Mark Dershwitz MD, PhD
|Institution||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
|Address||University of Massachusetts Medical School|
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester MA 01655
|Institution||UMMS - School of Medicine|
|Department||Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology|
|Institution||UMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences|
|Department||Millennium MD/PhD Program|
Ph.D. (Pharmacology) Northwestern University, 1982
M.D. Northwestern University, 1982
Massachusetts General Hospital, Residency in Anesthesiology, 1984-86
Massachusetts General Hospital, Research Fellowship in Anesthesiology, 1986-88
Although anesthetics have been given primarily via the inhalational route throughout the history of anesthesiology, I am interested in the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of intravenous anesthetics. I was involved in the initial clinical trial of the opioid remifentanil whose novel pathway of elimination, via tissue esterases, causes it to have an extremely short duration of action. That study demonstrated that the pharmacological effects of the drug can be expected to wear off within a few minutes regardless of the cumulative dose administered. Subsequently I studied remifentanil in persons with severe hepatic failure or with renal failure requiring dialysis. Based on the known pathway of remifentanil metabolism, such organ dysfunction should have no effect on its PK. These experiments, in which the persons with organ dysfunction were studied as volunteers, demonstrated that as expected remifentanil was as short-acting in these persons as in matched control subjects without organ disease. In addition, the PD experiments showed that persons with liver failure were more sensitive to the ventilatory depressant effects of remifentanil.
Despite the use of morphine in medicine for thousands of years, until recently there was no simultaneous PK/PD study of morphine in humans. This study, again performed in volunteers, showed that even after intravenous administration, the time required for the peak morphine effect to occur was approximately 1.5 hr.
Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) remains a significant problem after anesthesia. I have been involved in several studies on two of the new antiemetics that are antagonists at the 5-HT3 receptor, ondansetron and dolasetron. Most recently, I performed the first detailed dose-response study of ondansetron in preventing PONV, the results of which had significant economic implications considering the expense of the drug and the frequency with which it is used.
Please clickhereto see my web page in the Department of Anesthesiology that describes my clinical work and resident education in greater detail.
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