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John Alan Ulatowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International Leadership Team
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Research Interests: Regulatory mechanisms of cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery to brain
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Dr. John A. Ulatowski is a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, neurological surgery and neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading investigators into the regulatory mechanisms of cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.
Dr. Ulatowski serves as the vice president and executive medical director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine International Leadership Team.
He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Niagara University in New York. He earned his M.S. in natural sciences, Ph.D. in physiology and M.D. at The State University of New York. He received his M.B.A. from Loyola College of Maryland. While completing his residency in neurology at the University of Maryland Hospital (now UMMS), he began a second residency in anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins in 1988. He followed this with combined fellowships in neuroanesthesia and neurocritical care.
Dr. Ulatowski became co-director, and then interim director, of the Neurocritical Care Unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He later served as clinical vice chairperson of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (ACCM).
In 2004, after serving as ACCM's interim director, Dr. Ulatowski became the Mark C. Rogers Professor and director of the department, as well as anesthesiologist-in-chief for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Under his oversight, ACCM has emerged as an institutional leader in patient safety, culminating in the founding of the Armstrong Institute. He has facilitated telemedicine initiatives in the adult and pediatric ICUs to improve patient care, and with his support, Johns Hopkins faculty members are now viewed as national and international leaders in the field. On his watch, the program has had unprecedented growth with expansion of the faculty; creation of a new educational platform for the residency and fellowships in all specialties in anesthesia; and growth of the CRNA division.
In addition, during Dr. Ulatowski’s tenure, ACCM attracted an extraordinary amount of federal dollars, which has helped expand its efforts in basic science, translational and health service research, and patient safety. His guidance on hospital redesign aimed at improving patient-centered care and cost effectiveness was invaluable during the construction of the Sheikh Zayed Tower and the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, and he oversaw ACCM's successful transition to the new patient towers.
In 2013, Dr. Ulatowski stepped down as director of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.
- Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International Leadership Team
- Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
- Professor of Neurology
- Professor of Neurosurgery
Departments / Divisions
Centers & Institutes
- MD; Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine (1984)
- University of Maryland School of Medicine / Neurology (1988)
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (1990)
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1991)
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (1992)
- American Board of Anesthesiology / Anesthesiology (1991)
- American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology / Neurology (1991)
Research & Publications
Dr. Ulatowski’s ongoing research includes the development and application of noninvasive techniques for monitoring brain function, fluid management and sedation in patients with brain injury; use of novel oxygen carriers in blood; and new techniques and therapies for stroke.
A new area of exploration for Dr. Ulatowski is that of health service research toward the design of safer systems surrounding the care of perioperative/periprocedural patients. Anesthesiologists, intensive care physicians and pain physicians have led the way in creating safe environments in individual ORs, ICU rooms and interventional pain procedure rooms. The next generation of perioperative physicians will create even safer environments around OR suites, ICUs and pain clinics to ensure better preparation and safe passage of patients. The goal is to prevent even the occasional mistake made by well-meaning practitioners. They will use information technologies and analytical business tools to improve outcomes (medical, financial, human resource and patient satisfaction).
Clinical Trial KeywordsBlood Conservation Surgery, Hemoglobin based oxygen carriers
- Makary MA, Holzmueller CG, Thompson D, Rowen L, Heitmiller ES, Maley WR, Black JH, Stegner K, Freischlag JA, Ulatowski JA, Pronovost PJ. "Operating room briefings: working on the same page." Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2006 Jun;32(6):351-5.
- Bhardwaj A, Ulatowski JA. "Hypertonic saline solutions in brain injury." Curr Opin Crit Care. 2004 Apr;10(2):126-31. Review.
- Ziai WC, Varelas PN, Zeger SL, Mirski MA, Ulatowski JA. "Neurologic intensive care resource use after brain tumor surgery: an analysis of indications and alternative strategies." Crit Care Med. 2003 Dec;31(12):2782-7.
- Hillis AE, Ulatowski JA, Barker PB, Torbey M, Ziai W, Beauchamp NJ, Oh S, Wityk RJ. "A pilot randomized trial of induced blood pressure elevation: effects on function and focal perfusion in acute and subacute stroke." Cerebrovasc Dis. 2003;16(3):236-46.
- Ulatowski JA, Oja JM, Suarez JI, Kauppinen RA, Traystman RJ, van Zijl PC. "In vivo determination of absolute cerebral blood volume using hemoglobin as a natural contrast agent: an MRI study using altered arterial carbon dioxide tension." J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1999 Jul;19(7):809-17.
- Ulatowski JA, Bucci E, Razynska A, Traystman RJ, Koehler RC. "Cerebral blood flow during hypoxic hypoxia with plasma-based hemoglobin at reduced hematocrit." Am J Physiol. 1998 Jun;274(6 Pt 2):H1933-42.
Activities & Honors
- Acknowledgment for Outstanding Support, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, 2008
- Beta Gamma Sigma, MBA (AACSB) Honor Society, 2000
- Alpha Omega Alpha, Beta Chapter, 1985
- James A. Gibson Anatomical Honor Society, 1982
- Commendation from the Dean (Medicine), 1981
- American Academy Neurology, 1992
- American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1988
- American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists, 1996
- Association of University Anesthesiologists, 2001
- European Society of Anaesthesiology, 2007
- International Anesthesia Research Society, 2007
- Maryland Society of Anesthesiologists, 2000
- Maryland State Medical Society, 2006
- National Medical Association, 2007
- Neurocritical Care Society, 2007
- Society for Education in Anesthesia, 2007
- Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairmen, 2004
- Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairmen (now Society of Academic Anesthesia Associations), 2005
- Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1994
- Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care, 1993
- Board of Directors, Johns Hopkins White Marsh Surgery Center, 2011
- Board of Directors, Blaustein Pain Research & Education Endowment, 2011
- Chair, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2002
OR Coordinators Committee
- Chief Quality Officer (International), Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, 2014
- Co-Chair, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2000
Intra-hospital Surgical Airway Management
- Co-Chair, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2000
Weinberg OR Transition/Operations
- Director, Advanced Transfusion Practice Center, 2003
- Editorial board, Medical Innovation & Business
- Treasurer, Association of University Anesthesiologists, 2011