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.
New Prevention Research Center to Focus on Mother-Baby Health; Dr. Elizabeth Cox to Serve on Steering Commitee
Wisconsin’s first Prevention Research Center is coming to UW-Madison this fall, thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of 25 academic institutions to receive five-year funding from 2019 until 2024. The center reflects a partnership between the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the Institute for Research on Poverty and the School of Human Ecology.
The center’s mission will be to improve the health of low-income women, infants and families in Wisconsin. Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH, associate professor in the departments of obstetrics and gynecology and population health sciences at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, will be the center's director.
Department of Pediatrics Professor Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, will serve on the center's steering committee.
The goal of these centers is to study how communities and individuals can avoid risk for chronic illness.
“We are very excited to bring a center like this to Wisconsin. We will engage multidisciplinary campus researchers, public health practitioners and community-based and government organizations from across the state to develop a prevention research agenda aligned with Wisconsin’s priorities,” said Ehrenthal. “The long-term effects of pregnancy and early childhood point to these as key periods when prevention may have the greatest impact on adult health and chronic disease.”
This focus area is of great importance in Wisconsin, where the infant mortality rate for African-American babies is nearly three times that of white babies.
Seven Learners Win Poster Awards at APA Region VI Meeting
Seven learners from the University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics or the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) received awards for their poster presentations at the Academic Pediatrics Association (APA) Region VI meeting, held in Madison on March 15, 2019.
The planning committee chose winners from 51 submitted abstracts in three categories: Quality Improvement, Research and Case Reports. They also chose two overall winners who received a gift card and a certificate of recognition signed by Department of Pediatrics Chair Ellen Wald, MD, and APA President Steven Selbst, MD.
All of the winners are listed below with their poster titles (UW Department of Pediatrics and UWSMPH winners are in bold).
Overall Best Abstract
- Daniel Gorski, MD (PL3 resident): “Can Post-Operative Near Infrared Spectroscopy Monitoring in Neonates Detect Cardiac Surgery Associated Acute Kidney Injury?”
- Ryan Meinen, MD (neonatology and newborn nursery fellow): “Implementation of Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) to Identify Central Catheter Tip Location in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”
Pictured at right, Drs. Gorski and Meinen receive their best abstract award from Michelle Kelly, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine and planning committee member).
- First place: Alex Binder, MS (PROKids research specialist): “Impact of Family-Centered Tailoring of Pediatric T1D Self-Management Resources”
- Second place: Stephanie Syu, MD (PL1 resident): “Quality Improvement Initiative: Infant CPR Education for Caregivers of Patients Admitted for BRUE”
- Third place: Yashoda Naik, MD (endocrinology and diabetes fellow): “Standardization of EMR Documentation Improves Care of Children with Adrenal Insufficiency”
- First place: Joy Solano, MD (pediatric hospital medicine fellow, Children’s Mercy Kansas City): “Does Pediatric Palliative Care Involvement Influence Location of Death?”
- Second place:Jacob Svenson (second-year UWSMPH student): “Content Validity of the Pediatric PROMIS® Family Relationships Measure for Children with Chronic Illness Poster”
- Third place: Jared Kevern, MD (PL2 resident): “Tri-Ponderal Mass Index is a Useful Marker for Cardiovascular Fitness in Children”
- First place: Kesha Baxi, DO (PL2 resident, St. Louis University School of Medicine): “Perianal Plaques in a Five-Month Old Infant”
- Second place: Palida Noor, MD (PL1 resident, St. Louis University School of Medicine): “It's Just Chronic Sinusitis”
- Third place: Tess Suttles, MD (PL2 resident, Washington University School of Medicine): “Hepatitis Associated Aplastic Anemia, An Unfortunate Sequela”
Nation's First Trial of CLR 131 Targeted Radiotherapy for Pediatric Cancer to Begin at UW
American Family Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in collaboration with Cellectar Biosciences, Inc., is the first site in the nation to offer CLR 131, a systemically delivered, targeted radiotherapeutic for a broad variety of pediatric solid tumors, including neuroblastoma, sarcomas, lymphomas and brain cancers.
Cellectar Biosciences is developing CLR 131, which targetedly delivers high doses of radioactive iodine to cancer cells, killing them. CLR 131 has shown activity in multiple clinical trials of adult hematologic malignancies and in preclinical studies has demonstrated efficacy in a wide range of pediatric tumors.
Preclinical studies completed by co-principal investigator Dr. Mario Otto, associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant, showed that in the test tube, a fluorescently labeled variant of this drug was concentrated in cancer cell lines to a much greater extent than in healthy, normal cells.
Additionally, CLR 131 showed efficacy in multiple xenografts models in which mice were implanted with different pediatric cancers. A single dose of CLR 131 resulted in better survival and slower growing tumors than seen in untreated mice.
“The current clinical trial is for children who don’t respond to standard treatments or their cancer has come back, and there are no options that would have a reasonable chance for cure,” said Otto. “If successful, CLR 131 could provide a beneficial treatment option for these children and their families.”
Approximately 11,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with solid cancers (including brain cancers and certain lymphomas) every year in the United States. Despite highly toxic treatments, about 1,600 of these children will die from cancer annually. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), cancer is responsible for more deaths in children than all other childhood diseases combined in the U.S.
The trial will be initially available only at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, part of UW Health, with plans to offer the study at several additional pediatric hospitals across the U.S. within the next six to 12 months.
Learners Receive UW-Madison Global Health Institute Clinical Research Awards
Congratulations to Danièle Gusland, MD, and Mackenzie Carlson on their Clinical Research Awards from the UW-Madison Global Health Institute!
Danièle Gusland, MD (Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow), under the mentorship of James Conway, MD, and Dawd Siraj, MD (Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases), received $5,000 for her project, "Etiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns of Neonatal Sepsis in Jimma, Ethiopia". With this funding, Dr. Gusland proposes to develop a profile of causative organisms in neonatal serious bacterial infections and local antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns associated with infants treated at Jimma University Hospital, the primary referral hospital for southwest Ethiopia. With 4.5 million deaths attributable to AMR in Africa every year, the need for effective antimicrobial stewardship is urgent. An understanding of both bacterial epidemiology of infection and antimicrobial resistance patterns will ultimately further efforts to develop antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Mackenzie Carlson (2nd year medical student), under the mentorship of Ryan McAdams, MD, received $3,462 for her project, "Investigating the prevalence and practices of herbal medicine use in antenatal care in Mukono District, Uganda". This proposal aims to describe herbal medicine practices in pregnant women seeking antenatal care in the Mukono District of Uganda. Prenatal herbal or traditional medicine use is common and plays a key role for pregnant women in low income countries. In African countries, up to 87% of women use herbal medicine as a part of their antenatal care. Despite widespread use, potential maternal and fetal side effects of herbal medicine remain understudied. The goals of this project are to gain a deeper understanding of how culture and tradition in medicine are being used present day to develop a system to evaluate these practices so that other districts and countries can evaluate their own health care.
Dr. Ann Allen Receives Grant from Cars Curing Kids
Congratulations to Ann Allen, MD, on her receipt of $19,000 from Cars Curing Kids for her project, "Neonatal abstinence syndrome: Implementing a novel approach". This collaborative project between UW Hospitals and Clinics/American Family Children's Hospital, UnityPoint Health-Meriter and St. Mary's hospitals aims to improve the care of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome by decreasing average length of stay, opioid use, and hospital costs, using the Eat Sleep Console approach to gauge the infant's ability to function.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Receives Eugene Washington PCORI Award
Elizabeth Cox, in partnership with Laurie Thompsen MSW, Health and Behavioral Health Coordinator at the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Danielle Davidov, Assistant Professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, received a Eugene Washington Award from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The project, AWARE (Asking Women about Relationship Experiences), aims to enhance the quality and actionability of research on intimate partner violence assessment in healthcare. The project has two objectives: 1) to create and disseminate a toolkit to engage survivors of intimate partner violence and other key stakeholders in research and 2) to generate a survivor-centric national research agenda for intimate partner violence assessments.
Pediatric Complex Care Program Receives SPoC Awards
Congratulations to Kristan Sodergren, NP, Mary Ehlenbach, MD, and Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, on their recent awards, funded by the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin's Advancing Family-Centered Care Coordination for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs using a Shared Plan of Care program.
Shared Plan of Care (SPoC) for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs - $20,000
Building on work from last year's grant which developed and piloted Shared Plans of Care for all children enrolled in the Pediatric Complex Care Program, the team will continue to refine the development, implementation, and updating process for SPoCs with a focus on making them more user-friendly. Additionally, the team will expand efforts to survey healthcare team members who interact with complex care kids in the emergency department and inpatient settings to learn how best to tailor SPoCs for these users of the document.
Youth to Adult Transitions in Youth with Special Health Care Needs - $20,000
Transferring care for children with medical complexity from pediatric to adult healthcare systems is a daunting task for youth, families and clinicians. The purposes of this project are to define the elements of an exemplary transition, create a transitions workflow for Pediatric Complex Care Program staff, and pilot these practices in children 12 and older enrolled in Pediatric Complex Care Program. Transition details and updates will be documented in the each child's Shared Plan of Care. An emphasis will be placed on seeking input from youth, parents and future providers in developing the documentation content and process.
Department Ranks #12 for NIH Funding Among Medical School Pediatric Departments Nationwide
The Department of Pediatrics was ranked #12 of 88 medical school pediatric departments nationwide for National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards, according to data compiled and released by the .
The ranking reflects $23.1M in awards received during the NIH’s 2018 fiscal year, which is October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. It includes the 17 NIH awards for which department faculty are principal investigators.
This is the fourth straight year that the department has ranked in the top 20 for NIH funds awarded. The BRIMR ranked the department 6th in NIH funding in FY17; 20th in FY16; and 18th in FY15.
The ranking demonstrates the department’s continued commitment to research excellence and the outstanding efforts of its investigators, despite a challenging and competitive funding climate.
Allergy Division Faculty, Fellows Receive Abstract Awards at AAAAI National Meeting
Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology Assistant Professors Sima Ramratnam, MD, MPH, and Eric Schauberger, DO, PhD, received both of the 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Allergy and Immunology (SOAI) Outstanding Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Abstract Awards for junior faculty.
Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology fellow David Peloza, MD, also received the same award in the fellow-in-training category.
The AAP SOAI Outstanding Abstract Award was established to recognize significant research efforts in the field of asthma, allergy or immunology in children.
It includes a monetary award ($1,000 for junior faculty; $750 for fellows) and a one-year membership to the AAP and the Section.
In addition, Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology fellow Ania Lang, MD, PhD, received an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Interest Section Fellow-in-Training Abstract Award in Basic and Clinical Immunology.
All of the awards were announced during the AAAAI Annual Meeting, held February 22-25, 2019, in San Francisco. At the meeting:
- Dr. Ramratnam presented "Spirometry and Impulse Oscillometry Trajectories in an Inner-City Longitudinal Birth Cohort at High Risk for Asthma" as an oral abstract session (#901) on Monday, February 25;
- Dr. Schauberger presented "The Pediatric Asthma Risk Score (PARS) Predicts Atopic and Non-atopic Asthma Better than the Asthma Predictive Index" as a poster session (#36) on Saturday, February 23;
- Dr. Peloza presented “Early Life Risk Factors for Asthma at Early Adulthood” as an oral abstract session (#240) on Saturday, February 23; and
- Dr. Lang presented “Distinct Innate Immune Cell Maturation during the First Year of Life is Associated with Farm Exposure,” as an oral abstract session (#905) on Monday, February 25.
Dr. Ellen Wald Awarded NIH Grant
Ellen Wald, MD, with Co-Investigators, Gregory DeMuri, MD, and James Gern, MD, were recently awarded $309,167 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). Their project, "Nasal cytokine responses in children with viral upper respiratory infection," will capitalize on a large collection of respiratory specimens previously obtained from children with upper respiratory illnesses. This study is based on the premise that analysis of selected nasal cytokines at 3 days will accurately predict those children at high-risk for developing sinusitis and at 10 days will predict the likelihood of spontaneous resolution vs. the necessity for antibiotic therapy. There is great potential to identify children with clinically defined sinusitis for whom antibiotics can be safely withheld thereby avoiding cost, adverse effects and the emergence of antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Pelin Cengiz Awarded 5-Year NIH Grant
Congratulations to Pelin Cengiz, MD, on her recent R01 award of nearly $1.7 million over 5 years from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS). Her project, "Sex differences in neurotrophin mediated neonatal neuroprotection: Role of ER alpha," will test the novel hypothesis that sex-specific TrkB phosphorylation is mediated by hypoxia and ischemia (HI) induced ERa upregulation. An improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying sex-based susceptibility to HI will provide new avenues for future development of drug therapies for neonatal HI.
Dr. Emma Mohr Receives NIH/NIAID Career Development Award
Congratulations to Emma Mohr, MD, PhD, on her award from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). This mentored clinical scientist research career development award (K08 AI139341) provides 75% protected time for Dr. Mohr's research with an award of $989,820 over 5 years. Her project, "Defining maternal and neonatal antibody responses in congenital Zika virus infection" aims to define the relationship between the antibody response during congenital ZIKV infection and outcomes of infection. Determining the relationship between the fetomaternal immune response and these different infection phenotypes is critical to defining the immune response which limits fetal harm and can be used to design effective immunotherapies.
Dr. James Conway to Direct New SMPH Office of Global Health
James Conway, MD (Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and an associate director at the University of Wisconsin Global Health Institute [GHI], is the director of the new Office of Global Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH).
The new office has a goal of better serving faculty, staff, students and health care providers in the health sciences programs. It will be located in room 1191F in the Health Sciences Learning Center.
Chris Olsen, DVM, PhD, also a GHI associate director, continues to lead the Graduate • Professional • Capstone Certificate in Global Health Program. Programs Coordinator Betsy Teigland, BSN, will continue to manage the certificate program and other international educational opportunities for health science students.
“[The] SMPH has a long history of leadership in global health on this campus and around the world,” Conway says. “This helps clarify and organize our activities with SMPH while maintaining our ties to cross-campus global health efforts.”
The new office is dedicated to working closely with the health professional programs in the SMPH and the schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. It is the focal point for graduate and professional global health experiences, from the certificate program to interdisciplinary field courses, service-learning opportunities, international clerkships and the Medical Spanish course. Information about these opportunities can be found at education.ghi.wisc.edu.
The office will continue to work closely with GHI to organize and promote global health education, research and outreach opportunities, including the annual Global Health Symposium.
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Awarded Vilas Professorship
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, who was recently awarded a Vilas Life Cycle Professorship, supported by the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) and the UW Office of the Provost. This 16-month award, in the amount of $40,000, supports her research entitled, "Bim, Inflammation and Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration." Inflammation plays a causative role in the pathogenesis of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), a major vision threatening disease. Unfortunately, the key regulatory events involved and how the recruitment, activation and clearance of macrophages are controlled during the pathogenesis of nAMD is not understood. This funding will allow us to determine how Bim, a cell death initiating Bcl-2 family member, modulates inflammation during nAMD, and whether its loss of expression contributes to standard of care therapeutic failure in patients.
Sondel Lab to Collaborate with Invenra and WARF
The Laboratory of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, will soon begin a collaboration with Invenra, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of multispecific antibodies for immuno-oncology, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). This collaboration, planned for two years and worth an estimated $400,000 in direct costs to Dr. Sondel's lab, will foster discovery and development of a bispecific antibody therapeutic for the treatment of neuroblastoma. The idea for this collaboration emerged from a previous collaboration between Invenra and Dr. Sondel. See link to full story: https://pipelinereview.com/index.php/2019020170435/More-News/Invenra-and-WARF-Initiate-a-Collaboration-to-Discover-and-Develop-Novel-Therapeutics-to-Fight-Neuroblastoma-in-Children.html
Nicholas Von Bergen, MD, Awarded Grant from Altathera Pharmaceuticals
Congratulations to Nicholas Von Bergen, MD, who was recently awarded $5,000 for his participation in the project, "Intravenous Sotalol in Pediatric and Congenital Patients: A Multi-Center Registry Study." The purpose of this study, sponsored by Altathera Pharmaceuticals and the Pediatric & Congential Electrophysiology Society (PACES), is to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and dosing of IV sotalol in pediatric patients with tachyarrhythmias as well as adults with congenital heart disease.
Pattnaik Lab Uses Stem Cells, Gene Therapy to Correct Errors in Retinal Cells
A research team led by Bikash Pattnaik, PhD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Investigator, McPherson Eye Research Institute) has shown that two novel approaches to treating an inherited eye disease were effective in restoring the function of a vital component of healthy vision.
The study, published in the January 24, 2019, issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, concerns a disease called Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA16), an eye disorder that affects the retina and causes severe visual damage that typically results in childhood blindness. LCA affects two to three children per 100,000. It can result from mutations in more than 20 genes that are expressed in certain retinal cells – specifically, photoreceptors (cells that are photosensitive and react to lightwaves) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of cells that lies just underneath the photoreceptors.
One such gene, known as KCNJ13, is responsible for producing a protein that is a potassium ion channel in the retina. If the KCNJ13 gene is mutated, it cannot produce the protein correctly; consequently, the vital ion channel, which lets potassium ions pass to and out of the cell, does not function properly. And if the channel does not work properly, the photoreceptor cells cannot encode visual stimuli. The result is a gradual progression toward blindness.
The team first created a "disease in the dish” model to test two possible approaches to treating blindness that results from mutations in the KCNJ13 gene. First, they removed skin cells from two people in the same family. One member had been diagnosed with LCA and had two copies of the mutated gene; the other had no symptoms and had only one copy of the mutation. The skin cells were “re-engineered” back to an undifferentiated state and were analyzed. Both types of cells appeared normal in structure.
But, when they matured, the cells from the LCA-affected person lacked the expression of the protein needed for the ion channel to develop and function. The major disease-causing change affecting the retinal pigment epithelium was the lack of this functional channel. The researchers now had a working model of the “disease in a dish.” The cells could not perform one of the key functions of the retinal pigment epithelium.
The team then tried to “rescue” the deficient ion channel through an approach known as “readthrough therapy.” The mutated gene contained instructions that short-circuit the process of translating DNA into a protein. The resulting protein is thus shorter than it should be. The “readthrough therapy” in this case used an antibiotic (modified) to suppress the signal that stops DNA translation.
While only a portion of the cells completely recovered, the finding suggests that the approach shows promise for future treatment.
In addition, the team used gene therapy in the cells to try to re-establish a proper ion channel. They used lentiviruses – a type of virus with a long incubation period – to deliver corrective genetic information to the affected cells. The result was a functioning potassium current and a normal membrane potential – meaning that ions could move in to and out of the cell correctly.
“We have shown in a cell model that both treatments can restore the retinal cells to proper function,” said Dr. Pattnaik. “This is an important proof of concept for these approaches and gives us hope for the value of precision medicine for pediatric blindness.”
The research was supported by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the National Eye Institute, the UW Vision Core Grant and the Retina Research Foundation M.D. Mathews Professorship.
UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy Launches First Clinical Trial
For the first time in Wisconsin, a research team will test a personalized cell therapy to treat a common and serious complication in bone-marrow transplant patients.
The UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy (PACT) will conduct a study to examine a cutting-edge therapy to treat a viral infection faced by up to 50 percent of bone-marrow transplant recipients.
The program’s first study will deploy virus-specific white blood cells to treat lethal cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation that can occur after a bone-marrow transplant.
The Food and Drug Administration-approved trial will begin enrolling adult and pediatric patients immediately through a partnership with UW Health, according to Inga Hofmann, MD, an assistant professor (CHS) in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, who is the PACT medical director and principal investigator on the trial.
“While some European countries might offer this type of treatment as standard care, it is considered experimental in the United States. We believe it is critically important to assess these types of cellular therapies through a clinical trial to carefully monitor safety and efficacy,” she said. “It also allows us to continue to learn how we can improve such treatments and how they work.”
Nearly one in three children are already infected with the CMV by age 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Five Pediatrics Faculty Members Accepted to SPR
In 2018, five Department of Pediatrics faculty members were accepted as members of the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR).
SPR's mission is to create a network of multidisciplinary researchers to improve child health. Specifically, it works to facilitate active communications among and between researchers; promote research collaborations through mentoring and knowledge sharing; and advocate for funding and policies supportive of research.
Below are the new members:
- Christian Capitini, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant)
- Matthew Harer, MD (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery)
- David McCulley, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery)
- Jessica Scott Schwoerer, MD (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Genetics and Metabolism)
- Anne Marie Singh, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology)
Drs. Christian Capitini, David McCulley Named Odell Award Winners for 2018 and 2019
Two Department of Pediatrics faculty— Christian Capitini, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant) and David McCulley, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery)—have been named winners of the University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics Gerard B. Odell Research Award.
Dr. Capitini is the 2018 award winner; Dr. McCulley is the 2019 award winner.
The $5,000 award is given to an assistant or associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics in recognition of outstanding research accomplishments and demonstrated potential for future contributions. It was established in 1994 to honor Dr. Odell's distinguished career in pediatric research, academia, clinical practice and education.
Dr. Capitini was nominated for his outstanding progress as an independent investigator in bone marrow transplant and cancer immunotherapy. In 2018, he received a highly competitive American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant, his first NIH/NCI R01 research grant, and five additional grants [two each from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and UW Carbone Cancer Center, and one from the Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund]. He is also a local leader in cutting-edge clinical research on CAR T cells, and a well-recognized national spokesperson for pediatric cancer cell therapy and immunotherapy.
Dr. McCulley was nominated for establishing an independent research program that studies the genetic and developmental mechanisms of the life-limiting lung and pulmonary vascular defects associated with diaphragmatic hernia. He was the recipient of the James Sutherland Junior Faculty Research Award from the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research (MWSPR), an organization he will lead as president in 2020. He was also recently promoted to a full member of the Perinatal Research Society and was selected to join the national Society for Pediatric Research. Finally, his 2018 article, "PBX transcription factors drive pulmonary vascular adaptation to birth," was highlighted in the February 2018 edition of the Journal for Clinical Investigation and was the recipient of the Perinatal Research Society's Associate Member Research Publication Award.
Drs. Capitini and McCulley will receive their awards at the Odell Lecture this spring.
Dr. Ryan Coller Wins Federal Challenge to Build App for Families with Children with Complex Health Care Needs
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine) and , an assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, have won a share of a $100,000 award to develop technology for families caring for children with complex medical needs at home.
The award comes from the . Only seven winners were selected nationally.
Drs. Coller and Werner are working on a mobile app called @HOME that aims to connect and support families caring for children who need enteral tubes (lsuch as tubes into the stomach or intestines to safely give medications, nutrition and hydration) in a home setting.
“Among children with complex medical needs, 30 percent of all emergency department visits and 17 percent of all hospitalizations were due to device complications at home. The majority were from enteral tubes, and we think a number of these might be prevented by better supporting families,” said Dr. Coller, who is also a co-founder of the at American Family Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Coller said the Phase I prototype will be developed by partnering with families. That portion of the research will be guided by Barbara Katz, co-director of . Katz will lead family engagement during design sessions with socioeconomically diverse family caregivers who manage enteral tubes.
In Phase II, the prototype will be developed, and small-scale testing will be conducted through July 2019.
Three to five of the original seven awardees will be given a share of $125,000 to advance to Phase III. During this phase, teams will test their interventions on a larger scale and one will be selected to receive a grand prize of $150,000.
For more information about the @HOME app vision, watch this .
Elizabeth Cox Serves as Advisor on New PCORI Award
Elizabeth Cox MD PhD is collaborating with Dr. Karla Ausderau, an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology in the UW School of Education, to develop processes and tools that engage people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in research. The work aims to: 1) develop a skilled community of stakeholders to advise researchers and 2) to generate research priorities for this community in collaboration with these stakeholders. This 2-year project recently received funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Alex Pieper, Graduate Student in Sondel Laboratory, Appointed to ICTR TL1 Program
Congratulations to Alex Pieper, graduate student in the Sondel Laboratory, who was recently appointed to the TL1 program supported by the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). This award provides an annual stipend, tuition, insurance, fees, and a travel allowance in support of his project, "Influence of Treatment Regimen and Tumor Type on Concomitant Immune Tolerance." Alex's research, under the direction of mentor Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, will utilize two separate in situ cancer vaccines to investigate the mechanisms by which anti-tumor responses can be induced at multiples sites of disease in preclinical murine models.
Peter Carlson Awarded Fellowship from NIH
Congratulations to Peter Carlson, graduate student in the Sondel Laboratory, on funding of his Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F30) for MD/PhD and Other Dual Degrees from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI). This 3-year, fellowship, in the amount of $107,143, is under the sponsorship of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, and co-Sponsorhip of Zachary Morris, MD, PhD (Human Oncology). The purpose of the F30 program is to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising predoctoral students who are matriculated in a combined MD/PhD or other dual-doctoral degree training program, and who intend careers as physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists. Peter's project, "Molecular targeted radiotherapy to overcome resistance to in situ cancer vaccination," will build on the expertise of the Sondel and Morris labs to probe the mechanism of concomitant immune tolerance (CIT). The grant will provide insight into how these murine cancers avoid and escape immune destruction, how immune escape can be overcome in these settings, and will be used to establish a novel combination immunotherapy that could be readily translated into clinical testing.
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, Receives New Investigator Grant from Wisconsin Partnership Program
Congratulations to Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, who was recently awarded a New Investigator Grant from the Partnership Education and Research Committee (PERC) of the Wisconsin Partnership Program. This 2-year grant in the amount of $150,000, will support the project, "Addressing Black Infant Mortality in Wisconsin through a Collaborative Health Equity Approach to Community-Based, Group Prenatal Care and Infant Support." This project aims to reduce current birth outcome inequities that exist in Wisconsin, and brings together community-based groups, investigators, healthcare providers, and pregnant mothers to implement and investigate a novel approach that combines aspects of three evidence-based models and builds upon emerging evidence about how to effectively implement and sustain prenatal care interventions in Black communities. Uniting the three models of: 1) community-based doula programs, 2) group-based models of prenatal care such as Centering Pregnancy, and 3) community-based pregnancy and inter conception support groups, this project will undertake a novel approach entitled, Today Not Tomorrow Pregnancy and Infant Support Program (TNT-PISP). The TNT-PISP approach is based on increasing evidence that models of prenatal care that are community driven, group based, culturally relevant, family centered, and include enhanced social support have the potential to significantly decrease African American prematurity rates and improve other maternal and infant health measures.
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, Awarded NIH Funding with Emory University
Congratulations to HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, who will serve as a Co-Investigator/Subaward Principal Investigator for a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI) to Emory University, entitled, "Method Development for Survival Dynamic Regression in Chronic Disease Research." This 4-year R01 renewal award to Principal Investigator Limin Peng, PhD (Emory University), will allow for continued collaboration utilizing de-identified data from Dr. Lai's unique multi-center clinical study known as FIRST (Feeding Infants Right... from the STart), being conducted in 6 CF centers in 5 states (WI, IL, IN, MA, UT) to enroll 200 infants with CF diagnosed through newborn screening. Dr. Lai's role in the subaward, worth over $141,000, along with Zhumin Zhang, PhD (Nutritional Sciences), will be to work with Dr. Peng to examine FIRST data and data from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry and provide data analysis and scientific interpretations in order to help identify optimal care for infants with Cystic Fibrosis.
Pediatric Faculty Members Help Lead Two Collaborative Health Sciences Grants
Jacques Galipeau, MD (Principal Investigator, Department of Medicine) and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, along with Collaborators Douglas McNeel, MD, PhD (Medicine) and David Beebe, PhD (Biomedical Engineering) and investigators from their labs, were recently awarded a 3-year, $600,000 Collaborative Health Sciences Program grant from the Partnership Education and Research Committee (PERC) of the Wisconsin Partnership Program. This grant, for their project "UW Innovations in Malignancy Personalized Advanced Cell Therapies (UW-IMPACT)," allows for collaboration between the three labs (Galipeau, Sondel, and McNeel), to generate data and examine the potential for the use of autologous B-cells for cancer immunotherapy, in combination with DNA vaccines and immunocytokines, for personalized cell therapies for otherwise incurable adult and pediatric malignancies, including prostate cancer and neuroblastoma, respectively.
Additionally, Anna Huttenlocher, MD (Principal Investigator) will lead a 3-year collaboration with Co-Principal Investigators, David Beebe and Richard Davidson, PhD (Psychology), entitled "Towards an Integrated Understanding of Stress, Inflammation and Immune Response." This grant aims to improve understanding of the complex regulation of the human immune system and the influence of lifestyle factors such as glucose consumption and stress on this regulation. Congratulations to both teams!
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Collaborates on NIH Grant
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, will take part in a U01 grant recently awarded to Principal Investigators Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, (Human Oncology) and Jamey Weichert, PhD, (Radiology). Their grant, entitled, "Immunomodulation of the Tumor Microenvironment with Molecular Targeted Radiotherapy to Facilitate an Adaptive Anti-Tumor Immune Response to Combined Modality Immunotherapies," is part of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative through the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), and will provide ~$2.5 million to the UW over 5 years. Dr. Sondel's collaboration with the grant will help develop new approaches to improve the in situ vaccine effect of local radiation therapy by injecting irradiated tumor sites with specific immunotherapies. See link to full story here.
"First in Humans" Neuroblastoma Trial Opens at American Family Children's Hospital, UW Carbone Cancer Center
Adoptive transfer of haploidentical natural killer (NK) cells has shown promise as a treatment option to target and kill cancer cells in a less toxic way than conventional therapies. Now for the first time, scientists will combine NK cell therapy with an immunocytokine to target children with relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma, including those with bulky tumors.
A $136,000 grant from Solving Kids’ Cancer, The Catherine Elizabeth Blair Memorial Foundation, and Wade’s Army is supporting the novel, "first in human" immunotherapy, available only at American Family Children's Hospital.
In the phase I clinical trial, researchers will use a humanized monoclonal antibody linked to IL2, known as hu14.18-IL2, which specifically targets neuroblastoma tumor cells and binds to them, while the IL2 activates NK cells. It is expected that the humanized monoclonal antibody may be more effective at activating the NK cells for killing the cancer cells. Using a novel technique, scientists will collect, expand, and infuse donor NK cells—originating from a parent—into children with neuroblastoma.
The trial, led by Kenneth DeSantes, MD (Professor [CHS] and Division Head, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant), and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, is now open and currently recruiting at American Family Children’s Hospital.
“We believe this novel immunotherapy approach may potentially provide some benefit for children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, whose prognosis has historically been extremely poor despite the use of aggressive chemotherapy regimens," says Dr. DeSantes. "The NK cells utilized in this trial have an enhanced ability to kill tumor targets. We anticipate that the administration of these activated NK cells, given in combination with an immunocytokine that specifically recognizes neuroblastoma, will result in significant anti-cancer activity."
Children’s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup Receives New $68M Award from NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the Children’s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup (CREW) $68,808,597 for five years to continue collecting standardized data from 10 birth cohorts around the country to better understand environmental causes of allergic diseases and asthma.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison serves as CREW's Administrative Center and Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistical Center. The multicenter project is a collaboration between investigators in the UW Department of Pediatrics (PI James Gern, MD; co-investigators Christine Seroogy, MD; Daniel Jackson, MD; Robert Lemanske, MD; Anne Marie Singh, MD; and project manager Gina Crisafi) and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (Umberto Tachinardi, MD; Mark Craven, PhD; Eneida Mendonca, MD, PhD; and Robert Lemanske, MD).
CREW is part of the NIH Environment and Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) consortium, and will also collect information about obesity, neurocognitive development and perinatal outcomes. The application was supported by additional funding from the UW Department of Pediatrics, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and the UW-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.
UW Health Primary Care Clinics Lead the Way in Immunization Rates
Through incredible teamwork to raise awareness about the importance of childhood and adolescent immunizations and vaccinations, UW Health primary care clinics achieved impressive rankings for immunizations, as measured by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.
We are currently ranked:
- #1 in Childhood Immunizations
- #2 in HPV Vaccinations
- #4 in Adolescent Immunizations
These achievements highlight our collective commitment to the kids in our care and reflects the level of trust our patients and families have in the advice we give.
In addition, the UW Health Stoughton Clinic is ranked #1 overall for childhood immunizations and received an award for this achievement from the Immunization Coalition!
Congratulations to everyone who coordinated to protect kids from vaccine preventable illness!
How Young Teens See the Smartphone Debate: UW Research Provides Novel Findings
Young adolescents think a child's maturity, not necessarily age, should be a factor in when a child gets a smartphone - and they worry about using that phone to bully other children.
As debate rages on about when a child should get a smartphone, a study led by Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) provides novel and sometimes surprising findings that address that and other related questions.
The results of the research were published Oct. 30, 2018, in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
"Our team's findings present novel viewpoints to inform current discussions around the appropriate timing and parental strategies for tweens' first smartphones," said Moreno.
Those viewpoints focused around three issues:
- maturity, as opposed to merely age;
- deference to parents, but having children be part of the conversation; and
- accountability, including preventing cyberbullying and determine who pays for the phone.
The study involved 12 focus groups of tweens otherwise known as early adolescents. A total of 45 participants ages 10 to 14 represented both rural and urban areas.
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD and Team Awarded U54 Subaward from NIH/NCI and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Subaward Principal Investigator, and UW Team Members, Amy Erbe-Gurel, PhD, Jacquelyn Hank, PhD, Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, and Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD, for their recent subaward through the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI). This U54 award was made through the Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network, as part of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and will provide ~$2.1 million to the UW over 5 years. This collaborative multi-institutional consortium, entitled, "Discovery and Development of Optimal Immunotherapeutic Strategies for Childhood Cancers," has a total award of $12.1 million and is led by overall Principal Investigator, Dr. John Maris at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Lead Institution, and Co-PI Dr. Crystall Mackall at Stanford University. Dr. Sondel and his team will lead Project 3, "Discovery and development of pediatric cancer antigen targets recognized by adaptive immune response," as well as support two additional projects of the cooperative agreement.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Publishes New Findings on PROMIS Metrics
Elizabeth D. Cox, MD, PhD and colleagues recently published new findings about the content validity of the Family Relationships measure in the journal, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. This NIH-funded study used qualitative methods to assess whether this new patient-reported outcome measure reflects the experiences of children with chronic conditions. The authors found that the Family Relationships measure, which had been developed and validated in a general pediatric population, does capture the experience of family relationships for chronically ill children. For the study, over 30 children with asthma, sickle cell disease, or type 1 diabetes and their parents were interviewed about their family experiences and the impact of chronic illness on those relationships. Interviewees described their family relationships in a manner consistent with the facets of the PROMIS® metric. Findings suggest potential utility for this metric in research and clinical practice with chronically ill children and their families.
Flynn KE, Kliems H, Saoji N, Svenson J, Cox ED. Content validity of the PROMIS® pediatric family relationships measure for children with chronic illness. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018;16:203. doi:
Dr. Inga Hofmann's Research Team Discovers Cause for Myelofibrosis
An eight-year quest to find the cause of a disease has apparently ended now that scientists at UW-Madison have identified the mutations that produce a form of myelofibrosis, a rare genetic blood disorder.
Mutations in a protein that controls the production of blood platelets appear to be the source of a genetically inherited form of macrothrombocytopenia with focal myelofibrosis, according to Inga Hofmann, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, medical director for the UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy, and lead author on the paper.
The results were recently featured as the September cover article in the journal Blood.
Hofmann and her team showed that the protein, G6b-B, which also regulates the production and function of megakaryocyte – a large bone marrow cell –can be manipulated to increase production of blood platelets, suggesting a potentially new treatment approach, Hofmann said.
“This is the first cause ever identified,” she said.
Full story on SMPH website...
Pediatrics Faculty Receive UnityPoint Health Meriter Foundation Awards
Congrats to the following faculty on their recent awards from the UnityPoint Health Meriter Foundation:
Elizabeth Goetz, MD, and Dinushan Kaluarachchi, MD, received $27,046 for their project, "Oxygen saturation profiles in healthy term neonates." The goal of this project is to determine normal values for an oxygen saturation profile over an 8-hour monitoring period among healthy term neonates 24-48 hours after birth. This study aims to provide scientific evidence to guide clinical decision making in the NICU, potentially resulting in the avoidance of unnecessary laboratory and radiological studies, shorter hospital stays and lowering of healthcare costs.
Elizabeth Goetz, MD, received $5,000 to support a multidisciplinary education session for health care professionals at UnityPoint Health-Meriter and community stakeholders in Dane County about identifying and caring for victims of human trafficking.
Pamela Kling, MD, received $48,979 for her project, "Impact of prenatal depression & anxiety on iron-mediated inflammatory pathways in infant behavior & brain development." The overall goal of this proposal is to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of prenatal maternal depression and anxiety on infant behavior and brain development.
Ryan McAdams, MD, and Co-Investigator Jasmine Zapata, MD, received $97,986 for their project, "A pregnancy, birth, and lactation support program to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in African American women." This funding will support a 12-month pregnancy, birth, and lactation support program for African American women cared for in the UnityPoint Health-Meriter obstetrical, newborn nursery, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) settings with the goal of increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates for African American babies to 85% at the time of discharge.
Social Media Adolescent Health Research Team Seeks Proposals to Study Mental Wellness and TechnologyPosted: October 2018
The relationship between mental wellness and technology is a hot topic, yet it is underexplored, according to Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the University of Wisconsin Social Media Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT).
As a result, SMAHRT is seeking proposals from diverse groups to study mental wellness and technology among 10- to 24-year-olds.
Up to six projects will be funded, at a maximum of $200,000 a year. The projects will be eligible for more funding if they achieve deliverable findings and outcomes by early 2020.
“The potential for technology to assist with prevention, identification and intervention in cases of anxiety and depression deserves more robust investigation,” said Dr. Moreno.
Eligible applicants include domestic public and private institutions of higher education, nonprofits, small businesses and other for-profit organizations, independent school districts, and faith-based, community-based or tribal organizations. Applications are not limited to those groups.
Dr. Moreno said the three objectives are to consider how technology can promote mental wellness; to disseminate that knowledge to diverse audiences at the industry, academic, community and individual levels; and to unify a collaborative and diverse community of stakeholders around the funded projects.
PROKids Team Receives NIH Funding For PROMIS MetricsPosted: October 2018
The PROKids team, led by Elizabeth Cox, MD PhD, received new NIH funding to develop standard guidance for the use of pediatric PROMIS metrics in ambulatory clinical populations. In collaboration with leadership from prominent child health advocacy organizations and delivery systems nationally, as well as other PROMIS experts and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Dissemination and Implementation Program, PROKids will interview healthcare stakeholders to understand, and ultimately address in the guidance, the challenges and opportunities of assessing pediatric population health with patient-reported metrics.
Scott Fites, PhD, Awarded Fellowship from the Hartwell Foundation
Congratulations to Scott Fites, PhD, and his mentor, Bruce Klein, MD, for their recent fellowship award from the Hartwell Foundation. This 2-year grant, titled "Harnessing a long-lived neutrophil to fight systemic fungal infections," awards $100,000 to Dr. Fites to support his research on invasive fungal infections, which take the lives of many vulnerable children-those receiving long-term intravenous catheters, organ-transplants, or a diagnosis of cancer are at exceptionally high risk. A small and poorly-understood population of white blood cells, called neutrophil-dendritic cells, potently kill fungal pathogens, and this project aims to elucidate the signals that cause neutrophil-dendritic cells to emerge. A goal of this project is also to develop adoptive transfer therapy of neutrophil-dendritic cells into pre-clinical models of invasive fungal infection that are receptive to transfer of human cells.
Dr. Neha Patel to Host Symposium on Neurofibromatosis Type 1
On Saturday, October 13, Neha Patel, MD, and her team will be hosting the 2nd annual Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Symposium. This unique event is designed to help patients, parents and siblings better understand NF1, seek answers from the experts, learn about exciting research, meet others and gather resources. There is no cost to attend. Click here for further details.
Facebook, UW School of Medicine and Public Health Team up on Social Media Research
A partnership between Facebook and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will explore the relationship between teens’ use of digital technologies and their mental and social health.
The research is part of Facebook’s $1 million commitment to work with academics, experts and partners across the industry to further explore this topic. Dr. Megan Moreno, professor and head of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) will lead the project at the School of Medicine and Public Health.
“The research will answer foundational and unanswered questions regarding youth, technology, and well-being and will provide guidelines for healthy family digital use,” said Moreno.
Objectives of the study include understanding the relationship between digital technology use and health and well-being of youth; understanding the role of parents in their children’s use of digital technology and well-being; assessing effects of interventions on health and wellbeing; and understanding real-time links between mood and social-media use behaviors.
The study will begin this fall.
Bruce Klein, MD, Awarded Grant from US Geological Survey
Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a 1-year grant for $49,527 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center for his project entitled, "The novel method for assessing vaccines against White Nose Syndrome using a mouse model." The overall goal of this project is to determine vaccine antigens that might be useful in protecting bats against white nose syndrome and to test those antigens in an alternative animal model. Congratulations!
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Awarded HRSA Subaward with University of Colorado-Denver
Congratulations to Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator, and Mary Ehlenbach, MD, Co-Investigator, who were recently awarded a subaward for up to 4 years from the University of Colorado-Denver and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This project, worth $75,000 of total costs in Year 1, is under the direction of University of Colorado overall PI Christopher Stille, MD, and is entitled "Children and youth with special health care needs research network programs." The Wisconsin team is leading development of 2 projects for the new National Research Network for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCNet).
In the first project, Dr. Coller and his team led a multidisciplinary national expert modified-Delphi panel and series of stakeholder focus groups to identify the top priorities for a new National Research Agenda for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs.
The second project, “Assessing Confidence at Times of Increased Vulnerability (ACTIV),” is a multisite study involving UW, Harvard, and UCLA that's led by Dr. Coller's team. The goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of an innovative health information technology tool to collect repeated measures of caregiver confidence of the health of children with medical complexity over time.
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Receives St. Baldrick's Research Award
Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, who was recently awarded a 2018 Research Award from the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This one-year grant, in the amount of $100,000, will support his project entitled, "Improving anti-cancer immune responses to targeted radionuclide therapy." The goal of this project is to combine molecular-targeted radiotherapy with immunomodulatory agents to facilitate radiation-damage induced anti-tumor immune responses. Other UW investigators include Bryan Bednarz, PHD (Medical Physics) and Jamey Weichert, PhD (Radiology).
Dr. Bruce Klein Awarded NIH/NIAID Grant
Congrats to Bruce Klein, MD, on his recent R01 research grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). His 4-year, $1.85 million project is entitled, "Lung epithelial cell regulation of immunity to inhaled fungi". Our fragile ecosystem has become increasingly plagued by airborne spores from both old and newly emergent fungi due to the excavation of new land and ever-changing climate. Despite this growing public health challenge, little is known about how lung epithelial cells that line the respiratory mucosa sense and manage these repeated spore challenges with each inhaled breath. This project aims to address that gap in knowledge while identifying new avenues for therapeutically targeting early events designed to optimize mucosal immunity to fungi and lung inflammation and powerful gene editing tools to advance the study of lung epithelial cells by the field.
Dr. Ei Terasawa Receives NIH/NICHD Grant
Ei Terasawa, PhD, was recently awarded a 5-year, $2 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NIH/NICHD) for her project, "Role of neuroestradiol in regulation of the GnRH surge". The overall objective of this proposal is to investigate the regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the non-human primate. Information obtained from this study will provide a basis for the development of new tools for clinical management of infertility and would lead to a new target for the development of new contraceptive drugs.
Dr. Daniele Gusland Awarded UW Global Health Institute Grant
Congratulations to Daniele Gusland, MD, and her mentors, James Conway, MD, and Dawd Siraj, MD (Department of Medicine), on receiving $25,000 from the University of Wisconsin Global Health Institute for their project, "Etiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns of Neonatal Sepsis in Jimma, Ethiopia (EARNEST)". The team aims to identify the most common organisms responsible for neonatal bacterial infection and estimate the likelihood of successful treatment of these organisms based on their resistance rates to first line antibiotics. This will be done via a 12-month prospective study of 1,000 neonates and young infants admitted to Jimma University Hospital with possible serious bacterial infection (as defined by the WHO danger signs, including poor feeding, seizures, fever, lethargy, hypothermia, tachypnea, and increased work of breathing).
Dr. Mary Ehlenbach Receives Inaugural Paster Family Foundation Award
Mary Ehlenbach, MD, (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Hospital Medicine) was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Paster Family Foundation Innovation Award. This award is given for a project, system improvement or initiative that has made a difference in human health and/or the lives of patients and their families.
Dr. Ehlenbach was chosen for the award for her work to design and implement the Pediatric Complex Care Program at American Family Children' Hospital, which has improved the health and touched the lives of over 300 children. She will receive the award on November 9, 2018, at a dinner for the Middleton Society, the SMPH's philanthropic member society; she intends to use the prize money to further develop the program through professional development for team members, wellness activities, or equipment or technology.
Dr. Balasubramaniam Receives UW Foundation Grant
Congratulations to Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, and Kim Whitmore, PhD, RN (Nursing), on receipt of ~$48,000 in funding via the UW Foundation for their project, "eHomeCare - an innovative health care delivery support system for homecare nurses". This project aims to increase access to an evidence-based, nursing-driven educational program by leveraging a web-based, mobile training platform to develop eHomeCare. This innovative health care delivery support system will provide homecare nurses with comprehensive information about the care of children with a tracheostomy and/or ventilator that can be used as an initial training, annual review, as well as an on-going resource to support critical thinking in the home and community setting.
Dr. Bikash Pattnaik Awarded 2-Year Research Grant
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, was recently awarded a 2-year research grant of $250,000 from Ateres Avigail in support of his project, "Restoration of potassium channel function using mouse models of Lebers Congenital Amaurosis (LCA16) as a means to treat retinal channelopathies." This project will use mouse models to deliver lentiviral and adenoviral gene-therapy during early, middle and late stages of development targeted to retina pigment epithelium (RPE) apical processes. This study is the first of several steps aimed at developing preventative approaches to treat blindness in LCA16 and testing the role of precision medicine therapeutics.
Dr. Anne Marie Singh Awarded Alain de Weck Travel Grant
Congrats to Anne Marie Singh, MD, on being awarded an Alain de Weck Travel Grant for the 32nd Symposium of the Collegium International Allergologicum in Mallorca, Spain this fall. The travel grant provides funding for meeting registration and an additional $850 to be used for travel-related expenses. Dr. Singh will be recognized during the meeting's Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 4, 2018.
Dr. Ei Terasawa Receives VCRGE Travel Grant
Congratulations to Ei Terasawa, PhD on receipt of a $2,000 travel grant from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE). This funding will support her travel expenses to the International Congress of Endocrinology in Cape Town, South Africa in December 2018.
Meet our New Fellows!
The Department of Pediatrics proudly welcomes 14 new fellows across eight programs this academic year.
Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Dan Rosenberg, MD
Medical School: State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University; Syracuse, NY
Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics; Madison, WI
Julia Thorsen, MD, MPH
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin; Milwaukee, WI
Residency: Nationwide Children's Hospital; Columbus, OH
Endocrinology and Diabetes
Erika Zevin, MD
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin; Milwaukee, WI
Residency: Indiana University School of Medicine; Indianapolis, IN
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics
Fen Guo, PhD
Doctoral Degree (Biomedical Engineering): Jinan University; Guangzhou, China
Jesse Hunter, PhD
Doctoral Degree (Cell Biology): University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham, AL
Clinical Medical Genetics
Katie Williams, MD, PhD
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Madison, WI
Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
Doctoral Degree (Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition) University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hematology and Oncology
Matthew Davis, MD, MS
Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine; True Blue Point, Grenada
Residency: OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois; Peoria, IL
Graduate School (MS, Medical Sciences): Mississippi College; Clinton, MS
Mallery Olsen, MD
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Madison, WI
Residency: Wake Forest School of Medicine; Winston-Salem, NC
Kathryn (Katie) Schmit, MD
Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine; True Blue Point, Grenada
Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics; Madison, WI
Elizabeth (Lizzie) McBride, MD
Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Maywood, IL
Residency: Rush University Medical Center; Chicago, IL
Carmen Verwoerd, MD
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine; Roseau, Dominica
Residency: Marshfield Clinic; Marshfield, WI
Pediatric Critical Care
Nicole (Nikki) Kamps, MD
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Madison, WI
Residency: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics; Madison, WI
Megan Williams, MD
Medical School: Jagiellonian University Medical College; Kraków, Poland
Residency: KU School of Medicine–Wichita; Wichita, KS
Primary Care Sports Medicine
Matthew (Matt) Brown, MD
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Madison, WI
Residency: University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Madison, WI
Dr. Megan Moreno and SMAHRT Team Awarded Contract
Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, and the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) were recently awarded a subaward contract from the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), to collaborate on the Tribal Health - Reaching out InVolves Everyone (THRIVE) project. For this one-year award, SMAHRT will play several roles in the Concerning Social Media Training project, including working with the THRIVE team, compiling and analyzing follow-up data, including pre-post analyses and comparisons between study arms, and dissemination of findings. These tasks are in support of the "Concerning Post" youth curricula, for placement on www.HealthyNativeYouth.org web site. This site that contains health promotion curricula and resources for American Indian and Alaska Native youth and is designed for tribal health educators, teachers, and parents - providing the training and tools needed to access and deliver effective, age-appropriate programs. Congratulations!
Dr. Paul Sondel Awarded Impact Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, who has been awarded a one-year Impact Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. This $100,000 award will support his research, "Innate and Adaptive Immunotherapy to Eradicate Immunologically Cold Neuroblastoma," in which Dr. Sondel and his team will develop combination immunotherapy regimens, activating both innate and adaptive immune responses, to eradicate immunologically cold neuroblastomas in mice in order to translate these regimens to potent anti-neuroblastoma clinical therapy. Dr. Sondel and Wisconsin children affected by cancer were honored in a June hand-print ceremony at American Family Children's Hospital.
Christian Capitini, MD, Awarded National Cancer Institute Funding
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, and Co-Investigator Sean Fain, PhD, who were recently awarded a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI) for their project entitled, "Combining hu14.18-IL2 and NK cell infusions to treat neuroblastoma." This R01 award for over $1.75 million in total costs, will use murine allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) models to develop evidence for a clinically applicable combined strategy that utilizes the immunocytokine hu14.18-IL2 to enhance the graft-versus-tumor effect of immunologically activated, ex-vivo activated natural killer (NK) cells, and to track the localization of these NK cells using a novel 19F-MRI platform.
Students Awarded 2018-2019 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to the following undergraduate students and their Pediatric mentors who were awarded 2018-2019 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships from the University of Wisconsin. Students receive a stipend of $3,000 and the associated faculty mentor receives $1,000 to offset costs associated with the student's research expenses. The Hilldale student will present research findings at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2019.
- Michael Gui, Microbiology. Mentor: Bruce Klein, MD
- Hailey Prosek, Biology. Mentor: Pamela Kling, MD
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, Named an SMPH Centennial Scholar
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, an assistant professor (CHS), in the Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, has been selected as a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Centennial Scholar, effective July 1, 2018.
The goal of the Centennial Scholars Program is to develop faculty whose diversity enhances the quality of education and research at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and who may serve as visible and available role models for students and trainees, especially those from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
As an active member of the program, Dr. Zapata will receive three years of 50 percent protected time to complete scholarly activities related to maternal child health disparities research. She is extremely excited to combine her background in the fields of both pediatrics and preventive medicine/public health to impact change.
Congratulations on this outstanding honor!
Statewide Study Shows Lack of Access to Health Care for Transgender, Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming Youth
A first-of-its-kind statewide survey of transgender, nonbinary and gender expansive/nonconforming (TNG) youth shows a lack of access to TNG-centered health care and insurance in Wisconsin.
“The clear majority of youth surveyed say they can’t find medical or mental health providers who understand their needs,” said Dr. Britt Allen, assistant professor of pediatrics. Based on previous population-level data, the report estimates that there may be as many as 9,800 to 12,400 TNG youth between the ages of 12 and 22 in Wisconsin.
Allen teamed up with co-investigator Dr. Jennifer Rehm, assistant professor of pediatrics, lead author Jay Botsford of the Transgender Youth Resource Network (TYRN), and the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition, for the study.
In addition to the survey, the study included five focus groups from around the state. Surveys were completed in 2017 by 311 TNG youth. Among the findings:
- Eighty percent of TNG youth do not have a medical provider who is aware of the health needs of TNG youth.
- Fifty-five percent had to provide basic information about TNG health to medical providers and 65 percent to mental-health providers.
- Twenty-eight percent avoided or were unable to access necessary health care within the last year.
- Eighty-one percent have insurance, yet only 38 percent of respondents have coverage for some TNG-specific or transition-related health care. Less than 3 percent cover all care.
- Seventy percent and 64 percent respectively had negative experiences with their medical or mental-health-care providers through language, refusal of care, denial of identity or lack of provider knowledge.
“TNG young people deserve access to high-quality and affirming services, resources and care throughout their lives so that they can successfully grow into affirmed, safe and thriving adults,” said Rehm.
The report makes the following recommendations:
- Provide thorough education and training to healthcare and mental health providers about TNG youth communities, identities, needs and health.
- Identify and eliminate systemic, policy, procedural and practice barriers to care for TNG youth within all healthcare systems.
- Ensure both public and private health insurance cover TNG-specific and transition-related health care of all kinds.
- Replace gatekeeping models to provide TNG-specific and transition-related health care with patient-centered models of care.
- Establish policies, systems and/or services to address and minimize parental/guardian rejection or lack of support as a barrier to health care for TNG youth.
- Develop services to help TNG youth navigate health-care systems, advocate for their needs, and access affirming resources.
Partners in the survey include the Department of Pediatrics, the Transgender Youth Resource Network, and the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition. Administrative support was provided by the Child Health Advocacy department of UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital.
UW Health offers a Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health Clinic (PATH) which provides care for TNG children and young adults. The Gender Services program offers gender-affirming care for adults.
Funding for the study was provided by Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Foundation, the UW BIRCWH program and the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
See the full report here.
Dr. James Conway, UW Health Experts Discuss Importance of HPV Vaccination
University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics Professor (CHS) James Conway, MD, along with UW Carbone Cancer Director Howard Bailey, MD, and UW Department of Human Oncology Assistant Professor Randy Kimple, MD, was quoted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the importance of vaccinating children for human papillomavirus (HPV).
In the article, Dr. Conway, who is also the medical director for immunization services and chair of the Immunization Program and Planning Committee at UW Health, referred to a recent report from the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality for health systems in their success at immunizing teens against HPV across the state.
UW Health ranked second in Wisconsin, with a 71.2 percent vaccination rate by age 15, but in some parts of the state, the rates are as low as 30 percent.
Dr. Conway said that even though some may feel uncomfortable discussing a sexually transmitted disease such as HPV, it is important for patients and providers to consider HPV vaccination as a necessary and safe way to prevent several types of cancers.
"[Vaccines] are tested on hundreds of thousands of people, they're scrutinized way more than anything else in the medical system," he said. "Even after they're licensed and put on the market, they're followed really closely for any sort of safety issues."
Stand Up to Cancer-St. Baldrick's Pediatric Dream Team Award Renewed
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, and the UW Pediatric Dream Team, for their renewal funding through the Stand Up to Cancer-St. Baldrick's Pediatric Dream Team Translational Cancer Research Award, supported by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and St. Baldrick's Foundation. This award provides $250,000 per year to the University of Wisconsin Dream Team, for a 4-year total of $1,000,000. Led by overall Team Leaders, Dr. John Maris at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Lead Institution, and Dr. Crystall Mackall at Stanford University, Dr. Sondel and his team at University of Wisconsin continue their important role on the Dream Team. Key members of the Wisconsin team are Kenneth DeSantes, MD, Co-PI; Young Investigators Christian Capitini, MD, Mario Otto, MD, PhD, and Inga Hofmann, MD; Collaborators Peiman Hematti, MD and Jacques Galipeau, MD from the Department of Medicine; and Investigators Amy Erbe Gurel, PhD, Jacquelyn Hank, PhD, Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD, from the Department of Human Oncology, and Kimberly McDowell, MD, PhD. This collaborative multi-institutional consortium, entitled, "Immunogenomics to Create New Therapeutics for High Risk Childhood Cancers," proposes to link genomics and immunotherapy efforts underway at 7 Pediatric Oncology Centers [Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Stanford University, Baylor, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and UW] in order to perform preclinical and clinical collaborative work designed to move new therapies into clinical testing for pediatric patients.
Katie Beverley Receives Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology Training Grant Support
Congratulations to Katie Beverley, Graduate Research Assistant in the lab of Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, who was recently selected as a Trainee on the National Institutes of Health-funded T32 Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology (ERP) Training Grant, directed by Ian Bird, PhD. The Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology Program at the University of Wisconsin is a broad based, interdepartmental degree-granting program designed to provide training at the predoctoral and postdoctoral level in interdisciplinary research at the forefront of Endocrinology and reproductive physiology.
Michelle Kelly, MD, Awarded ICTR Pilot Grant
Michelle Kelly, MD, was recently awarded a Clinical & Community Outcomes Research award from the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW ICTR) for her proposal, "Sharing doctors' notes to improve parent understanding of their hospitalized child's care plan." This 1-year, $75,000 pilot project will involve the sharing of daily doctors' notes with parents of patients hospitalized at American Family Children's Hospital, in conjunction with parent and nurse interviews and focus groups, to inform a future study to determine if giving families access to notes improves their understanding of their child's care and ability to recognize errors and partner with doctors' to prevent harm. The project also involves Pediatric advisors Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Daniel Sklansky, MD, and Shannon Dean, MD. Congratulations!
Yury Bochkov, PhD Awarded Grant from Arctic Therapeutics
Congratulations to Yury Bochkov, PhD, Principal Investigator, for his $50,000, 1-year award from Arctic Therapeutics, LLC, for this grant entitled, "Testing RV-C inhibitors and receptor function of animal CDHR3 sequences in HeLa cells." The main objective of this project is to test the effects of four new antiviral compounds developed by Arctic Therapeutics, LLC on rhinovirus C (RV-C) binding and/or replication in transduced HeLa-E8 cells. In addition, receptor function of CDHR3 protein, a transmembrane protein that serves as a cellular receptor for RV-C, from some animal species (e.g., mouse, marmoset, rhesus macaque) will be tested.
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, and Mary Ehlenbach, MD, Awarded Grant from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator, and Mary Ehlenbach, MD, Co-Principal Investigator, were recently awarded a 4-year grant of $226,521 from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, for their project, "Healthcare delivery system innovations for children with medical complexity." The purpose of this funding initiative is to improve the quality of life for children with medical complexity, the well-being of their families, and the cost-effectiveness of their care, through the development and implementation of innovative care and payment models using a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) approach. Congratulations!
Six Department of Pediatrics Faculty Receive Promotions
Congratulations to the six Department of Pediatrics faculty who were approved for promotion this year. Their new ranks are effective July 1, 2018.
Juan Boriosi, MD
Division of Critical Care Medicine
Promoted to Associate Professor (CHS)
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Promoted to Professor
Michelle Kelly, MD
Division of Hospital Medicine
Promoted to Associate Professor (CHS)
Megan Neuman, MD
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Promoted to Clinical Associate Professor
Mario Otto, MD, PhD
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant
Promoted to Associate Professor with tenure
Kristin Shadman, MD
Division of Hospital Medicine
Promoted to Associate Professor (CHS)
American Family Children's Hospital Ranks Among Best Hospitals
UW Health's American Family Children's Hospital ranked in the top 50 children's hospitals in six medical and surgical specialties in this year's U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital rankings.
The children's hospital was named in the top 50 for:
- Cancer (39)
- Cardiology and heart surgery (46)
- Gastroenterology and GI surgery (41)
- Nephrology (44)
- Pulmonology (40)
- Urology (45)
Data were collected from 189 pediatric hospitals across the United States. The categories measured were clinical outcomes, level and quality of hospital resources, technology and special services, delivery of health care, staffing and expert opinion among pediatric specialists. Only 86 of the 189 hospitals surveyed were ranked in the top 50 in at least one of the 10 specialties.
The children's hospital continues to be the smallest children's hospital ranking this high in multiple subspecialties.
Pediatric cancer care has ranked among the best for many years at American Family Children's Hospital. The team has had noticeable accomplishments. They include Stand Up 2 Cancer designating our pediatric hematology/oncology work a "Dream Team" of researchers.
The children's hospital this year began offering Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell treatment (CAR-T) for children with refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. The children's hospital is among a handful of institutions in the U.S. that are offering this specific treatment.
Drs. Ryan Coller, Michael Wilhelm and Melissa Cercone Receive UW Health Physician Excellence Awards
Three Department of Pediatrics faculty were among those honored at this year’s UW Health Physician Excellence Awards ceremony, held June 14, 2018, at the Health Sciences Learning Center. The peer-nominated awards recognize those who demonstrate exceptional performance in clinical practice, education, leadership or regional services and a commitment to our mission, vision and values.
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine)
Dr. Coller (pictured on right with UW Health Senior Vice President Nizar Jarjour, MD) received the Rising Star Clinical Excellence Award, which honors outstanding clinicians and educators who have, in a more limited tenure at UW Health and SMPH, demonstrated exceptional and measurable contributions to clinical practice.
He is described as one of few remaining “triple-threats” in an era of increasing specialty, excelling in clinical practice, teaching and research. He is an exceptional complex care physician, attending to the most medically fragile children in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Family-centered care comes naturally to Dr. Coller, who always considers the values, home environment and resources of the family in crafting care plans.
His arrival at UW Health coincided with the launch of the UW Pediatric Complex Care Program, and Dr. Coller deftly assumed management of the evaluation component of the HCMS Health Care Innovation Award, a multi-million-dollar collaboration with the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Special Needs Program. And as research director, he has successfully created a nationally-recognized reputation of excellence.
Michael Wilhelm, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine)
Dr. Wilhelm (pictured on right with UW Health CEO Alan Kaplan, MD) received a Clinical Practice Excellence Award, which honors outstanding clinicians who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to safety and quality patient- and family-centered care.
He is known to be a superb pediatric interventionist, someone who provides excellent care to neonates, infants, young children and adults with an in-depth understanding of physiology and safe delivery of care.
He is respected by his peers for his intelligence, compassion and integrity. He is described as a physicians’ physician and someone who can push established subspecialists to the limit of their knowledge. He has earned a reputation as the one to go to when the complexity is high and an ability to think holistically is needed. His mantra is that there is no reason why we can’t be better at what we do.
As Medical Director for the PICU, he is known for his skill in articulating a clear vision and helping everyone find their place. His training as a scientist and rigorous and passionate commitment to continuous improvement have resulted in an improved quality of care in our PICU that makes us among the best in the country.
Melissa Cercone, MD (Clinical Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine)
Dr. Cercone (pictured on right with UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, MD) received a Clinical Educator Excellence Award, which recognizes clinicians who show remarkable skill in teaching the next generation of physicians, interdisciplinary team members, patients and families.
She is widely respected for her role in developing the UW Pediatric Residency Simulation Core Curriculum. Using simulation, she creates events that trainees use to practice their skills and clarify their thinking related to time-sensitive medical decision making.
She regularly shares her skills to educate nursing and other ancillary staff within UW Health, teaches regionally at multiple hospitals, and is regularly invited to present at national and international conferences, but she is particularly invested in the education of trainees within the department of pediatrics.
As a clinician, she is recognized for her compassionate care of children and her ability to educate families, especially when the diagnosis or prognosis is particularly difficult. As one trainee said, “Her lessons that mean the most cannot be found in a book. She has taught me that it is okay to not always know the answer, that doctors also grieve, and that there are things worse than death. It is these lessons that truly improve the quality of tomorrow’s doctors.”
Physician Excellence Award Honorees
In addition, Paula Cody, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) and Gregory Rice, MD (Associate Professor [CHS], Division of Genetics and Metabolism) were honorees at this year’s awards.
Meet the 2017-18 Residency Award Winners
Congratulations to the following faculty, residents and staff who received awards at the Department of Pediatrics residency graduation ceremony, held June 16, 2018, at Monona Terrace.
Lobeck Award for Outstanding Teaching in Pediatrics (Clerkship)
Winner: Ann Allen, MD
This award winner is nominated and selected by the third-year SMPH class. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in the teaching of medical students through sustained effort and dedication to medical student education, and who demonstrates a high level of teaching effectiveness through consistently superior evaluations. This faculty member serves as a role model and actively promotes the professional rewards of a career in the field of pediatrics.
Todd Varness Outstanding Clinical Teacher (Residency)
Winner: Jonathan Fliegel, MD
This award winner is nominated and selected by Pediatrics residents. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates the humanism and teaching skills exemplified by Dr. Todd Varness, “who found joy in just about everything in life, and a fulfilling challenge in just about everything about medicine. Todd's teaching was an artistic experience, like listening to improvisations of a talented musician. He had a tireless work ethic, an inspiring and positive nature, and a true love for people.”
Outstanding General Pediatrician (Residency)
Winner: Brittany Allen, MD
This award winner is nominated and selected by Pediatrics residents. The award recognizes a general pediatrician who demonstrates excellence through the provision of care to patients in a primary care setting, a commitment to resident education, and the promotion of resident interest in primary care pediatrics.
Outstanding Senior Pediatric Resident (Residency)
Winner: Christina Amend, MD
This award winner is nominated and selected by first- and second-year Pediatrics residents and Pediatrics faculty. The award recognizes a senior resident who demonstrates excellence in the areas of leadership, teaching, patient care, professionalism, and advocacy for children.
Outstanding Intern (Residency)
Winner: Shawn Damodharan, MD
This award winner is nominated and selected by second- and third-year Pediatrics residents and Pediatrics faculty. The award recognizes an intern who distinguishes her/himself in some significant way through patient care, professional behavior, and advocacy for children.
Patient/Family-Centered Care Award (Child Life-Barb Byrne/Julie Auenson)
Winner: Jared Kevern, MD
This award is given by nurses and child life staff and reflects the four principles of family-centered care.
Med Student Resident Teacher Award (Clerkship)
Winner: Jennifer Szmanda, DO
This award winner is nominated and selected by the third-year SMPH class.
Dr. Emma Mohr Appointed to ICTR Post-Doctoral Training Program
Congratulations to Emma Mohr, MD, PhD, on being appointed to the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research's (ICTR) TL1 post-doctoral trainee program. The award provides funding for Dr. Mohr's annual stipend, travel allowance and tuition. Her project, "Defining maternal antibody responses in congenital Zika virus infection," focuses on the immune response to Zika virus infection using body fluid and tissue samples from a project studying the pathogenesis of Zika virus during pregnancy.
Dr. Pelin Cengiz Awarded ICTR Grant
Pelin Cengiz, MD, was recently awarded a $50,000 one-year grant from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and the Waisman Center for her project, “Role of ERα following brain injury: ligand dependent or independent?” In her previous studies, Dr. Cengiz found a novel pathway in female brains that resulted in better long-term neurological outcome in mice following brain injury. This pathway involves the increased expression of the sex-steroid receptor estrogen receptor alpha in female but not in male brains. In this project, Dr. Cengiz will expand on her previous novel findings of the upregulation of estrogen receptor alpha in female neonate brains being neuroprotective and investigate whether this receptor activation is dependent on the sex steroid, estradiol. If she proves that the ERα is dependent on estradiol, she will determine whether the estradiol is originating from adrenals or brain.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, Receives NIH/NIAID Grant
Congratulations to Anna Huttenlocher, MD, and David Beebe, PhD (College of Engineering), on the funding of their project, "Microscale models of inflammation and its resolution," from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). Chronic inflammation caused by improper immune cell clearance is a significant human health problem contributing to tissue damage and chronic inflammation in autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer. During this 5-year project for $3.76 million, Drs. Huttenlocher and Beebe will apply bioengineering techniques and organotypic models using induced pluripotent stem cells to gain a better understanding of inflammation to guide better treatments strategies and patient outcomes.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Collaborating on UW2020 Grant
Krishanu Saha, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), will lead a team of investigators, including Co-PIs Shaoqin Sarah Gong, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, and David Gamm, MD, PhD (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), and other collaborators, to study genetic disorders of the eye, in their recently awarded UW2020 grant entitled, “Gene Editing Nanomedicines to Correct Pathogenic Mutations in Retinal Pigmented Epithelium.” This 2-year WARF Discovery Initiative project will use advances in biomaterials to generate nonviral, synthetic nanocarriers of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing machinery for targeted delivery to the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) that surrounds the retina. Such research would generally expand the types of tissues that could be edited and hence the spectrum of disease where genomic medicine could have an impact. Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin? Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. More about the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-4-projects/gene-editing-nanomedicines-mutations-retinal-pigmented-epithelium/
Graduate Student in Otto Laboratory Awarded ICTR TL1 Grant
Sean Rinella, MPH, Research Assistant in Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant and the Otto Laboratory, was recently awarded a 2-year grant as part of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Predoctoral TL1 Program. This award provides an annual stipend, tuition, insurance, fees, and a travel allowance in support of his project, “Development of pre-clinical models and clinical applications for T cell receptor alpha beta depleted haploidentical stem cell transplant.” Mentors for the project are Mario Otto, MD, PhD, and Christian Capitini, MD. This project will utilize a highly selective graft engineering process to examine the role of alpha beta T cell depletion in pediatric malignant and non-malignant diseases including engraftment, immune reconstitution and function. Congratulations, Sean!
Two Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grants Awarded to Pediatrics Investigators
Congratulations to Christine Seroogy, MD, PI, and Mei Baker, MD, Co-PI, who were recently awarded a 3-year, $120,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant for their project, “Development and Implementation of Rapid Genetic Test to Improve Health Outcomes in Wisconsin Plain Newborns.” The goal of this proposal is to develop and implement state-of-the-art genetic testing for Wisconsin Amish and Mennonite, collectively called Plain, newborns. Development of this testing will improve early diagnosis and treatment for disorders found at a higher frequency in these communities compared to the general population.
Tonya Roberts, PhD, RN (Nursing), and Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, were recently awarded a 2-year, $120,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant for their project, “Engaging Families as Care Partners in Community Nursing Homes.” Funding for these awards is made possible through the generous gift to the UW-Madison from Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin through the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Congratulations!
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Awarded a UW2020 Grant
Congratulations to Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, who was awarded a 2-year UW2020 grant for her project entitled, “Building a Translational Research Pipeline to Personalize Diabetes Prevention and Treatment.” Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin?Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. This WARF Discovery Initiative award, in conjunction with Co-Principal Investigators Dawn Davis, MD, PhD, (Medicine) and Michelle Kimple, PhD (Medicine), as well as Pediatric Co-Investigator Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, and numerous other collaborators, will establish the Diabetes Research Accelerator for Wisconsin (DRAW), a data registry and biobank of individuals with diabetes, as a next step toward delivering personalized diabetes care and facilitating interdisciplinary translational diabetes research at UW-Madison. More on the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-4-projects/personalize-diabetes-prevention/
Iams Lectureship Speaker Eric Post, PhD, ATC, Focuses on Youth Sports Specialization
The University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics welcomed Eric Post, PhD, ATC, as its Grand Rounds speaker for the 2018 Alexander M. Iams Lectureship in Pediatric Practice, held May 10, 2018.
Dr. Post is an athletic trainer at the University Health Services Athletic Training Clinic, a research assistant in the UW-Madison Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory and a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology.
His presentation, “The Who, What, and Why of Sport Specialization,” educated attendees on the prevalence, factors and injuries associated with youth sport specialization, defined as “year-round intensive training in a single sport at the exclusion of other sports.”
Dr. Post shared data showing that about 36 percent of high-school athletes specialize, with higher percentages seen at large schools; among female athletes; among those who play volleyball, soccer and basketball; and among students from higher-income families. Those who specialize are at higher risk for overuse injury, especially in the upper extremities.
He also cited studies showing that while students and parents often perceive that sport specialization increases their child’s chances for a college athletics scholarship, less than 0.5% of youth athletes actually play at the college level.
Dr. Post concluded by sharing American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that parents delay their children’s sport specialization until age 15-16, to monitor that elite sports programs aren’t over-stressing their child and to encourage their children to take time off from their sport each week and for three months per year.
The Iams program continued later that day with a facilitated American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) MOC Part 2 activity, “Pediatric Infectious Diseases Self-Assessment,” led by Greg DeMuri, MD, and Emma Mohr, MD, PhD. It concluded that evening with a pediatric community reception at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
The Iams lectureship is named after Alexander M. Iams, MD, who practiced pediatrics in Madison from 1948 until his death in 1984. His friends and family established a memorial fund in his honor to establish and maintain an annual lecture series on the practice of pediatrics that promotes camaraderie between community pediatricians.
The lectureship is funded through the generosity of the Pediatric Founders’ Fund of the Meriter Foundation, Meriter UnityPoint Health, and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Christian Capitini Featured in Wisconsin State Journal Article on CAR T-Cell Therapy for Resistant Leukemia
Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor Christian Capitini, MD, was among UW Health physicians and staff featured in a Wisconsin State Journal article on CAR T-cell therapy, a promising new immunotherapy for resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The article profiled two young patients who were the first to receive CAR T-cell therapy in Wisconsin since it was approved last year. UW Health is the only place providing it in the state.
The treatment is the first gene therapy approved in the United States, a “living drug” made by genetically modiying a patient' immune cells to better recognize a specific protein on leukemia cells. The treatment, called Kymriah, is “a paradigm-shifting game changer,” Dr. Capitini said.
Two Students in Dr. Marlowe Eldridge's Lab Receive Awards at APS Experimental Biology Meeting
Two UW-Madison undergraduate students in the lab of Marlowe Eldridge, MD, were recognized during the American Physiological Society’s Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego.
Caitlin Jarrard and Rachel Harradine were 2018 Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Awardees. These awards are presented annually to undergraduate students presenting their research at the April 21-25 Experimental Biology event.
Jarrard also was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards based on her oral presentation.
Dr. Eldridge's lab centers its work on integrative cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology.
Two other students, Alexandra Carl and Karly Katchen, who have worked in the Barnes Lab of the Bruno Balke Biodynamics Laboratory in the UW Department of Kinesiology, were also honored with both awards.
Above, from left: UW-Madison undergraduate students Karly Katchen, Alexandra Carl, Caitlin Jarrard and Rachel Harradine pose for a photo in at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego. Harradine and Jarrard are students in the lab of Marlowe Eldridge, MD.
Department Has Outstanding Showing at Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting
The Department of Pediatrics’ research and academic achievements were on full display at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting, held May 5-8, 2018, in Toronto, Canada.
Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes Chief David Allen, MD, was this year’s recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) Paul Kaplowitz Endowed Lectureship for Quality Care. He presented a plenary session, “Growth-Promoting Treatment: When Discretion is the Better Part of Value.”
The outstanding showing by department faculty, residents and staff also included:
- 11 platform presentations on such topics as sinusitis, complex care, social media use and a natural history study of achondroplasia;
- three invited science sessions on such topics as perinatal programming on the right ventricle and pulmonary vasculature, the mechanics of pediatric asthma clinical trials and the diagnosis and management of streptococcal pharyngitis;
- two special-interest groups on interdisciplinary pediatric research and medical student education/qualitative research;
- two workshops on collecting validity evidence and building recognition through branding; and
- 54 posters across a wide variety of subspecialties.
The PAS meeting is an international gathering of pediatricians and other health care providers united by a common mission: to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. Attendees include researchers, academics, clinical care providers and community practitioners.
The meeting is produced through a partnership between the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association and the AAP, plus collaborations with Alliance and Affiliate supporters.
Pediatrics Faculty Mentors, Students Chosen by 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:
- Ryan Coller, MD, MPH & Mary Ehlenbach, MD - Wenzhu Sun, "Diverting children with medical complexity from the ED through complex care"
- James Conway, MD - Samuel Starke, "Evaluation of school-based LTBI treatment program for Tibetan school-children with recent exposure to active TB"
- Norman Fost, MD, MPH - Alec Lerner, "Critique of American Academy of Pediatrics' policy statement on youth tackle football"
- Luke Lamers, MD - Carolina Larrain, "Assessment of pulmonary vascular function following catheter interventions for branch pulmonary artery stenosis in a swine model of congenital heart disease"
- Allison Redpath, MD - Brenna Funfar, "Acute kidney injury in pediatric patients with acute myelogenous leukemia"
- Amy Peterson, MD - Connor Enright, "Safety and efficacy of statin medications for cardiovascular risk reduction in pediatric populations"
- Kristin Shadman, MD - Lucia Covert, "The development of a standardized online toolkit on safe sleep practices for Wisconsin Birth Hospitals(tm) healthcare providers"
- Ryan McAdams, MD - Mackenzie Carlson, "Investigating viewpoints of pregnant mothers, community health workers, and doctors on prenatal care in Mukono, Uganda"
- Brittany Allen, MD - Brian Bizub, "Using iterative design to make recommendations for creating an affirming primary care environment for transgender patients as part of an educational toolkit for primary care providers"
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - Megan Gokey, "Enhancing detection sensitivity of humanized therapeutic antibody in patient samples for improved pharmacokinetic evaluation" and Do Dang, "Effect of cyclophosphamide on in situ vaccine-induced tumor immunotherapy"
Laura Tetri, PhD, Awarded ICTR-MSTP Pilot Award
Congratulations to Laura Tetri, PhD, and mentors Jennifer Rehm, MD and Aaron Carrel, MD, for their recent UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research-Medical Scientist Training Program (ICTR-MSTP) Pilot Award. This $10,000, one-year grant, for the project entitled, "Linking sex and fitness with metabolic disease in obese children," is a focused initial investigation into the relationship between cardiovascular fitness (CVF), puberty, and sex. CVF is not a well understood nor utilized clinical measure, much less, the relationship between CVF and metabolic disease. Understanding the role of CVF in indices of metabolic disease may provide a modifiable variable in these children's lives that could reduce the negative effects of obesity.
Christian Capitini, MD, Awarded Research Scholar Grant from American Cancer Society
Christian Capitini, MD, along with Co-Investigators Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, and Sean Fain, PhD (Medical Physics), were recently awarded a four-year, Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS), for the project entitled, "Ex vivo activated NK cells and immunocytokine for pediatric cancers." This grant, for $792,000 (total costs), will provide preclinical evidence for a potential platform for incorporating recently developed immunotherapies, namely immunocytokine and natural killer (NK) cells, for treatment of neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma.
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, Awarded a 2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award
Congratulations to Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, who received one of twelve grants awarded nationally by The Hartwell Foundation in their 2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award competition. Along with three years and $300,000 of support, Dr. Balasubramaniam receives recognition as a Hartwell Investigator. His grant, entitled "Application of Cellular-Derived Therapies for the Regeneration of Lung Structure and Function," will determine the specific components and mechanisms of innovative use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in an animal model, using novel imaging and tracking techniques to understand therapeutic targets of these EVs. The hope for premature infants that suffer from BPD is that investigators gain a better understanding of how EVs work and can develop new innovative therapies to cure lung diseases of prematurity. The link to the full story on The Hartwell Foundation's web site can be found here: http://thehartwellfoundation.com/2017/2017_Investigators.shtml or at www.thehartwellfoundation.org
First-Year Resident Allison Heizelman, MD, Inducted into AOA Honor Medical Society
First-year resident Allison Heizelman, MD, was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society during an April 6, 2018, ceremony at the Carson Gulley Center on the UW-Madison campus.
“She impressed me with her consistent excellence and her grace under fire: not only was she always prepared with thorough, thoughtful plans for each of her patients on a very active service; but she also demonstrated the most effective parent communication during rounds,” noted her nominator.
Election to AOA is a lifelong honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service.
Department Chair Ellen Wald, MD, a long-time member of the AOA, delivered the keynote address at the evening’s ceremony and banquet.
Dr. Nicole St. Clair Re-elected to Executive Committee of the AAP Section on International Child Health
Congratulations to Nicole St Clair, MD (Associate Professor (CHS), Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine), who was elected for a second term on the executive committee of the Section on International Child Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her next term will begin on November 1, 2018, and continue through the AAP's 2021 National Conference and Exhibition.
Pediatric Investigators Receive Two Grants from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Congratulations to Mala Mathur, MD, MPH, PI and Co-Investigators Cristina Delgadillo, MD, Jessica Babal, MD, Tim Chybowski, MD, and Megan Neuman, MD, for their $20,000 grant entitled, "Wisconsin State Medical Home Initiative: Shared Plans of Care Grant for ADHD." In this one-year grant, from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on behalf of Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin's Medical Home Initiative, the team aims to better understand the needs of families in managing a child with ADHD through the partnering of a youth and family member on the team and through focus groups; to identify through the pre and post surveys of families, what activities of the health care team are most valuable to families in the long term management of their child with ADHD; and to increase the number of families who understand the medical home through "Every Child Deserves a Medical Home" brochure that they we will create.
Mary Ehlenbach, MD, PI, and Ryan Coller, MD, MPH,Co-PI also received a one-year grant, from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on behalf of Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin's Medical Home Initiative. Their $20,000 award is entitled, "Advancing family-centered care coordination for children and youth with special health care needs," and will engage the Pediatric Complex Care Program to engage stakeholders and families to improve the shared care planning experience and documentation. Congratulations!
David McCulley, MD, Part of Consortium Awarded NIH P01 Grant
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (including Overall PI, Dr. Patricia Donahoe), Boston Children's Hospital, Columbia University, the Jackson Laboratory, University of California, San Diego, and the UW Department of Pediatrics, including Co-Investigator David McCulley, MD, were awarded a Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH-NICHD) entitled, "Gene Mutation and Rescue in Human Diaphragmatic Hernia." Dr. McCulley's role will include creating and analyzing new conditional mouse alleles using CRISPR/Cas9 technology as part of Project 3, which will focus on evaluation of lung and pulmonary vascular phenotypes that result from deletion of genes implicated by genetic and genomic analyses of patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). The UW subaward, in the amount of ~$70,000 in direct costs per year of this 5-year grant, will utilize the UW Genome Editing and Animal Models Core (GEAM) for this work.
Yashoda Naik, MD, Awarded 2018 NASPAG Fellows Research Grant
Congratulations to Endocrinology & Diabetes Postdoctoral Fellow Yashoda (Mita) Naik, MD, who was recently awarded a $1,000 Fellows Research Grant from the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG). Her one-year pilot grant entitled, "Effect of sex hormones on ectopic fat deposition in overweight/obese pubertal children," under the mentorship of Jennifer Rehm, MD, will inform the longitudinal study of the effects of sex hormones on differential adipose tissue distribution in children undergoing hormonal manipulation.
Medical Student Claire Baniel Awarded Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellows Award
Congratulations to UW medical student Claire Baniel on receiving a 2018-2019 Medical Fellows Research Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). This one-year award in the amount of $43,000 is for her project entitled, "Endogenous antibody response: role in the potentiation and outcome of combination anti-melanoma in situ immunotherapies." Under the mentorship of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, her project will characterize antigens recognized by endogenous antibodies as well as explore the utilization of endogenous antibodies as therapeutic enhancers, through use of immunologic assays including ELISA, flow cytometry, cell mediated cytotoxicity assays, high density peptide array, and mouse work.
Summer Student Fellowship Awarded to Capitini Laboratory
Congratulations to Katharine Tippins, medical student, and her mentor, Christian Capitini, MD, for receiving a Summer Student Fellowship from St. Baldrick's Foundation in the amount of $5,000. This 4-month Summer Fellowship is for her project entitled, "Generating an NK-mediated graft-versus-tumor effect against osteosarcoma," which she will use murine bone marrow transplant (BMT) models to develop evidence for a clinically applicable combined strategy that utilizes immunocytokines (IC) to enhance anti-tumor properties of immunologically activated, ex vivo activated natural killer (NK) cells. The underlying goal of this study is to develop a bone marrow transplant that can cure osteosarcoma.
Joel Buchanan, MD and Michael Semanik, MD, MS Awarded ICTR Pilot Grant
Congratulations to PI Joel Buchanan, MD, UW Department of Medicine, and Co-PI Michael Semanik, MD, MS for their recent UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Basic and Clinical Translational Research Pilot Grant in the amount of $50,000. Their project, entitled, "Evaluation of the Impact of a Problem Oriented View on Clinical Workflows," will aim to demonstrate the impact of problem-oriented view (POV) on clinician efficiency, effectiveness, cognitive workload, and satisfaction in a simulation environment.
Travel Grants Awarded to Endocrinology Team
Congratulations to Endocrinology/Diabetes fellows Lauren Kanner, MD, Yashoda (Mita) Naik, MD, and Elizabeth Mann, MD for each being selected as recipients of the Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award for 2018. Each received $400 to support their travel costs to the PES Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada in May 2018
28 Pediatrics Faculty Named in Madison Magazine’s Top Doctors 2018
Congratulations to the 28 Department of Pediatrics faculty who were named in Madison Magazine’s biennial guide of top doctors in the area.
- Critical Care Medicine: Michael Wilhelm, MD
- Medical Genetics: David Wargowski, MD
- Neonatology: Jamie Limjoco, MD
- Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine: Kok-Peng Yu, MD
- Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Mark Moss, MD
- Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology: David Allen, MD; Ellen Connor, MD
- Pediatric Gastroenterology: Daniel O'Connell, MD; Luther Sigurdsson, MD
- Pediatric Genetics: Gregory Rice, MD; David Wargowski, MD; Jessica Scott Schwoerer, MD
- Pediatric Hematology and Oncology: Carol Diamond, MD; Kenneth DeSantes, MD; Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
- Pediatric Hospitalist: Sabrina Butteris, MD; Kristin Shadman, MD; Ann Allen, MD; Daniel Sklansky, MD
- Pediatric Nephrology: Allison Redpath Mahon, MD; Sharon Bartosh, MD; Neil Paloian, MD
- Pediatric Pulmonary Disease: Mary Schroth, MD; Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD; Michael Rock, MD
- Pediatric Rheumatology: Anna Huttenlocher, MD; Dominic Co, MD; Judith Smith, MD
- Sleep Medicine: Cami Matthews, MD
They are among more than 200 doctors in 78 categories who were chosen by their peers for inclusion in the guide.
View the complete listing and selection methodology on the Madison Magazine website.
Department of Pediatrics Announces New Incoming Resident Class
The Department of Pediatrics is honored to announce the 15 new residents who matched into our residency program for the 2018-19 academic year. They will join us in June to as they prepare to become pediatrician leaders who provide exceptional care to patients and families, advocate for the health of children and engage in lifelong learning and service.
The new residents and their medical schools are:
- Nicholas Beam, MD, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
- Arij Beshish, MBBCh, PhD, University of Tripoli Faculty of Medicine
- Jesse Boyett Anderson MD, MS, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- Christine Brichta, MD, MPH, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Victoria Brocksmith, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine
- Shane Colvin, MD, MA, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Lindsey Cox, MD, MS, St. George's University School of Medicine
- Thomas Harris, MD, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
- Adam Heinze, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Rachel Heinze, MD, University of Minnesota Medical School
- Lindsey Kitzinger, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine
- Cassandra Rendon, MD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
- Johanna Sehloff, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Carolyn Sleeth, MD, MPH, University of Arizona College of Medicine
- Stephanie Syu, MD, Tulane University School of Medicine
Pawan Shahi, PhD, Receives McPherson ERI/David G. Walsh Research Travel Award
Congratulations to Pawan Shahi, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Pattnaik Lab, who has been awarded a McPherson ERI/David G. Walsh Research Travel Award. This award provides funding for graduate students and postdocs from McPherson ERI members' research groups to attend conferences to present vision-related work and to advance educational and professional development opportunities. Dr. Shahi will attend the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, HI from April 29 – May 3, 2018. His presentation is entitled, “Rescue of Kir7.1 function by gene augmentation in LCA16 patient derived iPSC-RPE cells."
Drs. Frohna and Sklansky Named to Leadership Positions within APPD
Congratulations to John Frohna, MD, MPH, and Daniel Sklansky, MD, who have been named to leadership positions within the Association of Pediatric Program Directors at their Spring meeting. Dr. Sklansky was elected as the Associate Program Director representative for the Midwest region, while Dr. Frohna was elected as a new member of the APPD Board of Directors.
Dr. Pelin Cengiz Wins Scientist Investigator Travel Award for Hershey Conference
Congratulations to Pelin Cengiz, MD, who has been awarded a Scientist Investigator Travel Award in order to present her research at the 11th Hershey Conference on Developmental Brain Injury. Dr. Cengiz will present the abstract, titled "Sex differences seen in TrkB agonist therapy-mediated recovery of object recognition and location memories is estrogen receptor a dependent following neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy", at the conference in Asimolar, CA, which will run June 6-9, 2018.
Dr. Megan Moreno Quoted in New York Times Article on Teenage Sexting
Department of Pediatrics Vice Chair of Digital Health Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, was among experts quoted in a recent New York Times article encouraging parents to talk with teenagers early on about sexting, instead of being shocked by the behavior.
"My main message would be for parents to step back for a minute from the alarmist nature of the word ‘sexting’ and think about developmentally appropriate foolish romantic things teenagers do," she said.
She suggested that parents think about the risky things they did when they were younger, and approach their teenagers from that perspective: that although sexting might feel like a normal thing to do, it's risky and if teens are in that situation, they can talk with parents about it.
Also included was a link to Dr. Moreno's article in JAMA Pediatrics that provides more detailed guidance on how to have conversations with teens about sexting.
Short-Term High-Dose Inhaled Steroids Do Not Prevent Asthma Flare-Ups in Children
Temporarily increasing the dosage of inhaled steroids when asthma symptoms start to worsen does not effectively prevent severe flare-ups, according to a new study led by Daniel Jackson, MD, an associate professor in the UW Department of Pediatrics and an expert on childhood asthma. And the common medical practice for children with mild to moderate asthma may be associated with slowing a child’s growth.
The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, was published online March 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) to coincide with its presentation at a meeting of the 2018 Joint Congress of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the World Allergy Organization (WAO) in Orlando, Florida.
Asthma flare-ups in children are common and costly. To prevent them, many health professionals recommend increasing the doses of inhaled steroids from low to high at early signs of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Until now, researchers had not rigorously tested the safety and efficacy of this strategy in children with mild to moderate asthma.
“These findings suggest that a short-term increase to high-dose inhaled steroids should not be routinely included in asthma treatment plans for children with mild to moderate asthma who are regularly using low-dose inhaled corticosteroids,” said Dr. Jackson. “Low-dose inhaled steroids remain the cornerstone of daily treatment in affected children.”
