Research Project List

Research Category  Project Title   Team Members Project Description  Project Stage  Research Keywords
Basic Science Gut-Lung axis in traumatic and infectious lung injury PIs: Arun Prakash 
Mentors: Judith HellmanMichael Matthay 
Collaborators: many
Please see Conception/Idea Critical Care 
Animal Cell 
Basic Science Effects of sex hormones on susceptibility to early life anesthesia associated deficit. PIs: Jeffrey Sall 
Mentors: Roland Bainton
Collaborators: Helge EilersMark Schumacher 
Animal based project studying the effects of different drugs and hormones on susceptibility to cognitive deficits after exposure in 7 day old rats. Project involves behavior and wet lab work. In progress/Data collection Pediatric 
Basic Science Biological Mechanisms for Congenital Heart Disease PIs: Irfan Kathiriya
Mentors: Benoit Bruneau 
Collaborators: Several in bioinformatics or cardiovascular biology
We use human cellular models (mutant iPS cells), mouse genetics and genomics, to understand how abnormal gene regulation leads to congenital heart disease. In progress/Data collection Pediatric 
Developmental biology
Stem cell biology
Basic Science Role of Activating Transcription Factor 3 (ATF3) in CNS trauma PIs: Jonathan Pan
Mentors: Zhonghui Guan
Collaborators: Hua Su
The primary objective of the current research proposal is to understand the role of ATF3 in regulation of genes associated with tissue repair and regeneration following spinal cord injury. In progress/Data collection Neuro
Basic Science Uncovering the pathogenesis and developing new therapies for brain arteriovenous malformation. Impact of peripheral injury on post-stroke cognitive function PIs: Hua Su
Mentors: CCR
Collaborators: Helen Kim, Judith HellmanZhonghui GuanJonathan PanMervyn Maze

Using the brain AVM mouse models developed in my lab, we will continue elucidate potential pathogenesis of brain AVMs and test new therapies. 

We will study how fracture influence stroke recovery. 

In progress/Data collection Neuro
Basic Science Mechanism of microglia proliferation PIs: Zhonghui Guan
Mentors: Zhonghui Guan
Collaborators: Paul Su
Microglia proliferation is a hallmark of most neurological diseases, and it plays an important role in the development of these diseases. However, its mechanism is largely unknown.  In progress/Data collection Pain 
Basic Science Sex differences in anesthetic effect on brain development PIs: Jeffrey Sall
Mentors: Jeffrey Sall
Collaborators: Gregory Chinn
Ongoing studies examine the sex difference in vulnerability to anesthesia exposure during brain development.  In progress/Data collection Pediatric 
Basic Science Inhibiting Microglial Activation to Prevent Hospital-acquired Cognitive Decline PIs:  Mervyn Maze
Mentors: NMN
Collaborators: Jonathan Pan
We have identified neuroinflammation as pivotal for the development of cognitive decline associated with aseptic trauma (as occurs with elective surgery) and severe illness. A key step in neuroinflamm. Manuscript preparation Critical Care Neuro Pharmacology



Near Infrared Spectroscopy in Patients with Depression

PIs: Art Wallace, M.D., PH.D.
Mentors: Art Wallace, M.D., PH.D.
Collaborators: Tobias Marton, MD, PhD, Isabella Fernandez, MD

Develop a Near Infrared Spectroscopy testing protocol that can be administered in the diagnostic setting and reliably distinguishes the symptoms and severity of depression.

In progress/Data collection 



AVD-M: Non Contact, Remote, Patient Monitor of Heart Rate, Respiratory Rate, Oxygen Saturation, etc.

PIs: Art Wallace, MD, PhD Mentors: Art Wallace, MD, PhD 
Collaborators: Yes 

We are developing a non-contact, remote patient monitor of heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry and a number of other parameters to reduce the risk of cardiac and respiratory arrest.

In progress/Data collection

Critical Care 
Medical Device Design 


EEG signatures of Spinal Cord Stimulation related Pain Relief

PIs: Prasad Shirvalkar 
Mentors: Prasad Shirvalkar 
Collaborators: Lawrence Poree

We are using EEG to identify personalized neural signatures that can predict high vs low pain-states to optimize SCS therapy. Can assist with data analysis. 

In progress/Data collection



Deep Brain Stimulation for Refractory Chronic Pain 

PIs: Edward Chang, Prasad Shirvalkar
MentorsPrasad Shirvalkar,Edward Chang, Philip Starr 
Collaborators: Edward Chang, Philip Starr, Howard Fields, Allan Basbaum, Michael Rowbotham

We are developing new brain targets and stimulation protocols for personalized deep brain stimulation to treat refractory chronic pain syndromes.

