Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Pittsburgh ANesTHEsiology Research (PANTHER) Track

The PANTHER track is an integrated training program for qualified residency applicants interested in pursuing an academic research career as a physician-scientist. This is a collaborative effort between UPMC Graduate Medical Education and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as PANTHER scholars move through the training pathway outlined in the timeline grid outlined below.

click on photo to enlarge

The PANTHER track director, Keith Vogt, MD, PhD, administers the PANTHER program in close coordination with the residency program leadership (Dr. David Metro, Program Director) and T32 program administration (Dr. Yan Xu, Program Director). Additional information about the program can be obtained by emailing Dr. Vogt at any time in the application process.


PANTHER Track Description

Training Overview
PANTHER scholars participate in all the clinical and didactic programs that are the mainstay of our residency’s clinical training. Early exposure to ongoing research and departmental resources to support scholarly activity is introduced in the PGY-1 year as part of the APP rotation. PANTHER scholars’ schedule includes six months of research elective time during their clinical anesthesiology training (the maximum allowable by the ACGME), and this is typically done in the PGY-3 and PGY-4 years. One or more clinical fellowships can be integrated into the PANTHER timeline for motivated scholars with a passion for subspecialty anesthesiology care.

Academic Development
Through regular interaction with other PANTHER scholars and research faculty, close advising is provided towards early selection of a research mentor and taking timely advantage of extramural grant opportunities. Scholars will be relived from clinical duties to attend the department’s bi-monthly Research Rounds, which provide an engaging opportunity to interact with researchers within and outside UPMC and the University. PANTHER scholars will also regularly be involved in other local research meetings as their schedule allows. They will regularly meet with academic-track visiting professors (invited speakers in our Grand Rounds series) for roundtable discussion of research and other early-career academic issues. Priority in building the rotation block schedule will also accommodate any time-dependent research needs of the scholar. Additionally, PANTHER scholars, PANTHER track alumni, and mentoring faculty will participate in the semi-annual colloquium to provide focused and timely mentoring on all aspects of their academic career development.

Panther scholar mentoring meeting 2021

Research Funding
In addition to the generous travel and expense funding provided to all anesthesiology residents, PANTHER scholars have access to $10,000 of research funding to support unmet needs in executing their individual projects. This is in addition to the department’s Seed Grant program, which bi-annually awards up to $8,000 per project in a competitive program.

Conference Travel
Each scholar’s ability to attend and present research at professional meetings is given priority when creating monthly clinical (call) schedules to prevent conflicts. Presentations at the ANESTHESIOLOGY annual meeting, and the combined meetings of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) and International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) is encouraged. Annual attendance at the Pennsylvania Anesthesiology Resident Research Conference (PARRC) and the local Safar Symposium is expected and allows regular interfacing with trainee researchers outside our department.


PANTHER Track Application/Matching

Candidates should apply for the PANTHER track separately in ERAS using the identifying info “Anesthesiology – Research Track,” NRMP code 1652040C1.

Interested applicants should prepare a description (approximately one page) of their research background, career plans, and interest in the PANTHER track. Please email this additional application material directly to the PANTHER track Director ( Residency applicants interested in the PANTHER track are encouraged to make contact early in the application process. Additional meetings with current PANTHER scholars, PANTHER track alumni, PANTHER mentoring faculty, and other research faculty will be arranged upon applicant request to discuss the training program. Meetings with potential research mentors (including research faculty outside the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine) can also be arranged during recruitment season, if desired. Specific research-related questions can also be directed to current PANTHER scholars, PANTHER track alumni, and the participating faculty mentors.


Current PANTHER Scholars

Maria Cohen, MD – residency class of 2022
Research Interests: perioperative genomics

Brian Reon, MD, PhD – residency class of 2023
Research Interests: perioperative data mining


PANTHER Track Alumni Pursuing Research Careers at Pitt/UPMC

Michael Schnetz, MD, PhD – residency class of 2020
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Coordinator of Data Sciences Research
Research Interests: perioperative data mining, machine learning, predictive systems, intraoperative hypotension

Andrea Ibarra, MD – residency class of 2019
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Research Interests: health disparities in maternal and surgical outcomes, especially among those with cardiovascular disease

Gerhardt Konig, MD – residency class of 2017
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Research Interests: patient blood management, clinical dashboards, autonomous control of fluid and blood product administration, perioperative sensors, devices, technology, and innovation

Keith Vogt, MD, PhD – residency class of 2015
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Director Center for Neuroscience Research
Research Interests: functional neuroimaging, memory and pain processing under anesthesia, perioperative neurologic outcomes, experimental pain response
Funding: FAER MRTG; NIH K23 GM132755

Jim Ibinson, MD, PhD – residency class of 2010
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Chief of Anesthesiology, VA Pittsburgh Health System
Research Interests: functional neuroimaging; perioperative neurocognitive disorders, perioperative pain
Funding: Veteran’s Health Administration competitive pilot program, Virginia Kaufman Endowment Fund, University of Pittsburgh Physicians Foundation, NIH R01AG063525 (Co-I)


Other PANTHER Track Mentoring Faculty

Grace Lim, MD, MS
Prior Training: anesthesiology residency and obstetric anesthesiology fellowship, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; University of Pittsburgh T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education, Master of Science in Clinical Research, Comparative Effectiveness Track
Current Positions: Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Chief, Division of Obstetric & Womens Anesthesiology; Magee-Womens Research Institute BIRCWH Scholar
Research Interests: obstetric anesthesia and perinatology; perinatal physiology, monitoring, and prediction; pain management in special populations
Funding Success: NIH K12 Career Development Award, CTSI Pain Research Challenge/Virginia Kaufman Award, CTSI Research Initiative for Special Populations, UPitt – UGC Precision Medicine Pilot Grants, Magee Womens Hospital Medical Staff Fund, University of Pittsburgh Physicians Foundation, NIH HEAL U24 NS115678 (Co-I), NIH U54 DA049116 (Co-I), NIH R41 DA053877 (Co-I)

Ben Alter, MD, PhD
Prior Training: Anesthesiology Research Track Residency class (UCSF), UPMC Pain Medicine Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh T32 postdoctoral fellowship
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Research Interests: chronic pain management, pain psychophysics, pain neuroimaging, endogenous analgesia
Funding Success: IARS-IMRA (current), FAER Research Fellowship Grant (at UCSF), AAPM Early Investigator Research Grant, Virginia Kaufman Endowment Fund through the Pitt CTSI Pain Challenge