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University of Maryland School of Medicine Establishes a Research Center in Trauma and Anesthesiology

Friday, May 14, 2008

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 Shock Trauma will play an integral role in the new organized research center.
 

New Organized Research Center Builds Upon the Work of Existing National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Systems

In an effort to further basic, translational and clinical studies in injury research, the University of Maryland School of Medicine has announced its Charles McC. Mathias National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Systems has been designated as a new Organized Research Center (ORC). With this designation, the new Center for Trauma and Anesthesiology Research will become a world-class, multi-disciplinary research and educational center focusing on brain injuries, critical care and organ support, resuscitation, surgical outcomes, patient safety and injury prevention. The new center becomes the seventh Organized Research Center (ORC) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It is believed to be the first research center in the nation dedicated exclusively to the study of trauma, its complications and prevention.

The National Study Center has been an international leader in research related to the causes, treatment and outcomes of traumatic injuries and sudden illness. Previous studies conducted by the National Study Center have been used to improve vehicular safety, to refine patient care and to develop public education programs for the prevention of trauma.

“We are building on the National Study Center’s foundation with added resources to enable the Center for Trauma and Anesthesiology Research to become a truly world class research program,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and dean, School of Medicine. “We are excited by the opportunities this collaborative effort will bring for faculty and researchers across our campus who have common academic interests in trauma and surgical outcomes.”

The Center for Trauma and Anesthesiology Research will encompass the research activities of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Program in Trauma and its Department of Anesthesiology, along with the existing National Study Center, which was established at the School of Medicine in 1986 by the United States Congress. Many of the researchers working in the new research center are doctors who care for trauma patients at the University of Maryland’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

The new ORC will be led initially by Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., professor of surgery and director of the Program in Trauma at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and physician-in-chief at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and co-chair Peter Rock, M.D., M.B.A., professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. A national search is being conducted for a permanent director. 

“This ORC designation demonstrates the commitment that the University of Maryland School of Medicine, its Department of Anesthesiology and its Program in Trauma have made to this project,” says Dr. Scalea. “The Organized Research Center will provide the impetus to build on past successes and create a trauma research program that is unparalleled in this country.”

“The center will focus on issues that are important to both anesthesiologists and those involved in the care of trauma patients,” says Dr. Rock. “Our goal is to promote interdisciplinary research, collaboration and interaction among faculty with similar interests. We intend to collaborate extensively with departments in the School of Medicine, as well as collaborate with the other professional schools at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. We are looking forward to the development of a world-class research center.”

“Now more than ever, we need a greater research effort to improve the survival and outcomes for our trauma patients, in addition to preventing such devastating injuries,” says Dr. Scalea, who adds that traumatic injuries have increased 35 percent in the past 11 years. 

“We believe that we now have the critical mass necessary to achieve our vision,” says Dr. Scalea. “We have brought together clinician scientists, basic scientists and epidemiologists into a center that will focus on discreet areas of injury research. All of these previously independent programs have been successful in the past, but the synergy that will exist in this new Organized Research Center will allow the group to be much more than the sum of its parts.”

Bruce Jarrell, MD, vice dean for Research and Academic Affairs, says that the new ORC “emphasizes the School of Medicine’s continued commitment to excellence in research and our innovative spirit which brings our research vision to life.”

The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s other Organized Research Centers are: the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research, the Center for Integrative Medicine, the Mucosal Biology Research Center, the Center for Vaccine Development, the Center for Research on Aging, and the Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases.

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 The ORC is believed to be the first research center in the nation dedicated exclusively to the study of trauma, its complications and prevention.