Leadership

Directors

Matthew D. Neal (Director) Dr. Neal is an Assistant 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

Jason L. Sperry  (Co-Director) 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

Upendra K Kar.  (Research Director) Dr. Kar is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and General Surgery. He provides leadership, guidance, vision, and development of research capabilities for executing the PTRC’s research projects. He is directly responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating scientific projects, and funding to sustain high-impact programs in support of a broad vision to transform trauma research in the 21st century. Dr. Kar’s research involves elucidating the variations in hematopoiesis in aging. He received his training from Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (JHMI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Kar graduated in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles and involved in numerous enterprises i.e. MBioScience, ApnaHealth and is an investor in Dash Global Media. Dr. Kar’s life mission is to transform the lives of people with research and innovation. Read more

Executive Members

Timothy R. Billiar Dr. 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 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 Dr. 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 Dr. 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  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 Dr. 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 Dr. 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

Bryan Tillman. Dr. Tillman is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Tillman Dr. Tillman is a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, the American Heart Association, the Association for Academic Surgery, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.  He is Board Certified in both general and vascular surgery and has received awards from Vascular Cures and the American Surgical Association for his research. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Tillman’s laboratory is involved in the development of novel endovascular devices. 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 The main focus of the lab is the development of a comprehensive algorithm for air medical triage at the scene of injury. We are assessing factors that influence circumstances under which helicopter transport is faster than ground ambulance transport, as well as individual patient characteristics and injuries that identify those most likely to have a survival benefit from helicopter transport. We will couple these with system-level measurement of EMS resources to develop an evidence-based algorithm to guide paramedics to make evidence-based decisions about helicopter transport for injured patients.