Current ASAPs

Philip Smith, MD, PhD

Philip Smith, MD, PhD

University of Maryland School of Medicine

ASAP

Rebecca Speltz Paiz, MD, PhD

Rebecca Speltz Paiz, MD, PhD

University of Minnesota Medical School

ASAP

Mitsukuni Yoshida, MD, PhD

Mitsukuni Yoshida, MD, PhD

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine 

ASAP

Program Alumni

Medical School: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth 
Residency: ASAP graduate ’18, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship 
Current Role: Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado 
Research: Clinical application of noninvasive near-infrared neuromonitoring
Grants: IARS Mentored Research Award 2018

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

I have two different “normal” days. 

One type is research-heavy and involves collaborating with colleagues, advancing my own engineering-based translational research, reading journal articles, and writing articles and grants. My clinical responsibilities do spill over into these days occasionally, whether this is looking up patients whom I will be taking care of the next day or by following up on patients from the previous day.

The other type of day is clinically weighted. These are the days when I am in the operating room. The patients receive my full attention on these days, whether through their direct care or by teaching residents and fellows. These days are often bookended by coordinating research meetings and reading articles.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

The ASAP program allowed me to focus first on my clinical training with the leadership of world-class physicians and advance rapidly to my fellowship training. With the clinical grounding established, the program then allowed for significant protected research time while still engaging in clinical responsibilities. Having this opportunity as a trainee helped to establish the skills to balance the research and clinical components of my professional life.

Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Residency: ASAP graduate ’17, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship
Current Role: Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Research: Structural and biophysical studies of ligand-gated ion channels and lipid modulation
Grants: IARS Mentored Research Award 2017, NIH K08 2017, NIH R35 2020, IARS Frontiers in Anesthesia Research Award (FARA) 2021

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

I spend 75% of my time doing research and 25% in the operating room as a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist. On research days, I often start by taking time to read and conceive of new experiments and projects. The early mornings are also a good time to write. The rest of the day consists of meeting with postdocs, students and other staff, or supporting and troubleshooting experiments in the lab.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

ASAP gave me early, protected research time to establish foundational research projects. These projects enabled me to obtain a career-development grant (K08) and start my own laboratory. The program served as a catalyst for my research career.

Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis 
Residency: ASAP graduate ’18, Pain Management Fellowship
Current Role: Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Research: Role of gut microbiota in the development and/or persistence of chronic pain.
GrantsIARS Mentored Research Award 2019

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

Life is never boring as a physician-scientist as there is no such thing as a normal day. I am non-clinical about 75% of the time and clinical 25% of the time where I work as an interventional pain physician.

When I am in the pain clinic, I see and treat patients with chronic pain. I prescribe medications, refer patients to physical therapy, and perform a variety of interventions from epidural injections to spinal cord stimulation (neuromodulation).

When I am non-clinical, I attend lab meetings, enroll participants in my study, write papers/grants, and analyze samples in the lab.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

ASAP allowed me to focus my career as an interventional pain management physician at an earlier stage while helping me apply for external funding. Becoming a pain fellow as a CA-2 allowed me to hone my diagnostic and procedural skills in a supportive setting while I established a research career plan. I was (and still am) surrounded by like-minded colleagues who give advice on grant applications and research proposals.

The ASAP support is critical for success in a challenging career path. In ASAP, you are surrounded by departmental and peer support. Through ASAP, I was able to obtain additional training as a clinical researcher so that I could move into translational and clinical research.

Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Residency: ASAP graduate ’20, Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
Current role: Associate Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit 
Instructor, Washington University Department of Anesthesiology
Research: Use of machine learning to predict postoperative complications.
GrantsFAER Mentored Research Training Grant 2020.
Critical Care Telemedicine Clinical Research Grant (Washington University Department of Anesthesiology)

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

Because I split my time between patient care and research, I get to have two different types of “normal days!” On a normal clinical day, I take care of patients in one of our surgical intensive care units or in the tele-critical care center. I work with fellows, residents, advanced practice providers, nurses, and other team members to formulate and execute treatment plans for our critically ill patients. I also get to spend time counseling patients and family members, discussing plans with other physicians, and teaching the trainees. 

On a normal research day, I spend a lot of time wrangling datasets, performing computations, and writing. I get to work with a team of clinicians, computer scientists, data analysts, and research assistants as we build machine learning models, implement them into clinical workflows, and get feedback from users.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

My ASAP training provided me with learning opportunities, research experiences, and mentorship that have helped me to develop both as a clinician and as a scientist.  I benefited from the committee of experienced faculty who met with me periodically throughout the five years to help me develop a plan for my career development. I also found it useful to be part of a community of young physician-scientists who could share friendship, provide feedback on ideas, and give advice no matter where I was on my journey.

Medical School: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Residency: ASAP graduate ’19, Abdominal Organ Transplant Fellowship (unaccredited)
Current Role: Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine
Research: Improving the interpretability of advanced machine learning alerts in intensive care.
Grants: NIH KL2 2020

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

On a normal day, I’ll either be doing data analysis, writing, or meeting with project stakeholders.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

ASAP gave me protected time to obtain new skills in machine learning and flesh out new research directions. I came from a biostatistics and epidemiology PhD before neural networks took over the world. These have become fundamental to the informatics and have changed how statisticians interact with the world as well. These skills have been key in my grant proposals and current projects.

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Residency: ASAP graduate ’20, Pain Management Fellowship
Current Role: Instructor of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Research: Norepinephrine mediated Inhibition of TRPV1 Activation in Mice

What does a normal day-in-the-life as a physician-scientist look like for you?

On my clinical days, I’m completely dedicated to taking care of my patient’s pain and identify ways to alleviate their suffering—that could be acute pain in the hospital setting or chronic pain in the outpatient world.

When I am non-clinical, I collaborate with scientists in the department to study basic mechanisms of norepinephrine modulation of pain/moods. Primarily, I conduct studies that examine whether existing medications could help treat chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy.

How did the Academic Scholars Advancement Program (ASAP) help you get to where you are today?

ASAP provided me with an excellent training in anesthesiology, pain management, and research in an efficient timeline. The program prides itself in establishing a good balance between clinical care and research, which I’ve carried into my current position.