Leadership

Directors

Matthew D. Neal 

Matthew D. NealDr. Neal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, and General Surgery since July 2015. His areas of interest and expertise include: trauma-induced coagulopathy and hemostasis following trauma and hemorrhagic shock; measurement of coagulopathy in trauma and sepsis; clinical outcomes in trauma/hemorrhagic shock; clinical outcomes in massive transfusion; Immunomodulation and transfusion of red blood cells; acute care surgery outcomes research and surgical rescue; and outcomes research focusing on emergency general surgery, elective abdominal wall reconstruction, and surgical rescueFaculty. His research interest is to understand the mechanisms of Hemostasis, Inflammation, and Thrombosis following Trauma and hemorrhagic shock with a translational focus in these areas as well as Transfusion medicine and Surgical outcomes (HIT3S Lab). Dr. Neal is a co-lead investigator for the University of Pittsburgh effort in the NIH/DOD funded Trans-Agency Consortium for the study of Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy (TACTIC) along with Dr. Brian Zuckerbraun. Read More

Philip C. Spinella 

Dr. Spinella is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, and Critical Care Medicine. In addition to his position as Co-Director of the Trauma and Transfusion Medicine Research Center, he is the Associate Medical Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Spinella earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology (1991) at Tufts University, and his Medical Degree (1995) at New York Medical College. Following residency in Pediatrics at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, he completed a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2003). After fellowship he served as the Assistant Chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio (2003-2007). Dr. Spinella served 15 years in the US Army and separated as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007. Dr. Spinella is a well-established clinical trialist in the field of transfusion medicine and hemorrhagic shock. Dr. Spinella’s laboratory examines the biologic effects of blood product manufacturing methods with the goal of improving the quality of blood products. He has been funded by the US Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health with approximately 50 million dollars over the past 10 years. He has published over 245 manuscripts, 21 chapters, and is the editor for a textbook on the topic of damage control resuscitation. He has completed several randomized controlled trials examining the effect of RBC storage age in children, and the effect of tranexamic acid on immune function and outcomes in adult trauma patients with severe injury. At present he is leading a multicenter RCT to investigate the effect of platelet storage temperature on bleeding and clinical outcomes in patients requiring cardiac surgery. Read More

Associate Directors

Jason L. Sperry 

Dr. Sperry is a Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and General Surgery and secondary appointments in the Department of Critical Care Medicine and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the principal investigator (PI) for the Linking Investigations Trauma and Emergency Services (LITES) network funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and PI of the PAMPer trial and STAAMP trials funded by the Prehospital Use of Plasma in Traumatic Hemorrhage (PUPTH) program and the Tranexamic Acid Clinical Research (TACR) program, under the direction of the Department of the Army. He is a co-investigator for the Trans-Agency Research Consortium for Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy (TACTIC) funded through NHLBI, as well as multiple other NIH-funded grants. His overarching goal is to improve outcomes following traumatic injury. Read More

Susan M. Shea

Dr. Shea, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering, utilizes microfluidic models and other flow-based assays to study hemostasis in the context of trauma and transfusion medicine. Severe bleeding is the most common cause of preventable death after traumatic injury, and trauma-associated coagulopathy increases the risk for mortality by 400%. Dr. Shea’s research examines how traumatic injury induces coagulopathy and platelet dysfunction. To do so, Dr. Shea develops physiologically-fidelic microfluidic assays and platforms to simulate biomechanics and fluid dynamics of vessel injury in vitro. These same tools are also employed to study the hemostatic efficacy of novel and existing blood products, as well as other treatments and approaches to rescue hemostatic dysfunction, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. Dr. Shea is also interested in arterial thrombosis and thrombolysis. Arterial thrombosis causes myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Dr. Shea also employs microfluidics to study novel approaches to prevent and treat thrombosis. Read More

Executive Members

Timothy R. Billiar 

Timothy R. BilliarDr. Billiar is the Chair of the Department of Surgery and the George V. Foster Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Billiar has served as President of the Society of University Surgeons, the Surgical Infection Society, and the International Nitric Oxide Society, and has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1989. His research interests have been in the area of sepsis, shock, and the role of innate immune pathways in the setting of surgery and trauma. He has published over 700 papers, reviews, and chapters, and currently holds seven patents and is widely recognized for his contributions to the study of Nitric Oxide as an endogenous signaling molecule. In 2006, Dr. Billiar was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was later awarded the title of Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He received both the Fiance-Karl Award as well as the Medallion for Scientific Achievement from the American Surgical Association for his contributions to surgical science. The Shock Society awarded Dr. Billiar its Annual Scientific Achievement Award in 2015. He is an editor of Schwartz Principles of Surgery, the leading international textbook of surgery. In addition to serving as department chair, Dr. Billiar is also the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of University of Pittsburgh Physicians and Associate Medical Director for UPMC International Services Division. Read More

Brian S. Zuckerbraun

Brian S. ZuckerbraunDr. Zuckerbraun is the Chief, Division of General/Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Zuckerbraun’s laboratory primarily investigates the acute inflammatory response in the liver and vasculature following injury from trauma/hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, or direct vascular injury.  Much of his work has focused on the role of gaseous signaling molecules, including nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. Specifically, they have been investigating the induction of adaptive signaling pathways and how these molecules regulate mitochondrial responses to these stresses to influence immunity and inflammation. Read More

