Amy Wagner, MD
Vice Chair, Faculty Development
Director, Translational Research
Director, Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship

Amy Wagner, MD is a tenured associate professor and vice chair for Faculty Academic Development, and director of the department's ACGME accredited Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship. Throughout her academic and professional career, Dr. Wagner has served as research mentor to dozens of undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and resident physicians. Dr. Wagner serves as a faculty mentor for 3 different NIH funded T32 training programs housed at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a member of the University School of Medicine Graduate Faculty, is Training Faculty for the Center for Neuroscience, and is a Faculty Fellow for the Honor’s College at the University of Pittsburgh. She is active in University and School of Medicine Committees, and especially interested in faculty academic development and the advancement of women in the field of medicine. Dr. Wagner has been a chartered member of NIH’s Acute Neurological Injury and Epilepsy group within the Center for Scientific Review.

Clinically, Dr. Wagner is a Brain Injury Medicine physiatrist consultant during acute hospitalization at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and treats patients with neurological conditions and injuries during inpatient rehabilitation at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.


Specialized Areas of Interest
Brain injuries, biomarkers, dopamine systems and cognitive-behavioral disorders, dopamine receptors and agents, electrochemistry, genetics, environmental enrichment, cognitive training paradigms, stress induced steroidogenesis, inflammation, neurotrophin physiology, Rehabilomics, post-traumatic depression, post-traumatic epilepsy, neuroendocrine dysfunction, post-traumatic migraine.

Board Certifications
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Brain Injury Medicine

Education & Training
BS, Biology, Illinois State University, 1992
MD, Northwestern University Medical School, 1996
PM&R Residency, Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation, 2000

Honors and Awards
Dr. Nimmi Vharatwal Lectureship, National Spinal Cord Injury Conference, 2014
Endowed Fisher Lecture Series, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 2014
Professorship in Neurological Rehabilitation, Peter Jay Sharp foundations, New York-Presbyterian Hospital,        Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2014
Theodore Cole Lectureship, University of Michigan, Dept. of PM&R
Young Academician Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2005
Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Award, American Association of Medical Colleges, 2003
Elan Best Faculty Research Paper, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2003
Best Research Paper, foundation for PM&R, Education Research Fund, 2003

Research Activities
Dr. Wagner is a leading investigator in the use of biomarkers developing prognostic models and clinical decision algorithms as well as optimizing individualized treatment outcomes, in an effort to “personalized rehabilitation medicine.” She has coined the term “Rehabilomics” to define this relatively new field of study that involves clinical and preclinical studies involving rehabilitation-relevant biomarkers as related to function, prognosis, treatment, and recovery. Go to for more information about Rehabilomics. Her research also focuses on the neurobiology of neuroplasticity and recovery after TBI and how commonly used therapeutic agents impact neurobiological and neurobehavioral processes associated with neuroplasticity and recovery. She is especially focused on dopaminergic systems and brain injury recovery, and her experimental TBI work also includes the study of rehabilitation relevant cognitive training paradigms to better understand the substrates and mechanisms of learning and memory recovery. Dr. Wagner has published more than 110 peer reviewed manuscripts and has over 140 abstracts on her research. Her extensive transdisciplinary and translational research portfolio of federally funded research (including National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, The Department of Education, and the Department of Defense) has garnered, to date, over $11 million as a principal investigator for traumatic brain injury (TBI) research.

Professional Organization Membership
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Association of Academic Physiatrists
National Neurotrauma Society
Society for Neuroscience