Department of Pediatrics 2024 Research Week, including the Gerard B. Odell Lecture and Award, is coming in May

Next month, the Department of Pediatrics will offer its 2024 Research Week over five days, May 13–17. Through a combination of live-streamed lectures, in-person events, and interactive sessions with faculty members and trainees, audience participants can learn about the latest pediatric research advances. This year’s event features the third annual Fellows Capstone Presentations, the Wald Faculty Research Forum and Town Hall, the Keynote Lecture, platform presentations, and an in-person poster session that will feature the work of diverse researchers: residents, fellows, faculty, and staff members. A reception will follow that session. The week’s highlights include presentation of the distinguished Gerard B. Odell Lecture. A full list of the week’s events is available on the Research Week 2024 website.

The co-chairs of the Research Week 2024 committee, Michelle Kelly, MD, PhD, professor and researcher in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Complex Care, and Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT, associate professor in the Division of Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine, enthusiastically invite all department members to the week’s events. “We are excited to have established an exceptional series of speakers, panels, platforms, posters, and discussions. These opportunities involve trainees, staff, and faculty with diverse backgrounds and interests,” Gillick said. “We invite you to join us and engage in this event and secure time within your schedules to attend virtually or in person. All this and more is available here at the University of Wisconsin and your attendance will add to the value and success of the week!”

Ellen Selkie, MD, assistant professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and Fellowship Program Director, especially encouraged department members to attend events in person for all or part of the afternoon of May 15. “We host 10 capstone presentations from our pediatric fellows,” Selkie explained. “I’m excited to hear about so many diverse topics and methodologies — there’s truly something for everyone on the program. Please join us to celebrate the culmination of years of scholarly work and wish our fellows well on their post-training futures!”

Gerard B. Odell Lecture and Award

Dr. Bryn Webb, recipient of the 2024 Gerard B. Odell Award.

The Odell Lecture and Award were established in 1994 to honor Gerard B. Odell, MD, emeritus professor of pediatrics. Odell was internationally recognized for his research in the field of neonatal jaundice and bilirubin metabolism. In addition to the lectureship, the Gerard B. Odell Research Award was established to honor Odell’s distinguished career in pediatrics research, academics, clinical practice, and education. The award is given to an assistant or associate professor of pediatrics in recognition of outstanding research accomplishments and demonstrated potential for future contributions in basic or translational research.

This year’s Gerard B. Odell Lecture will be presented by Bruce Klein, MD, professor and chief in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Klein’s lecture will take place on May 16, 7:30–8:30 a.m. in person in HSLC 1335 and via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. He will present the talk, “Science and Medicine: Worlds within Worlds.”

Directly after Klein’s lecture, the Odell Award will be presented from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m., with a talk from the recipient entitled, “Genomic Insights into Ultra Rare Diseases: Uncovering Etiology and Pathology.”

This year’s Gerard B. Odell Award winner is Bryn Webb, MD, associate professor, Division of Genetics and Metabolism. She is also associated as core faculty with the UW Center for Human Genomics and Precision Medicine.

Webb’s research group is focused on better understanding the genetics and pathophysiology of rare Mendelian disorders. She has a particular interest in undiagnosed rare disease, Moebius syndrome and related facial weakness conditions, and mitochondrial disorders. She has been principally involved in identifying the genetic etiology of nine novel disorders and has assisted with the identification of additional syndromes. Her research group also models human disease using cellular and animal models.

Webb was nominated for the Odell Award by Ellen Wald, MD, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Wald described Webb as a “physician-scientist and NIH-funded investigator with an outstanding track record of success studying rare genetic diseases.

[She] has a strong interest in the clinical and molecular evaluations of children with suspected but unidentified genetic disease and is the associate director of the UW Undiagnosed Disease Program. She enrolls many of these families into her research studies and has been principally responsible and the leading author for the identification of multiple genetic disorders. [. . .] She uses mouse models, cellular models, and human induced pluripotential cell models in her laboratory to study and characterize these rare genetic conditions. She is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and passionate physician-scientist.”

Photo by Bob Gordon/Department of Pediatrics