Abstract By Dr. Pelin Cengiz Wins SCCM Star Research Award
Congratulations to Pelin Cengiz, MD, whose abstract has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2018 Star Research Achievement Award by the Society of Critical Care Medicine. The Star Research Achievement Award is intended to recognize excellence in critical care research. The abstract, "Vulnerability of Male Brains to Global Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Injury and Estrogen Receptor Alpha", was formally presented during the SCCM Abstract-Based Awards Ceremony on February 27th, 2018.
Faculty Receive UW Fall Competition Awards
Congratulations to the following four Pediatric faculty members and their laboratories who were each recently awarded one-year Fall Competition grants from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education:
- Marlowe Eldridge, MD, in the amount of $70,613, for the project, "Skeletal muscle dysfunction in adult survivors of preterm birth."
- J. Carter Ralphe, MD, in the amount of $73,460, for the project, "Human Engineered Cardiac Tissue Modeling of Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy."
- Judith Smith, MD, PhD, in the amount of $81,736, for the project, "Sabotage of host defense mechanisms by Brucella."
- Ei Terasawa-Grilley, PhD, in the amount of $43,994, for the project, "Role of neuroestradiol in the preovulatory GnRH surge."
Mei Baker, MD, FACMG, Awarded Newborn Screening Grant from Cure SMA
Mei Baker, MD, FACMG, was recently awarded a one-year grant in the amount of $211,247, for her project entitled, "A State-wide Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening Pilot in Wisconsin." This funding, from Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) will support an SMA Newborn Screening (NBS) pilot project in Wisconsin to implement a state-wide NBS for SMA using a multiplexing Real-time PCR technology to incorporate SMA identification into an ongoing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) screening process. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common lethal recessive genetic conditions, with an incidence of 1 in 10,000 births. Further objectives of this project are to establish a confirmatory testing and follow-up strategy that will ensure timely evaluation, confirmation, and treatment; explore psychosocial issues associated with the implementation of newborn screening for SMA in Wisconsin; and establish a follow-up system to track SMA screening positive cases, facilitate data sharing, and ensure project completion. Dr. Baker will work with UW co-investigators Meredith Schultz, MD (Neurology) and Audrey Tluczek, PhD, RN, FAAN (Nursing), as well as Matthew Harmelink, MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin to undertake this pilot program. Congratulations!
Meriter Foundation Awards Three Grants to Neonatology Researchers
Congratulations to Eileen Cowan, MD, Principal Investigator, and Adam Bauer, MD, Co-Investigator, on the funding of their project, "Point of Care Ultrasound Use in the NICU." This one-year project in the amount of $63,236 supported by the Meriter Foundation, will involve implementation of a point of care ultrasound (POCUS) curriculum in the UnityPoint Health Meriter Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for training Neonatal Providers in the bedside use of ultrasound to confirm placement of accessory devices, thus reducing radiation, increasing safety, and improving time to treatment. It will also allow for the enhancement of the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) initiative in the NICU by improving outcomes, and increasing the safety, quality, and value of newborn care.
Matthew Harer, MD, Principal Investigator, was awarded $40,000 for his project entitled, "Use of NIRS monitoring to detect acute kidney injury in preterm neonates." This one-year grant supported by the Meriter Foundation, will investigate the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS - a clinically available skin monitor) to detect changes in renal tissue oxygenation in preterm NICU patients to identify acute kidney injury (AKI). It is anticipated that NIRS can detect changes in oxygenation prior to classical clinical or laboratory changes that are normally used to diagnose AKI. AKI is a serious condition that leads to prolonged hospital stays, multi-organ dysfunction and increased rates of hospital deaths in NICU patients. Preliminary data are needed to begin studying whether therapeutic interventions at the time of decreased renal oxygenation reduce AKI in preterm patients. Congratulations!
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Principal Investigator, also received a $30,000 grant from the Meriter Foundation for his project, "Retinopathy of Prematurity due to Oxytocin Deprivation." The long-term goal of this one-year grant is to test oxytocin supplementation as a potential therapy targeted at retinal blood vessel development and to test the hypothesis that the lack of exposure of premature babies to the usual fetal levels of maternal hormones leads to postnatal problems due to abnormal development, such as retinopathy of prematurity. Congratulations!
James Muse Davis, MD, PhD, Awarded Career Development Grant from NIH
Congratulations to J. Muse Davis, MD, PhD, who was recently awarded a 5-year, K08 grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), for his project entitled, "Fungal and host factors in initiation of cryptococcal persistence." This career development award, in the amount of $1,004,400, will focus on experimental mycology to improve our understanding of disseminated fungal infections from both host and pathogen perspectives. Specifically, his research component will use a zebrafish larva model for direct monitoring of microbial pathogenesis in vivo, namely Cryptococcus. The proposed experiments are designed to define the features of the host response that allow for persistence, and to define the state of cryptococcal cells that induce this response. Dr. Davis will be supported by Primary Mentor Anna Huttenlocher, MD, and Co-Mentors Bruce Klein, MD, and Christina Hull, PhD.
Gern Laboratory Awarded NIH U19 Renewal Funding
Congratulations to James Gern, MD, and Co-Investigators, Christine Seroogy, MD, Anne Palmenberg, PhD, and Yury Bochkov, PhD, on the 5-year, $6.8 million renewal of U19 AI104317, funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). This cooperative agreement, "Viral and Environmental Determinants of Rhinovirus Illness Severity," focuses on the hypothesis that farming microbial exposures and unique patterns of microbial colonization in early life alter innate and T regulatory development, which lead to protection from viral respiratory illnesses and allergic diseases. To test this hypothesis, investigators at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute will follow ~ 200 current participants and enroll an additional 100 newborns from farm and non-farm families, who will be monitored with new technologies to better define early life microbial exposures and immune development. Based on established relationships with the Wisconsin Amish community, who have very low rates of allergic diseases, 50 Amish newborns will be recruited into the study as well. Dr. Palmenberg will continue with her groundbreaking studies of the molecular virology of rhinovirus-C. Goals include mapping the structure of the viral capsid and defining virus-receptor interactions.
Sarah Webber, MD, and Natalie Guerrero, PhD, Awarded ICTR Pilot Award
Congratulations to Sarah Webber, MD and Natalie Guerrero, PhD, who were recently awarded a one-year grant through the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Pilot Award Program. This $10,000 award, for the project "Community health worker pilot program for Latino mothers and infants," will evaluate a targeted, evidence-based, linguistically and culturally relevant Community Wellness Worker-led postpartum support group program to improve maternal-child wellness. The goals of the intervention, called Prosperar, are to develop a wellness promotion program that will build capacity in the Latino community through preventative health education to improve maternal and infant wellness.
Christian Capitini, MD, Receives Grant from the UW Carbone Cancer Center
Christian Capitini, MD, Principal Investigator, along with UW Co-Principal Investigator Krishanu Saha, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), were recently awarded a one-year $50,000 grant for their project, "Optimization of CD19 CAR NK cells for B cell leukemia," submitted for the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) Leukemia Research Funding Opportunity. This project will compare the ability of natural killer (NK) cells to mediate anti-leukemia effects using a CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) versus CAR T cells. The NK CAR cells will be developed using non-viral approaches, such as with CRISPR-Cas9. In addition, the team will develop an assay to assess the risk for neurotoxicity, a potential life threatening complication, from the NK CAR cells. Congratulations!
Student in Pattnaik Laboratory Wins Science Awards
Anaka Srinivas, a sophomore at Middleton High School who is mentored by Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, received three awards at the Capital Science & Engineering Fair held on Feb 17, 2018 in Madison. She presented her work on efficacy testing of gene therapy for blindness in human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells in culture. Her awards include a 2nd place finish in the Biological and Environmental Sciences category, an "SI Award" from the U.S. Metric Association, and a Society of Women Engineers award. The awards were determined after the posters were judged independently by 10 judges, and then in the presence of the students by the judges. She also presented her work to the public from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. The Capital Science & Engineering Fair was established to provide high school students from South Central Wisconsin the opportunity to showcase their research. Congratulations, Anaka!
Postdoctoral Fellow Pawan Shahi, PhD, Receives UW-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center Award
Pawan Shahi, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, received a 2018 UW-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center post-doctoral award. The award provides one year of salary support for Dr. Shahi's proposal to model a compound heterozygous blindness using novel gene-editing technology.
Dr. Megan Moreno Named Associate Editor of JAMA Pediatrics
Congratulations to Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, who has been named an Associate Editor of JAMA Pediatrics. Dr. Moreno began her position with the February 2018 issue of the journal.
SMAHRT Research Staff Receive UW Madison Holtz Center Travel Grant
Congratulations to SMAHRT research staff Aubrey Gower and Marina Jenkins, who have received a grant from the Robert E. and Jean F. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies to attend the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Aubrey and Marina, members of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team lead by Dr. Megan Moreno, will be presenting their work at the March meeting in Seattle.
Dr. David Allen awarded 2018 Kaplowitz Endowed Lectureship for Quality Care
Congratulations to David B. Allen, MD, who has been awarded the 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics/Pediatric Endocrine Society Kaplowitz Endowed Lectureship for Quality Care. This national award is given annually to recognize career contributions to quality and cost-effective care in Pediatric Endocrinology. Dr. Allen will present his Kaplowitz Lecture entitled “Growth-promoting treatment: Discretion is the better part of value” in May at this year’s meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Receives Wisconsin Academy Fellows AwardPosted: January 2018
The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters today announced Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, as one of fourteen recipients of the 2018 Academy Fellows Award, making him the first pediatrician to be named a Wisconsin Academy Fellow. Established by the Academy in 1982, the Wisconsin Academy Fellows Award recognizes educators, researchers, mentors, artists, and civic or business leaders from across Wisconsin who have made substantial contributions to the cultural life and welfare of our state and its people. The winners will be given their awards at an April 6, 2018, celebration hosted by the Wisconsin Academy at the Pyle Center at UW–Madison. The award celebration is open to the public with advance registration at wisconsinacademy.org/2018FellowsAwards.
Dr. Sharon Bartosh Named Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric TransplantationPosted: January 2018
Congratulations to Sharon Bartosh, MD, a professor (CHS) and chief of the Division of Nephrology, for being named an editor-in-chief of the journal Pediatric Transplantation.
Dr. Bartosh, along with co-editor-in-chief Burkhard Tönshoff, MD, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at University Children's Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, began her position on January 1, 2018.
Pediatric Transplantation is the official publication of the International Pediatric Transplant Association (IPTA), an international society of pediatric transplant health professionals across five continents and 56 countries.
Congratulations, Dr. Bartosh, on this honor!
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, and Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, Receive Grant from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics
Congratulations to HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, Principal Investigator, and Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, along with Co-Investigator Michael Rock, MD, who were recently awarded a 3-year grant from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. in the amount of $1,092,063. This Clinical Research Award, entitled, "Impact of Early Malnutrition on Lung Disease Development in Cystic Fibrosis," will build on the success of her Feeding Infants Right... from the STart (FIRST) study, with expansion to 1) add chest CT and lung clearance index (LCI) assessments at 5-6 years of age and, 2) modernize biological specimen management, and 3) link the FIRST study cohort to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) patient registry for future, long-term outcome studies. This multi-center clinical study involves 5 CF Centers in 4 states (Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Massachusetts).
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, Receives NIH Supplement
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, RD, was awarded a 1-year supplement in the amount of $153,000 from the Office of the Director and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK-NIH) to her R01 Research Grant. This Research Supplement, entitled, "Probiotic Use, Intestinal Inflammation and Gut Microbiome in Young Children with Cystic Fibrosis," has as its overall objective to determine the prevalence of probiotic supplementation and its potential benefits on reducing intestinal inflammation and modifying gut microbiome in children with Cystic Fibrosis younger than 2 years of age. Congratulations!
David McCulley, MD, Awarded ICTR Pilot Grant
David McCulley, MD, Principal Investigator, along with Shaoqin Gong, PhD, and Naomi Chesler, PhD, UW College of Engineering, were recently awarded a $50,000 pilot grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). In their one-year project, entitled "Targeted Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension Associated with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia," they plan to develop and test a novel drug targeting approach utilizing the foundation of direct patient care experience and improved understanding of the genetic and molecular basis of pulmonary hypertension. The central hypothesis is that microparticle-targeted delivery of agents, such as Y-27632, to the dysfunctional pulmonary vascular smooth cells, will improve their therapeutic benefit and reduce pulmonary hypertension, while minimizing systemic side effects in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Infants with CDH often do not survive after birth due to abnormal development of the lungs and pulmonary vasculature causing lethal pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension.
Luke Lamers, MD, Awarded ICTR Pilot Grant
Congratulations to Luke Lamers, MD, who was recently awarded $50,000 for his research grant entitled, "Assessment of Early vs. Delayed Catheter Intervention for Management of Pulmonary Artery Stenosis." In this one-year grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), Dr. Lamers will utilize a pig model to generate detailed data regarding the common clinical problem of pulmonary artery (PA) stenosis, in order to inform better decisions about timing of surgical intervention in treatment of congenital heart disease.
Marcel Wüthrich, PhD, Awarded NIH R01 Renewal Funding
Congratulations to Principal Investigator Marcel Wüthrich, PhD, on his recent R01 award of over $2.2 million for his grant, "Regulation of vaccine-induced anti-fungal Th17 cells," from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). This 4-year renewal, in collaboration with Bruce Klein, MD, Co-Investigator, provides funding for Years 6-9 of this project, which will investigate a novel adjuvant that elicits cellular immune responses needed for better vaccines. The lack of an appropriate adjuvant is one major barrier to developing a safe and effective vaccine against infections with fungal pathogens, which represents an unmet need in medicine and public health.
Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, and Mei Baker, MD, Awarded Grant from The Legacy of Angels Foundation
Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, and Mei Baker, MD, Co-Principal Investigator, were recently awarded a 3-year grant in the amount of $717,045 for the grant entitled, "Assessing the Added Value of Whole Genome Sequencing in Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening." This grant from The Legacy of Angels Foundation provides additional funding to complement research done in Dr. HuiChuan Lai's FIRST study supported by NIH and Cystific Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) to add whole genome sequencing (WGS) assessment. We anticipate that the WGS data will help explain the onset and course of cystic fibrosis (CF) to aid clinical decision making in the care of children with CF.
Miriam Kim, DO, Awarded St. Baldrick's Foundation Fellowship
Congratulations to Miriam Kim, DO, Fellow in Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant, who recently received a 2017 St. Baldrick's Fellowship Award. This 2-year award, with mentor Christian Capitini, MD, is in support of her work titled, "Developing MSC-derived exosomes to enhance HSCT for pediatric leukemia." This award, in the amount of $171,000, will allow Dr. Kim to test the hypotheses that MeEMs (MSC-Exosome Educated Macrophages) share properties seen in other immunosuppressive cell subsets in vitro and have anti-inflammatory properties in vivo using a graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) model. Results from this proposal may lead to a novel cellular therapy using MSC derived exosomes for the management of GVHD.
Inga Hofmann, MD, and Emery Bresnick, PhD, Awarded EvansMDS Foundation Grant
Congratulations to Inga Hofmann, MD, Principal Investigator, and Emery Bresnick, Co-Principal Investigator, for their one-year, $200,000 grant from the Edward P. Evans Foundation, for the project, "Prognostic Markers and Therapeutic Targets in GATA2-Related Myelodysplastic Syndromes." In this study, a team involving a laboratory scientist who is a GATA-2 expert (Bresnick) and a clinical scientist that treats children with MDS and leukemia (Hofmann), will combine efforts to better understand how GATA-2 functions and how it causes MDS and leukemia. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a disease that keeps the body from properly producing enough healthy blood cells. We aim to use our unique expertise to discover prognostic markers and targets for new therapies to improve the outcomes of patients with MDS.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Awarded 3-year Innovative Translational Science Award From The American Diabetes AssociationPosted: November 2017
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD was recently awarded a 3-year Innovative Translational Science Award from the American Diabetes Association for her project, “Identifying Actionable Self-Management Barriers for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.” Building upon her prior work developing PRISM (Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management), a 10-minute survey to identify diabetes self-management barriers among youth, the newly funded research will develop and validate a version of PRISM to assess diabetes self-management barriers among adults. Availability of this survey tool for adults is expected to positively impact diabetes care by aligning the self-management resources provided with the actual needs of a person with type 1 diabetes. The PRISM tool for youth is available at: https://www.hipxchange.org/PRISM.
Dr. Inga Hofmann Receives $50,000 Infrastructure Grant from St. Baldrick's FoundationPosted: November 2017
Dr. Inga Hofmann, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist and director of pediatric stem cell transplantation at the Carbone Cancer Center and medical director of the program for advanced cell therapy, has been awarded $50,000 by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
The infrastructure grant supports her work in advanced cellular therapies for pediatric cancer and predisposition syndromes.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Hofmann. “This gives us the resources to give more children the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation said most infrastructure grants support research personnel who are responsible for opening and coordinating clinical trials. The grants are made in geographic areas where the need is high and St. Baldrick’s volunteers are active.
Dr. Paula Cody Speaks on Teen Suicide Risk at AAP National Conference
Paula Cody, MD, FAAP, an assistant professor (CHS) in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Adolescent Health, gave an educational session on how to help teens at risk for suicide during the AAP's National Conference, held September 16-19, 2017, in Chicago.
Dr. Cody explained how pediatricians can screen for suicidal ideation, recommended that they do so as part of a complete social history at each visit and outlined steps to take if they identify an at-risk patient.
"Eighty percent of teems attempting suicide had contact with a health care provider in the past three months," she said in an article published in the conference's news magazine.
Dr. Cody also encouraged pediatricians to advocate for access to mental health care, train future health care providers to screen for suicide risk and work to make sure suicide isn't sensationalized in the media.
Dr. Megan Moreno Writes AAP News Column on 'Empathy App'
In an invited column in the September 2017 issue of AAP News, Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, an associate professor and vice chair for digital health in the Department of Pediatrics, and the chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, interviewed the developer of an app designed to increase empathy in teens.
Dr. Moreno, who is a member of the AAP's Council on Communications and Media Executive Committee, began by noting that parents often ask pediatricians for apps that can help with specific issues, such as potty training or medication compliance. "As child health experts and advocates, many of us wish we also knew more about apps focused on health and prevention," she wrote.
She conducted a Q&A with Sara Konrath, PhD, an assistant professor of philanthropic students at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research.
Konkol developed Random App of Kindness (RAKi), an evidence-based app that includes nine mini-games focused on recognizing emotions, caring for vulnerable animals and babies, controlling and managing cognitive processes, resolving conflict and other skills to promote empathy.
Konkol's team studied 106 adolescents to examine the effect of playing RAKi compared to a different app. After two months, they found that children who played RAKi were more likely to feel compassion for and help someone in distress, and had less aggressive behavior.
Read the complete Q&A at aapnews.org (AAP login required)
Dr. Elizabeth Cox, Collaborators Receive PCORI Funding to Improve Patient-Centered Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, in collaboration with partners from West Virginia University, recently received approval for a Pipeline to Proposal Tier I award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This project will focus on engaging stakeholders around the topic of preventing type 2 diabetes in West Virginia. The stakeholder group will include patients, caregivers, diabetes educators, clinicians, health services researchers, and community organizations, among others. Findings from this work will be used to further support patient-centered strategies to improve type 2 diabetes prevention and management. Details about the project are available here.
Dr. Megan Moreno Discusses Screen Time and Teen Suicide Risk
Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, recently appeared on News3 to talk about how teenagers' increased screen time may be a possible factor for increased suicide risk.
“Screens have changed bullying and I think in one way they changed is through a broader audience,” she said.
Screens are teenagers' primary mode of communication---some spend over six hours a day using screens---but when communication turns into bullying, children can't escape it, even in their own home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 10 years suicide rates for teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19, has doubled. For teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 19, the suicide rate has risen 30 percent.
“It is exceptionally difficult to come up with a single cause to explain something that is that complicated,” said Dr. Moreno.
But she says the more screen time a child is exposed to, the more it reduces their interaction with people and that’s not good for mental and physical health.
Dr. Moreno's lab, the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), conducts research that focuses on the intersection of social media and adolescent health.
Dr. Anna Huttenlocher Elected as an American Society for Cell Biology Fellow
The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has selected Anna Huttenlocher, MD, a professor in the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, as one of its 2017 fellows.
Election as a fellow of ASCB is an honor bestowed upon ASCB members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for their meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and/or its applications and for their service to the American Society for Cell Biology.
Dr. Huttenlocher, along with all the 2017 fellows, will be honored at the ASCB's 2017 annual meeting in Philadelphia this December.
Congratulations on this honor!
Nathan York Receives Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology Training Grant Support
Congratulations to Nathan York, Graduate Research Assistant in the lab of Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, who was recently selected as a Trainee on the National Institutes of Health-funded T32 Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology (ERP) Training Grant, directed by Ian Bird, PhD. The Endocrinology & Reproductive Physiology Program at the University of Wisconsin is a broad based, interdepartmental degree-granting program designed to provide training at the predoctoral and postdoctoral level in interdisciplinary research at the forefront of Endocrinology and reproductive physiology.
Richard Merkhofer Receives F30 Grant from NIH
Congratulations to Richard Merkhofer, graduate student in the Klein Laboratory, on funding of his Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F30) for MD/PhD and Other Dual Degrees from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH-NIMHD). This 4-year, fellowship, in the amount of $161,276, is under the sponsorship of Bruce Klein, MD, and the purpose is to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising predoctoral students who are matriculated in a combined MD/PhD or other dual-doctoral degree training program, and who intend careers as physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists. Richard's project, "Pathogenesis of fungal infectious disease in the Hmong population," will study the in-born susceptibility known to exist in the Hmong population, to the dimorphic fungal disease blastomycosis. His research will characterize how variation in the immune response leads to pathology in the Hmong population, which may identify novel targets for precise medical treatment of disease related to dysregulation of the IL-17 response, which includes fungal infections, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
Study Identifies Patients Who Benefit Most From Dinutuximab-based Immunotherapy
Using data from a randomized phase III clinical trial of neuroblastoma patients (treated with or without immunotherapy) performed by the Children’s Oncology Group, researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that a subset of patients, identified by the presence of a certain set of genes, were more likely to benefit from the immunotherapy than those patients that did not have that set of genes.
The trial, which involved 226 patients, was led by the Children’s Oncology Group, a coalition of research institutions across the country. The organization previously reported that the group of high-risk neuroblastoma patients that were treated with the immunotherapy regimen [dinutuximab (Unituxin), aldesleukin and sargramostim] in combination with isotretinoin had significantly improved event-free and overall survival as compared to patients that received isotretinoin alone.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Amy Erbe and Wei Wang, in the lab of Dr. Paul Sondel, led an effort to determine if individual genetic differences could influence clinical response to this immunotherapy. Dinutuximab is a monoclonal antibody that can kill cancer cells by activating natural killer (NK) cells. Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIRs), a family of certain proteins expressed by NK cells, have different genetic patterns that can influence how well the NK cells use dinituximab to kill cancer cells. Dr. Sondel’s research team received DNA from 174 of the 226 patients that were enrolled in the clinical trial, and assessed how the pattern of KIR genes in each patient influenced outcome.
The study found that patients with a certain combination of four genes – (genes that inhibit NK cells) had improved outcomes with the immunotherapy. In contrast those patients without that combination of those four genes did not seem to have improvement from the immunotherapy.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Named Medical Director of UW-Madison Physician Assistant Program
In July 2017, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, became the new medical director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Physician Assistant Program.
Dr. Navsaria is an associate professor (CHS) in the Department of Pediatrics' Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and a general pediatrician at Access Community Health Centers Joyce & Marshall Erdman Clinic in Madison.
Before becoming a physician, he graduated from the George Washington University Physician Assistant Studies Program in 1998 and practiced as a pediatric PA for three years.
He began teaching in the PA Program in 2007 and currently directs the SMPH’s MD–MPH program. He's also the founder and medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.
Dr. Navsaria is excited by the PA Program’s success and its “agile, collegial, dynamic atmosphere.” He has interests in developing students’ advanced history-taking and patient-communication skills, but is working with faculty to identify how he can best serve the program.
Dr. Inga Hofmann Named Medical Director of Program for Advanced Cell Therapy
The Program for Advanced Cell Therapy (PACT), a collaboration of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Carbone Cancer Center, has chosen its first medical director.
Dr. Inga Hofmann, assistant professor of pediatric hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), will assume the medical director role at the recently completed $1 million addition to the Clinical Hematopoietic Cell Processing Laboratory at University Hospital.
“Dr. Hofmann will be an incredible asset to our team because she brings her Dana-Farber expertise in clinical science for bone marrow disorders for the benefit of children and adults in need of novel experimental cell therapies,” said Dr. Jacques Galipeau, PACT director, and assistant dean of therapeutics discovery and development in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
Hofmann will manage the interaction between patients, SMPH, American Family Children’s Hospital clinical trials office and PACT as the program works to develop manufactured hematopoietic cells, enhanced lymphocytes, mesenchymal stem cells and other cell types for clinical trials.
She will work directly with her colleagues in the pediatric and adult bone marrow transplant program at UW Health to extract or inject stem cells in patients and integrate the Food and Drug Administration-sanctioned clinical trials that PACT will execute.
Exposure to Pet and Pest Allergens During Infancy Linked to Reduced Asthma Risk
Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by seven years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals. The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.
While previous studies have established that reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control established asthma, the new findings suggest that exposure to certain allergens early in life, before asthma develops, may have a preventive effect.
The observations come from the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) study, which is funded by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) through its Inner-City Asthma Consortium.
“Our observations imply that exposure to a broad variety of indoor allergens, bacteria and bacterial products early in life may reduce the risk of developing asthma,” said Dr. James E. Gern, the principal investigator of URECA and a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Additional research may help us identify specific targets for asthma prevention strategies.”
David Bernhardt, MD, Awarded the 2017 Shaffer Award
Congratulations to David Bernhardt, MD, who was recently awarded the 2017 Shaffer Award, sponsored by Nationwide Children's Hospital. This prestigious award from the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness (COSMF) recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of pediatric sports medicine by displaying leadership and vision, providing quality presentations, and publishing documents relevant to this specialty. Recipients receive a plaque, honorarium, and reimbursement for expenses to attend the COSMF H program, which was held at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition, September 16 in Chicago.
CLR 131 Found to Broadly Target Pediatric Solid Tumors
According to a new study by UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) researchers, a broadly applicable cancer therapy currently being developed by Cellectar Biosciences may have the potential to work in pediatric solid tumors.
CLR 131 (formerly known as CLR1404) delivers high doses of cell-killing radioactive iodine specifically to cancer cells. It could become the first targeted, molecular radiotherapy to be tested in clinical trials that treats a broad variety of solid tumors in children.
“Translating our findings in a pediatric clinical trial will be huge because, for the first time, we could offer molecular targeted radiotherapy for practically all pediatric solid tumors, including brain tumors,” said Dr. Mario Otto, a pediatric oncologist and researcher with UWCCC and American Family Children’s Hospital. “But it’s also huge from a regulatory standpoint. Pediatric cancers are relatively rare, so getting cancer-specific drugs or clinical trial protocols developed is very difficult.”
Many pediatric cancers have very poor overall survival rates once they relapse or if they do not respond to initial standard treatments. Radiotherapy plays an important role in the successful treatment of these cancers. However, if the cancer has metastasized to many sites, external beam radiotherapy becomes impracticable and too harmful to healthy body tissues.
For metastatic cancers, a more useful form of radiation therapy injects targeted radioactive substances to reach tumor cells throughout the body. With the exception of a neuroblastoma drug, these radioactive substances do not exist to treat pediatric cancers.
The drug CLR 131 broadly targets cancer cells due to the specific makeup of tumor cell membranes while sparing healthy tissue. CLR 131 had already been tested in models of adult cancers and found to target cancer cells with very high specificity, and is currently being tested in clinical trials in adult cancers.
The study was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
Sue Burke, Amy Cashin Named to 2017 Elizabeth S. Pringle Award Roll of Honor
Department of Pediatrics Chair Dr. Ellen Wald congratulates Sue Burke, chair's office administrative coordinator, and Amy Cashin, cardiology coordinator, on being named to the 2017 Elizabeth S. Pringle Award Roll of Honor! These nominations were for University Staff office support and came from peers, taking the following criteria into account:
- Promoting the image of the department or university through continual extension of service and courtesy to students, employees and the public
- Consistently promoting excellence in him/herself and colleagues
- Exhibiting leadership and maintaining grace under pressure/deadlines/crisis situations
- Initiating/recommending innovative ideas which are implemented and result in better service or efficiency
- Community service outside the university or within the university but not part of job responsibilities
- Behavior or personality that makes the workplace more pleasant
Please know how much we appreciate your efforts and the vital role you play in supporting the missions of our department and contributing to its success!
American Family Children's Hospital Turns 10
In August 2017, American Family Children's Hospital – a place that has played a key role in the lives of thousands of children - joined the 10-year-old birthday club.
Incredibly, a decade has passed since about 50 hospitalized kids were transported from the old University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital (located inside University Hospital) to a modern, state-of-the-art facility made possible through much persistence and an unbelievably generous amount of community support.
Quality pediatric care has always been a hallmark of UW Health, but it wasn't very long ago that its children's hospital left something to be desired in terms of space and amenities. Prior to the 2007 opening of American Family Children's Hospital, UW's 61 pediatric inpatient rooms were private but cramped – about the size of a nice walk-in closet. Parents typically slept in reclining chairs or cots, while "special touch" amenities to help make life in the hospital a little easier were sparse.
After some collaborative discussions, Madison-based American Family Insurance in 2003 provided the catalyst to turn what seemed like a distant hope into reality by announcing a $10 million naming gift to build a world-class children's hospital that would be separate from - but connected to - University Hospital in Madison.
Study: Early Farm Exposure Mitigates Respiratory Illnesses, Allergies and Skin Rashes
Exposure to dairy farms early in life may dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory illnesses, allergies and chronic skin rashes among young children, according to a collaborative study by Dr. Christine Seroogy, Dr. James Gern and researchers at the Marshfield Clinic.
“Seeing decreased allergies in farm-exposed children from the Marshfield area is in agreement with similar findings in Western Europe that found farm exposure is linked to allergic disease and wheezing illnesses,” said Seroogy. “But this is the first study to show an association between farm exposure and reduced medically-attended respiratory illnesses.”
The study, published online by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, was conducted in the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area. It compared 268 children ages five to 17 who lived on a dairy farm from birth to five years to 247 children who live in a rural area but never lived on a farm. The study included the use of questionnaires and review of electronic medical records.
Conditions that were significantly less common in farm-exposed children were allergic rhinitis or hay fever (17 percent compared to 28 percent) and eczema (7 percent versus 19 percent). The study found children born onto dairy farms had much less severe respiratory illnesses during the first two years of life (16 percent in farm infants compared to 31 percent in non-farm infants.)
“These findings suggest that environmental exposures or other elements of the farming lifestyle help kids to be resistant to both allergies and viral respiratory illnesses,” said Gern.
American Family Children's Hospital First in Wisconsin to Offer Newly-Approved CAR-T Leukemia TherapyPosted: August 2017
A unique new therapy for children and young adults with a particular form of leukemia received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on August 30, 2017. American Family Children's Hospital will be one of a handful of certified treatment centers nationwide that offer the treatment, another example of personalized medicine.
Known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) was approved to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that has resisted other treatment or has relapsed a second time. CAR-T cell therapy engineers a child's immune cells (called T-cells) to express a CAR to attach to and eliminate those leukemia cells that express a specific antigen on their cell surface.
The extracted T-cells are sent to a processing center where they are reprogrammed to express the receptor, and then shipped back to American Family Children's Hospital for infusion into the child with relapsed leukemia. The collection of the patient’s T-cells and the infusion of the CAR-T cells are both outpatient procedures.
American Family Children's Hospital was one of a small number of sites that conducted clinical trials for CAR-T cell therapy. One patient has been in "deep remission" for several months, according to site principal investigator Dr. Christian Capitini.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox, Collaborators Receive PCORI Funding to Improve Intimate Partner Violence ScreeningPosted: August 2017
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, in collaboration with partners from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and West Virginia University, recently received approval for a Pipeline to Proposal Tier II award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
This award through PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards program will support the West Virginia Asking Women About Relationship Experiences (AWARE) Collaborative for Intimate Partner Violence Screening.
Although 7 million U.S. women experience intimate partner violence (IPV), only 3-10% of IPV victims are identified by healthcare professionals due to low screening rates. These rates are especially low in underserved rural areas due to geographic and social isolation.
The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence will lead this project to transform the healthcare system’s response to intimate partner violence.
Dr. Christine Seroogy and Colleagues Receive UW-Madison Community-University Partnership Award
In recognition of their efforts to improve the health of Plain families in Wisconsin, Christine Seroogy, MD, and colleagues on the Wisconsin Plain Community Project received a 2017 UW-Madison Community-University Partnership Award from Chancellor Rebecca Blank on June 28, 2017.
The award recognizes the work of UW-Madison faculty, staff, students---and their community partners across Wisconsin---as they address pressing public issues in Madison and the region.
Founded in 2012 as a collaboration between the La Farge Medical Clinic (medical director: James DeLine, MD) and Department of Pediatrics faculty, the Wisconsin Plain Community Project aims to improve access to culturally sensitive, high-quality, affordable care for Plain families.
In 2015, Dr. DeLine founded the Center for Special Children as a dedicated space within the clinic for the care of children with genetic conditions. This achievement represented the culmination of the collaboration’s vision.
The collaboration has continued to improve the health of Plain children in Wisconsin, and has also translated to biomedical research projects, informed approaches to medical care for all children, and improved the educational experience of students on campus.
Back row, from left: Murray Katcher, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics); Christine Seroogy, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics); Gregory Rice, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics); Jessica Scott-Schwoerer, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics); Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG (UW Department of Pediatrics); Kyle Bakkum (Vernon Memorial Healthcare CEO)
Front row, from left: Rebecca Blank (UW-Madison chancellor); Mei Baker, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics); Gretchen Spicer (LaFarge Medical Clinic, Vernon Memorial Healthcare); Ellen Wald, MD (UW Department of Pediatrics chair); James DeLine, MD (LaFarge Medical Clinic, Vernon Memorial Healthcare); Ashley Kuhl, MS, CGC (UW Department of Pediatrics); Leslie Orrantia (UW-Madison director of community relations)
Photo by Bryce Richter, University Communications
American Family Children's Hospital Ranks Among U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals
UW Health's American Family Children's Hospital ranked in the top 50 children's hospitals in six medical and surgical specialties in this year's U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospital rankings.
The children's hospital was named one of the top hospitals for:
- Cancer (35)
- Cardiology and heart surgery (49)
- Diabetes and endocrinology (47)
- Gastroenterology and GI surgery (45)
- Nephrology (49)
- Pulmonology (42)
For the first time in the hospital's history, cardiology and heart surgery is ranked among the best programs in the country.
The rankings are based on data collected from 187 U.S. hospitals in the following categories:
- Clinical outcomes
- Level and quality of hospital resources
- Technology and special services
- Delivery of health care
- Expert opinion among pediatric specialists
Only 81 of the 187 surveyed hospitals were ranked in the top 50 in at least one of the 10 specialties.
Drs. Hollman, Ralphe Receive UW Health Physician Excellence Awards
Two University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics faculty—Gregory Hollman, MD, and J. Carter Ralphe, MD—recently received UW Health Physician Excellence Awards at a ceremony held June 19, 2017, at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
Dr. Hollman, a professor (CHS) in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care, received a Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award for his extraordinary commitment to safety and quality patient- and family-centered care. In 1991, he developed the Pediatric Sedation Clinic to serve the needs of children who required MRIs but were unable to hold still for scans; his practice now focuses solely on serving patients in that clinic.
“Patients and families know him better as ‘Dr. Greg,’ and he treats each patient and family member as if they were his own. He is able to gain their trust even in the most difficult situations,” said UW Health Chief Academic Integration Officer Nizar Jarjour, MD, when presenting him with the award.
Dr. Ralphe, an associate professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, received a Regional Services Physician Excellence Award for providing extraordinary outreach care to patients at neighboring health care facilities in Wisconsin and beyond. He has established the greatest number of outreach sites of any pediatric subspecialty throughout Wisconsin and Illinois and has grown the division from 6 to 12 faculty.
“Dr. Ralphe has set the standard for customer service and patient- and family-centered care for all as the division that he leads provides 24-7, 365-day access and consultation services with the highest level of service and professionalism,” said UW Health Chief Executive Office Alan Kaplan, MD, when presenting him with the award.
Drs. Hollman and Ralphe were two of nine physicians overall receiving awards at the ceremony.
In addition, Pediatrics faculty members Paula Cody, MD, David McCulley, MD, and Jeff Sleeth, MD, were also nominated for Physician Excellence awards.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Read more on u-Connect (UW Health employees only).
Dr. Emma Mohr Receives 2017 PIDS Fellowship Award
Congratulations to Emma Mohr, MD, PhD, who has received the 2017-2019 Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Award for her work in the "Development of a macaque congenital Zika syndrome model: fetal Zika virus tissue distribution and pathology". The goal of the award is to help increase the pool of highly trained pediatric infectious disease clinical scientists and to stimulate scholarly basic and clinical research in areas pertinent to pediatrics. The award funds research in areas of public health/epidemiology, hospital epidemiology, clinical trials of antimicrobials, outcomes research, pharmacokinetics, pathophysiology, molecular pathogenesis, and vaccinology.
Eleven Students and Mentors Chosen by the Shapiro Summer Research Program
The following eleven students and their mentors were recently awarded Shapiro Summer Research Awards. The Shapiro Summer Research Program provides opportunities for more than 60 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 and centers and investigator grants. Congratulations to the following faculty and students:
- Ryan Coller, MD, MPH and Mary Ehlenbach, MD - student Allison Nackers: “Evaluation of Preventable Hospitalizations in Children with Medical Complexity”
- James Conway, MD and Stephanie Koning - student Collin Lash: “Evaluating the Intergenerational Effects of Maternal Stressful Life Events on Child Development in Chang Mai Province, Thailand”
- James Conway, MD and Stephanie Koning - student Kaylee Scott: “Assessing the Relationship Between Human Rights Violations and Maternal Health Outcomes in Village Women of Chiang Mai Province, Thailand”
- Michael Kim, MD - student Connie Wu: “Trends in ED Evaluation of Pediatric Patients with Mental Health Complaints”
- Pamela Kling, MD - student Micaela Zywicki: “Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Infants and Toddlers”
- Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD - student Aaron Anderson: “Investigating the Use of Education on Diet and Medical Co-morbidities to Reduce Cataract Surgery Screening Failure in a Rural Community in Imo State, Nigeria”
- Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD - student Christina Friedl: “Use of E-learning Applications to Improve Quality of Life in Patients with Cataracts in Imo State, Nigeria”
- Jennifer Rehm, MD and Pamela Kling, MD - student Shoshana Rudin: “Effects of Diet and Inflammation on Disordered Iron Metabolism on Obese Adolescents”
- Kristin Shadman, MD - student Patrick O’Donnell: “Characterizing Feeding Practices for Pediatric Patients on High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC)”
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - student Ari Stone: “Effect of Innate and Adaptive Immunotherapies on Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Populations in a Mouse Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Model”
- Sarah Webber, MD - student Camila Khan: “Community Health Worker Led Postpartum Support Group for Latino Mothers and Infants”
MACC Fund Awards 9 Grants
The Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund has funded each of nine separate grant requests made by the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Oncology. This marks the 40th year of the MACC Fund, and awards from this year have now brought the overall total of contributions to greater than $60 million to childhood cancer research here in Wisconsin. The grants will fund each project for $100,000 over the next two years. Congratulations to all of the researchers involved!
- Christian Capitini, MD - “Improving Graft-Versus-Leukemia Effects of Ex Vivo Activated NK Cells through JAK/STAT Blockade”
- Ken DeSantes, MD - “Support for Clinical Research Infrastructure”
- Ken DeSantes, MD - “Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Neuroblastoma with Ex-Vivo Activated and Expanded Haploindentical NK Cells and Hu14.18-IL2”
- Jacquelyn Hank, PhD - “Monitoring of Immune Network Responses in Pediatric Neuroblastoma Patients Treated with Anti-GD2 Immunotherapy”
- Inga Hofmann, MD (with Emery Bresnick, PhD) - “Prognostic Markers and Therapeutic Targets in GATA2-Related Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Leukemia”
- Mario Otto, MD, PhD -“Targeted Molecular Radiotherapy to Improve the Outcomes in Children with Malignant Brain Tumors”
- Mario Otto, MD, PhD (with Dana Baiu PhD)- “Strategies for Improving Recovery of Immune Function following TCRab-depleted Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation”
- Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD - “Combining Innate and Adaptive Immune Activation for Treatment of Experimental Neuroblastoma”
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD (with Amy Erbe Gurel, PhD) - “Determining the Influence of KIR/KIR-ligand Genotypes in the Outcome of High-Risk Neuroblastoma Patients Following Anti-GD2 Based Immunotherapy”
James Gern, MD, and Bruce Klein, MD Collaborate on UW2020 Grant
Cameron Currie, PhD, will lead a team of investigators, including Co-PIs Andrew Alexander, PhD; Rozalyn Anderson, PhD; David Andes, MD; Barbara Bendlin, PhD; Christopher Coe, PhD; James Gern, MD; Pamela Herd, PhD; Bruce Klein, MD; Janet Lainhart, MD; Lingjun Li, PhD; Vatsan Raman, PhD; Federico Rey, PhD; Garret Suen, PhD; and Brittany Travers, PhD, to study the Human Microbiome in their recently awarded UW2020 grant entitled, “The Human Microbiome in Health and Disease.” This 2-year WARF Discovery Initiative award leverages two UW-Madison population health cohort studies: the Children’s Respiratory Research and Environment Workgroup (CREW) - led by Dr. Gern - which is tracking the early health and development of about 7,000 children; and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), one of the longest-running investigations of human health. Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. More about the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-3-projects/the-human-microbiome-in-health-and-disease/
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, Awarded a UW2020 Grant
Congratulations to Anna Huttenlocher, MD, who was awarded a UW2020 grant in the amount of $450,000, for her project entitled, “Engineering leukocytes generated from human iPS cells to treat human disease.” Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. This 2-year WARF Discovery Initiative award, in conjunction with Co-Principal Investigator Igor Slukvin, MD, PhD, will use CRISPR gene editing to generate a panel of iPS cell lines that lead to the production of neutrophil and macrophage populations that are expert killers of microbial pathogens. " More on the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-3-projects/engineering-leukocytes-generated-from-human-ips-cells-to-treat-human-disease/
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Awarded Equipment Grant
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, who was recently awarded a grant of $5,000 from Northwestern Mutual and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for purchase of a new biological safety cabinet for his laboratory’s ongoing pediatric cancer immunotherapy research.
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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 Amy Peterson, MD; and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for Tom Brazelton, MD, MPH, Gregory DeMuri, MD, and Barbara Knox, MD.
The UWSMPH Clinician-Teacher Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Clinical Associate Professor for Julie Gocey, MD, Laura Houser, MD, and Robin Wright, MD.
All promotions became effective July 1, 2017.
Dr. Vivek Balasubramaniam Receives SPR's Thomas Hazinski Distinguished Service AwardPosted: May 2017
Congratulations to Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, associate professor (CHS) of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, for receiving the 2017 Thomas A. Hazinski Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR).
The award honors a special individual who has provided exceptional service to the Society over an extended period of time. Dr. Balasubramaniam was selected in recognition of his multiple contributions to SPR, including co-chairing its advocacy committee and presenting as part of SPR's first congressional briefing in Washington, DC, on the critical importance of research funding.
Dr. Balasubramaniam received his award on May 8, 2017, during the SPR Presidential Plenary Session at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2017 meeting.
Dr. David Allen Receives Alumni Resident Citation AwardPosted: May 2017
Congratulations to David Allen, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, who has been chosen to receive the Alumni Resident Citation Award for 2018. The award, given annually by the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association, is the association's most prestigious award and is given to an alumnus who has distinguished themselves in medicine. The award will be presented next April at the WMAA's annual awards banquet.
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD Serving as Advisory Panel Member on AHRQ grant
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, will serve on the Advisory Panel of a 4-year, $2.7M grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (AHRQ-CMS) entitled, "Implementing Measures Network for Child Health (Implement For Child Health)." This team, led by Michael Cabana, MD, MPH, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will develop and implement new children's quality measures for asthma and sickle cell disease. Annie Marsh, MD, a UW pediatric residency graduate and now Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at UCSF, is also part of the research team. Funded under the Pediatric Quality Measures Program, the aim of the research is to further develop measures to be used by state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, as well as payors, clinicians, and patients and families toward improving the quality of care for children with these diseases.
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, was awarded $54,637 for her project entitled, "The Impact of Influential Life Events on Self-Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Adulthood." This one-year Fall Competition award from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will support the use of 24 years of Wisconsin Diabetes Registry survey data and measures of glycemic control (A1c), along with interviews with adult patients, in order to identify influential and actionable life events that influence diabetes self-management. The findings from the work will be incorporated as preliminary data in a future research grant to the National Institutes of Health. Congratulations!
