An image of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center and Sheikh Zayed Tower

Adam Sapirstein, MD

Adam Sapirstein, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Division Chief, Adult Critical Care / Surgical Intensive Care Unit
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Sheikh Zayed Tower
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21287

Phone: 410-955-5464
Appointment Phone: 410-955-6353

With stroke a major cause of ICU admissions and hospital mortality, Dr. Sapirstein focuses his research on the role of phospholipases A2 and their lipid metabolites in brain injury. He and his group are evaluating the role of the cytosolic, Group V, and Group X PLA2s in models of stroke and excitotoxicity and are investigating the function of PLA2s in cerebrovascular regulation. Both areas of research are conducted with in vivo and in vitro models.

Dr. Sapirstein and his colleagues believe that inhibitors of the PLA2 enzymes are likely to have several important clinical uses. (Major pharmaceutical companies are currently developing and trialing such drugs.) They are particularly excited by their discovery that cPLA2 is essential for the early electrophysiologic changes that occur in hippocampal CA1 neurons following exposure to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) (Shen Y, Kishimoto K, Linden, DJ, Sapirstein A. Cytosolic phospholipase A2 alpha mediates electrophysiologic responses of hippocampal pyramidal neurons to neurotoxic NMDA treatment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104:6078, 2007), a finding that has profound implications regarding the possible uses of selective cPLA2 inhibitors following acute neurologic injury. Although they are working with models of stroke in mice, their findings may be broadly applicable to a variety of neurologic disorders. PLA2s also have been implicated in the pathogenesis of aspiration lung injury during general anesthesia and in reactive airway responses.

In the long term, Dr. Sapirstein hopes to establish the potential for clinical inhibition of PLA2 enzymes in the treatment of acute and chronic neurologic diseases and injuries. He also hopes to use in vivo imaging and lipid analysis to delineate specific roles for lipid species in modulating excitotoxicity and cerebrovascular responses.

Professional Activities

  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Critical Care Medicine

Learn more about Dr. Adam Sapirstein

Learn More about the Adult Critical Care / Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Dr. Sapirstein's Biomedical Research Bio

Learn more about Biomedical Research


Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds take place Thursdays at 7 AM in Hurd Hall. Windows Media Player is required to view webcasts.

Dec. 4th: "Stroke Recovery: Timing, Training, & Biological Determinants" – Steve Zeiler, MD
Watch webcast >>

"Serving Leadership" – John Porcari, Third River Partners
Watch webcast >>

"Early Pulmonary Vascular Alterations in Congenital Heart Disease" – Jeffrey Fineman, PhD
Watch webcast >>

"The Link Between Physician Learning and Health Care Outcomes" – Todd Dorman, MD, FCCM
Watch webcast >>

Archived webcasts >>


Out of State and International Patients

Make a Gift



© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System, All rights reserved.

Legal Disclaimer