Robert L. Kormos, MD

Robert L. Kormos, MD — Medical Director, Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

Dr. Kormos currently serves as:

  • director, UPMC Artificial Heart Program
  • co-director, Heart Transplantation
  • medical director, Procirca’s Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

A native of Canada, Dr. Kormos received his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. A past president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Dr. Kormos has been on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh since 1987, after completing two fellowships there in research and transplant surgery.

While at the University of Pittsburgh, his research and clinical interests have been focused on mechanical circulatory support, resulting in his authorship of more than 245 published articles, 38 book chapters, and a textbook on the subject. He is associate editor for The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, is a member of more than 17 professional societies, and is internationally regarded for his clinical and research work in organ transplantation and in the use of cardiac assist devices as temporary or permanent support for patients with end-stage heart disease. He has been an invited lecturer to more than 300 national and international meetings.

In addition to his other duties, Dr. Kormos:

  • is co-PI for the NHLBI-sponsored registry for mechanical circulatory support (INTERMACS) and the NHLBI-sponsored trial of ventricular assist devices for Class III-b congestive heart failure (REVIVE-IT)
  • serves as director of a new advanced biosensor consortium with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC
  • has served on the board of directors for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and was chairman of the Society's workforce on end-stage cardiopulmonary disease
Jonathan Waters, MD

Jonathan Waters, MD — Medical Director, Blood Management Division

Dr. Waters is currently:

  • professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Bioengineering, the University of Pittsburgh
  • chief, Division of Anesthesiology, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
  • medical director, UPMC's Total Blood Management Program and Procirca's Blood Management Division
  • a member of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

He earned his undergraduate degree in physics from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and his medical degree from George Washington University. He performed his residency training at New York University.

His areas of expertise primarily focus on transfusion management, blood salvage, and obstetrics. He has been federally funded to support investigation in these areas with multiple peer-reviewed publications, as well as three books on the topic of blood management.

In addition to conducting research, Dr. Waters currently serves:

  • as associate editor, TRANSFUSION
  • on the board of directors for the AABB's clinical transfusion medicine committee
  • on the committee on blood management for the American Society of Anesthesiologists

Dr. Waters is past president of the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management (SABM) and is its representative within the American Medical Association’s physician consortium for performance improvement. He is also SABM's alternate representative to the National Quality Forum. Recently, Dr. Waters co-chaired the technical advisory panel for the Joint Commission, which was charged with developing performance measures related to blood management. In 2010, he became an associate member of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) Collaborative.

Victor O. Morell, MD

Victor O. Morell, MD

Dr. Morell is:

  • vice chairman and director, Cardiovascular Services, UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • co-director, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
  • associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh
  • associate program director for the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program

At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Dr. Morell is:

  • chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
  • surgical director, Heart Transplant Program
  • co-director, Heart Center

Dr. Morell received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Purdue University in 1984 and his medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1988. He completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and subsequently completed his pediatric cardiac training at Children’s Hospital of Boston and at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He is board-certified in thoracic surgery and congenital cardiac surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Morell has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts in scientific journals and is a requested speaker at many national and international meetings. He also co-authored a book entitled “Clinical Care of Children with Heart Disease: Basic Medical and Surgical Concepts.”​

Jeffrey R. Balzer, Ph.D., FASNM, DABNM

Dr. Balzer is:

  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, Neuroscience and Acute and Tertiary Care Nursing
  • Associate Director, Clinical Services, Center for Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Director, Cerebral Blood Flow Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, Dr. Balzer received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh department of Neuroscience in 1994. Dr. Balzer’s dissertation research focused on mathematical modeling of neuroplasticity in the hippocampus and motor cortex of the cat and rabbit.

After finishing his graduate work, Dr. Balzer completed two clinical post-doctoral fellowships. One fellowship was in Clinical Neurophysiology and the other in Cerebral Blood Flow and cerebrovascular Physiology, both at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Balzer joined the faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery in 1996 at Pittsburgh and is currently Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Neuroscience, Associate Director of the Center for Clinical Neurophysiology, and Director of the Cerebral Blood Flow Laboratory and Services at UPMC.

Dr. Balzer’s daily duties include the administration of all IOM services at 17 UPMC hospitals as well as the clinical supervision of 30 technologists. Additionally, Dr. Balzer teaches and trains technologists, fellows, medical students and residents as well as being active in the operating room on a day to day basis. His research interests range from prediction of stroke and delayed cerebral ischemia in humans using genomic makers to the neural control of heart rate and function in animal models to EEG spreading depression in the traumatic brain injury population. He has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has lectured nationally and internationally on IOM and cerebral blood flow physiology.

