Rebecca Riggs has worked as a neurointensivist attending physician in the Johns Hopkins PICU since 2015. She cares for all types of critically ill children, but her specialty is children with neurologic disorders, such as traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, brain tumors, abusive head trauma, and stroke, though the latter is rare in children. She also helps to lead the Neurocritical Care Program, directed by Drs. Sujatha Kannan and Courtney Robertson. She likes her work because children “bounce back” and can enjoy a full recovery.
Dr. Riggs’ strong interest in research related to traumatic brain injury and abusive head trauma has led to involvement in several investigative projects. For example, she is working to develop bedside ophthalmic ultrasonography for detection of retinal lesions associated with abusive head trauma. Additionally, she is investigating the use of other types of sonography for use in monitoring intracranial hypertension. Such tools would be safer than current methods, which can be invasive or emit high levels of radiation. Additionally, portable monitors could be used not only at the bedside, but also in settings such as football games to better and more quickly diagnose concussion.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Riggs enjoys many hobbies, including running, painting, leatherwork, refurbishing antiques, and building furniture.
Dr. Riggs graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2004 and then attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis from 2004 to 2008. She went on to complete a residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Oakland (2008–2011) and a pediatric critical care fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC (2011–2014). Dr. Riggs was then chosen as the first-ever pediatric neurocritical care fellow at Johns Hopkins, which she undertook from 2014 to 2015.