Photo of Matthias Johannes Merkel, M.D., Ph.D.

Matthias Johannes Merkel M.D., Ph.D.

    • Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine School of Medicine

Dr. Matthias Merkel is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. He is the Chief Medical Capacity Officer for OHSU Mission Control and Medical Director of Adult Critical Care.

Dr. Merkel joined the OHSU faculty in April 2004. His clinical and research interests focus on patient safety and quality, emphasizing the importance of a systematic team approach and standardization of our care models in the perioperative period and in critical care. He has completed special training in LEAN methodology, mentoring, and leadership.

Prior to assuming his current leadership roles, he studied mechanisms of induced cardio protection and related gender differences in the department’s translational laboratories. Dr. Merkel earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, where he then pursued advanced training in anesthesiology and critical care medicine. During this time, he conducted clinical research and investigated the use of inhaled vasodilators in acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute right heart failure. He also served as an emergency physician in the German emergency medicine system, providing ground and air rescue.

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  • M.D., Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich Germany 1997
  • Ph.D., Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich Germany 1999
  • Residency:

    • Anesthesiology at Clinic for Anesthesiology & Intensive Care Medicine, LMU Munich, Germany
  • Fellowship:

    • Anesthesiology Critical Care at Clinic for Anesthesiology & Intensive Care Medicine, LMU Munich, Germany

Honors and awards

  • OHSU Golden Rose Award May 2016
  • Professional Staff Chair's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Development of Interdisciplinary Teams June 30, 2014

Memberships and associations

  • Association of University Anesthesiologists AUA
  • Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologist SOCCA
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists ASA
  • International Anesthesia Research Society IARS
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine SCCM
  • Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists OSA


  • "Postcardiac arrest temperature management" Current Opinion in Critical Care  2014
  • "Aerosol production and aerosol droplet size distribution during mechanical ventilation (IPPV) with a new ultrasonic nebulizer." European Journal of Medical Research April 18 1996
  • "Focused Echocardiography during Glucagon Administration to Diagnose Beta-Blocker-Induced Cardiomyopathy" Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia October 1 2015
  • "Sex differences in the mechanism of Met5-enkephalin-induced cardioprotection" American Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology January 2008
  • "Critical care basic ultrasound learning goals for American anesthesiology critical care trainees" Anesthesia and Analgesia May 25 2015
  • "Pulmonale hypertonie - Wann und wie therapieren?" Journal fur Anasthesie und Intensivbehandlung  2003
  • "Soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibition and gene deletion are protective against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in vivo" American Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology November 2008
  • "Ischämische komplikationen in der neurochirurgie" Der Anaesthesist August 2008
  • "The effect of inhaled nitric oxide and inhaled iloprost on hypoxaemia in a patient with pulmonary hypertension after pulmonary thrombarterectomy" Anaesthesia December 2006
  • "Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) for the treatment of early allograft failure after lung transplantation" Intensive Care Medicine  1998
  • "Inhaled prostacyclin (PGI2) versus inhaled nitric oxide in adult respiratory distress syndrome" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine  1996
  • "Response to inhaled nitric oxide (NO) is not associated with changes of plasma cGMP levels in patients with acute lung injury." European Journal of Medical Research November 22 1999
  • "Therapeutic Hypothermia After Perioperative Cardiac Arrest in Cardiac Surgical Patients" ICU Director  2012
  • "The Role of Echocardiography in Hemodynamic Assessment of Septic Shock" Critical Care Clinics April 2010
  • "Accidental, unintentional reprogramming of a temporary external pacemaker leading to R-on-T and cardiac arrest" Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia October 2013
  • "Estradiol abolishes reduction in cell death by the opioid agonist Met 5-enkephalin after oxygen glucose deprivation in isolated cardiomyocytes from both sexes" American Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology July 2008
  • "Dexy's midnight spinal"  September 15 2015
  • "Advanced extracorporeal therapy in trauma" Current Opinion in Critical Care November 13 2016
  • "A multidisciplinary initiative to standardize intensive care to acute care transitions" International Journal for Quality in Health Care  2016
  • "Process Improvement Initiative for the Perioperative Management of Patients With a Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Device" Anesthesia and Analgesia March 17 2017
  • "Strukturierte Patientenübergabe in der perioperativen Medizin" Der Anaesthesist June 1 2017
  • "Erratum to" Der Anaesthesist August 1 2017
  • "A Structured Transfer of Care Process Reduces Perioperative Complications in Cardiac Surgery Patients" Anesthesia and Analgesia August 1 2017
  • "Ultrasound-guided cannulation of the subclavian vein" New England Journal of Medicine July 5 2018
  • "Elevated Syndecan-1 after Trauma and Risk of Sepsis" Journal of the American College of Surgeons December 1 2018
  • "Older Blood Is Associated With Increased Mortality and Adverse Events in Massively Transfused Trauma Patients" Annals of Emergency Medicine January 1 2018
  • "Cohort Study of Albumin versus Lactated Ringer's for Postoperative Cardiac Surgery Fluid Resuscitation in the Intensive Care Unit" Pharmacotherapy December 1 2018
  • "Electromagnetic Interference with Protocolized Electrosurgery Dispersive Electrode Positioning in Patients with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators" Anesthesiology April 1 2019
  • "Critical care transthoracic echocardiography" Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports January 1 2014
  • "Inhaled Iloprost Versus Epoprostenol in Heart Transplant Recipients" Respiratory Care July 1 2019

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