Michael Pulia, MD, PhD

Credentials: Associate Professor (Tenure)

Phone: (608) 890-5292

Administrative Support:
Maria Balbach (mbalbach@medicine.wisc.edu)

Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases (EC-ID)


Director, Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases Research Program
Director, Emergency Medicine Antimicrobial Stewardship


Industrial & Systems Engineering

Research Lab Clinical information Publications UW Experts Database


Undergraduate: Illinois Wesleyan University
Graduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
Residency: University of Illinois Medical Center – Chief Resident


Dr. Michael Pulia is a tenure track Associate Professor and Director of the Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases (EC-ID) Research Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, as well as Director of Emergency Medicine Antimicrobial Stewardship. In these capacities, he leads a health services research program focused on improving the management of infectious diseases in the emergency department and downstream care settings, with an emphasis on systems engineering guided interventions. His work has been supported with funding from both intra- and extramural sources, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Wisconsin Partnership Program.

Dr. Pulia has over 40 peer reviewed publications, including top tier medical journals such as Pediatrics, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Annals of Emergency Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine. As a nationally recognized expert in the management of resistant bacterial infections, sepsis, skin infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and COVID-19, he has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences, including the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, ID-Week, and the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine. He is also a 2022 Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) Age-Friendly Fellow and National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Scholar in Diagnostic Excellence, supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

In 2015, he was awarded the Barry M. Farr Humanitarian Award from the MRSA Survivors Network in recognition of his efforts to raise public awareness of bacterial resistance related to the overuse of antibiotics. From 2014-2019, Dr. Pulia chaired the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s Antibiotic Stewardship Task Force, representing emergency medicine at the White House One Health Forum and the United Nations Global Antibiotic Resistance Challenge. Since the onset of the pandemic, Dr. Pulia has focused on COVID-19 with multiple publications and a $2.4 million award from AHRQ to examine the long term impacts on antibiotic prescribing and bacterial resistance in U.S. hospitals.


Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Respiratory Tract infection Steering Group
American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Quality and Patient Safety, ED Antibiotic Stewardship Workgroup Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Subcommittee Co-Chair


UW School of Medicine and Public Health Student Research Committee
UW Health Antimicrobial Use, Infection Control and Outpatient Antimicrobial Stewardship
Wisconsin Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) in Long-Term Care Coalition (more information)
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, ED Antibiotic Stewardship Guideline Workgroup


Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE) Collaborator


  • The culmination of Dr. Pulia’s K award was published in JAMA Dermatology (“Validation of Thermal Imaging and the ALT-70 Prediction Model to Differentiate Cellulitis from Pseudocellulitis”), which elicited editorial responses in JAMA Dermatology (Li, Mostaghimi) and MedPage Today. Read more…
  • Dr. Pulia was interviewed by several Midwestern news organizations during U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov. 18-24, 2023). View a full list of his media appearances.
  • Dr. Pulia honored with Fellow of IDSA designation from the Infectious Disease Society of America (August 2022).
  • Dr. Pulia named as a 2022-2023 National Academy of Medicine Scholar in Diagnostic Excellence (June 2022). Dr. Pulia’s project will focus on improving diagnostic accuracy for older adult patients who present to the emergency department with suspected pneumonia. Read more…
  • Dr. Pulia gave an educational presentation at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine 28th Annual Scientific Assembly titled, “Cutting Edge Antibiotic Stewardship for the Emergency Department” in Baltimore, MD (Apr. 2022). This session highlighted emerging literature related to improving antibiotic stewardship in the emergency department, including critical updates around best practices in the use of antibiotics for sepsis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and skin infections, as well as discussion of the recent changes to the CMS SEP-1 antibiotic measure for sepsis and ongoing controversy related to this quality metric.
  • Dr. Pulia received the Best Faculty Oral Presentation Award at the 30th annual Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Research Forum for a study titled, “Comparing Interspecialty Diagnostic Confidence and Accuracy of Cellulitis Diagnosis” (Apr. 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to give Grand Rounds lectures, titled “Human Factors Engineering to Improve Emergency Department Antibiotic Stewardship,” at the departments of emergency medicine at Loyola University and the University of California, San Diego.
  • Dr. Pulia interviewed by The Lancet Infectious Diseases regarding the 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign update. Click here to read the editorial (Jan. 2022). The Lancet Infectious Diseases is the world-leading infectious diseases journal.
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to serve as a Technical Expert Panel Member with the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium for Project: NQF Measure Development for Over-Diagnosis of Pneumonia and UTI (Oct. 2021).
  • Dr. Pulia presented an oral abstract at the 2nd World Dysphagia Summit in August 2021, “Prevalence of Dysphagia among Older Adults with Suspected Pneumonia in the Acute Care Setting.” The virtual Summit was originally intended to be held in Nagoya, Japan.
  • Dr. Pulia honored with the EM Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship 2020-21 from the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine.
  • Dr. Pulia awarded the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
  • Dr. Pulia received the Best Overall Presentation Award at the 29th annual Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Research Forum (Apr. 2021) for a study titled, “Comparison of Skin Surface Temperature Measurements between Patients with Cellulitis and Pseudocellulitis in the Emergency Department.”
  • Dr. Pulia invited to give the opening plenary session at the Dysphagia Research Society’s 29th Annual Meeting, an international meeting with over 700 participants attending from more than 30 countries. The session discussed COVID epidemiology, transmission, and infection control and was voted People’s Choice for Best Presentation by attendees selecting from more than 80 invited speakers. Pulia was also invited to give an oral research presentation on the second day of the conference regarding his work on dysphagia profiles and management patterns in emergency department patients with COVID-19.


Characterizing the ImPact of COVID-19 on Antibiotic PreScribing in AcutE Care and IDentifying Resilient Stewardship Strategies (POISED) 
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Type: R01
Role: Principal Investigator

Improving Diagnostic Accuracy for Older Adults with Suspected Pneumonia
Source: National Academy of Medicine Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence Program
Sponsors: National Academy of Medicine / The John A. Hartford Foundation

Enhancing U.S. Surveillance of Laboratory Confirmed SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, and Other Respiratory Viruses through a Network of Emergency Departments 
Funding Source:  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Wayne State University Department of Emergency Medicine
Role: Site Principal Investigator (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Utility of Thermal Imaging in Diagnosis of Cellulitis for Lower Extremity Complaints in the Emergency Department
Source: BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine
Type: Pilot Research Grant
Role: Principal Investigator

Engineering Safe Care Journeys for Vulnerable Populations 
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Type: R18
Role: Collaborator

Redefining Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Older Adults: The Role and Impact of Aspiration
Funding Source: UW-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
Role: Principal Investigator

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Award in Clinical Research 
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases