Information for Graduate Students/Post Docs

Research fellows in the ECLS Lab


From 1970 to the present hundreds of graduate students and fellows have begun their research careers in the ECLS Lab at UC Irvine and University of Michigan. Many of these fellows are now leaders in medicine and bioengineering; in academics, industry and practice. They are the most important product of the lab.  These fellows have done the research that has led to routine use of artificial organs in critical care. ECLS for cardiopulmonary failure, CRRT for renal failure, TPN for nutrition, and liver support for hepatic failure are based in part on lab and clinical research from the ECLS lab.


For the individual research fellow, the time  in the ECLS lab is the beginning of a ten year program resulting in the solution to an important problem, recognition as the expert in that topic, and appointment at the associate professor level (or equivalent in practice or industry. The goal of the lab is to provide each fellow with the knowledge, competence, and confidence to become a leader in physiology and artificial organ research and practice. The specific goals are:


  • Develop a thorough understanding of critical care physiology and pathophysiology.   The references are Moore, Metabolic Care of the Surgical Patient and Bartlett, Critical Care Physiology
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the history and applications of artificial organ research. The reference is ASAIO Gold, the 50th anniversary volume of ASAIO.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of extracorporeal circulation and extracorporeal life support. The references are Galletti, Extracorporeal Circulation and The ELSO Red Book.
  • Set up and manage a large animal research laboratory, including:

Grants and contracts, NIH system, industrial contracts

Space and equipment, lab organization

Animal handling, anesthesia, humane care

Regulations, FDA, UCUCA, IRB, COI

Research Planning and conduct

  • Focus on a research project which is important (for science and for funding), has potential clinical application in 5 years, and is solvable in 10 years.
  • Design and conduct a specific research project, including:

Research plan, methods, design, models,

Experiments, records, analysis, data review

Adapting to changing conditions and findings, following the research

Knowing the ultimate aim of each part of the project, and including all the team

  • Become competent at presentation, publication, abstract and paper writing, grant writing.