In progress/Data collection

Neuro Physiology Database 
Machine Learning Virtual Reality 


Impact of coronary revascularization on longitudinal cognitive change in the elderly

PIs: Liz Whitlock 
Mentors: Maria Glymour, Alex Smith 
Collaborators: Grisell Diaz-Ramirez, John Boscardin, Jackie Leung, Ken Covinsky 

Compare pre- and post-procedure/operative cognitive trajectory in older adults undergoing PCI versus CABG.

Complete/Data analysis



Impact of elective total joint arthoplasty on longitudinal cognitive change in older adults

PIs: Liz Whitlock
Mentors: Maria Glymour, Alex Smith 
Collaborators: Grisell Diaz-Ramirez, John Boscardin, Ken Covinsky 

Modeling cognitive change before and after joint replacement. on the hypothesis that pain/functional deficits before TJA accelerate cognitive decline, and successful TJA rescues.




Mild Hypothermia and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in Liver Transplantation (MHALT) Trial

PIs: Michael Bokoch
Mentors: Claus Niemann 
Collaborators: Kathleen Liu, Dieter AdelmannRishi KothariKerstin KolodzieAndrew Bishara

MHALT is a randomized controlled multi-center trial of mild hypothermia (34-35 deg C) vs normothermia during liver transplant to find the optimum temperature to preserve post-op kidney function.

In progress/Data collection

Critical Care


Cognitive resilience: predicting a robust cognitive recovery after major surgery

PIs: Jackie Leung 
Mentors: Jackie Leung 
Collaborators: None 

Identifying factors that predict robust cognitive status following surgery, hoping to identify modifiable risk factors and develop interventions to improve outcomes.

Manuscript preparation

Post-operative delirium 


Opal: Seamless EHR Data Extraction Pipeline for Visualization and Machine Learning in Clinical Anesthesia

PIs: Andrew Bishara 
Mentors: Atul Butte 
Collaborators: Anesthesia IT

Opal’s platform provides clinical users with a dynamic dashboard and allows for targeted cohort selection, model training, and visualization of results of the cohort retrieval and interactive feedback

Manuscript preparation 

Critical Care
Physiology Pharmacology 
Machine Learning Simulation

Clinical Development of a Machine Learning Algorithm for the Automated Prediction of Postoperative Delirium

PIs: Anne Donovan 
Mentors: Jackie Leung, Dexter Hadley
Collaborators: Liz WhitlockAndrew Bishara, Vanja Douglas 

Using machine learning technology, we will investigate risk factors for postoperative delirium contained in both static preoperative data and dynamic intraoperative data. Funded by NIDUS pilot grant. In progress/Data collection Machine Learning 
Clinical Correlation between mean arterial blood pressure and neurological outcome in human spinal cord injury

PIs: Jonathan Pan
Mentors: Jonathan Pan
Collaborators:  Michael Beattie and Adam Ferguson

A prospective study based on the result from a previous retrospective study showed precise therapeutic window of blood pressure is associated with recovery in acute human SCI by machine intelligence. In progress/Data collection Neuro 
Machine Learning
Clinical Plasticity in Recovery from Surgery: The Effects of Exercise “Prehabilitation”on Cognitive and Functional Recovery after Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Older Adults

PIs:  Ben Ma
Mentors: None
Collaborators: Mike BokochPedram Aleshi

To test the effect of pre-operative exercise on postoperative recovery assessed behaviorally, functionally, and biochemically, we will randomize patients to receive 6 weeks of preoperative exercise.  In progress/Data collection Cognitive Function
Clinical Ultrasound measurement of ulnar and radial artery size in infants and children who undergo general anesthesia

PIs: Kathryn Rouine-Rapp
Mentors: Kathryn Rouine-Rapp
Collaborators: Jennifer Roux, Michael Kohn, Hung NguyenJina Sinskey

Undertaken to determine baseline difference in size of radial and ulnar arteries in pediatric patients birth up to age 7. Current practice utilizes the radial artery preferentially. 
In progress/Data collection Pediatric
 Clinical Use of pupillometry to measure pain and analgesia 

PIs: Matthias Behrends
Mentors: Merlin Larson
Collaborators: None

This study investigates whether pupillary oscillations which are affected by both pain and analgesic drugs, are useful as a tool to measure pain or better suited to assess central analgesic effects. In progress/Data collection Pain
Clinical Perioperative outcome of patients on buprenorphine

PIs: Matthias Behrends
Mentors: None
Collaborators: Kerstin KolodzieStephanie GilbertAshley Sharp

Retrospective data analysis to the challenges of pain management in patients on partial mu receptor agonists. In progress/Data collection Pain
Clinical Sedation and Proficiency in English Association Cohort study

