Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Faculty Members Achieve Rank Promotions

Our following physicians recently achieved faculty rank promotions:

Phillip Adams, DO, FASAPhillip Adams, DO, FASA, was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Adams joined our faculty in 2017 and is an attending physician at UPMC Children’s Hospital, where he serves on the pediatric cardiac and pediatric abdominal transplant teams. He is Director of our Anesthesiology Residency Program; his notable work in this role includes development of our PANTHER Track for residents interested in physician scientist careers and facilitating the creation of our PITTrack for residents with medical device innovation ideas. Dr. Adams’ leadership extends into areas including wellness, curriculum development, and clinical rotation directorship. His research focuses on quality improvement/patient safety and child outcomes after congenital cardiac surgery, with grants funded by the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) and our department’s Seed Grant and Educational Grant programs. Dr. Adams has authored/coauthored over 20 publications, nine book chapters, and over 60 presentations at scientific meetings. He is active within the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), SPA, the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, and the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA). He has served as an Associate Editor for Journal for Education in Perioperative Medicine since 2019 and has received honors such as the ASA/SEA Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award, the SEA Philip Liu, MD, Innovations in Anesthesia Education Award for Overall Best Curriculum, and recognition by the Pennsylvania Medical Society as a Top Physician Under 40 in 2022.

Michael L. Boisen, MD, FASEMichael L. Boisen, MD, FASE, was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Boisen joined our faculty in 2014. He is a member of our cardiothoracic anesthesiology and Center for Perioperative Care teams at UPMC Presbyterian and serves as Program Director of our Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship, Co-Director of Perioperative Echocardiography at UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside, and Co-Medical Director of UPMC Patient Blood Management. With research interests in perioperative quality improvement, patient blood management, echocardiography, and mechanical circulatory support, Dr. Boisen has participated as a principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator in numerous clinical trials. He has authored or co-authored over 40 scientific articles, including original research, reviews, and commentaries, as well as three book chapters and over 30 abstracts and posters. Dr. Boisen is an active member of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) and serves on many SCA committees such as the Presidential Task Forces on Leadership and Guidelines Methodology Organization and Succession, the Program Directors Council, and the Guidelines and Standards Committee, on which he was recently reappointed as Chair for a second term. Dr. Boisen is also active member on the Society for the Advancement of Transplant Anesthesia and the American Society of Echocardiography. He has been invited to present and lecture at national and international scientific meetings on cardiac anesthesia topics, point-of-care ultrasound, and airway management.

Stephen A. Esper, MD, MBAStephen A. Esper, MD, MBA, was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Esper joined our faculty in 2012. He is a member of our Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Division and held the inaugural position of Chief of Perioperative Services in our department due to his role in developing UPMC’s Enhanced Recovery Protocols. This work led to his current role as Director of the UPMC Center for Perioperative Care, which he and his team founded. Dr. Esper and his team have been recognized as experts in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery and Perioperative Medicine. He also conducts research on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and blood transfusion, with grants funded by the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM), the American Heart Association, and the UPMC Beckwith Institute Foundation. He has authored/coauthored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, 12 book chapters and invited reviews, and many published abstracts. He is engaged in medical education and serves as Director of our residency program’s Perioperative Medicine Rotation and our Perioperative Medicine Fellowship Program. He has lectured at many national and international conferences, including those of the ASA, SCA, and the SABM. Dr. Esper received UPMC Executive Management Committee Awards from Presbyterian in 2016 and from Shadyside in 2017 and is a 2017 winner of the UPMC Award for Commitment and Excellence in Service (ACES).

Brian Gierl, MDBrian Gierl, MD, was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Gierl joined our faculty in 2013. He is currently an attending physician and Director of Neuroanesthesiology and Neuroanesthesiology Quality Improvement at UPMC Presbyterian, as well as Program Director of our Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship and Director of our Neuroanesthesiology Residency Rotation. Dr. Gierl is a co-investigator of the Perioperative Ketamine in Opioid-Tolerant Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spine Surgery Trial and designed a portion of an electrocorticography study that uses anesthetic drugs to provoke seizure activity. He has participated in other trials on neuromonitoring. Dr. Gierl has authored 15 book chapters and was co-editor of the second edition of the textbook Avoiding Common Anesthesia Errors. He is an active medical volunteer with Surgicorps International, the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society International Education Foundation, Operations International, and Smile Train. He has provided perioperative care with these organizations in Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Haiti, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Zambia and served as the Medical Director for seven missions. He was recognized in 2019 as the Surgicorps International Volunteer of the Month and in 2021 with the Surgicorps Tony Demos Award “for his selfless dedication as a physician, friend, and Surgicorps hero.” Dr. Gierl’s medical mission activities have been integral to the development of the ACGME-approved Mission Rotation that is part of our residency and fellowship programs.

Charles B. Luke, MD, MBA, FASAMCharles B. Luke, MD, MBA, FASAM, was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Luke joined our faculty in 2009 and is currently Director of our Division of Acute Pain and Regional Anesthesia and Director of all Acute Pain Service (APS) sites in the UPMC healthcare system. He is also an attending physician at UPMC Passavant, where he serves on several critical committees, including the Professional Practice Committee and the Clinical Competency Committee for Acute Pain Regional Anesthesia (APRA). Within our department, Dr. Luke is a member of our Quality Improvement (QI) Committee and Co-Chair/APS QI Director. Dr. Luke is the Rotation Site Director for APRA at UPMC Passavant. He has led several company-supported clinical trials and was a recipient of an educational grant from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He has authored/co-authored 12 publications, including one in the New England Journal of Medicine on a multi-institutional trial comparing hip surgery outcomes of elderly patients receiving regional vs. general anesthesia, on which he was the site PI. He has been invited to present and moderate many seminars, workshops, posters, and lectures at events including American Society of Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine meetings, Becker’s Annual Health IT & Revenue Cycle Conference, and the PostGraduate Assembly in Anesthesiology.

