Research

he Department of Anesthesiology has a long history of clinical and laboratory research that has shaped clinical practice and transformed biomedical research. Currently, anesthesiology faculty members are involved in multiple studies, including:

  • Large, international multistep study probing the overlap between sleep and anesthesia
  • Multicenter trials examining the role of near infrared spectroscopy
  • Collaboration with the Department of Defense in modeling coagulopathy
  • Examining blood glucose management in outpatient surgery
  • Coagulation management in adult and pediatric heart surgery
  • Outcomes research in critical care

More information on the major arms of the department’s research efforts can be obtained by clicking on their respective links in the lefthand box.

Highlights and Accomplishments

A team of Emory researchers led by Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Andrew Jenkins and Professor of Neurology David Rye together with Paul Garcia has discovered why people with hypersomnia can sleep more than 80 hours a week. People with hypersomnia produce excessive amounts of a previously unknown substance that acts like a sleeping pill—a somnogen. Like alcohol, benzodiazepines (a class of sedatives), and barbiturates, the somnogen enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid—one of the main inhibitory chemicals of the nervous system. In consequence, excessive amounts of the naturally occurring somnogen put people with hypersomnia into a state of twilight anesthesia. The study was published in Science Translational Medicine. The team is now racing to discover where the somnogen comes from.