In partnership with the Perioperative Clinical Research Institute, the Vanderbilt Anesthesiology Clinical Research Advisory Committee (VACRAC) was formed in 2009 to promote clinical research within the department. The committee supports new investigators in developing clinical research projects that will lead to publication and, if possible, extramural funding. The committee also oversees the development and conduct of industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated research by developing and managing essential research support services and programs.
The committee mentors potential investigators throughout the research development process and provides regular opportunities for ongoing learning about research methods, proposal writing, Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications, data management and analysis, and presentation/publication skills. The committee also reviews new research proposals and regularly audits ongoing investigations for effectiveness and compliance with regulatory and safety guidelines. Projects that are determined to require more than minimal resources, for example those that need more than simple IRB regulatory support and/or significant statistical consultation, are referred to the Anesthesiology Research Executive Committee (AREC) for consideration for departmental Innovation grants. VACRAC reviews all ongoing projects at least annually to ensure that goals are being met, resources are appropriately allocated, and regulatory requirements are met. The VACRAC Chair provides summary reports of the committees activities to Anesthesiology Research Executive Committee (AREC) at least annually.
Committee members are Edward Sherwood, MD, PhD (chair); Pratik Pandharipande, MD, MSCI (co-chair); Matt Shotwell, PhD (co-chair); Josh Billings, MD, MSCI; Brian Donahue, MD, PhD; Matthew McEvoy, MD; Damon Michaels; Andrew Shaw, MD, Yandong Jiang, MD; Mark Rice, MD, and Matthew Weinger, MD.