Trauma Research is dedicated to expanding the understanding of the responses and needs of the injured patient. We are proud to have a dedicated team of consultants with a wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets, resulting in a multidisciplinary and interactive research environment. We provide innovative approaches to trauma research through laboratory, clinical and population-based studies.
- Epidemiology and Statistic Analyses
- Computational Biology
- Cell Biology
Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures, functions and identities. We largely study proteins and small molecules in plasma/serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to identify post-translational modifications (PTMs) that are unique to each patient(s). Currently, we are using various proteomic equipment including electrospray ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (ESI TOF MS), matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI MS MS), and 2D gel electrophoresis including differential in gel expression analysis (DIGE).
Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes in living organisms. The biochemistry department is currently focused on learning more about how oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), or redox potential, can reflect the heath of a patient by providing an integrated measurement of oxidative stress levels. We are working on the development of an appropriate and easy-to-use method of measuring ORP within biological samples, taken from trauma patients and healthy donors, and building on the knowledge of what ORP can tell physicians and how it may inform courses of action.
The Cell Biology team studies varies cell lines – including lines derived in vitro from fibrillary astrocytoma/glioblastoma multiforme tumors, epileptic temporal lobe biopsy, and antigen-reactive T lymphocytes – to learn more about inflammatory processes, malignancies, vascular permeability and wound healing. We are also developing a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to expedite the diagnosis of bacteria associated with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). Current diagnostic practices in hospital settings take up to three days – an assay that can rapidly and accurately identify bacteria, which could improve treatment and potentially reduce costs.
Immunology is a branch of biomedical science that deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and disease. The immunology department utilizes flow cytometry to identify cellular activation and cytokine production by immune cells of trauma patients. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is used for quantifying cytokines, nuclear factors and other mediators of inflammation. We have established several unique cell lines – including cloned antigen-reactive T lymphocyte lines from peripheral blood and brain tissue, and microglial cells from brain tissue – to investigate the effects of potential modulators of the acquired and innate immune responses.
With the increasing complexity of biological experiments, sophisticated modeling and analysis tools are required to make sense of the data generated. The computational biology consultants conducts genomic sequence analysis, kinetic modeling, discriminant analysis, systems biology, and signal processing of mass spectrometry data. We have developed several unique in-house tools that aide in protein identification and post-translational modifications using mass spectrometry and computational approaches. We are currently focused on learning more about how ORP can serve as a biomarker that reflects patient health.
The team of epidemiologist consultants aim to study the patterns, causes and effects of injury among patients throughout the state of Colorado. The team partner with clinicians, scientists and hospital administrators, and have examined the effectiveness of new diagnostic methods, treatments, protocols and policies, as well as measured patterns between outcomes and demographics, comorbidities and injury mechanisms. Study designs include randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies and ecologic studies.