Critical Care Medicine | Fellowship Program | Scholarship
Scholarly activity for fellows is supervised by a Scholarship Committee within the Division that includes members of the division with varied scholarly focuses including, discovery, application and education based research. We have a structured approach to guiding selection of mentors during the first year of fellowship, with emphasis on selection of an area of scholarship that is of particular interest to the fellow and that will help them develop future career goals. Mentors may be selected from any department/program within Washington University, and the Scholarship Committee provides guidance such that fellows will be supervised by experienced principal investigators. We have defined explicit expectations and a timeline for scholarly achievements for each year of fellowship, and work closely with fellows to develop their written and oral communication skills through a monthly Scholarly Communication and Writing Group. Fellows are asked to submit an abstract and present at one scientific meeting during their training and will also present at the annual Department of Pediatrics Research Retreat during their third year.
The program is highly supportive of initiatives directed at the development of physician-scholars, both in basic science and clinical research. Several programs exist to support development in these areas including the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) and the Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC). In addition, several of our fellows have completed course work through the Postdoctoral Mentored Training Program in Clinical Investigation (MTPCI).
The division supports scholarly focus in a variety of areas include:
Education: An academic focus in education comprises two distinct components of educational activities, scholarly teaching and scholarship in teaching. Scholarly teaching is what commonly comes to mind when thinking about “good teaching” – identification of and utilization of best practices in education, continual self- and peer-review of teaching practices and ability to provide evidence of educational work and analysis. Scholarship in teaching, educational scholarship, refers to any educational work that is peer-reviewed and disseminated for public use. Educational scholarship includes any work that demonstrates discovery, integration or description, and application of educational tools. For further descriptions, please see the AAMC’s Educational Scholarship Guides.
Translational Research: The Division has a vibrant clinical research program, termed the Pediatric Critical Care Translational Research Program (TRP), which serves as a core resource for PCCM Division faculty and fellows. Organization of critical care translational research into one program promotes collaboration, fosters innovation and improves access to mentorship.
The TRP supports 51 research projects, comprising 34 prospective clinical studies and 17 lab-based translational studies and has substantial resources to support translational research within the Division. The TRP is staffed with 10 Research Coordinators, 1 Implementation Science Expert with a Masters of Social Work, 2 lab technicians, and a Program Coordinator. The TRP staff assist Pediatric Critical Care investigators with maintaining compliance with regulatory standards, IRB application submission, and implementation of translational research projects. TRP investigators and staff are available to provide assistance with study design, data management, project management, biostatistics, regulatory affairs, grant preparation, and scientific writing/communication. The TRP also coordinates a monthly Research Topic and Protocol (RETOP) conference, where investigators present their research ideas, protocols, and results with the PCCM Division and other invited investigators as appropriate.
Specific areas of research focus include:
- Key changes to vascular signaling by RBCs during critical illness
- Efficacy and safety of RBC, platelet, plasma and whole blood transfusion
- Hemostasis Monitoring
- Sepsis sub-phenotyping
- Trans-generational effects of maternal nutrition on energy metabolism
- Control of cerebral blood flow and metabolism in brain injury
- Novel non-invasive measures of cardiac output and O2 delivery
- Long term neuro developmental outcomes for children with critical illness
- Use of Implementation science to optimize research translation
Outcome platforms supporting each area of translational study include high-resolution real-time physiologic data collection as well as long-term functional neuro-developmental analysis. Current projects span the full translational pipeline from first-in-human trials to implementation research that determine best penetration of accepted findings into practice.
Our program is advantaged by direct access to the largest, most productive pediatric critical care research networks, such as; Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators (PALISI), Pediatric Critical Care Blood Research Network, Pediatric Trauma Network, Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN) and the Pediatric Neurocritical Care Research Group (PNCRG).
Discovery/Basic Sciences: Pediatric critical care faculty also carry out fundamental basic research, investigating nutrient metabolism, the pathobiology of brain injury, the immunologic basis of viral illness, and fundamental red blood cell physiology and vasoregulation. In addition, Washington University has a rich basic science research environment, and fellows are able to select scholarship mentors from any Department at the University. Many faculty in the Department of Pediatrics have additional appointments in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.