Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research is to identify and promote ever-improving methods to prevent premature death and reduce associated disability from traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest and other forms of acute brain injury, in people with “hearts and brains too good to die.”

The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was founded by the late Dr. Peter Safar in 1979, initially as the International Resuscitation Research Center. Recognizing Dr. Safar’s innumerable contributions to the field of resuscitation medicine, it was renamed the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in 1994. The Center’s research programs address the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for acute brain injury across the continuum of care, from the field, emergency department, intensive care unit, rehabilitation, and long-term outcome, and across the age spectrum from infants to the elderly. To achieve its goals, center investigators in the departments of Critical Care Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, and others at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, work closely with investigators in numerous other departments and schools on the Pitt campus, along with a host of national and international collaborators. In addition to conducting basic, translational, and clinical research, Safar Center investigators also train the next generation of resuscitation researchers. The Safar Center is an 11,000 square-foot state-of-the-art research facility located in the Rangos Research Center on the Campus of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh that houses the laboratories of scientists and clinician-scientists working across a broad spectrum of fields important to resuscitation medicine.

The History of the Safar Center

The Safar Center was initially founded as the International Resuscitation Research Center (IRRC) in 1979 by Dr. Peter Safar. In the late 1950s, Dr. Safar pioneered the development of the ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) of resuscitation, including the technique of “mouth-to-mouth” resuscitation, and assembled these techniques, together with others, into what is currently known and implemented as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The study and application of additional steps of advanced and prolonged life support led to the development of the concept of cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR). In the 1970s, Dr. Safar and his associates initiated research into cerebral resuscitation from cardiac arrest, and also initiated “disaster reanimatology” as a field of research.

In 1994, at age 70, Dr. Safar stepped down as director of the IRRC in a desire to transfer leadership to the next generation. Dr. Patrick Kochanek’s first act as new director of the IRRC was to rename the facility the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in honor of its founder. Dr. Safar was the Distinguished Professor of Resuscitation Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and an investigator and advisor to the center. Between 1979 and 1998, the multidisciplinary center has trained over 70 physician-scientists.

Annual Reports