Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders

  • Meet the Team

    The Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED) is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child’s unique needs. Learn more about our clinical care faculty and staff below and our clinical research staff.
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    Director

    A photo of Marc Rothenberg.

    Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD
    Director, Division of Allergy and Immunology

    513-803-0257

    marc.rothenberg@cchmc.org

    Marc E. Rothenberg, MD, PhD

    Director, Division of Allergy and Immunology

    Director, Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-0257

    Fax: 513-636-3310

    Email: marc.rothenberg@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Eosinophilia; eosinophilic disorders; asthma; allergy; food allergy

    Research Interests

    Eosinophils; chemokines

    Visit the Rothenberg Lab.

    Biography

    Dr. Rothenberg is director of the Division of Allergy/Immunology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and tenured professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He graduated summa cum laude with highest honors in chemistry and biochemistry from Brandeis University. He then completed the MD/PhD program at Harvard Medical School under Dr. Frank Austen, conducting studies on eosinophil hematopoiesis, as he developed the first culture system for human eosinophils. After completing residency at Children’s Hospital, Boston, Dr. Rothenberg did a fellowship in allergy/immunology and hematology at Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rothenberg did post-doctorate training with Dr. Philip Leder, Harvard Medical School, where he cloned the eotaxin chemokine. After being faculty at Harvard Medical School for one year, he came to the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's, where he has helped build a top program in research, and his division is a leader in allergy and immunology.

    His research is focused on molecular analysis of allergic inflammation, primarily on the molecular pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis. His laboratory takes a multi-disciplinary approach including the development of preclinical murine models: genetics, genomics, molecular immunology, and biochemistry. Dr. Rothenberg’s awards include the 2007 E Mead Johnson Award from the Society of Pediatric Research, 2010 National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, and being elected an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow.  He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Society for Pediatric Radiology. His publications number over 300. He has served on review panels for journals/grant agencies including National Institutes of Health (NIH), Burroughs Trust, and Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom. He served for four-years on the Advisory Council of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. He has been associate editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology since 2004. His research has been supported by sources including the NIH, Human Frontier Science Program Organization, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Dana Foundation, and Department of Defense.

    Visit the Rothenberg Lab web site

    Education and Training

    MD, PhD: Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, 1990.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1991-1992.

    Fellowship: Immunology / Allergy, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1992-1994; Hematology / Oncology, Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, 1992-1995.

    Certification: National Board of Medical Examiners, 1991; Board of Registration in Medicine, MA, 1992; American Board of Pediatrics, 1995, 2001, 2008; Ohio State Medical Board, 1997; American Board of Allergy and Immunology, 1997, 2006.

    Publications

    Grants

    NICHHD Pediatric Center for Gene Expression and Developmental Sciences. Training Director. National Institutes of Health. Dec 2011–Nov 2016. K12 HD028827.

    Epithelial Genes in Allergic Inflammation. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health.  Sep 2011–Aug 2016. U19 AI070235.

    Eosinophil:M2 Macrophage:CCL11 Axis in Experimental Colitis and Pediatric Corticosteroid Resistant Ulcerative Colitis. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2012–Mar 2016. R01 DK090119-01A1.

    Immunobiology of Peanut Allergy and It’s Treatment. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Jul 2010–Jun 2015. U19 AI066738.

    Regulation of Gastrointestinal Eosinophils. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Dec 2009–Nov 2014. R37 AI045898.

    Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training. Co-Program Director. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2009–Mar 2015. KL2 TR000078.

    The Expression and Function of Paired Immunoglobulin-like Receptor B in Eosinophils. Co-Principal Investigator. U.S. - Israel Binational Science Foundation. Oct 2012–Sep 2016.  #201144.

    Physicians and Researchers

    A photo of J. Pablo Abonia.

