International Anesthesia Research Society and Anesthesia & Analgesia Historical Timeline

Through this historical timeline, we invite you to reflect on the foundation, some of the key moments and people who made the International Anesthesia Research Society and Anesthesia & Analgesia what it is today.

Click the buttons below to view important events from other timeframes.


James D. Marks, MD, PhD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Beauty And The Beast:  From Botox To Botulism, Pharmaceutical To Bioweapon” at the IARS 2006 Annual Meeting.

After an extensive and competitive search by the IARS Board of Directors, Steven Shafer was selected as Editor-in-Chief. Shafer is an academic anesthesiologist whose research focus is pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Shafer created a new look for the Journal in its printed and online versions.

Dr. Steven Shafer (2006-2015) took the helm of the Journal as the sixth Editor-in-Chief. He continued development of the electronic edition enhancing interactivity and facilitating continuing medical education and links to He led the charge in identifying and combating plagiarism and fraud in anesthesia publication. He further expanded the editorial content and correspondence sections of the Journal to amplify the significance of its content, and support subsequent debate. Dr. Shafer enhanced the interactivity of the on-line Journal using a multimedia approach, creating and encouraging links to innovative sites such as  During Shafer’s tenure the impact factor of Anesthesia & Analgesia increased from to 2.1 in 2006 to 3.4 in 2012, placing it in the top tier of anesthesiology journals. 

An important aspect of Shafer’s role as Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesia & Analgesia, has been his active and ongoing dialog with the IARS Board of Trustees. He engaged with the Board of Trustees in strategic planning, and has increased the exchange of ideas between the Board of Trustees and the Editorial Board. 


75th Anniversary of IARS

Tony Yaksh, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Spinal Drug Delivery: Technology, Biology, And Toxicology” at the IARS 2007 Annual Meeting.

The Board of Trustees hired a new Executive Director, Thomas Cooper. 

Dr. Lawrence Saidman joined A&A as correspondence editor since 2007.

Annual Meeting began to incorporate a Science Symposium.

The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) became affiliated with the Journal.

The SmartTots Scientific Advisory Board, a multidisciplinary team of researchers assigned to navigate our scientific direction, immediately designed and implemented a research agenda focused on determining whether results from the animal studies could be translated to humans, the primary goal of our first request for applications released in August of this year.


Jonathan Moss, MD, PhD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Development Of Peripheral Opiate Antagonists: Morphine’s Secrets Revealed” at the IARS 2008 Annual Meeting.

The FDA and the IARS began working together to create an administrative structure and scientific framework for SmartTots capable of identifying key research questions and overseeing investigations to ensure effective allocation of resources. In keeping with the recommendation by the FDA, we adopted a multidisciplinary approach involving broad and direct input from multiple stakeholders including professional societies and industry. Pharmaceutical companies, professional organizations, and more than 40 medical and scientific experts from around the world have since joined SmartTots. 


Anesthesiology decided to divest itself of subspecialty society affiliations. Dr. Shafer made a new home for the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), and the American Society for Critical Care Anesthesiology (ASCCA) – now called the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA). 


Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Challenges Facing Anesthesiologists” at the IARS 2009 Annual Meeting.

The IARS moved its office from Cleveland, Ohio to San Francisco, California, where it amalgamated with the Editorial Office with a new staff (save for Ms. Laura Kuhar, who was with the IARS for 35 years at the time). The centralized office facilitated the productive integration of all the operational activities of the IARS – Anesthesia & Analgesia, the Annual Scientific Meeting, and support of research and education in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine. This development was not only in alignment with the strategic missions of the IARS, but has also enhanced teamwork between the editorial and IARS staff, increased operational efficiency and realized substantial cost savings.

A Journal Strategic Planning Committee (JSPC) was formed that included the Editor-in-Chief, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the IARS Executive Director, the Director of Publishing and Strategic Partnerships and a senior BOT  member as Journal Liaison. This Committee met twice a year to discuss financial issues of importance to both the Journal and the BOT, and steered the recent renewal of the Journal contract with Lippincott Williams Wilkins. The JSPC also promoted the development and close association of the IARS and the Journal with, an exciting on-line interface with great appeal to residents and younger anesthesiologists, as well as an iPad version of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

A major activity of the IARS, the Annual Congress was renamed the Annual Meeting. Through this time the IARS has conducted 98 meetings, omitting only those coinciding with World War II (1942-45) and the first WFSA meeting in 1955. Most meetings have been held in the United States (with a tradition of a meeting in Hawaii every five years), but other venues have included Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Canada and England.

