The basic scientific research is currently focused on two major areas. The first area of investigation focuses on the pathogenesis of, and potential therapeutic strategies for Acute Lung Injury and ARDS, a key cause of death in severely ill patients. A key long-term aim of this research strand is to develop into a core component of the University¡¦s focus on the potential applications of Somatic Gene Therapy to the therapy of diverse medical disease processes. The second area of investigation focuses cardiovascular research, with projects investigating the effects and mechanisms of action of sepsis on the myocardium and on the effects of drugs in the foetal-placental circulation. 

Strand 1 - Investigation of the therapeutic potential of Hypercapnic Acidosis in Acute Lung Injury.

Strand 2 - Investigation of the therapeutic potential of Gene and Stem Cell Therapies in Acute Lung Injury.

Strand 3 - Myocardial and Vascular Research.




The Department is centrally involved in clinical research. Specific areas of focus in clinical research have been identified, focusing on the research interests and expertise of members of the Department. The major clinical research strands include Regional Anaesthesia, and the assessment of the utility of novel airway devices. Additional clinical research projects are encouraged, including the reporting of medical cases of unusual interest [i.e. case reports], and the conduct of audit projects and randomised clinical trials, in areas including obstetrics, ambulatory anaesthesia and intensive care medicine.

Clinical Strand 1 – Acute Perioperative Pain.

Clinical Strand 2 – Evaluation of Airway and Ventilation Devices. 

The Clinical Research Team.

Dr John McDonnell  Leader, Regional Anaesthesia Research  
Prof John G. Laffey  Leader, Airway and Ventilation Research

Dr Olivia Finnerty  Graduate (MD) Student, Regional Anaesthesia 
Dr Anwar Malik   Graduate (MD) Student, Airway Programme

In addition, the Department has identified specific Clinicians with interests, expertise and track records in specific clinical areas. These identified areas of specialisation comprise:

Clinical focus of Specialisation    Co-ordinator 
Intensive Care Medicine             Prof Laffey / Dr Bates 
Regional Anaesthesia                Dr McDonnell / Dr Kinirons 
Obstetrical Anaesthesia             Dr Sharkey / Prof Laffey 
Hyperbaric Medicine                  Dr Flynn / Dr Whyte 
Pain Medicine                           Dr O’ Gorman 
Ambulatory Anaesthesia            Dr Grady / Dr McDonnell

The role of these clinicians is to act as mentors to Trainees wishing to pursue research projects in these clinical areas.

Each nominated clinician will undertake responsibility for all aspects of research projects within their area of expertise.