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Matthias Riess, MD, PhD

Professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology
Division of Multispecialty Adult Anesthesiology
Division of Research

Phone: 615-322-9044

Assistant: Christine Goldsberry
Assistant Phone: 615-936-0277
Fax: 615-343-3916   

Education & Training
Residency, Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Milwaukee, WI (2008)
PhD, Physiology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI (2004)
Fellowship, Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI (2004)
Residency, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Westfälische Wilhelms-University, Münster, Germany (2000)
MD, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany (1997)

Faculty Bio

Dr. Riess graduated magna cum laude from the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany, in 1997 where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Department of Medicine. His thesis was “Pre- and post-junctional effects of neuropeptide Y in human and rabbit isolated tissues.” After a first residency in Anesthesiology at the Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine, Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster, Germany, he joined the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) as a postdoctoral research fellow in Anesthesiology in 2000. In 2001, he was admitted to MCW’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and graduated from the PhD program in Physiology in 2004 with his thesis on “Altered mitochondrial respiration in cardiac anesthetic preconditioning.”

Following a second residency in Anesthesiology at the Department of Anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2004 to 2008, Dr. Riess remained at MCW and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2014, he joined the Division of Research and the Division of Multispecialty Adult Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt’s Department of Anesthesiology and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System VA Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Riess’ research focuses on intracellular mechanisms of cardioprotection, especially the role of mitochondrial function as a trigger and effector of cardioprotection. He has presented over 120 abstracts at national and international meetings, and he has authored more than 60 papers in peer-review journals.

After receiving the inaugural Roizen Anesthesia Research Foundation New Investigator grant from the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists in 2009, Dr. Riess was awarded a four-year career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to examine genetic mechanisms of cardioprotection. Furthermore, he is a subcontract-PI and co-investigator on a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award investigating novel reperfusion injury protection strategies during CPR after cardiac arrest, their basic science mechanisms, animal model outcomes, and application in humans. Highly promising pilot data demonstrates the potential to profoundly improve neurological outcomes after cardiac arrest. This project is conducted in collaboration with the universities of Minnesota and Michigan and MCW.

Visit Dr. Riess' laboratory web site.