Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Brian A. Williams, MD, MBA

  • Professor
  • Director, Division of Ambulatory Anesthesia
  • Faculty, Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research
  • Director, Ambulatory Anesthesiology, Acute Pain Medicine Service, and Perioperative Evaluation, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Dr. Williams received his MD from Northeast Ohio Medical University and completed his anesthesiology and MBA training at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Williams is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology. His previous research was underwritten in part by NIH/NIAMS, NIH/NIDA, and the Department of Defense. His past research interests included the restructuring of anesthesia care processes to render regional anesthesia as the primary anesthetic technique (spinal, single-injection peripheral nerve block, continuous nerve block), while relegating general endotracheal anesthesia to the "backup" plan. His work has addressed health care economics and hospital staff workload (in retrospective study), as well as patient-reported outcomes via validated survey instruments (in prospective study). His DoD-funded bench-to-clinical translational research at the PCPR developed multimodal single-injection perineural analgesia, with the specific goals of maximizing the duration of sensory analgesia (with bupivacaine-buprenorphine-clonidine-dexamethasone) while minimizing the duration of motor and proprioceptive block (with midazolam-buprenorphine-clonidine-dexamethasone). The public health objectives of these pursuits were to render single-injection nerve block techniques both more efficacious for patients and more accessible for anesthesiologists to administer more quickly than with catheter techniques. Dr. Williams is now pursuing multimodal anti-emetic clinical research in both the general and specific clinical context of intrathecal morphine use.

Education & Training

  • Kent State University, BS
  • Northeast Ohio Medical University, MD
  • University of Pittsburgh, MBA
  • UPMC, Anesthesiology Residency
  • University of Pittsburgh, Charles Schertz Memorial Research Fellowship in Anesthesiology

Representative Publications

Dr. Williams' publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research, clinical, and/or academic interests

Past research interests included (i) the restructuring of anesthesia care processes to render regional anesthesia as the primary anesthetic technique (spinal, single-injection peripheral nerve block, continuous nerve block), while relegating general endotracheal anesthesia to the "backup" plan; (ii) health care economics and hospital staff workload; (iii) patient-reported outcomes via validated survey instruments; and (iv) multimodal single-injection perineural analgesia, with the specific goals of maximizing the duration of sensory analgesia (with bupivacaine-buprenorphine-clonidine-dexamethasone) while minimizing the duration of motor and proprioceptive block (with midazolam-buprenorphine-clonidine-dexamethasone).  His current/future interests entail (i) multimodal anti-emetic prophylaxis in the context of intrathecal morphine use, and (ii) multimodal total intravenous anesthesia (en route to opioid sparing) entailing agents that do not induce hyperalgesia (such as esmolol, lidocaine, ketamine, propofol, dexmedetomidine, etc.).