October 15, 2018
American Society of Anesthesiologists recognizes Beverley A. Orser, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, FCAHS, with its Excellence in Research Award
SAN FRANCISCO –The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Beverley A. Orser, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, FCAHS, with its 2018 Excellence in Research Award in recognition of her outstanding research accomplishments on the molecular mechanisms of anesthetic agents. Dr. Orser’s research has led to major scientific advances in anesthesiology and neuroscience.
A professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto, Dr. Orser is also co-director of research of the Department of Anesthesia at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto.
Dr. Orser’s investigations as a physician-scientist have focused on the actions of general anesthetic drugs on specific receptors and chemical messengers that carry signals between nerve cells and other cells in the brain. Her work has provided insights into how anesthetic agents selectively produce the various components of the anesthetic state, which include sedation, memory, pain control and immobility. This research has received significant attention because it helps us understand how anesthetics depress brain function and the actions of a variety of other drugs.
Additionally, Dr. Orser’s work has examined the potential side effects related to anesthetics and how these side effects can be mitigated. She is dedicated to investigating the very rare occurrence of awareness during anesthesia and is seeking to determine whether specific receptors in the brain could be responsible for the varying effects of anesthetics on amnesia in patients. She is also researching potential issues with memory and cognitive deficits that may persist beyond anesthetic administration such as delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction, which occur in older patients who undergo surgery.
“It is an honor to present Dr. Orser, an international leader in anesthesiology research and patient safety, with the 2018 Excellence in Research Award,” said ASA President James D. Grant, M.D., M.B.A., FASA. “Anesthesiology is an emerging neuroscience discipline, and Dr. Orser’s research has key translational significance throughout the medical and scientific community.”
In addition to her significant research accomplishments, Dr. Orser serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) and the Steering Committee of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) SmartTots Initiative.
In recognition of her many accomplishments, Dr. Orser received a Canada Research Chair in Anesthesia from the government of Canada, the IARS’ first Frontiers in Anesthesia Research Award and the Research Recognition Award from the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society. She was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada among other awards.
Dr. Orser received her Doctor of Medicine from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and completed a fellowship in anesthesia from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She also received a doctorate in medical science from the University of Toronto.
A champion of the importance of mentorship, Dr. Orser’s impact has not been limited to her scientific discoveries. She has trained numerous young investigators and promoted the development of formal research training programs for clinicians, particularly physician anesthesiologists. She remains dedicated to training the next generation of scientists and clinician-investigators at the University of Toronto.
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES18.