Our Stellar Scientific Evening
"And the winner is — La La Land!" announced Maxime Cannesson, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Perioperative Medicine, presenting the top award at our department's 9th Annual Scientific Evening on March 7, 2017, at Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
Dr. Cannesson wasn't mistaken; he was only kidding. A moment later, he presented the real "best in show" honors — the Leonard Walts, MD, Research Award — to Lou Saddic, MD, PhD, for his presentation: "Myocardial injury leads to remote transcriptome remodeling of the central nervous system in a large animal model". Dr. Saddic studied how, in the setting of an ischemic heart, the nervous system remodels through specific changes in gene expression that promote arrhythmias.
Amid an impressive array of research presentations by UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine residents and fellows, here are the other winners:
1st Place Resident Award: Marvin Chang, MD, PhD, for "A novel paradigm for a new class of anti-arrhythmic drug on targeting calcium channel gating properties". Dr. Chang studied the prevention of early-after depolarization (EAD) of myocytes — EAD plays a key role in the genesis of arrhythmias — using roscovitine, a cancer chemotherapy agent, to modulate rather than block calcium channels.
1st Place Fellow Award: Tiffany Williams, MD, PhD, for "Effects of isoflurane on cardiac electrophysiology in a porcine model". Dr. Williams compared healthy pigs to those 8 weeks post myocardial infarction, looking at how heightened sympathetic activity in the setting of cardiac excitability helps to explain why patients with previous heart attacks so often develop postoperative arrhythmias.
2nd Place Resident Award: Marsha Bernardo, MD, for "Investigating the cardiotoxicity of liposomal bupivacaine (Exparel) in rats: The role of Intralipid rescue". Dr. Bernardo sought to determine the dose of liposomal bupivacaine that induces cardiotoxicity in rats, and found that Intralipid at usual rescue doses did not reliably reverse cardiac arrest.
2nd Place Fellow Award: Matthew Fischer, MD, for "Network analysis reveals DNA methylation modules that function as biomarkers for post-operative atrial fibrillation". Dr. Fischer studied adult patients for cardiac surgery, and found that the presence of DNA methylation modules in preoperative blood samples heralded the development of post-operative atrial fibrillation, independent of traditional clinical risk factors.
Hilary Grocott, MD, served as guest judge for the evening. Dr. Grocott is Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Manitoba, and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. UCLA faculty members Rajesh Kumar, PhD, Andrew Hudson, MD, MS, and Tristan Grogan, MS, joined Dr. Grocott in judging the 34 posters and oral presentations, They unanimously commended remarkable research accomplishment by the department's residents, fellows, medical students, and their faculty mentors.
After everyone viewed the poster presentations, ten residents and fellows delivered oral slide presentations describing their work, and Dr. Cannesson moderated questions from the audience. The judges withdrew to deliberate while the group enjoyed appetizers, and then Dr. Cannesson presented the awards to the five top research projects. Dr. Cannesson extended special thanks to Jennifer Scovotti, our department's research coordinator, and to Emily Methangkool, MD, for all their work in organizing the Scientific Evening.