Faculty Profiles

Erik B. Kistler

Asst Clin Prof, Bioengineering




Anesthesiology & Critical Care physician,  with special research interests in inflammation and shock as it relates to microcirculation.

In addition to his full-time position as a clinician in the Intensive Care Unit and the operating theater, Dr. Kistler maintains a full-time laboratory presence and conducts clinical research in the field of critical care. His research interests are very translational, aimed at bringing bench-top therapies to the bedside and new hypotheses from the bedside back to the laboratory. Among his interests are inflammation and shock, particularly with relevance to the microcirculation, critical care outcomes optimization and goal-directed therapy. Much of Dr. Kistler’s laboratory work is in conjunction with Dr. Schmid-Schönbein, emphasizing a bioengineering analysis of the microcirculation in human disease. This effort has resulted in the discovery of a fundamental mechanism for cell dysfunction and inflammation due to “Auto-digestion”. The team proposed a previously unrecognized mechanism for Shock and Multi-organ Failure due to unchecked degrading protease activity. 

Capsule Bio:

Erik B. Kistler is Assistant Professor, Director of Intensive Care Research, in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Attending Anesthesiologist at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital, San Diego, California. Dr. Kistler received his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering at UCSD under the mentorship of Professor Geert W. Schmid-Schönbein, and was a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Kistler received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. His internship was in the Department of Surgery at Harbor-UCLA and residency was in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care at UCSD. He subsequently completed a Fellowship in Critical Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital, after which he accepted an appointment in the prestigious Professor ‘X’ series at UCSD, designated for high performing physician-scientists in both clinical and research endeavors. Dr. Kistler also has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Music, and worked in the aerospace industry prior to his medical education. Dr. Kistler is active in the Societies of Critical Care Medicine, Critical Care Anesthesiologists, Shock, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists, among other organizations. Dr. Kistler has received several awards for his research and has been independently funded since shortly after arriving on faculty.

Selected Publications:

Google Scholar Publications

Erik Kistler
Office Phone:
858-552-8585


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