• Faculty Research

  • A photo of Jeffrey Whitsett.

    Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the hierarchy of transcriptional controls and signaling cascades which determine commitment of progenitor cells that produce the differentiated epithelial cells lining the primordial and mature respiratory tract. The goal of his research is to provide insight into the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung disorders. The role of surfactant in innate host defense and lung function is also an ongoing interest.
    Visit the Whitsett Lab.


    A photo of Henry Akinbi.

    Henry T. Akinbi, MD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    studies host defense proteins in innate defense of the lungs using gene-targeted mice. The role of lysozyme in: 1) lung infection; 2) inflammation and 3) anti-oxidant defense is a major focus of his research program.


    A photo of Tanya Cahill.

    Tanya E. Cahill, MD Director, High-Risk Clinic

    is interested in high risk infant follow-up and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

    A photo of Michael Crossman.

    Michael W. Crossman, MD, PhD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on intestinal function and host-microbial interactions, bioethics and neonatal palliative care.


    A photo of Stephan W. Glasser.

    Stephan W. Glasser, PhD

    studies the function of surfactant protein C (SP-C) in lung innate defense and as a cause of familial interstitial lung disease (ILD) in neonates and children. SP-C deficient mice, generated in his laboratory, exhibit features of human ILD and are susceptible to inflammation/bacterial and viral pulmonary infection. Experiments are focused on determining mechanisms underlying the role of SP-C deficiency in lung injury.


    A photo of James M. Greenberg.

    James M. Greenberg, MD Co-Director, Perinatal Institute

    investigates the developmental biology of pulmonary vascular development, including how vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mediates pulmonary vascular, lymphatic and airway development. He studies how VEGF mediates organization of pulmonary vasculature during late fetal life as well as how certain proteins implicated in axonal guidance during central nervous system development also direct developmental processes in the lung.


    A photo of Beth Haberman.

    Beth E. Haberman, MD Senior Medical Director, Neonatal Services

    has special interests in the care of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia and follow-up care of premature and term infants with complex medical needs.


    A photo of Steven B. Hoath.

    Steven B. Hoath, MD

    has varied research interests including epidermal barrier development (in utero and postnatal), fetal and neonatal skin adaptation (skin/environment interactions), tissue engineering of human skin (in vitro systems), innate immune function (biology of vernix and skin proteomics), development of non-invasive skin-based sensors for brain monitoring and the role of the skin as a critical interface for health care delivery.


    A photo of Alan Jobe.

    Alan H. Jobe, MD, PhD Director, Division of Perinatal Biology

    has a special research focus on surfactant physiology. Dr. Jobe is also interested in lung maturation and lung injury in the fetus and newborn, the use of antenatal corticosteroids, and lung injury with ventilation of the preterm infant.


    A photo of Beth Ann Johnson.

    Beth Ann Johnson, MD, MA Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    has a research focus in perinatal cardiology, premature infants with congenital heart disease, fetal diagnosis, and simulation.


    A photo of Tanya V. Kalin.

    Tanya V. Kalin, MD, PhD

    studies the transcriptional regulation of DNA replication and mitosis in tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Mouse lung and prostate cancer models are used to gain insight into regulation of cell signaling pathways required for tumor initiation, progression, metastasis and tumor angiogenesis. The ultimate goal of the research program is to identify novel target genes for diagnostic, prevention and treatment of lung and prostate cancers.
    Visit the Kalin Lab.


    A photo of Vladimir Kalinichenko.

    Vladimir V. Kalinichenko, MD, PhD

    is investigating the transcriptional regulation of epithelial and endothelial cell functions during lung embryonic development and lung carcinogenesis. He studies the winged helix/forkhead box (Fox) proteins and their role in regulating cell signaling pathways required for cellular proliferation, differentiation, motility and survival, ultimately identifying novel mechanisms that cause human lung malformations and promote lung cancer formation.

    Visit the Kalinichenko Lab.


    A photo of Suhas G. Kallapur.

