About Us

 Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research is to identify and promote ever-improving methods of preventing premature death and reducing associated disability from trauma and cardiac arrest in people with “hearts and brains too good to die.”

The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was founded by the late Dr. Peter Safar in 1979, initially as the International Resuscitation Research Center.  In recognition of Dr. Safar’s innumerable contributions to the field of resuscitation medicine, it was renamed the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in 1994.  The Safar Center’s current research programs include Traumatic Brain Injury, Child Abuse, Cardiac Arrest, Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation, Hemorrhagic Shock, Combat Casualty Care, and Rehabilitation of CNS Injury. Center investigators work closely with the depts. of Critical Care Medicine, Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at both the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  In addition to conducting basic research, the Safar Center also provides training to the next generation of resuscitation researchers.  The Center is a 20,000 square-feet freestanding research facility that houses the laboratories of scientists and clinician-scientists working across a broad spectrum of fields important to resuscitation medicine.

The History of the Safar Center

The Safar Center was initially founded as the International Resuscitation Research Center (IRRC) in 1979 by Dr. Peter Safar. In the late 1950s, Dr. Safar pioneered the development of the ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) of resuscitation, including the technique of "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation, and assembled these techniques, together with others, into what is currently known and implemented as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The study and application of additional steps of advanced and prolonged life support led to the development of the concept of cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR). In the 1970s, Dr. Safar and his associates initiated research into cerebral resuscitation from cardiac arrest, and also initiated "disaster reanimatology" as a field of research.

In 1994, at age 70, Dr. Safar stepped down as director of the IRRC in a desire to transfer leadership to the next generation. Dr. Patrick Kochanek's first act as new director of the IRRC was to rename the facility the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in honor of its founder. Dr. Safar was the Distinguished Professor of Resuscitation Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and an investigator and advisor to the center. Between 1979 and 1998, the multidisciplinary center has trained over 70 physician-scientists.