News & Events

  • New Prevention Research Center to Focus on Mother-Baby Health; Dr. Elizabeth Cox to Serve on Steering Commitee

    Posted: April 2019

    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.

    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

    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.

    Full story...

     
  • Seven Learners Win Poster Awards at APA Region VI Meeting

    Posted: April 2019

    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).

    Drs. Gorski and Meinen receive their best abstract award from Michelle Kelly, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine and planning committee memberOverall 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).

    Quality Improvement

    • 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”
       

    Research

    • 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”
       

    Case Reports

    • 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

    Posted: April 2019
    Mario Otto, MD, PhD
    Mario Otto, MD, PhD

    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

    Posted: March 2019

    Congratulations to Danièle Gusland, MD, and Mackenzie Carlson on their Clinical Research Awards from the UW-Madison Global Health Institute!

    Danièle Gusland, MD
    Danièle Gusland, MD

    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

    Posted: March 2019
    Ann Allen, MD
    Ann Allen, MD

    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

    Posted: March 2019
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

    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

    Posted: March 2019
    Mary Ehlenbach, MD
    Mary Ehlenbach, MD
    Ryan Coller, MD, MPH
    Ryan Coller, MD, MPH
    Kristan Sodergren, NP
    Kristan Sodergren, NP

    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

    Posted: March 2019

    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 Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR).

    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

    Eric Schauberger, DO, PhD
    Eric Schauberger, DO, PhD
    Sima Ramratnam, MD, MPH
    Sima Ramratnam, MD, MPH

    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. 

    Ania Lang, MD, PhD
    Ania Lang, MD, PhD
    David Peloza, MD
    David Peloza, MD

    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. Ellen Wald Awarded NIH Grant

    Ellen Wald, MD
    Ellen Wald, MD
    James Gern, MD
    James Gern, MD
    Gregory DeMuri, MD
    Gregory DeMuri, MD

    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.