John A. Ozolek, MD
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Ozolek is a member of the Division of Pediatric Pathology.
Office Location:
Department of Pathology, B260
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15224
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-692-5641
Department Telephone: 412-692-5641
Fax: 412-692-6550


  • BS - 1985, Case Western Reserve University
  • MD - 1989, University of Pittsburgh

Awards and Honors

  • National Dean's List
  • Russell M. Lawall Prize in Biological Sciences (Awarded to graduating Case Institute of Technology student for outstanding undergraduate) performance in biological sciences
  • Health Professions Scholarship Program (Scholarship recipient from the United States Air Force)
  • Style and Grace Award (Awarded for exemplary professionalism at Keesler Medical Center)
  • Air Force Achievement Medal
  • Outstanding Junior Resident in Autopsy Pathology
  • Outstanding Web Case Publication in Anatomic Pathology
  • Chief Resident in Anatomic Pathology
  • Best Poster Presentation in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Pathology at the 94th Annual Meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology


  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Pediatric Pathology


Pediatric Pathology


  • United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology
  • Society for Pediatric Pathology

Clinical Expertise

Clinical interests include pathology of the head and neck in children including the pathogenesis of branchial cleft and other developmental abnormalities seen in the head and neck of children. Other clinical interests include neuropathology, Hirschsprung disease and other abnormalities of the enteric nervous system and liver pathology.

Research Interests

Dr. Ozolek's scientific interests center on image analysis for the detection of specific tissue types and classification of challenging diagnostic dilemmas in surgical pathology. He has extensive collaborations with Drs. Kovacevic and Rohde at the Center for Bioimage Informatics at Carnegie Mellon University to develop algorithms and computational approaches for automating tissue recognition, correlation of histology and high-resolution magnetic resonance images in teratomas derived from human and non-human primate stem cells, and to developing computational morphometric technology for applications in cell biology and medicine. He also has an active collaboration with Dr. David Hackam of Pediatric Surgery to investigate mediators of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. He is a funded participant as a pathology consultant for Dr. David Hackam's RO1 grant investigating regulation of toll receptors in necrotizing enterocolitis and Dr. Benjamin Shneider's RO1 grant on the molecular regulation of ileal/renal bile acid transporter.

