Research Junction Connecting Faculty Across Campus

June 08, 2021
Research Junction
Research Junction is a new initiative that aims to catalyze the development of cross-cutting research collaborations.
Daniel Brinton, PhD

Are you interested in connecting with peers for the purpose of community, sharing ideas, and assisting one another through the process of tenure and promotion? Then contact Dr. Daniel Brinton, assistant professor in the Department of Healthcare Leadership & Management. When he is not making enough burritos to feed a small military unit, he is working with collaborators to develop and validate a multi-center ventilator-dependent respiratory failure computable phenotype to facilitate lung-protective ventilation research. This soon-to-be hobby farmer enjoys woodworking and the great outdoors.

1.     What is your educational background?


Bachelor of Science in Religion from Liberty University, Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University, Master of Health Administration from MUSC, and Doctor of Philosophy in Health & Rehabilitation Science, with a focus on health services research from MUSC.


2.     Where is your hometown?


Arvada, CO


3.     Why did you choose MUSC?


I have had great admiration for the care provided by MUSC to the community since I moved here in 2007. MUSC is the first place my wife worked out of nursing school. It is also the place I chose to return to graduate school to prepare for a career change when I got out of the military in 2011. I completed my MHA in 2013, with the intent to return for a Ph.D. someday. Eventually, I came back thanks to my mentor—Dr. Annie Simpson—and received great training in the Ph.D. program here in the College of Health Professions. I was not desirous of leaving MUSC, as the research connections made here are irreplaceable. As a health services researcher, my research is very much team science. So, I chose to stay at MUSC—and plant roots here in the Lowcountry.


4.     What are your current research interests and how did you become interested in this field?


I am working on several grant-funded research projects, all of which are infinitely fascinating. One of which is developing & validating a multi-center ventilator-dependent respiratory failure (VDRF) computable phenotype to facilitate lung-protective ventilation research (PIs: Drs. Andy Goodwin & Annie Simpson). Another project examines the impact of timing of transfer on the clinical and economic impacts associated with inter-ICU transfer in patients with VDRF using AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project (HCUP) data (PI: Dr. Nandita Nadig). I also do a number of projects under the Telehealth Center of Excellence (PIs: Drs. Dee Ford & Katie King).


I also do smaller research projects through the CEDAR core (Comparative Effectiveness Data Analytics Research Resource), which are funded through SCTR faculty vouchers.


5.     What has been your biggest scientific contribution to date?


My dissertation work, which examined missing data methods for the SOFA score—which is used as a severity adjuster in intensive care research. The SOFA score itself is a physiology-based severity of illness instrument, comprised of 6 sub-scores, representing the degree of organ system dysfunction. As many elements are required to calculate the full SOFA score, it is easy for one or more of those elements to be missing. Guidelines provided by the SOFA score creators suggest that one is to assume no organ derangement. So, my work tested this against other methods for handling missing components of the SOFA score. The results showed that multiple imputation did a great job of handling the missing SOFA score data, whereas other methods introduced varying amounts of bias or decreased sample size—which affects statistical power.


6.     Is there a scientific area/field you would like to know more about?


The main applied area of my research is critical care research. Just prior to the COVID pandemic, Dr. Annie Simpson and I were scheduled to get into the ICU—to observe workflows, better understand how the team cares for patients, see the equipment and how data flows to the EHR. Having some first-hand knowledge of tactics, techniques, and procedures in the ICU will help me to become a better researcher.


7.     Would you like to connect with colleagues within a certain field? If so, what field/area?


I would like to connect with other junior faculty members for the purpose of community, sharing of ideas, and helping one another through the process of tenure and promotion. Bouncing ideas off one another for targeted outcomes, for instance, would prove most enlightening.


8.     What are some of your hobbies? What do you do for fun?


Woodworking is a hobby of mine. I make solid wood furniture using centuries-old joinery techniques. I also enjoy hunting, bicycling, camping, and anything in the great outdoors.


9.     What is your favorite movie, tv-show, food?


My favorite movie is Christmas Vacation. My wife and I watch it twice a year.


Mexican food is my favorite. Growing up in Colorado, I love Mexican food—especially pork green chile. Every day I bring in a homemade burrito for lunch, which I make about 60 at a time. Saves time and is absolutely delicious. I like to surprise myself by packing some of the burritos with extra hot peppers prior to rolling, wrapping, and placing in the freezer.


10.  Please share one interesting detail about yourself.


My wife and I are moving to a hobby farm in Meggett very soon, where we plan to raise chickens, perhaps some goats, and certainly some llamas. We are excited to raise our son in a bit of a more rural setting.


11.  If you had a yacht, what would you name it?


“Fair winds and following seas” – this phrase carries a lot of meaning for the sea-going service members and mariners in general. It is a beautiful benediction.


12.  Who would play you in a movie about your life?


I am unsure—Jason Statham? That might not work, as it would have to be someone low-budget; the film would likely be boring—but full of dry humor. I am open to suggestions.


13.  If you were not a scientist, you would be:


High school mathematics and computer science teacher.

14.  What are the top three activities on your bucket list?


Wander around Europe for a few months with my wife and son. As is attributed to Lao Tzu, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” I try to follow that advice in my travels.


A guided Alaskan caribou hunt with my father & son (once my son is old enough)


To hike the Appalachian trail with my wife & son


15.  What’s the best advice you were ever given?


That advice is encapsulated in a quote: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt.

The advice is simple—but at the core of the American dream.


Make a Connection

Drop Dr. Daniel Brinton an email at