The Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to training and supporting outstanding scholars who intend to pursue an academic career with a focus on research.
The Van Poznak Anesthesiology Research Scholarship provides a structure and program that enables scholars to establish a strong research foundation and develop into investigators who are 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 fields of interest.
Weill Cornell Medicine provides an unparalleled environment for the development of a research career. Research scholars are encouraged to work with mentors in any appropriate department at four world-class institutions: 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 exciting, rigorous and well-funded research environments in the world.
The general structure of the program is as follows:
PGY-1 (Intern) Year: Scholars are largely expected to focus on the adjustment to clinical responsibilities. During this year, scholars have several opportunities to discuss their backgrounds and areas of interest with the research program directors. These meetings establish a strategy for finding the appropriate mentor and laboratory, and for identifying 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 identify a mentor and laboratory, and to establish 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. He or she 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, scholars are expected 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 New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Scholars will dedicate 80 percent of their effort to ongoing research during this year, with the remaining 20 percent spent in the operating room as an attending anesthesiologist. By the conclusion of this year, the scholar is expected to establish 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 percent 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 Medicine are to provide world-class anesthetic care for patients, and to train outstanding clinicians. Research scholars are required to meet appropriate clinical and knowledge-based standards to remain in the 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.
The Van Poznak Anesthesiology 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 NewYork-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.
The Van Poznak Anesthesiology 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 scholarship must apply for a regular anesthesia residency position at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center through ERAS prior to November 1st. In addition, candidates wishing to apply for an anesthesiology research scholarship should send a completed 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, Residency Program Director
Van Poznak Anesthesiology Research Scholarship
Department of Anesthesiology, M-312
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
Senior Associate Dean for Research
Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology
Kane O. Pryor, MD
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
Director of Clinical Research
Director of Education
* Photo used courtesy of the Medical Center Archives of Weill Cornell Medicine.
Current Research Scholars
Seyed Safavynia, MD, PhD
CA3-PGY4 (Class of 2018)
Robert White, MD
CA3-PGY4 (Class of 2018)
Daniel Cook, MD
CA2-PGY3 (Class of 2019)
Jyun-You Liou, MD, PhD
Intern-PGY1 (Class of 2021)
Past Research Scholars
Peter M. Fleischut, MD
Dr. Peter Fleischut is currently senior vice president and chief transformation officer at NewYork-Presbyterian.
A graduate of Jefferson Medical College and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Fleischut completed his residency training in anesthesiology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He joined NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in 2006 and has held many roles since then, including: medical director of the operating rooms, deputy quality patient safety officer, founding director of the Center for Perioperative Outcomes, chief medical information officer, chief medical operating officer and vice chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Fleischut retains his appointment as associate professor of anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Andrew Hudson, MD, PhD
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.