Marcelo Rocha, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology


  • Program Director, NIH StrokeNET Regional Coordinating Center, University of Pittsburgh
  • Medical Director, Neurovascular Ultrasound Laboratory, UPMC Stroke Institute
  • Pepper Scholar, Pittsburgh Older Americans Independence Center

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Rocha’s clinical and research interests focus on the management, diagnosis and prevention of acute stroke. The goal of his research is to identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of individual tolerance to different stroke sub-types and aging. These findings will be used to identify targets for novel therapies to improve patient outcomes after stroke.

Education & Training

  • Resident, Brigham and Women’s / Massachusetts General Hospital, Neurology
  • Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital, Internal Medicine
  • MD, PhD, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Medicine / Neuroscience

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests 

  • Clinical: Acute stroke diagnostics and management, cerebrovascular hemodynamics, neurosonology
  • Research: Stroke pathophysiology, precision medicine biomarkers, neuroprotection
  • Education: Clinical and translational research training

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • American Board of Vascular Neurology

Professional Organization Membership

  • American Academy of Neurology 
  • American Stroke Association/AHA
  • European Stroke Organization

Honors & Awards

  • UPP Academic Foundation Research Award
  • ANA Translational and Clinical Research Course Scholarship for Clinician-Scientists
  • Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society
  • Neuroscience Scholars Program, Society for Neuroscience

Selected Recent Publications

Shi L*, Rocha M*, Leak RK*, Zhao J, Bhatia TN, Mu H, Wei Z, Yu F, Weiner SL, Ma F, Jovin TG, Chen J. A new era for stroke therapy: Integrating neurovascular protection with optimal reperfusion. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2018 Dec;38(12):2073-2091. doi: 10.1177/0271678X18798162. Epub 2018 Sep 7. PMID: 30191760; PMCID: PMC6282224. *Contributed equally to the work.

Rocha M, Desai SM, Jadhav AP, Jovin TG. Prevalence and Temporal Distribution of Fast and Slow Progressors of Infarct Growth in Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke. Stroke. 2019 Aug;50(8):2238-2240. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.024035. Epub 2019 Jun 17. PMID: 31203787.

Rocha M, Desai S, Son J, Tonetti DA, Jovin T, Jadhav AP. Clinical characteristics of fast and slow progressors of infarct growth in anterior circulation large vessel occlusion stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Jun 17;41(7):271678X211015068. doi: 10.1177/0271678X211015068. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34139885; PMCID: PMC8221763.

Shi L, Rocha M, Zhang W, Jiang M, Li S, Ye Q, Hassan SH, Liu L, Adair MN, Xu J, Luo J, Hu X, Wechsler LR, Chen J, Shi Y. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of microglia reveals impaired responses in aged mice after cerebral ischemia. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 Dec;40(1_suppl):S49-S66. doi: 10.1177/0271678X20925655. Epub 2020 May 21. PMID: 32438860; PMCID: PMC7687039.

Han W, Song Y, Rocha M, Shi Y. Ischemic brain edema: Emerging cellular mechanisms and therapeutic approaches. Neurobiol Dis. 2023 Mar;178:106029. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2023.106029. Epub 2023 Feb 2. PMID: 36736599.