For many years, two Trustees working with the IARS Head Office essentially ran the Annual Congress. This model evolved into an Annual Meeting Committee, still led by two Trustees, but which reached outside the Board of Directors for new energy and ideas.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approached the IARS with a proposal to launch a private-public partnership to study the safety of anesthetics and sedatives in young children. This initiative was developed in response to a growing concern that anesthetics and sedatives may impair mental development in young animals. The FDA chose the IARS for this partnership because it considered the Society to be apolitical, independent and capable of garnering the scientific and financial resources required for this unique project.

Responding to growing concerns that anesthetics may impair mental development in young animals, the FDA and the IARS launched a public-private partnership (SmartTots), to raise $30,000,000 to support research needed to determine the safest sedatives and anesthetics for young patients. 

As part of the partnership with the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), the IARS pledged $1,000,000 over five years to the SCA Foundation in support of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia research projects.


Changes made to the Journal beginning in 2009 included:

  • Publish Ahead of Print: Beginning in 2009, Anesthesia & Analgesia will publish articles electronically several days after the author has approved the galley proofs.
  • Public Access for Funded Manuscripts: As of January 2009, our publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, will deposit all manuscripts funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council (MRC) in PubMed Central on behalf of the authors.
  • Patient Consent for Case Reports and Letters to the Editor: Anesthesia & Analgesia requires that all Case Reports and Letters to the Editor that describe individual patient care be accompanied by a sentence stating that the patient, parent, or next of kin has agreed to publication of the case, or an explanation of why such approval from the patient, parent, or next of kin has not been obtained.
  • Author Role Disclosure: Anesthesia & Analgesia requires that each author explain his or her role in the manuscript.
  • New Cover Letter: Anesthesia & Analgesia now requires copyright transfer at the time of submission, conditional (of course) on the manuscript being accepted for publication.
  • Clinical Trial Registration: Journal now requires that all clinical trials (except those that involve retrospective review or incidental observation) be registered, either at (available to investigators worldwide) or a similar registry of the investigator’s choosing.
  • The Open Mind: This issue introduces a new forum, The Open Mind, where readers can submit thoughtful, scholarly, and well-referenced viewpoints to stimulate discussion. Appearing in this issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia is our first The Open Mind commentary “Do No Harm” by Mark Zornow.


OpenAnesthesia® was launched. OpenAnesthesia® ( was created by Edward Nemergut, and is a joint IARS/Anesthesia & Analgesia initiative directed to resident scholarship.


Michael F. Roizen, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Sweet Sixteen:  A Life Just Starting: Yours” at the IARS 2010 Annual Meeting.

After considerable discussion and planning, the partnership of the IARS and FDA was unveiled as SmartTots (Strategies for Mitigating Anesthesia Related neuro-Toxicity in Tots). (The program was introduced as SafeKids, but the title was changed when it was discovered that another entity was already using this name). 

Guided by a joint IARS-FDA Steering Committee, a multidisciplinary Scientific Advisory Board was formed.  SmartTots appointed as its Executive Director, Michael Roizen, a noted academic anesthesiologist, a well-known health advocate having a particular interest in the issue of neurotoxicity in the very young, and a proven expertise in gathering funds for such a major enterprise.

More than 250 physicians and scientists attended the SmartTots inaugural scientific symposium that took place at the 2010 IARS Annual Meeting in Honolulu. Guided by Roizen and his Executive Board, SmartTots ( sought to raise substantial funds from a range of donors, to support the research needed to determine the safest agents to be used for the youngest patients requiring sedation or anesthesia.

Indicative of the enhanced interaction between the IARS Office and the Editorial Office, a Director of Publishing and Strategic Partnerships was appointed.


David L. Sackett, OC, FRSC, MD, MDHC, ScD, FRCP, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “The Tribulations of Not Performing Trials” at the IARS 2011 Annual Meeting.

