Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of General Internal Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH

General Internal Medicine

Professor of Medicine

Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management

Associate Division Chief for Research, Division of General Medicine

Director, Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing

Follow on Twitter @walidgellad


Office: Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
University Drive (151C)
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
Education and Training
BA, Music, Swarthmore College, 1997
MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2002
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 2007
Internal Medicine Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2005
General Medicine Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 2007
Chief Medical Resident, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 2008
Research Interest
Dr. Gellad's research focuses on physician prescribing practices and on policy issues affecting access and adherence to medications. He was the recipient of a career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs and is now the principal investigator on grants from the VA, NIH, State of Pennsylvania, and private foundations for multiple studies of pharmaceutical policy and prescription use. With an R01 from NIDA, he currently leads a research team developing machine learning models predicting opioid related adverse events using healthcare and social services data. He has authored more than 180 research articles, editorials, and commentaries in leading medical and policy journals, and he is a regular commentator on pharmaceutical policy issues in major news outlets. He is a former member of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee on nonprescription drugs and FDA Drug Safety Oversight Board. In 2019, he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Dr. Gellad is board certified in internal medicine. He received a degree in Music from Swarthmore College and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, along with a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He sees primary care patients in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and attends on the inpatient general medical service.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Gellad WF, Donohue JM, Zhao X, Mor MK, Thorpe CT, Smith J, Good CB, Fine MJ, Morden NE. Brand-Name Prescription Drug Use Among Veterans Affairs and Medicare Part D Patients with Diabetes: A National Cohort Comparison. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013; 159(2).
Gellad WF, Donohue JM, Zhao X, Zhang Y, Banthin JS. The Financial Burden From Prescription Drugs Has Declined Recently For The Nonelderly, Although It’s Still High For Many. Health Affairs. 2012; 31(2).
Gellad WF, Flynn K, Alexander GC. Evaluation of Flibanserin: Science and Advocacy at the FDA. JAMA. 2015.
Carico, R, Zhao, X, Thorpe, CT, Thorpe, JM, Sileanu, FE, Cashy, JP, Hale, JA, Mor, MK, Radomski, TR, Hausmann, LRM, Donohue, JM, Suda, JK, Stroupe, K, Hanlon, JT, Good, CB, Fine, MJ, Gellad, WF. Receipt of Overlapping Opioid and Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Among Veterans Dually Enrolled in Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs: A Cross-sectional Study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2018; 169 (9): 593-601.
Gellad, WF, James, AE. Discounted Drugs for Needy Patients and Hospitals - Understanding the 340B Debate. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018; 378(6): 501-503.
Gellad WF, Ennis M, Kuza CC. A New Safe Harbor - Turning Drug Rebates into Discounts in Medicare Part D. New England Journal of Medicine. 2019; 380 (18): 1688-1690.
Wei-Hsuan Lo-Ciganic, James L. Huang, PhD, Hao H. Zhang, PhD, Jeremy C. Weiss, MD, PhD, Yonghui Wu, PhD, C. Kent Kwoh, MD, Julie M. Donohue, PhD, Gerald Cochran, PhD, Adam J. Gordon, M, Daniel C. Malone, PhD, Courtney C. Kuza, PhD, Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH. Evaluation of Machine-Learning Algorithms for Predicting Opioid Overdose Risk Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Opioid Prescriptions. JAMA Network Open. 2019.
Hernandez, I., San-Juan-Rodriguez, A., Good, C.B., Gellad, W.F. Changes in List Prices, Net Prices, and Discounts for Branded Drugs in the US, 2007-2018. JAMA. 2020; 323 (9): 854-862.
Essien, U.R., Dusetzina, S.B., Gellad, W.F. A Policy Prescription for Reducing Health Disparities-Achieving Pharmacoequity. JAMA. 2021.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: CDC PDMP OD2A Predictive Analytics Project
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: PA Department of Health / Center for Disease Control
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2022
Title: Implementing Prediction Models to Improve Opioid Risk
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Richard King Mellon Foundation
Grant Number: RES 9909
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2022
Title: Using Machine Learning to Predict Problematic Prescription Opioid Use and Opioid Overdose
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Agency for Drug Abuse
Grant Number: R01 DA044985
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2020
Title: Conservative Prescribing: Prescriber Profiling and Education Project
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2020
Title: Safety of Opioid Use Among Veterans Receiving Care in Multiple Health Systems
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: VA HSR&D
Grant Number: I01 IIR 14-297
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2018
Title: Developing and Evaluating a Machine-Learning Opioid Prediction & Risk-Stratification E-Platform (DEMONSTRATE)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Florida/ National Institute of Aging
Grant Number: R01
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2020
Title: Provider-Targeted Behavioral Interventions to Prevent Unsafe Opioid Prescribing for Acute Non-Cancer Pain in Primary Care
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2022
Title: Dental Prescribing of Antibiotics and Opioids: High Use in the Absence of Evidence
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Illinois
Grant Number: R01 HS025177
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2021
Title: Enhancing the Access and Quality of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in Rural Pennsylvania's Medicaid Primary Care Practices
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Grant Number: R18 HS025072
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2019
Notable Achievements
Summa cum laude, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2002
Member, FDA Advisory Committee on Nonprescription Drugs, 2009-2010, 2012-2013
Member, Editorial Board Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2016-2020
Excellence in Government Award, Federal Executive Board, 2016
Leadership Award, Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine, 2018
Outstanding Commitment to Excellence in Research, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2019
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2019
Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2021