Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Translational Research

Our current translational research focuses on neuronal injury and protection, pain, patient safety, education, simulation, obstetrics, pediatrics, blood management, and quality improvement.



Tetsuro Sakai, MD, PhD

Dr. Sakai’s research spans resident research education, intraoperative management of liver/small bowel/multivisceral transplant patients, and system-based practice management.

Neuronal Injury and Protection

Tomas Drabek, MD

Dr. Drabek's research carried out at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research is focused on hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation from both traumatic and non-traumatic cardiac arrest. 

Marsha Ritter Jones, MD, PhD

Dr. Ritter Jones is studying the role of neurturin in neural-immune communication and the role of neuronal-derived MD-1 in cutaneous neural-immune signaling. 

Obstetric Research

Patricia Dalby, MD

Dr. Dalby is engaged in various research projects related to emergency obstetric care and obstetric anesthesia and pain. 

Grace Lim, MD, MS

Dr. Lim's research focuses on the primary themes of obstetric anesthesia and perinatology; pain and analgesia mechanisms; and personalized interventions for outcomes optimization in vulnerable populations. 


Jacques E. Chelly, MD, PhD, MBA

Dr. Chelly is currently researching postoperative outcomes and pain after events such as rotator cuff surgery, adnominal oncologic surgery, and hip fracture.

Ajay D. Wasan, MD, MSc

Dr. Wasan’s current research interests are in the areas of tracking pain treatment outcomes using electronic records, mechanism-based treatment studies of negative affect in pain, quantitative sensory testing, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and preventing prescription opioid misuse in patients with chronic pain.  

Patient Blood Management

Gerhardt Konig, MD

Dr. Konig’s current interests include patient blood management, clinical dashboards, autonomous control of fluid and blood product administration, perioperative sensors, devices, technology, and innovation.

Jonathan H. Waters, MD

Dr. Waters' research focuses on trying to reduce allogeneic blood transfusion through several strategies, one of which is better coagulation management using point of care laboratory devices.

Patient Safety

Brian Williams, MD, MBA

Dr. Brian Williams is pursuing translational bench research at the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research to develop multimodal single-injection and continuous infusion perineural analgesia, with the specific goals of maximizing the duration of sensory analgesia while minimizing the duration of motor and proprioceptive block. 

Pediatric Research

Phillip Adams, DO

Dr. Adams is investigating the developmental, hemodynamic, and postoperative outcome aspects of congenital heart disease (CHD) and CHD surgery. He is also interested in post-cardiopulmonary bypass acute kidney injury and using near infrared spectroscopy assessment as a means of early detection. 

Mihaela Visoiu, MD

Dr. Visoiu's research aims to develop new techniques for the placement and use of ultrasound-guided blocks in children, infants, and neonates and implement new protocols.

Perioperative Neuroscience

James W. Ibinson, MD, PhD

Dr. Ibinson's perioperative research program broadly aims to improve our understanding of postoperative pain and cognitive dysfunction by identifying the neural correlates underlying the development of these phenomena. He is a recognized leader in the field of perioperative neurocognitive disorders and is involved in several ongoing projects using functional MRI (fMRI) to detect perioperative brain changes that correlate to long-term cognitive dysfunction. Dr. Ibinson's previous projects have spanned clinical multimodal pain management and the development of imaging-based biomarkers for acute and chronic pain.  As an anesthesiologist and researcher in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, his research interests also broadly include improving the health of our nation's veterans. 

Keith M. Vogt, MD, PhD

Dr. Vogt's research uses behavioral measures and fMRI to better understand human neuroscience relevant to anesthesiology and perioperative medicine. His primary research project, funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, aims to determine how human memory formation is affected by diverse anesthetic agents in the context of acute pain. An additional area of Dr. Vogt's research focuses on improving patient outcomes using perioperative data from the electronic medical record. He has done previous work in collaboration with Dr. Ibinson on pain imaging biomarkers, as well as noise reduction in fMRI. 

Quality Improvement

Trent D. Emerick, MD, MBA

Dr. Emerick's research involves a myriad of quality improvement projects, including clinic and operating room efficiency analyses, inpatient chronic pain service consult analyses, and development of new protocols within the chronic pain division.  

Sepsis and ARDS

A. Murat Kaynar, MD, MPH

Dr. Kaynar’s overarching research program continues to focus on the long-term effects of sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The Kaynar Lab is studying the role of zinc and matrix metalloproteinases to elucidate their role in sepsis and ARDS, with the subsequent aim of applying the findings to the management of these diseases.


William McIvor, MD

Dr. William McIvor is interested in developing and implementing simulation education for medical students, resident-physicians, and practicing physicians.