American Family Children's Hospital Ranks Among Best Children's Hospitals
U.S. News and World Report has ranked UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital as a top children’s hospital in four medical and surgical specialties, placing it among the elite children’s hospitals in the nation.
The 2019-20 top children’s hospital rankings have placed pediatric cardiology and heart surgery at 39. All of our specialties included in the top 50 are:
- Pediatric cardiology and heart surgery (39)
- Gastroenterology and GI surgery (50)
- Neonatology (49)
- Nephrology (45)
The national survey began with the gathering of key clinical data from nearly 200 medical centers. Factors in the rankings included clinical outcomes, patient survival, infection rates, and level and quality of hospital resources. In addition, more than 11,000 pediatric specialists were surveyed about where they would send the sickest children in their specialty.
Kristin Shadman, MD, FAAP, Awarded Visiting Lectureship Grant from American Academy of Pediatrics
Congratulations to Kristin Shadman, MD, who was recently awarded a Visiting Lectureship grant in the amount of $3,000 on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence. This program will fund a two-day educational programs focusing on the field of tobacco control and children's health. The lectureships are designed to promote secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure control and to integrate secondhand smoke prevention activities in pediatric education in State AAP Chapters and educational institutions in the US and internationally. Visiting Lectureships are funded by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute. The program sponsored by Dr. Shadman's award will supporting visiting lecturer Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, FAAP. The goal of this program is to develop and implement "CEASE Wisconsin," a comprehensive program to ensure that all patients seen at UW pediatric sites are screened for second and thirdhand smoke exposure and that caregivers who smoke are appropriately treated and referred to assist them in smoking cessation efforts.
Sean Rinella, MPH, Selected as "40 Under 40 in Cancer"
Sean Rinella, MPH, an ICTR TL1-supported PhD student, working with mentorship from Christian Capitini, MD and Mario Otto, MD, PhD in their labs, has been selected as one of "40 Under 40 in Cancer" for his work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, in the category of "Patient, Advocacy, and Policy." 40 Under 40 in Cancer is an awards initiative to identify and recognize the contributions being made across the field of cancer by rising stars and emerging leaders under the age of 40. Finalists and awardees were selected by a panel of reviewers from across diverse roles in oncology through nominations in the following categories: Clinical and Patient Care Professional; Biopharma, Diagnostics, and Devices; Research, Science, and Technology; Government, Regulatory, and Payer; and Patient, Advocacy, and Policy. Nominees and awardees were recently honored at an event reception in Chicago. Congratulations, Sean! See here for more information: https://www.40under40incancer.com/
Dr. Ryan McAdams, Students, and Partners in Tanzania and Uganda Receive Wisconsin Idea Fellowship
Ryan McAdams, MD (Associate Professor and Division Chief, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery), along with undergraduate engineering students Akshith Mandepally and Cara Stanker, received a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship to develop an affordable, effective, and durable solar-powered air filtration device for household use in Uganda and Tanzania.
These devices may minimize rural community members' exposure to particulate matter caused by the in-home burning of wood, charcoal, or agricultural waste for heat or electricity—and help reduce the likelihood of resulting heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory problems.
“Diseases caused by pollution resulted in an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015, and household air pollution was responsible for a third of all pollution-related deaths,” McAdams said. “In the most severely affected countries, though, pollution-related disease is responsible for more than one death in four. This is especially important when you’re looking at vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.”
Four Students Mentored by Pediatrics Faculty Named Hilldale Fellows
Four UW-Madison undergraduate students mentored by Department of Pediatrics faculty received 2019 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellows. The fellowships include a stipend to each student and to their faculty advisers.
- Adeela Ali (major: Pharmacology & Toxicology; mentor: Christian Capitini, MD)
- Benjamin Fordyce (major: Chemistry and Mathematics; mentor: Ei Terasawa, PhD)
- Yuchen Lu (major: Biochemistry; mentor: Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD)
- Stella Ma (major: Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences; mentor: Anna Huttenlocher, MD)
Students & Faculty Mentors Selected for the Shapiro Summer Research Program
The following students and their mentors were recently awarded Shapiro Summer Research Awards. The Shapiro Summer Research Program provides opportunities for first-year medical students to participate in eight- to 12-week summer research projects with UW-Madison faculty members. First-year medical students apply at the beginning of each calendar year with basic science, clinical, translational, public health, or health systems projects. Funding for the program comes from the Herman and Gwendolyn Shapiro Foundation, with additional support from SMPH departments, centers and investigator grants.
Congratulations to the following faculty and students:
- Trevor Cooper with mentor, Elizabeth Petty, MD - "Enhancing Outcomes and Optimizing Learning through Gathering Timely Student Input: A Quality Improvement Approach"
- Nithin Charlly with mentor, Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, PhD - "Analysis of Recreational Marijuana Companies' Marketing Strategies towards Adolescents in the District of Columbia"
- Christie Cheng with mentor, Ryan Coller, MD, MPH - "Evaluation of Use and Usability of @HOMEv1 App to Support Enteral Tube Caregiving for Children with Medical Complexity"
- Natasha Dombrowski with mentor, Elizabeth Petty, MD - "Applications of Quality Improvement to Enhance Constructive and Timely Communication From Administration, Faculty, Staff to Medical Students"
- Jacob Faultersack with mentor, Ryan McAdams, MD - "Essential Laboratory Testing: A Care Conscious Strategy to Improve Quality and Cost Savings in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit"
- Michelle Larson with mentor, Elizabeth Petty, MD - "Perceptions of Genetic Testing Among Adult International Adoptees"
- Nicholas Mathers with mentor, Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - "Engaging innate and adaptive immunity against cancer"
- Peter Ngo with mentor, James Conway, MD - "Exploring barriers to eliminating TB in a highly endemic population"
- Simarjeet Puri with mentor Elizabeth Petty, MD - "Improving Career Advising and Counseling at UWSMPH"
- Luke Richard with mentor, Matthew Harer, MD - "Use of near infrared spectroscopy to detect acute kidney injury in preterm infants"
- Megan Roedel with mentor, Nicole St Clair, MD - "Tri 4 Schools: Is It Making a Difference for School Age Children?"
- Ethan Rosen with mentor, Pamela Kling, MD - "Understanding the Etiology of Intrauterine Growth Restriction"
- Nicholas Spoerk with mentor, James Conway, MD - "Health outcomes of diarrheal disease in water-limited conditions: Cape Town, South Africa's drought as a case study"
- Michelle Su with mentor, Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD - "Implementing an E-learning program to Increase Knowledge of Chronic Disease Management in Cataract Patients in Imo State, Nigeria - a pilot study"
- Ben Zellmer with mentor, Michelle Kelly, MD - "Sharing Doctors' Notes with Parents of Hospitalized Children"
Dr. David McCulley Receives NIH R01 to Investigate Mechanisms of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia
David McCulley, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery), received his first R01 award from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for his project, “Genetic and Developmental Mechanisms of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.” Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a common but severe birth defect with a mortality rate of 20 to 50 percent. Children with CDH have abnormally developed lungs and pulmonary vasculature, which results in lung hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension for which there are no specific treatments.
In this five-year, $1,957,436 project, Dr. McCulley will collaborate with co-investigators from UW-Madison (Naomi Chesler, PhD, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Timothy Hacker, PhD, of the Department of Medicine’s Cardiovascular Physiology Core Facility) and Columbia University (Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, and Yufeng Shen, PhD). The team will identify the genetic and developmental mechanisms causing CDH-associated lung hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension, and determine the physiological impact of two loss-of-function genetic mutations found in patients with CDH.
Timothy Choi, MS, Receives One Year Fellowship
Congrats to Timothy Choi, MS, on his receipt of a one-year fellowship of ~ $34,000 funded in part by the UW-Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ICTR) and the Shapiro Medical Student Research Program. Under the mentorship of James Gern, MD, he aims to characterize the mechanisms that regulate the severity of RV-C infections and illnesses via his project, "Effects of age on airway epithelial cell response to rhinovirus A and C infections". During this fellowship, Tim will have the opportunity to train with laboratory personnel, work with biostatisticians on database construction and data analysis, present research findings at a national conference, and prepare a manuscript to be submitted for publication.
