Ansgar Brambrink, MD
E.M. Papper Professor of Anesthesiology

Dr. Brambrink's research interests include anesthetic-induced developmental neurotoxicity and brain ischemia. He uses animal models to evaluate the impact of anesthetics on neuroapoptosis and learning behavior in the developing brain. Dr. Brambrink also has investigated the pathophysiology of brain ischemia and treatment strategies and the brain's endogenous repair after stroke.







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.





Richard Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics at CUMC

Dr. Levy’s main area of interest is the adverse effect of environmental exposures on the developing brain.  His lab is interested in developmental neuronal apoptosis, the neurotoxic effect of anesthetics, and the anti-apoptotic effects of carbon monoxide.  He is currently evaluating the protective effect of subclinical carbon monoxide during anesthesia exposure.  Dr. Levy is also interested in the gene- environment model of autism.  He is currently evaluating the interaction between air pollution and Fragile X syndrome, the leading genetic cause of autism.  The lab works with a number of mouse models, employs a variety of microscopy techniques, and commonly utilizes immunoblot analysis and subcellular fractionation to assess the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.






Lena S. Sun, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics

Dr. Sun’s current research focuses on anesthetic neurotoxicity of the developing brain.  Specifically, understanding the long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in children who had early childhood anesthesia exposure.  She is the principal investigator of the multi-site Pediatric Anesthesia & NeuroDevelopment Assessment (PANDA) study, one of the ongoing large scale prospective study studying the important question of neurodevelopmental outcome in children with early anesthesia exposure.






Robert A. Whittington, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

My current research interest primarily focuses on the impact of anesthesia and surgery on the neuropathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Using transgenic mouse and cellular models of AD, my laboratory is investigating the impact of prolonged anesthesia exposure on the development of tau protein-related neurofibrillary pathology, one of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.  The long-term goal of this research is to better understand how anesthesia and surgery modulate AD-related neuropathogenic pathways in order to identify perioperative treatment strategies that preserve cognitive function in those patients who are at risk for postoperative cognitive decline as well as incident dementia.



Columbia University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology