Charles J. DiMaggio, PhD MPH, PA-C
Assistant Professor of Clinical Epidemiology (in Anesthesiology)

Dr. DiMaggio is a researcher, clinician and educator with 20 years experience in emergency medicine, public health and epidemiology.  He recently completed a Center for Disease Control and Prevention Health Protection Research Initiative K01 grant to investigate the behavioral health effects of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 which has resulted in a series of first-authored publications, and a project-related website that serves as a resource for injury and disaster epidemiologists.  He is now working under a one-year NIDA “BSTART” R03 grant to conduct initial analyses of alcohol and substance abuse, and a Columbia University Clinical Translational Science Award to investigate the association of anesthesia exposure with behavioral/ developmental diagnoses in young children. He is the co-director of the core epidemiology graduate course at the Mailman School of Public Health, and teaches a course in the application of statistical methods in epidemiology.  As director of the Program for Healthcare Systems Preparedness at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, he was co-principal investigator in a Health Resource Services Agency funded project to develop cross-disciplinary disaster preparedness curricula for Columbia University’s health sciences campus. He also had primary responsibility for an Association of Schools of Public Health / Centers for Disease Control project involving the collaborative efforts of the university and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide academic resources to public health practitioners.   He served 12 years as chief physician assistant and director of research for the emergency department at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital Center in NY and served on the hospital’s institutional review board.  As a chief research scientist with the Nassau County, NY, Department of Health he worked on a variety of projects including bioterrorism preparedness, syndromic surveillance, and health disparities.


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

Dr. Li’s expertise is in the area of injury epidemiology. His research encompasses innovative research methodology, development of surveillance data systems, and application of epidemiologic and biostatistical techniques in studies of perioperative care, critical care, and emergency care.  He has published extensively on the role of alcohol in injury causation and trauma outcomes, and medical and human factors in aviation crashes.  For his seminal contribution to the decomposition method, the Editorial Board of Epidemiology awarded Dr. Li the Kenneth Rothman Prize in 1999. Dr. Li received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. 

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).    


Hannah Wunsch, MD MSc
Instructor in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Wunsch’s conducts research on the epidemiologic of critical illness. She uses large databases to answer questions relating to the organization and delivery of critical care. Her current research interests include examination of the long-term outcomes from critical illness, international comparisons of critical care, and pharmaco-epidemiology in critical care. She currently holds a FAER grant to look at three year outcomes after critical illness in Medicare patients, specifically examining mortality and health care resource use in a large cohort. Another area of work tries to understand how clinicians use sedation in the ICU by examining sedation patterns and the characteristics of patients associated with administration of different sedatives, including dexmedetomidine.

Her research on international comparisons focuses on the question of how rationing decisions are made when resources are limited, and what effect this has on patient care. She investigates patients in the United States and England, characterizing differences in admission practices and patients. Detailed analyses include examination of specific diseases and surgical procedures, with an emphasis on looking at the use of intensive care after major surgery.

Dr. Wunsch completed both her residency in Anesthesiology and Fellowship in Critical Care at Columbia, where she was one of the first three Virgina Apgar Fellows. She also has a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She collaborates extensively with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Toronto in Canada, and the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre in London.

Columbia University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology