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 include the morphometric, immunohistochemical, and molecular study of teratomas derived from murine, non-human primate and human embryonic stem cells; a collaboration with Dr. Castro at the Magee Womens Research Institute. The study of these teratomas has sparked 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 and developing computational morphometric technology for applications in cell biology and medicine. To this end, our work has resulted in several recent journal publications that show promising results in the ability to discriminate difficult diagnostic challenges in surgical pathology and demonstrate refinement of segmentation and mathematical techniques used in these algorithms. He was a Co-Investigator on the Pennsylvania Department of Health Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement grant entitled "Automated Biomarker Identification for Cancer Detection and Prognosis"; a collaborative project with Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC, and Omnyx, LLC (2012-2104).

He also has an active collaboration with Dr. David Hackam, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, to investigate the role of Toll-receptor pathways in the pathogenesis and treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis and is a collaborator on Dr. Hackam's RO1 NIH grant — Modulation of TLR4 and TLR9 Signaling in NEC. He also has collaborations with Dr. Misty Good in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine to investigate additional pathogenetic mechanisms in necrotizing enterocolitis, Dr. Srinath of Pediatric Gastroenterology to study celiac disease, and Dr. John Eisses also of Pediatric Gastroenterology to study the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis in children.

His clinical and diagnostic research interests include pediatric otorhinolaryngologic pathology, the role of stem cells and neural stem cells in the development and propagation of pathological lesions of the head and neck in children, and the enteric nervous system.

Selected Publications

View Dr. Ozolek's publications on PubMed

  • 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].
  • 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].
  • 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.
  • 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].
  • 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).
  • 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].
  • Wang W, Slepčev 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.
  • 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.
  • 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].
  • 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.
  • 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].
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bhagavatula R, McCann MT, Fickus M, Castro CA, Ozolek JA, Kovacevic J. A vocabulary for the identification and delineation of teratoma tissue components in hematoxylin and eosin-stained samples. J Pathol Inform. 2014 Jun 30;5:19. doi: 10.4103/2153-3539.135606. eCollection 2014.
  • Gustavo Rohde, John Ozolek, Anil Parwani, Liron Pantanowitz. CMU bioimaging day 2014: Challenges and opportunities in digital pathology. J Pathol Inform 2014;5:32.
  • Eisses JF, Davis AW, Tosun AB, Dionise ZR, Chen C, Ozolek JA, Rohde GK, Husain SZ. A computer-based automated algorithm for assessing acinar cell loss after experimental pancreatitis. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 24;9(10):e110220. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110220. eCollection 2014.
  • Yilmaz S, Ozolek JA, Zammerilla LL, Fitz CR, Grunwaldt LJ, Crowley JJ. Neurofibromas with imaging characteristics resembling vascular anomalies. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Dec;203(6):W697-705. doi: 10.2214/AJR.13.12409.
  • Le T, Eisses JF, Lemon KL, Ozolek JA, Pociask DA, Orabi AI, Husain SZ. Intraductal infusion of taurocholate followed by distal common bile duct ligation leads to a severe necrotic model of pancreatitis in mice. Pancreas. 2014 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Buryk MA, Simons JP, Picarsic JL, Monaco SE, Ozolek JA, Joyce J, Gurtunca N, Nikiforov YE, Witchel SF. Can malignant thyroid nodules be distinguished from benign thyroid nodules in children and adolescents by clinical characteristics? A review of 89 pediatric patients with thyroid nodules. Thyroid. 2015 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25627462. [PubMed - as supplied by publisher].
  • Sodhi CP, Jia H, Yamaguchi Y, Lu P, Good M, Egan C, Ozolek J, Zhu X, Billiar TR, Hackam DJ. Intestinal epithelial TLR-4 activation is required for the development of acute lung injury after trauma/hemorrhagic shock via the release of hmgb1 from the gut. J Immunol. 2015 Apr 10. pii: 1402490. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Good M, Sodhi CP, Egan CE, Afrazi A, Jia H, Yamaguchi Y, Lu P, Branca MF, Ma C, Prindle T Jr, Mielo S, Pompa A, Hodzic Z, Ozolek JA, Hackam DJ. Breast milk protects against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis through inhibition of Toll-like receptor 4 in the intestinal epithelium via activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Mucosal Immunol. 2015 Apr 22. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.30. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Ozolek JA, Cohen DE, Kool M, Pfister SM, Korshunov A, Bukowinski AJ, Davis AW. Medulloepithelioma with peculiar clinical presentation, stem cell phenotype and aberrant DNA methylation profile. CNS Oncol. 2015 Jun 29:1-10. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Niehaus JZ, Good M, Jackson LE, Ozolek JA, Silverman GA, Luke CJ. Human SERPINB12 Is an Abundant Intracellular Serpin Expressed in Most Surface and Glandular Epithelia. J Histochem Cytochem. 2015 Jul 28. Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26220980.