Research activity in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine largely follows the clinical interests of our faculty. These opportunities are enhanced by our roles as medical directors for the hospital or other services, or as consultants in the quality improvement area. Funding support for these efforts has come from industry sponsorship particularly of drug studies, Saint Francis Care’s research support, the Doris Watson Research Fund for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or has simply been unfunded. About half of the studies directly involve fellows, and may be supported in part through fellowship funds. We also currently have one study supported by a SPARK grant involving cloning cancer cells from pleural fluid.
Current areas of research include medication trials in the area of pulmonary hypertension and in bronchiectasis, identification and use of biomarkers for asthma, development of clinical quality markers, COPD readmissions, and mechanisms of dyspnea. These studies match our areas of clinical responsibility and clinical interests. Looking to the future, the area we have not yet developed for research is the intensive care unit. This is potentially a big opportunity, since this area represents an organized and highly supported clinical setting which is also well-bounded and manageable in size.