Dr. Jordt Named Co-Chair of Terrorism & Inhalation Disasters Section

Sven-Eric Jordt, PhDThe American Thoracic Society (ATS) elected Duke Anesthesiology’s Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD, as the co-chair of its Section on Terrorism and Inhalation Disasters (TID) on May 23 at the society’s annual meeting.

TID brings together ATS members with interests in mechanisms and treatment approaches for chemically-induced inhalation injuries and their health effects, epidemiology of inhalation injuries, identification and control of inhalation threats associated with terrorism, industrial accidents, infectious diseases and environmental disasters, preparedness and first responder networks. Dr. Jordt will support the section’s mission by coordinating section proposals, official society publications and outreach efforts.

An ATS report calling for an increase in research efforts to develop new therapeutics for chemical inhalation injury was published in the June 1, 2017 issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, titled “An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Chemical Inhalational Disasters. Biology of Lung Injury, Development of Novel Therapeutics, and Medical Preparedness.”

Dr. Jordt is an associate professor of anesthesiology, faculty of Duke Anesthesiology’s Center for Translational Pain Medicine, and the director of the Chemical Sensing, Pain and Inflammation Research Laboratory which focuses on the mechanisms that enable humans and animals to sense touch, pain and irritation.

Chris KeithDr. Jordt Named Co-Chair of Terrorism & Inhalation Disasters Section
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Dr. Swaminathan Elected Vice President of ASE

Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE, FAHAOn June 4, Duke Anesthesiology’s Madhav Swaminathan, MD, MMCi, became the first anesthesiologist to be appointed as vice president of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) in the organization’s 42-year history.

“It is humbling to be accepted by the society into a key leadership role that will eventually lead to the presidency of the largest and most influential voice in echocardiography in the world,” says Dr. Swaminathan. “It represents recognition of years of hard work by many giants in the field who have made it possible for an anesthesiologist to be in this position.”

In his new role as vice president on ASE’s Board of Directors, Dr. Swaminathan says he hopes to continue some of the work that they have been doing in the society – expanding its global presence in echocardiography and reaching out to non-traditional users of cardiovascular ultrasound, such as critical care medicine practitioners, through educational initiatives. He believes these efforts will continue to foster innovation in echocardiography and explore novel ways in which diagnostic cardiovascular ultrasound can add value to population health.

According to Dr. Swaminathan, Duke Anesthesiology has been a leader in the field of perioperative echocardiography since its inception. “My appointment to the leadership of the ASE is unprecedented and reflects years of hard work by leaders in our specialty,” adds Dr. Swaminathan. “Many in our institution, including Drs. Joseph Mathew, Jonathan Mark, and Mark Newman of Duke Anesthesiology, and Joseph Kisslo and Pamela Douglas of Duke Medicine, both past ASE presidents, have been instrumental in this effort.”

Dr. Swaminathan has assumed roles on several ASE committees, most recently as chairman of the Membership Committee and chairman of the Council on Perioperative Echocardiography. He has also served on the Industry Relations Committee, Education Committee, and as co-chairman and chairman of the Perioperative Echocardiography track for ASE’s Scientific Sessions from 2011-2015. Notably, he was the first anesthesiologist selected to deliver the prestigious Feigenbaum Lecture at ASE’s Scientific Sessions in 2015.

Dr. Swaminathan is a professor of anesthesiology, the clinical director of the Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Division, and co-director of Perioperative Optimization. His research focuses on elucidating mechanisms of, and risk factors for, perioperative acute kidney injury in patients undergoing heart surgery with emphasis on the role of early recovery of kidney function. He is also involved in research exploring the role of transesophageal echocardiography in outcomes after cardiac surgery.

Chris KeithDr. Swaminathan Elected Vice President of ASE
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Dr. Kwatra Awarded Funding for Glioblastoma Study

Madan M. Kwatra, PhDGenzada Pharmaceuticals has awarded Dr. Madan Kwatra a two-year, $763,200 grant, titled “Evaluation of novel anti-cancer agents, either alone or in combination, for activity against glioblastoma subtypes: a personalized medicine approach.”

Genzada specializes in pharmaceuticals derived from plants. Their lead compounds have shown activity in preclinical models of several cancers. These agents will be tested against glioblastoma because they have the ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier and represent a natural, alternative therapy against glioblastoma. The compounds will be tested against GBMs of multiple molecular subtypes allowing for a personalized and targeted approach to treating this deadly disease.

Dr. Kwatra is an associate professor in anesthesiology and the director of the Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory at Duke Anesthesiology, which focuses on understanding the role of G protein-coupled receptors in human diseases.

Chris KeithDr. Kwatra Awarded Funding for Glioblastoma Study
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FAER Awards Dr. Quinones Research Training Grant

Quintin Quinones, MD, PhDThe Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Quintin Quinones, MD, PhD, a two-year, $175,000 mentored research training grant, titled “Reversible Immunomodulation as a Strategy for Ischemia Tolerance in Hibernation.” His mentor for this grant is Dr. Mihai Podgoreanu, chief of the Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Division.

