Update on Clinical Research Consortium: Collaborative Research Initiative for Perioperative Clinical and Translational Science Meeting

Towards the end of last year, a consortium of academic anesthesiology organizations launched an initiative to help establish a clinical trials network in the U.S., which would focus on perioperative medicine, critical care, pain management, and peri- and post-partum care. The consortium included the Association of University Anesthesiologists, Early-Stage Anesthesiology Scholar, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, the International Anesthesia Research Society, and the Society of Critical Care. In conceptualizing this initiative, it was thought that the new clinical trials network could naturally collaborate with other existing international networks.

There was a call for submissions of clinical research proposals. Despite a tight deadline, seasoned anesthesiology investigators around the United States submitted 17 letters of intent and brief proposals for pragmatic trials. The proposals are all high caliber, and all focus on outcomes that are clinically relevant and important to society. At very short notice, a study section was assembled to rank these, and to solicit expanded proposals from six of the 17 applications. From the six finalists, the study section will select three proposals. Two world experts in clinical and translational research are leading the study section. The other members of the study section are academic leaders representing the organizations that are spearheading this initiative.

The clinical research consortium will be formally launched at an exciting symposium on May 1, 2018, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, following the IARS, AUA and SOCCA Annual Meetings in Chicago. This meeting will be open to all those interested in anesthesiology-related clinical and translational science. The agenda for the symposium will include:

  1. A session on innovative and efficient approaches to multicenter clinical trials;
  2. Presentation and review of three selected clinical trial protocols. The review will include constructive feedback regarding clarity of hypotheses, merit of research methods, and feasibility. The format of this session will be somewhat similar to an NIH study section. The goal of this review session will be to address issues common to many proposals to ensure an educational experience for all investigators who attend the symposium, in addition to those whose proposals are selected.
  3. Presentations by the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group. These exemplify organizations that can serve as data coordinating centers and provide other “core” support to clinical trials.
  4. A focus on PACT, the Canadian Anesthesiology clinical trials initiative. Potential for collaboration between pact and this new clinical trials initiative will be highlighted.

There is tremendous excitement regarding this clinical trials initiative in Anesthesiology, and if it is successful, it will be an important catalyst for advancing academic anesthesiology and for providing a platform for addressing some of the most relevant research questions confronting our field.


Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri