The Alam Lab, led by Dr. Hasan B. Alam, focuses on two large and daunting problems facing both civilian and uniformed populations: traumatic injury and severe infection, or sepsis, which often emerges in the days, weeks or months following these life-threatening injuries. Our goal is to minimize loss of life and disability in trauma survivors. In alignment with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report, and the goals of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, we aim to achieve zero preventable deaths. Reality is, the approaches to treating traumatic injuries – including resuscitation and hemorrhage control – as well as sepsis and septic shock have not changed significantly in decades. This fact drives us to find new and innovative strategies to shape the "next frontier" of trauma research and care. A major area of interest for us is in improving care in the immediate post injury phase, especially when delivered in austere environments, where patients lack access to medical facilities or specialized treatment.
Our work spans basic bench research on the function of genes, proteins and cells to pre-clinical studies and translation to bedside clinical care. We are proud of our strong and sustained funding record over the past two decades from organizations such as:
- National Institutes of Health
- U.S. Army
- U.S. Navy
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA
Resulting discoveries are clarifying the mechanisms involved in the body's response to traumatic injury and infection. And they continue to help us identify novel approaches, tools and therapies to help save lives.
- A battefield dressing we developed to control heavy bleeding was added to every U.S. Marine's first aid kit.
- Target proteins we've identified can help clinicians more quickly diagnose infections, which minimize delays in starting life-saving therapies and avoid overtreatment.
- Research into cell preserving drugs and their optimal dosages have allowed us to activate the body's innate survival mechanisms and reduce the risk of systemic infection and organ damage. One of these agents is now going through clinical trials.
- We have identified novel treatments for severe traumatic brain injury that can attenuate the magnitude of neuronal damage and speed up the recovery process.
- Refinements in global preservation strategies, such as induced hypothermia, have led to the start of a federally funded clinical trial of profound hypothermia for patients in traumatic arrest.