Mary Schroth, MD, Receives Funding for MDA Care Center
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) recently announced upcoming support for the University of Wisconsin/American Family Children's Hospital as one of the centers in their Care Center Network. This 3-year award, for $60,000, will support the multidisciplinary "MDA Care Center at American Family Children's Hospital," led by Mary Schroth, MD, Principal Investigator and Care Center Director. In addition to the base financial support received from the MDA Care Center grant program, the institution benefits from being part of the MDA Care Center Network and the support provided to the families the program serves. Congratulations!
Christine Seroogy, MD, Awarded Baldwin Mini-Grant
Congratulations to Christine Seroogy, MD, who was recently awarded a $4,000 mini-grant for her project entitled, "Blood Lead Level Testing in Plain Newborns." This award from the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment is made possible through the generous gift to the UW-Madison from Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin through the UW Office of the Provost. The goal of this one-year project is to measure neonatal blood lead levels in Amish and Old Order Mennonite, referred to as Plain, infants in conjunction with newborn screening. Outcomes that will be measured include blood lead levels, any interventions, family perceptions and refusal rate. The data from this pilot study will inform expansion of this testing for Plain children throughout Wisconsin and establish the need for inventions to decrease lead exposure through primary prevention approaches.
Undergraduate Students Awarded Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to the following undergraduate students and their Pediatric mentors who were awarded 2017-2018 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships from the University of Wisconsin. Students receive $3,000 and faculty mentors receive a stipend to sponsor a research project that will be presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April of 2018. Award recipients will be recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony in May.
- Julia Chini and mentor Anna Huttenlocher, MD
- James Gannon and mentors Pamela Kling, MD and Allison Pollock, MD
- Meng Lou and mentor Anna Huttenlocher, MD
- Kayla Rasmussen and mentor Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
New Study by Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Shows How a Family Rounds Checklist Promotes Engagement
Dr. Cox's research team examined the impact of the Family-Centered Rounds (FCR) Checklist Intervention, developed with input from American Family Children's Hospital (AFCH) staff and the families of hospitalized children, on performance of FCR elements, family engagement, and patient safety. The Intervention, championed by Michelle Kelly, MD, consists of an eight-point checklist and provider training.
The randomized clinical trial included 298 families of children hospitalized at AFCH. One hospitalist service and hematology/oncology were randomized to use the checklist. Another hospitalist service and the pulmonary service used usual care.
Dr. Cox said that completion of checklist items increased significantly on the services using the FCR checklist. Two particular items significantly increased family engagement: when the health-care team read back orders, and when the team talked about goals for discharge.
Specific elements of the checklist were also associated with parents believing that their child was safer during the hospital stay: when the team asked the family for questions, and when the team gave an assessment of children’s progress.
Microscope Image Named Winner of 2017 Cool Science Image Contest
Congratulations to Jayadevi Chandrashekhar, research specialist at the Waisman Center, and Kaylyn Freeman, undergraduate student researcher at Waisman, for having one of their microscope images chosen as a winner of the 2017 Cool Science Image Contest. The winning image, created as part of their research under Pelin Cengiz, MD, shows the presence of a protein called tyrosine kinase in a mouse brain which protects neurons that might otherwise be damaged by lack of oxygen. The Cool Science Image Contest is intended to recognize the technical and creative skills required to capture images or video that document science or nature. The contest is sponsored by Madison’s Promega Corp., with additional support from DoIT Digital Publishing and Printing Services and the UW–Madison Arts Institute.
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD Elected to AAP Council on Early Childhood Executive Committee
Congratulations to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, who has been elected to Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Early Childhood. The Council provides a forum for pediatricians and others interested in promoting the optimal development, health, and safety of young children at home, in early education, child care, or other early childhood settings. Dr. Navsaria was previously a Co-chair of the Early Literacy Subcommittee, but will now be able to do even more as a full committee member of the Council.
New Edition of Bright Futures Released
The 4th edition of Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children and Adolescents has been released with input from Dr. Dipesh Navsaria. Dr. Navsaria served on the Infancy Expert Panel for the new edition, and had a substantial hand in writing some of the early childhood sections, including the early literacy section. Bright Futures is a set of theory-based, evidence-driven, and systems-oriented principles, strategies, and tools that health care professionals can use to improve the health and well-being of children through culturally appropriate interventions. Bright Futures addresses the current and emerging health promotion needs of families, clinical practices, communities, health systems, and policymakers.
Mala Mathur, MD, MPH, Awarded Youth Health Transition Quality Improvement Grant
Congratulations to Mala Mathur, MD, MPH, who was awarded a Youth Health Transition Quality Improvement Grant in the amount of $20,000. Funding for this one-year award is provided through grants from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Bureau of Community Health Promotion, Family Health Section, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program to the Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative (WisMHI) at Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin and the Youth Health Transition Initiative (YHTI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center. This project will address transition readiness by implementing formal readiness assessments and educating pediatric patients, both typical and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, and their families on the transition process during clinic visits starting at age 12, with the objective of creation of a workflow for appropriate educational materials to be provided to youth and families as guidance during this process.
Pamela Kling, MD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Congratulations to Pamela Kling, MD, on her recent award of $59,875 from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. This one-year Fall Competition award for her project entitled, "Cellular Signaling and Disordered Nephrogenesis during Intrauterine Growth Restriction," will allow her lab to determine the developmental changes in expression of renin-angiotensin system (RAS), iron, and multi-ligand endocytic receptors using immunoimaging of third trimester ovine fetal kidneys, and if these receptors co-localize in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The study's impact will be to better define renal RAS signal transduction, in order to help design future strategies that prevent hypertension in IUGR offspring.
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Selected for National Quality Forum Committee
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, was recently selected to serve as a member of the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Care Coordination Standing Committee for the Care Coordination Endorsement Maintenance Project. The goal of this project is to review performance measures in the care coordination domain, including measures focused on patient experience of care, health information technology, transitions of care, and structural measures. Congratulations, Ryan!
Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, Wins Histochemical Society Award
Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, was recently selected for the Histochemical Society (HSC) award and a $1,000 travel grant for the Experimental Biology April 2017 meeting. This award, sponsored by the Histochemical Society, is a merit-based award for her abstract entitled "Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography correlates Retinal Thinning to Retinal Vascular Development in an In vivo Mouse Model of Retinopathy of Prematurity." Her poster will be presented at the Immunohistochemistry and Microscopy Scientific Interest Group as part of the Experimental Biology 2017 joint meeting, to be held April 22-27, 2017 in Chicago. Congratulations!
Kristin Haraldsdottir Wins American Physiological Society Abstract Award
Congratulations to Kristin Haraldsdottir, graduate student in the lab of Marlowe Eldridge, MD, who was selected to receive a Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award, named in honor of Caroline tum Suden and Frances Hellebrandt. This award of $500, plus reimbursement for meeting registration for the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting in Chicago, IL, is for her abstract entitled, "Blunted stroke volume response to exercise in adolescent children born premature. A Cardiac MRI Study." The award from the American Physiological Society (APS), provides funds for junior physiologists to attend and participate fully in the Experimental Biology meeting, and is a merit award granted to graduate students or postdoctoral fellows who are the first author of an abstract submitted to the APS and who are APS members. Experimental Biology, the APS annual meeting, is conducted jointly with other Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) member societies, and will be held in April 22-27, 2017 in Chicago.
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Wins 2017 Odell Research Award
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, has been awarded the 2017 UW Department of Pediatrics Gerard B. Odell Research Award. This award was established in 1994 to honor Dr. Odell's distinguished career in pediatric research, academia, clinical practice and education. The $5,000 award is given to an assistant or associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in recognition of outstanding research accomplishments and demonstrated potential for future contributions. Most recent past recipients include: Drs. Elizabeth Cox, Theresa Guilbert, Daniel Jackson, Megan Moreno, J. Carter Ralphe, and Judith Smith. Dr. Coller will receive the award at the May 18, 2017 Odell Lecture, which will be given by J. Carter Ralphe, the 2015 Odell Awardee.
Research & Development Committee Awards Announced
The Department of Pediatrics Research and Development Committee recently awarded grants to six faculty members for the following projects:
- Awni Al-Subu, MD - UW Pediatric Critical Care Point-of-Care Ultrasound Program
- Pelin Cengiz, MD - Epigenetic Regulation of Estrogen Receptor Alpha after Neonatal Hypoxia Ischemia
- Pamela Kling, MD - Improving the Sensitivity & Specificity of Iron Deficiency Screening of Newborns
- Luke Lamers, MD - Feasibility of Stent Expansion in a Swine Model of Branch PA Stenosis
- Amy Peterson, MD - Joint Database for Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome and Preventive Cardiology Clinics
- Sarah Webber, MD - Community Health Worker Led Postpartum Support Group for Latino Mothers & Infants
Additionally, nine laboratories/investigators were awarded Capital Equipment Funding:
- Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
- Marlowe Eldridge, MD
- Allergy Researchers (Drs. Busse, Gern, Jackson, Lemanske, Seroogy, and Smith)
- Anna Huttenlocher, MD
- Bruce Klein, MD
- Pamela Kling, MD
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
- Christine Sorenson, PhD
Nathaniel York Awarded ERP Student Research Grant
Nathaniel York, graduate student in the laboratory of Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, was recently awarded a one-year Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology Program (ERP) Student Research Grant from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in the amount of $3,000, for his project "Characterization of Oxytocin Receptor in the RPE." Pattnaik Laboratory findings have recently demonstrated the localization of oxytocin (OXT) to the outer segments of the cone photoreceptors. Moreover, the oxytocin receptor is expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), suggesting that oxytocinergic signaling is a potential means for communication between cone photoreceptors and the RPE. Based on these findings, Nathan has developed a project focused on describing the signaling of OXT in the RPE as well as characterizing the expression of oxytocin receptor in the retina. Congratulations, Nathan!
Ellen Connor, MD, Voted NASPAG President Elect and President
Ellen Connor, MD, was recently selected as President Elect of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG). Her role as President elect will run from April 2017 until March 2018, then she will become President from April 2018 through April 2019, coordinating monthly Board calls and coordinating/presiding over the NASPAG annual research meeting in April 2018, and then serve as Past President beginning in 2019. Congratulations to Ellen for this important honor!
Halie Anderson, MD, Receives Abstract Award from AAAAI
Congratulations to Halie Anderson, MD, second-year allergy and immunology fellow, for receiving the Asthma Diagnosis & Treatment Interest Section Fellow-in-Training Outstanding Abstract Award at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting March 3-6, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Her abstract entitled "Increased rhinovirus-induced innate immune response in peripheral blood during infancy is associated with improved lung function at school age" evaluated potential factors critical to antiviral immunity and lung growth in children. Her abstract was also selected for the featured poster session of the AAAAI. Dr. Anderson's mentor for the project is Daniel Jackson, MD.
Daniel Jackson, MD, Awarded Burton Zweiman Memorial Lectureship
Daniel Jackson, MD, was awarded the Burton Zweiman Memorial Lectureship at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting in Atlanta, GA on March 5th, 2017. This honorary AAAAI lectureship was presented to Dr. Jackson in recognition of his outstanding service to the specialty and science of allergy and immunology. The lecture was "Targeting Viruses in the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Asthma."
Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, Awarded UW Technology Innovation Fund Grant
UW-Madison Technology Innovation Fund has awarded a $50,000 grant to Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, for this project entitled, "BI-Eng3- an adjuvant for vaccine prevention of global pathogens." This one-year award will extend his lab findings in pre-clinical work to influenza A virus and tuberculosis by using models of experimental infection. Congratulations, Marcel!
Meet Our New Interns!
Bruce Klein, MD, Awarded R21 from NIH
Bruce Klein, MD, recently received a new R21 award in the amount of $408,030 for his project entitled, "Hybrid histidine kinase: a drug target and path to anti-fungal drug development". In this 2-year grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), Dr. Klein and his team propose to discover the mode of action of anti-fungal drugs that require group III hybrid histidine kinases (HHKs). HHKs regulate the HOG (high-osmolarity glycerol) pathway and are conserved in fungi and absent in mammals, making them an ideal drug target. Fungicides that require the HOG pathway to kill pathogens are used in agriculture, but are too toxic for use in human patients. The drug target of these agricultural fungicides is unclear and represents a gap in our knowledge with significant implications. An understanding of the actual drug target will unveil a new path to antifungal drug development for patients. Congratulations, Bruce!
Daniel Jackson, MD, Leads New NIH Asthma Study with Boston Investigators
Congratulations to Daniel Jackson, MD for receiving funding for a consortium led by Children's Hospital of Boston. The group will initiate an asthma prevention study entitled, "Controlling and Preventing Asthma Severity in Kids" (CASK). The study will determine whether omalizumab (anti-IgE) therapy given to 2- and 3-year-old children at high risk for asthma based upon having allergies and wheezing will prevent the progression to childhood asthma. This 7-year, U01 grant funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), includes a subcontract to UW-Madison totaling over $2 million.
J. Scott Fites, PhD awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association
J. Scott Fites, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a Midwest Affiliate Summer 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA). This 2-year grant, in the amount of $102,550, is for his project entitled, "Harnessing a long-lived neutrophil to fight systemic fungal infections." This neutrophil population - referred to as a neutrophil-dendritic cell (PMN-DC) - has features of both neutrophils and DCs. This project will investigate the emergence and activities of PMN-DCs during Aspergillus and Candida infections in murine models; delineate the professional phagocyte and antigen-presenting functions of PMN-DCs important in antifungal immunity; and elucidate the inflammatory signals that drive PMN-DC development in vivo, which is a critical gap in knowledge with therapeutic implications. The long-term impact of this research will be in developing PMN-DC targeted immunotherapies to treat lethal Aspergillus and Candida infections. Congratulations, Scott!
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Named Distinguished Scientist
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, who recently received the title of "Distinguished Scientist" by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, in recognition of her pivotal role in helping to strengthen the reputation of the university.
In Memoriam: Pulmonologist and Former Alumnus, Faculty John Mangos, MDPosted: January 2017
Fr. John A. Mangos, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist; former University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics resident, fellow and faculty member; and former chairman and professor emeritus of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio; died on December 25, 2016.
Dr. Mangos completed his medical training in 1956 at the Medical School of the Aristotelian University of Thessalonika in Greece. Following four years of service as a physician in the Greek Army, he completed a pediatric residency at the UW Department of Pediatrics, followed by fellowships there and at the Institute of Physiology at Free Berlin University.
He served as a faculty pediatric pulmonologist at the UW Department of Pediatrics and chief of pediatric pulmonology at the University of Florida, and was recruited as professor and chairman of pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 1982. He served as chairman there for 15 years and continued to serve on the pediatric faculty as chief of pediatric pulmonology, vice chairman for academic affairs and acting chairman. He held the Miss Eloise Alexander Distinguished Chair of Pediatric Pulmonology from 1997 until his retirement in 2012.
Dr. Mangos was a distinguished scientist contributing to the understanding of the basic biology of cystic fibrosis. He also led the development of a robust faculty development program. A Greek Orthodox priest, he served at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in San Antonio. His mission, as he proudly stated, was “taking care of people from cradle to grave.” He was recognized by students at the UT School of Medicine in San Antonio with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s 2003 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for Faculty. He will be remembered as “a master clinician and an eternal optimist.”
Dr. Jennifer Rehm Discusses Transgender Youth Health in WebMD articlePosted: December 2016
Jennifer Rehm, MD, co-medical director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health Clinic at American Family Children's Hospital, was quoted in a recent WebMD article on ways to support children who may be transgender.
The article noted that doctors recommend parents find a therapist who specializes in gender issues as early as possible if they sense gender is a source of conflict for their child.
"A lot of parents don't seek treatment because they're hoping this is a phase, or they don't want to do treatment that will cause harm for their child. [But] there's harm in doing nothing as well," Dr. Rehm said.
She also explained the importance of setting up medical care well before puberty, emphasizing the need for a plan to keep the child safe and address mental health concerns as well as physical ones.
Dr. Paul Sondel Wins Prestigious Award for Pioneering Cancer ResearchPosted: December 2016
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, has been awarded the top prize in the field of cancer immunology.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) announced that Dr. Sondel received the group’s top award for decades of work in developing immunotherapies for childhood cancers, especially neuroblastoma.
“This award is well-deserved for Dr. Sondel’s outstanding career, which has seen great improvement in outcomes for children with cancer,’’ says Dr. Howard Bailey, director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center. “Through his work in the lab and clinical trials, Dr. Sondel has helped usher in new treatments that are saving the lives of children everywhere."
Dr. Sondel’s research has emphasized the translation of laboratory innovations into clinical progress. His laboratory has pursued the biology of graft-versus-leukemia reactions, activation of antitumor immune destruction with Interleukin-2 and the use of tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies and immunocytokines to facilitate tumor killing by leukocytes. He has published more than 370 scientific articles and chapters, and many of these studies have moved into clinical testing.
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, and Cystic Fibrosis Investigators Secure NIH R01 Funding
The investigative team led by Principal Investigator HuiChuan Lai, PhD (Nutritional Sciences), and Co-Investigators Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, and Michael Rock, MD, were recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH/NIDDK) in the amount of $3,435,587 over 5 years. This project entitled, "Early Childhood Diet, Growth, Gut Microbiome and Lung Health in Cystic Fibrosis," will assess the effects of exclusive breastfeeding and preschool diet on growth, nutritional status and pulmonary health in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) through the first 6 years of life and determine if these effects are related to an insufficient essential fatty acid intake from breast milk and variations in gut microbiota. This grant will expand the follow-up of a highly productive, strong multi-center prospective observational study being conducted in a network of 5 CF Centers in 4 states (UT, WI, IN and MA) since 2012.
Jamie Limjoco, MD, Receives Innovation Award from UW Health
Congratulations to Jamie Limjoco, MD, for her grant from UW Health for the project, "Establishing a Regional Virtual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (vNICU) at the American Family Children's Hospital." This 2-year Innovation Award, in the amount of $6,600, will support preliminary analysis and initial planning to establish the first virtual neonatal care intensive care unit (vNICU) within the state of Wisconsin.
Jennifer Rehm, MD, and Brittany Allen, MD, Awarded Wisconsin Partnership Program Grant
A team from the Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, along with Academic Partners Jennifer Rehm, MD, and Co-Investigator Brittany Allen, MD, were recently awarded a two-year grant for their project entitled, "Transgender Health-A New Horizon in Equity and Health Care," in the amount of $50,000. This Community Opportunity grant, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program, aims to improve the environment of health care for transgender and gender non-conforming youth in Wisconsin. The project will build an online database of experienced physical and mental health care providers, connect those provider-advocates in a sustainable knowledge-sharing network, and conduct provider training around the state of Wisconsin.
Hospital Medicine Team Awarded Wisconsin Partnership Program Grant
Centro Hispano of Dane County (Centro), in partnership with Access Community Health Center and UW Division of Hospital Medicine faculty, including Sabrina Butteris, MD, Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, and Sarah Webber, MD, were recently awarded a Community Opportunity grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program. Their 2-year project in the amount of $49,934, entitled "Community Health Worker Led Postpartum Support Group for Latino Mothers and Infants," will implement and evaluate a community-based health intervention integrating culturally-tailored peer groups through a community health worker-led postpartum support group program for Latino mothers and infants. The project will assess the extent to which the intervention influences key health indicators such as maternal and infant weight, breastfeeding rates, and maternal depression.
Christian Capitini, MD, Receives Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Award
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, who received a 2016 Hyundai Hope On Wheels (HHOW) Scholar Award, for his project entitled "Anti-GD2 immunocytokine and NK cell infusions for neuroblastoma." The objective of his project is to use murine models to develop a clinically applicable combined strategy that utilizes an immunocytokine (hu14.18-IL2) to enhance the antitumor effect of immunologically activated, ex-vivo expanded natural killer (NK) cells, and to track the localization of these NK cells using a novel MRI platform. This two-year grant, totaling $250,000, is presented to scientists involved with translational research who work directly with pediatric cancer patients, and recipients are selected based on the promise of their proposed research.
Toolkit for School-Based Asthma Management Program (SAMPRO) Launched
In September, a toolkit on a School-Based Asthma Management Program (SAMPRO) that was developed to address the needs of school-aged children with asthma, was made freely available on the University of Wisconsin's Health Innovation Program web site. Sujani Kakumanu, MD, FAAAAI, and Robert Lemanske, MD, FAAAAI, collaborated with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) to develop SAMPRO, which utilizes a four-part system to help children with asthma live healthier lives. See more here.
Inga Hofmann, MD, to Serve on American Society for Hematology Committee
Inga Hofmann, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, has accepted an invitation to serve as Vice Chair of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Scientific Committee on Hematopathology & Clinical Laboratory Hematology for 2017, followed by Chair of the same Committee in 2018. The scientific committees are responsible for building on ASH's expertise in basic and translational science, providing recommendations for award nominees, advising other ASH committees on program direction and science policy priorities, and members also assist in ASH advocacy activities. Congratulations on this honor!
Endocrinology Team Awarded Innovation Award from UW Health
Congratulations to David Allen, MD, Tracy Bekx, MD, and Allison Pollock, MD, who recently received a two-year grant for their project "Improving Access to Quality Pediatric Diabetes Care through Telemedicine." This grant, in the amount of $162,465, aims to tackle the logistical, technical, consent/privacy, and multiple other challenges needed to establish regional telemedicine as a key adjunct to the UW Health Pediatric Diabetes Care program. Commitment to the success of this endeavor will enhance and ease patient access to expert diabetes care and education, increase adherence to standard-of-care follow-up, reduce patient costs, and strengthen our competitive reputation as the center for excellence for children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Wisconsin.
Meriter Foundation Awards Neonatology Researchers $80,000 in Grants
Congratulations to four investigators from the Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery who were recently awarded nearly $80,000 in total funding from the Meriter Foundation Research and Education Grants Program. The awards will support four clinical research studies in 2017. The investigators and their projects are:
- Pamela Kling, MD: Recombinant Erythropoietin as a Renal Protective Agent in Prematurity ($20,000)
- Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD: Monitoring Predictors of Chronic Lung Disease and Length of Stay - Lessons Learned ($20,000)
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD: Specificity of Oxytocin induced Retinopathy ($20,000)
- De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD: Molecular Effect of Caffeine Therapy on Lung Disease in the Premature Infant ($20,000)
Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, Named Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
Congratulations to Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, who was recently awarded Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). Fellows must complete a rigorous process to achieve this honor, including submission of written work and an oral examination, and must be approved by a panel of leading optometrists and vision scientists. This honor goes to fewer than 10% of practicing optometrists. Dr. Mezu-Ndubuisi was awarded this honor at the 95th annual meeting of the AAO, held in early November in Anaheim, California.
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, Awarded Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Pediatric Research
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, was recently awarded the Thomas Hazinski Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR). This award, which includes an honorarium, commemorative plaque, and financial support for attendance at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Society Annual Meeting, is in recognition of Dr. Balasubramaniam's exceptional service to the SPR, and his deep commitment to advocacy initiatives and furthering child health and child health research over an extended period of time. He will be honored at the May 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting in San Francisco at the Society's Presidential Scientific Plenary Session. Congratulations, Vivek!
New Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship Receives ABMGG Accreditation
The American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) has granted accreditation approval for the Department of Pediatrics' new Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) fellowship.
The ABMGG accredits medical genetics and genomics laboratory training programs, and credentials and certifies physicians in medical genetics and genomics. The Department of Pediatrics is one of only 24 sites across the country to offer all laboratory fellowship training programs and one of only 44 programs in the country.
The LGG fellowship will combine and replace the Division of Genetics & Metabolism's existing clinical cytogenetics and molecular genetics fellowships, both of which were also accredited by the ABMGG. The LGG fellowship provides clinical laboratory training within the UW Collaborative Genomics Core (a partnership between UW Cytogenetic Services and Molecular Genetics and UWHC Molecular Diagnostics/Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), and PreventionGenetics, Inc. in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
The division's biochemical genetics fellowship remains unchanged.
Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, is the program director for the LGG and biochemical genetics fellowships, and along with Vanessa Horner, PhD, FACMG, is the training director for the LGG fellowship. Patrice Held, PhD, FACMG, is the training director for the biochemical genetics fellowship.
The first LGG fellow will begin training in July 2017.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Named Affiliate of the UW Institute for Research on Poverty
Congratulations to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, who has been formally named an affiliate of the UW Institute for Research on Poverty, the sole federally-funded Poverty Research Center in the United States at this time. The IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States, and has a particular interest in poverty and family welfare in Wisconsin as well as the nation.
David McCulley, MD, Wins Sutherland Award
Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, for winning the James Sutherland Junior Faculty Award at the 2016 Midwest Society for Pediatric Research Scientific Meeting, held September 22-23, 2016 in Chicago. The Sutherland Award recognizes the best investigative work presented by a junior faculty member, and was awarded for his presentation entitled, "A Genetic Model of Pulmonary Hypertension and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia."
Paul Sondel, MD, and Team Win UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative Award
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, Principal Investigator, and Co-Principal Investigators, Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Jamey Weichert, PhD, Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, and Bryan Bednarz, PhD, for receiving a UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative grant for their proposal entitled, "Combining Radiotherapeutic with Antitumor Antibody and IL2 to Create a Potent In Situ Cancer Vaccine." This two-year project, in the amount of $382,015, is jointly funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the UW Carbone Cancer Center. This project will unite two separate approaches of antibody-based immunotherapy and novel radiation therapy with the goal of killing tumors in a way that results in the cancer cells acting as a vaccine that creates immunity to the cancer that created the tumor, thereby protecting the body from any spread or recurrence of that cancer. The aim is to produce the preclinical data needed to support steps to initiate human clinical trials of the combined treatments. Click here to see more about this award.
American Family Children's Hospital becomes "No Hit Zone"
UW Health is joining a community-wide initiative to stop corporal punishment, including spanking and hitting. As part of "Hitting Hurts," UW Health will create "No Hit Zones" in all of its facilities starting with American Family Children's Hospital.
"The goal of the ‘Hitting Hurts' campaign is to educate the public about the risks of using corporal punishment on children. UW Health's No Hit Zone will reinforce this message by creating a safe, healthy and non-violent environment for everyone," said Dr. Barbara Knox, medical director of the UW Health Child Protection Program and associate professor of pediatrics. "Our hope is that this initiative will grow to include communities and families."
"Most adults were spanked or hit as children," Dr. Knox continued. "But years of research tells us that hitting hurts in a variety of ways and on many levels. Additionally, it can lead to the physical abuse of children."
James Gern, MD, Leads $15 Million Grant to Study How Environmental Exposures Affect Childhood AsthmaPosted: September 2016
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health a two-year, $15 million grant to establish and oversee the Children’s Respiratory Research and Environment Workgroup (CREW) - a national consortium of 14 institutions that will study how genetics interact with environmental exposures during the prenatal and early childhood years to cause specific subtypes of childhood asthma.
The grant is part of $157 million in awards by the NIH that launches a seven-year initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). The ECHO program will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development – from conception through early childhood – influences the health of children and adolescents.
“Studies of children from single research centers have taught us that the environment during the prenatal period and in infancy greatly influences who develops asthma,” said James Gern, MD, principal investigator of the study. “The CREW study and the overall ECHO program will for the first time enable information from multiple studies to be combined so that U.S. investigators working together can identify causes and develop new strategies to prevent severe childhood asthma.”
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Releases PRISM Toolkit to Identify Type 1 Diabetes Self-Management Barriers
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, director of the Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids), has released a toolkit to support identification of type 1 diabetes self-management barriers for children and adolescents. The toolkit, Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management (PRISM), includes two brief, validated surveys – one for 13-17 year-old adolescents and one for parents of youth ages 8-17 years. The PRISM surveys identify up to six barriers to self-management that youth and families may be experiencing.
The majority of youth with type 1 diabetes struggle to manage their condition, which can lead to life-threatening complications. There are multiple strategies to support successful diabetes self-management, so understanding the specific challenges faced by a youth and their family enable tailoring of the resources offered to individual needs. This type of tailored help shows promise in improving glycemic control and quality of life.
“Children with type 1 diabetes and their families face many challenges to controlling diabetes and maintaining good quality of life,” Dr. Cox explained. “Our preliminary work suggests taking good care of diabetes can be easier when healthcare providers offer resources tailored to each family’s specific needs.”
The PRISM toolkit includes the two surveys, a manual for administration and scoring, and a workbook for automatic scoring of PRISM. It is available as a free download on the HIPxChange website.
Collaborative Funded to Improve Screening for Intimate Partner Violence
Dr. Elizabeth Cox, associate professor of pediatrics at UW-Madison, in collaboration with Laurie Thompsen, MSW (West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and Dr. Danielle Davidov (West Virginia University), received a Tier 1 Eugene Washington Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. This award will develop a collaborative focused on improving screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) in healthcare settings. Screening for IPV can increase identification by 133%, and both providers and patients, including victims, are generally supportive of screening. However, screening rates among physicians are low, and current practices are not effective.
As noted by the project team in their successful proposal, “Seven million US women and five million men experience IPV annually. Although the Affordable Care Act mandates coverage for screening to detect IPV, compliance with this mandate is hampered by lack of evidence about patient-centered screening methods.”
The funding will support the establishment of crucial partnerships between health services researchers, IPV victims and survivors, and other stakeholders such as healthcare providers, policymakers, advocacy groups, and the criminal justice system. The collaborative aims to develop questions for further research regarding effective screening methods and an evidence base for addressing IPV in healthcare settings.
Trish Barribeau Awarded Academic Staff Development Grant
Congratulations to Trish Barribeau, MA, Administrative Program and Grant Specialist in Administration - Fiscal, who was recently awarded an Academic Staff Professional Development Grant from UW-Madison in the amount of $1,289 to attend the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) 58th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in early August. These competitive funds provide up to 50% support for professional development and/or training activities to improve the effectiveness of academic staff members in their current roles.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD Receives R35 Award from NIH
Anna Huttenlocher, MD was recently awarded a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (R35) from National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS) worth over $2.9 million for 5 years, for her research entitled "Cell migration and wound repair." The focus of her research is to understand the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate cell migration and how defects in cell migration contribute to human disease in the context of tissue damage and repair. Understanding how wound repair is orchestrated and integrated at both the single cell and multi-cellular level in the context of different types of damage is the focus of her future research. She will address these questions using optogenetic tools, genomic approaches and advanced imaging in zebrafish and in vitro analysis using human cells.
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Awarded Grant from Cannonball Kids' Cancer Foundation
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a 3-year grant in the amount of $75,000 from Cannonball Kids' Cancer Foundation for his clinical trial entitled, "TCR-α/β+ and CD19+ depleted KIR/KIR ligand-mismatched Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant and Zoledronate for Pediatric Relapsed/Refractory Hematologic Malignancies and High Risk Solid Tumors." Funds from this award will be used in a clinical trial for children with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies and high-risk solid tumors (such as rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma), utilizing haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation employing a novel, highly selective graft engineering process that removes unwanted cellular components (e.g., α/β T cells and B cells). The CEO, Ashley VanDerMark, and co-founder of Cannonball Kids', Melissa Wiggins, recently visited with Dr. Otto at his laboratory in Madison.
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD Receives Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Grant
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Klein, MD, has been awarded a $60,000, 3-year Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This grant is designed to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research. Her project, entitled "Role of airway epithelial cells in host defense against pulmonary fungal pathogens," will allow her to test the hypothesis that airway epithelial cells underpin host resistance to fungi.
Research Associate Receives Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the AHA
Congratulations to Huafeng Wang, PhD, who was recently awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA) of $110,300 over 2 years. For his project, "New Adjuvants for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Fungal Infections," Dr. Wang, under the mentorship of Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, and Bruce Klein, MD, will identify fungal cell wall ligand(s) that are recognized by Dectin-2 (a C-type lectin receptor) and test their adjuvancy with a safe subunit fungal vaccine. Findings from this project will ultimately advance methods of prevention among cardiovascular patients that are at risk of fungal infection.
James Gern, MD, Receives NIH Supplement
Congratulations to James Gern, MD, who recently was awarded a supplement to his U19 grant award from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (AADCRC). The supplement, in the amount of $143,009, is titled, "A First-in-Human Safety and Dose-Finding Study of New Type-16 Human Rhinovirus (RG-HRV-16) Inoculum in Healthy Volunteers," and will help determine the dose of reverse genetics human rhinovirus 16 (RG-RV16) needed to produce moderate colds in most seronegative individuals, in order lead to testing of new antiviral agents.
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, Receives NIH Diversity Supplement Support
Congratulations to Bruce Klein, MD, and Postdoctoral Fellow Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, who have been awarded a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research Program from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) in the amount of $173,655. This supplement, as part of Dr. Klein's NIH-NIAID R01 Parent Award entitled, "Molecular pathogenesis of Blastomycosis," provides 2 years of support for Dr. Hernandez-Santos' research.
Daniel Jackson, MD, Part of Consortium Awarded NIH U01 Grant
Researchers from the University of Arizona Health Sciences and seven other institutions, including the UW Department of Pediatrics, were recently awarded a 5-year, $27 million cooperative agreement grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI), for their project entitled, "Oral Bacterial Extracts (ORBEX): Primary Prevention of Asthma and Wheezing in Children." Daniel Jackson, MD, will serve as Site Principal Investigator for the UW's subcontract of over $2 million. For their part, along with Co-Investigator Robert Lemanske, MD, UW Investigators will enroll infants in a clinical study that will evaluate the use of Bronchovaxom (an extract of different bacterial species frequently responsible for respiratory infections) to prevent the development of wheezing in infants at high risk for asthma. More about this project can be found here.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Named M.D. Matthews/Retina Research Foundation Research Professor
Congratulations to Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, who was recently named as the Retina Research Foundation M.D. Matthews Research Professor for 2016-2019. This professorship, with support from the McPherson Eye Research Institute, provides $50,000 annually in support of Dr. Pattnaik's project titled, "Vision loss due to ion-channelopathy."
Jennifer Rehm, MD, Awarded AHEAD Grant from ICTR
Jennifer Rehm, MD, Principal Investigator, and Brittany Allen, MD, Co-Investigator, were recently awarded a $10,000 pilot grant from the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) program, of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). In their one-year project, titled "Wisconsin Survey of Trans Youth: An Assessment of Resources and Needs," they will survey and conduct focus groups with transgender and gender nonconforming youth (TGNC) to identify community needs and barriers to accessing resources that will serve as an effective platform for future advocacy and resource development.
Krishanu Saha, PhD, Christian Capitini, MD, and David Beebe, PhD, Awarded NSF Grant
Congratulations to Krishanu Saha, Principal Investigator, UW Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Co-Principal Investigators Christian Capitini and David Beebe (Department of Biomedical Engineering), on funding of their National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal entitled, "EAGER BIOMANUFACTURING: A Microscale Testbed to Assay and Manufacture CAR T-Cell Immunotherapies." This 2-year award, in the amount of $300,000, will utilize genetically-engineered human T-cells that express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to target cancer associated antigens. The investigators propose to develop a flexible, cost-effective, and scalable microscale co-culture system to isolate functional gene-edited CAR T-cells, expand the fraction, and assess in vivo functionality.
Daniel Sklansky, MD, Selected for APPD LEAD Program
Dr. Daniel Sklansky has been selected to participate in a nationally-recognized leadership development program: the Association of Pediatric Program Director’s Leadership in Educational Academic Development (APPD LEAD). APPD LEAD is a program that provides a unique opportunity for pediatric academic leaders in medical education to engage and learn from seasoned program directors, pediatric educators, and other national leaders in pediatrics. The LEAD curriculum focuses on organizational leadership, competency-based curriculum development, faculty development, residency and fellowship program administration, scholarship and career development. The curriculum is paced over three educational conferences, with additional group activities, readings and project work expected between conferences. Dr. Sklansky is an Associate Residency Program Director and has interests in medical education, the development of resident autonomy, and self-determination theory.
Norman Fost, MD, MPH, to Receive MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics Prize
Congratulations to Dr. Norman Fost, who has been chosen to receive the 2016 MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes. The award, given by the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, is the largest prize in bioethics and clinical ethics, and celebrates individuals who have made transformative contributions to the field of clinical medical ethics through scholarship, practice, leadership, and policy development. The award will be presented to Dr. Fost at the MacLean Center's annual conference, hosted November 11th and 12th, 2016 at the University of Chicago Law School.
Sondel Lab Student Researcher Awarded 2016 John Emory Morris UWCCC Undergraduate Summer Research Award
Congratulations to Kayla Rasmussen, an undergraduate student majoring in genetics, who was recently awarded a 2016 John Emory Morris UWCCC Undergraduate Summer Research Award. She has been working in the research lab of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, for the past year, and this award supports a full-time summer research experience for her in a laboratory of a member of the faculty of the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). The award is given annually to an undergraduate student who shows academic promise, and whose career goal is research and/or medical practice in cancer or other disease processes. The Donor's goals are to provide this opportunity for undergraduates, and also to develop new generations of investigators focused on the prevention and cure of cancers or other disease processes. This $5,000 award will be under the mentorship of Alexander Rakhmelivich, MD, PhD in the Sondel Lab.
Christina Barreda, MD Awarded Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Fellowship
Christina Barreda, MD, Pediatric resident, was recently awarded a Fellowship from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). This two-year award, in the amount of $127,500 in direct costs, will support her comprehensive pulmonary fellowship training in the areas of inpatient and outpatient care and research with Michael Rock, MD and the Pediatric Pulmonary Team. Congratulations, Christina!
Mario Otto, MD, PhD awarded AAI Fellowship to support Kyle Kloepping, PhD
Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, who recently won a 2016 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) fellowship. The AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship Program supports the career development of young scientists by providing eligible Principal Investigators with one year of salary support for a trainee in their labs. This year, Dr. Otto was one of 48 members selected to receive AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowships, which provides independent research scientists with fellowships supporting one year of salary for a trainee (pre-doctoral or postdoctoral) in their labs. Consideration for award is based on the merit of the PI's proposed project, potential of the trainee, and the quality of the training environment. The award to Dr. Otto will support Kyle Kloepping, PhD, for the project entitled, "A Novel Phospholipid Ether Analog to Combine Targeted Molecular Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy in Pediatric Solid Tumors."
U.S. News Ranks AFCH Among Top 50 Children's Hospitals
American Family Children's Hospital (AFCH) was ranked among the top 50 children's hospitals in six medical and surgical specialties in the annual U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital rankings for 2016-2017.
The following specialties were ranked among the top 50:
- Cancer (36)
- Gastroenterology (34)
- Nephrology (25)
- Orthopedics (31)
- Pulmonary (29)
- Urology (23)
Data were collected from 183 children's hospitals. U.S. News looked at clinical and operational data, results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists and supplemental information from resources like the National Cancer Institute.
The data included level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, delivery of health care such as infection-prevention programs, and adherence to best practices and clinical outcomes such as patient survival, complications and infection rates.
New Research Identifies a Genetic Cause for Mauriac Syndrome in Type 1 Diabetes
A research team led by Michael MacDonald, MD, has discovered a genetic cause of a Type I diabetes syndrome that has puzzled investigators for 85 years.
In the July issue of the journal Diabetes, the team describes its discovery of a gene mutation that, when combined with hyperglycemia from poorly controlled diabetes in children, causes Mauriac Syndrome, a rare disease that presents as massive liver enlargement, growth failure and delayed puberty.
Specifically, the team sequenced the DNA of a patient with the syndrome, looking at the genes that encode all of the glycogen metabolism enzymes. They found a mutated gene, inserted it into human liver cells in cell culture and found that the mutated gene caused high levels of glycogen accumulation in the human liver cells, thus causing the liver enlargement.
The patient's mother had the same gene mutation, but did not have diabetes or an enlarged liver. The patient's father did not have the gene mutation or an enlarged liver, but did have poorly controlled Type I diabetes. The case demonstrates how the interaction between the gene mutation and hyperglycemia is the root cause of Mauriac Syndrome.
Read the full study here.
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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 Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD; and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for Mei W. Baker, MD.
The UWSMPH Biological Sciences Divisional Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure for Daniel J. Jackson, MD.
Dr. Baker's promotion became effective April 1st; all other promotions become effective July 1, 2016.
UW Health Honors Pediatrics Providers, Staff for Patient Experience and Quality Excellence
Eight Pediatrics providers, three staff members and three clinic teams were among the winners recognized at UW Health’s Ambulatory Patient Experience and Quality Excellence Celebration event, held June 7, 2016, at Monona Terrace.
Lindsay Geier, MD, Christopher Healy, MD, Laura Houser, MD, Thomas Meier, MD, Karen Pletta, MD, and Amy Plumb, MD, received Patient Experience Physician Champion Awards, which recognize their exemplary communication skills, empathy and support, as appraised by patients through survey feedback.
What patients say:
- Lindsay Geier, MD
“I cannot say enough good things about her. I completely trust her with my son. She is one of a kind.”
- Thomas D. Meier, MD
“Always professional, personable, and thorough. He makes such a difference!”
- Christopher Healy, MD
“Exceptional physician. Professional and compassionate.”
- Karen Pletta, MD
“My family loves her! She is amazing. I always know that my kids are getting the best care.”
- Laura Houser, MD
“As a parent, I am very satisfied with her as our provider because my questions are always answered.”
- Amy Plumb, MD
“We absolutely love her. She is warm, welcoming and consistent. I hope that our daughter can see her until she reaches adulthood.”
Istvan Danko, MD, received a Patient Experience Fast Tracker Award for achieving the most significant gains in 2015 on the same patient survey measures of communication, empathy and support.
The 20 South Park and University Station pediatric clinics received Patient Experience Clinic Team Awards for demonstrating exemplary proactive behavior and positive attitudes, as reflected in patient experience surveys.
What patients say:
“Friendly, helpful with answering questions
and follow through.”
“The clinic staff is always pleasant. I
always feel content when I leave.”
“I receive return phone calls quickly; my concerns are heard and addressed; appointment times are made flexible and the office is comfortable for both adults and children. I’m very happy with the care.”
Celestia Knapp, a scheduler at West Clinic-Pediatrics, was a finalist for the Diane Moscrip Best Reception Award. Melissa Rollins and Sandra Barkhahn, registrars at American Family Children’s Hospital, were finalists for the Lasting Impression Best Registrar Award. Those awards recognize frontline staff who demonstrate outstanding service behaviors of kindness, compassion, concern and respect toward patients and families.
Robin Wright, MD, who practices at the West Towne General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Clinic, and the staff of the Stoughton Pediatrics Clinic also received Quality Excellence Primary Care Awards, which recognize top performers in the FY15 clinical quality measures used for the UW Health Primary Care Physician Compensation Program.
Dr. Nina Menda to Serve as WIAAP Liaison for the Wisconsin Perinatal Quality Collaborative (WisPQC)
Nina Menda, MD, has been invited to be the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Adademy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) Liasion to Wisconsin Perinatal Quality Collaborative (WisPQC). Led by the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care, the WisPQC mission is to improve perinatal health outcomes and equity across the continuum for all women and infants in Wisconsin.
Mei Baker, MD, To Serve on National Committee on Heritable Disorders
Mei Baker, MD, a professor in the Division of Genetics and Metabolism, has accepted an invitation to serve on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.
The Committee, which was chartered on May 7, 2015, provides advice, recommendations, and technical information about aspects of heritable disorders and newborn and childhood screening to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Baker’s appointment begins immediately and will end on June 30, 2020.
Congratulations on this great honor!
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Collaborates on PCORI Pipeline to Proposal Award Project
Dr. Elizabeth Cox and her PROKids team have collaborated with researchers from West Virginia University and the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence to submit a proposal, “The West Virginia Collaborative for Intimate Partner Violence Screening” for a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Pipeline to Proposal Award. Danielle Davidov, PhD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences at West Virginia University, will co-lead the project with partners from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Dr. Cox will serve as an advisor, providing expertise in patient-centered outcomes research. This nine-month project will build partnerships and capacity to develop a patient-centered comparative effectiveness research project focused on improving intimate partner violence screening in healthcare settings.
Christian Capitini, MD Receives St. Baldrick's Summer Fellowship to fund Medical Student
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, who was recently awarded a $5,000 Summer Fellowship from the St. Baldricks's Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, to fund a student in his lab this summer. Nicole Piscopo, a 2nd year graduate student in the laboratory of Kris Saha, PhD in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UW, will collaborate with Dr. Capitini's lab on the project, "Tagging CAR T cells for GD2+ cancers," with the goal of using her expertise in using CRISPR-Cas9 to tag chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) used for pediatric cancer. This approach will produce key cell lines that can be used to treat GD2 positive tumors, and could be extended to create other engineered cells of the immune system as a broad off-the-shelf cellular toolkit for pediatric cancers.
Eldridge Lab Students Receive Awards
At the April 2016 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, CA, three students in the laboratory of Marlowe Eldridge, MD, won several awards. Undergraduate students Adelaide (Atzie) Sobotik and Taylor Levin both received the David S. Bruce Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Award, Sobotik for her abstract entitled, "Pulmonary Collagen Content in 1-Year-Old Rats Exposed to Postnatal Hyperoxia," and Levin for his abstract entitled, "Long-term adaptations in hepatic substrate utilization in 1 year old rat model of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia." Taylor was also awarded the David S. Bruce Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. The David S. Bruce Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Award provides $100 and a 2-year complimentary membership to The American Physiological Society to undergraduate students who present their research at the Experimental Biology meeting. The David S. Bruce Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award recipients receive $400 and a certificate, and are chosen based on the quality of the poster and oral presentation of the poster at the Experimental Biology meeting. Kristin Haraldsdottir, predoctoral trainee in the Eldridge lab, received the Skatrud/Rankin Travel Award for her abstract entitled, "Effect of inhaled nitric oxide on exercise capacity and pulmonary gas exchange in adult survivors of preterm birth." This award, sponsored by the John Rankin Memorial Fund, supports conference-related expenses (travel, registration, etc.) for pre- and post-doctoral students who have abstracts accepted for presentation at scholarly conferences. These stipends are provided in memory of the valuable contributions to mentoring of research trainees provided by John Rankin, MD (1923-1981) and James B. Skatrud, MD (1947-2006). Dr. Rankin was chairman of the UW Department of Preventive Medicine (1968-1981) and Dr. Skatrud was chief of Respiratory Diseases (UW Department of Medicine) (1981-2004). Congratulations to Atzie, Taylor, and Kristin!
