Dr. Adam Striker welcomes the Anesthesia Research Council’s Drs. Charles Emala and Vivianne Tawfik to discuss the physician-scientists pipeline and steps the specialty can take to support physician-scientists today and in the future. Listen in as the guests share what they learned from an evaluation of the research pipeline and pass on strategic recommendations to grow the pipeline. Recorded April 2023.
This episode is sponsored by GE HealthCare.
Charles Emala, MS, MD, is the Henrik H. Bendixen professor of anesthesiology and vice chair for research in the department of anesthesiology at Columbia University. Dr. Emala’s research interest have focused on cellular signaling mechanisms that control smooth muscle contraction/relaxation with a particular interest on anesthetic effects on airway tone and novel therapeutic approaches to airway smooth muscle relaxation in asthma. His laboratory demonstrated the cellular mechanism by which a clinically used muscle relaxant induced fatal bronchospasm in patients. These findings established new metrics for the demonstration of airway safety for new muscle relaxants under development for clinical use. His laboratory was also the first to demonstrate the expression of GABAA channels on airway smooth muscle. These findings are beginning to unravel a previously unrecognized role of GABAA channels on many peripheral cell types that may account for diverse physiological effects of anesthetics. Dr. Emala’s laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 30 years, he has published over 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has mentored over 30 individuals as developing physician-scientists.
Dr. Emala serves as the program director of an NIH T32 anesthesiology research fellowship and director of the Virginia Apar Society, a research track within Columbia’s anesthesiology residency. He’s a board member of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).
Vivianne Tawfik, MD, PhD, is a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician who specializes in the treatment of complex chronic pain disorders including chronic post-operative pain, complex regional pain syndrome and peripheral nerve injury. She is currently an associate professor at Stanford University in the department of anesthesiology, perioperative & pain medicine.
After completing her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, she obtained her MD and PhD in neuroscience, with a focus on basic pain mechanisms, at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH. She then moved to California to join the Stanford department of anesthesiology, perioperative & pain medicine as an anesthesiology resident in the fellowship in Anesthesia Research and Medicine (FARM) program, of which she now serves as the director. After completion of her subspecialty fellowship training in pain medicine, Dr. Tawfik joined the faculty at Stanford and continues to research the immune contribution to persistent pain using clinically-informed basic science while also caring for patients suffering from chronic pain. Her lab uses a variety of approaches, from single cell sequencing to complex behavioral paradigms in mouse pain models, to investigate the contribution of spinal cord glial cells (microglia & astrocytes) to the transition from acute to chronic pain. She enjoys science, sushi and snowboarding in her free time.
Adam Striker, MD, FASA, is currently Chair of the ASA Committee on Communications, and is the series editor for ASA’s Central Line podcast series. He is an Associate Professor and serves as staff anesthesiologist in the Division of Cardiac Anesthesia at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and in the Division of Pediatric Anesthesia at Kentucky Children’s Hospital as part of the Joint Congenital Heart Care Program. He received his undergraduate degree in engineering from Purdue University and his medical degree from Indiana University. He completed his pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at Northwestern University.
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Date of last update: May 31, 2023