13th Annual Safar Symposium

Presented jointly by the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research and the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research (WISER), the 13th Safar Symposium was held May 22nd and 23rd this year, and was met with record attendance and wide acclaim. The May 22nd morning session, titled “Cerebral Resuscitation: Hypothermia and Beyond,” featured talks by national authorities in the field of hypothermia and was held at the University Club in Oakland. Highlights included lectures by Dr. W. Dalton Dietrich, Scientific Director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis who gave an overview of the current understanding of the mechanisms of action of hypothermia in acute brain injury, and Dr. Javier Provencio from the Cleveland Clinic who presented on the impact of hypothermia on neuroinflammation in intracranial hemorrhage. The morning session also featured a special case presentation and panel discussion titled “Resuscitation at UPMC 2015: from the Field through to Rehabilitation,” which featured experts from the departments of Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The session described a remarkable case which showcased the collaborative and state-of-the-art nature of the continuum of care at UPMC which helped produce an outstanding result for the patient.

Drs. Lori Shutter and Cliff Calloway During the Case Presentation and Panel Discussion

This 35th Peter and Eva Safar Lecture in Medical Sciences and Humanities was presented by Hans Friberg MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Lund University in Sweden. The lecture was entitled “Cardiac Arrest, Temperature Management, and Return to a Good Life.”  Dr. Friberg is the senior author of the landmark Targeted Temperature Management after Cardiac Arrest Trial (TTM-trial) published in December 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Hans Friberg

Dr. Hans Friberg

Every year, one outstanding trainee from the Safar Center is given the Nancy Caroline Award in recognition of academic excellence in research. The award was created in honor of Dr. Nancy Caroline, a pioneer in paramedic services development and one of Dr. Safar’s first fellows. This year, Safar Center T32 Fellow Dr. Dennis Simon won the award.

Dr. Patrick Kochanek and Dr. Dennis Simon

The program also included a Trainees Research Day session, which drew participants from the Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The poster and oral award winners were as follows:

Oral presentation winners:

Allison C. Koller, BS  (Emergency Medicine) Comparison of three cognitive exams in cardiac arrest survivors Mentors: James J. Menegazzi, PhD  Jon C. Rittenberger, MD, MS Clifton Calloway MD, PhD

Steven Markos, BS   (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) Genetic variation in the vesicular monoamine transporter is associated with depression and cognitive outcomes after TBI Mentor: Amy Wagner, MD

Lisa McIlvried, BS Best Overall Poster Sex-, stress-, and sympathetic postganglionic neuron-dependent changes in the expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules in dural immune cells Mentor: Michael Gold, PhD


Monica Kinde, PhD First Place, Anesthesiology Propofol binding in ELIC is dependent on the functional state of the channel Mentor: Pei Tang, PhD

Lindsay Snyder, BS Second Place, AnesthesiologyGenetic identification of somatosensory neurons that express the kappa opioid receptor Mentor: Sarah Ross, PhD

Emergency Medicine:

Katharyn Holquist , BS Dexmedetomidine reduces shivering during mild hypothermia in waking subjects. Mentor: Jon Rittenberger MD, MS

Critical Care Medicine:

Shaun Carlson, PhD Impaired synaptic vesicle docking is a novel contributor to reduced neurotransmission after traumatic brain injury.Mentor: C. Edward Dixon, PhD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:

Kirstin Free, B.Phil Differential effects of haloperidol examination and continuous EEG to predict survival after cardiac arrest.Mentor: Anthony Kline, PhD

Travis Jackson and Diana Pang

Dr. Travis Jackson and Dr. Diana Pang During Trainees Research Day Oral Presentations

The second day of the Safar Symposium took place at WISER. The session was titled “Simulation Now and into the Future,” and featured demonstrations and lectures on technologies at the forefront of simulation education, including a profile of the advances expected in coming years. Noteworthy lectures in this session included two invited speakers.  Dr. Jeffrey Taekman, Assistant Dean for Educational Technology at Duke University, gave a captivating presentation focused on the future of simulation as an education tool and emphasized a key role for game-based education. Dr. Eric B. Bauman, Assistant Dean for the DeVry Medical International Institute at the University of Wisconsin, highlighted the key role of mobile technology in the future of simulation-based education.  

We would like to thank the Ake Grenvik Endowment, the Laerdal Foundation, and the Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for their continued support. A full copy of the Safar Symposium program is available here