Dr. O’Donnell received his undergraduate training at the University of Otago, New Zealand, graduating with First Class Honors in Physiology. After continuing his graduate training at Cambridge University and postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco, his first faculty appointment was at Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he rose from Instructor to Associate Professor, before joining the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM) at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. Dr. O’Donnell was promoted to tenured Professor of Medicine in 2009 and has been a very active leader and administrator in PACCM over the last decade. More recently, he was appointed Executive Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine.
Dr. O’Donnell has been R-funded by the NIH as a Principal Investigator since 1996, co-directs four translational T32 training grants at the University of Pittsburgh, is a past Chairman of the NIH Respiratory Integrative Biology and Translational Research (RIBT) study section, and completed terms as Associate Editor for the journals Obesity and Journal of Applied Physiology. Dr. O’Donnell’s research interests center around hypoxia, metabolism and cardiorespiratory physiology with a specific emphasis on the pathogenesis and sequelae of sleep apnea.