PIs: Liz WhitlockTina Vu
Mentors: Liz Whitlock
Collaborators: Romain PirracchioLinda Liu

SPEAC is a retrospective cohort study of the association between limited English proficiency and amount of sedation in mechanically ventilated patients in a tertiary care ICU over a 3-year period. In progress/Data collection Critical Care
Health equity
Clinical Markers of Brain vs tissue trauma 

PIs: Jeffrey Sall, Roland Bainton
Mentors: Jeffrey Sall
Collaborators: Arun Prakash

We are searching for markers of brain tissue damage that can be separated from markers of soft tissue/bone damage. The project will collect blood samples before and after AVM resection.  Design/Planning Neuro
 Clinical T-89, A medication to reduce/prevent altitude illness during rapid ascent. 

PIs: Jeffrey SallAndrew Schober
Mentors: Jeffrey Sall
Collaborators: Matthew DudleyPhil BicklerJohn FeinerAndrea OlmosOdmara Barreto-Chang 

Trial to determine efficacy of a medication. We also have multiple add on projects looking at physiological changes during rapid ascent to high altitude. 
Complete/Data analysis Physiology
 Clinical Direct measurement of brain electrical activity during awakening from anesthesia. Correlates of consciousness.

PIs: Jeffrey Sall
Mentors: Jeffrey Sall
Collaborators: Phillip Starr research group

We are interested in determining how brain function returns during arousal from anesthesia. We will measure electrical activity directly from electrodes in the brain as patients awaken post sedation. Design/Planning Neuro Physiology
 Clinical Outcomes research in older surgical patients

PIs: Jacqueline Leung
Mentors: Jacqueline Leung
Collaborators: Laura Sands (Virginia Tech)

Our research deals with perioperative outcomes of the older surgical patients. We have over 2000 patients with robust demographics and outcomes data from RCT & cohort studies. We will mentor faculty  Complete/Data analysis

cognition, delirium

Clinical Pediatric Distraction on Induction of Anesthesia with Virtual Reality (PEDI-VR trial)

PIs: Jina Sinskey, Mike Jung
Mentors: John Feiner
Collaborators: Justin LibawKevin Ma

Randomized controlled trial looking at the use of virtual reality goggles for induction of general anesthesia in pediatric patients. Identifier: NCT03583450. Manuscript preparation  Virtual Reality
Clinical Augmented Reality in Pediatric Patients

PIs:  Jina Sinskey, Justin Libaw
Mentors: None
Collaborators: None

We plan to study the use of augmented reality goggles for perioperative anxiety in pediatric patients. Conception/Idea Virtual Reality
Clinical Use of Remifentanil for Open In Utero Fetal Myelomeningocele Repair Maintains Uterine Relaxation with Reduced Volatile Anesthetic Concentration

PIs: Marla FerschlJina Sinskey
Mentors: Mark Rollins
Collaborators: Liz WhitlockBen Marsh

Retrospective study of high-dose inhaled anesthetic vs. lower-dose inhaled anesthetic with supplemental remifentanil infusion in patients undergoing open fetal myelomeningocele repair. Manuscript preparation Pediatric
Clinical AVD-M (Audiovisual Detection Monitor)

PIs: Art Wallace
Mentors:  Many students
Collaborators: Anusha Badathala

We are developing a non-contact, remote, patient monitor using machine vision. At present we can measure HR, RR, SaO2 with no sensors on the patient. We expect to detect septic shock, vomiting, stroke. In progress/Data collection Critical Care Pain 
Cardiac Physiology 
Machine Learning
 Clinical NIRSIT Near Infrared Spectrophotometry Detection and Measurement of the Severity of Depression

PIs: Art Wallace, MD, PHD
Mentors: Anusha Badathala, MD
Collaborators: Tobias Marton, MD, PHD

We are using near infrared spectrophotometry (NIRS) with 200 lasers to measure frontal lobe blood flow 30 times a second. We can see variations in frontal lobe blood flow with disease state. In progress/Data collection Neuro
 Clinical Sensifree

PIs: Art Wallace, MD, Ph.D.
Mentors: Anusha Badathala, MD
Collaborators: None

We are testing a non-invasive device to continuously measure arterial blood pressure based on pulse oximetry signals. The study is collecting intraoperative clinical data in patients with arterialline. In progress/Data collection Cardiac Physiology Machine Learning
Clinical VA Anesthesia Quality Improvement Project

PIs: Art Wallace, M.D., PhD
Mentors: John Sum-Ping, MD
Collaborators: James Blum, MD