During surgery or critical illness, patients sometimes suffer organ dysfunction related to uncontrolled inflammation. There are currently no drugs that effectively treat this problem. To work towards new treatments, Dr. Quinones and a team of investigators have developed a surgical model to study a hibernating mammal known as the arctic ground squirrel (AGS). These animals show a remarkable, natural resistance to injury in a robust surgical model that closely mirrors what humans experience during major heart surgery. To understand how arctic ground squirrels are different, they’re comparing them to rats in the same surgical model; rats do not show any natural resistance and suffer organ dysfunction much in the way that humans do.

The focus of the study is a unique trait found in hibernators – the AGS can regulate its innate immune system to decrease inflammation following surgical injury. Dr. Quinones and his co-investigators will examine protein levels and the function of white blood cells in the AGS vs. the rat. They will also look at protein levels in human white blood cells. By understanding how the AGS is able to regulate its innate immune system, they hope to identify potential targets that will lead to treatments for human patients during surgery and critical illness.

There is a fundamental knowledge gap regarding the role of innate immunity in injury during ischemia and reperfusion in the perioperative period and during critical illness. Hibernating mammals enjoy natural resistance to ischemia/reperfusion injury as a result of adaptations that allow them to survive winter torpor-arousal cycles without injury. One such adaptation is natural reversible modulation of innate immunity that reduces responses to danger-associated molecular patterns and pathogen-associated molecular patterns. A comparative biology approach provides the opportunity to study animals that are naturally adapted to survive ischemia and reperfusion. Dr. Quinones hypothesizes that hibernator resistance to ischemia/reperfusion is secondary to reversible modulation of innate immunity.

Dr. Quinones is an assistant professor of anesthesiology in the department’s Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Division. His research on hibernation biology has been featured in several publications, including the journal, Anesthesiology (June 2016), as well as the 2016 edition and 2013 edition of Duke Anesthesiology’s annual BluePrint magazine.

Chris KeithFAER Awards Dr. Quinones Research Training Grant
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Dr. Habib Appointed to SOAP Board of Directors

Ashraf S. Habib, MBBCh, MSc, MHSc, FRCAThe Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) has elected Duke Anesthesiology’s Dr. Ashraf Habib to serve as the director at large on its board of directors. The announcement was made at the society’s 49th annual meeting, titled “Beyond the Obstetric Suite.”

SOAP’s mission is to improve the pregnancy-related outcomes of women and neonates through the support of obstetric anesthesiology research, the provision of education to its members, other providers, and pregnant women, and the promotion of excellence in clinical anesthetic care.

Dr. Habib is the chief of Duke Anesthesiology’s Women’s Anesthesia Division. He has been a SOAP member for the past 17 years in which he has been active in a number of SOAP committees, including the international outreach committee (member 2004-2008, chairman since 2008), the research committee (since 2008), and the resident affairs committee (since 2009). He has also  served on a number of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) committees related to obstetric anesthesia, including the ASA abstract review subcommittee on obstetric anesthesia and perinatology (member 2009-2013, chair since 2013), and the ASA education track subcommittee (since 2013).

Dr. Habib says the experience he has gained through his work, participating in and leading several international outreach trips teaching obstetric anesthesia overseas (Croatia, Egypt and Romania), has made him appreciate the opportunities that SOAP can have as a leader in improving the care of pregnant women worldwide.

Chris KeithDr. Habib Appointed to SOAP Board of Directors
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Simulation Specialist Receives Patient Safety Grant

Jeffrey M. Taekman, MDDurham Casualty has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Dr. Jeffrey Taekman $108,668 in funding for a patient safety project titled, “Simulation-Based Crisis Resource Management as a Risk Reduction Strategy for the Health System.”

Throughout medicine, safe and effective delivery of health care has relied on proper team coordination and communication. The Joint Commission cites failures of teamwork and communication as a root cause of more than 50 percent of sentinel events. These events can have both economic and patient safety implications. In perioperative medicine, communication breakdowns represent the second leading cause of preventable intraoperative error, resulting in patient harm, second only to technical error. Analysis of closed claims by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) implicate poor communication as a major preventable cause of adverse events.

In order to combat communication errors, Dr. Taekman proposes to implement an interprofessional simulation-centric crisis resource management (CRM) learning experience within Duke University Hospital. The expected outcome of this project includes decreased malpractice liability exposure and improved patient outcomes.

The proposed program, with interprofessional simulation at its core, will be carried out in collaboration with the Department of OB/Gyn and the faculty and staff of the Duke Birthing Center. Dr. Taekman’s collaborators include Ankeet Udani, Zaneta Strouch, Chad Grotegut, Andrea Fiumefreddo, Joe Chapman, Trish Fletcher, and Jennifer Justice.  Dr. Taekman’s vision is to build a similar program for each of the high risk surgical/perioperative services.

Dr. Taekman is the assistant dean for educational technology and the director of the Duke Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, a joint project of Duke Anesthesiology, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

Chris KeithSimulation Specialist Receives Patient Safety Grant
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