Clinical Research Faculty

Miriam Treggiari, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Miriam Treggiari

My broad research interests are in clinical and outcomes research in the perioperative setting with special emphasis on critically ill and neurocritical care patients. The majority of my ideas originate from clinical problems and gaps in knowledge encountered at the patient bedside. Ultimately, I strive to investigate optimal approaches to patient care with the goal of improving quality of care and patient outcome, as well as protect patients from therapies that are not beneficial. My approach has been to start with a systematic investigation of the problem with study designs ranging from meta-analysis to the planning of clinical trials to generate support for evidence based recommendations. Several of my publications have contributed to the change in management of critically ill patients, for example establishing new goals of glucose control for insulin therapy, new goals of sedation depth in patients who are mechanically ventilated, and a safer approach to the medical management of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. My research is funded by several sources including federal, industry, and foundation support. Currently, I am the project director for an ongoing multicentric randomized controlled trial to evaluate the optimal blood pressure management in patients with acute spinal cord injury, "Effect of Targeted Blood Pressure Management in Patients with Acute Spinal Cord Injury - TEMPLE" (NCT 02878850). 

Michael Aziz, M.D.

Michael Aziz

Michael Aziz is a clinical researcher with a keen interest in airway management with a specific focus on video laryngoscopy. He has conducted comparative trials of video laryngoscopy techniques against each other and against direct laryngoscopy. He is also an active investigator of observational outcomes research focused on database investigation. To this end, he has developed and maintained a local preoperative database for clinical research and quality improvement that serves to collaborate with a national group, the multi-centered preoperative outcomes group (MPOG) and the associated quality improvement effort (Aspire). 

Studies from MPOG have resulted in multiple publications and have helped develop the future scientists in the department. Thus far, these studies have focused on airway management, epidural use in the thrombocytopenia parturient, the relationship of beta blocker therapy to stroke, opioid use and persistent pain after surgery, and newly forged investigations that have integrated the Society for Thoracic Surgery database.  

Ryan Fink, M.D.

Ryan Fink

Dr. Fink is an anesthesiologist with specialty training in critical care medicine. Approximately half  of his clinical time is spend in the operating room, caring for adult patients undergoing all types  of  surgery, with a special emphasis on major surgery and liver transplant. He also works as an  intensivist in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit as part of a multidisciplinary team caring for  patients with heart disease. 

Dr. Fink is passionate about medical education, and is actively involved in teaching not only  future physicians, but all members of the health care teams, as well as continually learning from  others. Dr. Fink, being heavily involved in the residency recruitment process, his research  focuses on investigating predictors of success during residency training. Specifically, he is  studying how the personality characteristic of "grit," or perseverance and passion for long-term  goals, may be used to predict future performance during residency.  

Brandon Togioka, M.D.

Brandon Togioka

Dr. Togioka serves as the OHSU anesthesiology and perioperative medicine internship year liaison. In this role, he helps guide anesthesiology interns as they navigate their first year as a doctor on the OHSU campus. The majority of his teaching occurs in the clinical setting either in the operating room or on labor and delivery. However, he also participates in the formal resident lecture series, in journal club meetings, and with oral board practice. 

Dr. Togioka is conducting clinical research to determine if a new drug, Sugammadex, with evidence of more complete neuromuscular reversal than traditional drugs can decrease the incidence of lung complications after surgery. He is also conducting clinical research on labor and delivery to determine (1) the interaction between ethnicity, primary language, and epidural usage and (2) a method to avoid general anesthesia when regional anesthesia is failing during cesarean section.  

Katie Menzel Ellis, M.D.

Katie Menzel Ellis

My research interests lie in evaluating clinical databases in order to determine how our perioperative management decisions affect patient outcomes. I am interested in seeing how pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative physiologic differences are associated with short-term and long-term morbidity and mortality for our patients. Currently my interest lies in cardiovascular outcomes, specifically myocardial injury after non-cardiac surgery (MINS). As a quality improvement initiative, I helped implement a clinical protocol for routine post-operative troponin screening at the VA Portland Heathcare Center. I am in the early stages of conducting a study investigating the association between derangements of intra-operative vital signs and both the development of MINS and post-operative mortality. This study is part of a larger collaborative perioperative research initiative being developed through the VA Portland Healthcare System and OHSU APOM to investigate a broad range of perioperative outcomes across multiple surgical fields using nationwide VA patient data. I am also involved in a new multi-center cooperative VA study looking at the impact of post-operative transfusion threshold on cardiovascular complications in patients with known heart disease. 

Heike Gries, M.D., Ph.D.

