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January 2011 Issue

Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD
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Focus on Science: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD

By Angela Koenig
Published January 2011

Anesthesiology Resident Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, is making a significant impact on medical research—at 33. He already has 38 peer-reviewed manuscripts, four book chapters, 23 oral presentations, 36 poster presentations and 23 published abstracts to his credit in addition to being a reviewer for 15 journals. Born and raised in Egypt, Abd-Elsayed completed medical school at Assiut University in Egypt in March 2002. This included seven years of academics and a clinical internship at Assiut University Hospital. He earned a master’s in public health at Assiut in 2006 and went on to become a clinical research fellow in anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic 2008-2009.

When did you come to UC, and why UC?

"I started my anesthesiology residency at UC Health in June 2009. During the application process for residency, I went to many interviews, but I did not have much information about Cincinnati beforehand. The night before my interview, I received more than one call from our program coordinator, Donna Benesch, who was always checking that I made it here safely, that my hotel reservation was OK and to call if I have any problems. This was the only program that ever contacted me in this caring way. I met with five faculty members who were very thorough during the interview. I learned that day that UC is a very strong academic institution, the department of anesthesiology is very strong, the environment is very friendly and they all showed interest in supporting my research. This was key in my decision to come to UC. I also had the chance to see the city, which I liked very much. After more than a year now, I am very happy I have made this choice.”

What is your current research focus?

"I’m working on research in two areas: Finding the relationship between isolated systemic hypertension and post-operative outcomes and finding the relationship between tissue oxygenation and the age of blood.”

How do you expect your research to impact patient care?

"The standard of practice in the U.S. is tight glucose control by maintaining blood glucose levels within normal range during surgery. We proved that this is actually associated with worse post-operative outcomes and that slight hyperglycemia is desired. Several physicians adopted this new finding in their practice, which will lead to better outcomes for our patients. My other research, supervised by Steven Lisco, MD, director of critical care in the department of anesthesiology, investigates the difference in outcomes between patients transfused with fresh and old blood. The findings will affect the American blood banks’ practice in the future.”

What recent awards have you won?

"I’ve won the 2010 Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists first-place research award for a scientific paper on ‘Does perioperative transfusion of fresh blood reduce post-operative mortality?’ I also won the first-place award for my submission on perioperative studies at the 2010 MidWest Anesthesia Residents Conference and the first-place award, best of section, on ‘Education and Patient Safety’ at the 2010 International Anesthesia Research Society meeting.”

Tell us something interesting we don’t know about you, outside of your career field?

"I was the Egyptian chess champion, but now I just play for fun. I love to play piano and attend concerts—this is one of the most pleasurable things I do.”

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