Prashant Mahajan, MD, MPH, MBA

Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
Vice- Chair, Emergency Medicine
Division Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
CS Mott Children's Hospital of Michigan


Prashant Mahajan, MD, MPH, MBA recently joined U-M and was named Vice-Chair of Emergency Medicine and Division Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Mahajan came from Wayne State University and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan where he held the position of Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, and Division Chief of Emergency Medicine in the Carman & Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics. He was also Medical Director for the Children’s Research Center of Michigan and Director for the Center for Quality and Innovation at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Nationally, Dr. Mahajan Chairs the Executive Committee overseeing the Emergency Medicine Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Dr. Mahajan received his MD at the University of Bombay, India and completed his EM residency and fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He received his MPH from the University of Michigan and his MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Mahajan is a founding member of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) and has an impressive track record of research publications, federal research funding, and mentorship of junior investigators.  His current NIH R01 grant focuses on the innovative use of RNA biosignatures in the management of febrile infants.   

His work has been focused on identifying novel diagnostic approaches to the investigation of bacterial and non-bacterial infections in the emergency setting. Fever is a common, yet, non-specific sign for infection, especially in the very young (≤ 60 days of age) infants and current methods of evaluation (clinical examination, routine laboratory tests, including cultures of relevant tissue fluids) are sub-optimal in their ability to identify pathogens by type and species. His research has focused on the use of host RNA expression profiles as a novel and alternate way to identify infection in febrile infants who present to the ED. Over the past 15 years, he has led a multidisciplinary team of investigators with expertise in emergency medicine, infectious diseases, immunology, genomics and bioinformatics to develop novel tools to change the paradigm in the evaluation of febrile illnesses. He has been serially funded by NIH to define RNA biosignatures, a paradigm shifting methodology that will have reliable performance characteristics to eventually replace cultures as the reference standard for diagnosis of infections. He is using similar bioinformatics tools to study sepsis and pneumonia in children.    

Clinical decision-making is a highly complex cognitive process which is susceptible to errors, in part due to the inherent uncertainty of the diagnostic process. The working environment of an ED is unique, dynamic, and especially challenging to make accurate and timely diagnoses. Decisions are made under substantial time constraints, and often with inadequate information involving illnesses that are of varying severity or have incompletely evolved to allow for diagnostic certainty. Dr. Mahajan’s research focuses on errors in decision making in the context of quality of care for children in the inpatient and outpatient setting and understanding the impact of systems and processes that preclude us from delivering high quality care.  He has been involved in developing evidence-based and data-driven solutions that leverages existing EMR technology to address important clinical issues such as pediatric sepsis and variation in the care of conditions such as asthma, epilepsy.

Pediatric trauma is one of the most important causes of pediatric death and morbidity. Dr. Mahajan has been involved in the development of parsimonious and clinically meaningful decision rules that can be applied at the patient bedside in the evaluation of a child with blunt head injury, traumatic abdominal injury and injury to the cervical spine.

 A substantial portion of his research has been involved in evaluating the impact of healthcare delivery in the pediatric emergency setting related to costs, program evaluation and studying the impact of specific health conditions.