16 department members receive Research and Development Awards during fall/winter funding cycle

The Department of Pediatrics provided department members with a total of $167,611 during the fall/winter award cycle of its Research and Development (R&D) Awards. The purpose of the R&D Awards fund is to support research and scholarly activities, including quality improvement (QI) projects. Funds are awarded with the expectation that they will support activities leading to scholarly output, such as presentations, publications, and grant applications.

Faculty members are eligible for awards up to $20,000, while residents and clinical fellows can apply for up to $2,500 and $5,000, respectively. Grantees are selected twice a year after a competitive internal review process. Applications are due each fall and spring, and awards are announced each winter and summer.

Below is a list of department members who received R&D Awards in the winter of 2024 and their project titles:

Faculty awardees

  • Tracy Bekx, MD, associate professor, Division on Endocrinology and Diabetes, “Diabetes Transition Readiness Assessment: Getting READDY at School”
  • Jill Denson, PhD, assistant professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, “A Co-Design Doula Project for Justice-Involved Pregnant and Post-Partum People”
  • Mary Ehlenbach, MD, associate professor, Division of Hospital Medicine and Complex Care, “Improving Access to Home-based Paid Caregiving Services for Children with Medical Complexity in Wisconsin”
  • Alexandra Erdmann, MD, assistant professor, Division of Cardiology, “Noninvasive Vascular Imaging as a Screening Tool for Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Patients with Coarctation of the Aorta”
  • Kerry Gannon-Loew, MD, MS, assistant professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Adolescent Medicine Hub and Spoke Clinic for Adolescents and Young Adults with Substance Use Disorders”
  • Luke Lamers, MD, associate professor, Division of Cardiology, “Evaluation of Myocardial and Peripheral Vascular Response to Untreated Coarctation of the Aorta in a Rapidly Growing Animal Model”
  • Hara Levy, MD MMSc, professor, Division of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, “Role of Trained Immunity Induced by Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) Vaccine in Reducing Pulmonary Infections in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Patients: A Biobank/Repository Data Analysis”
  • Karen Pletta, MD, professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, “Parent Experience During Pediatric Medical Visits with Virtual Scribes”
  • Carolyn Sleeth, MD, MPH, assistant professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, “Provider and School Perspectives on Excused Absence Requests”


Resident and clinical fellow awardees

  • Tasneem Chair, MD, PGY5, Pulmonology Fellowship, “Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) in Edward Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau Syndrome (Trisomy 13)”
  • Paige Condit, MD, PGY4, Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine Fellowship, “Development of a Novel Kidney-focused Approach to Treatment of a PDA in Vulnerable Preterm Neonates”
  • Cris Ebby, MD, PGY4, Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship, “ChatGPT for Summarizing Medical Documentation”
  • Scott Leopold, MD, PGY5, Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship, “Venous Thromboembolism and Stroke Following Superior Cavopulmonary Anastomosis Surgery: A Virtual Pediatric Systems Study”
  • Victoria Nicksic, MD, PGY5, Endocrinology and Diabetes Fellowship, “Stress Experiences of Transgender and Gender-diverse Youth and Their Parents”
  • Allison Weisnicht, MD, PGY4, Hematology and Oncology Fellowship, “Ex Vivo Expansion, Therapeutic Use, and Tracking of Autologous-derived Natural Killer Cells for the Treatment of Osteosarcoma Companion Canines”
  • Therese Woodring, MD, PGY4, Hematology and Oncology Fellowship, “Designing Logic-gated CAR T Cells for Acute Myeloid Leukemia”