In addition to his other duties, Dr. Balzer is and has been:

  • Former President of the American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring
  • Former Chairman of the American Board of Neurophysiologic Monitoring, for which he still serves as the current secretary/treasurer.
  • Interest section leader for IOM for ASET.


Harvey Borovetz, PhD

Harvey Borovetz, PhD

Dr. Borovetz is:

  • Distinguished Professor and chairman, Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Robert L. Hardesty Professor, UPMC Department of Surgery
  • professor of chemical and petroleum engineering
  • deputy director, Artificial Organs and Medical Devices at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

After receiving his bachelor's degree in physics from Brandeis University, Dr. Borovetz went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate in bioengineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Borovetz's current research interests are focused on the design and clinical utilization of cardiovascular organ replacements for both adult and pediatric patients. Since 1986, he has served as the academic liaison for the University's Clinical Bioengineering Program in Mechanical Circulatory Support. This work in mechanical circulatory support follows Dr. Borovetz's early efforts, in which he helped cardiac surgeons apply extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to successfully treat a large series of neonates in respiratory distress.

He has served on numerous NIH study sections and as an ad hoc reviewer on the scientific advisory committee of the Whitaker Foundation. In 1999 and 2000, Dr. Borovetz spent time at the NIH, where he served as health sciences administrator for the bioengineering research group of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In addition, Dr. Borovetz is:

  • a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • the 2007 recipient of the Carnegie Science Center Life Sciences Award
  • a past member of the board of directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society

Also a past member of the board of trustees of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), Dr. Borovetz was the 2001 ASAIO Whitaker Lecturer and the 2009 ASAIO Hastings Lecturer.

Donald Crammond, PhD

Dr. Crammond is:
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Associate Director, Movement Disorder Surgery

He joined the Center for Clinical Neurophysiology as a staff neurophysiologist in November 1998.

Dr. Crammond received his undergraduate education in physiology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and his graduate education in neurophysiology at the University of Toronto. After postdoctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin and later at the Université de Montréal, he was appointed Visiting Associate Scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Crammond specializes in behavioral and systems-level neurophysiology, examining the neuronal substrates of visuomotor and higher cognitive processes in the cerebral cortex and the mechanisms underlying motor learning and movement disorders. Dr. Crammond is the associate director for microelectrode recording for the Movement Disorder Surgery Program at UPMC.

Dr. Crammond's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.
Marc Simon, MD

Marc A. Simon, MD, MS, FACC

Dr. Simon currently serves as:

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Bioengineering and Clinical Translational Science and Director of Heart Failure Research at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Clinical Associate at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • A member of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program and cardiac transplant program at UPMC


Dr. Simon graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1998 and continued his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  He completed his fellowship in general cardiology at UPMC in 2004 and continued his training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at UPMC. In 2007, he received a MS in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Simon’s research interests include mechanisms underlying right-sided heart failure in pulmonary hypertension and device-based therapy for heart failure. His research training has been supported by the National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award and the University of Pittsburgh’s Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Scholars Program (part of the Institute for Clinical Research Education and the Clinical Translational Science Institute, where he holds a secondary appointment).

In 2010, Dr. Simon was awarded the Claude R. Joyner, M.D. Research Award by the American Heart Association for his work to better understand right ventricular function and how it adapts to, and eventually fails from, pulmonary hypertension. Such knowledge would have direct applicability to improving methods to detect right ventricular dysfunction, predicting response to disease-specific therapies and improving the timing of incremental progression of therapy if/when needed. Dr. Simon’s research has also been supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the ASPIRE Young Investigator Research Award (Pfizer Inc.).

Parthasarathy D. Thirumala, MD

Dr. Thirumala is:

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery & Neurology
  • Co-Director, Center of Clinical Neurophysiology

He joined the Center of Clinical Neurophysiology in June 2008 as a clinical assistant professor. Dr. Thirumala specializes in intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring to adult and pediatric neurosurgical, orthopedic, ENT, vascular and interventional neuroradiology procedures.
Dr. Thirumala completed his neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He completed his internship in internal medicine training at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to clinical training he completed his masters in biomedical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Thirumala completed his medical training in India at Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India. He also worked as registrar and a research associate at Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

Prior to joining the department, Dr. Thirumala was in private practice providing intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services. His group was one of the largest physician groups in the country providing intraoperative neurophysiological to approximately 90 hospitals across 12 states in United States. He currently holds active medical licensure in 12 states.
His clinical and research interests include intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during expanded endonasal approach, functional cortical mapping during awake craniotomies, ICU EEG.

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

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