    Suhas G. Kallapur, MD Director, Neonatology Continuing Medical Education

    is interested in understanding how the fetus copes with and adapts to infectious and inflammatory insults in utero e.g. exposure to chorioamnionitis. Dr. Kallapur’s research focus is to understand the pathogenesis of lung injury and systemic inflammatory responses in fetuses and newborns. His lab uses a sheep model and has begun some work in humans.
    Visit the Kallapur Lab.


    A photo of Beena Kamath-Rayne.

    Beena D. Kamath-Rayne, MD, MPH Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    does clinical/translational research in preterm birth, fetal maturity and timing of delivery using biomarkers in amniotic fluid transcriptome. She is jointly appointed in Global Health. She is the associate editor for the 2nd Edition of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), a global curriculum in neonatal resuscitation. She serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Survive Planning Group. She is collaborating on several research studies of HBB around the world.


    A photo of Heather C. Kaplan.

    Heather C. Kaplan, MD, MSCE Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on understanding variations in evidence-based care practices across hospitals and identifying strategies for increasing the implementation of evidence and other innovations into practice. She recently began a line of investigation aimed at building the evidence base for quality improvement so that QI can be used more effectively as a strategy for improving quality and patient outcomes.


    A photo of Alan Kenny.

    Alan P. Kenny, MD, PhD

    studies the molecular mechanisms controlling the earliest stages of respiratory and digestive organ development, including the role of a pool of foregut progenitor cells in the ventral endoderm which are induced by FGF and BMP signals emanating from the cardiogenic mesenchyme.


    A photo of Paul Kingma.

    Paul S. Kingma, MD, PhD Neonatal Director, Cincinnati Fetal Center

    investigates the role of the innate immune system in neonatal infection. Specific projects currently focus on the role of surfactant protein D in neonatal sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome and on neutrophil function in cystic fibrosis patients.


    A photo of Thomas Korfhagen.

    Thomas R. Korfhagen, MD, PhD Attending Pediatrician, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    studies the roles and mechanisms whereby surfactant proteins A, B, D, Relm peptides and EGF receptor signaling control lung infections, inflammation and responses to lung injury. Translational studies assessing processes to reduce the extent of lung injury and remodeling in neonates and adults.


    A photo of Timothy LeCras.

    Timothy D. LeCras, PhD Associate Director of Admissions, Medical Scientist Training Program

    studies the regulation of vascular and alveolar morphogenesis in the developing lung, as well as mechanisms to stimulate lung regeneration/growth in children and adults. A major focus is the causes and pathways mediating lung remodeling in premature newborns (BPD), pulmonary hypertension (PH), and asthma and to identify new therapeutic targets to treat and prevent these chronic lung diseases.

    Visit the LeCras Lab.


    A photo of Kristin Melton.

    Kristin R. Melton, MD Associate Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship

    is interested in early craniofacial development and focuses on the tissue interactions that direct the formation, migration and differentiation of neural crest cells. The Melton Lab focuses on understanding the influence of the endothelium and the cranial mesoderm on neural crest development.


    A photo of Stephanie Merhar.

    Stephanie L. Merhar, MD, MS Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is interested in optimizing neuroimaging in preterm and term infants at risk for brain injury, neonatal seizure treatment and neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants in the NICU.


    A photo of Laurel Moyer.

    Laurel B. Moyer, MD Medical Director, TriHealth Nurseries

    has research interests that include quality improvement, late preterm infants, and international health.


    A photo of Vivek Narendran.

    Vivek Narendran, MD, MRCP, MBA Medical Director, University of Cincinnati Medical Center NICU

    is interested in innate immunity of the skin with a particular focus on epidermal biomarkers and antimicrobial peptides on the skin surface.


    A photo of Amy Nathan.

    Amy T. Nathan, MD Medical Director, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on antecedent factors leading to necrotizing enterocolitis and is interested in applying quality improvement methods to reduce the incidence of this major morbidity in preterm infants.


    A photo of Laurie Nommsen-Rivers.

    Laurie A. Nommsen-Rivers, PhD, RD, IBCLC

    has research interests that include human milk and lactation, clinical management of the breastfeeding dyad and perinatal epidemiology. 


    A photo of Anne Karina Perl.

