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Acute Care Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care

Trauma, hemorrhagic shock, and burns initiate cellular immune responses with detrimental effects on the clinical outcome of trauma patients.

In the early phase after trauma, overwhelming inflammation causes neutrophil activation and subsequent organ damage that can result in adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure (MOF).

In the later phase after trauma, suppressive mediators found in the circulation of patients decrease the ability of lymphocytes to protect the trauma victim from invading microorganisms. This can lead to severe infections and sepsis that are major reasons for trauma deaths.

Trauma surgery research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are involved in the cellular immune response to trauma as well as novel therapeutic approaches to modulate this response.

The surgeons in the Division of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma, and Surgical Critical Care are all engaged in research aimed at improving treatments for trauma patients.

Below are the main research interests of our faculty. To learn more, click on their names to visit their research pages.

Gabriel Brat, MD, MPH
Major Research Focus: surgical informatics and digital innovation, trauma immunology, surgical perfusion imaging

Charles Cook, MD
Major Research Focus: Immunobiology in trauma and critical care patient
PI: Bacterial Sepsis and Reactivation of Latent Cytomegalovirus

Richard Cummings, PhD
Major Research Focus: Glycobiology; cell adhesion/signaling
PI: National Center for Functional Glycomics

Carl Hauser, MD
Major Research Focus: Clinical inflammation biology
PI: Regulation of innate immunity in trauma with an emphasis on translational biology

Wolfgang Junger, PhD
Major Research Focus: Inflammation and immune regulation in critical care patients
PI: Inflammatory responses to trauma

Leo Otterbein, PhD
Major Research Focus: Immune response in trauma, infection, and ischemia reperfusion injury, and regenerative responses to tissue damage
PI: HemeOxygenase-1 and Transplant Tolerance

Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD
Major Research Focus: Understanding how cells respond to stress and injury, including genotoxic, traumatic, and septic insults
PI: DNA damage and trauma