Yoram Vodovotz

Yoram VodovotzDr. Vodovotz is a Professor in the Department of Surgery with secondary appointments in the Department of Computational & Systems Biology, the Department of Bioengineering, the Department of Immunology, the Department of Communication Science and Disorders (of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science), and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He also is the Director of the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Vodovotz's research interest is to obtain high-dimensional, dynamic data on the etiology and progression of various inflammatory processes and diseases in samples derived from cells, animals, and people; to create computational models based on these data; and to modulate the inflammatory response in an optimal spatial, temporal, and individual- / disease-specific manner. Read More

Jie Fan

Jie FanDr. Fan is a tenured Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a Research Investigator and the Director of the Surgical Research at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Fan also serves as an editorial board member, deputy editor-in-chief, and reviewer for over 40 journals and a study section member for NIH, DOD, VA, and British funding organizations, as well as an advisory peer reviewer for American Institution of Biological Sciences.  The research projects performed in Fan’s lab are to answer the following questions: 1. How do trauma and sepsis promote the development of multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS) in patients? 2. How do trauma and sepsis regulate immunity? 3. Can we prevent trauma and sepsis patients from developing MODS? Read More

Melanie J. Scott

Melanie J. ScottDr. Scott is an Associate Professor of Surgery and the Director of Graduate Education for Surgery Research. Dr. Scott's research interests involve investigating innate immune responses after surgery, trauma, hemorrhagic shock and infection. Her main research focus is the role of the inflammasome and inflammatory caspases on cell death and survival pathways during surgery and trauma. This work centers on the elucidation of novel pathways of inflammasome activation and function in the liver, and how mitochondria are central to these responses in both sterile and infectious tissue injury.  Dr. Scott is also involved with research investigating roles for damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) during trauma and infection. Read More

Matthew R. Rosengart

Matthew R. RosengartDr. Rosengart is Professor of Surgery and Director of the Pittsburgh Surgical Outcomes and Research Center (PittSORCe). He holds secondary appointments in Critical Care Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Rosengart's research interest is to investigate the role of innate immunity in the systemic response to injury and infection, with particular expertise in calcium-dependent mechanisms. His laboratory has focused upon the mechanisms involved in the inflammatory processes that define the response to injury in relevant sepsis and trauma models such as LPS-induced inflammation and organ dysfunction, cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) polymicrobial sepsis, warm hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, and hemorrhagic shock. Read More

Barbara A. Gaines

Barbara A. GainesDr. Gaines, is the director of the Benedum Trauma Program and a Principal Investigator of the Injury Prevention Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She serves as clinical director of the Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery at Children's Hospital. Dr. Gaines academic and community outreach interests include childhood injury prevention. Her research interests focus upon optimizing the outcomes and quality of life after pediatric injury and prevention of childhood injury. She has ongoing studies of pediatric pancreatic trauma, coagulopathy and transfusion practices in the pediatric patient, and pediatric trauma triage protocols. In addition, she conducts studies involved in state and national regionalization of the injured pediatric patient. Read More

Josh Brown

Dr. Brown obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Research, developing expertise in large database management and advanced techniques for analysis of observational data. Dr. Brown runs the Prehospital Resource Organization and Delivery of Care in Trauma Systems (PRODCTS) Lab. He is interested in the role of air medical transport for injured patients, as well as the geospatial organization of trauma systems. His lab also studies prehospital resuscitation strategies and field triage of the injured patient. Current projects include using market share theory to evaluate the relationship between outcomes and the geographic distribution of air medical helicopter bases across the US, investigating how the proximity of trauma system resources influences under-triage rates in rural versus urban areas, and exploring the volume-outcome relationship in emergency medical services based on agency and individual provider volumes of patients transported and procedures performed. Read more 

Andrew B. Peitzman

Andrew B. Peitzman, MD, holds the Mark M. Ravitch Endowed Chair in Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is also Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Since 1997 Dr. Peitzman has been Chief of the Division of General Surgery in the Department of Surgery at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including appointment as Distinguished Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (2012) and regular inclusion in The Best Doctors in America. Dr. Peitzman is an editorial board member of the Journal of Trauma, World Journal of Emergency Surgery, Revista de Medicina y Cirugia del Trauma (Argentina), and Emergency Medicine and Catastrophes (Spain). He is an Advisory Board and Section Editor for the European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. Dr. Peitzman's particular areas of clinical interest include complicated abdominal surgery and critical care medicine, and he has participated in many successful clinical research endeavors. He is the author of more than 180 refereed articles. Dr. Peitzman's research and publications can be reviewed through PubMed.

Mazen S. Zenati

Dr. Zenati is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science, and Associate Director of the Multidisciplinary Acute-Care Clinical Research Organization at the University of Pittsburgh. He has extensive experience in collaborating with surgeon scientists in conducting both basic science and clinical research, as well as in providing research training and mentorship to students and post-doctoral trainees. Dr. Zenati's publications research and publications can be reviewed through PubMed.

 

Director of Special Projects 

Upendra Kar