beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Acute Care Surgery and 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.

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

Teresa Sanchez, PhD
Major Research Focus: The role of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in the regulation of the responses of the vascular endothelium to injury
PI: Signaling pathways that regulate the responses of the vascular endothelium to injury during sepsis

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