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.