Dr. Maria Simbra is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated medical journalist, who brings a unique set of skills to her position as medical reporter on KDKA-TV. A member of the KDKA News Team since May 2002, she is a formally trained journalism professional and a board-certified neurologist. Dr. Simbra is an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, while in private practice, she earned a master's degree in journalism and mass communications from Point Park University in 2003. Her articles and reviews about medical journalism have appeared in PLoS Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Neurology Reviews.
In addition to reporting for KDKA and practicing at the University of Pittsburgh, she teaches medical journalism to journalism students and medical students at Pittsburgh-area universities. Dr. Simbra speaks at national and international medical journalism conferences, and presented a paper at the World Journalism Education Congress in 2007.
As a physician with the added credential of an advanced journalism degree, she has been recognized for her work with the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Medical Communicators in 2006, and two nominations for a Mid-Atlantic National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award in 2006 and 2007. A leader in medical journalism, she served on the Association of Health Care Journalists Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007. She was elected to the National Association of Medical Communicators Board of Directors in 2007. In addition, she made Pittsburgh Magazine's "40 under 40" list, honoring the area's influential young people.
Her other teaching activities include serving as faculty on the National Institutes of Health "Medicine and the Media Symposium" in July 2004, as a Hearst Visiting Professional at Arizona State University in September 2005, and as a conference panelist for the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality in July 2006.
Prior to embarking on her dual career as a physician and medical correspondent, she undertook studies at West Virginia University, where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in both biology and chemistry. She then earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.