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James Conway, MD

James Conway, MD

James Conway, MD, Visits Capitol Hill to Advocate for Global Immunization

Posted: July 29, 2014

On July 23, 2014, James H. Conway, MD, spent a day on Capitol Hill advocating for a new, bipartisan House resolution ensuring that children in poor countries have access to vaccines and immunizations through U.S. support of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

Dr. Conway, along with Dean A. Blumberg, MD, associate professor and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, visited 12 congressional offices that day.

The resolution they are advocating for calls for the U.S. to continue supporting vaccine purchases through GAVI from 2016 through 2020.

Since its inception in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has provided funding to immunize close to half a billion children, which will lead to 6 million lives saved.

GAVI members include the United States government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine industry, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and other donors and partners


Brittany Allen, MD

Brittany Allen, MD

Brittany Allen, MD, Discusses Importance of Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Posted: July 25, 2014

Dr. Brittany Allen was featured in a WKOW TV interview about the importance of the cervical cancer vaccine and the role local health care providers play to educate parents.

Dr. Allen says more education is needed to encourage parents to get on board with the vaccine. UW Health is working with patients and providers to spread the word.

Read the Full Article


Andrew Watson, MD

Andrew Watson, MD

Dr. Andrew Watson Receives Award From UW Sports Medicine Classic Fund

Posted: July 16, 2014

Congratulations to Andrew Watson, MD, on his award of $25,000 from the UW Sports Medicine Classic Fund for his project, "Identifying the Mechanisms of Maturational Differences in Fitness Development in Children." Although cardiovascular fitness has been shown to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease risk, the dose-response relationship between exercise and fitness development in children remains unclear and it has been previously suggested that children have an attenuated response to exercise training prior to adolescence. Under the mentorship of Marlowe Eldridge, MD, this project is intended to identify the existence of a maturational threshold for cardiovascular fitness development in children, as well as the central and peripheral cardiovascular mechanisms responsible for these differences.


Mary Ehlenbach, MD

Mary Ehlenbach, MD

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Pediatric Complex Care Program Receives $9.45 Million CMS Innovation Award

Posted: July 16, 2014

The Pediatric Complex Care Program was recently notified that they, in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Special Needs Program, were awarded a $9.45 million CMS Innovation Award. CMS is sponsoring Health Care Innovation Awards aimed at implementation of compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), particularly those patients with the highest health care needs. Mary Ehlenbach, MD, Medical Director of the Pediatric Complex Care Program is the UW Co-PI. Also named in the award is Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Research Director of the Pediatric Complex Care Program. The award will enable further development of the Pediatric Complex Care Program's mission of care coordination for children with medical complexity.


MACC Fund Reaches $50 Million in Research Contributions

Posted: June 30, 2014

The MACC Fund, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., contributed $1.2 million on June 30 to its three beneficiaries, the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. These research contributions took the total of the MACC Fund’s contributions since its inception in 1976 to over $50 million.

MACC Fund supported scientific research is conducted in the 14,000 square foot MACC Fund Childhood Cancer Research Wing of the Wisconsin Interdisciplinary Medical Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, including research performed by the division of Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant in the Department of Pediatrics.


Zachary Morris, MD, PhD

Zachary Morris, MD, PhD

Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, Receives American Society of Radiation Oncology Funding

Posted: June 30, 2014

Congratulations to PL3 resident, Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, on his seed grant of $25,000 from the American Society of Radiation Oncology. His project, "Engaging antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity to augment the synergy of radiation and T cell checkpoint inhibition," evaluates whether T cell checkpoint inhibition can augment the synergy of radiation and anti-GD2 antibody. This preclinical project will be carried out in the Sondel Lab, with collaboration from the radiobiology lab of Professor Paul Harari.


Dennis Ea

Dennis Ea

Dennis Ea Receives Pediatric Oncology Student Training Award

Posted: June 30, 2014

Congratulations to Dennis Ea, a medical student in the laboratory of Christian Capitini, MD, for being awarded a Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Award for $6000 from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for his proposal “Inhibition of BCL2 in T cell ALL.” Dennis will examine the ability of BCL2 inhibitors to inhibit T cell ALL growth and survival both in vitro and in vivo. He will also determine if BCL2 inhibition makes T cell ALL more amenable to immunotherapy.


Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Featured in Cap Times Story on Early Childhood Reading to Address Achievement Gap

Posted: June 27, 2014

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, was featured in a Cap Times article about the impact reading has on a child's brain development. Dr. Navsaria is the medical director for Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.

Research shows that significant development occurs in the brain during the first three years of a child's life, and being read to daily can build and stimulate a base for cognitive and emotional development.

There are about 100 clinics throughout Wisconsin participating in Reach Out and Read, and about 20 in Dane County.

Read the Full Article

Learn More About Early Literacy


Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

Dr. Elizabeth Cox's Project Featured at PCORI Regional Workshop

Posted: June 27, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth Cox's project on family-centered tailoring of pediatric diabetes self-management resources was featured in the PCORI Regional Workshop on "The Power of Partnership in Research: Improving Healthcare Outcomes in the Midwest and Upper Plains" on June 18-19. You can view the slides from Dr. Elizabeth Cox's presentation on the PCORI website.


Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Quoted in New York Times Story on New AAP Early Literacy Guidelines

Posted: June 25, 2014

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, was featured in a New York Times article about new American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that call for reading to children from birth.

The AAP is now asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud—every time a baby visits the doctor. It's the first time the academy has officially weighed in on early literacy education.

Dr. Navsaria commented on how reading aloud to children from birth can reduce academic disparities later in life. “If we can get that first 1,000 days of life right,” he said, “we’re really going to save a lot of trouble later on and have to do far less remediation.”"

Read the Full Article


Pediatric Residency Awards

Posted: June 25, 2014

Congratulations to the faculty and residents recognized at this year's residency graduation banquet. The following Pediatrics Residency Awards were handed out:

  • Charles C. Lobeck Medical Education Award - Ryan J. Coller, MD, MPH
  • Todd Varness Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award - Melissa Cercone, MD
  • Outstanding General Pediatrician Award - Timothy Chybowski, MD
  • Resident Research Award - David G. Ingram, MD
  • Outstanding Senior Resident Award - Asaad G. Beshish, MBBCh
  • Outstanding Second-year Resident Award (Jan Brady Award) - Jessica C. Babal, MD
  • Outstanding Intern Award - Kristy L. Fitzpatrick, MD
  • Patient and Family-Centered Care Award - Andrea N. Jones, MD
  • Clerkship Teaching Award - Amy E. Falk, MD

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Melissa Cercone, MD

Melissa Cercone, MD

Timothy Chybowski, MD

Timothy Chybowski, MD

David G. Ingram, MD

David G. Ingram, MD

Asaad G. Beshish, MBBCh

Asaad G. Beshish, MBBCh

Jessica C. Babal, MD

Jessica C. Babal, MD

Kristy L. Fitzpatrick, MD

Kristy L. Fitzpatrick, MD

Andrea N. Jones, MD

Andrea N. Jones, MD

Amy E. Falk, MD

Amy E. Falk, MD


Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

PRISM Tool Significantly Improves Blood Sugar Levels, Initial Tests Show

Posted: June 24, 2014

Early testing of a 10-minute survey tool developed by Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and the PROKids team resulted in impressive changes in blood sugar control for children with Type 1 diabetes.

The team did preliminary testing of the Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management (PRISM) survey with 65 families. Half received the interventional survey and the other half continued the traditional clinic visits for diabetes management.

“The average blood sugar of the children whose family participated in PRISM dropped 0.8 percent,” said Cox. “That’s a significant improvement in blood sugar levels.”

Read the Full Story


Kathleen Maginot, MD

Kathleen Maginot, MD

Nicholas Von Bergen, MD

Nicholas Von Bergen, MD

Kathleen Maginot, MD, and Nicholas Von Bergen, MD, Recognized as 'Superheros' of Medicine

Posted: June 19, 2014

Kathleen Maginot, MD, along with Visiting Professor Nicholas Von Bergen, MD, were among nine medical professionals honored as "superheroes of medicine" by the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation at its Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction on April 25, 2014.

Dr. Maginot and Dr. Von Bergen were recognized for giving young patient Katelyn Soldatke her active life back. Katelyn had an arrhythmia that forced her to give up dance, horse riding and all the things she loved to do. After one unsuccessful surgery, the two collaborated on a second, more risky surgery at American Family Children’s Hospital that successfully treated the condition.

Honorees were chosen from nominations received from patients and colleagues. Proceeds from the event support programs for medical students and residents, and health education and research projects.


Philip Farrell, MD, PhD

Philip Farrell, MD, PhD

Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, Honored by Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association

Posted: June 19, 2014

Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, emeritus professor of pediatrics and population health, received the 2014 University of Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association Distinguished Resident Award. The award honors an individual who has completed a residency or fellowship at the UW Hospital and Clinics and has achieved distinction in medicine.

Dr. Farrell has published numerous articles on epidemiology and the effects of nutrient deficiencies in preterm infants and patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as the benefits and challenges that accompany newborn CF screening. In 2001, he was recognized for his efforts in pediatric nutrition with the American Medical Association’s Joseph B. Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition.

He was a professor at UW-Madison for more than 30 years. He also served as chair of the Department of Pediatrics, medical director of the UW Children’s Hospital (now called American Family Children’s Hospital), dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and vice chancellor for medical affairs.


Lauren Reil

Lauren Reil

Capitini Lab Student Receives Honors and Undergraduate Research Committee Award

Posted: June 16, 2014

Congratulations to Lauren Reil, an undergraduate student in the lab of Christian Capitini, MD, on her recent award from the Honors and Undergraduate Research Committee of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Lauren's project, "Tracking Natural Killer Cells After Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants Using Fluorine-19" aims to optimize the non-toxic tracer agent 19F using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track NK cells in vivo. The lab will monitor the fate of NK cells after their infusion to determine how they induce their anti-tumor effects. Through this grant, Lauren will receive a stipend of $1,500 and her mentor, Dr. Capitini, will receive $500 to cover lab expenses.


Undergraduates Receive Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships

Posted: June 11, 2014

Congratulations to the Department of Pediatrics recipients of the 2014-15 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship. These student researchers were awarded $3,000 and faculty mentors received $500 to sponsor the students' independent research. Each student will present their research findings in April 2015 at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. The students, their mentors and projects are:

  • Wendy Sun (Pelin Cengiz, MD): Sexually Differential Response of Hippocampal Neurons to in-vitro Neonatal Hypoxia Ischemia: A Role for Estrogen Receptor Alpha in the Activation of the Growth Factor Receptor TrkB and Neuroprotection
  • Matthew Wolf (Mario Otto, MD, PhD): Neuroblastoma Tumor Cell Clearance After CLR1404 Treatment
  • Michelle Chiu (Bikash Pattnaik, PhD): Live-Cell visualization of Oxytocinergic signaling
  • Ryan Johnson (Christine Sorenson, PhD): Prevention of Retinal and Choroidal Neovascularization by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Dustin Richter (Ei Terasawa-Grilley, PhD): The Role of Kisspeptin and Neurokinin B Neuronal Network in the Onset of Puberty in the Rhesus Monkey

Pediatric Faculty Promotions

Posted: June 11, 2014

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) CHS Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Associate Professor (CHS) for M. Tracy Bekx, MD, Peter A. Ferrazzano, MD, Camilla K. Matthews, MD, and Gregory M. Rice, MD; and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for Kenneth B. DeSantes, MD.

The UWSMPH Tenure Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Professor for Marlowe W. Eldridge, MD.

The UWSMPH Clinician-Teacher Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Clinical Professor for Neena D. Shah, MD, MBA.

The Tenure Committee of the Biological Sciences Division has approved the promotion of J. Carter Ralphe, MD and Judith A. Smith, MD, PhD, to Associate Professor with Tenure.

All promotions become effective July 1, 2014.