    Anne Karina T. Perl, MS, PhD

    studies molecular mechanisms underlying normal lung formation and lung repair processes in the preterm and postnatal lung. Data from our laboratory supports the hypothesis of the existence of distinct subsets of endodermaly derived progenitor cells during lung development. Our long-term goal is to understand the characteristics and the fate of these lung progenitors for prevention and therapy of lung disease.
    Visit the Perl Lab.


    No photo available

    John H. Reuter, MD, PhD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is active in the administration of a 4000 delivery/year community level II service. His academic interests include breast milk and nutrition in the preterm infant.


    A photo of Ward Rice.

    Ward R. Rice, MD, PhD Medical Director, Newborn Services, St. Elizabeth Medical Center

    studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate processing of surfactant protein C, a protein that is critical for lung function.


    A photo of Kurt Schibler.

    Kurt R. Schibler, MD Attending Neonatologist, Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology

    is the principal investigator for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network at Cincinnati Children’s and is also involved in thematic collaborative research investigating the immune mechanisms underlying morbidity and mortality associated with preterm birth. He aims to identify infants at high risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis and late onset infection and to devise strategies to prevent and to treat these complications.


    A photo of John Shannon.

    John M. Shannon, PhD

    studies the elucidation of molecular mechanisms that regulate morphogenesis and differentiation of the lung epithelium and mesenchyme. A major focus of the lab is the role of fibroblast growth factors and epithelial-mesenchymal signaling pathways in the regulation of branching morphogenesis in the developing lung.


    A photo of Bruce Trapnell.

    Bruce C. Trapnell, MS, MD Assistant Director, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center

    seeks to define mechanisms regulating innate immunity and inflammation in the lungs. His major focus is alveolar macrophage function in health and disease and the regulation alveolar homeostasis and host defense by GM-CSF in health and disease.


    A photo of Laura Ward.

    Laura Placke Ward, MD

    focuses on strategies to prevent significant hyperbilirubinemia in term and late preterm infants.


    A photo of Timothy Weaver.

    Timothy E. Weaver, MS, PhD Co-Director, Division of Pulmonary Biology

    focuses on the identification of cytoprotective pathways that mediate adaptation to genetic and environmental stresses in the pulmonary epithelium. These molecular pathways play a critical role in preventing or slowing the progression of chronic lung disease and may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
    Visit the Weaver Lab.


    A photo of Kathy Wedig-Stevie.

    Kathy E. Wedig-Stevie, MD Medical Director, High Risk Follow-up Clinic at Good Samaritan Hospital

    focuses on neonatal follow-up, including the follow-up of graduates from the NICU and drug exposed neonates with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Her future research plans involve neuroimaging and therapy based on the neurological findings.


    A photo of Susan Wert.

    Susan E. Wert, PhD

    studies lung development, injury, and repair as it pertains to molecular morphology (gene and protein expression in situ), ultrastructure, and histopathology of the developing and adult lung. In addition, she studies the histopathology of the human lung as it relates to interstitial lung disease, especially to genetic disorders of surfactant dysfunction in the neonatal and pediatric population.


    A photo of Scott Wexelblatt.

    Scott L. Wexelblatt, MD Medical Director, Regional Newborn Services

    has interests in the late preterm infant and regional newborn care.


    A photo of Kathryn Wikenheiser-Brokamp.

    Kathryn A. Wikenheiser-Brokamp, MD, PhD Director, Residency Research Program

    investigates pediatric and adult lung diseases, including cancer, which are characterized by aberrant epithelial cell growth and differentiation. A major focus is the molecular mechanisms underlying Rb/p16, p53, and Dicer1 pathway function in lung development and the pathogenesis of lung disease. The ultimate goal is to identify new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic targets for common pulmonary disorders.


    A photo of Yan Xu.

    Yan Xu, PhD Director of Bioinformatics Core, Neonatology & Pulmonary Biology; Perinatal Institute

    has research interests that include the identification of gene signatures, regulatory networks and biological pathways controlling lung development, maturation and diseases. She is actively involved in the development of detailed developmental lung-map via high-throughput single cell genomics to provide useful tools and resources for the lung research community.