Research Opportunities

The Division faculty, consisting of both pediatric and cardiac intensivists, interact with fellows in patient care, seminars, and research projects. Research endeavors in the Division include basic, translational, and clinical projects.

Protected Time for Research  

  • Fellows have 15–18 months of protected time, excluding vacation.
  • The amount of time increases from the first to the third year, and is clustered to enhance productivity.

Recent Basic Science Projects

  • The role of stem cells in neurogenesis after trauma
  • The impact of hypoxia on brain development and function
  • The interaction between endothelial and alveolar cells in various mechanisms of lung injury
  • Signal transduction pathways in the pathogenesis of sepsis and burn injury
  • Metabolic effects of sepsis in the pig model

Recent Division Clinical Studies

  • Collaborative projects with the NIH-funded Therapeutic Hypothermia for Cardiac Arrest Research Network, consisting of six other institutions in North America
  • Collaborative participation on the NIH-funded RESTORE study on the use of a sedation protocol for critically ill children, involving 21 institutions in North America
  • Collaborative studies with PALISI pediatric critical care network
  • Effect of gentamicin on hypocalcemia in the newborn

Recent Translational Studies

  • Immunological phenotype of severe sepsis, SIRS, MODS, and HLH

Clinical projects in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care are aided by comprehensive databases maintained in areas of the Division’s activities including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ECMO, head trauma, and medical emergency team (MET). In addition, fellows have access to other resources within the larger UT Southwestern community, including the Perot Brain and Nerve Injury Center, the Maternal Fetal Medicine Network, and the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Units (PPRU) networks.

Our program is closely integrated with the Departments of Biochemistry, Clinical Nutrition, Pulmonary Vascular Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, making research opportunities available outside of the Division.

Mentored Research Projects and Scholarship

  • Each fellow is expected to complete a research project under the guidance and with the help of a mentor and a scholarship oversight committee. 
  • Each fellow is encouraged to select a research project that best meets her or his own interests and career plans. This project is expected to lead to presentation of one or more abstracts at national meetings and publication of a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. 
  • Scholarship may also include chapters, state-of-the-art reviews, and case reports. 
  • Second- and third-year fellows attend the national meetings of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Thoracic Society, and Pediatric Academy Societies (PAS).
  • Each graduate should complete and publish at least one manuscript arising from their research endeavors.

Specialized Research Training Opportunities

Fellows who plan for a clinical research track may apply for additional studies to pursue a Master in Public Health (M.P.H.) or one of three Clinical Sciences programs available through the Center for Translational Medicine: Graduate certificate (two-year program), Master’s Degree in Clinical Science (two-year program), or Masters Degree with Distinction (three-year program). 

External and Internal Funding Opportunities 

  • Fellows in the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship are eligible for several external sources of funding from the American Academy of Pediatrics, NIH, and several other national organizations and foundations.
  • UT Southwestern offers a Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), which provides three years of salary and allows highly individualized research training and career development. Additional sources of funding include Children’s Medical Center and the Department of Clinical Sciences.
  • UT Southwestern offers opportunities for T-32 Grants in Genetics, Cell & Molecular Biology Training Program, Gastroenterology and Hepatology  Research, Basic Science of Drug Abuse, Cardiovascular Research, Renal Control of Body Composition and Blood Pressure, Cellular Biophysics of Neuron, Endocrine and Metabolism, Infectious Diseases, Mechanisms of Drug Action and Disposition, Molecular Microbiology, Trauma, Inflammation and Sepsis, and Interdisciplinary Research Training (Physiology).