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Kate Kernan, MD, MFA

Assistant Professor, Critical Care Medicine

Admin Assistant: Aja Wilkerson

Kate received her undergraduate degree from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  Following her education Kate was a T32 NIH Research Fellow at Thomas Jefferson University in the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics and Computational Biology.  She completed her residency in general pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital of Washington University and her fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  As faculty, her current research interest is in understanding the genetic contribution to extreme phenotypes in pediatric critical illness.

Education & Training




College of the Holy Cross




 University of Pennsylvania




New England College MFA 2012 Poetry

 St. Louis Children’s Hospital, University of Washington




 Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC



Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Univeristy of Pittsburgh Certificate Program

  Current  Department of Biomedical Informatics


UPMC Fink Day, Best Translational Research Abstract             2017

Chief Resident Award for Excellence in Patient Care                 2014

American Physician Scientist Travel Award                                2011

UPENN Agnew Society Research Fellowship                            2006

Phi Beta Kappa                                                                           2005

NCAA Division I Scholar Athlete                                                 2005

Valedictory Nominee, College of the Holy Cross                        2005

Ongoing Research


Presentations at Meetings

"Systems biology in alcohol addiction and withdrawal: This is your brain on drugs.”Japan-United States Cooperative Brain Research Workshop. 2010.

"Genetic variants associated with hyperinflammation in septic shock". Kate Kernan, MD; Lina Gonzalez, MD; Rahil Sethi, BS; Uma Chandran, PhD, MSIS; Janette Lamb, PhD; John A. Kellum, MD, MCCM; Derek Angus, MD, MPH, MCCM and Mentor: Joseph Carcillo, MD. Poster Presentation. 46th SCCM Critical Care Congress, 2017


Kernan KF, Ghaloul-Gonzalez L, Shakoory B, Kellum JA, Angus DC, Carcillo JA. Adults with septic shock and extreme hyperferritinemia exhibit pathogenic immune variation. Genes Immun. 2018 Jul 6. PMID: 29977033

Kernan, K and Carcillo, J. Hyperferritinemia and Inflammation. Int Immunol. May 2017. PMID: 28541437

Kernan K and Kennedy R. “Emergencies”. The Washington Manual of Pediatrics. 2nd Edition. Ed. Andrew White. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2016. 33-49. Print.

Park J, Brureau A, Kernan K, Starks A, Gulati S, Ogunnaike BA, Schwaber JS, Vadigepalli R. Inputs Drive Cell Phenotype Variability. Genome Res. 2014 Jun;24(6):930-41. PMID:24671852

Freeman K, Staehle MM, Vadigepalli R, Gonye GE, Ogunnaike  BA, Hoek, JB. Schwaber JS. Coordinated dynamic gene expression changes in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala during alcohol withdrawal. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2013 Jan;37 Suppl 1:E88-100. PMID: 22827539

Yang RL, Freeman K,  Reinke CE, Fraker DL, Karakousis G, Kelz RR,  Doyle A. Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism In Kidney Transplant Recipients: Characteristics of Patients Selected for Different Treatment Strategies. Transplantation. 2012 Jul 15;94(1):70-6. PMID:22706321

Freeman K, Brureau A, Vadigepall Ri, Staehle MM, Brureau MB, Gonye GF, Hoek JB, Hooper DC,  Schwaber JS. Temporal changes in innate immune signals in a rat model of alcohol withdrawal in emotional and cardiorespiratory nuclei. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012 May 24, 9:97. PMID: 22626265

Freeman K, Staehle MM, Gümüş ZH, Vadigepalli R, Gonye GE, Nichols CN, Ogunnaike BA, Hoek JB, Schwaber. JS.  Rapid temporal changes in the expression of a set of neuromodulatory genes during alcohol withdrawal in the dorsal vagal complex: molecular evidence of homeostatic disturbance. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 2012 Oct;36(10):1688-700. PMID: 22486438

Rachel R. Kelz, Kathryn M. Freeman, Patrick W. Hosokawa, David Asch, Francis R Spitz, Miriam Moskowitz, and William G. Henderson. Time of day affects post-operative morbidity:  an analysis of the national surgical quality improvement program data. Annals of Surgery. Mar 247(3):544-52, 2008. PMID:18376202

Freeman K, Hoffmann, GR. Frequencies of mutagen-induced coincident mitotic recombination at unlinked loci in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutation Research, Mar 1;616(1-2):119-32, 2007 . PMID:17156798