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Matthias Riess, MD, PhD

Matthias Riess, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology

Medical College of Wisconsin
Anesthesiology Research
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
Phone:  414-955-5745
Fax:  414-955-6507



Dr. Riess graduated from Medical School at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany, in 1997 where he received his Doctor of Medicine from the Department of Medicine with Magna Cum Laude for his thesis “Pre- and postjunctional effects of neuropeptide Y in human and rabbit isolated tissues.”  After a first residency in Anesthesiology at the Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine, Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster, Germany, from 1997 to 2000 he joined the Medical College of Wisconsin as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Anesthesiology in 2000.  In 2001, he was admitted to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and graduated from the PhD program in Physiology in 2004 with his thesis on “Altered mitochondrial respiration in cardiac anesthetic preconditioning.”

Dr. Riess’ research focuses on intracellular mechanisms of cardioprotection, especially the role of mitochondrial function as a trigger and effector of cardioprotection.  He has presented over 100 abstracts at national and international meetings, authored over 50 papers in peer-review journals and received numerous awards.

Following another residency in Anesthesiology at the Department of Anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2004 to 2008, Dr. Riess joined the MCW Faculty in summer 2008.  After becoming the first recipient of a Roizen Anesthesia Research Foundation New Investigator grant in 2009 he received a four year career development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to examine genetic mechanisms of cardioprotection.  Furthermore, he is the MCW subcontract-PI and co-investigator on a multi-disciplinary and -institutional NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award investigating novel reperfusion injury protection strategies during CPR after cardiac arrest, their basic science mechanisms, animal model outcomes, and application in humans.  Highly promising pilot data demonstrates the potential to profoundly improve neurological outcomes after cardiac arrest.  This project is done in collaboration with the Universities of Minnesota and Michigan.

As the departmental Director of Medical Student Education, Dr. Riess also oversees all of the more than 30 courses the department has to offer for MCW students in the area of clinical anesthesiology and anesthesiology research.

To contact Dr. Riess, please call 414-955-5733 or e-mail to

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Page Updated 03/18/2014