Brian Suffoletto, MD, MS

  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Department Attending Physician

Dr. Suffoletto is a clinical investigator with over 40 peer-reviewed publications. His current focus is in using communication technology platforms (SMS, mobile apps) to improve patient support and health outcomes, specifically related to substance use disorders, injury prevention, mild traumatic brain injury, medication adherence and ED recidivism. He works with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists both within and outside the University of Pittsburgh to design and test mobile communication-based interventions. He is the Research Director of the Emergency Department of UPMC Mercy Hospital, the Director for Medical Student Research in Emergency Medicine and a practicing clinician at UPMC Mercy and Magee hospitals.

Education & Training

  • 2006-2008 University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine; Research Fellowship
  • 2003-2006 University of Pittsburgh Affiliated Residency in Emergency Medicine
  • 2007-2009 University of Pittsburgh Clinical Research Training Program
  • 1999-2003 Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine; Doctor of Medicine - MD
  • 1995-1998 Boston College; Biology Major - BS
  • 1994-1995 Clarkson University; Biochemical Engineering

Representative Publications

Suffoletto B, Callaway C, Kristan J, Kraemer K, Clark DB. Text-message-based drinking assessments and brief interventions for young adults discharged from the emergency department. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2012 Mar;36(3):552-60. PMID: 22168137.

Suffoletto B, Calabria J, Ross A,Callaway CW, Yealy DM. A mobile phone text-message program to measure oral antibiotic use and provide feedback on adherence in patients discharged from the Emergency Department. Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Aug;19(8):949-58. PMID: 22849787.

Suffoletto B, Akers A, McGinnis K, Calabria J, Wiesenfeld HC, Clark DB. A Sex Risk Reduction Text-Message Program for Young Adult Females Discharged from the Emergency Department: a pilot study. J Adolesc Health. 2013 Sep;53(3):387-93. PMID: 23707402.

Suffoletto B, Callaway CW, Kristan J, Monti P, Clark DB. Mobile phone text message intervention to reduce binge drinking among young adults: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2013 Apr 3;14(1):93. PMID: 23552023.

Suffoletto B, Wagner AK, Arenth PM, Calabria J, Kingsley E, Kristan J, Callaway CW. Mobile Phone Text Messaging to Assess Symptoms After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Provide Self-Care Support: A Pilot Study. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Jul-Aug;28(4):302-12. PMID: 23474882.

Patterson PD, Moore CG, Weaver MD, Buysse DJ, Suffoletto BP, Callaway CW, Yealy DM.Mobile phone text messaging intervention to improve alertness and reduce sleepiness and fatigue during shiftwork among emergency medicine clinicians: study protocol for the SleepTrackTXT pilot randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Jun 21;15:244. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-244. PMID: 24952387.

Suffoletto B, Kristan J, Callaway C, Kim KH, Chung T, Monti PM, Clark DB. A Text-Message Alcohol Intervention for Young Adult Emergency Department Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2014 Dec;64(6):664-72.e4. PMID: 25017822.

Research Interests

Dr. Suffoletto's research is focused on the following:

-Prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors.

-Longitudinal data analysis and quantitative methods for studying behavior change.

-Mechanisms of behavior change.

Research Support:

Dr. Suffoletto currently receives funding from the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

Research Grants

Title: Preventing Perceived Insufficient Milk: Development of a Text Message-Based Intervention

Project Period:  9/5/14 – 8/31/16

Sponsor: National Institute of Health – NINR (Jill Radtke Demirci, Ph.D. – PI)

Grant Number:  1K99NR015106


Title: Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for Community College Students (BASICCS)

Project Period:  5/15/15 – 4/30/17

Sponsor: University of Washington

               National Institute of Health – NIAAA (Christine Lee, Ph.D. – PI)

Grant Number:  1R34AA023047


Title: Improving Linkage to Outpatient Services for ED Patients Seeking Treatment for Opioid Abuse Using a Novel Text Message Program

Project Period:  11/1/14 – 9/31/16

Sponsor: Emergency Medicine Foundation

Grant Number:  N/A


Title: A Text-Message Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use among Young Adult ED Patients

Project Period:  7/1/14 – 6/30/19

Sponsor: National Institute of Health - NIAAA

Grant Number:  5K23AA023284


Title: Mechanisms of Change for an Effective Alcohol Text Message Intervention (MATCH)

Project Period: 9/20/16 - 5/31/21

Sponsor: National Institute of Health - NIAAA

Grant Number: 1R01AA023650-01A1