University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Anesthesiology Building Strong Research Program

“Research goes hand in hand with education and providing the best care to patients,” says Dr. Michael Todd, Vice Chair for Research in the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Anesthesiology, “It is at the heart of what makes academic medicine so powerful.”

In the past five years, the Department of Anesthesiology has been ramping up its research activity, and those efforts are paying off. Industry and Society research funding grew from $1,500 in 2013 to $110,000 in 2017 due to an increase in grants being submitted and funded.

“We are creating a culture in the department where research is encouraged and rewarded,” said Dr. John Capacchione, Professor and East Bank Academic Chief in the Medical School Department of Anesthesiology.

In October 2018, the department reached an important milestone. Dr. Ratan Banik submitted the Department of Anesthesiology’s first National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application titled “Role of mglur5 in postoperative pain.”

“Dr. Banik’s NIH grant proposal was a huge accomplishment. Obtaining and sustaining NIH funding is a tremendous accomplishment for any scientist in the United States and around the world, and NIH funding is associated with excellence which is what our Department is striving to become,” said Dr. Michael Wall, Head of the Medical School Department of Anesthesiology.

The department is also focusing on building a strong pipeline for future research by pairing young faculty and less experienced researchers with a faculty mentor. Mentors have extensive academic experience and provide guidance and support to mentees.

“My goal is to interest more and more of our young academic faculty in research, to help educate them about the highest quality methods for carrying out that research and to ensure that the Department can provide the resources that they need to succeed,” says Dr. Todd.