Research & Development Committee Awards Announced
The Department of Pediatrics Research and Development Committee recently awarded grants to thirteen faculty members for the following projects:
- Awni Al-Subu, MD - Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Incidence and Epidemiology (PARDIE) Study
- Pelin Cengiz, MD - Pharmacokinetic Profile of a TrkB Agonist in Neonatal Mice
- Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD - Assessing Barriers to Type 1 Diabetes Self-Management in Young Adults
- Istvan Danko, MD, PhD - Intravenous Iron Sucrose Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia in IBD
- Marlowe Eldridge, MD - PET/MR Image Glucose Utilization and Contractile Function in the Myocardium
- Peter Ferrazzano, MD - Understanding Neurodevelopmental Outcomes after Critical Illness
- Scott Hagen, MD - Development of a Temporary Pacemaker Simulator and Curriculum
- John Hokanson, MD - Adolescent Heart Rate Response in PACER Exercise and Water Slide Participation
- Pamela Kling, MD - Population-Based Screening for Iron Status at Birth
- Amy Peterson, MD - Case Review Series of Sitosterolemia with Longitudinal Study of CIMT
- Luther Sigurdsson, MD - Uroflowmetry & Electromyography to Identify Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Refractory Constipation
- Judy Smith, MD, PhD - The Role of the Unfolded Protein Response in Brucella Melitensis Replication
- Michael Wilhelm, MD - Cardiac Critical Care Consortium
Additionally, nine laboratories/investigators were awarded Capital Equipment Funding:
- Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
- Peter Ferrazzano, MD
- James Gern, MD, and Robert Lemanske, MD
- Bruce Klein, MD and Marcel Wüethrich, PhD
- Michael MacDonald, MD
- De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, and Bikash Pattnaik, PhD
- Christine Seroogy, MD
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
- Christine Sorenson, PhD
Peter Ferrazzano, MD, Awarded NIH-NINDS Funding
Peter Ferrazzano, MD, was recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH-NINDS) for his proposal entitled, "MRI Markers of Functional Outcome after Severe Pediatric TBI". This four-year award, worth over $2.16 million, is in conjunction with co-PI Andrew Alexander, PhD, and uses MRI to map brain network connectivity and to identify brain network injuries that could predict neurocognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI). More information about the award can be found here.
Judy Smith, MD, PhD Awarded NIH Funding with Brazil's Foundation for Research Development
Congratulations to Judy Smith, MD, PhD, who will serve as a Co-Investigator/Subaward Principal Investigator for a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) to the Foundation for Research Development in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for the grant entitled, "Brucella Survival Strategy Requires Endoplasmic Reticulum Restructuring and Interferes with Innate Immunity." This 5-year R01 award to Principal Investigator Sergio Costa Oliveira, DVM, PhD (Federal University of Minas Gerais), has the long-term goal resolving the conundrum of how Brucella activates innate immune components that results in host resistance versus bacterial subversion of the immune response. Dr. Smith's role in the subaward, worth over $98,000, will be to use a general unfolded protein response (UPR) inhibitor as well as pathway knockdown to delineate the role of the Brucella-induced UPR.
Undergraduate Student Awarded Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship
Congratulations to undergraduate student Katherine Schleck, and her mentor Christine Sorenson, PhD, who was awarded a 2016-2017 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship, for the project, "Bim Expression Affects Retinal Astrocytes Adhesion and Migration through Altered Production of ECM Proteins." Students receive $3,000 and faculty mentors receive a stipend to sponsor a research project that will be presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April of 2017. Additionally, award recipients are recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.
Amy Peterson, MD, Awarded Wisconsin Partnership Program Funding
The Wisconsin Partnership Program Partnership Education and Research Committee (PERC) recently awarded Amy Peterson, MD, an Opportunity Grant in the amount of $100,000 over two years for her project, "Improved Diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Children and Families through the Wisconsin Pediatric Lipid Consortium (WPLC)." The WPLC is a proposed multi-institutional collaboration of pediatric health care clinics which will prospectively monitor the diagnostic and treatment patterns of children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The aims of the WPLC are to: 1) determine the current statewide patterns for diagnosis and treatment of pediatric FH through development of a statewide database, 2) measure the impact of the diagnosis of FH in children on the identification of additional at-risk family members with FH, and 3) develop educational tools to aid pediatric health care providers in screening, diagnosis, and treatment of FH in children.
Ralphe Lab Researcher Dan Smelter Receives NIH Predoctoral Fellowship
Congratulations to Dan Smelter, predoctoral student in the lab of J. Carter Ralphe, MD, on funding of his Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI). This 3-year, pre-doctoral fellowship, in the amount of $91,677, is under the sponsorship of Dr. Carter Ralphe. In his project, "The role of the C3 domain of myosin binding protein-C in the pathogenesis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy," the goal is to determine the effect of two highly prevalent and pathogenic mutations in a contractile protein of the heart, cardiac myosin binding protein-C, and how they lead to disease. The objective of understanding the underlying disease mechanism is to discover new treatment approaches that can prevent the development of the disease.
Pillers-Pattnaik Lab Graduate Student Receives Travel Award
Nathan York, graduate student and research assistant in the lab of De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, and Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, recently received a travel award sponsored by the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute (NIH-NEI). This competitive award was received for a high score on his submitted abstract, and the research findings in the abstract were considered to be of high interest to the vision and ophthalmology research community. The funds awarded will allow him to travel to the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting May 1-5, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Congratulations, Nathan!
Nine Students and Mentors Chosen by the Shapiro Summer Research Program
The following nine 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:
- Christian Capitini, MD and Krishanu Saha, PhD - student, Brady Olson. "Tagging CAR T Cells Targeting GD2+ Pediatric Neuroblastoma Using CRISPR Cas9"
- Ryan Coller, MD, MPH and Mary Ehlenbach, MD - student, Evan Goyette. "Are Hospitalizations Among Children with Medical Complexity Sensitive to Ambulatory Care?"
- James Conway, MD - student, Jessica Chung. "Evaluating the Effects of Ethnicity and Legal Status on Childhood Vaccinations in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand"
- James Conway, MD and Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD - student, Youhi Ghouse. "An Investigation on Factors that Influence the Antibiotic Prescribing Habits of Alternative Providers and Seeking Habits of Villagers in Rural India"
- Pamela Kling, MD and Carol Diamond, MD - student, Nicholas Bohrer. "Baseline Hemoglobin - Inheritance and Environment"
- Megan Neuman, MD and Lawrence Hanrahan, PhD - student, Rachel Rongstad. "Predictors of Food Insecurity"
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, MD - student, Samuel Bauer. "Kir7.1 Novel LCA16 Mutation and its Pathophysiology"
- Amy Peterson, MD - student, Amy Zawacki. "Correlation Between Lipoprotein(a) Levels and Age of Onset of Cardiovascular Disease in Family Members of a Pediatric Familial Hypercholesterolemia Population"
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - student, Claire Baniel. "The Effects of Local Radiation and Immunocytokine on Antibody Quality and Diversity"
Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, Is New Clinical Laboratory Genetics Fellowship Program Director
Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG is the new director of the Department of Pediatrics’ Genetics & Metabolism clinical laboratory fellowship program. The program comprises three fellowship opportunities -- biochemical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and molecular genetics – all of which are accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG).
It’s one of only 45 ABMGG-accredited programs nationwide, and one of only 25 to offer training in all three genetics subspecialties. These programs provide a valuable educational opportunity for postdoctoral learners interested in the growing fields of medical genetics and genomics, and precision/personalized medicine.
UW Research Team Moves Cancer Immunotherapy Another Step Ahead
Myriam N. Bouchlaka, PhD, and Christian Capitini, MD, are authors on a new study that provides a key step in monitoring if, and how, the body's own cancer-killing components are working during immunotherapy.
So-called natural killer (NK) cell cancer therapy is the subject of several recent and current clinical trials, with some, but not all, patients' tumors shrinking in response to the treatment.
In the study, published in the journal OncoImmunology, the research team combined NK cell immunotherapy with the labeling agent fluorine-19 in an attempt to monitor the cancer-killing cells in an animal model that could be safely translated to humans.
They showed that the labeling had no detrimental effects on the ability of those cells to kill cancer cells in the lab. They then injected labeled cells directly into mice harboring human cancers and, using a specialized MRI to detect fluorine-19, were able to detect the labeled cells for several days in those tumors.
Steven Koslov, MD, is Lead Author on Primary Care Transformation Study
A research team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health discovered that an overhaul of the UW Health primary care system resulted in increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical safety metrics and publicly reported preventive-care outcomes.
The Department of Pediatrics' Steven Koslov, MD, was the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.
The researchers reviewed the process of UW Health’s primary care transformation, which included family medicine and community health, general pediatrics and adolescent medicine and internal medicine. The goal of the redesign was to achieve the “triple aim” of better patient care, improved population health and reduced costs.
The study suggests that the UW Health experience could be useful for other academic health centers planning to redesign primary care.
Study authors are members of the UW Health Primary Care Academics Transforming Healthcare (PATH) collaborative, a multidisciplinary coalition of physicians and change leaders who aim to bridge primary care clinical transformation and rigorous scientific study in order to improve our health system for the benefit of patients and communities.
Bruce Klein's Research Reveals How Fungi Hijack the Body's Immune System
Research led by Bruce Klein, MD, has uncovered a clever way fungi can hijack the body’s attempts to clear a fungal infection. Enzymes produced by the fungus mimic cell signals that temper white blood-cell development, normally used by the body to manage inflammatory responses.
In a recent study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers were able to render this fungal strategy ineffective with a treatment of sitagliptin, a pharmaceutical enzyme inhibitor approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes.
While this research was conducted in vitro and in a mouse model, Dr. Klein and collaborators want to learn if this enzyme is present in human fungal infections as well. If so, this research could lead to a valuable weapon to fight such infections.
Fungal infections arise in people with compromised immune systems, organ or stem-cell recipients, cancer patients and those on medication that weakens the immune system. However, most fungal infections actually occur in previously healthy individuals that breathe in mold spores from the soil.
John Frohna, MD, MPH To Receive MPPDA Leadership Award
Congratulations to John Frohna, MD, MPH, who has been chosen to receive the 2016 Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Associate (MPPDA) Leadership Award. The MPPDA Leadership in Med-Peds Award is a new award given to a physician who has made significant contribution to Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) as a profession. In selecting a recipient, predominant attention is given to a candidate who is outstanding in their clinical field, a national leader in med-peds, and has made a significant contribution to the education of med-peds residents, promoted student interest in training in med-peds, supported faculty development of med-peds, and supported the development and betterment of med-peds as a discipline. The candidate is not required to be a current member of MPPDA. The award is presented each spring at the MPPDA Meeting.
Jonathan Hecht Awarded Conference Scholarship
Jonathan Hecht, Medical Program Assistant and Fellowship Coordinator in the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, has been awarded a scholarship from the Association of Pediatric Program Directors to attend the annual conference in New Orleans, LA.
The conference is focusing on “Education in the New Era of NAS (Next Accreditation System)”. The sessions are based on musical terms; “Scales” is practice, “Fusion” is working together, “Improv” is innovation, and “Jazz” is networking. The conference is bringing together Program Directors and Coordinators from all over the country to meet and exchange ideas and practices in the interest of making us all better at what we do. There will be numerous workshops and abstract poster sessions for the Fellowship Coordinators to attend and participate in.
Dr. Gwen McIntosh Selected for AOA Membership
Congratulations to Gwen McIntosh, MD, MPH, for being selected to join Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the prestigious national medical honor society by the 4th year AOA members. Founded in 1902, Alpha Omega Alpha recognizes scholarship, leadership, professionalism and service in medicine. Members are elected by local chapters, of which there are 120 around the world.
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, Awarded NIH Funding with University of Kentucky
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, will serve as a Co-Investigator/Subaward Principal Investigator for a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI) to the University of Kentucky entitled, “Specific Lysis for Large-Volume, High-Purity Endothelial Progenitor Cell Isolates.” This 4-year R01 award to Principal Investigator Bradley Berron, PhD (University of Kentucky), develops a new approach to isolating a rare type of cell capable of repairing heart damage, which promises to deliver cells with fewer contaminants, faster, and at a lower cost than is possible today. This technology is also expected to both accelerate and reduce the cost of research across a broad spectrum of biological and medical sciences. Dr. Balasubramaniam’s role in the subaward, worth over $700,000 in direct costs, will be to perform the Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC) functionality studies in the proposal.
Ellen Wald, MD, Awarded NIH Funding with University of Pittsburgh
Congratulations to Nader Shaikh, MD (University of Pittsburgh) and Ellen Wald, MD, Principal Investigators of a U01 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). Their grant, entitled, “Efficacy of Antibiotics in Children with Sinusitis: Which Children Benefit?” is a 5-year award, in the amount of over $4.9 million in total costs. The objectives of this multi-site study are to determine which children diagnosed with acute sinusitis will benefit from antimicrobial therapy and if there are subgroups in which antibiotic therapy can be appropriately withheld based on symptoms. These objectives will be achieved by conducting a large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in children 2 to 12 years of age with persistent or worsening presentations of acute sinusitis. Eliminating use of antibiotics in children for whom it is unnecessary and targeting only those children likely to benefit will constitute an important asset to both individual and public health.
Elizabeth Petty, MD, and Aaron Carrel, MD, Awarded Wisconsin Partnership Program Funding
Congratulations to Elizabeth Petty, MD (Principal Investigator) and Aaron Carrel, MD (Co-Investigator) for funding of their grant entitled, “Engaging Clinicians in Online Social Learning to Close Knowledge Gaps in Community Health: Pilot Focus on Obesity and Mental Health Care.” This two-year award, in the amount of $150,000 is from the Wisconsin Partnership Program Education and Research Committee (PERC). The goal of the project is to create an innovative interactive eLearning program, named My Lifelong Learning Online Communities (MyLLOCs) that combines online social learning modalities with traditional eLearning formats in order to improve access to high-quality and innovative interprofessional continuing education activities for primary care and other community-based health care providers across Wisconsin.
Pelin Cengiz, MD, Awarded ICTR Voucher Award
Pelin Cengiz, MD, was awarded a grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) in October for her proposal titled “Exploring a sex-based therapy: A novel approach for neuroprotection after neonatal brain injury”. This 2015 ICTR Voucher Award is a 6-month award in the amount of $7,500 that will provide laboratory support for Dr. Cengiz’ research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Pharmacogenetics Laboratory (3P Lab).
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Awarded Carbone Cancer Center Pilot Grant
Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, who was awarded a one-year pilot award from the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) entitled, “TCRαβ+/CD19+ depleted HSCT + Zoledronate for Pediatric Cancers.” This $50,000 award ($40,000 from the program and an additional $10,000 supplement for Early Phase research) is supported by the Experimental Therapeutics (XT) program funded under the federally funded Cancer Center core grant. In this Phase I clinical stem cell transplantation (SCT) trial, Dr. Otto and co-investigators will use a special form of transplant, called haploidentical SCT, where a parent of the patient is the source of the stem cells. This will ensure that virtually every child has a stem cell donor immediately available. More importantly, the trial is based on a novel, pioneering stem cell engineering process that administers functioning immune cells, in addition to large numbers of stem cells, to the patient. Patients will be given the drug zoledronate to further activate the immune cells in their body. These immune cells could provide protection from life-threatening infection and prevent cancer recurrence early after the transplant procedure, thereby improving patient survival.
Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD, Awarded Waisman Grant
Congratulations to Sheryl L. Henderson, MD, PhD, who recently received a Youth Health Transition Quality Improvement Grant in the amount of $20,460, from the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her one-year award, entitled “A Program for the Transition of Healthcare for HIV-Infected Youth,” will focus on transition policy, transition readiness, and monitoring and tracking for older youth with HIV as they transition from pediatric to adult care. Funds will also be used to assist with development of tools for education and transition readiness assessment for younger patients.
Study Led By Pelin Cengiz, MD, Examines Why Female Newborns are Better Protected from Brain Injury
The Waisman Center lab of Pelin Cengiz, MD, published a study in the journal eNeuro focusing on why male infants are more vulnerable to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a deprivation of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood caused by pregnancy or birth complications that can lead to learning disabilities, cerebral palsy or even death.
The research team showed that a particular protein, estrogen receptor α (ERα), found in the brains of both male and female mice, is present at higher levels in females, thereby offering them stronger protection against HIE. Better understanding this difference is a first step toward helping newborns of both sexes recover from HIE and live functional lives. It could also lead to more effective therapies and treatments for both genders.
Daniel Sklansky, MD Receives WMAA Clinical Science Teaching Award
Congratulations to Daniel Sklansky, MD, who has been chosen to receive the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association’s (WMAA) Clinical Science Teaching Award. The award is given each hear to a clinical science teacher from Madison, La Crosse, Marshfield, and Milwaukee in recognition for dedicated commitment to teaching excellence. Dr. Sklansky was selected to receive the award based on a vote of the 4th year medical students. The award will be presented at the annual UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Honors and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 12th.
M. Tracy Bekx, MD, Receives Waisman Grant
M. Tracy Bekx, MD received a Youth Health Transition Quality Improvement Grant in the amount of $20,250 from the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin- Madison. This one-year award, for her project entitled "Transition of Care in Adolescents with type 1 diabetes: teaching patients "The Keys" to drive their own diabetes," will focus on transition policy and readiness for teens with type 1 diabetes transitioning from pediatric to adult care.
Michael Rock, MD, Receives Grant for Cystic Fibrosis Center
Michael Rock, MD, was recently awarded an Additional Research Coordinator (ARC) Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT). This two-year award, in the amount of $177,755, will provide support for an additional research coordinator for the Cystic Fibrosis Center in Madison, including enrollment of subjects in both adult and pediatric clinical trials.
Kathleen Shanovich, NP, Awarded Asthma Grant
Congratulations to Kathleen Shanovich and collaborators with the AFCH Asthma Advocacy Program, Madison Metropolitan School District, and UW Health Pediatrics, who were awarded a Wisconsin Asthma Coalition mini grant in the amount of $9,995 for the project entitled, "Comprehensive asthma control through evidence-based strategies and public health-health care collaboration." This 11-month award will help provide asthma education/school management to new school nurses via a 3-hour educational program, as well as ongoing asthma support/case management to "seasoned" and new nurses. This mini grant would provide salary support for an allergy/asthma advanced practice nurse to coordinate this program, as well as funds to purchase asthma model airways for school nurses to use to provide asthma education to students.
Judith Smith, MD, PhD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Congratulations to Judith Smith, MD, PhD, on her recent award of $75,460 from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. This one-year award for her project entitled, "Immunogenetics of axial Spondyloarthritis," will allow her lab to perform RNA sequencing to identify potential causal spondyloarthritis gene variants, and will also be used as a discovery platform to identify other dysregulated immune pathways in this disease.
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, was awarded $65,761 for his project entitled, "Cardiac contractile function and glucose metabolism in postmenopausal women during exercise: Effects of estrogen." This one-year award from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education will allow the use of a newly installed positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) imager to simultaneously garner measures of cardiac metabolism and contractile function. His lab will employ a novel MR compatible exercise machine that will allow researchers to measure cardiac glucose metabolism and contractile function during exercise. This multidisciplinary approach is a novel way to obtain clinically relevant data and to better determine the role estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women has on cardiac metabolic and contractile processes.
Christian Capitini, MD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, who was recently awarded a one-year grant from the UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education for his project entitled, "Enhancing the graft-versus-tumor effect against neuroblastoma." This award, in the amount of $66,523, will allow his lab to study the use of allogenic bone marrow transplant models to optimize graft-versus-tumor effects against neuroblastoma without exacerbating graft-versus-host disease. Results of this proposal could provide a novel, targeted approach for treating neuroblastoma.
Monica Gressett Awarded Research Scholarship
Congratulations to Monica Gressett, student researcher in the lab of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, who was recently awarded the Ann Haney Senior Honors Research Scholarship from the UW School of Letter and Sciences. She is mentored by Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, a PL3 resident in Radiation Oncology. She will receive the $2,500 scholarship this spring to fund her senior honors thesis, entitled: "The Effect of Radiation on Tumor Cell Susceptibility to Immune Response."
Thor Jeppson from PROKids Presents at National Dissemination and Implementation Conference
Thor Jeppson, research specialist for PROKids, recently presented at the 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health in Washington, DC. “Identifying barriers and solutions to research participation for chronically ill children and teens” is part of Dr. Elizabeth Cox’s PCORI-funded Project ACE, a randomized controlled trial of a family-centered intervention to improve diabetes self-management in children and adolescents. Jeppson and his co-authors describe how they used interviews and stakeholder advisory boards to identify barriers to trial participation for chronically ill children and adolescents. In addition to identifying barriers, this stakeholder engagement process also identified a variety of potential solutions to overcome those barriers. Organized by Academy Health and the National Institutes of Health, the Annual Conference is the largest national meeting on dissemination and implementation science.
Gern Lab Graduate Student Receives NIH Travel Award
Congratulations to Sarmila Basnet, graduate student in the lab of James Gern, MD, for receiving a travel award from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). She presented a poster at the NIH/NIAID Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (AADCRC) steering committee meeting held on November 3-4, 2015 in Rockville, MD. Her travel was funded by the NIAID AADCRC trainee travel program up to an amount of $1820.
Neonatology Researchers Receive $120,000 in Meriter Foundation Grants
Congratulations to five investigators from the Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery who were recently awarded nearly $120,000 in total funding from the Meriter Foundation Research and Education Grants Program. The awards will support four clinical research studies in 2016. The investigators and their projects are:
- Pamela Kling, MD: Multifetal Gestation Pregnancies, Fetal Kidney Dysfunction and Programming of Life-Long BP ($30,000)
- De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD: Impact of Common neonatal drugs on Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Lung Alveolar Cells ($30,000)
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD: Effect of Oxytocin on Retina Angiogenesis as a Measure of Retinopathy of Prematurity ($30,000)
- Michael Porte, MD, and Cora Astorga, MD: Procalcitonin as a Biomarker in Detection of Early Onset Neonatal Sepsis Using Umbilical Cord Blood Analysis ($30,000)
Robert Strait, MD, Awarded Endocrine Fellows Foundation Research Grant
Congratulations to Robert Strait, MD, Endocrinology/Diabetes fellow, who was recently awarded an Endocrine Fellows Foundation (EFF) Research Grant in the amount of $5,000, funded by the EFF. This 1-year award, for his project entitled, "HPA axis activation by psychological stress as an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome components in children", will shed additional light on the relationship between chronic stress, alterations in body composition, and laboratory markers of metabolic syndrome in children, and will for the first time in children link these findings to assessments of psychological stress. These data will add to understanding about predictive factors for metabolic disease, and will provide a foundation of preliminary data for prospective studies examining mindfulness training as an intervention to reduce chronic stress and metabolic morbidity in obese children.
Sondel Lab Graduate Student Receives Award
Zulmarie Perez-Horta, PhD student in the lab of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, was a recent recipient of the First Place Award for Graduate Student Research for her research poster at the 2nd Annual Puerto Rico Cancer Conference. This one-day meeting, held in October, was designed to start a forum in the Island of Puerto Rico for the discussion of the most current findings in the cancer field, highlighting the latest and most exciting discoveries in every area of cancer research. Congratulations to Zulmarie!
Remembering Nasrollah Shahidi, MD, First Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division Head
Nasrollah (Nasr) Shahidi, MD, emeritus professor of pediatrics, died on November 30, 2015. He was the first head of the University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Hematology and Oncology, a world leader in the understanding and care of bone marrow failure syndromes, and an influential mentor to many.
Born in what is now Iran, but what he would always refer to as Persia, Dr. Shahidi initially trained in Paris. He came to the U.S. in 1954 to complete a pediatrics residency at City Hospital in Baltimore, and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology at Harvard University, where he began his research career.
In 1966, Nathan Smith, MD, then-chair of the UW Department of Pediatrics, recruited Dr. Shahidi to create a new division of pediatric hematology and oncology at UW Medical School. Here, he built a strong clinical program, continued his laboratory and translational research, trained many students and residents, and established the division’s postdoctoral fellowship program.
Dr. Shahidi was a leader in the laboratory analysis and treatment of Fanconi anemia, a rare, inherited blood disorder that can lead to bone marrow failure and leukemia. He was the first to treat a child with the disease using an innovative therapy derived from umbilical cord stem cells, a modality that is now commonly used for children with a variety of blood disorders.
During his tenure, UW-Madison became one of the initial institutions to join the Cancer and Leukemia Group-B, an early multi-institutional consortium that evolved into the Children’s Cancer Group (CCG) and is now known as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).
In addition, Dr. Shahidi was instrumental in identifying the blood-disease-causing roles of the antibiotics phenacetin and chloramphenicol, and the pesticide DDT, and directly influenced the restrictions on their use.
He authored several books and many highly regarded manuscripts, and earned an international reputation as an innovator in pediatric hematologic cancers.
His deep legacy at UW is carried on today through current division head, Dr. Paul Sondel. Dr. Shahidi helped to convince Dr. Sondel to join the UW faculty in 1980, and to succeed him as division head 10 years later.
“Dr. Shahidi was a remarkable physician-scientist, academician, leader, mentor, physician, and Renaissance man, with many diverse accomplishments and interests,” said Dr. Sondel. “He has influenced the careers of countless pediatric hematologists/oncologists around the country and the world. I am personally grateful to him for the ways he looked out for our faculty, our team, our program and our patients.”
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Consulting On Dr. Safdar’s PCORI-funded Research On Healthcare-Associated Infections
Dr. Elizabeth Cox will consult on new research on healthcare-associated infections (HAI), funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Led by Dr. Nasia Safdar, Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the William S. Middleton VA Medical Center and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, the project will integrate patient perspectives to improve research on the prevention and treatment of HAIs. Along with Dr. Betty Chewning, Professor in the UW School of Pharmacy, Dr. Cox will provide expertise in stakeholder engagement and patient-centered outcomes research needed to create and sustain a blended stakeholder advisory panel—including patients and their families—who will participate in setting the agenda for future HAI research.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, Elected to National Academy of MedicinePosted: October 2015
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the independent organization formerly known as the Institute of Medicine.
In her primary role as an NAM member, she will provide expert scientific advice to the nation that will help shape policies, inform public opinion and advance the pursuit of science, engineering and medicine.
Dr. Huttenlocher is recognized internationally for her pioneering studies of cell migration and alterations of cell migration in human diseases. She is also the director of the UW SMPH Medical Scientist Training Program, which combines medical education and PhD-level graduate research training.
The NAM has more than 2,000 members elected in recognition of professional achievement and commitment to volunteer service. For those at the top of their field, NAM membership reflects the height of professional achievement and commitment to service.
Congratulations, Anna, on this prestigious accomplishment!
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Part of Consortium Awarded NIH U19 GrantPosted: October 2015
Researchers from Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW Department of Pediatrics were recently awarded a 4-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH-NIAMS), for their project entitled, “Midwest Child Patient Reported Outcomes (M-cPROs) Consortium.” The M-cPROs Consortium will utilize the NIH’s Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS), to evaluate the physical, mental, and social health of patients. The group will focus on Pain Behavior, Pain Quality, and Physical Health, led by overall Principal Investigator, Julie Panepinto, MD, MSPH, of the Medical College of Wisconsin. Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, will lead the investigation into the PROMIS tools of Family Belonging and Family Involvement.
Darin Wiesner, PhD, Awarded Hartwell Foundation Fellowship
Darin Wiesner, PhD, postdoctoral student in the lab of Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a Hartwell Foundation Fellowship in the amount of $100,000. This two-year award will allow him to study the early recognition events and intrinsic signals by the pulmonary epithelium that elicit alarmin/chemoattractant responses and subsequent allergic immune responses. His research aims are to elucidate the cell surface recognition elements and subsequent signaling pathways employed by epithelial cell subsets that are involved in allergy sensitization and recurrent airway hypersensitivity in response to fungi and components such as chitin. He will monitor how this perturbation impacts the allergic response (e.g., alarmin signal, type-2 response, airway disease, etc.) to fungal allergen in mice.
Sujani Kakumanu, MD, Awarded Cooperative Agreement from DHHS
Congratulations to Sujani Kakumanu, MD, FAAAAI, on her 1-year, $100,000 award entitled, "Improving school health partnerships, health literacy and coordination of pediatric asthma care by forging a novel health information exchange in Madison, Wisconsin." This cooperative agreement, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), aims to clearly identify the school nurse as an integral member of the child's care team and create a community asthma collaborative between nurses in the Madison Metropolitan School providers, using the electronic medical record (EMR) to facilitate health information exchange (HIE) and communication.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Awarded NIH/New Investigator R01 Grant
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, was recently awarded a 4-year New Investigator R01 award through the National Eye Institute (NEI) Audacious Goals Initiative from the National Institutes of Health/NEI for his project entitled, "Molecular Therapies for Lebers Congenital Amaurosis Caused by KCNJ13 Mutations." This award, in the amount of over $1.5 million, will allow investigations into causes of Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), an inherited retinal degenerative disease characterized by severe loss of vision at birth. Investigators will use gene editing of human iPSC-RPE (retina pigment epithelium) cells in the LCA16 drug discovery pathway and bypass the traditional use of animal disease models before clinical trials are attempted. The goal is to generate novel therapeutic strategies to improve the clinical outcomes of ion channelopathies.
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Awarded Two ICTR-CAP PCOR Grants
Congratulations to Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, who was recently awarded two 1-year grants through the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Community-Academic Partnerships (ICTR-CAP) 2015 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Program.
The first award, in the amount of $49,977, in collaboration with Co-PI Betty Chewning, PhD, FAPhA (Pharmacy), is entitled, “Sustaining Engagement of Blended Stakeholder Boards Across the PCOR Trajectory.” This proposal supports two objectives: 1) to increase researchers’ knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy in creating and sustaining meaningful blended stakeholder engagement across the PCOR trajectory and 2) creating and disseminating a training package and repository of materials that would support successful stakeholder engagement plans for intra- and extramural PCOR.
The second award, in the amount of $49,992, in which Dr. Cox is Co-PI with Barbara Bowers, PhD, RN (Nursing), is entitled, “Foundations for Successfully Engaging Hard-to-Reach Patient Stakeholders.” The goal of this project is to leverage the team’s experience and expertise in engaging hard-to-reach stakeholders by designing and delivering a multi-media package of resources that will equip researchers with specific strategies and tools to successfully engage racial/ethnic minorities, low-income/low literacy groups, and youth.
Hrissanthi Ikonomidou, MD, PhD, and Diane Puccetti, MD, Awarded ICTR Basic & Clinical Pilot Award
Congratulations to Co-PIs Hrissanthi Ikonomidou, MD, PhD (Neurology), and Diane Puccetti, MD, who were awarded a Basic and Clinical Pilot award from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) for their proposal entitled "Methods to Study Chemotherapy-Related Neurotoxicity in Children." The goal of this 1-year, $49,990 award is to prospectively characterize the evolution of biochemical features of chemotherapy-induced central nervous system (CNS) toxicity in children. Investigators expect that the proposed study will identify early biochemical biomarkers of chemotherapy-induced CNS toxicity in children undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These biomarkers can then be used to monitor and help develop strategies to prevent CNS injury in response to chemotherapy.
Kirsten Schultz Invited to Stanford University’s Medicine X Conference
Because of her patient experience advocacy work, Kirsten Shultz has been invited to attend Stanford University’s Medicine X conference, Sept. 25-27, 2015. The conference brings together multiple stakeholders in health care – insurance, physicians, clinical instructors, patients, and more – to discuss the future of medicine and health care. This generally centers around emerging technologies and how to make the health care system work for all by utilizing those. There is also an emphasis on helping those in medicine and other related fields see how engaged patients are and learn how to better hear patient stories. Congratulations to Kirsten!
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Receives Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant
Hyundai Hope on Wheels has awarded a $250,000 Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, in support of his research on childhood cancer.
As the newest Hyundai scholar, Dr. Otto will use the funds to produce pre-clinical data on a new small-molecule drug in combination with immunotherapy for solid tumor cancers that are particularly hard to treat.
Resident Alum Receives NASPGHAN Research AwardPosted: August 2015
Valentina Shakhnovich, MD, a 2011 Department of Pediatrics residency graduate, received the 2015 Young Faculty Clinical Investigator Research Award from the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN).
Dr. Shakhnovich is a pediatric gastroenterologist and pharmacologist at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO.
She received the award for her abstract, “Pantoprazole Pharmacokinetics in Obesity: Where Genes and Size Collide," which she will present on October 10, 2015, at the annual NASPGHAN meeting in Washington D.C.
Diane Puccetti, MD, and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Among Newsweek's Top Cancer DocsPosted: August 2015
Diane Puccetti, MD, and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, were among 15 UW Carbone Cancer physicians named to Newsweek's "Top Cancer Doctors 2015” list.
The lists are whittled down from more than 100,000 nominations by a physician-led team at Castle Connolly Medical, which also publishes America’s Top Doctors.
The UW Carbone Cancer Center had the greatest number of doctors named to the list than any other Wisconsin medical center; it is the only National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin.
John Hokanson, MD, and SHINE Project Awarded State Contract
In July 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) added, by emergency rule, screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) by pulse oximetry to the Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program's panel of conditions. This means that every infant born in a hospital is now required to have CCHD screening prior to discharge, and babies born out of hospital are also required to be screened. Because of this ruling, the Wisconsin SHINE (Screening Hearts in Newborns) Project, led by John Hokanson, MD, has received funding from the state for this project to meet this demand.
The SHINE Project began as a three-year, federally funded program in 2012, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS-HRSA). The Wisconsin SHINE Project, supported by the Wisconsin DHS, is a statewide collaboration designed to provide information and resources for universal screening of newborns for CCHD, and is a collaborative effort of the University of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin, Wisconsin DHS, and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. The SHINE project also hopes to collect information on all Wisconsin's births, including hospital, birthing center, and home deliveries.
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Receives Prestigious NIH Outstanding Investigator Award
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, on being awarded an R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA) from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI) for his project entitled, "Enhancing Antibody-directed Innate Immunity to Improve Cancer Outcome." This 7-year award for over $6 million, will enable Dr. Sondel and co-investigators, including Jacquelyn Hank, PhD, Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD, KyungMann Kim, PhD, Erik Ranheim, MD, PhD, and Mark Albertini, MD, to collaborate on important research initiatives dedicated to the mutual goal of finding better treatments, via immune mechanisms, for cancer.
The research team has tested combinations of immunotherapies in mice, and has moved the most effective approaches into clinical treatment, benefitting some patients, including children with neuroblastoma. The group is now testing new combinations of immunotherapies that should each act in different ways, but are expected to be more effective when combined. The ultimate goal is to identify and refine combinations of "off the shelf" immunotherapies that can effectively eliminate cancer and prolong life for cancer patients worldwide.
The NIH R35 mechanism, which has not been awarded since 2001, is designed to provide long-term support to experienced investigators with outstanding records of cancer research productivity who propose to conduct exceptional research. The OIA is intended to allow investigators the opportunity to take greater risks, be more adventurous in their lines of inquiry, or take the time to develop new techniques.
J. Muse Davis, MD, Wins IDWeek Travel Grant
Congratulations to J. Muse Davis, MD, who was awarded an IDWeek 2015 Trainee Travel Grant in the amount of $1,000 for travel to IDWeek, the annual scientific meeting focusing on infectious diseases, being held October 7-11, 2015, in San Diego, CA. This award for excellence in his abstract submission is supported by IDWeek sponsors Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), who are committed to assisting promising physicians embarking on careers in infectious diseases
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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 Sabrina Butteris, MD, Pelin Cengiz, MD, Shannon Dean, MD, Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH, Margo Hoover-Regan, MD, Jennifer Laffin, PhD, and Dorota Walkiewicz-Jedrzejczak, MD; and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for Ellen L. Connor, MD and John Hokanson, MD.
The UWSMPH Clinician-Teacher Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Clinical Associate Professor for Kathleen DeSantes, MD; and the promotion to Clinical Professor for Luther Sigurdsson, MD.
All promotions became effective July 1, 2015.
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Awarded St. Baldrick's Research Grant
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, who was awarded a Research Grant from St. Baldrick's Foundation in the amount of $105,773. In this 1-year project, entitled "Finding the Target of Beneficial Pre-existing Anti-Therapeutic Antibodies," investigators will use gene sequencing and immune-assays to determine the target for Pre-existing Anti-Therapeutic Antibodies (PATA) on IgG1 monoclonal-antibody (mAb) therapy; and to use ELISA assays to confirm the presence and significance of PATA in other clinical studies. The overall goal is to determine whether these PATA might be used to improve outcome for children receiving mAb treatment for cancer, either by using it as a selection criterion, or by using it to modify the design of mAb-based therapeutics or clinical trials that test them.
Pelin Cengiz, MD, Awarded Career Development Grant from NIH
Congratulations to Pelin Cengiz, MD, who received a 5-year, K08 grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS), for her project entitled, “Estrogen receptors and TrkB mediated neuroprotection in neonatal hypoxia-ischemia.” This award, in the amount of $977,810, will allow her to investigate novel neuroprotective treatments to improve outcomes after brain injury in neonates and children. Specifically, her project will investigate the role of a sex steroid receptor (estrogen receptor alpha – ERα) in activating nerve growth factor receptor (tyrosine kinase B receptor – TrkB) in a sexually different way in neonatal mice following cerebral ischemia. Identifying the role of ERα-TrkB interaction in neuroprotection will provide a new target for preventive and therapeutic interventions and significantly advance the developmental brain injury field, a defined mission of NINDS.
Ei Terasawa, PhD, Awarded ICTR Translational Research Grant
Ei Terasawa, PhD, was recently awarded a 1-yr, $50,000 Basic & Clinical Translational Research Pilot award for her grant entitled, "Generation of GnRH neurons from stem cells". This grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) will explore methods for generating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from humans. Investigators will test the hypothesis that generation of GnRH neurons from olfactory epithelial cells derived from ESCs/iPSCs requires neurocrest cell signaling. The generation of GnRH neurons would not only help to better understand the basic physiology of human GnRH neurons, but would also provide a potential treatment tool for patients with Idiopathic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism (IHH).
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Awarded ICTR Novel Methods Pilot Grant
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a 1-yr, $50,000 Novel Methods Pilot award for his grant entitled, "Murine cancer models for testing in situ vaccination strategies". This grant from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) will allow him to develop and characterize murine models of metastatic disease as a platform for preclinical testing of in situ tumor vaccination strategies. This work will provide insight on the interaction between metastatic sites of disease and the local and systemic response to in situ tumor vaccination, and the mouse models developed in this work will provide a critical platform for future testing of these strategies.
Judy Smith, MD, PhD, Awarded ICTR Novel Therapeutics Pilot Grant
Congratulations to Judy Smith, MD, PhD, who was awarded a Novel Therapeutics Discovery & Development Pilot award from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) for her proposal entitled "Development of IL-17 Targeting Small Molecule Therapeutics for Autoimmune Diseases". In this 1-year, $50,000 award, investigators will seek to develop novel small molecule therapeutics for combatting IL-17-dependent autoimmune diseases and to define the mechanism of action by which WT-91053 and WT-77819 (two lead compounds) inhibit cytokine production. The pilot data generated in this award will support further investigation and development of these IL-17 blocking compounds.
MEDic Program and Leaders Receive Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant Support
Project leaders Madeline Duffy, MPH, and Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, were recently awarded a 3-year, $38,427 grant from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, to support the MEDiC and Center for Families Pediatric Clinic. MEDiC, a School of Medicine and Public Health organization, provides healthcare to underserved members of the Madison community, while fostering interprofessional educational experiences for UW-Madison students in the Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant programs. The Center for Families is a nonprofit organization that provides a comprehensive array of social and support services to underserved families on the north side of Madison. MEDiC and the Center for Families will form a new partnership to better address the wellbeing of children through a poverty-sensitive, pediatric medical clinic. Rooted in evidence-based best practices, this clinic will provide an integrated psychosocial and medical approach to care, leveraging social service referrals within and between organizations and with external community partners.
Brittany Allen, MD and Jennifer Rehm, MD, Awarded Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Grant
Congratulations to Brittany Allen, MD, Principal Investigator, and Jennifer Rehm, MD, Co-Principal Investigator, on funding of their grant entitled, "An Integrated PATH for Transgender Youth." This $80,000, 2-year award, funded by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, aims to make the evidence-based services and resources at the Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health (PATH) clinic at American Family Children's Hospital available to youth and advocates throughout the state. The project will create a partnership with community advocates, including the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE), to support the whole transgender child and their family through integration of mental health, legal, educational, and advocacy services. In addition, the project will provide education and resources that will empower providers and community members to work towards these goals. This competitive grant program, open to University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty, staff and students, is designed to foster public engagement and advance the Wisconsin Idea.
David Wargowski, MD, Receives Living Our Mission Award From St. Vincent
David Wargowski, MD, has been given the Living Our Mission award by St. Vincent Hospital. The Living Our Mission award is given to colleagues who demonstrate the core values of Respect, Care, Competence and Joy. A colleague is selected monthly, and a volunteer, leader, and physician or allied health member is selected quarterly. The recognition is a surprise, and colleagues gather around while one of St. Vincent's senior leaders presents the award.
Robert Lemanske, MD, Named ICTR Deputy Executive Director and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research
Robert Lemanske, MD, has been named the deputy executive director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and associate dean for clinical and translational research at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Lemanske will be working with Marc Drezner, MD, who has served as ICTR's executive director since its inception in 2007, to transition leadership. When Dr. Lemanske assumes the executive director role, Dr. Drezner will continue to serve as senior associate dean for clinical and translational research.
Dr. Lemanske has a long and distinguished history at UW-Madison. After completing his undergraduate and MD degrees here, he served as an intern and resident in pediatrics, and then completed a fellowship in allergy and immunology. Following a two-year research fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he returned to join the UW-Madison faculty and rapidly developed a national reputation as a highly productive and innovative academician. His local, regional, and national honors reflect his outstanding accomplishments as a clinician, scientist, and teacher.
Most recently, Dr. Lemanske was elected president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The transition into his leadership role in ICTR will accelerate as his commitments to this major national leadership role come to closure next winter.
Jamie Limjoco, MD, Named Neonatology Medical Director of New Mother-Baby Service Line
Jamie Limjoco, MD, was named the medical director for neonatology for the new Mother-Baby service line at American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) and Meriter-UnityPoint Health.
Dr. Limjoco currently serves as Medical Director of the Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at AFCH. Her role will now expand to include the Level 3 NICU at Meriter Hospital.
The Mother-Baby service line was formed through a joint operating agreement between AFCH and Meriter-UnityPoint Health with the goal of improving patient care and making Madison a regional destination for mothers and babies.
Rounding out the service line leadership team are Klaus Diem, MD, vice chair of the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who was named medical director for obstetrics/gynecology; and Kathy Kostrivas, RNC-OB, MBA, the former assistant vice president of women’s services at Meriter Hospital, who was named executive director.
UW Health Expands Reach Out and Read
UW Health will support the Reach Out and Read Program in all 28 of its pediatric and family medicine clinics, up from the 19 clinics currently offering the program.
Reach Out and Read trains and supports clinicians who provide books to children ages six months through five years during well-child visits. Studies show that children who participate in Reach Out and Read have language scores three to six months ahead of peers who are not exposed to the program.
UW Health has committed $70,000 to the program, including the purchase of 32,000 books.
MEDiC Program Establishes Pediatric Clinic
The UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) MEDiC program has established a new pro bono clinic in Madison specifically for children.
The new pediatric clinic is a partnership with the Center for Families (CFF) on Fordem Avenue, a nonprofit organization that provides social services to address the needs of families. Nearly 85 percent of children served at the CFF are from households at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line.
The monthly clinic is staffed by UW students from the medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy and physician assistant programs; social workers from the CFF; and UW medical faculty.
U.S. News Ranks AFCH Among Top 50 Children’s Hospitals
American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) is among the top 50 children’s hospitals in five medical and surgical specialties in the annual U.S. News and World Report Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
The following specialties were ranked among the top 50:
- Cancer (28)
- Diabetes/endocrinology (31)
- Gastroenterology (37)
- Orthopedics (31)
- Nephrology (36)
U.S. News collected data from 184 children’s hospitals, including level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, delivery of health care such as programs that prevent infections and adherence to best practices, and clinical outcomes like patient survival, complications and infection rates.
It also evaluated results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists and supplemental information from resources like the National Cancer Institute.
