Currently the Research Section of Acute Care Surgery is active in 3 major areas of research: Clinical Research, Outcomes Research, and Basic Science/Translational Research. Each of these unique academic endeavors helps improve our understanding of the clinical problems we encounter and better enables us to treat our patients now and in the future.
Clinical Studies focus on the patients we encounter every day. We are involved in both nationwide multi-institutional research through various surgical societies and also industry-sponsored studies, which bring new products and techniques to the bedside. All ongoing clinical studies have been thoroughly evaluated and approved by the UMDNJ Institutional Review Board to assure the greatest degree of safety and integrity in this research.
Outcomes Research utilizes large local and national databases, such as the National Trauma Data Bank and others, to investigate broad questions on a large scale. These studies help physicians understand if certain techniques are successful over time or if certain care measures are cost-effective. The Division of Acute Care Surgery partners with other sections and departments in assembling a team to investigate these questions.
Lastly, out efforts in Basic Science/Translational Research focus on understanding the molecular and genetic mechanisms behind inflammation, sepsis, and other complications of “acute illness.” These efforts are partnered very closely with the ongoing work that continues in the laboratory of the late Dr. Stephen Lowry – an eminent researcher and academic surgeon – known worldwide for his discoveries and contributions in this area. These studies often involve healthy volunteer subjects and our group’s highly regarded “Human Endotoxin Model.”
We endeavor to share our research findings with the medical community through publication in major academic journals, presentations at surgical society meetings, and through our teaching efforts with the medical students and residents of the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The Division of Acute Care Surgery Research Committee was developed to coordinate, supervise, and conduct basic science and clinical research in the areas of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. This multi-disciplinary committee is made up of a core group of Acute Care Surgeons and Fellows, as well as Advanced Practice Nurses and Research Coordinators. Attendance to our monthly meetings is open to all interested Residents and Medical Students.
Researchers in the Division of Acute Care Surgery (ACS) meet every third Thursday of the month. During this time, new ideas for clinical and basic science research are reviewed by the group and either approved for submission or recommended for modification to strengthen the proposal prior to submission to the IRB. Each investigator reports on the progress of his or her own primary projects, eliciting the help of collaborating investigators when appropriate. Members are encouraged to submit completed abstracts and manuscripts to all peer-reviewed journals and national meetings, and travel to these meetings is subsidized by the Division.
Since 2011, the efforts of the ACS Research Committee have resulted in three manuscripts accepted to peer-reviewed medical journals, as well as four poster presentations and one podium presentation at national meetings. Members regularly attend the annual meetings of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), the Western Trauma association (WTA), the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS). Ongoing research topics include retrospective clinical research, randomized clinical trials, clinical outcomes research, and basic science and inflammation.