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j_maier.png John S Maier, PhD, MD
Director of Research and Development

Department of Family Medicine
3518 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-383-2319

  • University of Notre Dame, BS Physics, 1990
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS Physics, 1991
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PhD Physics 1997
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, MD 1998
Joined Faculty
I joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine in July 2011 as the Director of Research and Assistant Professor. My research focus continues to be in development of tools useful in image analysis for anatomic pathology where I collaborate with colleagues in the departments of computational and systems biology and pathology. My administrative work is focused on creating an environment within our department that optimized the productivity of our faculty researchers.
My formal research training began as an experimental physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I took advantage of growth in research work where biology and physics intersect. During the pursuit of the PhD I entered the Medical Scholars Program to obtain medical training that would complement and inform the basic science work.
This dual training experience in a research focused setting enabled me to have clinical context for the basic research I did on light transport by scattering materials. I was fortunate to have research mentorship by Enrico Gratton in the department of physics in the setting of an NIH sponsored user facility throughout graduate training.

Somewhat distinctly, our research environment was supplemented by industrial relationships focused on commercializing technology that came out of the laboratory. The experience developing technology through research, with a mind to moving it into use through commercialization, resonated with my interest and has influenced my career path since then.

After completing the PhD and MD I matriculated at the UPMC-Shadyside Family Medicine Residency program. This was an intentional choice with particular goals to first get experience in different disciplines within medicine and second to learn about important problems where research and development can provide useful solutions. After two years of clinical training as a resident, and completion of the licensing exam series, I left the residency to pursue opportunities in technology commercialization with a small biotechnology company here in Pittsburgh.

My work for the last nine years at ChemImage was broadly in the area of biomedical applications of novel spectroscopic imaging approaches. The emphasis in this position was on growing our intellectual property portfolio where I contributed with co-inventorship of 41 US patents. The last 5 years resolved into a focus on applications of the technology as a novel diagnostic in anatomic pathology. As the intellectual property matured, this effort resulted in peer reviewed publications, posters and talks at international meetings. At ChemImage I also grew in experience with a significant role in the senior management of the company. Through this position I gained important understanding in the industrial side of technology development and commercialization.
Clinical and Research Interests
My research interests are focused on application of image analysis tools to multivariate imaging data from tissues. The goal of the work is to develop tools for supporting anatomic pathology in the analysis of increasingly large amounts of data obtained from tissue samples.
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