ASRA Pain Medicine Update

Dr. Christopher Wu is Named the 2024 Gaston Labat Award Winner

Feb 9, 2024, 17:14 PM by ASRA Pain Medicine


Dr. Christopher Wu

Dr. Christopher Wu

Christopher L. Wu, MD, has been chosen to receive the Gaston Labat Award at the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting, this March 21-23, 2024. He will present his lecture “Regional Anesthesia and Outcomes: Past, Present, and Future” on Saturday during the Excellence in ASRA Pain Medicine Awards Luncheon.

The award recognizes those who have fostered the art and science of regional anesthesia in the tradition of Louis Gaston Labat, either by research that has furthered the specialty, organizational contributions, innovative teaching traditions, or simply exemplary clinical practice that has expanded regional anesthesia application. With over 200 research publications, serving in leadership positions for over two decades, and a network of mentees, Dr. Wu leads an impressive career that hits all of these aspects.

A board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Wu received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1989, then went on to complete a residency in anesthesiology from the University of Rochester in 1993. While assisting faculty with research, his interest in academic medicine sparked and he became an assistant professor at the University of Rochester in 1994. In 1999, he continued his career at Johns Hopkins University, where he remained until 2018. He is now a clinical professor of anesthesiology and director of clinical research for the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Management at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS)/Weil Cornell Medicine in New York City.

As nominator and mentee Robert Hurley, MD, PhD, put it, “Dr. Wu has been in the forefront of implementing novel and innovative techniques... For instance, he was the first researcher to apply database analysis in examining the effect of regional analgesia on patient outcomes. [He] was the first to examine health-related quality on recovery and patient-oriented outcomes in the immediate postoperative period. Finally, he popularized the use of meta-analytic technique in the field of acute pain medicine and regional anesthesia. His landmark JAMA article has been cited over 1,300 times.”

In addition to his vast number of publications, Dr. Wu has also on the editorial board of some of the most prominent journals in anesthesiology, such as the British Journal of Anesthesia, Anesthesia & Analgesia, Anesthesiology, Clinical Journal of Pain, J Opioid Management, and Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

With over 200 research publications, serving in leadership positions for over two decades, and a network of mentees, Dr. Wu leads an impressive career that hits all of [the aspects of the Gaston Labat Award].

An active leader at HSS, Dr. Wu is the director of clinical research, serves on the Clinical Research Advisory Council, oversees the Promotion Committee for anesthesiology, and is the founding director and Steering Committee chair for the Pain Prevention Research Center.

Dr. Wu is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of University Anesthesiologists, New York State Society of Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA Pain Medicine).

In ASRA Pain Medicine alone, Dr. Wu served on the Communications Committee from 2005 to 2013, as program chair for the 36th Annual Regional Anesthesia Meeting in 2011, as faculty for countless workshops and sessions during annual meetings, and on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014.

While making his mark on the field of regional anesthesia and pain medicine, Dr. Wu also paved the way for others. Nominators Gregory Liguori, MD, and Mary Hargett, describe Dr. Wu, “As a dynamic and engaged mentor, he has guided and tutored dozens of medical students, residents, and junior faculty members… Dr. Wu has helped ensure a formidable academic legacy for our specialty into the next generation.” During the COVID-19 pandemic when most of the world put education on hold, Dr. Wu started a weekly journal club to continue educational opportunities for fellows at HSS.

When asked about his mentorship, Dr. Wu says, “I highly encourage those who are in a position to mentor to make it an integral part of their careers as it is incredibly fulfilling… The most rewarding accomplishment in my career has been the success of my numerous mentees.”

According to his colleagues and nominators at HSS, “Dr. Wu is an exceptional clinical regional anesthesiologist, requested by both surgeons and patients, and admired by nurses and staff.”

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