The Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
at the Cruciform Building
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Dr. Mervyn Singer
- 020 7679 6714 /

Intensive Care Medicine

Lab summary

Pathophysiology of multiorgan failure

Intensive Care Medicine is a multidisciplinary grouping of clinical and basic scientists. We are studying tissue oxygenation in critical illness, mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of shock and multiple organ failure, and novel therapies and monitoring modalities.

Our focus has been on sepsis, the host response initiated by severe infection, which accounts for millions of deaths worldwide and affects a quarter of all patients admitted to intensive care.

The thrust of our work has been directed towards investigation of (i) the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic shutdown in the development of organ failure and (ii) mechanisms underlying vascular hyporeactivity in septic shock, in particular related to perturbations in nitric oxide, vasopressin and potassium channels and (iii) the role of cardiac and immune dysfunction. We are also currently developing new modalities for monitoring organ perfusion and mitochondrial function, and a novel drug for treating septic shock.

In addition to clinical research, we use a variety of complementary laboratory models to probe mechanisms and assess putative therapies. We firmly believe in the principle of translational research to the patient. This both dictates and informs our basic science investigational approach.

Selected publications

Sprung CL, Annane D, Keh D, et al. for the Corticus Study Group. (2008) Hydrocortisone therapy for patients with septic shock. N. Engl. J. Med. 358:111-124.

Gibot S, Massin F, Marcou M, et al. (2007) TREM-1 promotes survival during septic shock in mice. Eur. J. Immunol. 37:456-466.

Dyson A, Stidwill R, Taylor V, Singer M. (2007) Tissue oxygen monitoring in rodent models of shock. Am. J. Physiol. Heart. Circul. Physiol. 293:H526-H533.

Protti A, Carré C, Frost MT, et al. (2007) Succinate recovers mitochondrial oxygen consumption in septic rat skeletal muscle. Crit. Care Med. 35:2150-2155.

Barrett LK, Orie NN, Taylor V, et al. (2007) Differential effects of vasopressin and norepinephrine on vascular reactivity in a long-term rodent model of sepsis. Crit. Care Med. 35:2337-2343.


Academic Career




Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research - The Cruciform Building - University College London
Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT -------------------------- Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 2000 Copyright © 1999-2008 UCL