Center for Microvascular and Research Studies

Early Years (1980-1994): The Center was established in the Department of Anesthesiology at the new University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Joseph Gabel was the chairman of the department who recruited a number of investigators focusing on fluid balance/transport. The core investigators Robert Drake, Ph.D. and Glen Laine, Ph.D. developed an exceptionally productive program using sophisticated acute and chronic large animal preparation to explore the issues of cardiopulmonary fluid balance/transfer.

Middle Years (1994-2004): While Dr. Laine had moved to Texas A&M University to become Chairman of the Department of Veterinary Physiology, Steve Allen, M.D. became a driving force in the Center. New collaborations were established with the University of Cologne (Chair: E. deVive), Department of Cardiac Surgery. Uwe Mehlhorn, M.D. became the first of many Cardiac Surgery Residents to become post-doctoral fellows in Houston. This collaboration lead to important observations on the effects of myocardial edema on myocardial function after cardiopulmonary bypass/cardioplegic arrest. Numerous trainees followed (Hans Geissler, M.D., John Frederick, M.D., Matthew Murray, M.D., Billy Hodge, D.V.M.). Robert Drake, Ph.D. continued his work in CHF induced pulmonary fibrosis, collaborating with Marie-Francoise Doursout, Ph.D.

Current Period (2004-Present): While the Center continues an active program on myocardial protection and myocardial fluid balance, the emphasis has shifted to the study of resuscitation induced gut edema. The approach has been to identify the cellular mechanisms of smooth muscle contractile dysfunction that occur as a result of interstitial edema. Steve Allen, M.D. has subsequently moved to become CEO of Columbus Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Robert Drake, Ph.D. passed away in 2006 after a long illness. Currently, Charles S. Cox, Jr., M.D. and Karen Uray, Ph.D. are continuing the work in this area, collaborating with the Trauma Research Center in the Department of Surgery, the DeBakey Institute at Texas A&M University, and the Center for Engineered Microtherapeutics.