Basic Science Research

The Vanderbilt Anesthesiology Basic Molecular Research program was established to build bridges between clinical and basic sciences. Anesthesiologists and intensivists are confronted with a vast array of patient disease during the process of surgical and intensive care. Modern anesthesiology and critical care medicine depend upon translational knowledge derived at the interface between patient care and the basic research laboratory.

Basic scientists in the department have extensive expertise in electrophysiology, digital microscopy, molecular biology, neurophysiology, genetics and cellular-, organ system-, and integrative physiology. Our scientists are well-funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and other extramural sources. The philosophy of the department’s basic research program is to define fundamental aspects of physiology at the molecular and cellular level, and where appropriate, to ensure that this knowledge is translated into improved patient care.

Basic research activities in the department focus broadly on cell membrane physiology, neuroscience and cardiovascular physiology. Current research efforts include drug discovery for ion channels; structure/function analysis of voltage-gated Cl-, Na+ and K+ channels; molecular physiology of cation-coupled chloride cotransporters and their role in GABAergic neurotransmission; and physiological and molecular characterization of neurosecretion and its regulation by G proteins and Ca2+. Edward Sherwood, MD, PhD, was named Vice Chair of the Research Division in July 2012.  Eric Delpire, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology & Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, was named the department’s Director of Basic Science Research in 2010. Delpire has been a member of the Vanderbilt University Medical School faculty since 1997.