Yoram Vodovotz, PhD

  • Director, Center for Inflammation and Regeneration Modeling
  • Professor of Surgery, Immunology, Computational and Systems Biology

The research focus of Dr. Vodovotz is to understand the biology of inflammation, a process that is both necessary to maintaining health and, paradoxically, central to most if not all diseases that affect both developing and industrialized societies. As the Director of the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling (CIRM; http://www.mirm.pitt.edu/our-research/centers/center-for-inflammation-an...) at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, he has led an interdisciplinary effort combining computational, experimental, and clinical studies aimed at a systems-based understanding of inflammation. He has created novel, translational applications of mathematical modeling, including in silico clinical trials, patient-specific predictive models, and culminating in the design of abiohybrid device for patient-specific, self-adaptive control of inflammation. Dr. Vodovotz is a co-founder and current President of the Society for Complex Acute Illness (www.scai-med.org), which is dedicated to applying complex systems and other computational approaches in sepsis, trauma, and related diseases. He is also a co-founder of Immunetrics, Inc. (www.immunetrics.com), a Pittsburgh-based company that is commercializing this mathematical modeling work in the context of the pharmaceutical industry, applying computational models of inflammatory disease in the rational design of therapy for inflammatory diseases. 

Education & Training

  • BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • PhD, Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences

Representative Publications

Dr. Vodovotz's publications can be reviewed through PubMed.

Research Interests

My long-term research goals are 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.

Research Grants

Modeling of Cytokine Networks and Gene Expression Profiles Mediating Rejection in Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation.W81 XWH-15-1-0336 (Vodovotz/Gorantla); 7/1/15 – 6/30/19; DOD/CDMRP

The goals of this project are 1) to elucidate protein-level cytokine/chemokine as well as gene expression patterns in skin and muscle associated with cellular infiltration, activation, and trafficking of immune cells after VCA; and 2) to develop probabilistic predictive mathematical models of rejection (cellular, local, and systemic levels) to facilitate timely prediction, prophylaxis and prevention of rejection.

Well-regulated inflammation allows for proper recognition and reaction to injury, infection, or chronic stress, but inadequate or overly-robust inflammation can lead to disease. R01-GM107231-A1 (Vodovotz/Gerlach); 9/1/15 – 8/31/19; NIH/NIGMS   

The goals of this are: 1) to create a novel class of biohybrid devices for regulating inflammation in sepsis, using an iterative process of computational simulations combined with in vitro and in vivo studies; and 2) to define the impact of the circulating inflammatory milieu on HepG2 cells in the biohybrid device.

Palliative care intervention for socioeconomically disadvantaged cancer patients.R01CA196953 (Steel); 6/1/15 - 5/31/19; NIH/NCI    

The aim of this study is to test the efficacy of a web-based collaborative care intervention for advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers.

The Major Extremity Trauma and Rehabilitation Research Consortium.W81XWH-15-PRORP-OCRCA (MacKenzie); 7/1/16 – 6/30/21; DOD/CDMRP

The goal of this project is to define patient-specific indices that quantify injury and immunologic response to injury in multiply-injured patients.

Detailed Analysis of the Inflammatory Milieu of Patients Receiving a Left Ventricular Assist Device. 4/1/17 – 10/31/18; University of Pittsburgh, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery internal funds

The goal of this study is to assay a broad panel of inflammation biomarkers in patients receiving a left ventricular assist device and to define dynamic networks and principal drivers of the inflammatory response in these patients.

Technology Assisted Stepped collaborative Care Intervention (TASCCI) to Improve Patient-centered Outcomes in Hemodialysis Patients.R01DK114085 (Jhamb);      7/5/17 – 6/30/22; NIH

The goals of this project are 1) to test the efficacy of a 12-week technology-assisted stepped collaborative care intervention (TASCCI) to reduce symptoms of fatigue, depression, pain and improve HRQOL in HD patients; 2) to determine the effect of TASCCI on adherence to medications and hemodialysis treatment; and 3) To explore effect of TASCCI on biomarkers of inflammation.

Modeling Brainstem Inflammation's Role in Systemic Dysfunction during Sepsis. U01EB021960-01A1 (Dick); 4/1/17 – 3/31/22; NIH

The goals of this project are: 1) to develop a Dynamic Bayesian model of cytokine expression and physiologic pattern variabilities in brainstem cardiorespiratory control circuits during inflammation induced by experimental Gram-negative sepsis; 2) to determine if a prognosis can be made on the basis of cardiorespiratory patterning (HRV, VPV, CVC & RSA) in septic humans and rats; and 3) to use this integrative model to derive experiments altering brainstem cytokine expression and to predict effects on cardiorespiratory patterns.

Surgery triggered immune response and liver metastases. R01 CA214865-01A1 (Tsung); 4/1/17 – 3/31/22; NIH

The aims of this program are: Aim 1- to determine the mechanisms by which NETs act to capture circulating tumor cells released during surgery. Aim 2- to identify the role of surgery-induced NETs in maintaining an intrahepatic pro-inflammatory microenvironment to promote metastatic growth. Aim 3- to establish the role of mitochondrial biogenesis in the process of NET-mediated intrahepatic tumor progression.

A Precision Medicine Approach Based on Discrete-Time Windows for Predicting Outcomes of Polytrauma Patients. DOD/CDMRP. W81XWH-1820051 (Billiar); 1/1/18 – 12/31/21     

The goal of this project is to develop computational models for risk-stratification of trauma ± traumatic brain injury patients, using clinical, biomarker, and genomic data.

Immune Fingerprinting Signatures in Predicting Successful Aging.de Vallejo / Vodovotz / Benos); 1/1/19 – 12/31/22; UPMC  

The goals of this project are to use advanced computational modeling methods to identify a combined core set of immunological and clinical signatures of high physical/cognitive ability, and conversely, functional impairment(s) in the late years of life.