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John S Maier, PhD, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Director of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives


Dr. John Maier is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine with a secondary appointment in the department of Pathology. Dr. Maier earned a B.S. in Physics at the University of Notre Dame in 1990 prior to entering the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he completed his PhD in physics (1997) and MD (1998).

Dr. Maier trained as a resident in Family Medicine from 1999-2001 in the UPMC Shadyside Family Medicine Residency Program.

From 2002-2011 Dr. Maier worked for ChemImage Corporation in positions ranging from Senior Biomedical Scientist to Vice-President Biomedical Research. He now serves as the Director of Research for the Department.

Dr. John Maier joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine in July 2011 as the Director of Research and Assistant Professor. Dr. Maier's research focus continues to be in development of tools useful in image analysis for anatomic pathology where he collaborates with colleagues in the departments of computational and systems biology and pathology. Dr. Maier's administrative work is focused on creating an environment within the department that optimizes the productivity of faculty researchers.

Dr. Maier's formal research training began as an experimental physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he took advantage of growth in research work where biology and physics intersect. During the pursuit of the PhD, Dr. Maier 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 him to have clinical context for the basic research he did on light transport by scattering materials. He 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, the 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 his interest and has influenced his career path since then.

After completing the PhD and MD, Dr. Maier 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, Dr. Maier left the residency to pursue opportunities in technology commercialization with a small biotechnology company here in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Maier's 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 the intellectual property portfolio where he 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 Dr. Maier also grew in experience with a significant role in the senior management of the company. Through this position he gained important understanding in the industrial side of technology development and commercialization.

    Education & Training

  • 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