Michael A. E. Ramsay, MD, FRCA, President of Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI), leads clinically relevant research efforts for Baylor Scott & White Health System (BSWH). Since joining the organization, Dr. Ramsay has developed a successful infrastructure that has increased the number of clinical trials from 250 to about 2,000 active trials today. The mission for BSWRI is expressed in the following statement, “To improve the medical care and well-being of our community – nationally and internationally – through innovative, clinical research that is consistent with the mission, vision and values of BSWH.”
Dr. Ramsay has supported and led Baylor Scott & White Research Institute’s investigators in obtaining funding that includes more than $100 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. To strengthen the position of the institute – and to accelerate the research process – Dr. Ramsay also has developed strategic alliances where a “win-win” agreement can be constructed. For instance, he established collaborative agreements with Mount Sinai Medical School for the further development of cancer vaccines and Benaroya Research Institute for enhancing biomarker and genomic platforms. He also signed a collaborative agreement between Baylor Institute for Immunology Research and the French National Research Institute INSERM to develop vaccine therapies for infectious diseases. That agreement has now resulted in the joint development of a Center for Vaccine Therapy in Paris with ANRS, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute and a major pharmaceutical company.
A new type of collaboration with industry also developed from discussions between Dr. Ramsay and the senior executive of a major international company that specializes in the development of in vitro diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer and transplantation. Through this agreement, which is the first of its kind for the institute, the company and Baylor Institute for Immunology Research will jointly develop programs that leverage the institute’s leading position in human immunology, with a focus on cancer vaccines, autoimmune disease, diagnostics and treatment. What makes this agreement unique is that the main body of the research and the intellectual property remain with Baylor Scott & White Research Institute; the company will have a nonexclusive opportunity to bid on licenses that may result from this agreement. This setup may be a new template for future academic-commercial partnerships for developing early concepts into potential diagnostics and therapies. Leaving the novel research with the scientists and the institute, completely changes the old industry concept of paying for licenses up front and then taking the research to the commercial laboratories. This new type of collaboration promotes further innovations and allows for early ideas to be developed at the site of the invention. If this proves successful, then significant funds can be negotiated on the licenses formulated. Other academic institutions are now emulating this process.
Dr. Ramsay also serves as a member of the Baylor University Medical Center Board of Trustees and is president of the International Liver Transplantation Society. In addition, Dr. Ramsay is the developer of the Ramsay Sedation Scale, a measurement designed for interpreting the depth of sedation for patients in the critical care unit, which has been adopted around the world.
Dr. Ramsay is currently involved in a number of clinical research projects for which he is the principal investigator. His current research includes the role of nitric oxide in cardiac surgery and lung and liver transplantation. He also is a principal investigator on an NIH-funded clinical trial to improve the outcomes of trauma victims.