Robert Neumar approved as chair of Emergency Medicine at U-M Medical School

Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned expert in brain damage after cardiac arrest and head trauma, has been appointed chair of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine, after approval by the U-M Board of Regents today.

Neumar, who will begin July 1, comes to U-M from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he was an associate professor of emergency medicine and associate director of the Center for Resuscitation Science.

Along with maintaining an active clinical practice at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Neumar conducted extensive research focused on understanding the mechanisms of brain injury, and developing therapies to minimize brain damage and improve the brain’s ability to recover after cardiac arrest and traumatic brain injury.

““Dr. Neumar has a strong track record of producing cutting-edge research into the molecular events that happen in the brain after cardiac arrest and head trauma,” says James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the U-M Medical School and Lyle C. Roll professor of medicine. “His expertise and experience will further the University of Michigan Medical School’s contributions to the advancement of emergency medicine worldwide through research while providing the highest level of critical care to our patients.”

Woolliscoft also thanked William Barsan, M.D., who had led the department since its establishment in 1999.

“Dr. Barsan successfully steered the department through a time of significant growth in operations and reputation and I look forward to his continuing contributions to the Medical School after he steps down as chair,” he adds. Barsan will stay on as faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, continuing to his preeminent clinical research program in neurologic emergencies that includes leadership of the NIH-funded Neurologic Emergencies Treatment Trial Network.

Neumar has a 17-year track record of continuous NIH funding and has published more than 75 original research manuscripts, reviews, editorials and chapters. He is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has previously chaired the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Committee, Scientific Review Committee, and Research Section and is a recipient of ACEP’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in Research.

Neumar is also nationally active in the American Heart Association where he currently serves as Vice Chair of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and previously chaired the ACLS Subcommittee.

He has also served on several NIH study sections and special emphasis panels, and is a consulting editor for the Annals of Emergency Medicine Editorial Board. On the international level, Dr. Neumar has served on the Advance Life Support Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.

The appointment brings Neumar back to the state of Michigan where he received his Ph.D. in Physiology in 1996 from Wayne State University. Neumar received his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1990. He did his internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh. He also completed research fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh and Wayne State University.

Neumar has already recruited an additional laboratory-based scientist and his team — Kevin Ward, M.D., the current director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Reanimation Engineering Science Center. Ward’s research is focused hemorrhagic shock and combat casualty care with a strong emphasis on developing innovative technologies for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of critically ill patients.

The two new arrivals will move their laboratories to the North Campus Research Complex, the former Pfizer research facility that U-M is now developing as a dynamic hub for research and public-private partnerships. They will join the lab of John Younger, M.D., M.S., the associate chair for research in Emergency Medicine, and member of the Biointerfaces Institute.

Together, the researchers expect to study the biology of critical injury and illness, including causes, diagnoses and treatment. The labs will serve as a scientific home and platform for basic scientists, clinical investigators, inventors, and entrepreneurs across the university interested in the care of patients with life-threatening acute illness and injury. Research there will take new ideas in the basic sciences – whether biological, physical, or theoretical — and carry them to clinical application in the treatment of critical illness and injury.

On the clinical front, Neumar joins U-M at a time when facilities to care for emergency patients have recently been expanded and enhanced. In December, the U-M Health System opened a new Children’s Emergency Services area in the new C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, and opened an expanded and renovated adult and psychiatric emergency area in University Hospital after a $17.7 million construction project.

About the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine:

The expanded emergency department clinical space has resulted in a 7 percent increase in emergency department patient visits during fiscal year 2012. The overall annual census at year-end is expected to exceed 85,000 patient visits, 65,000 adults and 20,000 children.

The Department of Emergency Medicine also is the home of Survival Flight, the UMHS air medical service, which operates three helicopters, a fixed-wing airplane and critical care ground transportation services. Three new EC 155 helicopters are scheduled to replace the existing Bell 430 helicopters in July 2012. Survival Flight will complete more than 1,200 patient and organ procurement missions during fiscal year 2012.

U-M is a national leader in emergency medicine research, with programs like the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials network which seeks to improve care of stroke, seizure and other brain emergencies. In all, Emergency Medicine faculty brought in more than $7.3 million in fiscal year 2011 in National Institutes of Health grants.

U-M trains dozens of new emergency physicians each year at U-M EDs and at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Ann Arbor) and Hurley Hospital (Flint), as well as specialized emergency nurses.

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