The Safar Center is host to a variety of research programs targeting brain injury from the field to rehabilitation

As a multidisciplinary research facility, the Safar Center is host to a variety of research programs targeting brain injury from the field to rehabilitation. Many of these programs involve long running collaborations between departments. Our programs span the spectrum of ages from infants to adults and include Traumatic Brain Injury, Abusive Head Trauma, Cardiac Arrest, Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation, Hemorrhagic Shock, and Combat Casualty Care, and Rehabilitation of CNS Injury. Center investigators work closely with the clinical depts. of Critical Care Medicine, Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at both the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. In addition to basic research, the Safar Center also provides training to the next generation of resuscitation researchers. A few of our special programs are featured below.

T32

The Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research Fellowship

OBTT

Operation Brain Trauma Therapy

T32

The Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research Fellowship

The Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research fellowship is one of the few T-32 fellowship programs in the field of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Patrick Kochanek is the Principal Investigator and the Program Director of this training grant opportunity (5T32HD040686) that is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The T-32 program is designed to advance the research training of two new postdoctoral fellows each year for a two or three-year term. Trainees (either an MD or PhD, or MD, PhD) work and train on clinical, translational, or basic science research relevant to the fields of Pediatric neurointensive care and resuscitation –in the broadest sense. Trainees are mentored by an outstanding faculty of senior scientists at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research and other laboratories in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health, among others. The research focus is on injury mechanisms, novel diagnostics and therapeutics, and outcomes, predominantly in the areas of traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, and neurocritical care. The opportunities and faculty address key issues in resuscitation medicine in infants and children from the field through the emergency department, intensive care unit, and on to rehabilitation and long-term outcome. The T-32 program supports trainees from fields as diverse as pediatric critical care medicine, emergency medicine, neurological surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, child neurology, neonatology, and radiology. Many of these trainees also receive advanced degrees such as a Master’s of Clinical Research, Health Administration, Medical Education, Health Informatics, or Intelligent Systems, among others. The over 35 program alumni have gone on to publish major findings, win multiple awards, garner NIH or other National funding as independent investigators, and to become academic leaders in their respective fields. Many of the trainees achieved careers of National prominence.

Safar Center Current Fellows

Safar Center T32 Fellow Jay Rakkar

Safar Center T32 Fellow Jay Rakkar

Dr. Jay Rakkar received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He completed his M.D. at Medical College of Georgia.

Meet Safar Center T32 Fellow Jessica Jarvis

Meet Safar Center T32 Fellow Jessica Jarvis

Dr. Jarvis is completing a T32 fellowship in pediatric neurocritical care at the University of Pittsburgh’s Safar Center to develop skills in prospective, clinical research in pediatric critical care.

Operation Brain Trauma Therapy (OBTT) is a multisite research consortium composed of investigators from several internationally recognized research centers that was created  in 2011 to respond to the need for novel therapies and biomarkers in traumatic brain injury (TBI). OBTT was designed to serve as a high-throughput therapy screening research consortium that identifies the most promising therapies and compares them across a spectrum of the state-of-the-art models and injury levels. The most promising therapies are moved up the phylogenetic scale. OBTT then recommends agents that are either U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for other uses, or are in clinical development that are found to be effective across models for rapid clinical translation to the US Army. OBTT is structured to allow a direct comparison of therapies across TBI models in multiple centers. It also includes a comparison of therapies across highly relevant combat casualty care scenarios. OBTT is supported by the United States Army grant W81XWH-10-1-0623. OBTT is composed of the six sites below.

The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

• • • • •

Patrick Kochanek, MD
Over All Primary Investigator   

C. Edward Dixon, PhD
Co-Director and Site Primary Investigator

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

University of Miami School of Medicine

• • • • •

Dalton Deitrich, PhD
Site Primary Investigator

Helen Bramlett, PhD 

The Neuroprotection Program

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

• • • • •

Frank Tortella,MD
Site Primary Investigator 

Deborah Shear,PhD

MAJ. Kara Schmid, PhD

Virginia Commonwealth University

• • • • •

John Povilshock, PhD
Site Primary Investigator 

Banyon Biomarkers Inc.

Alachua, Florida

• • • • •

Ronald Hayes, PhD
Biomarker Core Director

Center for Neroproteomics & Biomarkers Research

University of Florida

• • • • •

Kevin K.W. Wang, PhD

The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

• • • • •

Patrick Kochanek, MD
Over All Primary Investigator   

C. Edward Dixon, PhD
Co-Director and Site Primary Investigator

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

University of Miami School of Medicine

• • • • •

Dalton Deitrich, PhD
Site Primary Investigator

Helen Bramlett, PhD 

The Neuroprotection Program

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

• • • • •

Frank Tortella,MD
Site Primary Investigator 

Deborah Shear,PhD

MAJ. Kara Schmid, PhD

Virginia Commonwealth University

• • • • •

John Povilshock, PhD
Site Primary Investigator 

Banyon Biomarkers Inc.

Alachua, Florida

• • • • •

Ronald Hayes, PhD
Biomarker Core Director

Center for Neroproteomics & Biomarkers Research

University of Florida

• • • • •

Kevin K.W. Wang, PhD