We are doing VA wide, big data epidemiology to provide reports on surrogate markers of care that are associated with morbidity and mortality. We validate those processes of care and provide QI data VA.   Critical Care Regional 
Physiology Pharmacology
Machine Learning 
Clinical Qantifying the capnography gap

PIs: Elliot WollnerMichael Lipnick
Mentors:  Adrian Gelb
Collaborators: Multiple at UCSF, in the UK, Lifebox 

Global Survey of national society presidents and local providers in low and middle income countries to quantify the capnography and pulse oximetry gaps worldwide. Design/Planning Global health 
Clinical Perioperative Anesthesia Neurocognitive Disorder Assessment- Geriatric 
   PANDA-G study

PIs: Odmara Barreto Chang
Mentors: Katherine Possin, Judith Hellman
Collaborators: None

Our goal is to determine predictors of perioperative neurocognitive disorders (PND) in patients undergoing surgery based on preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative biomarkers.  In progress/Data collection

Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorder

Educational Efficacy and Cost Analysis of Role Play vs. High-Fidelity Simulation for Conflict Management Education  PIs: Jina SinskeyKristina Sullivan
Mentors: None
Collaborators: Joyce Chang, Christy Boscardin, Kevin Thornton
We plan to study a conflict management curriculum for anesthesia residents using role play and high-fidelity simulation. We will look at the educational benefits and costs of both . modalities. Design/Planning  Simulation
Educational Anesthesia Toolbox: Utilize Google Analytics to assess utilization of educational content on Anesthesia Toolbox. PIs: Andrew Infosino
Mentors: Andrew Infosino
Collaborators: Ben Marsh
Anesthesia Toolbox is an online learning platform for anesthesia resident, fellows and faculty. Project is to analyze page views of educational content to determine utility.  In progress/Data collection Pediatric 
Health Services Research Household impact of postoperative opioid prescribing PIs: Catherine Chen
Mentors: Adams Dudley, Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio
Collaborators: Erica Langnas
Our study aims to understand whether new opioid use occurs in family members after an individual from a previously opioid-naive household undergoes surgery. In progress/Data collection Database
Health Services Research Understanding monitored anesthesia care for cataract surgery PIs: Catherine Chen
Mentors: Adams Dudley, Stephen McLeod
Collaborators: Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio, Jackie Leung
Exploring the impact and cost-effectiveness of MAC use on cataract surgery outcomes. Design/Planning Database
Health Services Research Health Equity in the Perioperative Period

Pi: Solmaz Manuel
Mentors: Multiple
Collborators: Multiple

Significant disparities accross populations exist in the perioperative care for individuals seeking surgical treatment. We are investigating how health literacy, healthcare interactions, socioeconomic factors, cultural beliefs, stereotypes, and implicit bias contribute to these disparities in perioperative health care. In progress/Data Collection  
Public health Impact of gentrification on HbA1c and diabetic amputations in San Francisco PIs: Tyler Law
Mentors: Catherine ChenMichael Lipnick
Collaborators: Laurence Henson
Examination of HbA1c and diabetic amputation rate over time according to SF neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification.  Design/Planning Database
Quality Improvement 
Patient tracking database to monitor outcomes of Pain Neuromodulation Therapies PIs: Lawrence PoreePrasad Shirvalkar, Chris Abrecht 
Mentors: Lawrence PoreePrasad Shirvalkar, Chris Abrecht 
Collaborators: Ada Edwards, David Steinhardt
We are developing a cloud based database to collect information on patient outcomes related to interventions and neuromodulation therapies in the pain clinic. Design/Planning Pain 
Quality Improvement Perioperative Pathway PIs: Lee-lynn Chen
Mentors: Multiple
Collaborators: Multiple
We have several perioperative pathways based on surgical service lines that have been well developed with rich data reports. In progress/Data collection Critical Care Regional
Spine Pharmacology 
Population Health
Quality Improvement Design and Implementation of a Perioperative Delirium Prevention and Treatment Pathway PIs: Anne Donovan 
Mentors: Liz Whitlock 
Collaborators: Matthias BraehlerDave Robinowitz, Emily Finlayson, Stephanie Rogers, Vanja Douglas 
We have designed and implemented multi-faceted perioperative delirium reduction interventions for elderly patients. Manuscript preparation 
Perioperative medicine
Quality Improvement  Airway Checklist Prior to Intubation of Trauma Patients in the ED PIs: Justin Teng, Joseph Brown (ED)
Mentors: Benn Lancman
Collaborators: Emergency Medicine, Trauma
Implementation of an airway checklist prior to induction and intubation of a trauma pt who presents to the ED. The goal is to improve safety peri-intubation. Design/Planning Airway