I consider myself extremely fortunate to have received funding from PSI for a few of my projects.
I received my first funding as a resident research project. With the help of PSI funding my supervisor (Dr. Colin McCartney), and I were able to show successful interscalene brachial plexus block with reduced phrenic nerve palsy using lower volumes of local anesthetic. This project which was published in British Journal of Anaesthesia, was one the first studies proposing use of lower volumes of local anesthetic while performing ultrasound guided regional nerve block.
I received funding from PSI for my fellowship project. With the help of PSI foundation, my supervisor (Dr. Ricky Brull), and I; with the generous collaboration of Drs. Vera Bril, and Bruce Perkins, were able to validate use of ultrasound as a bedside tool for detection of diabetic neuropathy. This novel approach, was published in Diabetes Care, and have been used by various specialists (neurologists, anesthesiologists, etc.) to identify diabetic neuropathy, especially prior to performing a nerve block, which can potentially aggravate neuropathy.
With the change of my research focus from regional anesthesia to malignant hyperthermia – a rare and potentially fatal genetic disease that can be provoked by certain anesthetics- PSI foundation helped me establish, and complete a few projects, focusing on genetics, as well as pathophysiology of malignant hyperthermia. These projects have been published in high impact journals, and are still on going. Personally, I owe the growth of my research interest, and career, to PSI foundation.
I truly believe Ontarian physicians are fortunate to have such an organization to help them performing clinical research, as well as research involving knowledge translation With the paucity of funding opportunities from federal organizations, PSI foundation is a major force in enabling research by physicians in Ontario. There is no project too small or too large for this foundation with the approval of their peer-reviewed process.
Sheila Riazi, MSc, MD, is an assistant Professor in the department of Anesthesia at University of Toronto, and University Health Network. She is an affiliated scientist at Toronto General research institute, and director of the only Canadian center for malignant hyperthermia investigation. Dr. Riazi is also a member of board of directors of Malignant Hyperthermia Association of United States (MHAUS).