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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2013

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research physiologist/researcher wins alumni award

By Steven Galvan U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Public Affairs

A physiologist/researcher from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston received the "Outstanding Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award" from the University of California-Davis College of Biological Sciences.

Victor A. Convertino, Ph.D., the USAISR tactical combat casualty care research task area program manager, accepted the award from Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, dean of the College of Biological Sciences, during a ceremony at Davis, Calif. Oct. 10.

"I am humbled and honored to receive a career award from an institution nationally ranked in the top 10 for public universities and the top 50 in life sciences and medicine research," Convertino said.

According to his nomination letter, Convertino was instrumental in the development of exercise countermeasures for astronauts and high-performance aircraft pilots with translational application to the care of special populations. These include patients who are bed-ridden or wheelchair-restricted.

Convertino was also involved in research that supported the development of advanced technologies for application in military medicine which are designed to "optimize combat casualty care" by providing early diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening low-tissue perfusion during out-of-hospital care.

Among the several combat casualty care research projects that Convertino has participated in since joining the USAISR in 1998 are the impedance threshold device and compensatory reserve index algorithm.

The ITD increases low blood pressure in spontaneously breathing patients and the CRI algorithm utilizes the information obtained from a standard pulse oximeter and gauges whether a patient requires resuscitation or immediate medical attention.

"I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve our nation's military and those who defend the freedoms we enjoy," Convertino said.

Convertino first attended UCD in 1972 and earned a Master of Arts degree in physical Education in 1974 with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology.

He enrolled in the doctoral program in 1974 and continued his dissertation research while working full-time as a research associate in the cardiology division at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology with a minor in Biochemistry in 1981.