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Gabor D. Kelen, M.D., FACEP, FAAEM, FRCP(C)

Headshot of Dr. Kelen
  • Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Director, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR)
  • Director, Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER)


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University of Toronto (M.D., 1979)


Johns Hopkins University, EM (1984)


Dr. Kelen is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University.  He is also Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a member of the Center for Injury Prevention. 

Dr. Kelen became world renown for developing novel methods to study HIV and other blood borne pathogens with seminal work published in JAMA, NEJM, CID and Annals of Internal Medicine.  His research in this area helped define the extent of the HIV epidemic, led to the adoption of universal precautions, and ushered in the era of HIV testing and counseling programs in ED settings.

In 1993, he became the first professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Kelen was appointed the Director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) in 2002, an enterprise-wide entity created to oversee the Institutions endeavors in preparing for, and responding to, a high impact disaster, particularly from potential terrorist action.  In November 2005, Dr. Kelen and his team were awarded a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to lead a consortium studying how the nation can best prepare for and respond to potential large-scale incidents and disasters.  This fifth Homeland Security Center of Excellence formally titled the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER), studies deterrence, prevention, preparedness and response, including issues such as risk assessment, decision-making, infrastructure integrity, surge capacity and sensor networks.  Dr. Kelen maintains an active research program and has been continuously funded since 1987.

Dr. Kelen has served in numerous senior administrative positions, including as Chair of the Medical Board of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins Hospital (ex officio) the Past President of the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine, the Past President of the Society of Teachers of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Kelen has more than 175 publications and has authored/edited several major texts.  His research has been recognized through numerous awards including the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's Hal Jayne Academic Excellence Award and Leadership Award, the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Outstanding Contribution to Research Award, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation Center of Excellence Award.  In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Kelen was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in 2005.


  1. Kelen GD, Catlett CL.  Violence in the Health Care Setting.  JAMA 304;(22):2530-1, 2010
  2. Kelen GD.  Emergency Department HIV Testing.  Reflections forward.  Ann Emerg Med 58:S168-S172, 2011
  3. Kelen GD, McCarthy ML, Kraus CK, Ding R, Hsu EB, Li G, Shahan JB, Green GB.  Creation of surge capacity by early discharge of hospitalized patients at row risk for untoward events. (Lead Article) Dis Med Publ Health Prep 3(Suppl 1):S10-S16, 2009
  4. Scheulen JJ, Thanner MH, Hsu EB, Latimer CK, Brown J, Kelen GD.  Electronic Mass Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios (EMCAPS):  Development and application of computer modeling to selected national planning scenarios for high consequence events.  Ann Emerg Med 53(2):226-232, 2009
  5. Kelen GD, McCarthy ML.  Developing the science of health care emergency preparedness and response.  Dis Med Publ Health Prep 3(Suppl 1):S2-S3, 2009

More Publications

Recent Grants

  1. 2010-2013 Principal Investigator: National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response@ (PACER).  United States Department of Homeland Security (N00014-06-1-0991): $6,500,000
  2. 2010-2013 PI.  Principal Investigator.  Surge Capacity Metrics, DHS-PACER (N00014-06-1-0991):  $489,295
  3. 2011-2013 Mentor:  Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Clinician Scientist Award.  (Awardee JL Jenkins).