    J. Pablo Abonia, MD
    Interim Director, Registry for Eosinophilic Disorders (REGID)

    513-636-9728

    pablo.abonia@cchmc.org

    J. Pablo Abonia, MD

    Interim Director, Registry for Eosinophilic Disorders (REGID)

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-9728

    Fax: 513-636-3310

    Email: pablo.abonia@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Eosinophilic and mast cell disorders; immunodeficiency

    Biography

    J. Pablo Abonia, MD, provides the bulk of the clinical allergy care for patients with eosinophilic disease. He is currently involved in a multicenter clinical research trial of anti-IL5 (reslizumab) for patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. His research focuses on mining the research databanks (patient characteristics, tissue samples, RNA and DNA) to elucidate the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis, and he is the Interim Director of the Registry for Eosinophilic Disorders (REGID). He is particularly interested in the role of mast cells in eosinophilic esophagitis.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1997.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 2000.

    Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, 2001; American Board of Allergy and Immunology, 2003.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Margaret H. Collins, MD

    Professor, UC Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

    Phone: 513-636-4261

    Fax: 513-636-3924

    Email: margaret.collins@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Pediatric gastrointestinal pathology; eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases; biopsy analyses; primary study endpoints; novel therapies to treat eosinophilic esophagitis in children; disorders of bowel immunity; bowel motility disorders

    Biography

    In 2011, Dr. Collins was named one of the Top Doctors in Pathology by U.S. News & World Report.

    Education and Training

    BS: Fordham University, NY, 1972.

    MD: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 1977.

    Residency: Pathology, New York Hospital, NY, 1977-80; Pathology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, NY, 1980-83.

    Fellowship: Research, New York Lung Association, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, N.Y., 1983-85; Research, American Lung Association, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, NY, 1985-87.

    Certification: Pathology, 1981; Pediatric Pathology, 1991.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Patricia C. Fulkerson, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-0973

    Email: patricia.fulkerson@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Eosinophilic disorders; immunodeficiency; immune dysregulation

    Visit the Fulkerson Lab web site.

    Biography

    Patricia C. Fulkerson, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Her PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Marc Rothenberg was focused on the analysis of experimental allergic lung inflammation in mice. She made a series of groundbreaking observations including a novel approach to understanding the complex and coordinated interplay of the chemokine family of cytokines and eosinophils in experimental allergic lung disease. Throughout her graduate studies, Dr. Fulkerson was recognized as a top trainee in the laboratory. Nationally, she was selected for competitive awards; her most distinguished award was the Serono Ian Clark-Lewis Memorial Award, provided to a trainee for the best talk at the Keystone Symposium Chemokines & Chemokine Receptors. Locally, she has received several competitive awards and scholarships including the Physician Scientist Training Program Scholar Award, as well as prizes for participation in research forums. Upon completion of the MD/PhD program, Dr. Fulkerson completed a research-track pediatric residency. She was recognized as being an outstanding resident and was awarded the Thomas F. Boat Pediatric Pulmonology Award in her final year of residency.

    Dr. Fulkerson's innovation and dedication to research continued to be recognized during her allergy/immunology fellowship; she received the AAI-Life Technologies Trainee Achievement Award from the American Association of Immunologists in 2011, and she has the distinction of having achieved extramural funding during her first year of clinical fellowship, with the NIH awarding her a K08 grant on her first application. This independent funding at such an early stage is a notable accomplishment. Now, as an assistant professor, Dr. Fulkerson’s independent research program is focused on the biology of the eosinophil lineage-committed progenitor (EoP). Her overall aim is to identify novel therapeutic targets to block eosinophil production for the treatment of patients with eosinophilic disorders. She has developed a number of innovative methods to study the regulation of eosinophil development including liquid culture systems to follow differentiation of both murine and human EoPs into mature effector eosinophils. The pathways that are identified in her culture systems are tested in models of hypereosinophilia, infection, and allergic inflammation to further characterize the clinical and therapeutic potential of candidate targets.

    Education and Training

    MD: Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 2007.

    PhD: Molecular Genetics, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 2005.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2010.

    Fellowship: Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2012.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Role of Spi-C in Eosinophil Development and Functional Responses. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2011-Mar 2016. K08 KAI093573A.
    A photo of Simon P. Hogan.

    Simon P. Hogan, PhD
    Director of Research, Division of Allergy and Immunology

    513-636-6620

    simon.hogan@cchmc.org

    Simon P. Hogan, PhD

    Director of Research, Division of Allergy and Immunology

    Director of Admissions, Immunology Graduate Program

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6620

    Fax: 513-636-3310

    Email: simon.hogan@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Food allergies and anaphylaxis; inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD); innate immunity; gastrointestinal immunity and function; cystic fibrosis (CF)

    Visit the Hogan Lab.

    Education and Training

    BSC: Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1998.

    PhD: John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1998.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    MiR-375 regulation of CFTR expression and Cl- secretory function. Principal Investigator. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Jul 2012-Jun 2014.

    Eosinophil:M2 Macrophage:CCL11 Axis in Experimental Colitis and Pediatric Corticosteroid Resistant UC. Principal Investigator.  National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH/NIDDK). Apr 2012-Mar 2016.

    Epithelial Genes in Allergic Inflammation. Project 2 – Collaborating Investigator. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAIDS). Sep 2006-Aug 2016.


    Leah C. Kottyan, PhD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-1316

    Email: leah.kottyan@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Research

    Genetic basis of lupus; genetic basis of eosinophilic esophagitis; immunological mechanisms mediating genetic association with disease

    Biography

    For the past decade, many geneticists have approached genetic analysis with the idea that they simply need to increase statistical power by enlarging the sample size (e.g. ~100,000 person height GWAS) and assess enough loci in order to find the “genes” associated with a disease. Unfortunately, clinicians can do relatively little with this type of correlative genetic information. Dr. Kottyan recently lead a genome-wide association analysis of eosinophilic esophagitis in which they went beyond the identification of nine new risk loci and identified the molecular, tissue-specific mechanisms through which genetic variants at the CAPN14 locus increase risk of disease.

    During her post-doctoral fellowship, she optimized statistical modeling strategies using genetic data from large multi-ancestral cohorts to identify candidate genetic causal variants through complementary frequentist and Bayesian approaches. In genetic analysis, it is easy and even tempting to make a story out of a genetic variant that seems important. Using two types of statistical analyses on multiple cohorts of different ancestry helps to avoid the misplaced attribution of causality. Instead, Dr. Kottyan’s group develops a short list of variants that are most statistically likely to be causal before they start biological or functional analysis. Once identified, the group predicts and confirms biological phenotypes that are affected by the risk variants.

    Education and Training

    BA: Chemistry and Cell Biology, Huntingdon College, Montgomery, AL, 2005.

    PhD: Immunobiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2010.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Immunobiology of Peanut Allergy and its Treatment. Investigator. National Institutes of Health. July 2010-June 2015.

    Genetic Linkage in Lupus. Investigator. National Institutes of Health. July 1987-February 2015.

    Vincent A. Mukkada, MD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4415

    Email: vincent.mukkada@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders; pediatric feeding problems; general pediatric gastroenterology; celiac disease

    Education and Training

    BA: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1998.

    MD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2002.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Brown University / Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, RI, 2002-2005.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Colorado / Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver, CO, 2005-2008.

    Research Scholar: University of Colorado / Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver, CO, 2008-2009.

    Certifications: General Pediatrics, 2005; Pediatric Gastroenterology, 2009.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    A photo of Philip Putnam.

    Philip E. Putnam, MD
    Director, Endoscopy Services

    513-636-4415

    philip.putnam@cchmc.org

    Philip E. Putnam, MD

    Director, Endoscopy Services

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4415

    Fax: 513-636-7805

    Email: philip.putnam@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Eosinophilic enteritis; abdominal pain; gastroesophageal reflux; complex nutrition related to the GI tract; GI bleeding; inflammatory bowel disease; diarrhea and failure to thrive

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 1984.

    Residency: University of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1984-1987.

    Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1988-1991.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 1988; Pediatric Gastroenterology, 1995.

    A photo of Kimberly Risma.

