Areas of Research
Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region
SIMR is dedicated to clinical research, or research that involves diagnosis, treatment or disease prevention. Occasionally, SIMR also participates in outcome studies that use statistical analysis of medical records for patients who have been treated in the past. The two other types of research, basic and preclinical, are generally conducted in academic, government or specialized research facilities. Basic research is conducted outside the body in test tubes and cells to determine underlying materials and processes. Preclinical research, the next level up, involves testing in small animals such as laboratory mice. Clinical research is the final level, moving research ideas that have shown promise in basic and preclinical research to the human body. While SIMR generally participates in studies in the listed specialties, the areas of research are not limited. Doctors in other specialties are welcome and encouraged to use the services of SIMR to conduct research. The foremost objective in SIMR's mission is to give physicians in the administrative support they need to perform research that improves patient care. The interconnection with Sutter's acute-care hospitals and wide physician network brings important research efforts to the community level and allows doctors to pursue their research interests.
Cancer | Cardiology | Endocrinology | Infectious Disease | Neurology | Orthopedics | Pediatrics | Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) | Other Areas of Research
Cancer | back to top
In conjunction with research through SIMR, Sutter Cancer Center Sacramento supports a comprehensive research program that includes a number of prevention, diagnosis and treatment clinical trials. To find out more and to search cancer clinical trials, visit the Sutter Cancer Center Sacramento Web site.
Cardiology | back to top
In 1959, the Sutter Medical Research Foundation was formed and immediately made history with the development of the Cutter-Smeloff heart valve. In the ensuing years, the foundation became the Sutter Institute for Medical Research, retaining its position as a leader in research related to the heart.
In 2003, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento was a leading West Coast research center for a research trial leading to FDA approval of the Cypher medicated stent, hailed as the most important breakthrough in interventional cardiology since stents were developed in 1994. The same year, Sutter Medical Center Sacramento was chosen to participate as a research center for FDA approval of the FilterWire, a tiny sieve used within the arteries during coronary stenting procedures to catch debris and prevent heart attacks.
Endocrinology | back to top
SIMR researchers actively pursue research involving the glands and hormones and their related disorders, including diabetes type I and type II in children and adults. With one in three Americans born in 2000 expected to develop insulin resistance (diabetes type II), the need for ways to prevent and treat is becoming increasingly important to our national health.
Infectious Disease | back to top
Each year, illnesses such as HIV, SARS, meningitis, West Nile virus and others make headline news. Finding ways to stop the spread and the effects of such diseases involves SIMR researchers here and abroad. Through SIMR's support, a researcher in the jungles of Peru helped win FDA approval for a U.K. yellow fever vaccine. Closer to home, SIMR is helping to support research on multi-organ failure, which can result from an acute infection.
Neurology | back to top
SIMR researchers work with participants of all ages who experience brain and nervous system disorders. From epilepsy that interrupts the joy of childhood to strokes that threaten our aging population, SIMR researchers look at causes, treatments and prevention of neurological conditions.
Orthopedics | back to top
In 1992, Sutter made history and national news as the site of the first robot-assisted surgery. The hip-replacement surgery was performed by Sutter orthopedic surgeon William Bargar, M.D. using the Robodoc® Surgical Assistant System that he codeveloped. Since that time, SIMR has supported research on improved coatings for artificial joints, research on pain management following joint replacement surgery, and more.
Pediatrics | back to top
Sutter's focus on children extends to research that helped pioneer the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation critical to the care of premature and other newborns with severe respiratory distress. Recent research includes clinical trials on drugs for diabetes, a growing problem in children.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) | back to top
Developed in the late 1990s, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is minimally invasive technique using a tiny probe with multiple electrodes to deliver tissue-destroying heat directly into tumors and other unwanted tissue. Doctors are beginning to use RFA to treat cancerous tumors within the bones, lung, liver and kidney; heart arrhythmias; and other surgically challenging conditions. SIMR supports research in this promising medical procedure, including pioneering work on lung cancer treatment.
Other Areas of Research | back to top
There are no limits to the medical specialties involved or types of studies SIMR will administer. SIMR exists to remove the administrative burden for Sutter practicing physicians who want to pursue research. Members of Sutter's physician network can approach SIMR for help in any field. As long as a proposed study meets SIMR's high standards for safety and quality and receives approval from the Sutter Health Central Institutional Review Committee (IRC), the SIMR team will help physicians from study initiation to completion. New researching physicians and studies come on board frequently.
We welcome your questions, as well. If you would like to ask about upcoming trials, please send us an email letting us know the medical condition(s) you're interested in (i.e., diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, etc.).