Department of Surgery

Juan C. Puyana, MD

  • Professor of Surgery, Critical Care Medicine, and Clinical Translational Science
  • Director for Global Health-Surgery, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Puyana is a trauma/acute care surgeon; a Global Health educator, specifically in the areas of trauma, injury, and emergency surgery; an international mentor; and a clinical investigator. As a Global Health trauma surgeon, he has worked in underserved emergency rooms and low resource public hospitals in numerous Latin American cities. This experience has allowed him to witness the harsh realities of providing care in areas of high violence and challenging political and economic conditions and gain a wealth of knowledge of the barriers and challenges to be overcome to ensure effective and long-term educational endeavors in low and middle-income countries fundamental to reducing injury-related mortality worldwide. Working through the Pan-American Trauma Society, he was instrumental in creating and sustaining fruitful academic exchanges among many countries in Latin America. He designed several trauma-training courses and developed a handbook and course on ultrasound applications for emergency care and trauma management, as well as a course on disaster response. He has been the principal investigator (PI) of five Global Health research and training grant programs on capacity building, medical informatics, and eHealth. These grants have supported short- and long-term educational training programs for health professionals from several Latin American countries. Dr. Puyana has mentored over 20 students from Latin America who have been engaged in a variety of training programs at the University of Pittsburgh, including short term research and trauma systems training, as well as Master’s and PhD degree programs in Public Health and Clinical Translational Sciences. Dr. Puyana is an expert in developing international capacity-building programs in the fields of trauma, acute care surgery, critical care medicine and global surgery. He has established fruitful and reciprocal mentoring collaborations in clinical areas and research educational endeavors with several universities and trauma centers from Latin America and more recently, Kenya. In 2017, Dr. Puyana was appointed to the Global Health Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and in such capacity, co-authored the publication “Global Health and the Future Role of the United States,” the most recent NAS report on Global Health. He is a member of the Definitive Surgical Trauma Care (DSTC™) teaching faculty in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, and Greece.

Education & Training

  • MD, Javeriana University, Bogota, Colombia
  • General Surgery Residency, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, School of Medicine, SUNY
  • Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine

Representative Publications

Dr. Puyana's publications can be reviewed through PubMed.

Research Grants


  • PI: NIH NHLBI: BLOODSAFE – Pathways of Innovation in Blood Transfusion Systems in Kenya (PITS Kenya). Grant Number 1UG3HL151596-01

  • PI: NIH Fogarty International Center, Global Noncommunicable Diseases and Injury Across the Lifespan Exploratory Research: Injury Support Initiative for Guatemala Trauma (INSIGHT) grant # R21 TW011151-01, 2018-2020


  • PI: NIH Fogarty International Center, Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative, grant# 1R25TW009714-01, 2014 - 2017
  • PI: NIH Fogarty International Center: Capacity Building for Decompressive Craniotomy in Colombia, grant# R21 TW009332-01A1, 2012 -2014
  • PI: NIH Fogarty International Center Informatics in Global Health, grant# D43 TW008443-01: Enhancing Research Informatics Capacity for Health Information in Colombia (ENRICH), 2009 – 2014
  • PI: NIH Fogarty International Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Training Program, grant# D43 TW008443-03: Trauma and Injury Excellence in Education on Research (TrainEER Program), 2006 - 2011
  • PI: Metabolic & Inflammatory Systems in Irreversible Shock, NHLBI grant# R01 HL076157-01, 2004 - 2008
  • Co-investigator: Clinical Centers for the Clinical Network for the Treatment of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, NHLBI grant# N01-HR-15162, 2003-2005

Faculty by divisions