Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, is a nationally recognized leader, researcher and educator in emergency medicine and critical care. He has served in university leadership roles in medical education and curriculum reform, clinical research, health information technology strategy, university system campus security, faculty practice, hospital operations and health-care system strategic planning.
Dr. Cairns’ research interests include the host response to acute infections, asthma, trauma and cardiac resuscitation and regionalization of emergency and critical care, preparedness and response. Dr. Cairns has published more than 200 articles, commentaries and reviews. His work has appeared in such prestigious journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Circulation, Journal of Trauma, Academic Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) Established Investigator Award, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Outstanding Contribution in Research Award and the 2014 John Marx Leadership Award, the highest award of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).
Dr. Cairns has served in leadership positions in emergency and critical care medicine organizations, including the EMF Board of Trustees , co-chair of the ACEP-SAEM Research Working Group, SAEM program chair, ACEP Research Committee chair, ACEP Scientific Review Committee chair, the Leadership Committee for the American Heart Association Council on Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care, the Steering Committee for the Critical Care Societies Collaborative Task Force on Critical Care Research, the Coordination Committee for the NIH National Asthma Education and Prevention Program and as a co-chair of the NIH Roundtables on Emergency Research. He has served on the editorial boards of Academic Emergency Medicine, the Annals of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Cairns is director of the U.S. Critical Illness and Injury Trials Group and the founding principal investigator (PI) of the National Collaborative for Bio-preparedness. He also recently served as the PI of the National Regionalization of Emergency Medical Care Services Framework Project funded by the National Quality Forum and as co-PI the project on the Rapid Assessment of Acute Illness and Injury to Enhance the U.S. Response to Public Health Emergencies.
Prior to joining UA, Dr. Cairns served as professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and as associate chief of emergency medicine at Duke University Medical Center and director of emergency medicine research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the largest academic research organization in the world. He was elected by the UNC medical students as an alumnus faculty member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and named as a fellow of the UNC Academy of Educators. He also has served on the faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles and at the University of Colorado, where he became director of the Colorado Emergency Medicine Research Center, leading it to become one of the first three national EMF Centers of Excellence.
Dr. Cairns is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College and was a Holderness Medical Fellow at the University of North Carolina, where he received the Medical Faculty Award as the outstanding graduating medical student. He completed an emergency medicine residency and EMF Research Fellowship at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He received post-graduate training in the Program in Genetics of Complex Diseases at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, and the Health Care Leadership Academy at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Cairns is board-certified in emergency medicine, a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American Heart Association.