Dana Douglas Cummings, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Director, Pediatric Stroke Program
  • Director, Pediatric Neurology Residency Curriculum
  • Associate Director for Clinical research, Division of Child Neurology

Administrative Assistant: Melissa White

As a pediatric neurology educator with a long-term commitment to global health,  Cummings worked with a non-governmental organization in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the former Soviet Union, where he had the opportunity to introduce modern concepts of clinical neuroscience and the role of multidisciplinary care across the lifespan in countries with extremely high mortality and disability-adjust life years burden related to neurologic disorders including stroke and neurodevelopmental disabilities. As a faculty member in pediatrics and the Pediatric Stroke Program Director at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh,  Cummings has set care standards and provided education to students, residents, fellows and faculty in evaluation and management of pediatric stroke. He served as site investigator for NIH funded Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke (TIPS) study (RO1 NS065818).

In 2018 He became a site investigator for the ongoing Vascular Effects of Infection in Pediatric Stroke Study (VIPS-II, R56NS06282). He continues to serve as the member of research advisory committee of the NINDS Stroke Trials Network Coordinating Center at UPSOM (NIH 127927). Based on special brain attack procedures including brain attack MRI protocols developed in collaboration with radiology and emergency medicine faculty for the TIPS study,  Cummings has been able to expedite multidisciplinary care leading to life-changing procedures including mechanical thrombectomy in arterial ischemic stroke. His involvement in the care of patients with pediatric brain attack and stroke has also allowed him to collaborate with and mentor other faculty and trainees in the development of case reports of clinical innovations and unusual presentations on pediatric brain attack. In 2020 He was appointed as associate director for clinical research in the Division of Child Neurology. In 2021, he was appointed to the editorial board of Pediatric Neurology(www.pedneuro.com). He was also appointed as a faculty facilitator for Pediatrics Writing Group, Dept of Pediatrics University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Cummings’ current research interests include utilization of advanced imaging methods to stroke time of onset to predict the risk of hemorrhagic transformation of arterial ischemic stroke. He also works on risk stratification for long-term hemorrhage in asymptomatic patients with intracranial cavernous malformations

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Neurology, 2000- Present
  • World Federation of Neurology, 2000-Present
  • International Child Neurology Association, 2014-Present
  • Internatiional Pediatric Stroke Organization, 2019-Present

Education & Training

  • BS, Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, 1988
  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania Institute of Neuroscience, 1996
  • MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1996
  • Residency in Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, 1996-1998
  • Residency in Pediatric Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1998-2001

Selected Publications

Cummings, D.D. Wilcox, K.S., and Dichter, M.A. Calcium-dependent paired-pulse facilitation of miniature EPSC frequency accompanies depression of EPSCs at hippocampal synapses in culture.  Journal of Neuroscience, 16(17):  5312-5323, 1996.

Cummings, D.D. Singer, H.S. Krieger, M. Miller, T.L. and Mahone, E.M. Neuropsychiatric Effects of Guanfacine in Children With Mild Tourette Syndrome: A Pilot Study.  Clinical Neuropharmacology 25(6) 325-332, 2002.

Bernard TJ, Rivkin MJ, Scholz K, deVeber G, Kirton A, Cox Gil J, Chan AK, Hovinga CA,  Ichord RN, Grotta JC, Jordan LC, Benedict S, Friedman NR, Dowling MM, Elbers J, Torres M, Sultan S, Cummings DD, Grabowski EF, McMillan HJ, Beslow LA, Amlie-Lefond C, on behalf of of the Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke Study.  Emergence of the Primary Pediatric Stroke Center: Impact of the Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke Trial. Stroke 45(7):2018-23, 2014.

Bansal LR, Belair J, Cummings D and and Zuccoli G, Late-Onset Radiation-Induced Vasculopathy and Stroke in a Child with Medulloblastoma. Journal of Child Neurology 30(6):800-802, 2015.

Weiner GM, Feroze Bse RA, Agarwal N, Pancykowski DM, Ares WJ, Kooshkabadi A, Cummings DD, Carson V, Aghaebrahim A, Jankowitz BT, Successful Manual Aspiration Thrombectomy in a Pediatric Patient. Pediatric Neurology 61:107-113, 2016.

Fidan E, Cummings DD, Manole, MD. A Case of Lenticulostriate Stroke due to Minor Closed Head Injury in a Two-Year-Old Infant: Role of Mineralizing Angiopathy. Pediatric Emergency Care.34(12):e233-e235, 2018.

Zuccoli, G, Fitz, C, Greene, S, Lindner, SA, Nardone, R, Khan, A, Rajan, D, and Cummings D. Imaging Review of Common and Rare Causes of Stroke in Children. Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 27(6):463-477, 2018.

Zuccoli, G, Nardone, R, Rajan, D, Khan, AS, and Cummings D. Non-aneurysmal Subarachnoid hemorrhage in Sickle Cell Disease: description of a Case and a Literature Review.  The Neurologist. 23(4): 122-127, 2018.

Cobb-Pitstick, K, Munjal, N, Cummings DD, Safier, R, and Zuccoli, G Time Course of Cerebral Perfusion Changes in Children with Migraine with Aura Mimicking Stroke. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 39(9):1751-1755, 2018.

Cobb-PItstick, Cummings D D, Zuccoli G. Prolonged hyperperfusion in a child with ATP1A2 defect-related hemiplegic migraine. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. In Press.

Academic and Research Interests

  • Pediatric Stroke
  • Atrerial Spin Labeling
  • Child Neurology
  • Child Development
  • Global Neurology
  • Brain Attack

Research Grants

R56NS06282 Vascular effects of Infection in Pediatric Stroke Study (VIPS-II) NINDS, 5% effort, 2018-Present, NINDS, NIH, 3000.00 per year.

Thrombolysis in Pediatric Stroke Extended Results (TIPSTERs), Site Investigator, 0% effort, 2018-Present, Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), 2900.00.

127927 Stroke Trials Network Regional Coordinating Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pediatric Stroke Expert, Advisory Committee; assesment of project feasibility, 5% effort, 2013-Present, NINDS, NIH, 5000.00 per year.