Delirium (acute confusion) is a common, morbid, and costly complication that affects between 25-50% of older adults undergoing major surgical procedures. While the basic epidemiology of delirium after surgery has been well-defined, knowledge of its pathophysiology, and identification of biomarkers that might assist in risk stratification and management remains in early development.
Our NIH project "Advancing Understanding of Postoperative Delirium Mechanisms via MultiOMICS", seeks to identify new blood and cerebrospinal fluid based risk and disease markers for postoperative delirium. To accomplish this, we are using various "OMICS" modalities, including proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics, with banked specimens from previously conducted studies of older adults undergoing major orthopedic surgery.
A motivated student could become involved with systems biology and/or statistical analyses of OMICS data from the laboratory of our collaborator, Dr. Towia Libermann. Knowledge of basic statistics is required; we will teach more advanced methods.
Delirium (acute confusional state) is a common, morbid, and costly condition among hospitalized patients, particularly older adults. Yet, over 50% of delirium goes unrecognized by clinicians, often resulting in worse outcomes for the patient.
Through the NIH funded research project READI: Researching Efficient Approaches to Delirium Identification, my research team is developing approaches for highly accurate, efficient diagnosis of delirium in clinical settings, and testing its implementation by various clinical disciplines, including physicians, nurses, and nurses' aides.
A motivated student could become involved in various aspects of the project, including assisting with delirium assessments on the wards at BIDMC. He or she can also conduct secondary analysis of existing datasets examining the most efficient way to administer delirium testing that achieves high accuracy relative to reference standard in population subsets of interest. Knowledge of basic statistics is required, but we are willing to train in more advanced methods.