The Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Department of Anesthesiology
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Marie-Francoise DoursoutCongratulations to Marie-Francoise Doursout on her recent promotion to Interim Vice-Chairman for Research! Marie-Francoise, who has been a faculty member in the Department for the past 18 years and holds a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology, was recently promoted to full Professor.

Dr. Doursout’s research focus is on animal physiology with a special emphasis on cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology. She has completed several ground-breaking experiments on the interactions between antihypertensive and anesthetic agents. Over time, Dr. Doursout has introduced many innovations to the field of cardiovascular physiology by studying endothelium dysfunction in animal models subjected to either septic and/or hemorrhagic shock (the latter in collaboration with Dr. John Holcomb). Additionally, Dr. Doursout is exploring the basic mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis in prolonged heart failure in vivo models as well as in cell cultures. Finally, Dr. Doursout, in collaboration with Drs. Ferid Murad and David McPherson, is currently testing a newly developed targeted drug delivered by inhalation, e.g liposome and/or nanoparticles based C60 fullerenes containing nitric oxide therapies to minimize pulmonary hypertension/injury. Her studies are valuable, not only for their originality and intricacy, but because the experiments are performed without the confounding influences of anesthesia and surgical stress. In essence, Dr. Doursout fulfills a key role of bridging the chasm between molecular-cellular research and human research.

Dr. Doursout’s goal, within the Department, is to provide basic science training to our faculty, and especially to our residents, by mentoring them in both in vitro and in vivo pathophysiological settings. Ultimately, she envisions developing a Clinical Scientist Track combining clinical experience with research training. In addition to mentoring residents, she is available to advise faculty in various aspects of research, e.g. grant writing, experimental design, and data analysis. Both faculty and residents should feel free to contact Dr. Doursout directly to discuss their research interests.

Within the UT community, Marie-Francoise is known as a respected and valued independent researcher, and one of her many strong points is her collaboration with researchers, both within and outside our department. Her proposed projects are an inter-disciplinary effort involving several departments at the University of Texas Health Science Center – Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine/biotechnology and the Center of Cell Signaling at the IMM. While Dr. Doursout participates in numerous committees from interviewing medical students, animal welfare committee, student pre-med advisor, faculty senator, as well as the Medical School Research Committee, she has maintained funding for her lab throughout her career at UT from such prestigious sources as the National Health Institute, American Heart Association, NASA, and the U.S. Army as well as from numerous pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Doursout’s most notable achievements, however, have been in the training and advancement of others – including postgraduate research fellows, MS-1 medical students she mentors in her lab every summer, and our own residents. Her greatest reward is witnessing the success of her students, fellows and residents. We are indeed fortunate to have this multifaceted investigator, enthusiastic research mentor, and dedicated teacher in our Department. Dr. Doursout: Felicitations!

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