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Johns Hopkins University
5801 Smith Avenue
Davis Building · Suite 3220
Baltimore, MD 21209
Phone: 410.735.6450
Fax: 410.735.6440
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Dr. Gabor Kelen

Gabor D. Kelen, M.D., FACEP, FAAEM, FRCP(C)

  • Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Director, Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
  • Director, Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response

Dr. Kelen joined the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University Department of Emergency Medicine in 1984 as Director of Research and the Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program.  Over the years, Dr. Kelen developed novel methods to study HIV and other blood borne pathogens.  His research in this area helped define the extent of the HIV epidemic and led to the adoption of universal precautions. 

In 1993, he became the first professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Kelen was appointed the Director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) in 2002, an enterprise-wide entity created to oversee the Institutions' endeavors in preparing for, and responding to, a high impact disaster, particularly from potential terrorist action.  In November 2005, Dr. Kelen and his team were awarded a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to lead a consortium studying how the nation can best prepare for and respond to potential large-scale incidents and disasters.  This fifth Homeland Security Center of Excellence, formally titled the Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER), studies deterrence, prevention, preparedness and response, including issues such as risk assessment, decision-making, infrastructure integrity, surge capacity and sensor networks.

Dr. Kelen has served in numerous senior administrative positions.  Currently, he is the Chair of the Medical Board of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins Medicine (ex officio) and the Past President of the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Kelen has more than 100 publications, and has served as a senior editor of the pre-eminent text in Emergency Medicine.  His research has been recognized through numerous awards including the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Academic Hal Jayne Academic Excellence Award and Leadership Award, the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Outstanding Contribution to Research Award, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation Center of Excellence Award.  In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Kelen was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Education and Professional Preparation

  • B.Sc., Experimental Psychology, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), 1974
  • M.D., University of Toronto, 1979
  • Residency, University of Toronto, 1979-1982
  • Emergency Medicine Residency, Johns Hopkins University 1982-1984
  • Board Certification, American Board of Emergency Medicine (1985-)

Appointments and Professional Experience

  • 1984    Director of Research and Residency Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, JHU
  • 1988    Board of Directors, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
  • 1989     Editorial Board, American Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • 1993    Professor and Chair, Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
  • 1993    Emergency Physician-in-Chief, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, JHH
  • 1997     Joint Appointment, Department of Health Policy and Management, JHU
  • 1998     Founding Creator, Center for International Emergency Disaster Relief Studies, JHU
  • 2002    Director, Johns Hopkins, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR)
  • 2002     Vice Chair, Medical Board, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • 2003     Editorial Board, Bioterrorism and Biosecurity
  • 2004     Bioterrorism Study Section, AHRQ
  • 2004    President, Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine
  • 2007    Editorial Board, Journal of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness

Research Interests

  • Emerging Infections
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Health Services

