Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Research

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Faculty in the PACCS Division have a variety of ongoing ground breaking research and collaborative studies with acute and chronic lung disease, lung repair and regeneration, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, lung transplant, lung cancer, and asthma just to name a few.

Resources

Visit PubMed to search for recent publications.

StudyFinder is a University of Minnesota website that displays a searchable listing of studies, which are extracted from ClinicalTrials.gov. At StudyFinder you can explore University health studies currently seeking participants.

Research at Affiliated Hospitals

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center serves as a safety-net hospital for Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our clinical population is diverse providing a unique clinical environment for training fellows in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Research at HCMC has focused primarily on clinical research in critical care medicine. Historically, this research has focused on invasive hemodynamic monitoring in shock states along with studies of respiratory mechanics in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or severe airflow obstruction. Most recently, studies examining the validity of limited bedside echocardiography and its use as a surrogate for invasive hemodynamic measurements have been conducted. Clinical research in neurologic outcomes and its predictors after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the era of therapeutic hypothermia is an active area interest as well.

Minneapolis VA Health Care Center

Minneapolis VA Health Care Center

The Pulmonary and Sleep Section at the Minneapolis VA has a very active research program, with a long history of funding from agencies such as the VA, Department of Defense (DoD), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our major research areas include: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Lung Cancer; Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the world, and our goal is to identify effective therapies for persons suffering from this disease. Our COPD research activities span the range from basic/translational science (Dr. Wendt, funded by NIH) to microbiome studies (Drs. Pragman and Wendt, funded by VA and FAMRI) to HIV-associated COPD (Drs. Kunisaki and Wendt, funded by NIH) to clinical trials in COPD (Drs. Kunisaki, Melzer, Niewoehner, Wendt, Wetherbee, multiple funding sources including DoD).

Lung Cancer
The Minneapolis VA has a longstanding lung nodule program to ensure timely identification of early-stage lung cancer, and we have an active lung cancer screening program. Within these clinical services, we also conduct research on methods to optimize nodule tracking, lung cancer screening (Dr. Melzer and Angela Fabbrini, funded by VA and American Cancer Society), and smoking cessation (Dr. Melzer, funded by NIH). We are also a study site in the VALOR randomized clinical trial comparing surgical lung resection to stereotactic radiation for early-stage lung cancer (Drs. Niewoehner and Wetherbee, funded by VA).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The Minneapolis VA performs over 1,200 sleep studies every year. Examples of our OSA research include methods to more efficiently diagnose and treat OSA (Dr. Kunisaki, funded by VA), studies of the impact of sleep disorders in HIV (Drs. Khalil and Kunisaki, funded by NIH), and collaborations with the VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program (Drs. Khalil and Kunisaki, funded by VA).

Other Research Areas
We also conduct research on post-deployment respiratory health in veterans (Dr. Wendt, funded by VA) and we have an active influenza research program (Drs. Kunisaki and Wendt, funded by NIH). We maintain active research collaborations with other organizations at the Minneapolis VA such as the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research (CCDOR). We have an excellent team of research coordinators that facilitate our success in conducting high-quality research that advances the health of veterans and others with lung and sleep problems. We have many opportunities for trainees, including support through the University of Minnesota Pulmonary Division's NIH T32 Training Grant, Clinical and Translational Science Institute's KL2 Scholars Career Development Program, and VA Career Development Awards.

Regions Hospital

Regions Hospital

At a time when the great majority of scientific effort has been shifted to work at the cellular, subcellular, and molecular levels, the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Regions is concentrating on advancing our theoretical and practical knowledge base for clinical critical care. This group currently consists of four clinician scientists (Drs.MariniNahumShapiro and Wright), two postdoctoral research fellows, and one technician. The overall purpose of this section is to conduct research into the pathophysiology and management of acute respiratory failure. The adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the prototypical problem of impaired oxygen exchange across the lung, is being probed in the human physiology laboratory, in the animal laboratory, by computer modeling and at the bedside. We are searching for patterns of ventilation and management that improve oxygenation and oxygen delivery while minimizing the injury to delicate pulmonary tissues normally caused by mechanical ventilatory support. In studies of acute airflow obstruction, our primary objective is to discover patterns of breathing that minimize chest overdistention (e.g. barotrauma) and the work of breathing. For both of these inter-related problems, the group is attempting to develop simple bedside measures of physiologic and clinical interest as well as to develop scientific guidelines for ventilatory management based on mathematical and biological models of respiratory system behavior in disease. From such information, it is hoped that we can develop guidelines for clinical management that will impact the care of a wide spectrum of patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Research ethics at the University of Minnesota

Research ethics at the University of Minnesota

We are committed to protecting research participants, upholding ethical standards, and improving our practice at every step of our work.

Learn more about our commitment to research ethics