UF welcomes new chief of acute care surgery

Frederick A. Moore, M.D., has joined the University of Florida’s College of Medicine as the department of surgery’s chief of acute care surgery.

Frederick A. Moore, M.D., has joined the University of Florida’s College of Medicine as the department of surgery’s chief of acute care surgery.

Moore came to UF July 1 from The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he was head of the division of surgical critical care and acute care surgery and a professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Moore previously served as vice chairman of surgery and chief of general surgery at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, as chief of surgical critical at Denver General Hospital and as associate professor of surgery at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

Moore said his goals for the acute care surgery program at Shands at UF medical center include establishing a two-year acute care surgery fellowship, expanding a team of surgeons experienced in a wide variety of trauma, burn and surgical critical care, and strengthening partnerships with smaller community hospitals in the region.

Seven institutions in the U.S. currently offer training programs in acute care surgery that are approved by The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, including a partnership program between the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and The Methodist Hospital.

Such programs include a stronger emphasis on emergency general surgery than traditional programs focused on trauma surgery. This shift in focus reflects the need for trauma surgeons to operate on and care for patients with nontraumatic conditions and those with critical illnesses, Moore said.

Caring for such patients requires knowledge of biological processes that can occurafter trauma or surgery, that may impair a patient’s ability to survive and return to normal life.

“I’m interested in the dysfunctional inflammatory response that occurs after stressful insult … something called the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS),” Moore said. “As we have gotten better at treating people with SIRS, we seem to be left with a lot of patients who have the compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome (CARS) from which many never recover. What we’re going to be doing is trying to study this CARS in the ICU patients and trying to figure out how do we predict that and then, through laboratory projects, come up with novel interventions that could be used toprevent CARS.”

Nutrition, another of Moore’s primary research interests, may play a significantrole in managing these two immune responses.

“It could be that feeding the GI track with specific types of nutrients could prevent and possibly reverse (these processes),” Moore said. “It turns out that the GI track is a major player in your immune response and when you don’t feed the gut, that causes the systemic immune response to be depressed.”

Moore also studies the effects nutrition, inflammatory processes, anti-inflammatory processes and exercise may have on muscle loss that occurs with age and with lack of muscle use during serious illnesses.

Moore said the opportunity to work with a team of experts from a variety of disciplines with interests in these topics drew him to UF. He said he is especially excited about working with Lyle L. Moldawer, Ph.D., a professor and vice chairman of research in the department. Moldawer heads the Laboratory of Inflammation Biology and Surgical Science.

“He’s a very respected basic researcher in the dysfunctional inflammatory response that occurs after trauma and sepsis,” Moore said. “With him as a collaborator, it would be very feasible to develop a translational researchteam that could garner NIH funding.”

Kevin E. Behrns, M.D., chairman of the deparment and the Edward R. Woodward professor of surgery, said the pair will be instrumental in making the department an authority in caring for seriously ill patients.

“These two experienced investigators will lead a team of physicians, researchers and staff that will allow us to become a leader in clinical translational care of the injured patient,” Behrns said. “In addition, they will mentor junior faculty and residents and, thereby, establish a program of continued quality care and research in the field of the acutely injured patient.”

Moore and his wife, Paula Jo, have two children, both of whom are in college.