Study Led By Dr. Daniel Jackson Identifies Why Some Colds Lead to Asthma Attacks in Children
Upper respiratory infections remain one of the most common triggers of asthma attacks in children, but not every cold leads to a dangerous worsening of symptoms, even among children with severe asthma. The reasons for this have mostly gone unanswered for decades, but a new study led by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) provides some insight on what differentiates a cold that leads to an asthma attack from a cold that remains a cold.
Researchers in the UW-led Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) used systems-scale data collection and network analysis to pinpoint characteristic changes in gene expression—the degree to which genes are turned on or off—that lead to asthma attacks in children. Their findings were reported online in Nature Immunology.
“Identifying the molecular pathways that cause the common cold to progress to asthma exacerbations will not just improve our understanding of these potentially life-threatening events, but will also help us create better prevention and therapeutic strategies that are more targeted and effective than what currently exist,” said Dr. Daniel Jackson, lead investigator on the study and an associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at UW SMPH.
“Our study introduces a novel platform to investigate, in a clinical setting, the mechanisms by which asthma attacks develop and also provides a springboard for future research that will, ultimately, help the millions of children affected by this disease.”
Researchers enrolled 208 children with severe asthma at nine ICAC clinical sites across the United States. All study participants, who were 6 to 17 years old, received asthma care based on NIH guidelines. Over a six-month period, participants used a mobile app to record cold and asthma symptoms. Within three days of the onset of cold symptoms, participants visited the clinic for a physical exam and collection of nasal wash and blood samples. They returned for a second clinic visit four to six days after the start of the cold.
During the study, 106 children experienced cold symptoms a total of 154 times, of which 47 led to an asthma attack requiring treatment with oral corticosteroids. The researchers analyzed and compared nasal washings from each child. Overall, the study found that colds that led to an asthma attack showed changes in gene expression levels in six gene “modules,” or families of genes that interact to produce specific biological functions.
These gene modules are primarily associated with maintaining the function of the epithelium—the outermost layer of tissue lining the respiratory tract—and with responses of immune cells in close contact with the epithelium. Treatment of the attack with oral corticosteroids reduced gene expression levels in some of these modules to levels comparable to those observed in children who did not have an asthma attack, while others were unchanged by this rescue therapy.
The researchers next divided the 47 instances of cold symptoms that led to an asthma attack into two groups: 33 in which researchers detected a cold-causing virus in nasal washings and 14 in which they did not. The absence of a virus likely indicates that the cold-like symptoms the children had were triggered by another cause, such as pollution, other irritants or allergens. By comparing the two groups, researchers identified distinct molecular changes that take place in asthma attacks that occur without viral infections.
Specifically, they found increased gene expression of kallikreins, enzymes responsible for producing kinin molecules, notably bradykinin, which narrows airways in asthma and dilates blood vessels. Drugs targeting kallikreins and/or bradykinin may hold potential for treatment of asthma attacks with a non-viral trigger. Such medications have already been developed to treat hereditary angioedema, a rare disorder with recurrent attacks of severe swelling.
The study also provides insights into asthma attack risk factors. Particular gene expression patterns present in samples from the visit before cold symptoms developed were associated with higher risk for an asthma attack.
Endocrinology Fellow Elizabeth Mann, MD, Inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Elizabeth Mann, MD, a fellow in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society on April 17, 2019, at the DeJope Residence Hall in Madison, Wisconsin.
Founded in 1902, AOA is dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine, we will improve care for all by:
- recognizing high educational achievement;
- honoring gifted teaching;
- encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community;
- supporting the ideals of humanism; and
- promoting service to others.
Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to professionalism, leadership, scholarship, research, and community service. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician's dedication to the profession and art of healing.