Roberta L. Keller, M.D.

Professor, Pediatrics
Medical Director, Neonatal ECMO Program
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco

Phone: 415-476-1888
Email: [email protected]

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1988, University of California, Los Angeles, BS Biology 
  • 1993, University of California, San Francisco, MD
  • 1993–1996, University of California San Francisco, Department of Pediatrics
  • 2000–2002, University of California San Francisco & Cardiovascular Research Institute, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine 2003
  • Respiratory failure
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
  • Extracorporeal life support (ECLS), Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Inhaled nitric oxide therapy
  • Medical management of the newborn with a surgically-correctable condition
  • Follow up of the high risk newborn with a pulmonary condition
  • Prenatal diagnosis and prognosis
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Lung injury and remodeling
  • Pulmonary vascular injury and remodeling
  • Cardiopulmonary interactions
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Follow up of the high risk newborn with a pulmonary condition


Dr. Keller received her medical degree from the University of California San Francisco, where she also undertook her postgraduate training, completing a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the UCSF Medical Center/UCSF Children’s Hospital. During her fellowship, she was the recipient of the Glaser Pediatric Research Network fellowship. She is the director of the UCSF Extracoporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program for newborns and the coordinator of the UCSF Neonatology Clinical Consensus program. She joined the pediatrics faculty in 2003.

Dr. Keller’s research program includes several multi-center clinical trials in critically ill newborns that are currently underway at UCSF. Her previous investigations into mediators and modulators of disease severity in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) has led to her current research in to the use of chronic sildenafil as a potential therapy for infants with CDH at risk of developing chronic lung and vascular dysfunction. In her work with the pediatric surgical supspecialists in the multi-disciplinary CDH Follow Up clinic, Dr. Keller has been has been identifying the multiple medical issues and the perinatal characteristics that are associated with the risks of adverse outcomes facing these children, and researching quality of life issues for the children and their families. This data will provide further information to evaluate interventions which may improve outcomes for those severely affected children.

Dr. Keller’s work also focuses on premature newborns at high risk for the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the form of chronic lung disease found in former premature infants. The multicenter TOLSurf pilot trial, is designed to assess the efficacy of late surfactant intervention combined with chronic inhaled nitric oxide for improvement in surfactant function and prevention of BPD. Dr. Keller’s additional investigations have focused on clinical and biological markers that identify those critically ill premature newborns that remain at highest risk for the development of BPD.

Dr. Keller has presented her work at many national and international conferences.