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Featured APS New Member 


CHRISTOPHER GIZA, MD

Christopher Giza graduated from Dartmouth College in 1986 and received his M.D. from the West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1990.  After his internship at the University of Pennsylvania, he completed clinical training in Adult and Child Neurology at UCLA.  Dr. Giza then spent 2 summers as a member of the Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) team, gaining first-hand experience of traumatic injuries in the field.  In 1998, he returned to UCLA for a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Brain Injury Research Center and joined the faculty in the Divisions of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurology in 2001. 

He now supervises a team of both clinical and basic science researchers investigating the physiological and molecular response of the developing brain to traumatic injury.  His current position is Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery, and is also on the faculty of the Interdepartmental Programs for Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital - UCLA.    In January 2011, he traveled to Afghanistan as a civilian advisor with the Department of Defense to review implementation of mild TBI management guidelines for our military service members.  In 2012, Dr. Giza established UCLA BrainSPORT, a comprehensive sports concussion/mild TBI program focused on brain safety, performance, outreach, research and treatment (SPORT).  In 2014, this program received a transformative philanthropic donation and was renamed the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. In addition, Dr. Giza served as Vice-Chair for the California State Athletic Commission and Co-Chaired the American Academy of Neurology’s committee which developed an evidence-based Practice Guideline for Management of Sports Concussions in 2013. He now serves on the Center for Disease Control’s Pediatric mild TBI committee, the NCAA Concussion Task Force and the Major League Soccer Concussion Program Committee.  Dr. Giza also serves as Medical Director for the Operation MEND-Wounded Warrior Project mild TBI program at UCLA which provides care for military personnel.   

Dr. Giza’s current research interests are all translational, with both basic and clinical science components. These include brain metabolism, recovery from injury, concussive injury, recurrent brain injuries, post-traumatic seizures and developmental neuroplasticity.  His research is currently funded by the NIH, NCAA, US Department of Defense, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Neural Analytics, Inc, Today’s and Tomorrow’s Children Fund, UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program and private philanthropy. Past funding includes the Thrasher Research Foundation, Jonathan Drown Foundation, Child Neurology Foundation/Winokur Family Foundation and NFL Charities.   In the area of acute neurocritical care, Dr. Giza and his colleagues have investigated metabolic therapies for TBI in both the lab and with pilot studies in the ICU.  His team developed animal models of post-traumatic seizures, and have published clinical studies on the importance of EEG monitoring to detect early post-traumatic seizures in children with moderate-severe TBI.  In the area of recovery and plasticity, Dr. Giza’s team is investigating molecular changes in neurotransmission, translational functional imaging and pharmacotherapy to enhance recovery and restore normal learning.  In clinical studies using multimodal imaging after moderate-severe pediatric TBI, the Recovery After Pediatric Brain Injury (RAPBI) project has shown that damage to the brain’s white matter network may be a potent predictor of long-term functional recovery.  In the area of concussion and recurrent mild TBI, his team is contributing to the largest prospective sports concussion study ever, the Concussion Assessment Research and Education (CARE) Consortium, using impact sensors, clinical measures, advanced neuroimaging and blood biomarkers to unravel the complexities of sports concussion. Complementary laboratory studies are investigating the role of impact interval on both early metabolic changes as well as risk of late degeneration after concussive injuries that occur during brain development. 



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Previously Featured APS New Members for 2013