M. Tracy Bekx, MD

M. Tracy Bekx, MD

Peter Ferrazzano, MD

Peter Ferrazzano, MD

Camilla Matthews, MD

Camilla Matthews, MD

Gregory Rice, MD

Gregory Rice, MD

Kenneth DeSantes, MD

Kenneth DeSantes, MD

Marlowe Eldridge, MD

Marlowe Eldridge, MD

Neena Shah, MD, MBA

Neena Shah, MD, MBA

J. Carter Ralphe, MD

J. Carter Ralphe, MD

Judith Smith, MD, PhD

Judith Smith, MD, PhD


Jacob Goldberg

Jacob Goldberg

Jacob Goldberg Receives Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellowship

Posted: June 11, 2014

Congratulations to Jacob Goldberg, a medical student in the lab of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, on receiving a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical Research Fellowship. His project, "Description and Characterization of Endogenous Antibodies Found in Some Cancer Patients That are Capable of Recognizing Various Monoclonal Antibodies used in Cancer Immunotherapy," seeks to describe a protein that has been identified in the blood of a few pediatric cancer patients which appears to correlate with a better chance of survival after treatment with a form of cancer immunotherapy (tumor-reactive monoclonal antibody). Further, he hopes to explore the potential role of this protein in adult cancer immunotherapy. The hypothesis is that this protein may improve the way the cancer therapy is working.


James Davis, MD

James Davis, MD

Dr. James Davis Receives Fellowship Award from Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Posted: June 11, 2014

Congratulations to James "Muse" Davis, MD, on his fellowship award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Under the mentorship of Bruce Klein, MD and Anna Huttenlocher, MD, his project, "Understanding fungal morphogenesis and dissemination using in vivo imaging of a larval zebrafish model," will use zebrafish embryos as a model host to study fungal infection. His focus will be on the transition between spore to yeast in early blastomycosis.


Dr. Michael MacDonald and His Co-Investigators Receive Competitive Renewal Diabetes Training and Research Grant

Posted: June 11, 2014

Program Director, Michael MacDonald, MD, and Associate Directors, David Allen, MD, Aaron Carrel, MD, and Ellen Wald, MD recently received the competitive renewal of their "Childhood Diabetes Clinical and Molecular Research Training (CDCMRT) Program", a T32 training grant funded by the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH-NIDDK). The goal of CDCMRT is to train MD pediatric endocrinology fellows and PhD fellows for academic research careers in type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and fitness in children. The 5-year training grant is funded at approximately $130,000/year and supports 2 post-doctoral fellows annually.

Michael MacDonald, MD

Michael MacDonald, MD

David Allen, MD

David Allen, MD

Aaron Carrel, MD

Aaron Carrel, MD

Ellen Wald, MD

Ellen Wald, MD


Renata Lexova's Holocaust Escape Story Profiled in State Journal

Posted: June 4, 2014

Renata Lexova, PhD, professor emeritus in the UW Department of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, recently spoke to Wisconsin State Journal columnist Doug Moe about her experience as a child escaping Nazi persecution in Czechoslovakia.

In 1939, after the Nazis entered her hometown of Brno, Czechoslovakia, Lexova was transported to Manchester, England, through a program called Kindertransports. Sir Nicholas Winton, an English stockbroker, had brought the Kindertransports program to Prague, ultimately helping 669 children find safety out of the country.

Lexova, who was only eight at the time, lived in Manchester for seven years before reuniting with her parents in Czechoslovakia after the war.

Read Lexova's incredible story here.


Research Assistant Receives Award From Sigma Xi

Posted: June 4, 2014

Congratulations to Michelle Chiu, an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Dr. De-Ann Pillers' lab, on her $2,500 award from Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Her project, "Uncovering Oxytocin Signaling in a Single Cell," will explore the cell signaling mechanisms in the posterior retina; specifically between the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors (PR). The exact cause of retinopathy of prematurity is unknown, but it is believed the periphery of the retina is involved in cell signaling which is deficient in premature babies.


