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The Making of a Researcher: Persistence Pays Off

December 01, 2016

Dr. Timothy J. Mader is a self-taught research investigator who arrived at Baystate 25 years ago with little more than curiosity, broad-ranging interests, and internal motivation as a research resource.

Recently, he finally received that plum of research funding, a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant—two of them.

The Making of a Researcher

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. 

Mader is now the program director of the Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship, and director of resuscitation research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate.

Dedication and Persistence Essential for Research Career

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

Supporting Researchers

Two new award programs aim to
increase the number of research
studies with external funding.

2016 Awardees

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 last year.

Research Focuses on Emergency Cardiac Care

Dr. Mader was awarded an R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant in 2015 for his proposal to generate an innovative robust, multi-center, comparative effectiveness analysis of whole-body cooling on survival and preservation of neurological function in cardiac arrest patients over age 75.

This year, he received an R03 Small Grant for his pilot study to determine the feasibility of conducting a large clinical trial to test a promising new cardiac risk stratification tool within the practice setting of a busy U.S. emergency department, and to generate preliminary data on its reliability, and ease of use.

Continued Success

Mader also received one of the two inaugural Grant Development Award Program (GDAP) awards from Baystate's Office of Research.

GDAP provides up to 20% time protected from clinical work for investigators to write competitive external grant applications. He will develop an NIH R01 application for his project, "Inpatient costs, hospital outcomes, and enhancing healthcare value for elderly out-of-hospital cardiac arrest event survivors.”