Emory Critical Illness Research Center

Emory Critical Illness Research Center (E-CIRC) is a collaboration between Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, fostering clinical and translational research that will improve the care of critically ill and injured patients. Co led by Jon Sevransky, MD, MHS  (Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine) and Alex Hall (Emergency Medicine) this research group includes research coordinators, investigators, and program managers.

The ultimate goals of E-CIRC are to drive Emory-led multicenter trials in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care that change clinical practice, to develop the next cade of leading EM/Critical Care clinical researchers, and to ensure team-based clinical research that will both advance the careers of junior investigators and improve the care of our critically ill patients.

Current E-CIRC Projects


Principal Investigator: Ankita Agarwal, MD, MSc

An SCCM Discovery-funded project, WORK-ICU (the Study of Physician Cognitive Load and Work in the ICU) is a multi-site observational cohort study that aims to assess whether physician cognitive load is associated with physician, ICU, and patient characteristics, and what factors impact physician workload in the ICU.


Principal Investigator: Sara Auld, MD, Msc

This multicenter adaptive platform treatment trial was established during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to rapidly screen promising agents for patients critically ill with COVID-19. The platform is currently supporting an observational arm to characterize Sub-Phenotypes of ARDS using Rapid prospective Classification (SPARC), with rapid biomarker assays. (Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT04488081).


Site Principal Investigator: Craig Jabaley, MD

A multicenter randomized controlled trial of inhaled isoflurane versus intravenous propofol for the sedation of critically ill adults who require mechanical ventilation. The primary outcome of this open label, assessor-blinded Phase III clinical trial is the percentage of time spent within a target range to evaluate the efficacy and safety of inhaled isoflurane and its delivery device in this novel context. Inhaled sedation with isoflurane offers potential advantages in terms of rapid pharmacokinetics, reduced systemic toxicity, and organ protection that may translate to improved clinical outcomes. 


Principal Investigator: Ofer Sadan, MD

An observational study in which patients with acute non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage are followed. The study specifically enrolls subjects who are at high risk for cerebral vasospasm and deleyed cerebral ischemia. The study is aimed at developing new biomarkers to detect patients at highest risk for these complications, and therefore to poor functional outcome. The study, which is in collaboration with the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech & Emory, uses a novel device that can measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) in a non-invasive manner.  


Site Principal Investigator: Ofer Sadan, MD

This double blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial is investigating whether a pterygopalatine fossa neuronal block could reduce the opiate use to alleviate headache following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The trial, sponsored by the University of Florida, and funded by the NINDS, is comparing an ultrasound guided block with local anesthetic medications compared with placebo injection during the first few days after a hemorrhage. The study'sprimary outcome is the reduction of opiate use by these patients. 


Principal Investigator: CarmenPolito, MD, Mscr

The IMPRESS study is a CDC-funded multicenter clinical trial (NCT 05502107) evaluating the impact of an EMS sepsis protocol on timeliness to sepsis evaluations, interventions, and subsequent adverse events in emergency departments. Sepsis is a life-threatening, time-sensitive condition. The lack of reliable sepsis recognition at the EMS touchpoint is a critical gap and represents a substantial opportunity for improvement. 


Principal Investigator: Jon Sevransky, MD, MHS

A Phase 1b 50 patient two center investigator-initiated placebo controlled trial of alirocumab versus placebo on levels of LPS and TXA in patients with sepsis and shock and/ or respiratory failure.