Kilbaugh Laboratory



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Our success in securing research funding allows us to always be looking for new lab members with the same drive and passion. You can search for positions at

The Kilbaugh Lab investigates metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetic dysfunction in in vitro and in vivo models of critical illness alongside exploring therapeutic approaches for organ failure.

The lab has expertise in neuromonitoring, clinical critical care, peripheral biomarkers, neuropathology, and mitochondrial mechanistic outcomes. It develops and performs advanced neurofunctional outcome metrics, and pharmaceutical development of lead compounds. By applying robust, reproducible large animal models, the lab team has developed clinically relevant models of critical illnesses to investigate mitochondrial mechanisms of disease, biomedical devices, novel clinical interventions, novel neuromonitoring, and novel mitochondria-directed neurotherapeutics.

The Kilbaugh Lab has led several studies investigating the role of mitochondrial bioenergetic dysfunction, working with large animal models of immature brain injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cardiac arrest. The lab developed novel methodology and helped to define the bioenergetics in the immature brain following brain injury, including leading a NIH-funded multicenter preclinical trial testing mitochondrial directed therapeutics for pediatric TBI, one of the largest preclinical trials working with large animal models.

The lab’s overarching goal is to develop an efficacy bridge between studies of animal models and human clinical trials by working with high-fidelity platforms. These include clinically relevant approaches to management as well as development of minimally/noninvasive approaches to diagnosis and measurement of pharmacodynamic efficacy of therapeutic trials.

Clinically, our research helps to improve pediatric survival and reduce neurological deficits post cardiac arrest and TBI injuries, in addition to growing the scope of knowledge related to mitochondrial disorder therapies.

The Kilbaugh Lab is strategically embedded within the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at CHOP, a multidisciplinary center led by Douglas Wallace, PhD, the world’s leading expert in mitochondrial genetics and functional response to disease states.

Project Highlights

The Kilbaugh Lab makes up the translational research component of the newly named Resuscitation Science Center, co-directed by Drs. Robert Sutton and Todd Kilbaugh.

  • Observing the effects of a novel drug treatment to increase mitochondrial content in a cardiac arrest pediatric injury model
  • Examining efficacy of mechanical CPR devices in translational pediatric models
  • Evaluating the effects varying CPR time periods prior to the initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) cannulation have on short-term neurological outcomes in a pediatric model of extracorporeal assisted CPR (ECPR)
  • Exploring the therapeutic efficacy of a novel prodrug treatment for primary mitochondrial disease to improve outcome and quality of life in rare genetic mitochondrial disorders with in vivo models
  • Developing and investigating the efficacy of a novel prodrug treatment to improve cellular respiration with in vitro and in vivo models of mitochondrial dysfunction resulting from exposure to chemical toxins.
Todd J. Kilbaugh

Todd J. Kilbaugh, MD

Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Todd Kilbaugh, MD, is an anesthesiologist and pediatric intensivist with the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, medical director of the ECMO Center, and director of the Resuscitation Science Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.