Research Week 2023 wrap-up: Highlights and award winners

Last month, May 15–19, the Department of Pediatrics hosted Research Week, an annual educational event that provides a platform where department researchers learn about, share, and explore the latest advances in pediatric research through a mix of live-streamed lectures, in-person events, and interactive sessions. Ten events over five days attracted a combined attendance of more than 800 people, including a crowd of 71 attendees and 49 presenters at the Poster Session and Reception held in the Atrium of the Health Sciences Learning Center.

Shawn Damodharan
Shawn Damodharan

Throughout the event, topics ranged from medical education scholarship and global health to mentorship and quality improvement.

On Tuesday, six trainees from the department’s fellowship programs presented their research during the second annual Fellow Capstone Research Presentations. Shawn Damodharan, DO, fellow in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, was chosen for the Fellow Excellence in Research Award for his presentation, “Diffuse Midline Glioma Multiomics Characterization.”

On Thursday, Stephen Meyn, MD, PhD, professor in the Division of Genetics & Metabolism and director of the Center of Human Genomics and Precision Medicine, presented the 2023 Odell Lecture, established in 1994 to honor Dr. Gerard B. Odell, emeritus professor of pediatrics and an internationally recognized researcher in the field of neonatal jaundice and bilirubin metabolism. Watch Meyn’s Odell Lecture presentation, “The Promises and Limits of Pediatric Genomic Medicine.”

Emma Mohr

The Odell Lecture was followed by the formal announcement of the department’s highest honors for research accomplishments with the presentation of the Gerard B. Odell Award and the Ellen R. Wald Award.

  • Emma Mohr, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, was the 2023 recipient of the Gerard B. Odell Award. She offered her presentation “Understanding Congenital Zika Virus Infection,” which provided an overview of her research on Zika virus and investigations into why some children have worse outcomes than others when exposed to infection in pregnancy.
  • Matthew Harer

    Matthew Harer, MD, associate professor, Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, was named the 2023 recipient of the Ellen R. Wald Award. He presented a retrospective of his early career and showed how his research path mirrors his interest in running in his talk, “Running and Research: Investigating Neonatal Acute Kidney Injury.”

On Friday, Anna Huttenlocher, MD, professor, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, offered this year’s Research Week keynote address. In “Cell Migration: From Patients to Zebrafish and Back,” Huttenlocher discussed her work in modeling human disease in zebrafish to study inflammation.

Research Week ended with platform presentations from six department researchers and a lively Poster Session and Reception. View the 2023 Research Week Abstract Book online.

  • Research Week keynote speaker Dr. Anna Huttenlocher presents "Cell Migration: From Patients to Zebrafish and Back."