Selected Publications

View Dr. Ozolek's publications on PubMed

  1. Houshmand G, Hosseinzadeh K, Ozolek J. Prenatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of a foregut duplication cyst of the tongue: Value of real-time MRI evaluation of the fetal swallowing mechanism. J Ultrasound Med. 2011;30:843-50.
  2. Cheng Chen, John A. Ozolek, Wei Wang, and Gustavo K. Rohde. A general system for automatic biomedical image segmentation using intensity neighborhoods. International Journal of Biomedical Imaging Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 606857, 12 pages doi:10.1155/2011/606857.
  3. W. Wang, Y. Mo, J. A. Ozolek, G. K. Rohde, Penalized Fisher discriminant analysis and its application to image-based morphometry. Pattern Recognition Letters, 32(15): 2128-2135, 2011.
  4. Wei Wang, Yilin Mo, John A. Ozolek, Gustavo Kunde Rohde. Characterizing morphology differences from image data using a modified fisher criterion. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2011).
  5. Cheng Chen, John Ozolek, Wei Wang, Gustavo Rohde. A pixel classification system for segmenting biomedical images using intensity neighborhoods and dimension reduction. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2011).
  6. M.L. Massar, R.Bhagavatula, J.A. Ozolek, C.A. Castro, M. Fickus, J. Kovacevic. A domain-knowledge inspired mathematical framework for the description and classification of H&E stained histopathology images. Proc SPIE. 2011 Oct 19;8138:81380U. Epub 2011 Sep 27.
  7. John A. Ozolek and Carlos A. Castro. Teratomas derived from embryonic stem cells as models for embryonic development, disease, and tumorigenesis. In Embryonic Stem Cells: Basic Biology to Bioengineering. 2011 Michael S. Kallos ed. pp 231-262. ISBN 978-953-307-278-4.
  8. W. Wang, J. A. Ozolek, D. Slepcev, A. B. Lee, C. Chen, G. K. Rohde, An optimal transportation approach for nuclear structure-based pathology, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 30, pp. 621-631, 2011.
  9. Chai RL, Ozolek JA, Branstetter BF, Mehta DK, Simons JP. Congenital choristomas of the oral cavity in children. Laryngoscope. 2011 Aug 8. doi: 10.1002/lary.21758. [Epub ahead of print].
  10. Monaco SE, Pantanowitz L, Khalbuss WE, Benkovich VA, Ozolek J, Nikiforova MN, Simons JP, Nikiforov YE. Cytomorphological and molecular genetic findings in pediatric thyroid fine-needle aspiration. Cancer Cytopathol. 2012 May 17. doi: 10.1002/cncy.21199. [Epub ahead of print].
  11. Afrazi A, Sodhi CP, Good M, Jia H, Siggers R, Yazji I, Ma C, Neal MD, Prindle T, Grant ZS, Branca MF, Ozolek J, Chang EB, Hackam DJ. Intracellular Heat Shock Protein-70 Negatively Regulates TLR4 Signaling in the Newborn Intestinal Epithelium. J Immunol. 2012 May 1;188(9):4543-57. Epub 2012 Mar 28.
  12. Michael T. McCann, Ramamurthy Bhagavatula, Matthew C. Fickus, John A. Ozolek, and Jelena Kovacevic. Automated colitis detection from endoscopic biopsies as a tissue screening tool in diagnostic pathology. 2012 19th IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP). Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICIP.2012.6467483 Page(s): 2809 - 2812.
  13. Easley CA 4th, Miki T, Castro CA, Ozolek JA, Minervini CF, Ben-Yehudah A, Schatten GP. Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells are Reprogrammed More Efficiently by Induced Pluripotency than Adult Fibroblasts. Cell Reprogram 2012 Jun;14(3):193-203.
  14. Ranganathan S, Zeevi A, Ozolek J, Venkat V, Soltys K, Mazariegos G, Sindhi R. Autoimmunity, alloimmunity, and chronic liver allograft injury. Pediatr Transplant. 2012 Jun 13. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2012.01757.x. [Epub ahead of print].
  15. Sodhi CP, Neal MD, Siggers R, Sho S, Ma C, Branca MF, Prindle T Jr, Russo AM, Afrazi A, Good M, Brower-Sinning R, Firek B, Morowitz MJ, Ozolek JA, Gittes GK, Billiar TR, Hackam DJ. Intestinal Epithelial Toll-like Receptor 4 Regulates Goblet Cell Development and Is Required for Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Mice. Gastroenterology. 2012 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print].
  16. Neal MD, Sodhi CP, Jia H, Dyer M, Egan C, Yazji I, Good M, Afrazi A, Marino R, Slagle D, Ma C, Branca MF, Prindle T, Grant Z, Ozolek J, Hackam DJ. Toll like receptor 4 is expressed on intestinal stem cells and regulates their proliferation and apoptosis via the p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis. J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print].
  17. Gheorghe G, Radu OM, Milanovich S, Hamilton RL, Jaffe R, Southern JF, Ozolek JA. Pathology of central nervous system post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders: lessons from pediatric autopsies. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2013 Jan 3. [Epub ahead of print].
  18. Neal MD, Sodhi CP, Dyer M, Craig BT, Good M, Jia H, Yazji I, Afrazi A, Richardson WM, Beer-Stolz D, Ma C, Prindle T, Grant Z, Branca MF, Ozolek J, Hackam DJ. A Critical Role for TLR4 Induction of Autophagy in the Regulation of Enterocyte Migration and the Pathogenesis of Necrotizing Enterocolitis. J Immunol. 2013 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print].
  19. J. F. Moreau, John A. Ozolek, P. Ling Lin, et al., "Chronic Granulomatous Disease Presenting as Aseptic Ascites in a 2-Year-Old Child," Case Reports in Immunology, vol. 2013, Article ID 927897, 5 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/927897.
  20. Chen C, Wang W, Ozolek JA, Rohde GK. A flexible and robust approach for segmenting cell nuclei from 2D microscopy images using supervised learning and template matching. Cytometry A. 2013 Apr 8. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.22280. [Epub ahead of print].
  21. Filipe Condessa, Jose Bioucas-Dias, Carlos A. Castro, John A. Ozolek, and Jelena Kovacevic. Classification with reject option using contextual information (Presented at the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging, April 2013 San Francisco).
  22. Yazji I, Sodhi CP, Lee EK, Good M, Egan CE, Afrazi A, Neal MD, Jia H, Lin J, Ma C, Branca MF, Prindle T, Richardson WM, Ozolek J, Billiar TR, Binion DG, Gladwin MT, Hackam DJ. Endothelial TLR4 activation impairs intestinal microcirculatory perfusion in necrotizing enterocolitis via eNOS-NO-nitrite signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 6. [Epub ahead of print].
  23. Wang W, Slep?ev D, Basu S, Ozolek JA, Rohde GK. A linear optimal transportation framework for quantifying and visualizing variations in sets of images. Int J Comput Vis. 2013 Jan 1;101(2):254-269.
  24. Neal MD, Jia H, Eyer B, Good M, Guerriero CJ, Sodhi CP, Afrazi A, Prindle T Jr, Ma C, Branca M, Ozolek J, Brodsky JL, Wipf P, Hackam DJ. Discovery and Validation of a New Class of Small Molecule Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Inhibitors. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 12;8(6):e65779. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065779. Print 2013.
  25. Afrazi A, Branca MF, Sodhi CP, Good M, Yamaguchi Y, Egan CE, Lu P, Jia H, Shaffiey S, Lin J, Ma C, Vincent G, Prindle T Jr, Weyandt S, Neal MD, Ozolek JA, Wiersch J, Tschurtschenthaler M, Shiota C, Gittes GK, Billiar TR, Mollen KP, Kaser A, Blumberg R, Hackam DJ. Toll Like Receptor 4-mediated Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Intestinal Crypts Induces Necrotizing Enterocolitis. J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print].
  26. McCann MT, Mixon DG, Fickus MC, Castro CA, Ozolek JA, Kovacevic J. Images as occlusions of textures: a framework for segmentation. IEEE Trans Image Process. 2014 May;23(5):2033-46. doi: 10.1109/TIP.2014.2307475.
  27. Good M, Sodhi CP, Ozolek JA, Buck RH, Goehring KC, Thomas DL, Vikram A, Bibby K, Morowitz MJ, Firek B, Lu P, Hackam DJ. Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 decreases the severity of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonatal mice and preterm piglets: evidence in mice for a role of TLR9. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2014 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print].
  28. Ozolek JA, Tosun AB, Wang W, Chen C, Kolouri S, Basu S, Huang H, Rohde GK. Accurate diagnosis of thyroid follicular lesions from nuclear morphology using supervised learning. Med Image Anal. 2014 Jul;18(5):772-80. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 Apr 21.
  29. Huang H, Tosun AB, Guo J, Chen C, Wang W, Ozolek JA, Rohde GK. Cancer diagnosis by nuclear morphometry using spatial information. Pattern Recognit Lett. 2014 Jun 1;42:115-121.