Rachel Wrigley, MPAS, PA-C

  • Physician Assistant, Senior

Rachel Wrigley, MPAS, PA-C earned her bachelor of science in biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. She then received her master of science in physician assistant studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. Upon graduation, she was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery. She joined the cranial team in 2019 and works alongside world renowned physicians, including Robert Friedlander, MDPaul Gardner, MD; and Georgios Zenonos, MD

Rachel has a special interest in treating patients with a multidisciplinary team approach, working alongside neurology, ENT, endocrinology, and neuro-ophthalmology specialists to help patients overcome their neurosurgical conditions as safely and effectively as possible. Clinically, she provides high-quality care and education to patients with complex cranial neurosurgical conditions including brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease, and cranial nerve disorders. She also has a strong interest in research and actively participates in departmental publications and projects. Moreover, she developed a screening protocol for patients with cranial nerve disorders to expedite care in terms of streamlining scheduling and treatment. 

In addition to her clinical duties, Rachel helps run the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Brain Aneurysm and AVM (arteriovenous malformation) Support Group. The support group is designed to offer education and raise awareness about aneurysms and AVMs as well as provide a look into management strategies and treatment options. It also gives patients and families the opportunity to ask questions regarding their diagnosis and deficits, both emotional and physical. Furthermore, she also volunteers with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and participates in the Annual Pittsburgh 5K for Brain Aneurysm & AVM Awareness. In 2021, she coordinated the event and helped raise over $20,000 for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation whose mission is to provide information about and raise awareness regarding the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of aneurysm to promote early detection and prevent ruptures. 

In her role as a medical educator, Rachel maintains the precepting partnership between the Department of Neurosurgery and Chatham University. Each year she serves as the preceptor for several students and provides them with a unique and comprehensive training experience in neurosurgery. She also is an active member in professional societies including the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA). 

Specialized Areas of Interest

Cranial surgery including endoscopic endonasal approaches, skull base tumors, cerebrovascular disease, and cranial nerve disorders.

Board Certifications

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA)

Education & Training

  • BSc, Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 2014
  • MSc, Physician Assistant Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Braco Award for Excellence in Cell Biology Research, Notre Dame Biology Department, 2012

Selected Publications

Abou-Al-Shaar H, Mallela AN, Algattas HN, Rogers R, Friedlander RM. Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Failure Due to Distal Peritoneal Catheter KinkingAm J Case Rep 23:e935077, 2022.

Rogers R, Eastham-Anderson J, DeVoss J, Lesch J, Yan D, Xu M, Solon M, Hotzel K, Diehl L, Webster JD. Image Analysis-Based Approaches for Scoring Mouse Models of ColitisVet Pathol 53(1):200-210, 2016.