The International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) launched a $750,000 research grant today - the largest single grant offered by the Society in its 90 year history. The Frontiers in Anesthesia Research Award, created in 1995, has traditionally been a $500,000 grant. Today's announcement marks an increase of a quarter of a million dollars.
The Frontiers Award, granted biennially to a single researcher in the anesthesia field, plays a critical role in the scientific evolution of a novel concept. C. Michael Crowder, MD, PhD, 2009 recipient, recently discovered an entirely original mechanism for adaptation to hypoxic injury. Hypoxia, the insufficient supply of oxygen to cells, is a common cause of heart attack and stroke and one of the most feared complications of surgery.
Similarly, Zhiyi Zuo, MD, PhD, 2007 recipient, is also developing therapeutics for diseases commonly encountered by anesthesiologists. Dr. Zuo hypothesizes that RNA interference, a mechanism for controlling gene activity, may hold great therapeutic potential for brain ischemia and reperfusion injury, the underlying causes of stroke and brain trauma.
"Funding from the Frontiers Award has allowed our team to make significant progress in generating proof-of-concept evidence for a novel use of RNA interference to provide neuroprotection," said Dr. Zuo. "Should our hypothesis prove correct, these studies will provide therapeutic implications for many human diseases and conditions."
This year, the Frontiers Award is targeted towards three key research areas, including fundamental neuroscience unknowns, immune and metabolic consequences of trauma, surgery and critical care, and best use of systems-based practice to enhance patient safety. Proposals will be evaluated by an external review board based on their creativity and direct relevance to the future direction of the field.
"The Frontiers Award continues to generate groundbreaking projects that ultimately improve patient care," said Beverley Orser, MD, PhD, inaugural Frontiers recipient. "This substantial increase in funding demonstrates the Society's ongoing dedication to advancing anesthesia science and clinical practice."
Source: International Anesthesia Research Society