Robert A. Safier, MD

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Clinical Director, Division of Child Neurology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Robert Safier joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in September 2005 to serve in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology and Child Development Unit. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University in 1991. He received his MD degree from Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1999. He completed his training in Pediatrics at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case WesternReserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio in 2002. At the completion of his Pediatric Residency, he was awarded the resident Good Fellow Award, which is selected by junior residents for being an outstanding senior resident for dedication and service towards his colleagues. He completed his training in Child Neurology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2005. During his final year, he was awarded the Child Neurology Society Outstanding Junior Member Award, which is chosen by the Scientific Selection Committee as an outstanding junior member presenting an abstract. Safier had two abstracts presented during that annual meeting in Los Angeles, CA in 2005. Safier was appointed as Clinical Director, Division of Child Neurology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in July 2019.

Safier is highly skilled as an educator and is the Director of Medical Student Education for the Division of Child Neurology. As both Clinical Neurosciences Child Neurology Clerkship Director and as Child Neurology elective Course Director he is committed to teaching and mentoring medical students. On the graduate medical education level, Safier is involved in the clinical education of child neurology residents. As an active member on the Child Neurology Education Committee, he developed new Clinical Neurosciences Clerkship structures within the division. His mentorship directly influenced medical students to choose the field of child neurology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and nationally.

Safier is recognized as an excellent general clinical child neurologist and regularly receives high praises from his patients and their families. His main research interest is studying the clinical and radiological presentation of hemiplegic migraine of childhood to better understand the pathophysiology. Since July 2005, Safier serves one day a week as the staff neurologist at Polk State Home, a campus for adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Safier has been a leader in various clinical quality improvement projects within the Division of Neurology and at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, 1999-2006
  • American Medical Association, 1999-2002
  • Northern Ohio Pediatric Society, 1999-2002
  • American Academy of Neurology, 2002-Present
  • Child Neurology Society, 2003-Present
  • Pittsburgh Pediatric Society, 2006
  • Allegheny County Medical Society, 2006
  • Pennsylvania Medical Society, 2006

Education & Training

  • BA, Liberal Arts, Penn State University, 1991
  • Post-Baccalaureate, University of Pittsburgh, 1994
  • MD, Sackler School of Medicine Tel Aviv University, 1999
  • Residency in Pediatrics, MetroHealth Medical Center Case Western Reserve University, 1999-2002
  • Residency in Child Neurology, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2002-2005

Selected Publications

Ortolani EK, Safier R, Mitchell EB, Cleves-Bayon C. Non-Syndromic Craniosynostosis Mimicking Primary Pseudotumor Cerebri Syndrome. Headache 2019 Feb; 59(2): 264-265. PubMed PMID: 30474204

Cobb-Pitstick KM, Munjal N, Safier R, Cummings DD, Zuccoli G. Time Course of Cerebral Perfusion Changes in Children with Migraine with Aura Mimicking Stroke. Am j Neuroradiol 2018 Sep; 39(9):1751-1755. PubMed PMID: 29903927

Safier R, Cleves-Bayon C, Vaisleib I, Siddiqui A, Zuccoli G. Magnetic Resonance Angiography Evidence of Vasospasm in Children with Suspected Acute Hemiplegic Migraine. J Child Neurol June 2014 vol. 29 no. 6 789-79. PubMed PMID: 23594822

Sathanoori M, Hu J, Murthy V, Byrnes A, Vockley J, Safier R, Bedoyan J, Jalal SM, Huber H, Surti, U. Cryptic Duplication of 12q24.33 qter in a Child with Angelman Syndrome - Simultaneous Occurrence of Two Unrelated Cytogenetic Events. Am J Med Genet A. 2007 May 1; 143A (9):985-94. PubMed PMID: 17394213

Safier R, Alper G. A Child with Transient Neurological Deficits and Headache Associated with CSF Pleocytosis. J Child Neurol 2005 May; 20(5): 439-41. PubMed PMID: 15968929

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Academic and Research Interests

  • To study the clinical and radiological presentations of hemiplegic migraine of childhood to better understand the pathophysiology