Heole Groes

My clinical research interests in the field of Pediatric Anesthesiology are broad. 1) Neurodevelopmental effects of anesthesia in the developing brain: I am the Principal Investigator at OHSU-Doernbecher in a randomized prospective international multi-center Trial called T-Rex, where we are studying the neuro-developmental outcomes with different anesthesia regimes in young children. This study is one of the few randomized prospective studies in the field and is supported by Smarttots, a joined non-profit collaborative effort of FDA and International Society of Anesthesiologists (IARS) to increase the safety of anesthetic and sedative drugs of children undergoing anesthesia and sedation. 2) Perioperative management for patients undergoing craniosynostosis repair: I am part of the Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery Perioperative Registry (PCSPR) and currently one of the 4 executive members of this group. PCSPR is a convened group of over 30 institutions with pediatric anesthesiologists in the USA and Canada who strive continuously for improvements in the perioperative healthcare of pediatric patients undergoing craniosynostosis repair. We have been part of the registry since 2013 and I am the Principal Investigator at OHSU-Doerbecher since the beginning. The PCSPR registry contains a huge observational database and we study collaborative different topics including quality improvement projects in this area. We already published several articles about our results in peer-reviewed anesthesia journals, one for example examined the safety profile of tranexamic acid for this patient population during surgery. Within this context, we examined separately at Doernbecher the minimization of blood loss examined while using tranexamic acid. 3) Neuromuscular monitoring and anesthesia: As a collaborative effort with the department of neurophysiology and neurosurgery we are studying the effects of dexmedetomidine on intraoperative somatosensory evoked potential and motor evoked potential monitoring during neurosurgery in pediatric patients. This project looks at the pediatric population, since prior evidence is adult based.

Glenn Woodworth, M.D.

Glenn Woodworth

Dr. Woodworth began his medical training in San Diego culminating in finishing his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He currently is the Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship Director, and Associate Professor at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Woodworth is an active education researcher and is particularly interested in the assessment of competency, the effectiveness of different educational methods in medical education, and the use of education technology. He is a past FAER grant recipient for his work on the assessment of ultrasound interpretation skills for regional anesthesia and is currently the PI for a FAER grant looking at the achievement of competency as determined by the milestones. Dr. Woodworth is the Editor in Chief of the Anesthesia Education Toolbox, a collaboratively developed peer-reviewed web-site for anesthesia education. The Toolbox learning management system facilitates resident, fellow, and post-graduate continuing education in anesthesia. In his spare time, Dr. Woodworth enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis and cooking. 

Katie Schenning, M.D., M.P.H.

Katie Schenning

In her clinical practice, Dr. Schenning provides anesthesia for adult patients undergoing all types of surgical procedures, and she specializes in caring for patients with neurological disorders.  

Dr. Schenning's research is focused on perioperative cognition. In older adults, I am working on using preoperative cognitive and frailty screening tests to predict deleterious postoperative neurocognitive outcomes such as postoperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction. I am also interested in biological determinants of postoperative neurocognitive disorders, including genetics and biological sex.  

Peter Schulman, M.D.

Peter Schulman

Dr. Peter Schulman practices both anesthesiology and critical care medicine.  He is the medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), and chief of the Division of Cardiac and Surgical Subspecialty Critical Care.  He started and directs a perioperative pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator service.  His research focuses on perioperative cardiovascular risk reduction; a principle interest is patients with a cardiac pacemaker or Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Ryan Ivie, M.D.

Ryan Ivie

Ryan Ivie is an anesthesiologist with specialty training in Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine. He works clinically as an adult anesthesiologist with a focus on performing ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks and teaching these techniques to residents and fellows. His research interests include evaluating novel applications and modifications of regional anesthesia techniques and evidence-based improvement in the education of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. He is studying techniques to improve the success rate of thoracic epidural placement, the effect of changes in spinal procedure location on operating room efficiency, and the impact of patient education on ambulatory peripheral nerve block outcomes.

James "Jim" Carson, Ph.D.

James "Jim" Carson

Most of my research has focused on developing and testing the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies—especially mind/body treatments—for persistent pain conditions. My investigative efforts have been strongly influenced by my clinical work as a health psychologist specializing in conditions such as chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer-related pain, and post-concussion syndrome. Prior to becoming a psychologist I was a meditation teacher for many years. Projects I have directed include the first-ever clinical trial of a loving-kindness meditation intervention, which reported improvements in pain and psychological stress in chronic low back pain patients; and a series of trials of a Mindful Yoga intervention demonstrating improvements in pain, fatigue, and emotional distress among patients with either fibromyalgia, or cancer-related pain. I have also collaborated on projects focused on tai chi, and traditional Chinese medicine, for chronic pain. Currently, I am the principal investigator for a project that will conduct a national survey of allopathic physicians at outpatient pain treatment centers in the U.S. to determine the availability, attitudes, and utilization of CAM services within their routine practices. This study will address the knowledge gap that exists regarding the process of care and actual delivery of CAM in outpatient pain centers, as distinct from what is known from CAM trials conducted in rigorous research settings.