Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Christopher Horvat, MD, MHA, was awarded a K23 grant entitled, “A Learning Health System Approach to Precision Sedation and Analgesia in Critically Ill Children,” from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Horvat’s K23 study is exemplary of an in-silico approach to identifying approaches for delivering the best and most effective care for critically ill children; in this instance, he addresses children who require sedation and analgesia regimens that can promote healing while avoiding harm.

His study will use a combination of machine learning, a to-be-established biobank of blood samples, EHR-derived medication administration data, and pharmacokinetic models to address three specific aims:

  • Identify patterns of sedation and analgesia administration associated with outcomes among children with respiratory failure,
  • Identify patterns of sedation and analgesia administration associated with patient genotype among critically ill children with respiratory failure, and
  • Construct population pharmacokinetic models for common sedative-analgesic medications in critically ill children with respiratory failure.

Mentors for Dr. Horvat’s research include Bob Clark, MD, Associate Director of the Safar Center, Philip Empey, PharmD, PhD in the School of Pharmacy and Jonathan Silverstein, MD, MS in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, as well as his K committee mentors: Tim Girard, MD, MSCI and Pat Kochanek, MD from the Department of Critical Care Medicine and Anthony Fabio, PhD, MPH in the School of Public Health.