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About the Lab

Located within Massachusetts General Hospital's Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, the Critical Care Translational Medicine Group is led by medical director B. Taylor Thompson, MD.

One of Dr. Thompson's primary roles is medical director and co-principal investigator of the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) ARDS Network Clinical Coordinating Center, which resides in the Mass General Biostatistics Unit. Under the direction of David Schoenfeld, PhD, the center coordinates the design, execution and interpretation of multicenter clinical trials of ARDS treatments. These trials are carried out in more than 40 hospitals (organized into 12 clinical sites).

The ARDS Network has completed eight randomized controlled trials. Dr. Thompson has a major role in the design and management of these trials and has held three Investigational New Drug Applications with the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of the ARDS Network. Five of the trials have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and two are considered landmark trials of lung-protective strategies.

With an international reputation as a clinical trialist, Dr. Thompson serves on a number of oversight groups related to clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health or industry. Among his many roles is chairman of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the NHLBI's HIVl Lung Disease Network.

Dr. Thompson has been an active clinical investigator since the early 1980s. His research interests include new therapies for ARDS and sepsis along with the molecular epidemiology of ARDS and sepsis (an area in which he has worked closely with the research group of David Christiani, MD). As director of the Mass General Medical Intensive Care Unit since 1991, he oversees critical care practice and education for house officers, fellows and faculty.

Research Projects

Statins for Acutely Injured Lungs from Sepsis (SAILS)

The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Network Clinical Coordinating Center is managing a 1,000-patient trial of rosuvastatin for ARDS and acute lung injury (ALI) due to sepsis. Increasing evidence suggests the substantial anti-inflammatory effects of statins may lead to improved outcomes in critically ill patients with severe infections. This study will evaluate the survival rates of patients treated with rosuvastatin in comparison to those treated with placebo.


Taylor Thompson, MD, is co-principal investigator of this international trial, which is investigating drotrecogin-alfa (activated) versus placebo for the treatment of persistent septic shock. PROWESS-SHOCK is working to set a new standard for academic/industry collaboration in terms of transparency in how clinical trials are conducted and interpreted. An academic steering committee co-chaired by Dr. Thompson and the University of Turin's Marco Ranieri, MD, designed the trial and will also analyze and report the findings.

Cytoprotection by Carbon Monoxide in Sepsis and ALI/ARDS: Novel Opportunities for Therapy

Dr. Thompson is the principal investigator of the clinical core of a translational program project grant to study the potential mechanisms of action and clinical effects of inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) for patients with ARDS. Augustine Choi, MD, chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is principal investigator of this five-year project. Robert (Scott) Harris, MD, will be the Massachusetts General Hospital principal investigator for a Phase I trial of CO for ARDS to be conducted in years 4 and 5 of the project. Drs. Thompson and Choi will coordinate this Phase I trial.

Lung Injury Prevention Study — Aspirin (LIPS-A)

Dr. Thompson is advising the Mayo Clinic's Clinical Coordinating Center on the design, management and monitoring of this study, which is investigating the role of aspirin in the prevention of acute lung injury in high-risk patients. The Mayo Clinic's Ognjen Gajic, MD, is the overall study principal investigator, while Ednan Bajwa, MD, is the Mass General principal investigator.


Click here to view a list of publications from this investigator.

Group Members

Medical Director & Co-Principal Investigator
B. Taylor Thompson, MD

Co-Principal Investigators
Ednan Bajwa, MD
David Christiani, MD
Robert (Scott) Harris, MD