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Dennis Simon, MD

Assistant Professor

Admin Assistant: Lori Markey

Dr. Simon was hired as full time faculty in 2015 and attends on the Neurocritical Care Service in the PICU of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and clinical care. His administrative responsibilities include Associate Director of the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship Program and he is the liaison from critical care to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Benedum Trauma Program.

Dr. Simon’s basic science and translational research is thematically centered around neuroinflammation. As a Scientist at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, his first project as principal investigator was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of minocycline in a model of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to determine whether effects were mechanistically linked to neuroinflammation. He found that treatment with minocycline inhibited nuclear to cytosolic translocation of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), reduced activation of microglia, and attenuated neuronal death after TBI compared with vehicle treatment. He presented his work the Society of Critical Care Medicine Congress, and received the In-Training Award for this work. Dr. Simon has also conducted translational studies including exploring the expression of the inflammasome component NLR Family Pyrin Domain Containing 3 (NLRP3) in cerebrospinal fluid from children after severe TBI; and examination of heavy and light chain ferritin in pediatric sepsis. Dr. Simon has also published several thematically-linked review articles and chapters and was a contributing author to the CDC Health Advisory on Acute Flaccid Myelitis. In 2016, Dr. Simon received the inaugural Young Investigator Award from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Trust to fund his ongoing research. Working under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Clark, his current interests include 1) T-lymphocyte mediated acute and chronic neuroinflammation after acquired brain injury (traumatic, ischemia), 2) links between microbiome on neuroinflammation and recovery from acquired brain injury, 3) development of novel therapeutic strategies for children with acquired brain injury, and 4) emerging pediatric neurologic diseases.

View Dr. Simon's Research Investigator Page.

Dr. Simon was born in Kings Park, New York, earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Duke University. He attended State University of New York at Stony Brook Medical School, after which he did his pediatric residency at Harvard Combined Residency Program. He then spent an additional year in Boston as chief resident and then another year as a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Hospital of Boston.

Dr. Simon was married in September 2012 to Catalina Hoyos, a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh’s Diagnostic Referral Group. He lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife, son, and two dogs.


Education & Training




Duke University B.S. 2002 Biology, Biochemistry
SUNY Stony Brook M.D. 2006 Medicine
Boston Combined Residency Resident 2009 Pediatrics
Boston Combined Residency Chief Resident 2010 Pediatrics
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Fellow 2014 Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC T32 Scholar 2015 Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation

Administrative Titles

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine


Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society,  2006

Gold Key Humanism Honor Society, 2006

SUNY Stony Brook Marvin Kuschner Award, 2006

Boston Children’s Hospital Senior Resident Teaching Award, 2009

Boston Children’s Hospital Sidney Farber Award,  2010

Harvard Medical Students’ Faculty Teaching Award,  2011

Ann E. Thompson Fellow Scholarship Award,  2012

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Fellow of the Year, 2013

Society of Critical Care Medicine In-Training Award, 2013

Research Interest

Traumatic Brain Injury
Cardiac Arrest
Nitric Oxide / Sodium Nitrite


Simon DW, Clark RS, Watson RS. Editorial: No pain no gain in pediatric sepsis? Pediatric Crit Care Med. 2014 Mar; 15(3).

Simon DW, Aneja RK, Carcillo JA. Editorial: Plasma exchange, methylprednisolone, IVIG, and now Anakinra support continued PICU equipoise in management of hyperferritinemia associated sepsis/MODS/MAS/Secondary HLH syndrome. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2014 (in press).

Starmer AJ, Sectish TC, Simon DW, Keohane C, McSweeney ME, Chung EY, Yoon CS, Lipsitz SR, Wassner AJ, Harper MB, Landrigan CP. Rates of medical errors and preventable adverse events among hospitalized children following implementation of a resident handoff bundle. JAMA. 2013 Dec 4; 310(21):2262-70. PMID: 24302089.

Simon DW, Da Silva YS, Zuccoli G, Clark RS. Acute Encephalitis. Crit Care Clin. 2013 Apr; 29(2):259-77. PMID: 23537675.

Berger RP, Simon DW, Wolford JE, Bell MJ.  Abusive Head Trauma.  In: Rogers Textbook of Pediatric Intensive Care, 5th Ed.  Lippincott, Williams & Wilkes, 2007.

Simon DW. Bruton's Agammglobulinemia, Lesch-Nyhan Disease, Mononucleosis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In: Underground Clinical Vignettes: Pediatrics. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2007.

Presentations at Meetings

Simon DW, Vagni VA, Kochanek, PM, Dezfulian C. Nitrite therapy after traumatic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock. Poster presentation at the 2nd Annual Mitchell P. Fink Critical Care Scholar Day, 2013.

Simon DW, Vagni VA, Kochanek, PM, Dezfulian C. Nitrite therapy after traumatic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock. Poster presentation at the 11th Annual Safar Symposium, 2013.

Simon DW, Aneja RK, Lewis J, Bayır H, Bell MJ, Kochanek PM, Clark RS. Traumatic brain injury in the developing brain produces microglial activation and HMGB1 translocation that are attenuated by minocycline. Oral presentation at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 42nd Congress, 2013.