Patrick M. Kochanek, MD, MCCM, will be honored in part for his contributions to the understanding of traumatic and ischemic brain injury in the field of critical care when he receives the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Lifetime Achievement Award during the 46th Critical Care Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
“I am grateful to SCCM and its awards committee for selecting me for this honor,” said Dr. Kochanek, also expressing thanks to his mentors, colleagues, staff and the “countless individuals” who have helped him over the years.
“Upon hearing the news, my first reaction was, ‘I can’t be old enough to receive this award! And I certainly hope that I still have a decent chunk of time remaining in my life to do some additional achieving!’” said Dr. Kochanek.
Dr. Kochanek has served as editor-in-chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM), the journal of SCCM and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies (WFPICCS), since its launch in 2000.
“It has been amazing to see the entire field galvanize around the journal and contribute tirelessly to its success,” said Dr. Kochanek. Under his leadership, the journal is receiving an increasing number of submissions and has grown from nine issues a year to monthly publication.
“His sense of humor, emotional intelligence and appreciation and acceptance of cultural diversity is unparalleled,” said Niranjan Kissoon, MD, MCCM, senior associate editor of PCCM and Dr. Kochanek’s WFPICCS colleague. “His curiosity and passion have made him a champion to those in disadvantaged circumstances, doing his best to make PCCM relevant and useful to his colleagues in lowand middle-income countries.”
In addition to leading PCCM, Dr. Kochanek also serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals in the field of traumatic and ischemic brain injury. In addition to these editorial board activities, he also has a long track record of investigation in traumatic and ischemic brain injury and neurointensive care. His research has focused on targeting the secondary brain injury response in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cardiac arrest and the development of novel therapies.
“Pediatric critical care would not be where it is today without the leadership that Pat has brought to the field and the journal,” said SCCM President Todd Dorman, MD, FCCM.
This is certainly true. With more than 440 citations on PubMed, the Institute for Scientific Information has identified Dr. Kochanek as the most prolific author in the field of TBI in the past 15 years.
After receiving his medical degree from the University of Chicago, Dr. Kochanek went on to complete his residency at the University of California in San Diego, California, USA, and his fellowship at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, USA. He is currently the Ake N. Grenvik Professor of Critical Care Medicine, director of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, and professor and vice-chairman of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He is also a professor of anesthesiology, pediatrics, bioengineering and clinical and translational science.
Dr. Kochanek is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Laerdal Foundation. His research has focused on targeting the secondary brain injury response in TBI and cardiac arrest and the development of novel therapies. He is the principal investigator of Operation Brain Trauma Therapy for the U.S. Department of Defense and has been the principal investigator for 17 years of a T32 fellowship titled “Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research,” funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He is also funded by a number of other NIH grants. He has mentored numerous trainees, many of whom have gone on to receive independent funding from NIH.
When asked which of these many accomplishments brings him the most pride, Dr. Kochanek said, “It’s the trainees that count. There isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t teach me a lot. And the fact that many of them have gone on to careers of national or international prominence— well, that’s just the icing on the cake. I am indeed humbled and extremely grateful for this honor.”
Although very humbly received, this is not the first honor awarded to Dr. Kochanek over the course of his accomplished career. He has also received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) in 2007 and the Critical Care Distinguished Career Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008. He was named Master of Critical Care Medicine by ACCM in its inaugural class, and was the inaugural recipient of the Vidyasagar Award for the field of pediatric critical care medicine from ACCM in 2015.