Keith M. Vogt, MD, PhD, FASAKeith M. Vogt, MD, PhD, FASA, was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Vogt joined our faculty in 2015 and is currently an attending physician at UPMC Mercy and UPMC Presbyterian hospitals. He has a secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering and is a participating faculty member in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. Dr. Vogt is a successful physician-scientist, securing NIH funding as an independent investigator in 2022. He is the Director of our Anesthesiology Neuroscience Research Program and Co-Chair of our Anesthesiology Research Rounds seminar series. His main area of research uses functional MRI and complimentary measures to understand the complex interaction between human cognition, noxious stimulation, and anesthetic pharmacology. Dr. Vogt has also been recognized as a distinguished clinical educator and serves as the inaugural Director of our PANTHER resident research track and Co-Director of our residency program’s Anesthesiology Professional Practice Rotation. He has authored or co-authored over 20 journal papers, two book chapters, and over 50 abstracts presented at scientific meetings. Dr. Vogt is regularly invited to present his work at national and international conferences, journal clubs, and grand rounds. He is active in several national scientific societies; most notably, he serves in leadership roles on the Association of University Anesthesiologists Council and the Early-Stage Anesthesiology Scholars.

Tomas Drabek, MD, PhD, FASATomas Drabek, MD, PhD, FASA, was promoted to Professor. Dr. Drabek joined our faculty in 2004. He is regarded as an expert clinician, a researcher, and a dedicated and innovative educator and mentor. He holds clinical staff appointments at UPMC Presbyterian/Montefiore as a core member of the General Trauma team. He conducts clinical trials in our department sponsored by pharmaceutical companies including ICI (now AstraZeneca), Glaxo, Janssen, ICN, Ipsen, and others. He has also conducted research on hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation from cardiac arrest caused by asphyxia or ventricular fibrillation at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, with a track record of grants funded by agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Heart Association (AHA), the Laerdal Foundation, and the US. Department of Defense. He has also authored/co-authored over 40 scientific papers, 13 book chapters, seven invited editorials, and over 50 abstracts. Dr. Drabek serves on the editorial boards of Frontiers in Neuroscience and World Journal of Critical Care Medicine and was featured on the cover of that journal in 2019. He is invited for visiting professorships at institutions all over the world as well as a guest speaker at various scientific meetings such as those of the SCA, Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the AHA.

Theresa A. Gelzinis, MDTheresa A. Gelzinis, MD, was promoted to Professor. Dr. Gelzinis joined our faculty in 1998 and holds a secondary faculty appointment in the School of Nursing. She an attending cardiothoracic anesthesiologist at UPMC Presbyterian who is highly regarded as one of the most impactful clinician educator leaders in the department and a nationally and internationally renowned specialist in thoracic organ transplant anesthesiology. Dr. Gelzinis has taught and mentored hundreds of student nurse anesthetists, residents, medical students, cardiothoracic fellows, and junior faculty members over the years. She has won many best teacher awards; she is a four time winner of the Leroy Harris Teacher of the Year Award, a four time winner of our department’s clinical teaching awards, and a winner of the Stephen C. Finestone Award for Excellence in Clinical Instruction. Dr. Gelzinis has been involved in research focusing on cardiac and neuroanesthesiology and has authored over 25 journal papers, 11 book chapters, and 27 abstracts and posters accepted to various national meetings. She has presented over 90 regional, national, and international lectures and serves on many national professional societies. Her notable roles include Co-Chair of the Society for the Advancement of Transplant Anesthesia Membership Committee and editor of Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesia.

Senthil Sadhasivam, MD, MPH, MBA, FASASenthil Sadhasivam, MD, MPH, MBA, FASA, was promoted to Professor with Tenure. Dr. Sadhasivam joined our faculty in 2021. He is Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Quality, Patient Safety, and Clinical Research, Director of Perioperative Research, and Director of the Perioperative Genomics Program in our department. His clinical work focuses on perioperative pain management and pediatric, adult, and regional anesthesia and his research focuses on perioperative outcomes improvement, opioid use disorder, and human wellbeing and spirituality. Dr. Sadhasivam is internationally known for his opioid pharmacogenetics and personalized pain management research and mentoring and has had grants funded by the NIH, FAER, the Thrasher Foundation, and the CCHMC Center for Pediatric Genomics. He has also been site or multicenter trial principal investigator on clinical investigations funded by NIH, Pfizer, Heron Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, VistaPharm, and Lehigh Valley Technologies. Dr. Sadhasivam’s current research focuses on the effects of opioid use disorder in pregnancy on long-term maternal and child outcomes, perioperative opioid pharmacogenetics, developing a bedside tool to predict postoperative opioid-induced respiratory depression, and implementing preoperative genotyping and risk prediction algorithms to improve postoperative outcomes. He has authored or co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles and scholarly book chapters. Dr. Sadhasivam is an inventor on over 15 US and European patent applications. He founded the company OpalGenix, Inc. to translate his opioid pharmacogenetic research into clinical practice, with ongoing clinical research at University of Pittsburgh. 

Congratulations and thank you to Drs. Adams, Boisen, Drabek, Esper, Gelzinis, Gierl, Luke, Sadhasivam, and Vogt for their many contributions to our specialty and academic medicine, as well as their leadership service and remarkable milestones in clinical care, teaching, and research.