Patrick Kochanek, MD, MCCM, Awarded Distinguished Professor Honor

Patrick M. Kochanek, MD, MCCM, was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, effective October 1, 2019. The Distinguished Professor title is the highest honor that the University of Pittsburgh accords a member of the professorate. Dr. Kochanek is internationally respected for his expertise in and research on traumatic brain injury and cardiopulmonary arrest, as well as for his leadership of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research. As director for 25 years, he has established the Safar Center as one of the leading sites in the world for the investigation of traumatic brain injury and cardiopulmonary arrest.

The Distinguished Professor title is reserved for a faculty member who completes extraordinary, internationally-recognized, scholarly attainment in their respective field or discipline, as well as going above and beyond for the advancement of their department and the University.

In the past 12 months, Dr. Kochanek’s accomplishments include:

  • Leading a team of international experts to produce and publish the “Guidelines for the Management of Pediatric Severe TBI, Third Edition” which included a Consensus and Guidelines-Based Treatment Algorithm. Sponsored by the Brain Trauma Foundation, the guidelines and algorithm were published in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in March of 2019 and accompanied by an Executive Summary by Dr. Kochanek
  • Directing the “Training in Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research” T32 program that is in its 18th year. Each year, the T32 trains four fellows from pediatric critical care medicine, child neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, PM&R, pediatric emergency medicine, newborn medicine or pediatric radiology
  • Mentoring T32 fellows and other selected clinician-scientists or scientists
  • Hosting and directing the 17th Annual Safar Symposium, a two-day event that most recently focused on “Neuroprotection, Neurotoxicity and Recovery in the Developing Brain”
  • Holding seven research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs for studies of TBI, neurodegeneration, neurorehabilitation, and resuscitation

Dr. Kochanek joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1986, after completing his MD at the University of Chicago and his fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, DC. He has previously been awarded the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 2017 “Lifetime Achievement Award” and the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Critical Care’s 2008 “Distinguished Career Award,” among many other honors. He is the editor-in-chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine journal.

The Safar Center focuses on bench to bedside investigations for TBI and CA related to mechanisms involved in the evolution of secondary brain injury, translational neuroscience, and the development of novel therapies and interventions that can be implemented at any point in the chain of survival—from the field through to rehabilitation.