Selected Publications 

  • Kelen GD, Fritz S, Qaqish B, et al.  Unrecognized human immunodeficiency virus infection in emergency department patients.  N Engl J Med. 318(25):1645-50, 1988
  • Kelen GD, DiGiovanna T, Bisson L, et al. Human immunodeficiency virus infection in emergency department patients.  Epidemiology, clinical presentations, and risk to health care workers:  The Johns Hopkins experience. JAMA. 262(4):516-22, 1989
  • Noji EK, Kelen GD, Armenian HK, Oganessian A, Jones NP, Sivertson KT.  The 1988 earthquake in Soviet Armenia:  A case study.  Ann Emerg Med 19(8):891-97, 1990
  • Kelen GD, Brown CG.  The future of emergency medicine research.  In The Role of Emergency Medicine in the Future of American Medical Care.  Proceeding a Conference.  Josiah Macy, Jr., Foundation, 1995
  • Kelen GD.  Safety precautions for the health care worker:  Special considerations for emergency personnel.  In DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA (Eds): AIDS:  Etiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention (2nd ed).  Lippincott-Raven, Philadelphia, 1997
  • Ma MH, MacKenzie EJ, Alcorta R, Kelen GD.  Compliance with prehospital triage protocols for major trauma patients.  J Trauma 46(1):168-75, 1999
  • Rothman RE, Fein S, Quinn TC, Kelen GD.  Rapid diagnosis of bacteremia using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the emergency department (ED).  Acad Emerg Med 6(5):375, 1999
  • Scheulen JJ, Li G, Kelen GD.  Impact of ambulance diversion policies in urban, suburban and  rural areas of Central Maryland.  Acad Emerg Med 8(1):36-40, 2001
  • Yang S, Lin S, Kelen GD, Rothman RE.  Development of a rapid detection assay for bacterial identification and speciation.  Acad Emerg Med 8(5):494, 2001
  • Kelen GD, Scheulen JJ, Hill PM.  Effect of an emergency department (ED) managed acute care unit on ED overcrowding and emergency medical services diversion.  Acad Emerg Med 8(11):1095-100, 2001
  • Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS (Eds.) Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide (6th ed) (2043 pp).  McGraw-Hill, New York, 2004
  • Noji EK, Kelen GD.  Disaster medical services.  In Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS (Eds):  Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide (6th ed).  McGraw-Hill, NY,2004
  • Vogel RA, Latimer CK, Kohri K, Beilenson P, Kelen GD.  Improving regional collaboration for integrated emergency response: Using technology to enhance tabletop exercises.    Conference of the American Public Health Association, Washington, DC, November 2004
  • Kelen, GD and the CEPAR Research Group.  Reverse Triage:  Criteria for Immediate Inpatient Disposition for Creation of Surge Capacity.  World Congress of Disaster Medicine, Edinburgh, Scotland, May, 2005
  • Hsu EB, Thomas TL, Bass EB, Whyne D, Kelen GD, Green GB.  Healthcare worker competencies for disaster training.  BMC Medical Education 6(19), 2006
  • Hsu EB, Casani JA, Romanosky A, Millin MG, Singleton CM, Donohue J, Feroli ER, Rubin M, Subbarao I, Whyne DM, Snodgrass TD, Kelen GD.  Are regional hospital pharmacies prepared for public health emergencies?  Biosecurity and bioterrorism 4(3):237-43, 2006
  • Koenig K, Kelen GD.  Executive summary: The science of surge conference.  Acad Emerg Med 13(11):1087-88, 2006
  • Kelen GD, McCarthy ML.  The science of surge.  (Lead Article) Acad Emerg Med 13(11):1089-94, 2006
  • McCarthy ML, Aronsky D, Kelen GD.  The measurement of daily surge and its relevance to disaster preparedness.  Acad Emerg Med 13(11):1138-41, 2006
  • Rothman RE, Hsu EB, Kahn CA, Kelen GD.  Research priorities for surge capacity.  Acad Emerg Med 13(11):1160-68, 2006
  • Kelen GD, Kraus CK, McCarthy ML, Bass E, Hsu EB, Li G, Scheulen JJ, Shahan JB, Brill JD, Green GB.  Reverse triage: Inpatient disposition classification for the creation of hospital surge capacity.  Lancet 368:1984-90, 2006
  • Kelen GD. Emergency Department Crowding as an Ethical Issue (Editorial). Acad Emerg Med 14(8):751-754, 2007

Research Summary

  • >100 papers published on the early and rapid detection of emerging infections
  • “Discharge Criteria for Creation of Hospital Surge Capacity”.  AHRQ (U01 HS14353-01): $1,000,000; ROLE: Principal Investigator
  • “Evaluation of Bioterrorism Training for Clinicians”.  AHRQ (U01 HS014337-01): $1,000,000; ROLE: Co-Investigator Several HRSA Preparedness grants (>$1,000,000)
  • “National Center for the Study of High Consequence Event Preparedness and Response”. DHS (N00014-06-1-0991): $15,000,000; ROLE: Principal Investigator
    $1,000,000; ROLE: Co-Investigator Several HRSA Preparedness grants (>$1,000,000)
  • Two WMD-related patents: 1) Novel Assay for Contamination-Free PCR System for Detection of Bacteremia  (DM-3669); 2) A Real-Time PCR Assay Using the 16S rRNA: A Multiprobe System which permits Quantitation and Speciation of Bacterial Pathogens (DM-3772)

Awards and Honors (Selected)

  • 1988        Career Development Award,  ACEP/Emergency Medicine Foundation
  • 1988-90  Clinician Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins University
  • 1992       Academic Excellence Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
  • 1993        Outstanding Contribution to Research Award, ACEP
  • 2005        Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
  • 2007        Leadership Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine