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Dr. Donald Reiff


Areas of Interest
trauma and surgical critical care, motor vehicle crash injury prevention, military trauma training


A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Reiff received his undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and completed his medical education at Georgetown University in 1996. Thereafter, he completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2002. He went on to complete a fellowship in Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care at UAB in 2003. He accepted a faculty position after the completion of his fellowship at the UAB Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, and he was promoted to the rank of professor in 2013. Dr. Reiff has served as the medical director of the Trauma/Burns ICU from 2005 through 2015 and as the Trauma Fellowship Program director from 2006 to 2014. He was the director of undergraduate surgical education for the UAB School of Medicine and was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. Dr. Reiff has served as the medical director for the Physician Assistant School since 2008. He was appointed as a quality medical officer in 2013 and thereafter promoted to assistant chief medical officer with a focus on management over the critical care operations for UAB Hospital.

Using acidic fibroblast factor, Dr. Reiff and his research team were able to induce stem cell differentiation into an osteoblastic lineage and enhance repair of non-union fractures in a rat model. Investigation of motor vehicle collision kinematics and resulting injury patterns to create safer vehicles and predict injuries in an effort to better streamline patients to the appropriate level of care.

Selected Publications

Kelpke SS, Reiff DA, Thompson JA. Acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling Inhibits Peroxynitrite-Induced Apoptosis in Osteoblasts and Osteoblast Precursors. J Bone and Mineral Res

Reiff DA, Kelpke SS, Thompson JA. Acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF-1) Attenuates the Cytotoxic Effects of Peroxynitrite in Primary Human Osteoblast Precursors. J Trauma; 50(3): 433-8, 2001 March.

Reiff DA, McGwin G, Rue LW. Splenic Injury in Side Impact Motor Vehicle Collisions – The Effect of Occupant Restraints. J Trauma. 2001 Aug; 51 (2): 340-5.

Moran SG, McGwin G, Metzger JS, Reiff DA, Windham ST, Rue LW. Injury rates among restrained drivers in motor vehicle collisions: the role of body habitus. J Trauma. 2002 June; 52(6):1116-20.

McGwin G, Reiff DA, Moran SG, Rue LW. Incidence and characteristics of motor vehicle collision-related blunt thoracic aortic injury according to age. J Trauma. 2002 May; 52(5):859-65.

Reiff DA, McGwin G, Windham ST, Rue LW. Identifying Injuries and Motor Vehicle Collision Characteristics That Together are Suggestive of Diaphragmatic Rupture. J Trauma. 2002 Dec; 53(6):1139-45.

Reiff DA, Davis RP, McGwin G, Melton S, Whitley D, Rue LW. Specific Occupant And Collision Characteristics Are Associated With Motor Vehicle Collision-Related Blunt Cerebrovascular Artery Injury. J Trauma. 2004 Jan; 56 (1): 64-8.

Reiff DA, Davis RP, MacLennan, Paul A. PhD; McGwin, Gerald Jr MS, PhD; Clements, Ronald MD; Rue, Loring W. III MD. The Association between Body Mass Index and Diaphragm Injury among Motor Vehicle Collision Occupants. J Trauma. 2004 Dec; 57(6): 1324-1328.

Reiff DA, Hipp G, McGwin G, Modjarrad K, MacLennan P, Rue LW: Body Mass Index Affects the Need for and the Duration of Mechanical Ventilation Following Thoracic Trauma. J Trauma. 2007 June; 62(6): 1432-1435

Reiff DA, Harkins CL, McGwin G, Cross JM, Rue LW: Risk Factors Associated with Adrenal Insufficiency in the Severely Injured Burn Patient: Journal of Burn Care and Research. 2007 Nov/Dec; 28(6): 854 – 858

Weinberg JA, Reiff DA George RL, Griffin RL, Stewart AH, Kerby JD, Melton SM, Rue LW III.: Closing the open abdomen: improved success with Wittmann Patch™ staged abdominal closure. J Trauma. 2008; 65: 345-348

Weinberg JA, McGwin G Jr, Griffin RL, Huynh VQ, Cherry SA III, Marques MB, Reiff DA, Kerby JD, Rue LW III. Age of transfused blood: an independent predictor of mortality despite universal leukoreduction. Journal of Trauma 2008;65:279-284

Reiff DA, McGwin G, Kerby JD, Rue LW: Intracranial Hemorrhage Is Independently Associated With The Formation of Deep Venous Thrombosis Among Trauma Patients. J Trauma. 2009;66:1436-40

Ramanath HN, Dooley AC, Weinberg JA, McGwin G, Maclennan PA, Griffin RL, Reiff DA: Obesity effects time to definitive closure among patients undergoing damage control laparotomy: J Trauma. 2009;66: 1683-88

Weinberg JA, Reiff DA, Griffin RL, Vandromme MJ, Melton SM, George RL, Kerby JD, Rue LW III. Management of Colon Wounds in the Setting of Damage Control Laparotomy: A cautionary Tale. J Trauma. 2009;67: 929-936

Weinberg JA, Reiff DA, McGwin G, Vandromme MJ, Marques MB, Melton SM, Kerby JD, Rue LW: Duration of Red Cell Storage Influences Mortality After Trauma. Journal of Trauma. 2010; 69(6): 1427-33

Griffin RL, McGwin G, Reiff DA: Association between side airbag deployment and risk of injury: a matched cohort study using CIREN and NASS/CDS. Journal of Trauma. 2012; 73(4): 914-9

Clark DE, Lowman JD, Griffin RL, Matthews HM, Reiff DA: Effectiveness of an Early Mobilization Protocol in a Trauma and Burns Intensive Care Unit: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Phys Therapy. 2012 Aug 9

Heslin MJ, Taylor B, Hawn MT, Davies JE, Morris MS, Reiff DA: A 100% departmental mortality review improves observed-to-expected mortality ratios and University HealthSystem Consortium rankings. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 218(4): 554-62

Reiff DA, Shoultz T, Griffin RL, Taylor B, Rue LW: Use of a Bundle Checklist Combined with Physician Confirmation Reduces Risk of Nosocomial Complications and Death in Trauma Patients Compared to Documented Checklist Use Alone. Annals of Surgery


Medical School
Georgetown University

University of Alabama at Birmingham
General Surgery

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Trauma & Surgical Critical Care


Campus Address
BDB 611

Patient Appointments and Questions: 205-975-7521
Academic Office: 205-975-9783