Pelin Cengiz, MD

Pelin Cengiz, MD

Dr. Pelin Cengiz, MD, Receives Award to Attend 2014 OSSD Meeting

Posted: June 4, 2014

Pelin Cengiz, MD, was recently awarded $500 to attend the OSSD (Organization for the Study of Sex Differences) 2014 meeting, for her abstract, "Crosstalk between the Estrogen receptor alpha and TrkB in mediating neuroprotection after neonatal hypoxia and ischemia." The meeting was held in Minneapolis, MN, April 24-26, 2014.


Pamela Kling, MD

Pamela Kling, MD

Pamela Kling, MD, Receives Gerber Foundation Award

Posted: June 4, 2014

Congratulations to Pamela Kling, MD, and Co-Investigators, Anthony Auger, PhD, and Christopher Coe, PhD (Psychology), for their award from the Gerber Foundation.  They received $154,000 for their 2 ½ year project, "Impact of Obesity during Pregnancy on Neonatal Iron Status and Programming of Inflammatory Response Patterns." This study will examine whether obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy can directly disturb fetal iron metabolism and alter the programming of allergic inflammatory responses. Experiments will determine whether low fetal iron endowment is the critical physiological link between obesity and life-long programming of pro-inflammatory pathways that lead to allergic disease.


Christian Capitini, MD

Christian Capitini, MD

Pelin Cengiz, MD

Pelin Cengiz, MD

Drs. Capitini and Cengiz Awarded Pilot Grants From UW-ICTR

Posted: June 4, 2014

Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, and Pelin Cengiz, MD, who were both awarded $50,000 pilot grants from the UW-ICTR, funded by NIH-NCATS UL1 TR0000427.

Christian Capitini, MD is collaborating with Peiman Hematti, MD (Medicine-Hematology/Oncology), on his project, "Infusing MEMs as protection from radiation injury and GVHD." Leveraging local expertise in developing cellular therapies as well as in mesenchymal stem cells, this project will characterize mesenchymal stem cells (MEMs) in vitro by analyzing cell surface molecule expression and cytokine production. This project will also test the potency of human MEMs in 2 xenograft models of radiation injury - a GVHD model induced by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and a radiation injury model in immunodeficient mice that can tolerate human MEM infusions. Results from this proposal may lead to a novel cellular therapy, as being the first clinical indication for human macrophages, that could be applied to medical and nonmedical setting involving radiation, and could be rapidly translatable to the clinic.

Pelin Cengiz, MD, is collaborating with John Levine, PhD (Neuroscience and the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center), on her project, "Role of estrogen receptor alpha in sex-specific neuroprotection by a TrkB agonist." Male neonates are more susceptible to hypoxia ischemia (HI) related brain injury, respond less to existing treatments, and develop cerebral palsy and learning disabilities at higher rates. This proposal will identify some of the mechanisms resulting in sexually differential response to HI in immature brains. Understanding these mechanisms will guide us through implementing translational treatment strategies to improve the neurological outcome after neonatal HI.


Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH

Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD

Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD

Drs. Coller and Henderson Awarded Grants Through Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program

Posted: June 4, 2014

Congratulations to Ryan Coller, MD and Sheryl Henderson, MD as they were both awarded grants through the Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN), funded by the Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant and sponsored by the Waisman Center.

Ryan Coller, MD is collaborating with Sarah Ahrens, MD (adult hospital medicine) to improve the inpatient transition process for young adults with chronic medical conditions as they shift from children's hospital to adult hospital care. The UW hospitalists' teams aim to create a policy for transitioning patients from the pediatric hospitalist service to the internal medicine hospitalist service, eventually aligning with the ongoing outpatient transition efforts within the UW Health System. They will also develop a Transition Planning Bundle to facilitate and standardize inpatient transition preparation, as well as establishing its place in the electronic health record (EHR).

Sheryl Henderson, MD aims to develop policy and tools to assist with successfully transitioning youth in the adolescent program of the UW HIV Comprehensive Care Clinic from adolescent to adult care. The process will include pediatric and adult providers as well as family and youth impacted by the transition process.


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Last updated: 07/29/2014
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