UC Davis researchers receive $3.3 million to train emergency medicine researchers

Dr. Nathan Kuppermann
Nathan Kuppermann will lead a new training grant focused on collaborative, multicenter research on acute traumatic injuries and emergent illnesses. UC Davis is one of six institutions nationwide to receive the funding.

Posted July 13, 2011

Emergency medicine research leaders at UC Davis will train the next generation of investigators in the field through a new $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The five-year training grant will fund the education of faculty in emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine and associated disciplines in collaborative, multicenter research into the care of adults and children with acute traumatic injuries and emergent medical illnesses.

UC Davis is one of only six institutions nationwide to receive the training grant, which is funded by the the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.

Kuppermann and Holmes to lead UC Davis research

The grant and associated research will be led by Nathan Kuppermann, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UC Davis School of Medicine and director of the emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center. The co-principal investigator will be James Holmes, professor of emergency medicine and emergency department research fellowship director.

Under Kuppermann’s leadership, the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine has assumed an important role in moving the field of emergency medicine research forward, making significant contributions to the discipline.

Dr. James Holmes © UC Regents
James Holmes

Kuppermann, a professor of both emergency medicine and pediatrics, is founding chair and a principal investigator of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network, or PECARN, the first federally funded pediatric emergency research network in the country. Pediatric emergency medicine research by Kuppermann and his colleagues has been published in high-impact medical journals on wide-ranging topics including pediatric head trauma, the risk of bacteremia and meningitis in young children with fevers and the risk factors for cerebral edema in children with diabetic ketoacidosis.

“Our goal is to enhance the science and improve the care of adults and children with acute medical illnesses and injuries, including severe trauma, cardiovascular diseases, hematological diseases and respiratory diseases,” Kuppermann said.

It is critical to train the next generation of emergency medicine researchers, he said.

“Our focus will be on the conduct of multicenter research, as this is perhaps the most powerful mechanism to get to definitive answers,” he said. “We will focus on both pediatric emergency medicine and adult emergency medicine.”

About the UC Davis School of Medicine

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care training programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at medschool.ucdavis.edu.

“Although the numbers are growing, there is a relative dearth of emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine investigators with rigorous research training who are prepared to lead the next generation of research in our specialty. Our goal is to find and prepare these researchers,” Kuppermann said.

Grant funds training for five physicians

The grant funds the training of five junior faculty members over a two- to three-year period each. The trainees may come from the disciplines of emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and surgery, among others.

In addition to Kuppermann and Holmes, the training program faculty will include professors from the departments of emergency medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine.

Oversight will be provided by UC Davis education leaders, including Fred Meyers, associate executive dean, School of Medicine; Heather Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis; Tina Palmieri, director of the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis; Lars Berglund, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Center; and Richard Kravitz, professor of internal medicine.