Undergraduate Awarded Welton Summer Sophomore Honors Apprenticeship for Research in Seroogy Lab
Congratulations to undergraduate student Jiaying Lai who was awarded a Welton Summer Sophomore Honors Apprenticeship for the project, "Utilization of a novel knock-out mouse to test the intrinsic requirement for Gene Related to Anergy in Lymphocytes (GRAIL) in CD4+ cell anergy." This project will take place in the lab of Christine Seroogy, MD, and the purpose of these apprenticeships are to allow talented students to learn what research is and how it is conducted within a discipline by participating in actual, cutting-edge research. Congratulations to Dr. Seroogy and Jiaying!
Seven Undergraduates Awarded Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to the following students and their mentors who have been awarded 2015-2016 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships. Award recipients receive $3,000 and faculty mentors $500 to sponsor a research project that will be presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2016. Additionally, award recipients were recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony in early May.
- Peter Ferrazzano, MD - student Alex Waldman: "Age-Dependent Microglial Gene Expression Profiles in Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury"
- James Gern, MD - student Shakher Sijapati: "Construction and Analysis of Infectious cDNA Copy of HeLa Cell Line Adapted Rhinovirus (RV-C15)"
- Pamela Kling, MD - student Colin Korlesky: "Heart Rate Viability (HRV) As a Determinant of Male Versus Female Cardiovascular Health in Intrauterine Growth Restriction"
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - student Monica Gressett: "The Effect of Radiation on Tumor Cell Susceptibility to Immune Response"
- Jacquelyn Hank, PhD and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD - student Amal Javaid: "Analysis of Anti-GD2 Monoclonal Antibody hu.14.18K322A Administered in Conjunction with NK Cells in the GD2NK Pediatric Neuroblastoma Trial"
- Christine Sorenson, PhD - student Catherine Wintheiser, "Expression of Bcl-2 in Pericytes is Essential for Retinal Neovascularization"
- Andrew Watson, MD - student Carol Coutinho: "Understanding Maturational Differences in Cardiorespiratory Fitness Development in Children"
Undergraduate Awarded a 2015 Sophomore Research Fellowship for Research in Sondel Lab
Congratulations to undergraduate student Swetha Saseedhar who was awarded a 2015 Sophomore Research Fellowship for the project, "A New Immunocytokine to Selectively Activate Immune Cells Expressing Intermediate Affinity IL-2 Receptors within the Tumor Microenvironment." Advisors for the grant are Paul Sondel, MD, PhD and Zulmarie Perez. These fellowships, which include a stipend to each student and to their faculty advisors, are funded by a one-year University of Wisconsin System Undergraduate Research & Discovery Grant.
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, Awarded Grant through Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program
Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, and Sarah Ahrens, MD were awarded a Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Youth Health Transition Quality Improvement Grant in the amount of $20,000. This one-year implementation grant through the Wisconsin CYSHCN, funded by the Maternal Child Health Title V Block Grant and sponsored by the Waisman Center, entitled "Transitioning Hospital Care from Pediatric to Adult Care Settings for Medically Complex Children," will expand on previous work to eliminate barriers and improve the inpatient transition process for children and adults with medical complexity.
Eleven Students and Mentors Chosen by the Shapiro Summer Research Program
The following eleven students and their mentors were recently awarded Shapiro Summer Research Awards. The Shapiro Summer Research Program provides opportunities for more than 60 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 and centers and investigator grants. Congratulations to the following faculty and students:
- James Conway, MD - student, Katharine Kelly
- Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD - student, Clara Ye
- Amanda Eggen, MS - student, Julia McPherson
- Pamela Kling, MD - student, Barbara Ha
- Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD - student, Sean Buck
- Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD - student, Kevin Rolnick
- Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD - student, Heather Smaby
- Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD - student, Terra Thimm
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD - student, Bryce Aul
- Amy Peterson, MD - student, Sarah Zoutendam
- Sushant Srinivasan, MD - student, Max Rusek
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Awarded Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Innovation Grant
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, for his recent Innovation Grant award from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for his project entitled, "Identifying how Pre-existing Anti-Therapeutic Antibodies (PATA) are Associated with Better Outcome in a Clinical Trial of ADCC-inducing Anti-GD2 mAb."
This two-year award, in the amount of $250,000, will help determine whether these PATA might be used to improve outcome for children receiving mAb treatment for cancer, either by using it as a selection criterion, or by using it to modify the design of mAb-based therapeutics or clinical trials that test them.
Mary Schroth, MD, Receives Renewal for Pediatric Pulmonary Center Training Grant
The University of Wisconsin Pediatric Pulmonary Center (UW PPC) Training Grant was recently renewed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the next 5 years. This award of over $1.6 million provides funding for Years 25-29 of this project. The renewal of the UW PPC Training Grant helps continue its mission to develop future leaders who will improve the health of children with respiratory conditions.
The UW PPC, led by Mary Schroth, MD, provides high-quality, interdisciplinary leadership training, and supports culturally and linguistically competent, family-centered practice, policies, and research relevant to addressing the health disparities related to chronic respiratory conditions.
Congratulations to the UW PPC team!
Klein Lab Researcher Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD Receives Postdoctoral Fellowship
Congratulations to Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, who was recently awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) in the amount of $58,864.
In her grant, entitled, "Role of airway epithelial cells in host defense against pulmonary fungal pathogens," she will test the hypothesis that airway epithelial cells underpin the generation of adaptive immunity to fungi. This 13-month fellowship is under the sponsorship of Bruce Klein, MD.
Michelle Kelly, MD to Chair Academic Pediatric Association's Patient and Family Centered Care Committee
Michelle Kelly, MD, was named the next chair Academic Pediatric Association's (APA) Patient and Family-Centered Care Special Interest Group (SIG). During her three-year term, she will collaborate with committee members to host SIG sessions at the Pediatric Academic Society's meetings.
The Patient and Family Centered-Care Special Interest Group is dedicated to helping individuals and programs provide high quality patient and family centered care. This national group provides a forum to exchange ideas and lessons learned to further advance the field of Patient and Family Centered Care and foster efforts in collaboration, education, quality improvement and research.
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, to Participate in Panel on Patient Engagement in Research
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, will participate in a panel discussion on the role of patients in health services research at AcademyHealth’s upcoming research meeting on June 13 in Minneapolis.
She will be joined by a senior policy and research analyst from the Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI), and a community program specialist at the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics.
The panel is part of a Quality and Value Special Interest Group meeting focused on patient engagement, patient-centered care, health care efficiency measures, among other themes.
For more information, visit: http://arm.academyhealth.org/qvig.
Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Awards Eight Grants
The Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund has declared that it will fund each of eight separate grant requests made by the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Oncology. The grants will fund each project for $100,000 over the next two years. Congratulations to all of the researchers involved.
- Christian Capitini, MD, "Exploitation of the STAT1-BCL2 Axis to Dissect GVL from GVHD"
- Ken DeSantes, MD, "Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Neuroblastoma with Ex-Vivo Activated and Expanded Haploindentical NK Cells and Continuous Infusion Hu14.18-IL2ts," and "Support for clinical research infrastructure"
- Jacquelyn Hank, PhD, "Monitoring of Immune Network Responses in Pediatric Neuroblastoma Patients Treated with ch14.18, hu14.18K322A or hu14.18-IL2 Immunocytokine (IC)"
- Mario Otto, MD, PhD, "CLR-1404: A Tumor-selective Alkyl Phospholipid Analog for the Treatment of Pediatric Solid Malignancies," and "Effect of Zoledronate on Engraftment and T-cell Development after TCRab/CD19-depleted Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation"
- Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD, "Combining ADCC, Macrophage Activation and Checkpoint Blockade for Treatment of Experimental Cancer"
- Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, "Enhancing Immunocytokine Efficacy in Neuroblastoma: Synergy with Radiation Therapy (RT) and Development of 2nd Generation Immunocytokines (IC)"
Top Abstract Award Given to Christian Capitini, MD
Christian Capitini, MD, was awarded a certificate and $1000 in flexible research funds for his laboratory at the First Annual Immuno-oncology Young Investigator's Forum in Chicago, IL in May. Dr. Capitini presented one of the top abstracts at the Forum, and his presentation was entitled, "Incorporating immunocytokine to enhance graft-versus-tumor effects against neuroblastoma."
Drs. Otto and Bednarz Receive NIH Award to Study CLR1404
Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, and co-PI, Bryan Bednarz, PhD, of the UW Department of Medical Physics, who were recently awarded a 2-year, R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), for their project entitled, "A cancer-targeted phospholipid ether analog for molecular radiotherapy of pediatric solid tumors."
This funding, in the amount of $366,053 will be used to investigate the highly tumor selective phospholipid ether analog CLR1404 as scaffold for delivery of radioiodine isotopes for molecular radiotherapy and personalized dosimetry in pre-clinical rodent models of pediatric solid cancers. The project has a strong potential to increase the dismal survival rate of children with these particularly deadly tumors.
Christian Capitini, MD, Receives Vilas Award
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, for winning a Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award from the UW Provost Office. This award, which provides $50,000 in flexible research funds for his laboratory, will be used for supplies and animal costs associated with Dr. Capitini's ongoing productive in vivo experimental program. His research laboratory is focused on bone marrow transplant (BMT), and in using components of the immune system to enhance the efficacy of BMT by preventing the common complications - namely tumor relapse and graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD).
Christian Capitini, MD, and Medical Student Receive Second Summer Research Award
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, and Medical Student Tara Gavcovich from George Washington University School of Medicine, for their recent grant of $5,000 to support summer research in Dr. Capitini's Lab.
This HONORS (Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation of Research Scientists) award from the American Society of Hematology (ASH), is intended for medical students and residents with an interest in hematology research.
The project, entitled "Improving GVL/GVHD for T-Cell ALL," will allow Gavcovich to study whether BCL2, an anti-apoptotic protein that is expressed in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), combined with STAT1 inhibition, results in a synergistic improvement of the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect.
Endocrinology Team Members Receive Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award
Congratulations to Endocrinology/Diabetes fellows Tasa Seibert, MD, Allison Pollock, MD, and Robert Strait, MD for being selected as recipients of the Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award for 2015. Each received $750 to support their travel costs to the PES Annual Meeting in San Diego, California in April 2015.
David McCulley, MD, Selected as ICTR KL2 Scholar to Study Genetics of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias
Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, for awarding of his UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) grant entitled, "Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: Genetic Mechanisms of Pulmonary Hypoplasia and Pulmonary Hypertension," in the amount of $297,594. He has been selected as part of the KL2 Scholars Program, which provides promising young clinical and translational investigators the training, mentoring, and protected time to develop an independent research program. This program is funded by the NIH through ICTR's Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). In this Mentored Career Development Award, David will examine the role of Pbx1 (Pre-B-Cell leukemia transcription factor 1) in the complex phenotype of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and in normal formation of the diaphragm as well as normal lung and pulmonary vascular development. He will use data from microarray analyses of changes in gene expression in embryonic and early postnatal lungs of Pbx-mutant mice to determine the genetic pathways affected by loss of Pbx that are critical for postnatal lung and pulmonary vascular development. Goals are to develop genetic and pharmacological approaches to treat and rescue the pulmonary hypertension phenotype of the Pbx-mutant mice, and provide insight into the cause of this lethal disease and help to design targeted therapies that improve the outcome of patients.
Faculty Receive St. Baldrick's Summer Fellowship to Fund Medical Students
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, and Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, who were recently awarded a joint St. Baldrick's Summer Fellowship worth $5,000 to fund two medical students in their respective labs this summer.
Tara Gavcovich, a graduate of Duke University and current medical student at George Washington University School of Medicine, will work in Dr. Capitini's lab on the project, "Improving allogeneic bone marrow transplant for neuroblastoma," with the goal of using models of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) to prevent graft-versus-host disease, while enhancing graft-versus-tumor effects against neuroblastoma.
Maureen Riegert, a graduate of University of Notre Dame and a current UW medical student, will work in Dr. Sondel's lab on the project entitled, "The Effect of Radiation on Tumor Cell Immune Susceptibility," where she will investigate the effect of radiation on the expression of immune susceptibility markers in the GD2-expressing NXS2 neuroblastoma cell line. These experiments will allow a more in-depth understanding of the potential synergy of radiation and immunotherapy.
Margo Hoover-Reagan, MD, Receives ICTR Voucher Award to Study Prevention of Mucositis in Bone Marrow Transplant
Margo Hoover-Reagan, MD, was recently awarded a $5,000 voucher from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), for her project entitled, "Topical Phenylephrine to Prevent Mucositis in Bone Marrow Transplant." This funding mechanism is designed to rapidly advance the translation of discovery into therapy. Her study represents the first clinical trial step in the development of a novel therapeutic for prevention of oral mucositis, a common short-term complication of stem cell transplantation, which causes significant distress, expense, and morbidity. This study will support pharmacokinetic studies on serum of 5 patients to establish systemic absorption of phenylephrine, in the hopes of establishing a safe and effective mucositis prevention strategy, which would lead to immense benefits in patient morbidity including decreased use of pain medication and increased ability to take oral nutrition.
Sabrina Butteris, MD, to Chair American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force
Sabrina Butteris, MD, was just named the next chair of the American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force. She will assume her new role in October 2015.
She will succeed Steven Ludwig, MD, medical director of international medical education at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Butteris is an assistant professor (CHS) in the Department of Pediatrics and director of its residency program’s pediatric global health track.
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Among Speakers at June 4 "Partnering With Patients" Mini Med School
Elizabeth Cox, MD, and colleagues from the UW Center for Patient Partnerships and the UW Departments of Family Medicine and Surgery, will speak at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's upcoming Mini Med School on June 4, 2015 at 6:30 pm.
The session, "Partnering with Patients in Health Care," will focus on how patients and healthcare professionals can partner to best navigate the healthcare system.
Speakers will share simple tools for self-advocacy, examples of how patients are making a difference at UW-Madison and in the community, and how we can learn from patients’ experiences to improve healthcare.
For more information or to register, visit: http://www.med.wisc.edu/mini-med-school/36954
Three Pediatrics Faculty Receive UW Health Physician Excellence Awards
Jamie Limjoco, MD, Kathleen Maginot, MD, and David Wargowski, MD, were among 10 UW Health physicians who received Physician Excellence Awards at a May 5, 2015, ceremony at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
The awards recognize those who demonstrate exceptional performance in clinical practice, education or regional services and a commitment to the mission, vision and values of UW Health.
Dr. Limjoco received a Rising Star Clinical Excellence Award, which honors outstanding clinicians and educators who have demonstrated exceptional and measurable contributions to clinical practice during their short time at UW Health. Dr. Limjoco's most significant contribution has been serving as the initial clinical director for the American Family Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which opened in May 2014.
Drs. Maginot and Wargowski received Regional Services Excellence Awards, which recognizes physicians who provide extraordinary care for patients at neighboring health care facilities in Wisconsin and beyond.
Dr. Maginot has provided pediatric cardiology care in the Fox Valley area for over five years. She also teaches pediatric residents at UW Health and welcomes local family medicine residents to join her in caring for her patients at the regional clinic.
Dr. Wargowski cares for children with genetic disorders who live in outlying communities. His outstanding communication skills help him communicate with patients and families at what may be the most difficult time in their lives.
New PICU Protocol Reduces Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
American Family Children's Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) has instituted a protocol that has reduced central line associated blood stream infections (CLA-BSIs) -- and likely decreased the time very sick patients spend in the hospital. National statistics also suggest the initiative may have saved lives.
The new protocol, developed by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, identified standard interventions that decrease infections. The protocol's maintenance bundle includes instruction on when to change dressings surrounding central lines, having nurses wear masks when changing dressings, and creating central line kits that have all of the equipment needed for dressing changes.
Since the protocol's implementation, the improvement in the PICU has been quantifiable. The PICU staff followed an insertion bundle when placing a central line and the maintenance bundle when accessing the line since November 2013 and went 354 days without a CLA-BSI.
Since that October 2014 infection, the PICU has been CLA-BSI-free, a string of more than 200 days.
Pediatric Cardiology Team Wins National Lipid Association Award for Best Abstract
An abstract by resident Hilary Stempel, MD, nurse practitioners Ann Dodge, MS, RN, CPNP, and Erin Marriott, MS, RN, CPNP, and pediatric cardiologist Amy Peterson, MD, received the The Foundation of the National Lipid Association (NLA) Hunninghake FH Abstract Award.
The new award recognizes the best abstract submitted in the area of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) research. The team's abstract, "Universal vs Selective Pediatric Lipid Screening in the Diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolemia," identified universal pediatric lipid screening as an evolving, effective tool to identify patients and family members with FH.
Dr. Peterson will present the abstract live during the 2015 NLA Scientific Sessions in June. The award also includes a $1,500 prize and a travel grant to the conference.
Pelin Cengiz, MD, Discusses Her ICTR KL2 Award in Quarterly
Peliz Cengiz, MD, was one of several UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) KL2 scholars profiled in the current issue of Quarterly, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's alumni magazine.
Dr. Cengiz received her KL2 award in 2011. In the article, she explains how the award helped her develop animal models for her research on why male neonates have worse outcomes than females after neonatal asphyxia.
“We recently found that a nerve growth factor may function differently between males and females after neonatal asphyxia. This may account for the sex differences seen in learning impairments. A better understanding of this mechanism will help us identify new therapies and improve outcomes in children who suffer from brain injury,” she said.
Grant Syverson, MD, To Serve on Executive Committee of AAP’s Section on Rheumatology
Grant Syverson, MD, was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Section on Rheumatology. He will serve a three-year term that begins on November 1, 2015, and continues through the close of the 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition.
The Section on Rheumatology aims to improve the care of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with rheumatic diseases and other musculoskeletal disorders by providing a forum for the exchange of information among pediatric rheumatologists, and between rheumatologists and general pediatricians on the diagnosis and management of various rheumatologic problems.
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Receives Dean's Award for Excellence in Medical Student Research Mentorship
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, for being selected to receive the 2014 Dean's Award for Excellence in Medical Student Research Mentorship.
The award recognizes Dr. Sondel for his longstanding involvement in student research programs---including the Shapiro Summer Research Program, the Medical Scientist Training Program, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellows Program---and the research achievements of his medical student mentees.
School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, MD, will present the award to Dr. Sondel on Medical Education Day on May 21, 2015.
Robert Lemanske, MD, Appointed to Wisconsin Partnership Program Oversight and Advisory Committee
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents appointed Robert Lemanske, MD, to the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s Oversight and Advisory Committee (OAC) on April 10, 2015.
Dr. Lemanske will begin his four-year term in May. He was nominated by Robert N. Golden, MD, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, to replace Philip Farrell, MD, PhD. Dr. Farrell was instrumental in the creation of the Wisconsin Partnership Program, and had also served as the OAC’s inaugural chair.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Lemanske had served as a clinical faculty representative on the Partnership Program’s Education and Research Committee from 2009-2013.
Cengiz Lab Researcher a Winner of UW-Madison Cool Science Image Contest
A micrograph of cultured mouse neurons created by Eshwar Udho, a postdoctoral fellow in the Waisman Center lab of Pelin Cengiz, MD, was one of 12 winning entries in the 2015 UW-Madison Cool Science Image Contest.
Judges evaluated 115 total submissions; in addition to Udho, two other researchers from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health were winners.
Drs. Cox, Kelly to Speak at Society for Hospital Medicine Webinar on Family-Centered Rounds on April 22
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and Michelle Kelly, MD, will be speaking about family-centered rounds at a Society of Hospital Medicine webinar on Wednesday, April 22 at 10:30-11:30 AM CDT.
The webinar will review the development, implementation, and evaluation of a family-centered rounds checklist and the associated toolkit of materials, available on HIPxChange, to support best practices in family-centered rounding.
Graduate Student Receives American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Seed Grant
The research team led by James Gern, MD, has made a key discovery about a cold-causing virus that is strongly associated with severe asthma attacks. The findings point to a new target for reducing both colds and asthma attacks linked to the virus.
Dr. Gern’s team identified a cellular receptor for rhinovirus C (RV-C), a kind of ‘docking station’ where the virus attaches to the cell and starts to multiply. A variant in the gene for this receptor had been linked to asthma in past genetic studies, but the potential role of the receptor, called CDHR3, in asthma was previously unknown.
The new findings, which were published April 6, 2015, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), help clarify the function of CDHR3 and may lead to the development of prevention and treatment strategies against RV-C-induced colds and asthma attacks.
First Year Allergy & Immunology Fellows Receive Recognition
Two of the first year Allergy & Immunology fellows received recognition for their outstanding abstracts at the 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting in Houston, TX in February.
Alalia Berry, MD, presented an oral abstract entitled "Human Rhinovirus Species Induce Differential Antiviral and Inflammatory Responses in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells". Her abstract was selected for the Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment (ADT) Interest Section Outstanding Abstract Award. Dr. Berry's primary research mentor is Daniel Jackson, MD.
Ann Esquivel, MD, presented an abstract from the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) entitled "Rhinovirus Species and Asthma Exacerbation in Inner City Children. Her abstract was selected for the Featured Poster Session - Best of ADT. Dr. Esquivel's primary research mentor is James Gern, MD.
Graduate Student Receives American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Seed Grant
Congratulations to Laura Tetri, graduate student in the lab of Dr. Marlowe Eldridge, who was recently awarded a 2015 Seed Grant in the amount of $2,500 from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation. In her project, "Role of adrenergic signaling in regulation of blood flow through pulmonary supernumerary arteries," she will study the structure and function of supernumerary arteries to better understand their function on normal physiology and disease states. Increased understanding of the normal physiologic function and regulation of supernumerary arteries will allow further study of their role in the pathophysiology of diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Amy Falk, MD, Receives the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award
Amy Falk, MD, was awarded the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award from the 4th year medical students. She will receive the award at this month's Match Day celebration.
Sharon Bartosh, MD, Elected to OPTN/UNOS Board
Sharon Bartosh, MD, was elected to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 2015 board of directors as its at-large physician/surgeon representative. Members of the national organ donation and transplantation community elected her to the volunteer position. Her term begins July 1, 2015.
The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy. UNOS serves as the OPTN under federal contract.
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, Named Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, has been selected to join the 2015 class of Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows.
The Ascend Fellowship invests in diverse leaders from different walks of life who have breakthrough ideas to build economic security, educational success and health and well-being for low-income families.
“I’ll be looking at innovative two-generation approaches to working with families in poverty by integrating principles of early brain and child development together with clinical practice," explained Dr. Navsaria. "We have so many opportunities in primary care, given the access we have to families and the trust they place in their health care providers.”
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
David Allen, MD, and Patient Talk About Turner Syndrome
Brooke Schmidtke, a Rosendale, Wisconsin, woman with Turner Syndrome who is a patient of David Allen, MD, spoke to the Fond du Lac Reporter to raise awareness of the disease.
In the article, Dr. Allen, who has treated Brooke for the past 15 years, explained the nature and severity of the disease, which has no cure, and some of the ways it can be treated.
"Each of the problems associated with TS has a different type of treatment," Allen said. "For about 30 years now growth hormones have been used to help the girls grow. If we can increase their height by a modest degree, an extra couple of inches can bring them close to an average height."
Christian Capitini, MD, Leads 'Breakthrough' Leukemia Trial
Christian Capitini, MD, is leading a new clinical trial that will test a promising method of immunotherapy for children with relapsed acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
The multi-site trial just opened at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and American Family Children’s Hospital. The experimental immunotherapy, named CTL019, was first developed at the University of Pennsylvania.
In the therapy, patients' T-cells are extracted and reprogrammed to express a chimeric antigen receptor that, after reinfusion, may detect and potentially destroy leukemia cells.
The therapy has been accelerated through the work of a “dream team” of academic institutions granted $14.5 million from Stand Up to Cancer and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
AFCH Pilots Bedside App to Improve Patient and Family Experience
American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) is the first pediatric hospital in the nation (and the first hospital in Wisconsin) to pilot a “MyChart Bedside,” a new tablet-based application that gives patients and caregivers access to important information about their health, their care team, and what to expect during the hospital stay.
In the pilot, parents of hospitalized children receive tablet computers loaded with the application to use throughout their hospital stay. The application displays photos of the child’s care team; allows for messaging with the care team; displays the daily schedule; and provides access to key portions of the patient’s medical record, including a list of hospital medications, test results, patient education, and the anticipated discharge date.
An initial survey suggested that parents found the application easy to use, believe that it helps them monitor and understand the care of their child, and believe that it helps to improve the quality of hospital care.
“Good communication is really at the core of good care,” explained Shannon Dean, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and chief medical information officer for UW Health. “We are continually looking for innovative ways to use health technology to improve communication between providers and patients, thereby improving the patient and family experience and the quality of care we provide.”
Aaron Friedman, MD, Receives ASPN Founder's Award
Congratulations to Aaron Friedman, MD, who has been selected to receive the 2015 American Society of Pediatric Nephrology's Founder's Award. Since 1996, the ASPN has used the Founder's Award to recognize individuals who have made a unique and lasting contribution to the field of pediatric nephrology and have contributed significantly to the ASPN by promoting its activities to assure a continuing role for its members in science as well as in specialized health care for children with kidney disease. Dr Friedman completed his internship and residency in pediatrics and his pediatric nephrology at the University of Wisconsin, then joined the Department as a faculty member for 23 years, the last 10 as Chair of Pediatrics, before moving on to Brown University. His last position before retiring in January 2014 was Dean of the Medical School at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Anthony Wampole Receives Outstanding Resident Teaching Award
Congratulations to Anthony Wampole, MD, who has been selected to receive the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association's (WMAA) Outstanding Resident Teaching Award for 2015. The award, which is awarded based on the votes of the 4th year medical students, is granted in recognition of dedicated commitment to teaching excellence. The award will be presented at the annual UW School of Medicine and Public Health's Honors and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 14 at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
Barbara Knox, MD, Invited to Help Develop National Protocol for Pediatric Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations
Congratulations to Dr. Barbara Knox, who has been invited to participate in the upcoming Medical Working Group to develop a National Protocol for Pediatric Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. This project will directly connect the needs of juvenile survivors with an evidence-based, patient-focused national medical-forensic sexual assault examination protocol. Dr. Knox was one of four national child abuse pediatricians selected for participation based on their extensive knowledge of the topic and their efforts to enhance the existing practices.
Daniel Jackson, MD, Receives NIH Award to Research Respiratory Pathogen
Daniel Jackson, MD, was awarded $74,878 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) for his project entitled, "Mechanisms of Enhanced Enterovirus (EV) D68 Pathogenicity." EV D68 has emerged as an important respiratory pathogen in children, with an outbreak of severe illnesses in the United States in 2014. In this project, awarded as part of the NIAID U19 Opportunity Fund, investigators will clone one of the current circulating strains of EV D68, along with strains from previous years, then perform studies in differentiated airway epithelial cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells to compare the immune response elicited by the different strains of EV D68 along with rhinovirus species A, B, and C. Then, investigators will assess whether altered receptor specificity, temperature sensitivity, or other characteristics may help explain the enhanced severity of EV D68 illnesses that occurred in the United States in 2014.
Bruce Klein, MD, Receives 5 Year Renewal Grant From NIH-NIAID
Congratulations to Bruce Klein, MD, on his recent R01 award of over $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). His 5-year renewal, "Molecular pathogenesis of Blastomycosis," provides funding for Years 20-24 of this project, in which the team will dissect the role and action of a yeast fungal product that inactivates innate immunity, enabling progressive infection. This work will yield insight into the microbial mechanism that underlies intense immune disturbances linked with a progressive systemic mycosis, while emphasizing action on GM-CSF and CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes, and the disabling consequences for innate immunity.
Smith Lab Researcher Mike Khan Receives Predoctoral Fellowship
Congratulations to Mike Khan on funding of his Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). This 3-year, pre-doctoral fellowship, in the amount of $90,760, is under the sponsorship of Dr. Judith Smith, MD, PhD. His project, "The role of the Unfolded Protein Response in Brucella melitensis replication," will investigate the mechanism by which Brucella melitensis, an intracellular bacterial pathogen that is the causative agent of Brucellosis, establishes its intracellular niche, in order to increase understanding of the pathogen as well as develop novel therapeutics.
Dr. Christine Seroogy Receives Funding from Carbone Cancer Center
Congratulations to Christine Seroogy, MD, on funding of $40,000 from the UW Paul P. Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) and the Tumor Microenvironment Program. Her project, "The Role of the Anergy-related E3 ubiquitin ligase, GRAIL, in Tumor Immune Evasion," utilizes mice to further understanding of the role of GRAIL in tumor immune evasion, in hopes of providing further insights into proteasome inhibitor mechanisms of action and pursuing combinatorial therapies.
Drs. Gern and Jackson Receive Supplement to ICAC Contract
Congratulations to James Gern, MD and co-investigator, Daniel Jackson, MD for their recent supplement to the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) contract, entitled, "Pets and the Infant Microbiome: Effect on Immune Maturation & Atopic Asthma." With this award of $78,548 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) and (University of California - San Francisco), Drs. Gern and Jackson will complete virus assessment on selected index samples collected in the ICAC PROSE clinical trial. In addition, Drs. Jackson and Gern will integrate the clinical data from the PROSE trial to develop outcomes including the number and severity of respiratory illnesses, the number and etiology for distinct viral infections, and virus-induced exacerbations of asthma.
Dr. Sheryl Henderson Receives Grant for iPads for UW HIV Clinic
Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD, was awarded a grant in the amount of $1,891 for her project entitled, "iPads to Enhance Health Education for Youth and Families in the UW HIV Comprehensive Care Clinic." This project, funded by the Friends of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC), will provide funding for 3 iPads, which will allow HIV-infected pediatric patients and their families in the UW HIV clinic to utilize this technology to better understand their condition, and thus, improve their health.
Dr. Paul Grossberg Wins 2014 AMERSA Best Workshop Award
Paul Grossberg, MD, has been awarded the 2014 Best Workshop Award by the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. The workshop, titled “Behavioral Change in Our Patients and Ourselves: Interdisciplinary, Experiential Teaching to Improve MI Skills in Clinical Practice”, was held at the annual AMERSA national conference. The selection criteria for this award were the quality of the workshop -- in terms of timeliness of the topic and relevance for AMERSA conference attendees -- and participants’ evaluations of the workshop. Along with the award, Dr. Grossberg has received a complimentary registration to the 2015 AMERSA conference.
One of the First Patients to Benefit from AFCH Expansion Profiled in State Journal
The Wisconsin State Journal profiled Gabriel Kampka, a six-month-old baby who was one of the first patients treated at American Family Children’s Hospital’s (AFCH) new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and hybrid catheterization lab.
Gabriel---who was born with congenital atresia of the left main coronary artery, a twisted bowel, and cystic fibrosis---spent nearly three months at AFCH before going home. Pediatric cardiologist Luke Lamers, MD, and pediatric surgeon Peter Nichol, MD, teamed up in the new hybrid suite to evaluate his heart function and repair his bowel.
Thor Jeppson from PROKids Presents at National Dissemination and Implementation Conference
Thor Jeppson, research specialist for PROKids, recently presented at the 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health in Washington, DC. “Identifying barriers and solutions to research participation for chronically ill children and teens” is part of Dr. Elizabeth Cox’s PCORI-funded Project ACE, a randomized controlled trial of a family-centered intervention to improve diabetes self-management in children and adolescents. Jeppson and his co-authors describe how they used interviews and stakeholder advisory boards to identify barriers to trial participation for chronically ill children and adolescents. In addition to identifying barriers, this stakeholder engagement process also identified a variety of potential solutions to overcome those barriers. Organized by Academy Health and the National Institutes of Health, the Annual Conference is the largest national meeting on dissemination and implementation science.
Family-Centered Rounds Paper Leads This Week's Pediatrics DigestPosted: December 2014
A paper coauthored by Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and colleagues is the lead article in the December 15, 2014 issue of Pediatrics Digest, a weekly summary of early-release articles from the journal Pediatrics.
The paper describes family-initiated dialogue about medications -- and health care team responses to this dialogue --- during family-centered rounds (FCR). Findings suggest specific medication topics that health care teams can anticipate addressing during FCR.
The summary and link to the full paper can be found here.
Amy Plumb, MD, Discusses Medical Complexity in ESPN Wisconsin ArticlePosted: December 2014
In a recent ESPN Wisconsin article, Amy Plumb, MD, discussed the challenges of caring for Kellan Meinke, a medically complex child who requires total parenteral nutrition to survive.
"More so than any other patient, there's a lot of people who are in pretty constant contact about him and about what to do next," she said in the article.
Kellan and his family recently spent a respite weekend with the Green Bay Packers, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Kellan's mother refers to Dr. Plumb as "the Aaron Rodgers" of his medical team.
Dr. Bruce Klein Receives NIH-NIAID R21 Award
Congratulations to Bruce Klein, MD, on his recent R21 award of $420,750 from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). His two-year project, "Molecular pathogenesis and Blastomyces adherence," tackles significant unmet needs of developing better ways to treat and prevent systemic fungal infections by investigating a basic mechanism of pathogenicity - binding host tissue - in a human fungal pathogen. As invasive fungal infections are now one of the 10 leading causes of death (7th), ahead of mortality due to tuberculosis, the new basic knowledge gleaned from this study can be harnessed for better fungal disease prevention and treatment.
Kathleen Shanovich, RN, MS, CPNP, Receives UW Advance Practice Provider Excellence Award
Kathleen Shanovich, RN, MS, CPNP, a nurse practitioner in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, & Rheumatology, was honored with a UW Health Advance Practice Provider Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. The award recognizes UW Health nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants who demonstrate outstanding clinical practice, teaching and leadership.
In her nomination, a colleague observed, “Kathleen has worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of underserved children with asthma and promote optimal care in Madison and throughout the state.... Her outstanding accomplishments, navigation of the health care system and community, teaching, and social responsibility demonstrate her commitment to clinical excellence and family-centered care.”
Two Toolkits From Elizabeth Cox’s Grants Now Available
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and her research collaborators have developed two recently released HIPxChange toolkits focusing on family-centered rounds and on patient engagement in patient-centered outcomes research.
The Toolkit on Patient Partner Engagement in Research (TOPPER) provides the complete set of orientation materials originally developed for engaging patient partners (children and teens with type 1 diabetes and their parents) on Dr. Cox’s PCORI-funded study “Family-Centered Tailoring of Pediatric Diabetes Self-Management Resources.” Researchers can adapt these materials for a variety of types of patient partners.
The Family-Centered Rounds Toolkit shows how to create an effective and sustainable intervention for improving family-centered rounds. It includes a checklist and a training curriculum, and has versions geared specifically to clinicians and researchers.
Both toolkits are available as free downloads from the HIPxChange website.
James Gern, MD, Collaborates on Largest Grant in SMPH History
James Gern, MD, is a co-director on a new seven-year, $70 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) -- the largest grant ever received by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
The grant continues work on the Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), a nationwide clinical research network that leads research and seeks new immune-based treatments for asthma in inner-city children.
William Busse, MD, a professor in the UW Department of Medicine, is the project’s principal investigator.
Dr. Gern and Christine Sorkness, PharmD, are ICAC co-directors, providing overall scientific direction and management services for the consortium. Dr. Gern also leads the Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) birth cohort study to identify environmental factors that promote asthma.
Resident Eliza Blanchette, MD, Receives AAP Resident Research Grant
Third-year resident Eliza Blanchette, MD, was recently awarded an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Resident Research grant. Her project will identify which outcomes are most meaningful for youth who have Type 1 diabetes and their families, especially those who have limited access to care and are at risk for poor glycemic control.
Using the knowledge gained from the study, she will create a clinical assessment tool to help patients and families develop sustainable self-management behaviors.
The AAP Resident Research Grant Program offers grants of up to $2,000 to enhance residents’ research skills and experience. Dr. Blanchette’s advisor on the project is Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD.
Neonatology Researchers Receive $115K in Meriter Foundation Grants
Four investigators in the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Neonatology & Newborn Nursery were recently awarded nearly $115,000 in total funding from the Meriter Foundation Research and Education Grants Program.
The awards will support four clinical research studies in 2015. The investigators and their projects are:
- Pamela Kling, MD: Developmental Programming: Iron Deficiency and Inflammatory Obesity Mediators (IDIOM) Study ($35,000)
- De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD: Identification of Therapeutic Targets for Hyperoxia-Induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in a BPD Lung Cell Model ($35,000)
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD: Oxytocin and Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP): Proof of Principle ($35,000)
- Olachi J. Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, and DeAnn Pillers, MD, PhD: Identifying Fluid, Oxygen, Calories and Infection (FOCI) Multisystem Strategies to Reduce Chronic Lung Disease ($9,984)
Mei Baker, MD, Honored as a Leader in Newborn Screening
Mei Baker, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene Newborn Screening Laboratory, received the Harry Hannon Laboratory Improvement Award in Newborn Screening from the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).
She received the award at AHPL’s Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium, held October 27-30, 2014, in Anaheim, California. It honors a person working in newborn screening worldwide who contributions have had a direct effect in improving the quality of laboratory results for the newborn screening system.
Dr. Baker’s lab was one of the first to develop and pilot Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) newborn screening. Recently, Dr. Baker also began a quality improvement effort to reduce false positives associated with cystic fibrosis screening using next-generation sequencing technology. Her work has profoundly impacted and improved the current practice of newborn screening locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Resident Grad Douglas Diekema, MD, Wins AAP Ethics Award
Douglas Diekema, MD, a 1989 graduate of the UW Pediatrics Residency Program, received the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) William G. Bartholome Award for Ethical Excellence at its national meeting on October 13, 2014.
The Bartholome Award recognizes those who have significantly impacted public discussion of ethical issues in pediatric medicine. Dr. Diekema is a contributing author of the AAP’s Section on Bioethics’ case-based online modules for training residents and fellows, serves on the American Board of Pediatrics’ Ethics Committee, and is an editor of Clinical Ethics in Pediatrics: A Case-Based Textbook.
Dr. Diekema is pediatric emergency medicine physician, director of education for the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Hospital and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
DocTalk Connects Doctors With Health IT Entrepreneurs
Michelle Kelly, MD, is one of a number of entrepreneurs, physician-scientists and students at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health who have come together to start a monthly meetup called DocTalk Madison. The group discusses important issues in healthcare from a technological perspective, searching for innovative new solutions.
Further details about the group can be found here.
Dr. Bruce Klein Receives Wisconsin Partnership Program Grant
Bruce Klein, MD, has received one of several grants recently awarded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The three year, $500,000 grant will enable Dr. Klein to study blastomycosis infection among Hmong-ancestry populations, which have a sharply elevated incidence of the disease. Blastomycosis is caused by a soil fungus, and the infection can lead to respiratory failure and neurological damage. The Partnership Program’s competitive Collaborative Health Sciences Program supports novel ideas and interdisciplinary approaches to research and education benefiting the health of Wisconsin residents.
Winners Announced for Project ACE Logo Design Contest
Dr. Elizabeth Cox’s research team recently hosted a logo design contest for their diabetes study, Project ACE (Achieving control, Connecting resources, Empowering families).
Project ACE is a three-year collaborative study between UW and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, supported by a $2 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
The winning logo contest designs were submitted by Debbie Rudin and Dana Mortenson. Both winners received a $50 gift card. Cox’s team worked with graphic designer Matthew Becker to create a logo for Project ACE inspired by Dana’s design.
D.B. Sanders, MD, MS, Receives UW-ICTR and Gilead Sciences Awards
Congratulations to D.B. Sanders, MD, MS, on his new awards from the UW-Institute of Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR) and Gilead Sciences.
As an ICTR KL2 scholar, Dr. Sanders will receive 75% protected research time + $25,000/year to support his research. Funding from the Gilead Sciences Research Scholar Program in Cystic Fibrosis will support his project, "Determinants of the microbiome in young children with cystic fibrosis" at $130,000 over 2 years. This study will investigate the roles that antibiotics and viral infections play in the development of the microbial communities (or microbiomes) that exist in the airways and GI tracts of infants with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Children with CF frequently receive antibiotics for viral infections, but it is unknown how often viral infections require treatment with antibiotics, whether antibiotics contribute to disruptions seen in the microbiomes of children with CF, or if early CF lung disease is affected by disruptions of the microbiomes. Understanding how microbiomes develop in young children with CF, and the roles that viral infections and antibiotic exposures play in this process, will improve our understanding of early CF lung disease and may lead to alternative strategies to prevent and treat CF lung disease.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox's PCORI Research Featured in Wall Street Journal
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and her diabetes research team were featured in a recent Wall Street Journal article on patient input on clinical trial design.
In addition, it profiled one of the advisory board members in Dr. Cox's trial, which tests a survey tool to identify patient needs and see if tailoring interventions enables patients to better control their blood sugar.
The article explained that by making patients equal partners in trial design, researchers can ask then questions that are most relevant to them.
"We're just not inside their lives," said Dr. Cox. "We are in the culture of medicine."
David Wargowski, MD, Selected for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Award
Congratulations to David Wargowski, MD, and Georgiana Wilton, PhD, on their award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), entitled "FASD Practice and Implementation Center for Pediatrics." This 4-year project is funded at over $270,000 total cost/year and is a collaborative effort with the AAP and UC San Diego to develop, evaluate and distribute a range of education and training instruments related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. This project aims to raise awareness and increase diagnostic capacity among pediatric primary care providers while serving to fulfill board certification, CPE and MOC requirements.
Dr. Anna Huttenlocher Receives Arthritis Foundation Community Impact Leadership Award
The Arthritis Foundation of Dane County will award the Foundation’s Community Impact Leadership Award to Dr. Anna Huttenlocher at the Women Inspiring Change luncheon on October 1 at the Madison Concourse Hotel.
The Arthritis Foundation said that Dr. Huttenlocher was chosen for the award based on her work in juvenile arthritis, experience in the field of pediatric rheumatology and emphasis on giving back to the community.
“I have been inspired by many women,” said Dr. Huttenlocher. “To be able to give back to the community, help inspire other women and girls and influence change in any facet of life is an honor.”
Ashley Huth, MD, Selected as the 2014-2015 Chair of the UW Health Resident Quality and Safety Council
Ashley Huth, MD, has been selected as the 2014-2015 Chair of the UW Health Resident Quality and Safety Council. This council promotes resident participation in UW Health quality improvement (QI) and patient safety activities. With the mentorship of Michelle Kelly, MD, and Kristin Shadman, MD, she has taken the lead on sustainability projects for ongoing QI initiatives, including sustaining the Family-Centered Rounds (FCR) checklist intervention at AFCH. This intervention was created with a multidisciplinary group of family, pediatric, and human factors engineering representatives to improve family engagement during FCR in the context of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded FCR Initiative (Cox, PI). This project was one of the first QI projects to receive Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 credit at UW. This ongoing QI work will be presented at both the American Board of Medical Specialties and American Academy of Pediatrics national conferences this fall.
Dr. David Allen Receives UWHC Presidential Physician Leadership Award
Congratulations to Dr. David Allen for being selected for the 2014 University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Presidential Physician Leadership Award.
The UWHC Presidential Physician Leadership Award is designed to recognize the organization's most competent and dedicated UWHC-practicing clinical physicians. This prestigious award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills outside of their department and in institution-wide work and a commitment to the mission, vision and values of UW Health within their department, across the organization as well as through community service activities that extend beyond discipline-specific professional activities.
Study Finds 50% of Wisconsin High School Coaches CPR Certified
Former pediatric residents Matt Harer, MD, and Jeff Yaeger, MD, MPH, recently published a study in the Wisconsin Medical Journal investigating CPR certification rates in Wisconsin high school coaches.
CPR can increase survival in instances of sudden cardiac arrest. Nationally, high school coaches are the first responders to sudden cardiac arrest in up to one-third of high school athlete collapses, but little is known about the status of their CPR certification. The primary goal of this study was to assess the proportion of Wisconsin high school coaches that are certified in CPR.
The study found that the majority of Wisconsin high schools do not require CPR certification for coaches. In Wisconsin, the proportion of coaches who act as the primary responder to a collapse is greater than previously reported. Although the majority of coaches in Wisconsin serve as the primary responder to an episode of sudden cardiac arrest, only about 50% are CPR certified.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox's Project Featured in PCORI Board of Governors Meeting
Dr. Elizabeth Cox's project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study family-centered tailoring of pediatric diabetes self-management resources was recently featured in the PCORI Board of Governors meeting.
Myriam Bouchlaka, PhD, Receives Inaugural AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship
Congratulations to Myriam Bouchlaka, PhD, for receiving one of the inaugural American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Careers in Immunology Fellowships. AAI established this award in 2014 to advance the careers of AAI member scientists by providing stipends to predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows. The fellowship will provide one year of salary support for her research in the laboratory of Christian Capitini, MD, starting October 1.
Dr. Sharon Bartosh Elected to Board of Directors for American Society of Transplantation
Sharon Bartosh, MD, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation, an organization of more than 3500 transplant professionals, 90 % of whom are adult physicians (medical and transplant surgeons). Dr. Bartosh will join the AST Board of Directors for a three year term.
Pediatrics Faculty Awarded Madison Magazine 2014 "Top Docs" Honors
Congratulations to the faculty members of the Department of Pediatrics selected for the 2014 Madison Magazine "Top Docs" list.
Every year, Madison Magazine reaches out to medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine (MDs and DOs) at local clinics, hospitals and practices and asked them to participate in voting for their peers in seventy-four medical specialties.
Drs. Baker, Farrell, and Rock Receive Legacy of Angels Foundation Awards
Congratulations to Michael Rock, MD and Mei Baker, MD/Philip Farrell, MD, PhD on their recent awards from The Legacy of Angels Foundation.
