Thomas Jefferson University


Research, under the guidance of a faculty member, is a method of fulfilling the scholarly activity requirement. Both basic science and clinical science research is conducted in the department.

Basic Science Research

research & publications

The centerpiece of the department's research program is the two basic science research laboratories.

Cardiovascular Injury Research Laboratory. Under the direction of Xin Ma, MD, PhD, the laboratory investigates the mechanisms of cell injury and death caused by nitrogen free radicals in myocardial ischemia and reperfusion injury. The work done in this laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Aside from scientific discovery, the laboratory serves as a training center for post-doctoral fellows, faculty, residents, and medical students.

Central Nervous System Injury Laboratory. Under the direction of Raymond Regan, MD, the laboratory investigates the effects of inducible antioxidants on hemoglobin toxicity in neuronal cells. The work done in this laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The laboratory serves as a training center for post-doctoral fellows, residents, and medical students.

Clinical Research

A number of faculty are involved in the discovery of new information in the clinical setting. Topics of study include sickle cell anemia, youth violence, sexual assault, osteoporosis, acute coronary syndrome, bioterrorism, medical education, and acute pain management. Researchers regularly present their work at EM research conferences such as the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting. EM residents have the opportunity to become involved in clinical investigation under the guidance of faculty.

The Jefferson Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program

Established in 2011, the Research Associates (RA) Program provides a clinical research experience in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Emergency Department. RAs are pre-health professional college and post-baccalaureate students considering health professions careers who volunteer in the emergency department for one 4-hour shift per week over the course of academic semesters. Their main task is enrolling participants in ongoing clinical research and providing service based on that research.

Jefferson’s RA Program is a member of the National Alliance of Research Associates Programs (NARAP). NARAP is a symbiotic consortium of emergency departments and colleges joined to generate research and quality improvement projects utilizing Research Associates (RAs) to enroll large numbers of participants over short time frames with minimal impact on clinical operations and at extremely low cost

Jefferson Research Associates (RAs): Who, What, Where, When, How and Why

RAs are college students and graduates considering a career in the health professions.

What: Under tightly controlled research protocols, RAs enroll large numbers of patients and visitors in clinical studies.

Where: The Emergency Department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, Philadelphia is a 54-bed emergency room that serves approximately 65,000 patients per year.

RAs serve ten 4-hour shifts (one per week) in the ED over an academic semester. We split the year into Spring and Fall semesters.

How: During a day-long orientation session at the beginning of each semester, RAs receive education in ethical issues (such as confidentiality and informed consent), medical safety, research design and study conduct, and subject enrollment. Following this initial training, program personnel supervise first study enrollments to be sure each RA performs the work correctly. At the mid-point and end of the semester, RAs are directly observed enrolling study participants and receive a structured assessment of their clinical performance. From these assessments and other functional parameters, the program director writes a formal letter of evaluation about each RA's work to their health professions adviser.

Why: From an academic viewpoint, RAs assist in the completion of research that advances medical knowledge and promotes better patient care.  For the student interested in pursuing a health professions career, RAs receive two distinct and important experiences. First, they witness first-hand medical care in the acute-care setting of the emergency department and are exposed to undiagnosed and emergently ill or injured patients. Second, they participate in the research process where they experience first-had the inner workings of a clinical study. The RA Program is an evaluated clinical and research experience that assists the participant in assessing their fit for a health care career and allows one a comprehensive exposure to the health care environment.

To Apply: Email the Chief Research Associates for more information at JeffEDchiefs