clinical research

Mitchell F. Berman, MD
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Dr. Berman's primary research interest is in outcome studies involving large computerized clinical and administrative databases.  He is the administrator and designer of the anesthesia intraoperative data collection network and database at Columbia, a data source used for clinical research projects by researchers in the anesthesiology department and by other researchers at the University and Hospital.

The Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University is one of the main participants in the national MPOG research database housed at  the University of Michigan (Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group).  Dr. Berman is one of the primary collaborators in the MPOG research consortium.

Dr. Berman also maintains a strong interest in the ergonomics and design of anesthesia monitoring equipment, and the integration of electronic medical recordkeeping.  He collaborates with the biomedical engineering department at the Hospital to select monitoring equipment and to design the mounting of patient monitors and computerized recordkeeping equipment onto the anesthesia workstation.


Anthony R. Brown, MBChB, FFA (SA)
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC.
Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology

Dr. Brown’s interests include orthopedic and regional anesthesia, as well as the management of acute and postoperative pain. He has promoted the use of regional anesthetic techniques within the institution, with emphasis being placed on the use of upper and lower limb peripheral nerve blocks for orthopedic procedures. In addition, he uses perineural infusions of local anesthetics to provide postoperative analgesia, particularly to patients presenting with the "frozen shoulder" syndrome. Current research is directed towards techniques that may be used to optimize the clinical practice of regional anesthesia as well as postoperative pain management.




John Gaudet, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC

Dr. Gaudet focuses on the pathophysiology of postoperative cerebral dysfunction in elderly surgical patients. He is specifically investigating the role of perioperative inflammation in postoperative delirium, a common complication associated with poor outcomes. His clinical research projects involve prospective recruitment and assessment of elderly patients. Some of his projects also involve collection and analysis of blood samples to identify inflammatory biomarkers associated with postoperative delirium. The broad objective of his research is to improve preoperative risk stratification, and perioperative anesthetic management of elderly surgical patients.




May Hua, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC

Dr. Hua’s research centers on the intersection between geriatric critical care and palliative care.  She uses large databases and epidemiologic techniques to examine questions related to the delivery of palliative care and end-of-life care for critically ill patients and long-term outcomes of critical illness.








Caleb Ing, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Dr. Ing’s area of research deals with the examination of peri-operative and post-operative outcomes in children.  His current research looks at the long-term neurocognitive effects of anesthetics on infants and small children by using an established patient cohort.  His work centers around which neurodevelopmental outcomes may be affected by exposure to surgery and anesthesia as well as what types of exposure may be associated with long-term effects.  In addition, he is a collaborator in the Pediatric Anesthesia and NeuroDevelopment Assessment (PANDA) study, a prospective study looking at neurocognitive effects of surgery and anesthesia in children undergoing hernia repair.




Minjae Kim, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology (in Epidemiology)

Dr. Kim's research is focused on improving the care of patients in the perioperative period by better understanding the relationships between patient risk factors/comorbidities and perioperative complications and mortality. His work has examined the epidemiology of acute kidney injury in general surgery patients as well as the interaction effects between acute kidney injury, sepsis, and respiratory failure in surgical patients. In order to obtain a broad perspective of perioperative phenomena, his work utilizes large surgical datasets such as the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An integral part of his research involves the incorporation of various statistical methods, such as latent variable methodology, to obtain the best models for explaining the data.





Guohua Li, MD, DrPH
M. Finster Professor of Anesthesiology and Epidemiology

Dr. Li’s expertise is in the areas of injury epidemiology and clinical epidemiology. His research encompasses innovative research methodology, development of surveillance data systems, and application of novel designs and analytical techniques in studies of the causes and prevention of injuries and adverse outcomes in perioperative care, critical care, and emergency care.  He is the founding Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention and the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Research in Anesthesia and Critical Care, and the founding Editor-in-Chief of Injury Epidemiology.  He teaches two accredited courses at the Mailman School of Public Health, Injury Epidemiology (P8448) and Clinical Epidemiology (P8450). Dr. Li is a recipient of the Kenneth Rothman Prize (1999), the Guggenheim Fellowship (2005), the John Paul Stapp Award (2009) from the Aerospace Medical Association, and the Excellence in Science Award (2015) from the American Public Health Association’s Injury Control and Emergency Health Service Section.

Dr. Li joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University in July 2007. As the M. Finster Chair, he is charged with building a center of excellence in health policy and outcomes in anesthesiology and critical care, mentoring junior faculty and clinical research fellows at the Department of Anesthesiology, and playing an active role in research and education programs at the Department of Epidemiology. The center of excellence in health policy and outcomes focuses on several substantive areas relevant to the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of perioperative care and critical care, including the development of practical tools for measuring risks and clinical outcomes, identification of and intervention on risk factors for adverse outcomes, and examination of the health effects of volatile anesthetics in vulnerable population groups (e.g., children, elderly, and patients with specific comorbidities).    


Gebhard Wagener, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology

Dr. Wagener’s principal research centers on the early detection of acute kidney injury by investigating noval  biomakers that allow early the detection of renal injury. The current clinically-used biomarkers such as serum creatinine are highly insensitive and slow to appear. Biomarkers such as urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-associated Lipocalin (NGAL) increase within hours after renal injury and allow early diagnosis and intervention. Dr. Wagener has studied urinary NGAL after adult cardiac surgery in a large prospective study and evaluated the close relationship of urinary NGAL and acute kidney injury in this population. He demonstrated the superiority of urinary NGAL to detect intra-operative renal injury caused for example by the use of aprotinin or by prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass time compared to serum creatinine. Future studies will evaluate the clinical utility of urinary NGAL in other scenarios of renal injury. His additional research interests include the effect of vasopressin on the portal circulation and the pathophysiology of relative vasopressin deficiency in hepatic failure. In collaboration with Dr. Sladen he developed an intuitive scoring system to predict length of ICU stay after cardiac surgery, the Surgical Procedure Assessment (SPA) score and he studies the effect of preoperative hyperglycemia on postoperative outcome variables.




Columbia University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology