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 cooperative effort between UPMC Graduate Medical Education and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as PANTHER scholars move through the training pathway in the timeline outlined below.

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PANTHER Track Description
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 will be introduced in the PGY-1 year as part of the APP rotation. PANTHER scholars have the opportunity to take the ACGME-allowed six months of research elective time during their clinical anesthesiology training, and this is typically done in the PGY-3 and PGY-4 years. In addition to the travel and expense funding provided to all residents, PANTHER scholars have access to $10,000 of research funding to support unmet needs in executing their individual projects. 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 regularly be involved in the departmental research symposium and collectively meet with visiting professors for roundtable discussion of research and other early-career academic issues. Priority in building the rotation block schedule will take into account any time-dependent research needs of the scholar. Additionally, each scholar’s ability to attend and present research at professional meetings is given priority when creating monthly clinical (call) schedules to prevent conflicts. Annual attendance at the Pennsylvania Anesthesiology Resident Research Conference (PARRC) and the local Safar Symposium allow regular interfacing with trainee researchers outside our department. One or more clinical fellowships can be integrated into the PANTHER timeline for motivated scholars with a passion for subspecialty anesthesiology care. 

PANTHER Track Application/Matching
The PANTHER track can be applied for separately in ERAS using identifying info: “Anesthesiology – Research Track”, NRMP code 1652040C1

Interested applicants should also prepare a description (approximately one page) of their research background, career plans, and interest in the PATHER track. This additional application material can be emailed directly to the Program Director. Applicants to the PANTHER track will have additional research-focused interviews with PANTHER faculty members. If desired, meetings with potential research mentors can be arranged during recruitment season. Specific research-related questions can be directed to any 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

Andrea Ibarra, MD – residency class of 2019
Current Positions: T32 fellow (year 2); Assistant Professor
Research interests: surgical disparities of perioperative outcomes among patients with cardiovascular diseases

PANTHER Track Alumni Pursuing Research Careers

James 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: VA competitive pilot program grant, Virginia Kaufman Endowment Fund, & University of Pittsburgh Physicians Foundation

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

Gerhardt Konig, MD – residency class of 2017
Current Position: 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

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

Other Early-Career PANTHER Mentoring Faculty

Grace Lim, MD, MS
Prior Training: Anesthesiology residency and obstetric anesthesiology fellowship, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education, Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSci), 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, pain and analgesia; outcomes optimization in vulnerable / special populations
Funding success: K12

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