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CV: Dr. Neill Adhikari

July 1, 2008

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Bio basics: Working in Sunnybrook's department of critical care medicine as an intensivist since July 2004. An associate scientist freshly appointed to the trauma, emergency and critical care research program at Sunnybrook Research Institute. A native of Winnipeg; now lives in downtown Toronto. Received an M.Sc. in health research methodology from McMaster University.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A Latin scholar. It was on the list for a while. It didn't pan out in university though.

What drew you to medicine?

It was partly a response to family mentorship-my uncle and my father are both physicians. Beyond that, though, it seemed to me that it was something that combined the requirement for reasonably high cognitive ability with the requirement to actually do something. That call to action is what distinguishes it from mathematics, say. And I found that combination appealing.

What would benefit the world to know about your area of research?

My research interests are varied and include knowledge synthesis for acute lung injury, meta-analysis methods and clinical trials for acute renal failure in the ICU. Critical illness is common, and demand for critical care is increasing. Acute lung injury and kidney injury are reasonably common, and they're both highly lethal. Any progress that can be made in understanding these conditions is a good thing.

What's the best part of being a scientist?

The opportunity to contribute to knowledge is a privilege-and much of the time it's very fun.

In a perfect world, what?

I think the most important contribution I could make, and I haven't made it yet, would be to translate some of the current ICU treatments into a form that could be broadly applied in resource-poor settings. Critical care only serves rich countries, and the vast majority of people dying on the planet don't benefit from it. It's simply not available to them, and it would completely blow up the health budgets of a lot of places. You could take the view that, well, I guess that's too bad. Or you could say, Is there some aspect of what critical care does that's easily exportable? Exploring that is a research interest of mine.

Dr. Neill Adhikari