Anesthesiology Research

Coupling the science of anesthesiology and biomedicine, researchers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have the only laboratory in the country that is pursuing the molecular mechanism action of Dantrolene, the drug used to treat a rare genetic syndrome called malignant hyperthermia, to reveal fundamental processes and the molecules responsible for calcium regulation in cells.

The lab is working toward a more complete understanding of the molecular events involved in normal skeletal muscle excitation contraction coupling as well as in malignant hyperthermia. In connection with that work, several physician anesthesiologists at Children’s Hospital support the North American Malignant Hyperthermia Registry with their volunteer work as “MH Hotline” consultants for the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS). These physicians also work with the Center for Genetic and Genomic Medicine of UPMC to genotype patients with this disease.

Working in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Pain Research Center, Children’s researchers are conducting studies focusing on the role of artemin growth factor in pain signaling as it relates to chronic inflammatory pain.

Anesthesiology research at Children’s also entails drug studies and techniques intended to improve surgical procedures while reducing complications related to anesthesia. For example, investigators are currently involved in multidisciplinary studies involving both anesthesia and surgical outcomes of patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery. In addition these investigators are also assessing postoperative anesthesia outcomes of neonates undergoing hernia repairs.


  • Peter Davis, MD
    Chief, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Phillip Adams, DO
  • Brian Blasiole, MD
  • Daniela Damian, MD
  • Mihaela Visoiu, MD

Clinical Studies

Hernia Repair Using Implant with Anesthetic – Phase III

The Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Analgesic Effect of the INL-001 Bupivacaine Hydrochloride (HCl) Collagen-Matrix Implant in Children 2 to Less Than 17 Years of Age Following Open Inguinal Hernia Repair

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Steroids to Assist in Recovery from Heart Surgery: The STRESS Trial – Phase III

STeroids to REduce Systemic Inflammation After Infant Heart Surgery (STRESS)

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Sugammadex for Reversing Effects of Neuromuscular Blockade – Phase IV

The Efficacy, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics of Sugammadex (MK-8616) for Reversal of Neuromuscular Blockade in Pediatric Participants Aged Birth to Less Than 2 Years

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Weight Management for Children Having Surgical Procedures

Optimizing the Perioperative Period: A Healthy Lifestyle Program

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