Pablo Celnik, MD

Pablo Celnik, MD

Position Chief Executive Officer

About Me

About Me

Pablo Celnik, MD, is a physiatrist, physician-scientist and internationally recognized leader in rehabilitation and academic medicine. Dr. Celnik embraces an integrated approach to medicine — one that encompasses the latest in research and technological advances and the best care to make patients better.

Since Oct. 2023, he has served as Chief Executive Officer of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with the most severe, complex conditions. As CEO, he oversees the organization’s vast clinical and research enterprise, including 2,700 employees, more than 30 sites of care, and affiliates and alliances around the world. 

Previously, he served as Physiatrist-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Johns Hopkins University, leading the rehabilitation service line. His additional responsibilities included serving as Director of the Human Brain Physiology Lab; Director of the Precision Medicine Center of Excellence in Rehabilitation and Co-director of the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute — all at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. During his storied tenure, he achieved transformational growth across every area he led, expanding Johns Hopkins’ local and global rehabilitation footprint, scientific funding and philanthropic contributions. 

Dr. Celnik is well-published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, has been the recipient of countless prestigious awards and has been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine.

A native of Argentina, he received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires Faculty of Medical Sciences. He completed his residency training in neurology in Argentina and a fellowship in neurological rehabilitation at the University of Maryland. He also completed two research fellowships at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In 2000, he entered the PM&R residency program at Johns Hopkins, where he ultimately was appointed Chief Resident. For 20 years, he served on the Johns Hopkins faculty in the PM&R, neurology and neuroscience departments.




Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 E Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Professional Associations



    Doctor of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires Faculty of Medical Sciences, Argentina


    Neurological Rehabilitation, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
    Human Cortical Physiology Section, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD


    Neurology, French Hospital, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Awards and Honors

  • Inducted into the National Academy of Medicine
  • Carolyn L. Braddom Research Award
    This award recognizes an individual who has conducted research that has had the most significant impact on the science and practice of PM&R
  • Outstanding Neurorehabilitation Clinician Scientist Award
    This award is given to one faculty member per year, based on the evaluation of his or her peers, for work on mechanisms of neural repair, translational research from mechanisms of repair, or clinical Neurorehabilitation
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
    The highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers

Work History

  • 2003 - 2023
    Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • 2016 - 2023
    Director (Chair), Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine