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. He served in this role until 2013. 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.
Dr. Ulatowski is one of the world’s leading investigators into the regulatory mechanisms of cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. His research included the development and application of invasive and 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, safe passage of patients, 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). Dr. Ulatowski is helping to develop a new generation of perioperative safety experts and disseminate this knowledge around the world.
- American Society of Anesthesiologists
- American Academy Neurology and American Neurological Association
- Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care
- Society of Critical Care Medicine
- American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists
- Maryland Society of Anesthesiologists
- Association of University Anesthesiologists
- Maryland State Medical Society
- Society for Education in Anesthesia
- International Anesthesia Research Society
- Society of Academic Anesthesiology Association
- 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 274:H1933-42, 1998.
- 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 19(7):809-17, 1999.
- 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 16(3):236-46, 2003.
- 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 31(12):2782-7, 2003.
- Bhardwaj A, Ulatowski JA. Hypertonic saline solutions in brain injury. Curr Opin Crit Care 10(2):126-31, Review, 2004.
- Makary MA, Holzmueller CG, Thompson DA, Rowen L, Heitmiller ES, Maley WR, Black JH, Stegner K, Freischlag JA, Ulatowski JA, and Pronovost PJ. Operating room debriefings. Jt Comm J Qual and Saf 32(7):407–10, 2006.
Laboratory Members/Key Associates
Raymond C. Koehler, PhD
Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM
Julie Freischlag, MD