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Principal Investigator

Karel Pacak, M.D., Ph.D.,DSc

Dr. Karel Pacak

Phone: 301-402-4594

Academic Degrees

  • MD, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University
  • PhD, Neuroendocrinology, Charles University
  • D.Sc, Neuroendocrinology, Charles University

Dr. Pacak is an international expert on pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and has put together this research protocol at the NIH. He is currently working as the Chief of Section on Medical Neuroendocrinology, NICHD. He has been at the NIH for over 15 years and has published numerous of articles, spoken at many lectures and contributed to numerous books on this topic. He and his colleagues have developed new biochemical and imaging approaches for localizing pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumors. Dr. Pacak grew up and received his education in the Czech Republic and currently resides in Maryland. He received his medical degree with the honor of Summa Cum Laude from First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic one of the most prestigious schools for the study of medicine in the that country.  Dr. Pacak earned his PhD and his D.Sc degree in Neuroendocrinology.  His training includes a fellowship in the Clinical Neuroscience Branch at the NINDS,NIH under Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Kopin from 1990-1995.  He did his residency at the Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C from 1995-1997 and completed another fellowship under Dr. Chrauser at the NICHD, NIH from 1997-1998.  He is a past member of the American Society for Neuroscience, the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and the American College of Physicians. He was appointed in 1993 and has since maintained his membership with the American Endocrine Society.


  • Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, Division of Endocrinology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Dr. Pacak has received numerous awards for academic achievement, research excellence, staff recognition, and advancement in medical sciences. He received the Leon E. Sample Memorial Lecture award from Yale University in 2002.  His most recent awards include the Gold Jessenius Medal from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the award for the cure of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma from PheoPara Alliance, the NICHD Director Merit Award, the Pincus Taft Memorial Lecture from the Endocrine Society of Australia and other special recognitions throughout the world during plenary lectures at Annual Meetings for the Endocrine Society.


As of May 2010, Dr. Pacak has co-authored more than 300 articles, 170 scientific abstracts, and 70 textbook chapters. Also, he is a reviewer of over 25 international medical journals, including Endocrine Journal, NEJM, JCEM and others.

Selected articles

  1. LAI, E.W., JOSHI, B.H., MARTINIOVA, L., DOGRA, R., FUJISAWA, T., LELAND, P., DEKRIJGER, R.R., LUBENSKY, I.A., ELKAHLOUN, A.G., MORRIS, J.C., PURI, R.K., PACAK, K. Overexpression of interleukin 13 receptor (alpha)2 as a novel therapy for malignant pheochromocytoma_. J. Clin. Endocr. Metab._ 2009; 94:2952-2957.
  2. TIMMERS, H.J., CHEN, C.C., CARRASQUILLO, J.A., WHATLEY, M., LING, A., HAVEKES, B., EISENHOFER, G., MARTINIOVA, L., ADAMS, K.T., PACAK, K. Comparison of 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose and 18F-fluorodopamine PET and 123I-MIBG scintigraphy in the localization of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.; 2009; 94:4757-4767.
  3. SUH, I., SHIBRU, D., EISENHOFER, G., PACAK, K., DUH, Q.Y., CLARK, O.H., KEBEBEW, E. Candidate genes associated with malignant pheochronocytoma by genome-wide expression profiling. Ann. Surg. 2009; 25:983-990.
  4. VENKETESAN, A.M., LOCKLIN, J., LAI, E.W., ADAMS, K.T., FOJO, A.T., PACAK, K., WOOD, B.J. Radiofrequency ablation of metastatic pheochromocytoma. J. Vasc. Interv. Radiol. 2009; 20:1483-1490.
  5. LENDERS, J.W., PACAK, K., JUYNH, T.T., SHARABI, Y., MANNELLI, M., BRATSLAVSKY, G., GOLDSTEIN, D.S., BORNSTAIN, S.R., EISENHOFER, G. Low sensitivity of glucagon provocative testing for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2010; 95(1):238-245.
  6. EISENHOFER, G., LENDERS, J.W., SIEGERT, G., BORNSTEIN, S., FRIBERG, P., MILOSEVIC, D., MANNELLI, M., LINEHAN, W.M., ADAMS, K., TIMMERS, H., PACAK, K.  Plasma methoxytyramine: A novel biomarker of metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma in relation to established risk factors of tumor size, location and SDHB mutation status.  2011;1-37
  7. TIMMERS, H.J.L.M., KOZUPA, A., CHEN, C.C., CARRASQUILLO, J.A., LING, A., EISENHOFER, G., ADAMS, K.T., SOLIS, D., LENDERS, J.W.M., PACAK, K. Superiority of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography to other functional imaging techniques in the evaluation of metastatic SDHB-associated pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. J. Clin. Oncol., 2007; 25:2262-2269