During the IARS 2011 Annual Meeting, Dr. Roizen announced a $200,000 contribution made by the IARS to “jump start” funding for SmartTots. Dr. Roizen immediately complemented the IARS donation with a contribution of his own, an annual $50,000 challenge grant for the next 20 years, a $1 million pledge. This challenge grant is intended to match contributions made by “physicians and the general public.”

The 14,719 individual subscribers to Anesthesia & Analgesia included 12,719 IARS members as well as 2,000 non-members. In addition, there were 2,526 institutional subscribers.

Shafer was appointed to a second five-year term by the IARS Board of Trustees.

George Bause, MD, MPH, Honorary Curator for the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, photographed and composed the 1/2009 and 6/2011 cover pictorials for Anesthesiology, and from 2009-current he has composed vignettes and pictorials for over 120 different “Anesthesiology Reflections.”

FDA grant awarded to support SmartTots through 2016.


George Bause, MD, MPH, Honorary Curator for the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, emailed Nancy Lynly at Anesthesia & Analgesia about design a pictorial cover around the Loving Cup trophy for the October 2012 issue cover of A&A. The design of the cover went another direction.


90th Anniversary of IARS

James P. Bagian, MD, PE, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Patient Safety: Anesthesia Can Lead the Way” at the IARS 2012 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Bause put out a flyer about the “loving cup” trophy being given to Francis and Laurette McMechan in absentia at the 1937 Congress of Anesthetists.

Two new programs were introduced at the 2012 IARS Annual Meeting:

  • A Clinical Research Symposium, organized by the European Society of Anaesthesiology: The Role of Specialist Societies in Clinical Outcomes Research: How Can They Take a lead?
  • A Symposium for Anesthesiology Residents, focusing on resident education and advancement and featuring a “best resident abstract” competition judged by an expert panel of anesthesia educators.

This separation of the IARS governing board and the Journal editorial leadership, endured until 2012 when Dr. Steven Shafer was appointed to the IARS Board of Trustees (BOT) as a non-voting ex-officio member. This appointment strengthened the communication between the IARS BOT and the Journal Editor-in-Chief, while maintaining the editorial independence of Anesthesia & Analgesia.  

Dr. Lawrence Saidman began a companion journal to A&A, A&A Case Reports. Saidman accepted the position of EIC for a new journal, A&A Case Reports.

Two SmartTots grants awarded. Robert Block, PhD, received a grant for $100,000 for his project, “General Anesthesia During Human Infancy and Brain Development.” Caleb Ing, MD, was awarded a grant for $100,000 for his project, “Anesthetic Exposure Duration and Effects on Cognitive and Language Ability.”


Part of the Silicon Jubilee or 90th anniversary of Anesthesia & Analgesia was “Then & Now” editorial commentaries contrasting articles published in the first years of Current Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia with the science and practice of anesthesia today.

A beige triangle appears in the lower right corner of the cover. The new cover is the iPad version of Anesthesia & Analgesia, developed for the Journal by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, our publisher. When the beige button is pressed, the viewer is taken to the table of contents. Using the vertical scroll feature of the iPad, the reader can scroll up and down the table of contents. In the printed version of Anesthesia & Analgesia, page numbers appear on the right side of the table of contents. In the digital version, buttons take you to the article.


Two SmartTots grants awarded. Lena Sun, MD, received a grant for $200,000 for her project, “Pediatric Anesthesia NeuroDevelopment Assessment (PANDA) Study.” Jeffrey Sall, PhD, MD, was awarded a grant for $200,000 for his project, “Recognition Memory Following Early Childhood Anesthesia.” 

The Journal stopped publishing Case Reports replacing them with a new online journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia Case Reports naming Lawrence Saidman as Editor-in-Chief.

David M. Gaba, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Simulation – Another (Unsung) Gift to Medicine from Anesthesiology” at the IARS 2013 Annual Meeting.


Angela Enright, OC, MB, FRCPC  (canceled) and Davy C. Cheng, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FCAHS, CCPE, presented on her behalf the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Global Challenges in Anesthesia: Are We Doing the Enough?” at the IARS 2014 Annual Meeting.


