Chair: Daniel I. Sessler, M.D.
Daniel I. Sessler, M.D. went to medical school at Columbia University, and subsequently completed pediatric and anesthesia residencies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently chair of the Department of Outcomes Research at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Sessler is board certified in anesthesiology and pediatrics, and has been certified as a clinical investigator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).
Dr. Sessler’s administrative work includes two stints as acting-chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Louisville. He was also Vice-dean and Associate Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Louisville, giving him responsibility for research throughout the Health Sciences Campus. During his five years at the University of Louisville, NIH funding to the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing each more than quadrupled.
Dr. Sessler has published a book on therapeutic hypothermia and 475 full research papers on various aspects of anesthesia, surgery, and perioperative outcomes; 150 of his papers are in Anesthesiology, and a dozen were in Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, or the British Medical Journal.
Dr. Sessler's has trained more than 75 research fellows, four of whom subsequently chaired anesthesia departments. He has given invited lectures at 300 institutions, and has total grant support of $30 million, mostly from peer-reviewed ources. Dr. Sessler has received more than a dozen prizes and honors, including a Fulbright Award and the 2002 American Society of Anesthesiology Excellence in Research award.
Vice-chair: Andrea Kurz, M.D.
Andrea Kurz, M.D. attended the University of Vienna School of Medicine (1983-1987), and completed an anesthesia residency and fellowship at the University of Vienna (1987-1993). She was then a research fellow in the Outcomes Research Group Laboratory in San Francisco and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of California in San Francisco (1993-1996). Subsequently, she was Professor of Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesia and General Intensive Care at the University of Vienna. Dr. Kurz was an Associate Professor of Anesthesia at Washington University in St. Louis for four years (1999-2003) where she directed the Department of Anesthesia Clinical Research Center. She subsequently chaired the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Bern for four years (2003-2007), a period of extrodinary research productivity for the Department. Dr. Kurz is now Vice-chair, Department of Outcomes Research at the Cleveland Clinic.
Other Physician Staff
Fourteen additional Professional Staff physicians have full-time or part time appointments in the Department of Outcomes Research. They represent the entire range of anesthesia practice and research, including general anesthesiology, cardiothoracic anesthesia, comprehensive pain management, critical care, and ambulatory anesthesia.
Eight other physicians are training as research fellows and we four graduate students are also training in Outcomes Research. The Department also typically hosts several rotating residents and medical students.
Statistics: Edward J. Mascha, Ph.D.
Edward J. Mascha, Ph.D.is a staff Biostatistician with over 17 years experience in designing, conducting and analyzing clinical trials and collaborating on a wide variety of research projects, including 8 years as team leader for large group of Masters level Biostatisticians. Dr. Mascha has been a member of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at Cleveland Clinic since 1994. He joined the Cleveland Clinic after four years of experience in multi-center clinical trials and collaborative statistical research at The Henry Ford Health Sciences Center in Detroit, MI. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University in 1990 and 2004, respectively. Since 2005 Dr. Mascha has had a joint appointment with the Department of Outcomes Research, where he provides statistical expertise in design, monitoring, conduct, analysis and manuscript writing of clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, as well as education of medical residents, fellow and staff on statistical topics. He has co-authored more than 100 medical journal articles over a wide range of medical specialties. His expertise and research interests include design of experiments, group sequential trial design and analysis, adaptive designs, mixed effects modelling, generalized estimating equation analysis, agreement/reliability studies, causal effects, bootstrapping methods and high-level statistical programming.
Statistics: Jarrod Dalton, M.S.
Jarrod Dalton, M.S. received Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics, computer science, and business in 2002 from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He then earned a Master of Arts degree in Applied Statistics from the University of Michigan in 2003 on a graduate student instructorship. Jarrod’s research experiences span the government, private industry, and health care sectors. He has been involved in research in microgravity fluid physics at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, in satellite thermal imagery analysis at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, in market research at a large retail supply company, and now in anesthesiology as a collaborating biostatistician at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has been since 2006. There, he assists clinicians with all aspects of statistical design and analysis of both prospective and retrospective studies.
Health Economics: Belinda L. Udeh, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Belinda L. Udeh is a Staff Health Economist. Dr Udeh’s research experience focuses on economic modeling, decision analysis and comparative effectiveness research for the evaluation of medical protocols, procedures, technologies and pharmaceuticals. Dr Udeh received her PhD (Health Economics) in 2007 and her MPH (Health Services Management) in 2003 from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. In addition, she holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Economics from Monash University, Australia (2003) and a clinical degree in Podiatry from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia (2007). Dr Udeh has attended highly selective training programs relating to her research including programs from the Harvard School of Public Health and software training from TreeAge Inc. She has had her work published in several peer review journals and is a reviewer for several journals including BMC-Infectious Diseases and HIV/AIDS – Research and Palliative Care. Dr Udeh has held positions in clinical, administrative and research capacities in Australia, the US, and the US Virgin Islands. Her most recent position was with theUniversity of Iowa as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Public Policy Center before joining Cleveland Clinic in 2011.
Two other statisticians also work full-time for the Department of Outcomes Research. Each is highly experienced and has considerable experience with analysis of both prospective results and observational data.”
Gretchen Upton, CCRP is Regulatory Coordinator in the Department of Outcomes Research at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where she manages active studies with both IRB and sponsor compliance throughout study lifecycle. She also serves as lead regulatory coordinator for investigator initiated, multi-center international trials. Gretchen received her B.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Kansas State University and is working toward an M.S. in Clinical Research Administration through George Washington University. Prior to arriving at the Cleveland Clinic, she was Senior Research Assistant, Clinical Protocols and Outcomes, at the Menninger Clinic, Topeka, KS. She managed efficacy and assisted in the development of qualitative measurement tools for several published studies. Additionally, Gretchen has been active in her community through various volunteer efforts.
Other Clinical Coordinators
Several other clinical coordinators work full-time for the Department of Outcomes Research. Each has a decade or more clinical research experience.
Klesta Gjini, M.B.A. graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts with a Bachelors degree in Biology. Following graduation she worked as a Research Assistant for the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Case Western University and her focus was Stem Cell Research. While working in this position she also obtained a Masters in Business from the Weatherhead School of Management with concentration in Banking and Finance. Upon graduation in 2003 she became the Administrator for the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Klesta had overall administrative and financial responsibility for programs planning, clinical collections, clinical trial research, clinical effort allocation, support analysis and preparation of extramural grants of all levels. In January 2006 she joined the Cleveland Clinic as Administrator for the Department of Outcomes Research.