Department of Anesthesiology

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Van Poznak Anesthesiology Research Scholarship


The Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College is committed to training and supporting outstanding candidates who intend to pursue an academic career with a heavy emphasis on research. The goal of the Anesthesia Research Scholarship is to provide a structure and program that will enable the candidate to establish a strong research foundation. The Scholarship aims to develop investigators to the level of being competitive candidates for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is expected that Research Scholars will go on to become leaders in their field of interest.

Weill Cornell provides an unparalleled environment for the development of a research career. Research Scholars are permitted and encouraged to work with mentors in any appropriate department at Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, or the Hospital for Special Surgery, thus taking full advantage of one of the most heavily developed and funded research environments in the world.

Program Structure

The general structure of the Scholar Program is as follows:

PGY-1 (Intern) Year: Scholars are largely expected to focus on the adjustment to clinical responsibilities. During this year, Scholars will meet with the Research Program Directors on several occasions to discuss their background and areas of interest. The purpose of these meetings is to establish a strategy for finding the appropriate mentor and laboratory, and to identify any didactic programs that would be of value in career development.

PGY-2 (CA-1) Year: By the conclusion of this year, Scholars are expected to have identified a mentor and laboratory, and to have established a broad outline of their research objectives. Individual didactic programs, which will usually be conducted during the CA-2 year, should be planned by the end of the CA-1 year. Scholars attend regular research meetings and conferences.

PGY-3 (CA-2) Year: The CA-2 year is focused on preparing the Scholar for the major research activities of the CA-3 year. The Scholar will work closely with the mentor to develop a focused research project with specific aims and a well-defined structure. The finalized proposal will be presented as a research talk to the Research Program Directors and other research faculty. Didactic programs designed to develop skills and knowledge required for the major project are often undertaken during the CA-2 year.

PGY-4 (CA-3) Year: Scholars will enter the Clinical Scientist Track as defined by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Scholars spend a six-month block dedicated to intensive full-time research, with clinical responsibilities restricted to on-call activities only. Because of the preparation conducted during the CA-2 year, it is expected that Scholars will be able to make significant headway during this block, and where appropriate will be encouraged to use the CA-3 work as a basis for research starter grant applications from organizations such as the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).

PGY-5 (Fellowship) Year: Scholars who meet academic and clinical standards will be appointed as Instructors in Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Scholars will have 80% of their effort dedicated to ongoing research during this year, with the remaining 20% spent in the operating room as an attending anesthesiologist. By the conclusion of this year, it is expected that the Scholar will have established increasing research independence and should have a well-developed five-year research plan.

PGY-6 (Faculty) Year: Scholars who continue to meet academic and clinical standards will be advanced to full junior faculty with 40% dedicated research time. During this year, it is expected that the academic productivity of the previous years will have provided sufficient basis to apply for a K08, K23, or K99/R00 grant from the NIH.

Central missions of the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College are to provide world-class anesthetic care for patients, and to train outstanding clinicians. Research Scholars are required to meet appropriate clinical and knowledge-base standards to remain in the Research Program through all six years. While it is likely that some Research Scholars will continue careers at Weill Cornell after the Program, appointment as junior faculty during the PGY-5 and PGY-6 years does not represent an open-ended faculty appointment.

Eligible Candidates

The Anesthesia Research Scholarship represents a major commitment to an academic research career on the part of both the candidate and department. Candidates should have had sufficient research experience to make an informed decision to pursue this path. While a high proportion of candidates will be MD/PhDs, this is not a requirement, and MDs with research experience are encouraged to apply. Basic science, clinical, informatics, and educational research are all encouraged and supported. Each application will be evaluated with an emphasis on the research potential of the candidate.

Salary and Awards

Salary for the PGY-1 through PGY-4 years will be at the normal rate for residents at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Salary during the PGY-5 year will be at the normal rate awarded by the Department of Anesthesiology for clinical fellows, and may be supplemented by voluntary clinical duties on weekends. Salary during the PGY-6 year will be at the normal rate awarded by the Department of Anesthesiology for faculty at that level of experience.

In addition, each Scholar will receive a supplement of $5,000 per year beginning in the PGY-2 year of the Research Program. Support for national meeting attendance will be available for candidates who are presenting original research.
A maximum of two scholarships can be awarded in any year.

