There are two major areas of translational research interest of the Vavilala team. One of the research areas is in traumatic brain injury (TBI). In particular, investigators are studying the interrelationships between adherence of evidence based acute care TBI guidelines and outcomes. There are two NIH funded projects addressing this issue. First is the Pediatric Guideline Adherence and Outcomes (PEGASUS) project which is a multicenter study involving geographically represented sites in the US. Second, is an international project, called the Collaborative Head Injury and Adherence to Outcomes (CHIRAG) project, which is a partnership between the University of Washington and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India and addresses adherence to the 2007 adult Brain Trauma Foundation Guidelines and its impact on outcomes. The Vavilala laboratory is also actively involved in TBI quality improvement research and education in Washington State and this work is funded by the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services and the Washington State TBI Council. Dr. Vavilala teams with basic scientists to answer mechanistic questions involving cerebral pathophysiology in TBI in a bidirectional translational manner.
Dr. Vavilala is the Associate Director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (www.hiprc.org), which conducts interdisciplinary injury research. Dr. Monica Vavilala also has active research in the area of mechanisms of cerebral edema in pediatric diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). She is particularly interested in the cerebral pathophysiology of DKA including the role of inflammatory biomarkers. She is an NIH-funded investigator who is currently evaluating the role of physiological biomarkers in the identification of pediatric DKA related cerebral edema.