Faculty Profiles

Craig Coopersmith

Craig M. Coopersmith, MD

Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Interim Director, Emory Critical Care Center, Emory University

Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM

Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, Department of Surgery, Emory University SOM

Director, Surgical/Transplant Intensive Care Unit, Emory University Hospital

Telephone: 404.727.4273

Email: cmcoop3@emory.edu

Certification General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2009


Dr. Coopersmith is an eminent academic surgeon in the area of surgical critical care. As interim director of the Emory Critical Care Center (he served as associate director of the ECCC from 2009-2018), he is integral to a service that aims to deliver the highest quality, value, and access to critical care for patients in the southeastern USA and leads the nation in designing, testing, and implementing innovations in critical care. Partnering throughout Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center, the center offers access to state-of-the-art care and experimental treatments. The Emory Critical Care Center also has a comprehensive training mission that includes educating fourth-year Emory medical students; interns and residents from internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery; and advanced fellows who are studying to become intensive care physicians.

Dr. Coopersmith has established himself as one of the top investigators of sepsis and shock in the country. He served as president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine from 2015-2016, and is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, which requires its members to have an outstanding record of scholarly achievement in biomedical research. His current research activity includes an NIH T32 training grant and three NIH R01 grants, two of which are collaborative studies with Emory transplant immunologist Dr. Mandy Ford that are investigating aspects of the immunological host response in sepsis.


View Dr. Coopersmith's publications in PubMed.


  • Emory University Hospital

  • The Emory Clinic


  • MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1991

  • General Surgery Residency, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, 1991-1993, 1997-1999

  • Research Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine, 1993-1996

  • Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, 1999-2000

Honors and Awards

  • Caring Spirit Award, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 2002

  • BJC HealthCare System Team Quality Improvement Award (Clinical Effectiveness of Phosphorus Repletion Guideline in the SICU), 2002

  • Presidential Citation, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2002-2007

  • Research Citation Award (given to top 5 posters), Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2003

  • BJC HealthCare System Team Quality Improvement Award (Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Prevention Team), 2005

  • Teacher of the Year, Surgical and Burn/Trauma Intensive Care Unit, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008

  • "Best Doctors," St. Louis Magazine, 2008, 2009

  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Washington University Postdoctoral Society, 2009

  • Best Doctors in America, 2009-2011

  • Fellow, Woodruff Leadership Academy, 2012

  • Celebration of Emory Faculty Excellence Recognition, 2014, 2016

  • Critical Care Teaching Award, Neuroscience Critical Care Fellows, Emory University, 2016

  • Distinguished Service Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2017

  • Doctors' Day featured faculty (by Emory Medicine Recognitions Committee from more than 220 nominations), 2017

  • 2018 Inductee, Emory MilliPub Club (recognizes current Emory faculty who have published one or more individual papers that have each garnered more than 1000 citations; such a paper is commonly considered a "citation classic" and represents high impact scholarship), paper: "The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)."

Current Organizational Memberships

  • American Medical Association

  • American College of Surgeons, Fellow

  • American Surgical Association, Fellow

  • American Society for Clinical Investigation

  • Association for Academic Surgery

  • Shock Society

  • Society of Critical Care Medicine: Past President, Chair Surviving Sepsis Campaign Research Committee, Discovery Clinical Trials Network Overisght Committee, Discovery Clinical Trials Network Steering Committee, Representative to Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Quality and Safety Committee

  • Society of University Surgeons

  • Surgical Infection Society

Editorships and Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board, Journal of the American College of Surgeons

  • Editorial Board, Critical Care Medicine

  • Editorial Board, Shock

  • Editorial Board, JCI Insight

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Immunology

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Translational Critical Care Medicine

  • Editorial Board, Critical Care

Clinical Interests

  • Surgical critical care

  • Sepsis

  • Multiple organ failure

Research Interests

  • Gut integrity and the immunological host response in sepsis

  • Quality improvement including but not limited to CLABSI, prevention of nosocomial infections, protocolizing/standardizing care, healthcare delivery, and staffing in the ICU