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Basmah Safdar, MD, FACEP

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine; Co-Chair, Chest Pain Center

Research Summary

Dr. Safdar is an internationally recognized clinical scholar and translational researcher in sex and gender-specific research with a focus on microvascular health. Her second area of interest is in creating systems-based solutions to advancing professional development of women in medicine. Dr. Safdar has won several leadership and research awards including Yale EM Research of the year award in 2004, Connecticut Chapter of Emergency Physicians (CCEP) award in 2004 and the National Best Clinical Science Research Award (Resident) by Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) in 2005 and Mid career award by AWAEM. She led a national collaborative initiative on Gender-Specific Research in Emergency Care. This multidisciplinary and multi-institutional effort is aimed to set the agenda for sex- and gender-specific research in emergency care research for the next decade. Dr. Safdar has also served as President of Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM).

Specialized Terms: Sex- and gender-specific research; Endothelial reactivity; Microvascular disease; Cardiac biomarkers; cerebral small vessel disease; physical activity, disparities, COVID-19.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Safdar is a translational researcher and is experienced in conducting successful clinical trials. She is internationally recognized clinical scholar in sex and gender-specific research with a focus on microvascular health through a multi system lens - heart, brain and now COVID-19. Her original work on physiological reactivity testing in chest pain helped uncover a signal for microvascular dysfunction in low-moderate risk ED chest pain patients. This discovery led to the use of cardiac PET/CT in describing a clinical phenotype of coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) in ED patient. In the past five years, her team has described the clinical profile of these patients, identified a potential biomarker with a prognostic role in these patients as well as described other determinants such as electrocardiographic signatures and short-term outcomes for these patients. Yale is pleased to be one of the few EDs in the country to routinely evaluate chest pain patients for CMD. Dr. Safdar leads the Yale CMD biorepository that prospectively enrolls patients with CMD along with a biorepository including genetic samples for future testing. Investigating the systemic nature of this disease, these patients are referred to a multidisciplinary collaborative network of specialists for follow up care based on their clinical profile. The next direction of her work is to assess potential therapeutics for endothelial dysfunction causing heart-brain dysfunction as well as in COVID-19cli.

The second focus of her work has been in advancing sex and gender medicine in emergency care. She successfully co-chaired the 2014 Society of Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference on “Sex and Gender Specific Research – Investigate, Understand and Translate How Gender Affects Patient Outcomes” in 2014. This national conference brought leaders in academic Emergency Medicine and other specialties to put forth a blueprint to create a research agenda for the specialty for the next decade. The consensus recommendations from this conference are published in the December 2014 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine. Dr. Safdar was invited to be the co-editor of this issue devoted to gender medicine. The policy papers issues from these workgroups again highlighted the need to diagnose and treat microvascular disease as a cause of acute ischemic chest pain as one of the five priority areas. Dr. Safdar serves in leadership roles at the Society of Emergency Medicine, American Heart Association, National Women Veterans Health Strategic Healthcare Group and International Society of Gender Medicine.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Cardiovascular Diseases; Chest Pain; Emergency Medicine; Exercise Therapy; Women's Health; Clinical Trial; Microvascular Angina; Healthcare Disparities; Translational Medical Research; Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases; COVID-19

Public Health Interests

Women's Health

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Diseases of the Kidney & Urinary TractThe Impact of Phosphate Metabolism on Healthy Aging