Application Procedure

The Anesthesia Research Scholarship is awarded by the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell, and application is separate from the ERAS and NRMP processes. All applicants for the Anesthesiology Research Scholarship must apply for a regular Anesthesia Residency position at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell through ERAS prior to November 1st.
In addition, candidates wishing to apply for an Anesthesiology Research Scholarship should send a completed Fellowship Application to the Residency Director. This application includes:

  • A brief description of your research background and experience (2 single spaced pages);
  • A research-centered career development plan (1 single-spaced page);
  • Two letters of reference that specifically address your research potential.

These materials should be sent in as soon as possible to enable appropriate interview planning. They must be received by January 15th. Residency applicants who are also applicants for the Research Scholarship will meet with the Research Program Directors and other research faculty during their departmental visit, and additional conversations or visits may be scheduled. Research Scholarship applicants will only be considered if they are acceptable candidates for the clinical residency.

A decision will be communicated to the candidate by mid-February, prior to the NRMP match deadline. Candidates who are not successful in their application for the Research Scholarship must clearly indicate whether they still wish to be considered for the regular residency.

Forward the above application materials to:

Eric Brumberger, MD, Associate Residency Director
Anesthesiology Research Scholarship
Department of Anesthesiology, M-312
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
525 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021

Prospective applicants who wish to discuss the appropriateness of their specific research interests for the Scholars Program should contact the Research Scholarship Directors:

Hugh C. Hemmings, MD, PhD
Chair of Anesthesiology

Kane O. Pryor, MD

* - Photo used courtesy of Medical Center Archives of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Visit the Archives.

Current Research Scholars

Ansara Vaz, MD

Residency Class of 2017

Seyed Safavynia, MD, PhD

Residency Class of 2018

Robert White, MD

Residency Class of 2018

Past Research Scholars

Peter M. Fleischut, MD

Peter M. Fleischut, MD, is currently Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology in the Department of Anesthesiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. He is currently working on the use of electronic medical records in anesthesiology for outcomes research. He is participating in various quality, patient safety, and performance improvements projects in the Department of Anesthesiology to analyze trends in quality measures to improve clinical care. In addition, he is leading the Housestaff Quality Council in research projects that include assessment of culture change and communication strategies.

Prior to beginning residency, he graduated from Thomas Jefferson Medical College and the Wharton Program for Working Professionals. During his time as a medical student, he worked on various projects related to patient safety and quality improvement in the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson Medical College.

Andrew Hudson, MD

Dr. Andrew Hudson has a long standing research interest in the neural substrates of consciousness. His doctoral work focused on the effects of attention on the encoding of visual information in extrastriate cortex of awake behaving macaques with Keith Purpura and Jonathan Victor. Also, while in graduate school, he helped developed a non-human primate model of the effects of deep brain stimulation on arousal networks with Nicholas Schiff. After completion of the van Poznak Scholarship, Dr. Hudson started his own laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Alex Proekt, MD, PhD

Regulation of the level of consciousness is one of the fundamental functions of the nervous system. Yet it is poorly understood. Despite our ignorance of the basic mechanisms that underlie the regulation of the level of consciousness we are able to extinguish and then swiftly restore consciousness using a variety of general anesthetics. His research project is focused on trying to delineate the neurophysiological processes involved in emergence from general anesthesia. Dr. Proekt believes that investigation of emergence of consciousness may provide insight into which processes in the brain are required for maintenance of consciousness and may help identify neuronal correlates of consciousness.

Specifically he is investigating a hypothesis that sensory stimulation delivered to a lightly anesthetized subject may elicit a state transitithalamocortical networks that results in emergence of consciousness. Dr. Proekt is investigating this hypothesis in the Laboratory for Neurobiology and BehaviRockefeller University in collaboration with Dr.Hemmings' laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College. They are using a combination of behavioral neurophysand mathematical approaches to define the processes involved in emergence of consciousness using mice as a model system. They are then planning to exploit the ability to generate transgenic animals to address the molecular and genetic pathways involved in emergence.

Kingsley Storer, MBBS, PhD

Kingsley's previous research work investigated the use of sensitizing agents in order to improve the efficacy of radiosurgery in the treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations.

He is currently interested in developing a biologically relevant neural network model of the thalamocortex in order to study systems effects of anesthetic agents. He will be mentored by A/Prof George Reeke of the Laboratory of Biological Modelling at Rockefeller University.

Contact Us

Dept. of Anesthesiology
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine
525 East 68th Street, Box 124
New York, NY 10065
Fax: (212) 746-8563

Office of the Chair
Phone: (212) 746-2962
E-mail:  Marissa Matarazzo,

Residency and Fellowship Education
Direct all inquiries to:
Phone: (212) 746-2941

Patient Billing Inquiries
Phone: (855) 880-0343