Dr. Rock's project, "A Multi-Center Study of a New Method of Sweat Testing: the CF Quantum(r) Sweat Test" is a six center study of approximately 300 patients assessing the results of the CFQT compared to GCQPIT/Macroduct system. The project was funded for 2 years at a total of $394,510.
Co-Principal Investigators, Mei Baker, MD and Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, are collaborating with Michael Farrell, MD, at Aurora Health Care on their project, "A Prospective Study of Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis Using a Novel IRT/Next Generation Sequencing Method." The 2-year project was funded at a total of $589,732 and will prospectively evaluate the usefulness of expanded DNA analyses using a panel of up to 200 CFTR disease-causing mutations identified by a novel next generation sequencing method in newborn screening for cystic fibrosis.
Bruce Klein, MD, Receives Grant From US Geological Survey
Congratulations to Co-Principal Investigators, Bruce Klein, MD, and Jorge Osorio, DVM, MS, PhD, in the School of Veterinary Medicine on their funding from the US Geological Survey. Their project, "Oral vaccines and delivery methods for controlling disease in bats," is funded for 3 years at a total of $275,860 and aims to develop effective vaccines and methods of vaccine delivery to free-ranging bats that can be applied to numerous diseases, particularly white-nose syndrome.
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, Receives Additional Funding From NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, was recently awarded a 1-year, $100,000 supplement to his R01, funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH-NHLBI). Dr. Eldridge will be working with Co-Investigator, Kara Goss, MD (Department of Medicine - Pulmonary Medicine) on the project entitled, "Influence of Sex and Maturation on Right heart-Pulmonary Vascular coupling in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)." Female babies with BPD demonstrate improved survival over their male counterparts, although it is currently unclear if they are at higher risk of developing pulmonary hypertension. The goal of this project is to investigate the influence of sex hormones and maturation on lung and right heart function in BPD. The information gained could impact treatment strategies and predictions of disease progression.
Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, Receives Additional Funding From NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, was recently awarded an administrative supplement to his R01, funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). This project aims to identify the host-pathogen interactions that are the foundation of vaccine-induced resistance. The knowledge gained from this research will lead to the development of fungal vaccines and adjuvants. The supplement of nearly $75,000 over 2 years will cover increased animal costs.
Kimberly Kile, PhD, Joins APPD LEARN Educational Development Committee
Congratulations to Kimberly Kile, PhD, who has been invited to join the Association of Pediatric Program Director's Longitudinal Educational Assessment Research Network (LEARN) Educational Development Committee. The APPD LEARN Educational Development Committee advises the APPD LEARN Director in (1) determining the faculty development needs of APPD LEARN members in the area of educational research, (2) designing and interpreting the annual APPD LEARN needs assessment survey, and (3) identifying training opportunities.
Casey Reiser, MS, CGC, Discusses the Role of Genetic Counseling in On Wisconsin Magazine Feature Article
The expanding ability to decipher human DNA has made genetic testing widely available. But it takes a pro to translate the information. Genetic counselors trained at UW-Madison, such as Casey Reiser, who went on to lead the UW program, learn how to compassionately break potentially life-changing news to a patient and talk about their options. As the field of genetics has become a legitimate part of medicine’s toolbox, genetic counselors are invaluable in helping others understand this emerging knowledge.
James Conway, MD, Visits Capitol Hill to Advocate for Global Immunization
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, Discusses Importance of Cervical Cancer Vaccine
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.
Pediatric Complex Care Program Receives $9.45 Million CMS Innovation Award
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.
Dr. Andrew Watson Receives Award From UW Sports Medicine Classic Fund
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.
Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, Receives American Society of Radiation Oncology Funding
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 Receives Pediatric Oncology Student Training Award
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.
MACC Fund Reaches $50 Million in Research Contributions
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.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Featured in Cap Times Story on Early Childhood Reading to Address Achievement Gap
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.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox's Project Featured at PCORI Regional Workshop
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
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.”"
Pediatric Residency Awards
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 Ingram, MD
- Outstanding Senior Resident Award - Asaad Beshish, MBBCh
- Outstanding Second-year Resident Award (Jan Brady Award) - Jessica Babal, MD
- Outstanding Intern Award - Kristy Fitzpatrick, MD
- Patient and Family-Centered Care Award - Andrea Jones, MD
- Clerkship Teaching Award - Amy Falk, MD
PRISM Tool Significantly Improves Blood Sugar Levels, Initial Tests Show
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.”
Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, Honored by Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association
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.
Kathleen Maginot, MD, and Nicholas Von Bergen, MD, Recognized as 'Superheroes' of Medicine
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.
Capitini Lab Student Receives Honors and Undergraduate Research Committee Award
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.
Dr. Michael MacDonald and His Co-Investigators Receive Competitive Renewal Diabetes Training and Research Grant
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.
Jacob Goldberg Receives Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellowship
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.
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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.
Undergraduates Receive Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
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
Dr. James Davis Receives Fellowship Award from Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
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.
Drs. Coller and Henderson Awarded Grants Through Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program
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.
Drs. Capitini and Cengiz Awarded Pilot Grants From UW-ICTR
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.
Pamela Kling, MD, Receives Gerber Foundation Award
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.
Renata Lexova's Holocaust Escape Story Profiled in State Journal
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.
Research Assistant Receives Award From Sigma Xi
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.
Dr. Pelin Cengiz, MD, Receives Award to Attend 2014 OSSD Meeting
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.
Christian Capitini, MD, Receives NIH-NCI AwardPosted: May 2014
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD on receiving a National Institutes of Health-National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI) Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) for his project entitled "Inhibiting STAT1 as a novel graft-versus-host/graft-versus-leukemia therapy". This proposal will provide the foundation for bringing novel drugs that target a molecule called STAT1 as a means of improving the safety and efficacy of bone marrow transplants, and ultimately improving the ability of clinicians to treat patients with high-risk or refractory leukemia. The 4 year award totals $721,440, including 75% protected research time and support of lab expenses.
Dr. Sharon Bartosh Nominated to Join DHHS Advisory Committee on Organ TransplantationPosted: May 2014
Congratulations to Sharon Bartosh, MD, who has been nominated by the American Society of Pediatric Nephrologists to be on US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT). The committee was established to assist the HHS Secretary in:
- Enhancing organ donation;
- Ensuring that the system of organ transplantation is grounded in the best available medical science;
- Assuring the public that the system is as effective and equitable as possible;
- Increasing public confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the transplantation system.
Endocrinology Team Members Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award
Congratulations to Endocrinology/Diabetes fellows Kimberly Henrichs, MD, Tasa Seibert, MD, and Alison Pollock, MD for being selected as recipients of the Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award. Each received $800 to support their travel costs to the PES Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC Canada in May 2014.
Pediatrics Physicians Receive 2014 UW Health Patient Experience Champion Awards
Congratulations to Drs. Carol Diamond, Chris Healy, John Hokanson, Kathleen Maginot and Amy Plumb for receiving the 2014 UW Health Patient Experience Champion Award. This recognition is in honor of their Avatar survey scores, which placed them in the top 5% of all UW Health Physicians. Your patients recognized your exemplary communication skills and this award recognizes that you lead by example when it comes to providing a patient and family-centered care experience.
Dr. Kirstin Nackers to Speak at 7th Annual Healthy Classrooms Foundation Symposium
Kirstin A. M. Nackers, MD, will be joining a panel of speakers at the 7th Annual Healthy Classrooms Foundation Symposium on Saturday, May 3, 2014, 2-6pm, at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Dr. Nackers will be speaking about early brain and child development.
The Healthy Classrooms Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to bring the ideals and practices of public health to the classroom and community through creative, sustainable initiatives, and education. It was created by several UW School of Medicine and Public Health medical students, and continues to be led and organized by UW-Madison students from the health sciences and other schools on our campus.
Bruce Klein, MD, Joins Team Searching for New Antibiotics
The National Institutes of Health have awarded a five year, $16 million grant to a group of researchers including Bruce Klein, MD, to find new sources of antibiotics to combat the rising number of deadly antibiotic-resistant infections. The UW-Madison team is studying natural products from animals, insects, plants and marine life, searching for novel antimicrobials to combat two groups of relevant microbes: fungi associated with infections in immunocompromised patients like cancer and transplant patients, and bacteria responsible for the majority of U.S. hospital infections.
David Bernhardt, MD, Discusses Brain Trauma
David Bernhardt, MD, recently appeared in an article for the Madison Capital Times newspaper. He joined Chris Murphy to discuss an article from the New York Times and the possible connection with soccer and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Drs. Frohna and Beshish Elected into Alpha Omega Alpha Society
John Frohna, MD, residency program director and Assad Beshish, MBBCh, third year resident, were recently elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Society (AOA), a professional medical organization that recognizes and advocates for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine.
Myriam Bouchlaka, PhD, Receives Cayman's Women in Research Travel Grant
Congratulations to Myriam Bouchlaka, PhD, (Capitini lab) for getting the $250 Cayman's Women in Research Travel Grant for her abstract that will be presented at the 2014 American Association for Immunologists Annual Meeting. Nice work Myriam!
Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, Receives Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research
Congratulations to Marcel A. Wüethrich, PhD, who has been chosen to receive the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research. Nine members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s academic staff were chosen for the 2014 Academic Staff Awards for their achievements in leadership, public service, research, teaching and overall excellence.
In addition, Marcel has received the title of "Distinguished Scientist" from the UW, in recognition of his significant contributions to the mission of the university.
Norman Fost, MD, MPH, Discusses Ethics in Sports
Norman Fost, MD, MPH, recently appeared on For the Record, WISC-TV's news editorial program. He joined Neil Heinen and other UW Faculty to discuss the upcoming UW Bioethics Symposium and the importance of bioethics in our society today.
Dr. Allen Wilson Receives UW Health Physician Excellence Award
Please join us in sending well-deserved congratulations to Al Wilson, MD, for receiving this year's UW Health Outreach Excellence Award.
Each year UW Health honors its most outstanding physicians with these awards.
Thank you so much Al, for your outstanding clinical care, your enthusiasm to providing regional care, and your exceptional communication with outreach sites.
Allison Redpath, MD, Chosen to Attend AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar
Congratulations to Dr. Allison Redpath, who has been chosen at the funded candidate for the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar by the Dean for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs.
Designed for women physicians and scientists holding medical school faculty appointments at the assistant professor level, and considering leadership positions within their discipline, department, or institution, this comprehensive and engaging program provides an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to pursue leadership roles within academic medicine.
UW Bioethics Symposium Features Pediatric Speakers
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will host its 6th annual Bioethics Symposium on Thursday, April 10. Titled “Sex, Drugs and Sports: ethical controversies in athletics,” the symposium will cover three primary topics: the use of performance enhancing drugs, the exploitation of college athletes, and gender verification of elite female athletes.
Three members of the Department of Pediatrics faculty will speak at the symposium:
- Dr. Norman Fost, professor of pediatrics and bioethics, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and critic of the ban on PEDs. He has appeared on ESPN and HBO, and was in the 2008 documentary “Bigger, Faster, Stronger.”
- Dr. David Allen, professor of pediatrics and division chief of endocrinology and diabetes at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He will argue that hormones present in the body should determine an athlete’s gender category.
- Dr. Greg Landry, professor of pediatrics and orthopedics, UW Athletics Teams head medical team physician, and volunteer physician for the 1992 U.S. Winter Olympians. He will offer remarks on ethical issues that arise in sports medicine.
Study Seeks to Improve Asthma Therapy for African-Americans
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee are collaborating on a new clinical study to determine what combination and dosage of medications work best to manage asthma in African- Americans.
“African-Americans suffer much higher rates of serious asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and asthma-related deaths than whites do,” says Dr. Robert Lemanske, professor of medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Our goal is to better understand why African-Americans don’t respond as well to the traditional therapies and whether genetics plays a role in treatment response.”
UW and Aurora are two of 30 sites in 14 states taking part in the clinical trial, Best African-American Response to Asthma Drugs, or BARD. The trial will examine the effectiveness of different doses of inhaled corticosteroids used with or without the addition of a long-acting beta agonist in 500 African-Americans age five and older. UW and Aurora are seeking to enroll 60 participants.
The BARD study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). UW-Madison is a member of AsthmaNet, a nationwide clinical research network created by the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2009. The purpose of AsthmaNet is to develop and conduct multiple clinical trials that explore new approaches in treating asthma from childhood through adulthood.
For more information about the study, visit www.wiasthma.org. Those interested in participating in the study can call 608-265-8291 for adults and teens; 608-263-3360 for pediatrics; and 414-219-4873 for individuals in the Milwaukee area.
Christian Capitini, MD, Earns Early Career Faculty Travel Grant from the American Association of Immunologists
Christian Capitini, MD, recently earned a $1250 Early Career Faculty Travel Grant from the American Association of Immunologists for his abstract entitled "19F-MRI for tracking NK Cells after adoptive transfer" at their 2014 annual meeting. Congratulations Christian!
Tasha Scott to Present at Pediatric Academic Societies MeetingPosted: February 2014
Tasha Scott, PROKids student researcher, will present “Predictors of Family Engagement in Family-Centered Rounds,” as a podium presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meeting in Vancouver, BC this May. As part of Elizabeth Cox's AHRQ-funded Family Centered Rounds Initiative, this research used videos of family-centered rounds and surveys of parents to understand factors associated with limited family participation during rounds. Results suggest that support may be needed to optimize engagement during rounds for fathers, for parents without any college education, and during short hospital stays. The PAS Annual Meeting is the largest international conference dedicated to the discussion of original research in child health.
PROKids Hires Two Research Specialists
Two new Research Specialists have joined the PROKids research group. They will be working primarily to implement the three-year Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded project, “Family-Centered Tailoring of Pediatric Diabetes Self-Management Resources”, under the direction of principal investigator Elizabeth Cox, MD PhD.
Jennifer Schopp, MA, will oversee data collection and the overall qualitative research component of the study. Her research areas of interest include quantitative methods, education, and research related to underrepresented populations. Her prior work has highlighted institutional barriers as it relates to educational attainment among racial minorities. Ms. Schopp is a proud Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program alumni and advocate for TRIO initiatives, federally-funded programs designed to promote higher education among disadvantaged populations.
Susan Vial, MSW, will oversee the administrative and regulatory duties including creation and submission of the protocols regarding human subjects as well as communication with study subjects. Her area of expertise is the recruitment of individuals and families for behavioral and medical studies. Ms. Vial brings several years of research experience to the team. She has an interest in improving communication with research participants to increase their understanding of study findings and engaging with communities. Ms. Vial also has an extensive background in medical social work.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Re-Appointed to PCORI Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences, has been re-appointed by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to serve on their Advisory Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems (IHS). The Advisory Panel on IHS is one of four panels to provide expertise and feedback on scientific and technical issues, represent patient and stakeholder engagement, and review and highlight research questions to represent PCORI’s mission.
In April 2013, Dr. Cox joined the 21-member panel to work toward prioritizing potential research topics that could advance into future funding opportunities.
Dr. Chris Sorenson Named Retina Research Foundation/Daniel M. Albert Chair
Congratulations to Chris Sorenson, PhD, recently named the Retina Research Foundation/Daniel M. Albert Chair by the UW McPherson Eye Research Institute. This recognition comes with an annual award to support her research program, "apoptosis in retinal vascular development and disease."
PROKids Team Recruits Parent and Youth Advisory Boards
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and her PROKids team have recruited Parent and Youth Advisory Boards as part of their ICTR-funded work, "Family-Centered Tailoring of Pediatric Diabetes Self-Management Resources." In collaboration with the UW School of Nursing's Wisconsin Network for Research Support (WINRS), led by Dr. Barb Bowers, these advisors will be trained to provide advice throughout the life of the research project and potentially beyond. The boards are comprised of 12 parents, 6 children ages 8-12 and 6 teens ages 13-16. The advisory boards are facilitated by members of WINRS and the AFCH Child Life Services team.
Drs. Allen and Carrel Awarded Grant for Fellowship-Training Program
Aaron Carrel, MD, and David Allen, MD, were recently awarded a $100,000, 2-year grant from Genentech for their project, "A systematic evaluation of the effect of adiposity on growth in a statewide cohort of children." The central project of this fellowship-training program will be to evaluate a multi-site systematic school-based initiative to assess the relationship of childhood growth and puberty onset to degree of adiposity and physical fitness. This large-scale initiative provides statewide data on children's growth to our pediatric endocrinology department for close tracking of growth patterns.
Research Assistant Receives Predoctoral Fellowship Award From the AHA
Congratulations to Stephanie Lawry (Klein Lab) on her Predoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Heart Association of $52,000 over 2 years. For her project, "Group III Hybrid Histidine Kinases: A Novel Drug Target for the Treatment of Cardiac Fungal Infections," Ms. Lawry will study a protein called Drk1, a novel drug target for the treatment of systemic fungal infections. Using this information, she will also work to identify compounds that could be used as antifungal drugs to treat these infections.
Dr. Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi Recieves UW Global Health Institute Travel Award
Congratulations to Olachi J. Mezu-Ndubuisi, MD, OD, who has received a Global Health Institute Faculty and Staff Travel Award from the UW Global Health Institute. The award will fund Dr. Mezu-Ndubuisi's travel to Nigeria in 2014 on a medical mission trip with Mezu International Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to bridge the health and socio-economic disparities that plague men, women, and children in poor rural communities by providing free medical care and other humanitarian aid.
WIAAP Foundation Recieves Community-Academic Partnership Fund Grant for ACTIVATE
The Wisconsin Partnership Program has granted the Wisconsin Academy of Pediatrics Foundation a grant from the Community-Academic Partnership Fund for ACTIVATE: Advocacy for Children — Transformational Impact Via Action and Teamwork for Engagement. Congratulations to Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, the academic partner in charge of the ACTIVATE program.
Eliza Blanchette, MD, Named as Resident Investigator Award Finalist by Academic Pediatric Association
Dr. Eliza Blanchette’s proposal, “Meaningful Outcome for Youth with Type I Diabetes and Their Parents” was selected by the Academic Pediatric Association as a finalist for their Resident Investigator Award. Her work uses open-ended surveys to gain valuable insight about the outcomes that truly matter to patients with diabetes and their families, with a focus on at-risk populations such as minority patients and those who travel long distances for care. The knowledge gained will guide future research and lead to development of a quick tool to help providers determine which outcomes motivate an individual patient and family’s diabetes self-management.
Her research will capitalize on Dr. Elizabeth Cox’s existing partnerships with the AFCH Children’s Diabetes Center and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Diabetes Clinics.
Researchers Awarded Meriter Foundation Funding
Congratulations to the following researchers on their awards from the Meriter Foundation:
- Pamela Kling, MD, received $35,000 for her project, “Iron-Regulated Proteins in Newborns Born After Obese Pregnancies”
- De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, received $35,000 for her project, “Mechanism of Hyperoxia-Induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in a BPD Lung Cell Model”
- Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, received $35,000 for his project, “Oxytocinergic Signaling in the Eye: Its Contribution to Retinopathy of Prematurity”
- Jamie Limjoco, MD, received $12,753 for her project, “PANDAS - Providing Amplitude Integrated Electroencephalography in Neonates with Drug Abstinence Syndrome”
- Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH, received $5,000 for her project, “Does Prenatal Counseling Foster Parent-Provider Collaboration in the Care of Infants with NAS?”
- Georgia Ditzenberger, NNP-BC, PhD, received $8,700 for her project, “Neonatal Resuscitation Simulation Training”
- Michael Porte, MD, received $6,000 for his project, “New Directions in NICU Education: Two-Way Communication Between Meriter and AFCH”
Dr. Robert Lemanske and His Co-Investigators Receive Competitive Renewal on COAST IV
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Lemanske and his Co-Investigators, Drs. James Gern, Daniel Jackson, Judith Smith, Christine Seroogy, Ron Gangnon, Yury Bochkov and Carole Ober, on the competitive renewal of their Program Project Grant (PPG), “Rhinovirus Infections and Asthma in Children and Adolescents” (a.k.a. COAST IV), funded by the National Institutes of Health - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This 5-year grant is funded at over $2.2 million/year and is starting its 16th year (5 years as an R01 and 11 years as a P01). The COAST study is a high-risk birth cohort that was established in 1998 to evaluate the contribution of both genetic and environmental (with emphasis on viral respiratory tract infections) factors in early life on the development of childhood asthma and allergies. The next 5 years of funding will permit further analyses of mechanisms underlying changes in asthma prevalence based on gender during adolescence, as well as the contribution of the microbiome and both allergic and nonallergic immunologic and genetic pathways involved in asthma expression, progression, remission, and exacerbation. During the previous funding period, the COAST study group published more than 50 original manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Receives Grant for Simulation Technology
The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Department has been awarded a grant worth more than $50,000 by the Federal Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program to purchase a pair of high-fidelity manikins for education at the UW Health Simulation Program. The SimNewB (high-fidelity newborn simulator) and Gaumard pediatric simulator (high-fidelity and portable simulator) will offer exciting and innovative neonatal/pediatric emergency educational opportunities for providers both within UWHealth and throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Dr. Gwen McIntosh Named Assistant Dean for StudentsPosted: November 2013
Gwen McIntosh, MD, recently accepted the position of assistant dean for students. She will serve as the primary contact in the Student Services Office for student issues. Pat McBride, MD, MPH, remains the associate dean for students and also is assuming the role of the director of alumni relations. In this role, he will work closely with the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association to raise funds for the school and scholarships. He also will work with Multicultural Affairs and Admissions and the SMPH’s regional campuses to provide increased services to students at those campuses.
McIntosh is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She has been involved in medical student education at the SMPH for more than 13 years. She served for almost 10 years as the director of the Pediatric Clerkship Program. More recently, she has been the director of clinical curriculum with oversight of the third- and fourth-year medical student clerkships and courses. In her new role, McIntosh will work closely with the members of the Student Services team to meet the needs of students across all four years of their medical school training.
Congratulations 2013 Advanced Practice Provider Excellence Award WinnersPosted: November 2013
Congratulations to Georgia Ditzenberger, PhD, RN, NNP-BC (Nurse Practitioner, Neonatology & Newborn Nursery), and Lynne Sears, MS, RN, CPNP (Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Critical Care) as recipients of the first annual UW Health Advance Practice Provider Excellence Award. The award was created to recognize Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants throughout UW Health who demonstrate outstanding clinical practice, teaching and leadership.
Georgia received the Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a dedicated and innovative educator whose outstanding work in educational program development and simulation training has directly and significantly improved the care provided to our most vulnerable pediatric patients. Georgia has trained and mentored nurses, nurse practitioners, fellows, residents, and medical students both locally and regionally. Georgia has authored numerous publications and presented at national conferences on neonatal care. Georgia is an outstanding teacher who has made important contributions to the educational mission of UW Health.
Lynne received the Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. She is an expert in pediatric critical and palliative care. Her expertise and clinical skill improve the function of the pediatric ICU as a system. Lynne’s expertise is only matched by her remarkable warmth and sincerity in dealing with patients and families. In addition to the care of her patients, Lynne has been vital to teaching nurses, faculty and medical trainees, developing protocols for care of critically ill children and improving PICU services. Lynne has become a vital person in the care of infants and children at American Family Children’s Hospital and UW Health.
Congratulations and thank you Georgia and Lynne!
Dr. Paul Sondel Receives $250,000 Hyundai Hope On Wheels Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Paul Sondel and his research team as they were selected to receive $250,000 from Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Madison area Hyundai dealers. Since 1998, “Hope on Wheels” has donated more than $72 million to researchers who are working to fight childhood cancer.
Sondel’s team will use the grant to take the next laboratory research steps in the innovative immunotherapy treatment they have helped pioneer in the current treatment of neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma, a cancer of young children, remains difficult to treat; the survival rate for high-risk neuroblastoma without immunotherapy is less than 40 percent. The addition of immunotherapy has boosted survival by 20%.
Immunotherapy is designed to “mop up” cancer cells that are left behind after traditional treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The immunotherapy treatment is given intravenously and consists of a monoclonal antibody that binds to neuroblastoma. This then attracts white blood cells to the tumor to destroy remaining cancer cells, particularly when the white blood cells are stimulated with activators, including IL2.
The next phase of the research will use a genetically-engineered antibody that is linked to IL2, which will be directly injected into the tumor. In addition, researchers will add a separate treatment called checkpoint blockade to boost the white blood cells that are already reacting against the cancer. This Hyundai grant will allow this new approach to be tested and developed in mice.
“Our team is grateful to Hyundai for recognizing the potential significance of this research strategy,” said Sondel. “Depending upon what we learn about the best combination of approaches from this laboratory study, this research could move into clinical trials for children with neuroblastoma.”
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Receives Education Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Mario Otto for being selected as a recipient of an educational grant from Miltenyi Biotec, Inc. in the amount of $2,500. The grant will support his travel costs to the CliniMACS Prodigy Launch Meeting in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, in September 2013.
Pediatric Faculty Ranked in Top Five Percent of UW Health Providers in Patient Survey
Congratulations to ten members of our Pediatrics faculty who have been recognized for their outstanding communication with patients and are in the top five percent of UW Health providers based on 2012 Avatar patient satisfaction survey results.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Discusses the Effects of Reading and Stress on Early Childhood Brain Development
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, recently appeared on Alaska Public Radio's Line One: Your Health Connection. He joined Dr. Thad Woodard to discuss the important effects of reading and stress on the early childhood brain development.
Dr. Sabrina Butteris to Serve on American Board of Pediatrics' Global Health Task Force
Congratulations to Dr. Sabrina Butteris, who has been selected to serve on the American Board of Pediatrics' Global Health Task Force. This group is comprised of national and international leaders in the global health community, with a charge to work closely with the ABO Board of Directors and staff to develop and promote a robust global health agenda that will improve the quality of care for children worldwide.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Receives $2 Million Award from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Dr. Elizabeth Cox has received a $2 million dollar award to implement and evaluate a patient-centered approach to improving outcomes for kids with Type I diabetes. She was awarded $2 million over three years by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Cox’s award was among 71 projects awarded from a total of 570 proposals.
Cox created Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management (PRISM), a ten-minute survey to help identify the best resources to help families of children with type 1 diabetes, based on their specific needs. “Children with Type 1 diabetes and their families face many challenges to controlling diabetes and maintaining good quality of life,” said Cox. “Our preliminary work suggests taking good care of diabetes can be easier when healthcare providers offer resources tailored to each families’ specific needs.” Supported by the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the Department of Pediatrics and the Health Innovation Program, this early work was critical to developing the PRISM-based patient-centered approach to be tested with this new award.
Cox said that the study will examine whether families who use PRISM to select resources to improve diabetes management will have better blood sugar control as well as improved child and parent quality of life. To ensure the success of the project, her research team has partnered with the UW Children’s Diabetes Center, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Pediatric Diabetes Program, and leaders from the Western Wisconsin Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
PCORI evaluated the proposals based on scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders, their methodological rigor and how well they fit within PCORI‘S national research priorities. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, caregivers and clinicians with evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.
Dr. Paul Sondel Awarded UW-ICTR GrantPosted: August 2013
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a grant of $50,000 from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR) type 1 pilot grant program for his project, “In Depth Delineation of FcyRIIc and FcyRIIIa Genotypes and Potential Clinical Implications.” This project aims to develop a new method to determine differences in patient genotypes and correlate genetic differences with the patient’s innate immune system to mediate clinical benefit.
David McCulley, MD, Receives UW-ICTR GrantPosted: August 2013
Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, for his recent award of $50,000 from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR) type 1 pilot grant program. His project, “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: Genetic Basis and Stem Cell Therapy”, will use a mouse model to investigate the role of genetic mutations on lung development and pulmonary vasculature.
David Wargowski to Discuss the Human Genome Project's 10th Anniversary on Indiana's NPR Radio Show
Dr. David Wargowski is scheduled to appear Sunday on Indiana public radio's Sound Medicine to talk about the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project. The radiocast will be available afterward at http://www.soundmedicine.org/. Sound Medicine is a weekly talk radio show sponsored by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI, 90.1 FM, the Indianapolis NPR affiliate.
Jennifer Rehm, MD, Awarded Appointment to the BIRCWH Scholars Program
Jennifer Rehm, MD, was recently awarded an appointment to the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholars Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health – Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH-NICHD). Dr. Rehm’s project, “Early Intervention and Prevention of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Adolescents and Young Women,” will investigate and compare low carbohydrate/low fructose and standard weight reduction diets in overweight adolescents with regard to hepatic triglyceride content as measured by MR PDFF and changes in metabolic biomarkers, including waist circumference, blood pressure, homeostasis model assessment, lipids, ALT, androgens, and visceral and subcutaneous adiposity and cardiovascular fitness. Additional analysis will compare differences in response to the diets base on gender, race, and ethnicity. Under the leadership of Dr. Gloria Sarto, this program provides Dr. Rehm with 75% protected research time and a research budget of over $15,000/year for 2-5 years.
Dr. Bruce Klein Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a Graduate School Fall Competition Award of approximately $35,000 for his project, “Targeting hybrid histidine kinase for broad spectrum antifungal therapy.” With this funding, Dr. Klein and his lab will build on their work with an exciting drug target: group III hybrid histidine kinases (HHKs) and will use an agricultural compound to probe how constitutively activating HHK induces fungal death. They’ll collaborate with the NIH, who has employed their cell based reporter to screen for similar compounds that target HHK and offer new drug leads.
Judy Smith, MD, PhD, Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Judy Smith, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a Graduate School Fall Competition Award of $15,000 for her project, “The Role of the Unfolded Protein Response in Brucella Replication.” Brucellosis is a chronic debilitating bacterial disease and the most prevalent zoonosis worldwide. We have new evidence suggesting Brucella hijacks a host intracellular stress response (the Unfolded Protein Response, UPR) to promote bacterial replication. This project aims to establish the importance of the UPR in vivo and determine which signaling axes within the UPR are critical for supporting replication. Greater understanding of pathogenesis will suggest new therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Jim Gern Receives Graduate School Fall Competition Award
Congratulations to Jim Gern, MD, for his recent award of approximately $12,000 from the Graduate School Fall Competition Program. His project, The Cholesterol-Lowering Drug, Simvastatin, Attenuates Rhinovirus-Induced IP-10 Release from Human Monocytic Cells,” will test the hypothesis that the cholesterol-lowering drug, simvastatin, alters the human monocytic cell immune response to human rhinovirus, a major cause of acute asthma exacerbations. These experiments will provide insight on potential therapeutic targets linking lipid metabolism and inflammation.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Awarded Funding for Pediatric Blindness Research
Congratulations to Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, and his Co-Investigators, David Gamm, MD, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and William Hauswirth, PhD (University of Florida), for their recent award of $400,000 from an unnamed donor. This gift is for 1-year, with the possibility of up to 3 years ($400,000/year) for their LCA16 Research. This project will focus on developing ideal therapy for correction of potassium channel genetic defect causing pediatric blindness.
Peter Ferrazzano, MD, Receives NIH-NINDS Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
Congratulations to Peter Ferrazzano, MD, on receiving a National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH-NINDS) Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) for his project entitled, “Age-dependent microglial responses in hypoxia-ischemia.” This project will investigate age- and region- dependent differences in the microglia-mediated neuroinflammatory response to cerebral ischemia. The completion of this study will shed new light on microglia function after hypoxia-ischemia in the developing brain, and determine the potential therapeutic benefit of microglial inhibition after cerebral ischemia. The 5-year award provides funding for 75% of Dr. Ferrazzano’s protected research time and $50,000/year to support his lab expenses; a total of over $960,000 over the entire award.
Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire Featured in Health Care Innovations Exchange
The Children’s Hospital Safety Climate (CHSC) Questionnaire, developed by Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and team members from the multidisciplinary Family-Centered Rounds Initiative, will be featured in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange. The Health Care Innovations Exchange features practical quality tools that help other health professionals and researchers to assess, promote, and improve the quality of health care. The validated, 14-item CHSC Questionnaire assesses parent perceptions about the safety climate in children’s hospitals, with a focus on handoffs and transitions, communication, and the processes and systems that help to keep care safe. The Family-Centered Rounds Initiative is supported by a 5-year AHRQ R18, for which Dr. Cox is the principal investigator.
ProKIDS Research Team Receives Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Award
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and her PROKids research team received a UW Institute for Clinical and Translational (ICTR) Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) award for their work, “Engaging Stakeholders to Deliver Family-Centered Diabetes Self-Management Resources.” The long-term goal of this line of research is to improve outcomes for children with type 1 diabetes by tailoring the provision of self-management resources to specific family needs. This one-year ICTR award will engage family, community, and clinical stakeholders in order to better understand the outcomes that matter to families of children with type 1 diabetes, and to optimize the implementation of family-centered self-management resources in clinical settings. The PROKids team will partner with families and executives from JDRF as well as stakeholders from the AFCH and the Children’s Diabetes Center (Julie Auenson, CCLS, Dr. Tracy Bekx, Jennifer Brazelton, MA, and Beth Van Den Langenberg, PNP) to achieve the project’s goals.
Faculty and Residents Recognized at Resident Graduation Dinner
Congratulations to the Pediatrics Faculty and Residents who were acknowledged at the Resident Graduation Dinner on June 15th:
- Lobeck Medical Education Award: Shannon Dean
- Varness Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award: David McCulley
- Outstanding General Pediatrician Award: Lindsay Geier
- Outstanding Senior Resident Award: Matt Harer
- Outstanding Intern Award: Mike Visker
- Resident Research Award: Matt Harer
- Patient and Family-Centered Care Award: Halie Anderson
- Clerkship Teaching Award: Jessica Babal
Dr. David Bernhardt Selected to Join SMPH FACPosted: June 2013
Congratulations to David Bernhardt, MD, who has been selected to serve on the School of Medicine and Public Health Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) for 2013-2014. The Committee meets as needed, to discuss any matters that are brought to the Committee's attention.
Dr. Philip Farrell Receives George Cunningham Visionary AwardPosted: June 2013
Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, received the George Cunningham Visionary Award in Newborn Screening from the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) at the 2013 Joint Meeting of the Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium and the International Society for Neonatal Screening. The award relates to his work has that centered primarily on cystic fibrosis (CF) research, as well as racial infant mortality.
The association applauded Farrell for his role in pioneering and promoting a mutation screening process that has led to improvements in CF testing, as well as his work with Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute to develop guidance on the management and treatment of newborns diagnosed with CF.
Pediatric Fitness Clinic Featured in Second HBO Documentary
The UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic was featured in an episode of "The Weight of the Nation for Kids," an HBO documentary that aired in May 2013.
Filmed on location in Madison, the "Quiz Ed" episode looks at the obesity epidemic through the eyes of children, testing their knowledge of nutrition and physical activity and inspiring them to take active steps toward a healthier lifestyle.
One of the children profiled is Kimberly (at minute 11:25), a girl who develops liver disease due to a poor diet and lack of exercise. But with family support, lifestyle changes, and help from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic, she is able to get the disease under control-and her liver enzymes back to normal.
The documentary is a companion piece to "The Weight of the Nation," a four-part series that originally aired in May 2012. Aaron Carrel, MD, and Pediatric Fitness Clinic staff appeared in that series' third installment,"Children in Crisis".
Research Project Selected for Presentation at Pediatric Endocrine Society's Presidential Reception
Congratulations to Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, and Katie Fritz, MD, MPH, (currently an intern at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin) whose research entitled, "Development and Validation of PRISM: A Survey Tool to Identify Diabetes Self-Management Barriers," was selected for presentation at the Pediatric Endocrine Society's Presidential Reception in Washington, DC on May 4, 2013. The reception featured a dozen basic science and clinical research projects chosen from those submitted for presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies.
Their work developed and validated a 10-minute survey-based tool (PRISM: Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management) to identify self-management barriers for children with type 1 diabetes and their families. The tool has been used in our clinics to guide families toward resources specifically tailored to their self-management barriers. In a pilot study, A1c values in those receiving PRISM-tailored self-management resources dropped by 0.8%, while control group families experienced no change in A1c. Drs. MacDonald, Connor and Bekx, as well as Beth Van Den Langenberg, APNP, have been tireless collaborators throughout the research process.
MACC Fund Sponsors 8 UW SMPH Oncology Research Projects
The Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Fund has declared that it will fund each of eight separate grant requests made by the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Oncology. The grants will fund each project for $100,000 over the next two years. Congradulations to all of the researchers involved.
Undergraduates Receive Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to the Department of Pediatrics recipients of the 2013-14 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 2014 at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. The students, their mentors and projects are:
- Natalie Dosch - “Iron: A Possible Link between Obese Pregnancies and Asthma Predisposition at Birth.” Mentors are Drs. Pamela Kling & Theresa Guilbert.
- Emily Gasteyer - “The Role of Lymphoid Tyrosine Phosphatase in Neutrophil Signaling and Chemotaxis.” Mentor is Dr. Anna Huttenlocher.
- Clara Ye - “Finding the Answers for an Effective Online Peer Support Intervention—From the Perspective of Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.” Mentor is Dr. Elizabeth Cox.
UW Hospital & Clinics Receive Exemplary Score From National Pediatric Readiness Project
The UW Hospital & Clinics have received a score of 98 out of a possible 100 points for the National Pediatric Readiness Project – a gap analysis survey to assess each hospital’s emergency department readiness in caring for pediatric patients according to the National Guidelines that have been published by AAP, ACEP and ENA. This score represents the essential components needed to establish a foundation for pediatric readiness.
The average score of all participating hospitals nationwide was 70 points, and the average score of hospitals with a similar volume of Pediatric ED patients (i.e. >10,000 patients annually) was 85 points.
Dr. Jennifer Rehm Receives Thrasher Research Fund's Early Career Award
Congratulations to Jennifer Rehm, MD, whose project, entitled "Early intervention and prevention of pediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease" has been funded as part of the Thrasher Research Fund's Early Career Award Program.
The Early Career Award Program is designed to encourage the development of medical research in child health by awarding small grants to new researchers, helping them gain a foothold in this important area. The Fund will make up to 30 awards in 2013.
Judith Smith, MD, PhD, Awarded Project Funding
Congratulations to Judith Smith, MD, PhD, for her 2-year award of $400,000 from the Rheumatology Research Foundation for her project entitled “Analysis of causal variants in the IL-23/IL-17 pathway in axial spondyloarthritis”. Ankylosing Spondylitis and related arthritic conditions are insidiously progressive diseases that cause significant morbidity. In this translational research study, we are investigating how variations within implicated genes alter immune function in patient macrophages.
Dr. Smith was also awarded $173,551 for her 1-year project, “The Role of the Host Unfolded Protein Response in Brucella Replication” from the University of Chicago’s Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Disease Research (GLRCE) Program, funded by NIH-NIAID. Brucellosis is the most prevalent zoonosis worldwide and perpetuates poverty where it is endemic. This project seeks to understand the interactions between Brucella bacteria and host macrophages that allow the bacteria to survive and replicate inside cells.
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, Awarded Grant from the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, was recently awarded a 3-year grant of over $1.4 million from the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit for his project, “Development of Decompression and Oxygen Pre-Breathe Schedules for Submarine Escape and Rescue using UW Sheep Model.”
In this project, he will use the UW sheep model of the submariner and diver to test the risk reduction in all forms of DCS (decompression sickness) from oxygen pre-breathing before drop-out decompression after 24-h hyperbaric exposure at 33 fsw and detection, quantification of circulating micro bubbles in capillaries and small blood vessels to assess severity of DCS.
Dr. Aaron Carrel Receives Two Wisconsin Partnership Program Community-Academic Partnership Grants
Congratulations to Aaron Carrel, MD, and his collaborators on their 2 new Wisconsin Partnership Program Community-Academic Partnership Grants: “Growing Farm To School: Cultivating Childhood Wellness through Gardening (GF2S)” and “Active Healthy Schools”. In GF2S, the team seeks to utilize gardening and nutrition education to improve childhood nutrition and increase physical activity in schools across Wisconsin. The Active Healthy Schools program will expand a statewide program of middle school fitness assessment to elementary schools in Northern Wisconsin.
Medical Student Receives St. Baldrick's Summer Fellowship
Matthew Kutz, a medical student and Shapiro Summer Research Fellow working in the laboratory of Christian Capitini, MD, was recently awarded a St. Baldrick's Summer Fellowship. This $5000 award is for his project "Monitoring of 19F-labeled NK cell trafficking for Cancer Immunotherapy using MRI." Mr. Kutz will use a novel approach in tracking natural killer cells in vivo by MRI using a nonradioactive isotope of fluorine. He also hopes to develop protocols that will facilitate NK cell trafficking to, and elimination of, pediatric tumors.
Undergraduate Receives Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to Emily Phillips, research assistant in Dr. Paul Sondel's program, who has been awarded the 2013-14 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship. Award recipients receive $3,000 and faculty mentors $500 to sponsor a research project that is presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2014. Additionally, award recipients are recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony in early May.
Eight SMPH Peds Faculty Win the Brainiac Bowl Fundraiser for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Congratulations to the "SuperFriends of AFCH" team (Drs. Conway, Green, Redpath, Roach, Seroogy, Sklansky, Syverson and Zimmerman), who took first place in the Aldo Leopold Nature Center's (ALNC) first annual Brainiac Bowl on April 19. The fundraiser supports the ALNC, which is an independent, non-profit organization that teaches students to see and understand the land in the spirit of famed ecologist Aldo Leopold.
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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 Jonathan Fliegel, MD, and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for James Conway, MD, and Mary Schroth, MD.
The Tenure Committee of the Biological Sciences Division has approved the promotion of Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, to Associate Professor with Tenure.
All promotions become effective July 1, 2013.
Drs. Goetz, Henderson, and Kessel Present at WAPC Meeting
Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH; Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD; and Julie Kessel, MD, were presenters at the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care (WAPC) meeting, held in Madison April 21-23, 2013.
As part of the "High Voltage Rapid-Fire Neonatal Series" panel discussion, Dr. Kessel reviewed evidence for new gentle ventilation strategies using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and nasal intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV).
Dr. Goetz reviewed the content and implications of the American Academy of Pediatrics' current statement on neonatal circumcision.
Dr. Henderson reviewed practices for the prevention, rapid diagnosis and early management of HIV infection in infants.
Thanks to all three physicians for their contributions!
Undergraduate Receives Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships
Congratulations to Meghan McElreath, research assistant in Dr. Mario Ottos's program, who has been awarded the 2013-14 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship. Award recipients receive $3,000 and faculty mentors $500 to sponsor a research project that is presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2014. Additionally, award recipients are recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony in early May.
Endocrinology Team Members Receive Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award
Congratulations to Jennifer Rehm, MD, and endocrinology fellows Peter Wolfgram, MD, Kimberly Henrichs, MD, and Tasa Seibert, MD, for being selected as recipients of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society's (LWPES) Travel Award. Each received $750 to support their travel costs to the PES Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in May 2013.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Named to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute's Advisory Panel
Congratulations to Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, for being appointed by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to serve on PCORI's newly established multi-stakeholder Advisory Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems. The PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.
The panel will identify and prioritize critical research questions for possible funding initiatives under PCORI's Improving Healthcare Systems research program and provide ongoing feedback and advice on evaluating and disseminating the research conducted under this program. The 21-member panel represents different sectors across the healthcare community, including researchers, clinicians, patients, caregivers, insurers, employers, policymakers, and industry. Dr. Cox will be participating in the advisory panel representing health services researchers.
Dr. Cox was one of 84 individuals selected to serve on four advisory panels. PCORI received applications from 1,021 individuals for panel membership. PCORI staff thoroughly reviewed each application and evaluated candidates based on their personal experience, qualifications, and ability to represent their respective stakeholder communities. She will travel to Alexandria, Va., April 19-20, for the orientation and first meeting.
James Conway, MD, Chosen as an Investing Marshal for Graduating Class of 2013
Congratulations to Dr. James Conway for being selected as an Investing Marshal for this year’s Recognition Ceremony by the graduating class of 2013. Also selected is Dr. John Harting, Professor of Neuroscience. Drs. Conway and Harting will honor the class with their hoods as they walk across the stage during the UW SMPH Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 17 at Union South in Varsity Hall.
Each year the UW SMPH graduating class chooses faculty members as Investing Marshals. It is an honor which displays the students' appreciation for the contribution these faculty make to their education and careers.
Pamela Kling, MD, Receives 2012 Dean's Award for Excellence in Medical Student Research Mentorship
Congratulations to Dr. Pamela Kling for being selected to receive the 2012 Dean's Award for Excellence in Medical Student Research Mentorship. This annual award honors a faculty member who exemplifies dedication and excellence in medical student research mentorship.
Dr. Kling was chosen for this award for her longstanding involvement in the Shapiro Summer Research Program and the Research Honors Program, and the many research achievements of her medical student mentees. The award will be presented by Dean Robert Golden at Medical Education Day on Friday, May 3rd.
Pediatrics Faculty and Scientists Named to Cancer ‘Dream Team’
Six Department of Pediatrics faculty and scientists are part of a national pediatric cancer research “Dream Team” that was awarded a multimillion dollar grant to develop new therapies for high-risk childhood cancers.
Team members from the Department of Pediatrics are: Paul Sondel, MD, PhD; Kenneth DeSantes, MD; Christian Capitini, MD; Mario Otto, MD, PhD; Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD; and Jacquelyn Hank, PhD. They are joined by Peiman Hematti, MD, from the UW Department of Medicine.
The four-year, $15.5 million grant was funded by Stand Up to Cancer, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. UW researchers will receive $340,000 each year to develop novel, advanced treatments that use the body’s own immune system to kill cancer.
