Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative


We reach across institutions and departments to bring together experts from Seattle Children’s, the University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, the Harborview Injury Prevention Research Center, the Seattle Sports Concussion Program and other top institutions. Our team includes:


Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH

Rivara Fred 220x180.jpgDr. Frederick Rivara leads the Collaborative. He is the Seattle Children’s Guild Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research and is vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics. He is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric injury research and his landmark studies – including one that showed helmets could prevent 85% of head injuries stemming from bike crashes – played a key role in dramatically increasing helmet and seatbelt use. He co-edited the 2014 Institute of Medicine report on sports-related concussion in youth and is editor-in-chief of JAMA Network Open.

Samuel Browd, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, FAAP

Samuel Browd concussionDr. Samuel R. Browd is professor of neurological surgery at the University of Washington and attending neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Browd is the director of the UW Medicine Sports Health and Safety Institute and medical director of the Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program. He also serves as Seattle Children’s director of hydrocephalus and surgical director of the Tone Management Program. Browd is adjunct professor of bioengineering and affiliate faculty of the Foster School of Business. He serves as an unaffiliated neurologic consultant to the NFL and as an independent neurologic consultant to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Browd completed a combined MD and PhD at the University of Florida studying neuroplasticity and learning, and his current research interests include concussion, hydrocephalus and biomedical engineering solutions in neurological surgery and sports safety. Browd has co-founded four venture-backed biomedical startups out of the UW, where he serves as chief medical officer. He serves as a UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow and is on the advisory board of CoMotion, the commercialization arm of the UW.

Browd teaches at the Foster School of Business and lectures internationally on biomedical innovation and commercialization. He was recognized as the University of Washington School of Medicine Inventor of the Year in 2016.

Sara Chrisman, MD, MPH

Sara Chrisman concussionDr. Sara Chrisman is a pediatrician, an adolescent medicine specialist and an epidemiologist, and her research is centered around concussion. She has published multiple articles on concussion that explore concussion reporting behavior, the association between depression and concussion and the effects of concussion legislation. Her current research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that result in concussive injury using the xPatch sensor and examining evidence for concussion treatment approaches. She is also the site principal investigator for a study jointly sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Department of Defense exploring concussion in varsity athletics.

David Coppel, PhD

David Coppel concussionDr. David Coppel is director of neuropsychological services and research at the University of Washington Sports Concussion Program, and a UW professor in the Departments of Neurological Surgery; Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Psychology. He works as a clinical psychologist, clinical neuropsychologist and sport psychologist. He provides consultation regarding sports concussion to high school, college and professional sports teams, including the Seattle Seahawks. He is also highly involved in evaluating sports concussion’s cognitive and emotional aspects, and in research on sports concussion recovery factors and the role of neurocognitive factors such as attention, concentration and focus in sports performance.

Coppel has spent the past 30 years specializing in clinical sport psychology and performance psychology, and has helped athletes, performers and coaches at the amateur, collegiate, Olympic and professional levels of competition. He has published papers on sport neuropsychology and sport psychology, covering topics including effects of coaching behaviors on athletes, performance enhancement techniques, relationship issues in athletes, psychological factors of exercise, the role of sports psychology in dealing with sport injury and recovery and the use of neuropsychological tests in sport concussion.

Beth Ebel, MD, MSc, MPH

Dr. Beth Ebel is a professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of epidemiology and health services at the University of Washington, and section head of safe and active transportation at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center. Her research interests include injury prevention, community interventions and health behaviors with emphasis on high-risk populations. She has been principal investigator in recent studies of concussion and driving risk; distracted driving interventions; and interventions to reduce health care disparities through better access to language services. Ebel received a master’s of science in development economics from Oxford University in 1989, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and the MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program in 1996 and a master’s in public health from the University of Washington in 2001.

Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, FACS

Richard Ellenbogen concussionDr. Richard G. Ellenbogen is co–executive director of Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program. He holds the Theodore S. Roberts Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurological Surgery, is professor and chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine and is an adjunct professor in the UW Departments of Radiology and Global Health. He is the co-chairman of the National Football League’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee. He was the organizer of the 2014 International Sports Concussion Research Consortium in New York City, and he was a co-author of the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport at the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport in Zurich in November 2012 and the 5th International Conference in Berlin in 2016. In his volunteer role with the NFL, he and his committee were responsible for recommending and new medical rule changes, concussion sideline protocols and research donations to TBI research at NIH, GE and around the world to make sports safer and healthier. He and his advocacy committee helped get 50 states to pass youth concussion laws and write and provide educational material to health care professionals from the CDC.

Seth Friedman, PhD

Friedman_Seth 220x180.jpgDr. Seth Friedman is a medical physicist at Seattle Children's Hospital. He runs the Radiology Clinical Research Imaging Core, a campus-wide resource under the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Friedman was previously at the University of Washington in a research associate professor capacity within the Department of Radiology. His 1997 PhD was one of the first studies to demonstrate that magnetic resonance spectroscopy could be used to evaluate unseen tissue injury in head trauma and that the degree of change was associated to neuropsychological deficits and ultimate outcome. 

Friedman’s recent work seeks to coordinate novel uses of imaging focused on a wide range of neurological and systemic disease conditions (e.g., growth hormone releasing hormone treatment with aging, mitochondrial disease, thalassemia, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy [FSHD], pyridoxine dependent epilepsy). 

Friedman’s current National Institutes of Health–funded work examines FSHD integrating MRI and blood/tissue-based measures.

Stanley Herring, MD

Stanley Herring concussionDr. Stanley Herring is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician who has been in practice over 35 years. He is a clinical professor in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine; Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine; and Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington. Herring holds the Zackery Lystedt Sports Concussion Endowed Professorship. He is a co-founder of the UW Medicine Sports Health and Safety Institute, where he serves as senior medical advisor, and he also serves as co-medical director of the UW Medicine Sports Concussion Program, a partnership of UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. He is medical director of sports, spine and orthopedic Health for UW Medicine.

Herring is one of the team physicians for the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners and acts as a consultant to the University of Washington Sports Medicine Program. His practice focuses on the diagnosis and management of neurological and musculoskeletal injuries, particularly focusing on spinal disorders in active people and athletes as well as sports-related concussions.

Herring has held many national leadership positions, including president of the North American Spine Society, member of the board of trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine and board member of the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is also a founding member of the Physiatric Association of Sports, Spine and Occupational Rehabilitation and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Herring is on the editorial boards of professional journals and has been an editor of nine textbooks, as well as contributor to 77 professional journal articles and 53 textbook chapters. He was a major contributor to the successful passage of the Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington state, and his continued work helped pass similar legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Herring is a frequent national and international speaker on a variety of physiatric and sports medicine topics.

Robert Hilt, MD

Hilt Robert 180x220.jpgDr. Robert Hilt is a professor of psychiatry in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and at Seattle Children’s. He is a child psychiatrist and a former primary care pediatrician.

Hilt is the program director for the Partnership Access Line, a child mental health consultation service for primary care providers in Wyoming and Washington. He is also program director for the Medicaid Medication Second Opinion Programs in Wyoming, Washington and Alaska, and the MDT Consult Service in Wyoming. He is co-chair of the Committee on Collaboration with Medical Professions with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a trustee with the Washington State Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and serves on the editorial boards for the journals Pediatric Annals and Psychiatric Annals.

Thomas Jinguji, MD

Thomas Jinguji Dr. Thomas Jinguji is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency and internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. His fellowship in primary care sports medicine was also completed through the University of Washington School of Medicine. His past research in concussion includes obtaining baseline values for concussion testing (SCAT-2) and the effect of state concussion laws on concussion reporting. His current concussion work includes a review of diffusion tensor imaging in concussion and collaboration in a study involving cognitive behavioral therapy in youth athletes with prolonged concussion. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Jinguji lives with his wife, two children and dog, Molly, in south King County. He enjoys trying to finish marathons and doing whatever his family tells him to do.

Ashleigh Johnson, DrPH

Ashleigh JohnsonDr. Ashleigh Johnson is a post-doctoral fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. She obtained her Doctor of Public Health degree in 2019 in Health Education/Health Promotion from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health in Austin. Her research interests include health education and health promotion among youth, particularly in regards to physical activity and concussions in sports. A primary aim of her work is to examine the correlates and predictors of physical activity from childhood into adolescence in order to address disparities and support healthy physical activity behavior during these important life stages.

Emily Kroshus, ScD, MPH

Emily Kroshus, ScD, MPHDr. Emily Kroshus is a research assistant professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Pediatrics and Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2014 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a concentration in health communication. Prior to coming to the University of Washington she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Sport Science Institute, where she worked on research and program development related to concussion and mental health in college sport. Her research interests include social and contextual determinants of health-related behaviors, including risk-taking and help-seeking, as well as intervention design and evaluation.

Christine Mac Donald, PhD

Christine Mac Donald concussionDr. Christine Mac Donald is an associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and the James and Gaye Pigott Endowed Chair at University of Washington School of Medicine. Her current research efforts include advanced neuroimaging evaluation of concussion in the U.S. military, severe brain injury in adult civilians and the distribution of brain injury in children with specific emphasis on comorbid mental health conditions. She also conducts high-resolution imaging for direct radiological–pathological correlations of radiographic markers of brain injury pathology via cadaveric imaging and in ex vivo human brain specimens. For the past decade she has led large-scale, multi-center, international clinical research studies in the United States, Italy, Germany and Afghanistan.

Cari McCarty, PhD

McCarty_ Cari 220x180.jpgDr. Cari McCarty is a research professor in the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics, in both the Division of General Pediatrics and the Division of Adolescent Medicine, and a clinical psychologist by training. She is also an adjunct research professor in the UW’s Department of Psychology and a member of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being. McCarty serves as the associate director for the University of Washington Leadership and Education in Adolescent Health Program.

McCarty’s research is devoted to understanding and promoting healthy behaviors among adolescents. Her mission is to improve the emotional and behavioral health of adolescents through enhanced scientific understanding, promoting social-emotional competencies and disseminating evidence-based treatments. In the past few years, she has taken a lead role in developing and testing a cognitive behavioral treatment for youth with persistent symptoms after concussion.

Jeffrey G. Ojemann, MD

Jeffrey Ojemann concussionDr. Jeffrey Ojemann is a pediatric neurosurgeon and professor and vice-chair for research in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington. He serves as division head of Neurosurgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital and holds the Richard G. Ellenbogen Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery. 

He received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis where he also trained in neurosurgery under Dr. Ralph Dacey and completed a pediatric fellowship under Dr. T.S. Park. 

His practice includes general pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric epilepsy surgery and adult epilepsy surgery. His research focuses on cortical signals recorded in epilepsy patients, with a focus on using these signals for neuroprosthetic control, and on magnetic resonance research applications in pediatric neurosurgery. He provides mentorship for clinical and research training including residents, fellows, graduate students and junior faculty (“K-awardees”). In addition to research in post-traumatic epilepsy, he uses novel imaging methods. A recent NIH-funded project used MR spectroscopy to find GABA neurotransmitter abnormalities in adolescents with concussion.

Celeste Quitiquit, MD

Celeste QuitiquitDr. Celeste Quitiquit is a board-certified pediatrician and sports medicine doctor. She clinically works in Seattle Children’s Federal Way seeing children and adolescents with any activity- or sports-related health issues and non-operative musculoskeletal conditions, and is an active clinical member of Seattle Children's Sports Concussion Program. She has collaborated on previous concussion research around concussion reporting behavior and the association of mental health and concussion. She has experience covering collegiate and high school teams and currently volunteers her time covering local high schools assisting with sideline coverage.

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, MD, MPH, PhD

Rowhani_Ali_2016Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar is an associate professor of epidemiology and adjunct associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington. He is the director of the Research Methods Core at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, and an affiliate investigator at the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. He contributes methodologically to a range of studies on childhood injuries including concussions. Rowhani-Rahbar serves on the editorial board of the journal Injury Prevention.

Monica Vavilala, MD

Monica Vavilala concussionDr. Monica Vavilala is director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center; a University of Washington professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pediatrics; and a UW adjunct professor of neurological surgery and radiology. Her research interests include acute care and pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI), TBI outcomes and the development and implementation of TBI guidelines.

Douglas Zatzick, MD

Douglas Zatzick concussionDr. Douglas Zatzick is a professor in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a member of the core research faculty at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center. His intervention studies target post-traumatic symptom reduction (i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder and depression) and the modification of high-risk behaviors that risk recurrent injury, such as alcohol and drug abuse/dependence.


Beth Bollinger, PhD

Beth Bollinger, PhDDr. Beth Bollinger is a research scientist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She provides oversight and mixed methodological expertise to various studies at Seattle Children’s evaluating ways to improve health outcomes for adolescents and families. She also serves as adjunct faculty at Seattle Pacific University and a consultant in qualitative and UX methods with PEDSnet. Prior to joining the Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative, Beth worked on various user-centered projects evaluating how to improve health messaging to high risk populations across Washington state. Beth received her PhD from the University of Washington in 2019. To stay up to date on her research and publications, you can learn more here.

Kim Garrett, MPH

Kim GarrettKim Garrett is a clinical research associate at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She supports several projects, including developing a web-based concussion education platform for college coaches and a project that aims to increase concussion reporting behaviors in youth football and soccer players. She also contributes to a research study exploring ways to make family weight management treatment available to more people using a peer-to-peer model. Prior to joining the Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative, she worked on several research projects at the University of Washington, examining school mental health processes and outcomes, and at Fred Hutch, with community health workers in the Yakima Valley. Her research interests include user-centered intervention development, theory-driven program evaluation and environmental and policy influences on physical activity, eating behaviors and health outcomes. She received her MPH from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and her BA in English from the University of Puget Sound.

Emily Holderness

Emily HoldernessEmily Holderness is a research assistant in the Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative. She works on the Four Corners Youth Concussion Registry to find and collect records of youth concussion patients to help future care for youth concussions. She also works on a longitudinal study working with a youth football league to see how players recover from concussions, physically and mentally. Currently an undergraduate at the University of Washington, Emily is working toward a BS in biology. She is interested in pursuing research and primary healthcare as a career.

Lyscha Marcynyszyn, PhD

Lyscha MarcynyszynDr. Lyscha Marcynyszyn is a research manager at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She provides study oversight for the Collaborative Care Study, a randomized controlled trial examining alternative concussion treatment approaches for youth with persistent symptoms. Prior to joining the Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative, she was a senior research scientist at Committee for Children and a research analyst at Casey Family Programs. Her research interests include program evaluation, risk in the context of development and translating results into policy and action. She has extensive experience conducting analyses to understand how child and family interventions work, for whom, and under what conditions. She received her PhD in developmental psychology from Cornell University and her BA in psychology from Whitman College.

Carolina Nieto-Ruiz, MA

Carolina Nieto-Ruiz, MACarolina Nieto-Ruiz is a bilingual (English-Spanish) qualitative researcher. She works as a clinical research coordinator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, where she collaborates on research projects that involve treatment for youth with persistent concussion symptoms. She has worked as a research assistant at the University of Washington, studying how Hispanic bilingual families solve their health information needs through intergenerational collaborative online searching and currently researches online health literacy skills of two colleges with diverse populations with the University of Washington, Bothell. Carolina is interested in research that involves health equity, actively addressing issues of bias and discrimination to be able to conduct research in a more inclusive way. She will be receiving her PhD in Communication at the University of Washington in 2021.

Jordan Sahlberg, MS, EP-C

Jordan Sahlberg 220x180.jpgJordan Sahlberg is a certified exercise physiologist and works as a clinical research coordinator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. He is currently active on a study that involves treatment for youth with persistent concussion symptoms. Jordan received his master’s in exercise physiology/biomechanics and his bachelor's in kinesiology.