NIDUS II Investigators
NIDUS is led through the efforts of 9 co-investigators from 6 institutions throughout the United States. Each team member is an established researcher and/or clinician in the field of delirium research, who brings expertise from various fields including geriatrics, general medicine, anesthesiology, pharmacology, social work, epidemiology and statistics.
Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH
Multi Principal Investigator
Dr. Sharon K. Inouye is the Director of the Aging Brain Center at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds the Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center). Her research focuses on delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older patients, resulting in more than 250 peer-reviewed articles to date. Currently, she is the overall principal investigator of the Successful Aging after Elective Surgery (SAGES) study, an $11 million Program Project on delirium funded by the National Institute on Aging, as well as 5 other active NIH-funded research projects.
Dr. Inouye developed and validated the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM), the most widely-used instrument for the identification of delirium worldwide. She developed the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a multicomponent intervention strategy designed to prevent delirium by targeting six delirium risk factors. The HELP program has been adopted by over 200 hospitals worldwide.
Dr. Inouye was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) in 2011. She has been elected to Fellowship status in the Gerontological Society of America (2013), the American College of Physicians (2015) and American Geriatrics Society (2015). She recently received the 2015 M. Powell Lawton Award from the Gerontological Society of America.
Eva Schmitt, PhD
Dr. Eva Schmitt, Assistant Scientist I, is the Associate Director of the Aging Brain Center in the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston MA, where she is responsible for the operations of the Aging Brain Center. Dr. Schmitt joined the Aging Brain Center in 2010 as the overall Director of the Successful Aging after Elective Surgery (SAGES) and Better Assessment of Illness (BASIL) studies. Dr. Schmitt has a Masters degree in Social Work from Germany and obtained a PhD in Social Gerontology from the University of Kassel, Germany. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychology, Community-Academic Research Alliance and was an appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to joining the Aging Brain Center, she was the Director of Program Evaluations at the Institute on Aging, a not-for-profit health care provider, and an evaluator of educational programs at the UCSF, Division of Geriatrics, in San Francisco, CA.
Measurement & Harmonization Core
Richard N. Jones, ScD
Multi-PI, Leader, Measurement & Harmonization Core
Dr. Richard Jones is an epidemiologist and methodologist. He leads the Quantitative Science Program (QSP) at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, the Department of Neurology, and the Norman Prince Neuropsychiatric Institute, where he holds appointments as an associate professor. Dr. Jones’ main research areas concern the cognitive reserve hypothesis and measurement and methodology in the clinical neurosciences. He is a Multi-PI of an NIH-funded R01 (R01AG044518) to harmonize and develop new delirium severity measures, and is also PI of a project to harmonize cognitive assessments used in the Health and Retirement Study and 15 international studies (R01AG051170). He has extensive psychometric expertise, with particular focus in harmonization of measures, in the areas of depression, cognition, and physical functioning.
Career Development & Outreach Core
Leader, Career Development & Outreach Core
Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead is the Mary and Thomas Hudson Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of North Carolina Medical Center. She also directs the Center for Aging and Health and the Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine.
Dr. Busby-Whitehead’s clinical interests include geriatric syndromes such as urinary and fecal incontinence, memory disorders, falls, functional decline and polypharmacy. Her current research projects include assessment of racial disparities regarding treatment of urinary incontinence in Southeastern United States nursing homes and developing and testing a treatment program for fecal incontinence in frail elders. She is an expert in geriatric functional assessment and geriatric syndromes including delirium. As Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Next Steps Program for Geriatrics Training for Specialists, she helped develop innovative approaches to improve delirium recognition and management.
Leader, Career Development & Outreach Core
John Devlin, PharmD, BCCCP, MCCM, FCCP is a professor of pharmacy at Northeastern University, a critical care pharmacist and associate scientist in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. His research focuses on the detection, prevention and treatment of delirium and disrupted sleep in the ICU and the pharmacoepidemiology of delirium in critically ill adults. He has mentored multiple ICU pharmacists through a long standing critical care fellowship/PhD program. He chaired SCCM’s 2018 pain, agitation, delirium, immobility and disrupted sleep international clinical practice guidelines, helped lead SCCM’s ICU Liberation quality improvement collaborative, and currently serves on an ATS research task force focused on identifying research priorities for sleep in the ICU. He is a member of the editorial boards of Critical Care Medicine and Pharmacotherapy and a past president of the American Delirium Society.
Research Resource Core
Edward R. Marcantonio, MD, SM
Leader, Research Resource Core
Dr. Edward Marcantonio is the Section Chief for Research in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at BIDMC, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Marcantonio is an internationally recognized expert and clinical investigator in the area of delirium. He currently leads two NIH-funded R01 studies in this area focused on improving diagnostic strategies for delirium, and biomarker discovery for delirium. Dr. Marcantonio's broader research interests include improving quality of care for hospitalized older adults, predictors of hospitalization and unplanned hospital readmission, and outcomes of non-cardiac and cardiac surgery in older adults.
Dr. Marcantonio serves as BIDMC site director of the HMS Fellowship in General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, teaches Epidemiology in the Clinical Effectiveness Program at Harvard School of Public Health, and has mentored nearly 50 students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members. He has received the BIDMC Center for Faculty Development's Excellence in Mentoring Award, the HMS A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentorship, and currently holds a Mid-Career Mentoring Award in Patient-Oriented Research from the National Institute on Aging. He also has been nationally recognized for his research, having received the Paul Beeson Physician Scholarship in Aging Research, the American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation Award, and is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians.
Thomas G. Travison, PhD
Co-leader, Research Resource Core
Dr. Thomas Travison is a biostatistician and clinical trialist whose work focuses on the epidemiology and treatment of illnesses of aging. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Biostatistics at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research. Dr. Travison is also Core Leader and Director of the Biostatistical Design and Analysis Core of the Boston Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. His recent work has been particularly focused on strategies for the development and testing of multimodal interventions for complex illnesses that disproportionately affect older adults, such as mobility disability and frailty, and on the endocrinology of aging. He has served as investigator and/or lead statistician on multiple large longitudinal studies in aging, including the Massachusetts Male Aging Study and the Boston Area Community Health / Bone investigation. Dr. Travison’s methodologic work likewise focuses on methods for the study of complex outcomes, and on innovations in graphical data display.
His educational activities focus on the teaching of biostatistics and statistical computing to data scientists and biomedical professionals, and he has formally and informally mentored numerous statisticians, clinical fellows, data analysts, project and data managers.
Sarinnapha Vasunilashorn, PhD
Co-Leader, Research Resource Core
Pilots & Exploratory Core
Michael Avidan, MBBCh
Leader, Pilots & Exploratory Core
Dr. Michael Avidan is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery at Washington University. He is also the Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care. His research interests include intraoperative awareness, postoperative delirium and cognitive alteration, brain monitoring during surgery, and postoperative outcomes.
He has a strong track record in creating innovations and building research collaborations, leading large interventional and observational studies on delirium and postoperative outcomes. In 2015, he received the Delirium Champion Award from the American Delirium Society. He is the PI on a 1300-patient, NIA-funded trial to determine whether EEG guidance of anesthesia can prevent postoperative delirium (NCT02241655), and on an international, multicenter study focusing on the prevention of postoperative delirium with sub-anesthetic ketamine (NCT01690988).