The P50 Research Center in Perioperative Sciences: How the investment by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in team science has reduced postburn mortality
Since the inception of the P50 Research Center in Injury and Peri-operative Sciences (RCIPS) funding mechanism, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has supported a team approach to science. Many advances in critical care, particularly burns, have been driven by RCIPS teams. In fact, burns that were fatal in the early 1970s, prior to the inception of the P50 RCIPS program, are now routinely survived as a result of the P50-funded research. The advances in clinical care that led to the reduction in postburn death were made by optimizing resuscitation, incorporating early excision and grafting, bolstering acute care including support for inhalation injury, modulating the hypermetabolic response, augmenting the immune response, incorporating aerobic exercise, and developing antiscarring strategies. The work of the Burn RCIPS programs advanced our understanding of the pathophysiologic response to burn injury. As a result, the effects of a large burn on all organ systems have been studied, leading to the discovery of persistent dysfunction, elucidation of the underlying molecular mechanisms, and identification of potential therapeutic targets. Survival and subsequent patient satisfaction with quality of life have increased. In this review article, we describe the contributions of the Galveston P50 RCIPS that have changed postburn care and have considerably reduced postburn mortality.