alvaro rojas-pena, MD

Associate Research Scientist, Surgery
Extracorporeal Life Support Laboratory Manager, Surgery


Dr. Rojas-Peña's research interests include cardiopulmonary pathophysiology, specifically cardiopulmonary mechanical support systems and extracorporeal life support systems that can be applied to cardiac arrest, extracorporeal support for multiple organ failure/end-stage diseases. His research expertise is in the development of large surgical models and bioengineering research projects to test novel extracorporeal support devices (pumps and oxygenators), bio-artificial organs, including the development of artificial lungs, artificial kidneys, artificial pancreas and the artificial placenta.

Dr. Rojas-Peña has worked to improve the techniques of extracorporeal support during cardiopulmonary resuscitation to improve survival outcomes minimizing neurological complications. In addition, he has worked in organ preconditioning and procurement with the aim of increasing the number of viable organs available for transplantation by using extracorporeal support to perfuse organs in-situ and/or ex-situ in animal models of donors after circulatory death (DCD). In addition, he has assisted in the transfer and use of large animal research models to numerous laboratories, U-M principal investigators, and private corporations that needed training in this area of research primarily to test devices prior to FDA studies or clinical use.