Dr. Ghadimi Earns Mentored Research Award

Kamrouz Ghadimi, MDDuke Anesthesiology’s Kamrouz Ghadimi, MD, has been awarded the 2020 International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) Mentored Research Award ($175,000, two-year grant) to study “Right Ventricular Metabolic Dysregulation after Surgery for Heart Failure.”

Perioperative right heart failure (RHF) is the leading cause of death within 30 days of left ventricular assist device and heart transplant operations. The objective of Ghadimi’s research is to identify cardiometabolic pathways that underlie early RHF after these operations due to changes in right ventricular (RV) afterload and heterogeneity in response to inhaled pulmonary vasodilators (iPVD). Supported by preliminary metabolomic analyses, the central hypothesis posits that RV-pulmonary arterial (PA) coupling is optimized in the responder phenotype, which signals efficient fatty acid oxidation in RV myocardium. Study aims include 1) quantifying differences in key metabolites using targeted mass spectrometry in serial plasma and RV myocardial samples to determine cardiometabolic pathways, including dysregulated fatty acid oxidation, that underlie early RHF and heterogeneity in response to iPVD, and 2) identifying baseline biomarkers reflecting fatty acid oxidation defects that are associated with RV-PA coupling status, iPVD response phenotypes, and early RHF development to create an integrated clinical-molecular model for outcome prediction in critically-ill patients.

The foundation for this mentored research training grant is embedded in the INSPIRE-FLO clinical trial that Ghadimi has led since 2017 and the biospecimen repository that derived from trial patients undergoing advanced heart failure surgery, such as left ventricular assist device insertion and heart transplantation. As part of this award, Ghadimi and his research team plan to enroll patients undergoing routine cardiac operations by utilizing the vast resources available through Duke Anesthesiology’s Clinical Research Unit. As a member of the Shah laboratory at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Ghadimi is being mentored by laboratory principal investigator (PI) and associate dean of genomics, Dr. Svati Shah, to accomplish the aims of this investigation and to acquire the necessary experiential training to become an independent clinical and translational investigator. As a previous recipient of the NIH T32 award (sponsored by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, PI: David Warner, MD), Ghadimi will obtain a Master in Health Science (MHSc) from the NIH-Duke Clinical Research Training Program and pursue additional coursework in precision medicine during this award.

“Receiving this grant is the next step in achieving my long-term goal of using translational methods to identify molecular pathways of right heart failure that will lead to potential novel therapeutic strategies and biomarker discovery for personalized patient care,” says Ghadimi, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care. “With a large sense of gratitude, being named an award recipient has helped validate (1) the countless hours of hard work and sacrifice that were required to mature this project with my group of mentors and advisors, (2) the time my research team and I have utilized to coordinate multiple resources at Duke that are essential for proper acquisition and storage of biospecimens associated with our parent clinical trial, INSPIRE-FLO, and (3) the importance of ongoing professional development through enrollment in formal research training.”

Stacey HiltonDr. Ghadimi Earns Mentored Research Award
Read More

Dr. Terrando Awarded Grant for COVID-19 Related Research

Niccolò Terrando, BSc (hons), DIC, PhDThe National Institutes of Health has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Niccolò Terrando, BSc, DIC, PhD, a one-year, $322,620 supplement grant to his R01-funded project, titled “Delirium Superimposed on Dementia Intersects with COVID-19.”

Delirium has become a common complication of COVID-19 that further impairs the recovery of already debilitated patients, in particular older adults. Terrando and his co-investigators are studying the role of neuroinflammation as a putative driver of delirium pathogenesis. For this supplement, they will explore how lung injury, akin to COVID-19 infection, leads to delirium by impairing the blood-brain barrier and triggering immune cell trafficking into the brain.

Terrando aims to develop a model of COVID-19 lung injury that activates the immune system to damage the brain, affecting areas that serve attention, memory, and thinking, and reverse these changes with an experimental drug in development. Findings from this research supplement will address this serious public health concern by providing fundamental knowledge on the pathogenesis of delirium following COVID-19-like infection. Such work has the potential to reduce the health care burden of COVID-19 associated with delirium and related neurologic complications, such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs).

“We are thrilled to develop this project in collaboration with Dr. Purushothama Rao Tata in the Duke Department of Cell Biology, an expert in murine lung injury models, and Dr. Harris A. Gelbard in the Center for Neurotherapeutics Discovery at the University of Rochester Medical Center that developed new therapeutics effective in resolving neuroinflammation, which we are currently testing in the R01 funded project,” says Terrando, associate professor in anesthesiology. “We are grateful for the National Institute on Aging’s continuous support, and we are looking forward to providing timely results that may curtail pathologic hallmarks of delirium and neurodegeneration resulting from COVID-19.”

Stacey HiltonDr. Terrando Awarded Grant for COVID-19 Related Research
Read More

Dr. Devinney Receives Research Award

Michael Devinney, MDThe Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC) has selected Duke Anesthesiology’s Michael Devinney, MD, PhD, as the 2020 recipient of its William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award for his project, titled “The Association of Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown with Sleep Apnea and Postoperative Delirium.”

Using pre- and postoperative cerebrospinal fluid samples from the ongoing Sleep Apnea, Neuroinflammation, and cognitive Dysfunction Manifesting After Non-cardiac surgery (SANDMAN) study, Devinney and his co-investigators will determine whether blood-brain barrier breakdown occurs at higher levels in patients with sleep apnea, and whether increased postoperative blood-brain barrier breakdown is associated with worse postoperative delirium. As part of the SNACC award, Devinney will receive $5,000 to be applied toward research expenses for his winning project.

“I am honored to receive the 2020 William L. Young Neuroscience Research Award and grateful for the support from the Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care,” says Devinney, assistant professor of anesthesiology. “Also, I am very thankful for the excellent mentorship that I have received at Duke, the support of the Department of Anesthesiology, and the help we have received from our collaborators.”

Stacey HiltonDr. Devinney Receives Research Award
Read More