A&A published a thematic issue on the concept of the “Perioperative Surgical Home” (PSH). The American Society of Anesthesiologists had committed resources to create a learning collaborative of up to 50 health care institutions to create an “evidence-based road map” for the PSH.


Dr. Lawrence J. Saidman stepped down as correspondence editor of Anesthesia & Analgesia, and as editor-in-chief (EIC) of A&A Case Reports on December 31, 2014.


Eng H. Lo, PhD gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Causation and Collaboration for Translating Neuroprotection” at the IARS 2015 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Ansgar Brambrink was provided with funding from SmartTots for his project, “Long-Term Outcome of Single vs. Triple Anesthesia Exposure of Infant Monkeys.”


A new Global Health section in Anesthesia & Analgesia, and a new type of manuscript,

“Global Health Reports” in A&A Case Reports was launched, which marks the creation of an important affiliation between the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) and the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).


John P.A. Ioannidis, DSc, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Impact in Evidence-Based Decision Making” at the IARS 2016 Annual Meeting.

Daniel Cole, MD, then President of the ASA and Alex Evers, MD, then Chair of the IARS Board of Trustees, brought together research and executive leaders from the ASA, AUA, FAER, and the IARS for a 2-day summit to discuss critical areas of research for the future of the specialty. This summit was fundamentally a success in that it generated the concept of a unified research mission and changed attitudes about working collectively together.


Dr. Jean-Francois Pittet took over as the seventh Editor-in-Chief of the Journal. Born in Switzerland, Dr. Pittet is the first A&A EIC to come from outside North America. Although he has long resided and practiced in the US, he retains dual citizenship.


Dr. Shafer stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of A&A.


In an editorial, Drs. Pittet and Vetter announced some changes to Anesthesia & Analgesia, including:

  • In response, the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network has been created to monitor, propagate, and promote the proper use of such guidelines. The primary goal of the EQUATOR Network is “to improve the quality of scientific publications by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of health research.” Furthermore, an increasing number of major, high-impact basic science, clinical, and health services journals recommend or require authors’ adherence to the applicable set of such guidelines for submitted manuscripts.
  • Anesthesia & Analgesia now requires adherence to the applicable statement/guidelines and checklist for all submitted research-related manuscripts, while knowingly limiting those requirements that are unique to Anesthesia & Analgesia.
  • Anesthesia & Analgesia has created new sections dedicated to Blood Management, Geriatric Anesthesia, Palliative Care and Cancer, and Trauma.
  • There is a reconfigured section of Neuroscience and Neuroanesthesiology, which will closely align and collaborate with Geriatric Anesthesia. There is also a reconfigured section on Healthcare Economics, Policy, and Organization.


FDA grant awarded to support SmartTots.


Victor J. Dzau, MD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Vital Directions in Health and Medicine in Uncertain Times” at the IARS 2017 Annual Meeting.


Jeffrey R. Balser, MD, PhD, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Personalizing Health Care in the Era of Big Data” at the IARS 2018 Annual Meeting. 

Lena Sun appointed as Medical Director of SmartTots.


Editorial by Drs. Pittet and Vetter reviewed accomplishments of past year.

  • The Journal successfully implemented sections dedicated to and thus published papers on Blood Management, Geriatric Anesthesia, Cancer and Supportive Care, and Trauma. A new affiliation was established between the Journal and the Society for Airway Management, which naturally aligned with its Trauma section.
  • The innately interrelated sections on Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine, Chronic Pain Medicine, and Pain and Analgesic Mechanisms are functioning very cohesively. The November 2017 thematic issue on “The Practice of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the Opioid Abuse Epidemic” comprehensively addressed this major clinical, public health,and health policy topic.
  • The Journal successfully strengthened its commitment to Global Health, with a series of papers from low- and middle-income countries and members of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists. A timely thematic issue on Global Health is scheduled for early 2018.
  • A new affiliation was established between the Journal and the American Society for Enhanced Recovery. The resulting separate section devoted to Perioperative Medicine has brought surgeons to the Journal editorial board, further strengthening our team’s perspective, voice, and likely audience.
  • The reestablishment of a separate Ambulatory Anesthesiology section reflects the increasing demand for and thus scope of fast-track, short-stay (“extended ambulatory recovery”) surgical admissions and the expansion of complex procedures outside the mainstream operating room.
  • The Neuroscience and Neuroanesthesiology and Geriatric Anesthesia sections have been well aligned so as to foster and capitalize on their cross-disciplinary expertise.
  • The reconfigured section on Healthcare Economics, Policy, and Organization is attracting a greater number and diversity of papers, including novel, timely, and controversial topics.
  • The consolidated and dedicated section on Medical Education has promoted submissions, including original research, in this arena.


Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP(C), FANN, FCAHS, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “Health Research Funding in the 21st Century: Not for the Faint of Heart” at the IARS 2019 Annual Meeting.

Through multiple meetings—including a face-to-face meeting in Baltimore, Maryland—in early 2019, the leaders of the 3 organizations (ASA, FAER and IARS) Drs Deborah Culley, James Eisenach, and Colleen Koch developed a charter for the effort aided by the assistance of Anne-Marie Mazza, Senior Director, Committee on Science, Technology and Law at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), who shared how the main science policy operating arm of NASEM, the National Research Council, approaches this process. The mission was to advance scientific discovery and health care policy through the development and dissemination of research in anesthesiology, perioperative, and pain medicine. The vision of the ARC is to be the go-to resource for state-of-the-art review, synthesis, and future recommendations in Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine research. Over the next few months, the administrative structure and processes for ARC were sketched out, and a meeting was organized in the summer of 2019 to gather broader input.

The task force provided a budget and 3-year proposal for ARC to the Boards of ASA, FAER, and the IARS, and this was approved by all organizations by the end of 2019. ARC activities are currently overseen by a Steering Committee, chaired by Max Kelz, MD, PhD.


Dr. Lena Sun steps down as Medical Director of SmartTots.


Dr. Christopher Austin was invited to give the Seldon Memorial Lecture at the IARS 2020 Annual Meeting. The IARS 2020 Annual Meeting was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Re-organization of Journal content was presented in an editorial by Dr. Pittet and Dr. Suresh to include:

  • goal of the new presentation of the content is to increase the visibility of the best-published articles by coupling infographics, editorials, and their target articles together in print.
  • The second section of the Journal is comprised of meta-analyses, systematic review articles, and narrative review articles. These articles will be followed by original clinical, translational, and basic science research articles.
  • second goal of the reorganization of the Journal is to significantly increase the online offerings of the Journal. This includes increasing the number of podcasts related to articles published each month by the Journal.
  • To better reflect the international nature of our Journal, we have changed its tagline to “Anesthesia & Analgesia: The Global Standard.” we are increasing the presence of the Journal in Europe by actively participating with A&A-sponsored symposia at the annual meetings of European Society of Anesthesiology in Vienna in 2019 and in Barcelona in 2020. Our Journal was represented in Asia at the national specialty meetings of the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology and the Japan Society for Clinical Anesthesia in November 2019. We will expand the presence of the Journal to other countries.
  • We will also continue to provide our readers with themed issues of the Journal. These themed issues are organized by an Executive Section Editor, who can enlist 1 or 2 colleagues. The goal of these themed issues is to provide high-quality original and review articles on a well-defined topic.

 In January 2020, the affiliation between the Journal and the Society for Airway Management has resulted in the creation of a new section focused on the airway management during the perioperative period.


The IARS recruited a COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board from a select group of retired members, along with physicians from other relevant medical specialties including pulmonology, cardiology, and intensive care medicine. Then group’s mandate was to review all of the biomedical literature that emerge each day in the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database, extract the publications of direct relevance to providers on the front lines, and then review, summarize, and categorize the relevant articles. From this content, the IARS built a database and a website then launched an e-newsletter to push the information out to the IARS community.


Dr. Dean Andropoulos appointed as Medical Officer of SmartTots.


Dr. Lee Fleisher, gave the Seldon Memorial Lecture on “The Future of the Specialty: How the Pandemic and Policy Changes should Influence our Leadership” at the virtual IARS 2021 Annual Meeting.

FDA grant awarded to support SmartTots.



As of July 2021, 16 months after launching this volunteer effort, the COVID-19 SAB is still meeting, still undertaking reviews of articles, and still releasing information to front-line workers on the IARS COVID-19 website and in the e-newsletter.