The “dream team” comprises scientists from seven of the leading pediatric cancer research institutions in North America: UW Carbone Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Baylor, University of Washington, University of Vancouver, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and the National Cancer Institute.
Faculty Receive UW Health Physician Excellence Awards
Please join us in sending well-deserved congratulations to Ken DeSantes, MD, and Diane Puccetti, MD, for receiving this year's UW Physician Excellence Awards.
Each year UW Health honors its most outstanding physicians with these awards. This year, three early career physicians are receiving rising star awards, and three senior physicians are receiving Excellence Awards. Most deservedly, Ken has received one of the two Clinical Practice Excellence Awards and Diane has received the Clinical Educator Excellence Award.
Thank you so much Ken, for your outstanding clinical care, innovation, leadership and dedication in your role as physician as well as our Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant team's clinical and BMT leader.
Thank you so much Diane for your outstanding example of compassion and commitment in your interactions with patients and families, as you are providing clinical teaching, by didactics and example, to students, residents, fellows and so many others.
Congratulations Ken and Diane!
Pediatric Residents Receive Awards
Asaad Beshish, MBBCh, received the Outstanding Resident Teaching Award from the 4th year medical students at last week's Match Day celebration.
Kelly Bush, MD, won the Academic Pediatric Association Region VI travel grant to present her research at the PAS National Meeting in May.
Congratulations Asaad and Kelly!
Dr. Norman Fost Presenting at Fifth Annual Bioethics Symposium
Dr. Norman Fost, MD, MPH, will be introducing the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Fifth Annual Bioethics Symposium this April. The theme of this year's Symposium is "Ethical Issues in Obesity," and Dr. Fost will be presenting a featured talk, titled "Is Child Obesity Neglect?"
The event will be hosted on April 11th from 1-5:30 pm in room 1306 of the Health Sciences Learning Center, and will feature discussion and presentations for students, faculty, health care providers and the community. Admission is free.
James Gern, MD, Inducted Into AOA Honor Medical Society
Congratulations to James Gern, MD, who has been chosen as a faculty inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society this March.
Each year the AOA elects around 3000 students, alumni, house staff, and faculty. Physicians inducted into the Society are chosen for having demonstrated outstanding professionalism and leadership.
Dr. David McCulley Awarded Meriter Foundation Funding
Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, on his recent award of $25,000 from the Meriter Foundation for his project, “Mammalian Pulmonary Lymphatic Circulation.” This project aims to investigate the development and function of the lymphatic vascular network in the mammalian lung in order to better understand the role played by the lymphatic vasculature in infants with respiratory distress after birth.
Dr. McCulley is currently analyzing the cells types involved and the morphological changes that take place in the lymphatic vasculature in the developing lung. The data will be used to further explore how disease processes associated with premature birth and infection might alter the normal development and function of the pulmonary lymphatic vasculature and result in respiratory distress in infants.
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Receives Retina Research Foundation Award
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, for her recent award of $25,000 from the Retina Research Foundation for her project, “Retinal Vessel Rarefaction and Bim Expression.” This proposal aims to determine whether Bim expression in astrocytes facilitates retinal vascular rarefaction during hyperoxia.
Collaborative Project Awarded NIH-NIAID Funding
Drs. James Gern with Co-Investigator Dr. Christine Seroogy were recently awarded a U19 Program Project Grant by the National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) to test the hypothesis that farm-related microbes promote immune development to limit the severity of viral respiratory illnesses in early childhood. Ultimately, the investigators hope to identify microbes that might be useful in the prevention of viral illnesses of childhood.
This is a collaborative project with Dr. Matthew Keifer at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, and the program also includes two basic science projects led by Drs. Ann Palmenberg and John Yin, who will investigate basic mechanisms of viral respiratory illnesses, and a virology core led by Dr. Yury Bochkov.
Pediatric Residents Receive American Academy of Pediatrics – CATCH Award
Congratulations to PL1 Residents Jennifer Kolb, MD, and Kathryn Gannon, MD, for their recent award of approximately $3,000 from the American Academy of Pediatrics – CATCH program. Their project, “Teen Time,” will provide education and mentorship on health related subjects to high school adolescents in the Madison community.
James Conway, MD, Receives the 2013 WMAA Clinical Science Teaching Award
Congratulations to James Conway, MD, for his selection by a vote of the 4th year medical students to receive the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association's (WMAA) Clinical Science Teaching Award in Madison for 2013. Each year a clinical science teacher from Madison, La Crosse, Marshfield and Milwaukee is selected to receive one of the WMAA Clinical Science Teaching Award. This recognition of his dedicated commitment to teaching excellence is well-deserved.
Teaching awards will be presented at the annual Medical Alumni Association Awards Banquet on Friday, April 26th at the Union South, Varsity Hall.
Michael Porte, MD, Awarded Meriter Foundation Funding
Michael Porte, MD, was recently awarded $19,450 from the Meriter Foundation for his project, “aEEG for Education of Staff and Investigation of Subclinical Brain Function in Neonates.” This funding will support a 12-month training and research program for amplified EEG applications to better understand Neonatal Encephalopathy.
Dr. Kathleen DeSantes Awarded Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program Funding
Kathleen DeSantes, MD, was recently awarded approximately $27,000 from the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program (WRPRAP). This funding will provide for an elective rural medical rotation for pediatric residents, consisting of two four-week rotations that will take place in different academic years (e.g. PL1/PL2 or PL2/PL3) and at different sites, to increase exposure to different practice settings.
Bruce Klein, MD, Awarded NIH-NIAID Funding
Congratulations to Bruce Klein, MD, on the competitive renewal of his National Institutes of Health – National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) R01 grant entitled, “Mechanisms of antifungal vaccine immunity.” This project, which is starting its 15th year, addresses the role and action of IL-17 producing CD8+ T cells (Tc17 cells) that mediate vaccine immunity against lethal fungal pneumonia in CD4+ T-cell deficient hosts. This work tackles an unmet need: developing and understanding vaccines against fungi. It breaks new ground about anti-fungal memory immunity in CD4 deficient hosts, the role of Tc17 cells, and how these cells develop and their developmental pathways can be harnessed by adjuvant to protect immune deficient patients.
Dr. Klein was also awarded $413,875 from the National Institutes of Health – National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) for his R21 grant, “Tracking anti-fungal CD4+ T cells in vivo.” Systemic fungal infections represent a significant and growing public health problem. In the US, invasive fungal infections are now one of the 10 leading causes of death (7th) ahead of mortality due to tuberculosis. This study work tackles the significant unmet need of developing better ways to prevent these infections, by elucidating basic mechanisms of protective immunity against fungal pathogens so that the knowledge can be harnessed for disease prevention and therapeutic strategies.
J. Carter Ralphe, MD, Receives Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation Award
Congratulations to J. Carter Ralphe, MD, for his recent $50,000 award from the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation for his project titled, “Human IPS cells and ECT in the study of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” The goal of this project is to examine the effects of a specific mutation that is known to cause Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in humans. Achieving the goals of this proposal will foster a better understanding of childhood onset HCM and provide insights that will help guide the development of more effective treatment options.
Dr. Daniel Jackson Awarded the 2013 Klosterfrau Award for Research of Airway Diseases in Childhood
Congratulations to Daniel Jackson, MD who was recently awarded the Klosterfrau Award for Research of Airway Diseases in Childhood 2013 for his research entitled "Evidence for a Causal Relationship between Allergic Sensitization and Rhinovirus Wheezing in Early Life." The Klosterfrau Award is a 30,000 Euro international award aimed at researchers in basic science, pulmonology and pediatrics whose work is focused on providing a better understanding of airway diseases in children, especially asthma, congenital orders of the airway tract and primary diseases of the lung parenchyma.
Access Community Health Center Pediatric Asthma Clinic Receives Evjue Foundation Gift
Kate Swenson, NP, Pediatric Pulmonology; Dr. Theresa Guilbert, and Kathleen Shanovich, NP, Pediatric Allergy are pleased to announce a $7,000 gift from the Evjue Foundation to support their Access Community Health Center South Park St, Pediatric Asthma Clinic. Since its inception in 2006, the goals of the clinic are to offer subspecialty asthma care including one-on-one asthma education, medication evaluation, breathing tests, and treatment. The gift will help provide prescription assistance, transportation and aerochambers to their patients.
Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH, Receives Meriter Foundation Award
Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH, received an award of $8,000 from the Meriter Foundation for her project, “Improving Quality of Care and Lowering Costs by Reducing NICU Admissions.” This project aims to develop and evaluate a nursing education program that will enable healthy full term infants at high risk for neonatal sepsis to be cared for in the Normal Newborn Nursery. Dr. Goetz seeks to increase the quality of care delivered to these newborns by keeping them with their families, and decrease the costs of caring for these infants in the NICU.
Dr. Pamela Kling Awarded Meriter Foundation Funding
Pamela Kling, MD, was recently awarded $23,500 for her project, “Iron Status Linking Obesity During Pregnancy and Asthma in Offspring” from the Meriter Foundation. Obesity complicates 30% of pregnancies and predisposes to greater prevalence of both iron deficiency and asthma in offspring. This study will focus on the link between obesity, iron deficiency and asthma, three diseases with a major impact on health care utilization, by studying inflammatory cells in umbilical cord blood after obese pregnancy.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Receives Meriter Foundation Funding
Congratulations to Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, for his award of $39,000 from the Meriter Foundation for his project, “Oxytocinergic signaling in the eye: its contribution to Retinopathy of Prematurity.” Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) that occurs in premature infants is likely a consequence of abnormal development of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE). The goal of this proposal is to understand how maternal hormones like oxytocin, those premature babies are deprived off, regulate RPE development.
De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, Receives Meriter Foundation Award
De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, was awarded a grant of approximately $35,000 from the Meriter Foundation for her project, “Discovering Biomarkers of Hyperoxia-Induced Lung Fibrosis in Chronic Lung Disease of Prematurity.” This project will expand on her previous Meriter-funded project exploring the role of hyperoxia on the etiology of bronchopulmanary dysplasia (BPD) a chronic lung disease (CLD) associated with pre-term infants.
Peter Wolfgram, MD, Receives Fellow's Section Clinical Research Award From SPR
Congratulations to Dr. Peter Wolfgram, who was recently selected as a recipient for the 2013 "Fellow's Section Clinical Research Award" by the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) for his abstract, titled "Non-Obese Girls Exhibit Differing Metabolic Effects of Ectopic Fat Based on Race and Ethnicity".
These awards are designed to encourage pediatricians in training to pursue careers in academic pediatrics. Winning candidates are selected based on the quality of the work (clinical or translational) presented in their abstract. Each award is given annually to one to three individuals.
Melissa Bates, PhD, Receives Caroline tum Suden Professional Opportunity Award From APS
Congratulations to Dr. Melissa Bates, who was recently awarded the "Caroline tum Suden Professional Opportunity Award" by the American Physiological Society (APS) for her research investigating the ability of beta adrenergic agonists to recruit intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunts, allowing blood to bypass the pulmonary capillaries.
This award provides funds for junior physiologists to attend and participate fully in the APS's annual Experimental Biology meeting.
Dr. Murray Katcher Receives AMCHP Excellence in State MCH Leadership Award
Congratulations to Dr. Murray Katcher, who was recently awarded the "Recognition of Distinction" Excellence in State MCH Leadership at Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP).
This award recognizes an outstanding state MCH professional whose career in MCH has made significant contributions to their state’s MCH program, state maternal and child health outcomes, and made other significant contributions to promoting and protecting the health of women, children, and families in their state.
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, Promotes Early Reading Emphasis
Sharing books with children at an early age is important for their long-term learning and well-being, says Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, one of the two lecturers chosen for the Appleton Education Foundation’s 2013 Community Education Program. He recently gave two presentations at the Appleton Public Library on the importance of helping children build positive relationships with reading.
Dr. Jesse Roach Receives 2013-2015 Advocacy Scholars Program AwardPosted: January 2013
Congratulations to Jesse Roach, MD, for receiving the 2013-2015 Advocacy Scholars Award from the John E. Lewy Foundation for Children's Health. Dr. Roach and the other two recipients (Dr. Stephanie Clarke and Dr. Amy Skversky) will soon begin a two-year course designed to provide them with expert skills in the areas of advocacy and legislative affairs.
While a fellow, Dr. Roach worked with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology's (ASPN) Public Policy Committee to develop a model for the dialysis bundle and is currently working on an MPH with a focus on health policy. He will utilize the Scholar's Program to add new practical experiences and skills to his growing theoretical knowledge of governmental affairs.
Launched in October 2010, the Advocacy Scholars Program utilizes didactic educational experiences from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the TheCapitol.net combined with individualized mentored experiences with ASPN members and governmental affairs leadership. By working directly with ASPN's Washington representative and senior members of the ASPN to specifically understand ASPN's advocacy and Capitol Hill efforts, scholars will be prepared for participation in ongoing advocacy initiatives.
Dr. Robert Lemanske Elected President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Congratulations to Robert Lemanske, MD, for recently being elected President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). The AAAAI is a professional organization with more than 6,600 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. This membership includes allergist/immunologists, other medical specialists, allied health and related healthcare professionals—all with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. The AAAAI is dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology for optimal patient care.
Drs. Baker and Farrell Receive Legacy of Angels Foundation Research Award
Congratulations to Mei Baker, MD, FACMG, and Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, for their 2-year research award of $415,273 from the Legacy of Angels Foundation. Their project, “Improving IRT/DNA newborn screening for cystic fibrosis to reduce false positives by a new molecular strategy” will study develop a three-tier IRT/DNA CF screening protocol that will significantly reduce false positive results caused by identification of CF carrier infants.
Dr. De-Ann Pillers Awarded National Institutes of Health Grant
De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, along with Dan Butz from Isomark, LLC were awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health – Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NIH-NICHD). This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award of approximately $500,000 over 2 years is for the project entitled “A new smart neonatal incubator for real-time detection of sepsis.” The goal of this project is to assess utility of a novel breath biomarker (13C/12C delta value) as a non-invasive early indicator of Fetal Inflammatory Response Syndrome (FIRS) in neonates born to women with chorioamnionitis.
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Receives National Institutes of Health Award
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, on her recent award from the National Institutes of Health – National Eye Institute (NIH-NEI). The R21 research grant of $413,875 over 2 years is for her project entitled, “Bcl-2 and ocular neovascularization.” The goal of this project is to determine whether inhibition of bcl-2 expression and/or activity prevents choroidal and retinal neovascularization.
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD Receives IMAP Physician Advocacy Merit Award
Congratulations to Dr. Dipesh Navsaria on being awarded the Physican Advocacy Merit Award by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession. The IMAP Physician Advocacy Merit Award seeks to give national recognition to two to three physicians annually for their commitments and accomplishments in the advocacy arena. This annual award includes a $10,000 gift intended to support their ongoing efforts in promoting and realizing the principles of civic engagement.
David Bernhardt, MD, Receives WIAAP Recognition of Service Award
Congratulations to David Bernhardt, MD, on receiving the WIAAP Recognition of Services Award. Dr. Bernhardt has served for six years on the WIAAP Board of Directors and continues in his leadership role as the chair of the Chapter’s Sports Medicine Committee. He has received a Special Achievement Award on behalf of the national American Academy of Pediatrics for his work in continuing education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and was instrumental in securing passage of the “Sidelined for Safety” concussion bill earlier this year.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Receives AAP Special Achievement Award
Congratulations to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, on receiving the AAP Special Achievement Award. A specialist in early childhood development and children’s librarian by training, Dr. Navsaria champions the value of literacy for long-term learning and overall well-being. His efforts were crucial in the founding of Wisconsin Reach Out and Read (ROR) Coalition. ROR prepares Wisconsin’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to “prescribe” books and encourage families to read together. Physicians are able to gauge a child’s cognitive, emotional and social health by observing their interactions, and emphasize to families the importance of reading from an early age.
Dr. Marlowe Eldridge Awarded $3.13 Million National Institutes of Health Grant
Marlowe Eldridge, MD, was awarded a grant of approximately $3.13 million over 5 years from the National Institutes of Health – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, for his project, “Right Heart-Pulmonary Vascular Interactions in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.” A too frequent consequence of premature birth is a chronic lung disease known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). A group of well-studied very low birth weight infants (1-3 pounds), including those who did and did not develop BPD, are now reaching adulthood. This grant aims to determine the consequences of BPD on lung and right heart function in this population, which will inform treatment strategies and predictions of disease progression in the future.
Christine Seroogy, MD, Receives Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center Award
Christine Seroogy, MD, recently received an award of $20,000 from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) for her project, “Exploratory Immunologic Differences in Cord Blood from Infants Born into Farming Environments Compared to Nonfarming Environments in MESA.” This pilot study will initiate studies into defining immune maturation differences between farm and non-farm exposures by enrolling pregnant women from the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area for participation of their infants. Existing epidemiologic data demonstrates farming exposures protect infants from allergic diseases and respiratory illnesses and we believe the key to decreasing the incidence of these significant public health problems rests in improved understanding of early life immune maturation.
Juan Boriosi, MD, Receives The James Sutherland Award from MWSPR
Congratulations to Dr. Juan Boriosi, who was presented with the James Sutherland Award at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research. The Sutherland Award is presented for the outstanding abstract presentation by a junior faculty member (five or fewer years on faculty).
Dr. Boriosi's paper, titled 'Breath carbon isotope delta value may be a biomarker of catabolic inflammatory acute phase response in mechanically ventilated pediatric patients', is the first human study of baseline variability of breath carbon isotopes, a novel biochemical marker of sepsis, in mechanically ventilated children with and without systemic inflammation. The study results suggest that breath carbon isotopes may be an early biochemical marker of bacterial sepsis.
Dr. Tracy Flood: We're Getting Fatter, and It's Costing Us a Fortune
In 2005, obesity cost us $190 billion in obesity-related illnesses, $14 billion of which was related to kids. The military has a hard time finding recruits who are not overweight. What we previously called "adult-onset diabetes" now routinely occurs in children.
Obesity is not some recent occurrence. It has been a slow-motion car wreck watched by public health practitioners for decades. By the mid-1970s, obesity already affected 15% of the population and was a known cause of illness, absenteeism and lost school days. Since then, it has tripled despite the many campaigns encouraging personal responsibility.
Read Dr. Flood’s full opinion article: We're Getting Fatter, and It's Costing Us a Fortune in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Dr. James Conway Discusses Vaccine Rejectionism
Vaccine rejectionism has been around for 200 years, since Edward Jenner used the harmless cow pox virus to immunize people against deadly small pox. Cartoons from the early 1800s showed people sprouting cow heads because of Jenner’s vaccine, and in some cities, mass hysteria sparked riots.
Anti-vaccine beliefs ebb and flow through the years, lying dormant like a virus, stirring at the slightest provocation. The latest outbreak can be traced to a troubled researcher named Andrew Wakefield, and a flawed study inexplicably published by a prestigious medical journal.
John Frohna, MD, MPH, Named to the Board of Directors of American Board of Pediatrics
Congratulations to John Frohna, MD, MPH, for recently being named to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). The Board of Directors of the ABP consists of distinguished pediatricians in education, research, and clinical practice, as well as one or more nonphysicians who have a professional interest in the health and welfare of children and adolescents. The ABP strives to improve training, establishes the requirements for certification, and sets the standards for its examinations.
Pediatrics Faculty Honored as Madison Magazine Top Doctors
For its annual Top Doctors feature, Madison Magazine asked doctors in the Madison area which local physicians they would recommend to their friends, family and loved ones.
In the 13 pediatric specialties, the overwhelming answer was a provider from American Family Children's Hospital.
Of the 53 physicians named to the 2012 Top Doctors lists, which are featured in the magazine's September edition, a whopping 42 are from American Family Children's Hospital.
Congratulations to our faculty members who were named to the 2012 Madison Magazine Top Doctors specialties lists:
Dr. Christian Capitini Awarded UWCCC Funding
Dr. Christian Capitini has received an award of $48,942 from the UWCCC to pursue pilot studies of "Monitoring of 19F-labeled NK cell trafficking for cancer immunotherapy using MRI". This work is developing a new way to label NK cells with a novel Fluorine isotope, that enables sensitive MRI detection.
This will potentially be of great help in monitoring the activity of NK cell immunotherapy.
Ken DeSantes, MD, Awarded Solving Kid's Cancer Foundation Funding
Ken DeSantes, MD, has received an award of $136,000 from the Solving Kid's Cancer Foundation to develop and pursue a collaborative research study titled "Phase I Trial of Ex-Vivo Expanded Haploidentical NK Cells and Hu14.18-IL2 for Children with Relapsed/Refractory Neuroblastoma".
This proposed trial presents an innovative clinical approach towards cellular immunotherapy that is directed by antibody recognition.
Dr. Amy Peterson Discusses Pediatric Cholesterol Levels
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cholesterol levels in children dropped over the last two decades, while childhood obesity has increased.
Dr. Amy Peterson discusses these findings in an interview with WMSN FOX Channel 47.
Philip Giampietro, MD, PhD, Given the 'Heart of the Matter' Award by the National Marfan Foundation
Congratulations to Philip Giampietro, MD, PhD, who was honored with the 2012 'Heart of the Matter' award by the National Marfan Foundation at their annual conference in Chicago. The Heart of the Matter Award is given to individuals or groups who promote education and awareness of Marfan syndrome.
Adam Wolfe, MD, PhD, Selected for NIH-Loan Repayment Program Grant Award
Please join us in congratulating Adam Wolfe, MD, PhD, as he was selected for a very competitive NIH-Loan repayment grant award. This application process involves submission of a detailed grant application, with a well-justified experimental plan, as well as a clear career plan with strong trajectory and mentoring.
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Awarded Intercampus Research Incentive Grant
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, for her recent award of $50,000 through the UW-Madison/UW-Milwaukee Intercampus Research Incentive Grant program, for her project “Oxidative Stress Detection in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD).” BPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in premature infants. Her hypothesis is that oxidative stress plays a key role in vascular dysfunction and development of BPD. In collaboration with Dr. Masha Ranji’s laboratory at UW-Milwaukee, she will use optical imaging to investigate the role bcl-2 plays in vascular oxidative stress and pathogenesis of BPD.
Dr. John Hokanson Awarded Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Demonstration Grant
John Hokanson, MD, was awarded one of the six demonstration grants from the US Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS-HRSA) of approximately $900,000 for his 3-year project, “Wisconsin Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening Demonstration Program.” This funding will allow Dr. Hokanson and his team to study the use of pulse oximetry to detect critical congenital heart disease in newborns. The Wisconsin SHINE (Screening Hearts In Newborns) Program will be gathering clinical, financial, and family impact information on babies born in Wisconsin from January 2013 to June 2015.
Faculty Honored with 2012 UW Health Patient Experience Physician Champion Award
Congratulations to our faculty members on being honored with the first 2012 UW Health Patient Experience Physician Champion Award.
They rank among the top 5 percent of the 769 physicians being surveyed by Avatar in 2011 and have been recognized by clinic patients for achieving the highest level of exemplary communication skills, including demonstration of empathy and concern and support of patient partnership. This is the first time these awards have been given. Congratulations!
Facebook Use Does Not Lead to Depression, According to New Study by Dr. Megan Moreno
A newly published study in the Journal of Adolescent Health provides the first evidence to refute the supposed link between depression and the amount of time spent on Facebook and other social-media sites.
Researchers led by Lauren Jelenchick and Dr. Megan Moreno surveyed 190 University of Wisconsin-Madison students between the ages of 18 and 23, using a real-time assessment of Internet activity and a validated, clinical screening method for depression.
"Our study is the first to present scientific evidence on the suggested link between social-media use and risk of depression," said Jelenchick, who just received a master's degree in public health from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "The findings have important implications for clinicians who may prematurely alarm parents about social-media use and depression risks."
2012 Faculty and Resident Teaching and Patient Care Awards
Congratulations to the 2012 recipients of the Department’s various teaching and patient care excellence awards. Award winners were announced at the recent resident graduation ceremony:
Charles C. Lobeck Medical Education Award: Margaret Bartholomew, MD
Varness Outstanding Clinical Teacher Award: Michael Wilhelm, MD
Outstanding General Pediatrician Award: Kok-Peng Yu, MD
Outstanding Senior Resident Award: Cathy Lee-Miller, MD
Outstanding Intern Award: Asaad Beshish, MBBCh
Patient and Family-Centered Care Award: Katie Carlberg, MD
Clerkship Teaching Award: Asaad Beshish, MBBCh
Thank you all for your hard work and dedication.
Dr. Jesse Roach Discusses Children Being Hospitalized with High Blood Pressure
According to a new study in the American Heart Association Journal, more children are being hospitalized with high blood pressure.
Dr. Jesse Roach discusses these findings in an interview with WKOW ABC Channel 27.
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Receives Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Award
Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, for his recent award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for his project, “Development of An Innovative Treatment Strategy for Neuroblastoma and Other Pediatric Tumors: A Novel Phospholipid Ether Analogue and its Multifunctional Cancer-targeting Nanoconstruct.” Through this $100,000 award over 2 years, Dr. Otto aims to evaluate whether NM404 is a novel, unconventional tumor-selective anticancer agent suitable for the treatment of neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers, either as a single agent or in form of a colloidal, inorganic nanoconstruct. This proposal hopes to generate necessary pre-clinical data leading to upcoming clinical trials.
Dr. Judith Smith Awarded American College of Rheumatology Funding
Congratulations to Judith Smith, MD, PhD, for her award from the American College of Rheumatology for $75,000 for her one-year project, “Excess IL-23 production in ankylosing spondylitis and related arthritides.” The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the causes of Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and related arthritic conditions in the hope of developing other treatment options. Confirmation of excessive IL-23 production, as well as a greater understanding of the intracellular events leading to aberrant IL-23 production may suggest new therapeutic drug targets.
Mallery Olsen Receives Pediatric Oncology Student Training Award
Mallery Olsen, a medical student in the lab of Christian Capitini, MD, was recently awarded a Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. This $6,000 award is for her project, “Tracking of 19F labelled NK cells by MRI.” Because there is no way to track immune cells clinically after they are infused to treat cancer, through this research, Ms. Olsen will optimize a nonradioactive isotope of fluorine as a means of labeling natural killer cells for detection by novel MRI technology.
Endocrinology Fellows Receive Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society's Travel Award
Congratulations to endocrinology fellows Jennifer Rehm, MD, Peter Wolfgram, MD and Kimberly Richards, MD, for being selected as recipients of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society's (LWPES) Travel Award. Each received $700 to support their travel costs to the PES Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on May 4, 2012.
American Family Children's Hospital Moves Up in US News Annual Rankings
American Family Children's Hospital has moved up substantially in this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings of children's hospitals.
The hospital is ranked among the top 50 children's hospitals in seven medical and surgical specialties:
- Cancer (29)
- Diabetes/Endocrinology (41)
- Gastroenterology (26)
- Neonatology (29)
- Orthopedics (23)
- Pulmonology (25)
- Urology (39)
The hospital was ranked in seven specialties among the top 50 last year. While last year's rankings were mainly in the forties, this year, most specialties ranked in the twenties. This is significant because all children’s hospitals are focused on improvement, so achieving a high national ranking becomes more challenging each year.
"American Family Children's Hospital has been open just short of five years," said Jeff Poltawsky, vice president of the hospital. "Our commitment to create one of the best and safest children's hospitals in the nation is bolstered by the support we get from our community. We have achieved so much in five years by having a focused priority for clinical excellence in pediatric care that is patient and family-centered. We are honored to be in such good company with some of the most prestigious children’s hospitals in the country."
"Although American Family Children's Hospital is one of the smallest pediatric hospitals in the country, we have built a strong national reputation and the performance to back it up," said Dr. Ellen Wald, chair of pediatrics. "I am very happy for the parents and children we serve and for the teams of people who work here every day."
Rankings were based on surveys of children’s hospitals across the country. The survey asked questions concerning survival rates, infection rates, nurse staffing, sub-specialist availability and other critical information difficult for those in charge of a child's care to find on their own. This is only the sixth time US News has ranked the top 50 children’s hospitals.
The data from the survey were combined with recommendations from pediatric specialists on the hospitals they consider best for children with challenging problems. This year, the survey gave greater weight to certain indicators of clinical performance.
The 61-bed American Family Children’s Hospital opened in August 2007 and offers a comforting setting that aims to enhance the healing process for patients and their families. The "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign, now underway, will add needed critical-care beds and other services to the hospital.
American Family Children's Hospital is part of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, which has also been ranked by U.S. News and World Report every year since 1993 and has been the recipient of several national safety and quality recognition honors.
"Our community can be very proud of this children's hospital," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, CEO of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. "So many people have worked hard to achieve this national recognition."
Pediatric Residents Placed into Fellowships
Congratulations to our current residents who have been placed into fellowship programs following completion of their UW residency:
Dan Beissel, MD: Pediatric Cardiology fellowship at University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kelly Bush, MD: Pediatric Hem/Onc fellowship at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
Matthew Egberg, MD: Pediatric GI fellowship at Boston Children's
Cathy Lee-Miller, MD: Pediatric Hem/Onc fellowship at University of Colorado
Allison Pollack, MD: Pediatric Endocrinology/Diabetes fellowship at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tricia Smith, PNP, Wins Best Abstract Award
Congratulations to Tricia Smith, PNP, AFCH Diagnostic and Therapy Center, who was recently awarded the best abstract, non-physician category at the Society for Pediatric Sedation Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, for Oral Midazolam Premedication Reduces Propofol Induction Doses and Infusion Rates for Pediatric MRI.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Named Lecturer of the Year by PA Class of 2012
Congratulations to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, for being awarded the Seventh Annual Lecturer of the Year Award from the Physician Assistant program. Dr. Navsaria was chosen to receive the award by the students of the graduating class. Congratulations to Dipesh!
Dr. Carl Stafstrom Receives ANA Distinguished Neurology Teaching Award
Congratulations to Carl Stafstrom, MD, PhD, for being named the 2012 recipient of the American Neurological Association’s Distinguished Neurology Teaching Award. Carl is being recognized at the national level for his remarkable career-long teaching efforts in so many ways – medical students, residents, faculty, on the local and national levels. Carl joins a very distinguished list of individuals whose teaching efforts have had significant impact on trainees in Neurology. This recognition is in no small way due to the fact that during the last decade, Carl has inspired a significant subset of the total national number of medical students who have chosen to pursue careers in pediatric neurology. Congratulations to Carl!
Rajitha Kota Receives Outstanding Student Poster Award
Please join us in congratulating Rajitha Kota, student researcher in Dr. Moreno's Adolescent Health Research Team, who was selected as the recipient of the MPH Outstanding Student Poster Award during the Department of Population Health Sciences Annual Poster Session. Rajitha’s poster was titled, “The Prevalence and Nature of Cyberbullying Among College Students”. Her poster was chosen based on the significance of her project, contribution to the public health field, innovation of approach and poster clarity. Rajitha’s poster will be showcased in on the 7th Floor in the WARF building for the next year.
UW Teaching Academy Inducts Drs. Hollman and Navsaria
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy has inducted two members of the Pediatrics faculty as Fellows - Gregory Hollman, MD, and Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD. They are included in the 26 new members for 2012. The induction ceremony was held on April 25th 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Union South.
Teaching Academy Fellows come from departments all across campus, and are admitted to the Academy based on their demonstrated excellence in teaching and on the recommendations from fellow faculty and students.
Drs. Conway and Williams Recipients of UW Health's 2011 Physician Excellence Awards
Congratulations to Jim Conway, MD, and Gary Williams, MD, recent recipients of UW Health's 2011 Physician Excellence Awards. Dr. Conway was awarded the Clinical Educator Excellence Award and Dr. Williams, the Clinical Practice Excellence Award. These awards are given to recognize UW Health's most skilled and dedicated physicians who demonstrate exceptional performance in clinical practice or education and a commitment to the mission, vision and values of UW Health.
Dr. John Frohna Receives APPD Leadership Award
Congratulations to John Frohna, MD, MPH, for receiving the 2012 Robert S. Holm, MD Leadership Award from the Association of Pediatric Program Directors. This award honors a Program Director or Associate Program Director (past or present) for extraordinary contribution in pediatric program director leadership and/or support of other directors as a mentor, advisor or role model.
Pediatric Faculty Promotions
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 Scott Hagen, MD and Barbara Knox, MD, and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for David Wargowski, MD.
The UWSMPH Clinician-Teacher Track Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee, along with Dean Golden, have approved the promotion to Clinical Professor for Jeffrey Sleeth, MD.
The Tenure Committee of the Biological Sciences Division has approved the promotion of Theresa Guilbert, MD, MS to Associate Professor with Tenure.
The UWSMPH Tenure Track Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee has approved the promotion of Pamela Kling, MD to Professor.
All promotions become effective July 1, 2012.
Chris Green, MD, Appointed Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at UWHC
Chris Green, MD, has been named senior vice president, Medical Affairs, and chief medical officer (CMO) at UWHC. In these roles, he will report to the UWHC president and CEO, Donna Katen-Bahensy. In addition, he will have a matrix reporting relationship to Jeff Grossman, MD, UWMF president and CEO and SMPH senior associate dean for clinical affairs, and Robert Golden, MD, SMPH dean.
Dr. Green also will hold an SMPH faculty appointment, as well as an administrative appointment as assistant dean for hospital affairs.
This appointment comes after an extensive national search. Green’s new role became effective on Monday, April 2.
Dr. Green has served as interim CMO for the past eight months and is well known across UW Health. Over the past 28 years, he has developed a breadth and depth of experience across UW Health that positions him well for this new career challenge. Professional appointments have included professor of pediatrics, associate chair for clinical affairs for pediatrics, vice chair of pediatrics, interim chair of pediatrics, and medical director. He has served on multiple committees, maintains teaching and clinical responsibilities and is widely published.
Diane Heatley, MD, Appointed Medical Director of AFCH
Diane Heatley, MD, associate professor, Division of Otolaryngology, has been appointed medical director of American Family Children’s Hospital after serving as interim medical director since October 1. Heatley’s strong leadership, commitment to clinical quality and to patient and family-centered care reflects her collaborative strengths in administrative and leadership roles. She assumed her new role on Monday, April 2.
Greg Hollman, MD, Receives the Society for Pediatric Sedation Joseph P. Cravero Award
Congratulations to Greg Hollman, MD, recently awarded the first annual Joseph P. Cravero Leadership Award by the Society for Pediatric Sedation. This award is presented annually by the Board of Directors for the Society for Pediatric Sedation to a leader who, with a collaborative and engaging spirit, furthers the field of pediatric sedation through his or her efforts in research, education, and health policy.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Receives Mirus Research Award
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, was recently received a Mirus Research Award in the amount of $2,000 for his project, “Inwardly rectifying potassium channel dysfunction in retina.” The grant is for the use of Mirus Bio’s transfection reagents to achieve functional knock out of potassium channel in the mice retina to understand the mechanism of blindness due to potassium channelopathy. Reagents will also be used to test the effect of expression of various mutant proteins on retina function.
Dr. Ellen Wald Awarded NIH-NICHD Grant Funding
Ellen Wald, MD, was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health-Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH-NICHD) R21 grant entitled, “An interactive web-based intervention to achieve healthy weight in young children.” This 2-year grant provides funding of over $415,000 for her obesity study involving UW-CHESS (UW-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System). Obesity in children and adults is one of the most common and serious chronic diseases requiring care by the primary care practitioner and family-based behavioral interventions have been the most successful but require ongoing contact. This project will test the feasibility and effectiveness of brief ‘in-person’ counseling and a long-term web-based intervention model. If successful, this intervention will be inexpensive, easy to replicate and export, and deliverable at the convenience of young families.
Dr. Christian Capitini Accepted into the University of Wisconsin Centennial Scholars Program
Congratulations to Christian Capitini, MD, for his acceptance into the University of Wisconsin Centennial Scholars Program. This program provides a 3-year award of $75,000/year + fringe benefits and offers at least 50% protected research time. Dr. Capitini’s research focuses on using models of allogeneic bone marrow transplant to cure pediatric tumors with dendritic cell vaccines, adoptive NK cell and T cell infusions. He is also developing novel therapies for graft-versus-host-disease.
Greg Rice, MD, Receives School of Medicine & Public Health Dean's Teaching Award
Congratulations to Greg Rice, MD, recently awarded one of the School of Medicine & Public Health Dean's Teaching Awards. Established in 1992 to honor outstanding contributions to student education in medical school programs, recipients are selected by a committee of faculty that have previously been honored for their excellence in teaching. Dr. Rice was one of five recipients for 2011.
Dr. James Gern Elected to the Association of American Physicians
Congratulations to James Gern, MD, on his recent election into the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The goals of AAP’s members include the pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals, are recognized by nomination for membership by the Council of the Association. Dr. Gern’s election gives him the opportunity to share his scientific discoveries and contributions with his colleagues at the annual meeting.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, Elected to the Association of American Physicians
Congratulations to Dr. Anna Huttenlocher on her recent election into the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The goals of AAP’s members include the pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals, are recognized by nomination for membership by the Council of the Association. Dr. Huttenlocher’s election gives her the opportunity to share her scientific discoveries and contributions with her colleagues at the annual meeting.
Dr. Gwen McIntosh Becomes New Director of Clinical Curriculum
As of January 2012, Gwen McIntosh, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics, has become the SMPH director for clinical curriculum. She primarily is responsible for overseeing all of the school’s clinical clerkships and electives in the third and fourth years of study. She also will lead the Clerkship Core Day Curriculum and will serve as director of the YEPSA (Year-End Professional Skills Assessment). McIntosh has served as director of pediatric medical student education and the Pediatric Clerkship since 2002. She also has been a primary care pediatrician at UW Health since 2000.
Dr. Bruce Klein Receives Award from WARF Accelerator Program
Bruce Klein, MD, has been awarded $108,146 for the Accelerator Program “Drk-1 Antifungal.” Through the Graduate School, funding for this award has been provided by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The goals of this study are to use Drk1 as a drug target to identify potent, broadly active anti-fungal drugs, to develop a simple screen for compounds that act on Drk1 and kill fungi, to advance the compounds as drug leads, and to engage an industry partner in drug development.
Dr. Christian Capitini Awarded MACC Funding
Congratulations to Christian M. Capitini, MD, for his recent award of $100,000 from the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC fund) for “Inhibiting STAT1 as a platform for GVHD resistance and preservation of GVL.” This project takes a novel approach toward separating GVL from GVHD by not treating T cells, but rather focusing on 2 other fundamental contributors of GVHD – cytokines and APCs. Completion of this project will provide evidence in relevant preclinical alloBMT models that using bone marrow-derived cells deficient in STAT1 will create a state of GVHD resistance, allowing the host to tolerate higher doses of DLI, potentially allowing for a more potent GVL effect.
Dr. Philip Farrell and Dr. Michael Rock Awarded Legacy of Angels Foundation Grant
Congratulations to Philip M. Farrell, MD, PhD, and Michael J. Rock, MD, who have been awarded $153,944 for their project, “Quality Improvement in Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening—Addressing the Sweat Test QNS Problem with a Novel Method.” This project will validate a new, attractive method of performing sweat tests on infants at risk for cystic fibrosis (CF), namely the Cystic Fibrosis Quantum Test (CFQT), developed by PolyChrome Medical, Inc., and in doing so will address one of the most difficult problems in the follow-up component of CF newborn screening, i.e., the failure to complete the screening process in a timely fashion due to collection of an insufficient quantity of sweat (QNS [quantity not sufficient] sweat test result).
Dr. Pamela Kling Awarded Meriter Foundation Grant
Pamela J. Kling, MD, recently received a grant of $17,000 from the Meriter Foundation for her project, “The Interplay between Fetal Iron Status and Kidney Development.” The purpose of this research study is to examine the kidney development in two conditions known to be associated with deficient iron stores at birth, which are infants born to mothers with gestational diabetes or with intrauterine growth restriction.
Dr. De-Ann Pillers Awarded Meriter Foundation Grant
Congratulations to De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, on her recent grant of $17,000 from the Meriter Foundation. This is for her project “Understanding the Contribution of Hyperoxia to Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia of the Premature Infant.” This study will focus on the molecular mechanism of hyperoxia in chronic lung inflammation and, more specifically, examine the role of hyperoxia in EMT and fibrosis.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Awarded Meriter Foundation Grant
Congratulations to Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, for his award of $17,000 from the Meriter Foundation for “The Role of Birth-Related Hormones in Retinopathy of Prematurity.” The overall goal of this project is to study how birth hormones play an important role in regulating growth and development by investigating how prematurity influences the signaling and abnormal eye development that is manifested in ROP.
Dr. Mario Otto Awarded MACC Funding
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, was recently awarded $100,000 from the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC fund) for “Development of Multifunctional Superparamagnetic anti-GD2 Nanoparticles for Simultaneous Molecular Imaging, Cancer Cell Targeting and Drug Delivery.” This project aims to specifically develop multifunctional superparamagnetic nanoparticles suitable to target GD2 positive malignancies. Knowledge and expertise gained from this project has the potency to lead to a nanoparticle-based platform for other applications which Dr. Otto plans to develop in the future, such as targeted drug delivery, or MR-induced, nanoparticle-mediated local hyperthermia.
Adrian Grimes, PhD, Receives American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
Congratulations to Adrian Grimes, PhD, who recently was awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Heart Association’s Midwest Affiliate. This award, totaling $102,000 will support Dr. Grimes’ work in the lab of his mentor, Dr. J. Carter Ralphe, as he seeks to better understand the signaling pathways underlying the development of cardiac hypertrophy. His grant entitled “POSH and familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: bridging the gap between genetic mutation and hypertrophy” represents an ongoing collaboration between the Ralph lab and Dr. Michael Wilhelm’s research group.
OSRT Honors Ruth Sias with the Frances de Usabel Outreach Services AwardPosted: November 2011
The Outreach Services Roundtable selected Ruth Sias as the 2011 recipient of the Frances de Usabel award. Ruth is the Children's Librarian at the Goodman South Madison branch of the Madison Public Library. She was chosen for exemplary work with children and families in local hospitals. Ruth was nominated for the award by Dipesh Navsaria, the director of the University of Wisconsin Pediatric Early Literacy Projects.
Peter Wolfgram, MD, Awarded Marilyn Fishman Grant for Diabetes ResearchPosted: November 2011
Congratulations to Peter Wolfgram, MD, Diabetes/Endocrinology Fellow, a recent recipient of the Marilyn Fishman Grant for Diabetes Research from the Endocrine Fellows Foundation. Dr. Wolgram's project, "The Role of Ethnicity and Race in Site Specific Fat Distribution, Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children" was awarded a grant of $15,000.
Dr. Carol Diamond Elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical SocietyPosted: October 2011
Congratulations to Carol Diamond, MD, recently elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society by our UW students. The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society is a professional medical organization, recognizing and advocating for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine.
In addition to representing the top 25 percent of medical school classes, 16 percent of its members are elected based on leadership, character, community service and professionalism. Our congratulations to Dr. Diamond for this honor in recognition of her contributions to medical student education and patient care.
Undergraduates Receive Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research FellowshipsPosted: October 2011
Congratulations to Daniel Stoltz, research assistant in Dr. Rob Lemanske's program and Tyler Van De Voort, student in Dr. Paul Sondel's program, both recent award recipients of a 2011-12 Wisconsin Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship. Award recipients receive $4,000 and faculty mentors $1,000 to sponsor a research project that is presented at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2012. Additionally, award recipients are recognized at the Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards Ceremony in early May.
Daniel Beissel, MD's Presentation Selected for AAP National Convention and Exhibition
Congratulations to Daniel Beissel, MD, as his presentation, "Pulse Oximetry Screening for Congenital Heart Disease in Wisconsin" was selected for the media relations program at the 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics National Convention and Exhibition (NCE) in Boston, MA. This is a unique opportunity for him to communicate the key findings of his research to the general public.
Drs. Barbara Knox and David Bernhardt Awarded AAP Special Achievement Award
Congratulations to Barbara Knox, MD, and David Bernhardt, MD, who were each recently awarded the American Academy of Pediatrics' Special Achievement Award. Dr. Knox's award was based on her work as an advocate against child maltreatment and Dr. Bernhardt's for his work as a champion of adolescent health and sports medicine and his ongoing education in Pediatrics.
Tim Chybowski, MD, Finished First in the 2011 Star of Madison Awards
Congratulations to Tim Chybowski, MD, who finished first in the 2011 Star of Madison Awards sponsored by the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ). Dr. Chybowski was named the top pediatrician in Madison by voters and is listed in the WSJ's Answer Book.
51 Peds Faculty Make “Top Doctors” ListsPosted: August 2011
Over the past 12 months, 51 Department of Pediatrics faculty have been included in one or more of the “top doctors” lists from Best Doctors.com, Madison Magazine, and U.S. News and World Report. Of these, eleven (indicated with asterisks below) were named in the most recent list: “U.S. News Top Doctors,” a new, searchable directory that lists peer-nominated physicians around the country. The U.S. News list was created in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which publishes America's Top Doctors and other consumer health guides. It draws from Castle Connolly's database of Top Doctors, which is based on nominations from doctors in academic medical centers, specialty and regional hospitals, and private practices. All nominated physicians are individually reviewed by a doctor-led research team on training, achievements and appointments, and other credentials.
Congratulations to the following faculty:
* Named to U.S. News Top Doctors
Pelin Cengiz, MD, Named 2011 ICTR KL2 ScholarPosted: