Critical Care Research

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care has an active clinical and basic science research program. Please see below to learn more about our investigators and their research efforts.

Kristina A. Betters, MD

Kristina A. Betters, MD, MA

Dr. Betters' research interests are focused on early mobility, rehabilitation of the ICU patient, sedation, and delirium in critically ill children. She leads the multi-disciplinary Early Mobility Committee at VCH, which recently implemented an early mobility and communication protocol in the ICU and is studying associated outcomes. She is also part of the Vanderbilt Pediatric ICU Delirium Study Group.

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Hyehun Choi, PhD

Hyehun Choi, PhD

Dr. Choi investigates the role of redox-based signaling in blood vessel inflammation. Her focus is on the pro-inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and the impact of receptor endocytosis on its signaling in the vasculature. Specifically, she is interested in how TNFα receptor endocytosis impacts the balance of signaling processes that occur at the cell surface vs. within receptor containing “signaling” endosomes.

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William B. Cutrer, MD, MEd

William B. Cutrer, MD, MEd, FAAP

Dr. Cutrer is interested in understanding how students learn in the workplace and how to help them learn more effectively. He was the Vanderbilt PI for their participation in the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACE) Consortium, and was the leader of the Vanderbilt team participating in the AAMC pilot project Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency (Core EPAs). He currently serves as the Chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Educational Affairs (GEA). He has published and presented widely on these topics.

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Jennifer C. King, MD, PharmD

Jennifer C. King, MD, PharmD

Dr. King is interested in medical education with an emphasis on medical simulation, procedural competency, and interprofessional learning. She is also interested in medication safety within the pediatric ICU with a particular research interest in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications in critically ill children.

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Fred Lamb, MD, PhD<

Fred Lamb, MD, PhD

Dr. Lamb is interested in how LRRC8 family anion channels support and regulate reactive oxygen species-dependent cytokine signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells. Disrupting the expression or function of these channels reduces extracellular production of superoxide anion by NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1). This superoxide is required for signaling by molecules such as TNFα, IL-1β and bacterial endotoxin that promote inflammation. Movement of superoxide into cells via LRRC8 channels can also promote oxidative stress and cell injury. The Lamb lab is working to understand if inhibition of these channels can provide protection from both acute (sepsis), and chronic (hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis) vascular dysfunction.

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Neal R. Patel, MD, MPH

Neal R. Patel, MD, MPH

Dr. Patel's research interests include the development of a computerized database for the PCCU for quality assurance and clinical research as well as an electronic charting system for deep sedation services in collaboration with Integrated eMed Solutions.

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Jeffrey C. Rohrbough, PhD

Dr. Rohrbough investigates the ion transport properties of the ClC-3 2 Cl-/1 H exchanger and the LRRC8 (VRAC) chloride channel, and developmental chloride conductances in the ductus arteriosus. He uses electrophysiological recordings (whole cell, perforated patch and intracellular recordings), confocal microscopy, and optical cellular recording of intracellular Cl- and pH. Dr. Rohrbough received his training in Neuroscience at the University of California Los Angeles. His earlier work focused largely on synaptic development, including the functional development of voltage-gated ion channels and multiple classes of synaptic transmitter receptors (GluR, GABAR, AChR) in vertebrate spinal neurons, and the development and genetic regulation of glutamatergic synaptic function in Drosophila.

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Ryan Stark, MD

Ryan Stark, MD

Dr. Stark focuses on the inflammatory effect infection has on the vascular endothelium. His specific focus is on endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) which regulates many key functions of endothelial cells, namely vasomotor tone, cellular adhesion to myeloid cells and endothelial permeability. He further examines how eNOS interacts with toll-like receptors, crucial receptors in infection-mediated inflammation, with an overarching goal of understanding endothelial dysfunction during severe infections.

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Jessica Turnbull, MD< data-entity-type=

Jessica Turnbull, MD, MA

Dr. Turnbull is interested in the care of chronically critically ill children at times of acute critical illness, communication with patients and their families, interdisciplinary communication, clinical ethics and palliative care in times of critical illness.

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