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Making of a Researcher

Dr. Timothy Mader in ERDr. Timothy J. Mader is a self-taught research investigator who arrived at Baystate in 1991 with little more than curiosity, broad-ranging interests, and internal motivation to be a research resource.

In 2015 he finally received that plum of research funding—a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

Long Road to a Research Career

Dr. Mader began his research career as an undergraduate chemistry student working in the laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the early 1980s.

Later, on a research elective during his residency training at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia SC, his department chair, mentor, and friend, Dr. James I. Raymond, helped transform Dr. Mader into an emergency medicine clinician with a strong penchant for research and scientific writing. 

Securing extramural funding proved to be a formidable challenge for many years, but Mader never gave up.

After receiving a Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Scholarly Sabbatical in 2005, he was among the first group of awardees to receive an Incubator Grant award from Baystate's Office of Research in 2006. Mader credits those research dollars with opening the door to other significant funding opportunities—additional internal seed grants, small professional society awards, and substantial funding from external foundations.

These successes finally led to NIH funding.

Persistence Finally Pays Off

After 25 years, Dr. Mader was awarded an R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant in 2015. Now Director of Resuscitation Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, Mader's proposal is an innovative study involving heart attack patients.

The multi-center study is a comparative effectiveness analysis of whole-body cooling on survival and preservation of neurological function in cardiac arrest patients over age 75.

Only one year later, he received an R03 Small Grant for a pilot study to determine the feasibility of conducting a large clinical trial within the practice setting of a busy U.S. emergency department.

The trial will test a promising new cardiac risk stratification tool and collect preliminary data on its reliability and ease of use.