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

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Ozolek's 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.

Keywords: image analysis, ENT pathology, stem cells, teratomas


  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Pediatric Pathology


Pediatric Pathology

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


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

Selected Publications

View Dr. Ozolek's publications on PubMed

  1. Ozolek JA, Bastacky SI, Barnes EL, Hunt JL. Immunophenotype of salivary gland oncocytomas: Comparison to conventional renal cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2005;115:1097-1100.
  2. Ozolek JA, Carrau R, Barnes EL, Hunt JL. Nasal chondromesenchymal hamartoma in older children and adults: series and immunohistochemical analysis. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2005 Nov;129(11):1444-50.
  3. Ozolek JA, Hunt JL. Tumor suppressor gene alteration in respiratory epithelial adenomatoid hamartoma (REAH): Comparison to sinonasal adenocarcinoma and inflamed sinonasal mucosa. Am J Surg Pathol 2006;12:1576-1580.
  4. Ozolek JA, Jane EP, Krowsoski L, Sammak PJ. Human embryonic stem cells (HSF-6) show greater proliferation and apoptoses when grown on glioblastoma cells than mouse embryonic fibroblasts at day 19 in culture: Comparison of proliferation, survival, and neural differentiation on two different feeder cell types. Stem Cells and Development 2007;16:403-412.
  5. Ozolek JA, Barnes EL, Hunt JL. Basal/myoepithelial cells in chronic sinusitis, respiratory epithelial adenomatoid hamartoma, inverted papilloma, and intestinal-type and non-intestinal type sinonasal adenocarcinoma; an immunohistochemical study. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007;131:530-537.
  6. Gribar SC, Sodhi CP, Richardson WM, Anand RJ, Gittes GK, Branca MF, Jakub A, Shi XH, Shah S, Ozolek JA, Hackam DJ. Reciprocal expression and signaling of TLR4 and TLR9 in the pathogenesis and treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis. J Immunol. 2009 Jan 1;182(1):636-46.
  7. Kastenbaum HA, McPherson EW, Murdoch GH, Ozolek JA. Janiceps conjoined twins with extreme asymmetry: Case report with complete autopsy and histopathological findings. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2009 Jan 21:1. [Epub ahead of print].
  8. Ozolek JA. Selective pathologies of the head and neck in children: a developmental perspective. Adv Anat Pathol. 2009 Sep;16(5):332-58.
  9. Ozolek JA, Jane EP, Esplen JE, Petrosko P, Wehn AK, Erb TM, Mucko SE, Cote LC, Sammak PJ. In vitro neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells using a low-density mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder protocol. Methods Mol Biol. 2010;584:71-95.
  10. W. Wang, J. A. Ozolek, G.K. Rohde, Detection and classification of thyroid follicular lesions based on nuclear structure from histopathology images. Cytometry 77A, pp. 485-494, 2010.
  11. R. Bhagavatula, M. C. Fickus, J. W. Kelly, C. Guo, J. A. Ozolek, C. A. Castro, and J. Kovačević, “Automatic identification and delineation of germ layer components in H&E stained images of teratomas derived from human and nonhuman primate embryonic stem cells,” Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Biomed. Imaging, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Apr. 2010, pp. 1041-1044.
  12. W. Wang, C. Chen, T. Peng, D. Slepcev, J. A. Ozolek, G. K. Rohde, A graph-based method for detecting characteristic phenotypes from biomedical images. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2010), pp. 129-132, 2010.
  13. G. K. Rohde, W. Wang, D. Slepcev, A. B. Lee, C. Chen, J. A. Ozolek, Detecting and classifying cancers from image data using optimal transportation, 26th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference, University of Maryland, 2010.
  14. Richardson WM, Sodhi CP, Russo A, Siggers RH, Afrazi A, Gribar SC, Neal MD, Dai S, Prindle T Jr, Branca M, Ma C, Ozolek J, Hackam DJ. Nucleotide-Binding Oligomerization Domain-2 Inhibits Toll-Like Receptor-4 Signaling in the Intestinal Epithelium. Gastroenterology. 2010 Sep;139(3):904-917.e6. Epub 2010 May 24.
  15. Castro CA, Ben-Yehudah A, Ozolek JA, Mills PH, Redinger CJ, Mich-Basso JD, McFarland DA, Oliver SL, Ahrens ET, Schatten G. Semiquantitative histopathology and 3D magnetic resonance microscopy as collaborative platforms for tissue identification and comparison within teratomas derived from pedigreed primate embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Res 2010;3:201-11.
  16. Mindikoglu AL, King D, Magder LS, Ozolek JA, Mazariegos GV, Shneider BL. Valproic Acid-Associated Acute Liver Failure in Children: Case Report and Analysis of Liver Transplantation Outcomes in the United States. J Pediatr. 2010 Dec 15.
  17. 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.
  18. 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).
  19. 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).
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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].
  24. M.L. Massar, R.Bhagavatula, J.A. Ozolek, C.A. Castro, M. Fickus, J. Kovačević. A domain-knowledge inspired mathematical framework for the description and classification of H&E stained histopathology images. Proceedings SPIE Wavelets & Sparsity XIV, San Diego, CA, August 2011.
  25. 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.