• Current Research Projects


    2022-2023 Scholarships

    The AAST Research and Education Fund is funding three scholarships for 2022-2023. The scholarship recipients will receive their scholarship plaque at the 81st Annual Meeting of AAST & Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery in Chicago, IL, and will present their research findings at the 82nd Annual Meeting of AAST & Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery in Anaheim, CA.

    John Kubasiak, MD
    Loyola University Medical Center

    "Prognostication Of Host Immune Response To Trauma Via Characterization Of The Hematopoietic Stem Cell / Multipotent Progenitor Cell Axis"

    The long-term goal of my research program is to address the need for novel blood-based prognostication methods after traumatic injury. We know the host immune response is responsible for re-establishing homeostasis after injury. The hematopoietic stem cell generates all the appropriate immune and hematologic cell lines in response to injury. These cells have decreased function in the setting of chronic stress and increased age. Our preliminary clinical work noted distinct differences in the hematopoietic stem cell response which correlated with frailty status. This project will translate these findings into a mouse model of trauma. Using novel cell tracking approaches, we will 1) characterize the hematopoietic stem cell response to injury and 2) investigate how this response changes in the setting of chronic stress from alcohol. This would create the basis for further work to generate a prognostic calculator based on the hematopoietic stem cell host immune response. 

    Rebecca Maine, MD, MPH
    University of Washington

    "Developing Metrics to Assess Disparities in Access to Trauma Care in Washington State"

    While trauma systems save lives, the benefits of trauma systems are not shared equally among populations in the United States. Studies of specific injury patterns and sociodemographic groups have found disparities in both outcomes and access to definitive trauma care. Sociodemographic factors that have been associated with inequities in trauma care or less geospatial access to trauma care include race, ethnicity, sex, age (older adults, children), insurance status, social vulnerability, and rural or urban residence. Systematic comparison of multiple metrics of access to trauma care for different sociodemographic groups has not been done. The goal of this project is to evaluate inequities in access to trauma care for different sociodemographic groups in Washington state. Specifically, we will consider a combination of geospatial and non-geospatial metrics of access to trauma care that can be calculated from routinely collected state data. We will derive metrics from guidelines for early trauma care and early or definitive trauma care components associated with improved outcomes in the literature. We will determine which metrics best characterize the disparities in access to trauma care in Washington state for the sociodemographic groups that have unequal geospatial access to trauma care and outcomes after injury.

    Anupamaa Seshadri, MD, PhD
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

    "Impact of Lung Macrophage Polarization on Posttraumatic Infection"

    My research interest is to better understand the immune response to injury, in order to identify mechanisms that could potentially be targeted to prevent post-traumatic infections. This project studies the change in macrophage polarization in the lung after trauma, and whether and how this leads to pneumonia in a model of traumatic injury.

    Alison Smith, MD, PhD
    University of Pittsburgh

    "The Effect of Paracrine Factors Secreted from Adipose-Derived Stem Cells on Healing in a Burn Wound Model"

    Burn injuries represent a significant clinical burden through the need for extensive surgical excision and skin grafting, labor-intensive dressing changes, scars, and disfigurement. In addition, the loss of livelihood and decreased patient quality of life results in compounding deleterious effects of burn injury.  Furthermore, burn patients are immunosuppressed and are at risk for the development of superimposed bacterial infections, in particular from Pseudomonas aeruginosaP. aeruginosa has the ability to form biofilms in burned tissue, which are communities of bacteria encased in a polysaccharide matrix that can form in the setting of acute tissue damage.  Biofilms are responsible for causing a pro-inflammatory state resulting in a dysregulation of the wound healing process.  Biofilms are capable of altering the host immune response to establish a microenvironment that delays or prevents wound healing.  Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are a type of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue. The paracrine factors secreted by ADSCs impact wound healing. The objective of this research is to examine the effects of paracrine factors secreted from stem cells on ameliorating healing of biofilm-infected wounds in a burn model.  Tissue damaged by burn alters the paracrine factors secreted from ASCs which in turn inhibits the wound healing process.  We hypothesize that these paracrine factors involved in wound healing can be supplied ex vivo with cultured ADSCs.

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