify or reset  immune function, which also has implications in stratifying patients that are at elevated risk of future complications after they leave the critical care setting.

Your lab uses an interdisciplinary approach to the biomolecular sciences. How is that vital to your success?
I have broad scientific interests, enjoy solving new problems, and can have a relatively short attention span. So in the course of a day (or lying awake in the middle of the night) my thoughts often drift anywhere between applied physics and immunology. Most of my group's successes have resulted from being able to recognize needs in one discipline that can be solved by adapting technologies from seemingly disparate fields. Interdisciplinary thinking is essential in seeing those opportunities.

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions you'd like to share with us?
I just moved to UM in July of 2016 after spending a decade on the faculty at Illinois. So, I'm looking forward to learning more about the exciting research collaborations and opportunities at Michigan--especially those involving MCIRCC.