Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., took his post as the new chair for Emergency Medicine on July 1.

Emergency Expertise

New chair for Emergency Medicine

issue 17 | fall/winter 2012

Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned expert in brain damage after cardiac arrest and head trauma, is the new chair of the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine.

On July 1, he came to U-M from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he 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.

Neumar received his Ph.D. in physiology from Wayne State University, and his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and completed fellowships at both institutions.

He takes the reins from William Barsan, M.D., the department's founding chair, at a significant time for emergency medicine at U-M. A new, separate pediatric emergency department, an expanded adult and psychiatric emergency department, and three new Survival Flight helicopters have all made their debuts in the last year. More than 85,000 ED visits by adults and children occur at U-M each year.

Research activity in the department is increasing, including the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trial network headed by Barsan, the Great Lakes Emergency Medical Services for Children Research Network and the Injury Center, which tests ideas for helping health professionals and the public prevent or respond to injury. Neumar is building a team that studies the biology of critical injury and illness, including causes, diagnoses and treatment.

The department trains new adult and pediatric emergency physicians at U-M, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Hurley Medical Center, and in the African nation of Ghana.