Eric Schmidt MD is a physician-scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he serves as the Division Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. After graduating from medical school at the University of Pittsburgh in 2001, Dr. Schmidt completed residency, chief residency, and pulmonary and critical care fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2009, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado, where he became a Professor of Medicine. During his time at Colorado, he saw patients in a general pulmonary clinic and attended in the medical ICU at Denver Health Medical Center. In 2022, he was recruited to MGH and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Schmidt's research interests include "bedside-to-bench" mechanistic investigations of sepsis and septic organ injury. His laboratory is particularly interested in the function and fate of the endothelial and epithelial glycocalyces during health and critical illness. His laboratory identified that sepsis-associated degradation of the endothelial glycocalyx induces local organ injury (such as ARDS and acute kidney injury) while simultaneously releasing biologically-active circulating heparan sulfate fragments that penetrate the hippocampus and impair cognition in sepsis survivors. Dr. Schmidt's group additionally identified the presence and structure of an alveolar epithelial glycocalyx, defined its importance to surfactant homeostasis, and determined the impact of its degradation on secondary bacterial pneumonia pathogenesis and ARDS outcomes. His laboratory currently performs human and animal studies to investigate the influence of glycosaminoglycans on the mechanistic and phenotypic heterogeneity of critical illness, including the influence of sex/gender on glycocalyx resilience during ARDS. His work has been funded by the NHLBI, NIGMS, and the CDMRP and has been recognized by the American Thoracic Society and American Physiological Society. The Schmidt laboratory is particularly proud of the numerous successes of its trainees, who have pursued impactful research under F31, F32, K08 (NHLBI, NIA), R03, and foundation (AHA, NIDUS) support.