The Headache Division in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurology provides clinical outpatient services at the UPMC Headache Center situated in the neighborhood of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to typical clinical assessments, clinicians provide emergency parenteral therapies, nerve blocks and trigger point injections and botulinum toxin administration to appropriate patients with severe or chronic headaches.
Since its inception, this division has provided headache education to University of Pittsburgh medical students and trainees in the UPMC neurology residency program. In 2012, a fellowship program in headache medicine was initially accredited by the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties with another 5-year reaccreditation status provided in 2019.
Robert G. Kaniecki, MD, is the Chief of the Headache Division as well as the Founder and Director of the UPMC Headache Center. In 2012 he was named Director of the Headache Fellowship program and in 2013, he was appointed Associate Director of the Neurology Residency program. Dr. Kaniecki resides on several committees, including Chairman of the Scientific Review Committee and the Executive and Neurology Residency Selection Committees. For over a decade he was a member of the editorial board and acted as co-editor of the Abstracts and Citations section for the journal Headache, ending in 2022. Since 2012 he has served as a contributor and Neurology section editor for the Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Programs (MKSAP) produced by the American College of Physicians. He acts as consultant for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been annually listed on Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Top Doctor” list for many years. To learn more about Dr. Kaniecki’s accomplishments and affiliations, please refer to his biographical page.
Laurie Knepper, MD, a senior member of the Headache Division, has provided valuable education to trainees for over a decade. In 2023, she assumed the responsibility of assisting with the neuroscience course at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM). Dr. Knepper was named Director of the Neurology Clerkship for UPSOM in 2016; she is also on the Pediatric Neurology Milestone Committee, the Promotions Committee, the Retention Committee, and the Medical Student Curriculum Committee. In addition to her duties on various committees, Dr. Knepper is an active member of the department’s Women in Neurology Core Group. She has been consecutively named “Best Doctor” by Pittsburgh Magazine for many years.
Barbara Vogler, MD, has practiced headache medicine with the department’s Headache Division for over a decade, with part-time clinical responsibilities.
Josif Stakic, MD, completed his headache fellowship at UPMC and subsequently earned a Masters in Education at the University of Pittsburgh in 2020. In 2023, he will assume the role of Director of the Headache Medicine Fellowship training program. Besides his role in education, Dr. Stakic is an active participant in the department’s telemedicine program.
Claire Yanta, MD, has been the assistant director of the Neurology Clerkship since 2016 and Co-director of the Neuroscience course at UPSOM since 2020. She serves on the Neurology Residency Selection Committee and the UPSOM Curriculum Committee.
Katie Cobb-Pitstick, MD, is a pediatric neurologist who completed the UPMC Headache Fellowship program in partnership with the Division of Child Neurology and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2021. Currently, she is expanding her clinical and educational roles for the Department of Neurology and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
All division faculty members have received board certification in Headache Medicine from the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties. In the future, the UPMC Headache Center plans to continue expanding their clinical and research services as well as educational programs for medical students, neurology residents and headache fellows.
Megan Trenz, DO, will complete her Neurology Residency at New York University and begin her Headache Fellowship training at UPMC in July 2023.