    Kimberly A. Risma, MD, PhD
    Director, Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program

    513-636-6771

    kimberly.risma@cchmc.org

    Kimberly A. Risma, MD, PhD

    Director, Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6771

    Fax: 513-636-4615

    Email: kimberly.risma@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Immune deficiency; immune dysregulation

    Research Interests

    Pathophysiology of perforin missense mutations identified in individuals with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; molecular mechanisms of primary immune deficiency and dysregulation; natural killer cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte cytotoxicity

    Visit the Risma Lab website.

    Biography

    Kimberly Risma, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

    Dr. Risma graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Duke University in 1990 and was elected into The Phi Beta Kappa Society. She then matriculated at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). In 1996, she completed a PhD in pharmacology. She was selected by the leadership of the CWRU MSTP as the recipient of the 1997 Martin Wahl Memorial Fund Award, given annually to recognize the graduating MD, PhD student who has demonstrated the highest level of independence in research and excellence in research and clinical skills. She was also elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Society in 1997.

    In 1997, she enrolled in a Pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati.  During the residency program, Dr. Risma was awarded the pediatric resident teaching award by the medical students. She also engaged in translational research studies related to the genetics of asthma under the mentorship of Dr. Gurjit Hershey, resulting in a first author publication as a pediatric resident.

    In 2000, Dr. Risma was accepted to the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Cincinnati Children’s.  In addition to her clinical training, she pursued an innovative research project under the mentorship of Dr. Janos Sumegi and Dr. Alexandra Filipovich. She proposed a mechanism to study the structural and functional impact of perforin missense mutations identified in patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. In 2004 she was awarded the Nezelof Prize for best scientific presentation at the international meeting of the Histiocyte Society. The culmination of her fellowship research project was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2006.  

    Upon completion of her fellowship in 2005, Dr. Risma was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2006 Dr. Risma received a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Dr. Risma is the director of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program at Cincinnati Children's, having served in this leadership position since August of 2012.

    Dr. Risma's research program focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation in children, especially as it relates to disorders of lymphocyte cytotoxicity. In addition to her research, she sees patients from all around the country in consultation for primary immune deficiency, immune dysregulation, and allergic disorders.   

    Education and Training

    MD: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1997.

    PhD: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1996.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 1997-2000.

    Fellowship: Allergy / Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

    Certification: Pediatrics, 2007; Allergy and Immunology, 2005.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Joseph D. Sherrill, PhD

    Instructor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-0975

    Email: joseph.sherrill@cchmc.org

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    Biography

    Dr. Sherrill first joined the Division of Allergy and Immunology as a research fellow in Dr. Marc Rothenberg’s lab where he began dissecting the genetic contribution of epithelial-derived genes to the pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The central hypothesis of his studies is that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)s in epithelial-derived genes are contributory factors in the genetic and mechanistic development of EoE. His studies culminated in two first author publications in Nature Genetics and the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that identified EoE risk variants in the TSLP gene and its receptor. Dr. Sherrill is continuing to utilize his experience gained in modern genetic techniques (genome-wide association studies, exome sequencing, and RNA sequencing) and bioinformatics to investigate eosinophilic disease risk variants as the focus of his lab.

    Recognized as a promising junior faculty member, Dr. Sherrill has received a T32 training grant, the Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award and is a recipient of the NIH Loan Repayment Program as well as numerous travel awards from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders. Dr. Sherrill also received the top place award at the 2011 Digestive Health Center poster symposium for his work on desmoglein-1 in eosinophilic esophagitis. 

    Education and Training

    PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2008.

    Research Fellowship: Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children’s, Cincinnati, OH, 2008-2012.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Genetic dysregulation of desmoglein-1 enhances allergic sensitization in eosinophilic esophagitis. Principal Investigator. Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award. 2012.
    A photo of Nicole Zahka.

    Nicole E. Zahka, PhD
    Clinical Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    513-636-4336

    nicole.zahka@cchmc.org

    Nicole E. Zahka, PhD

    Clinical Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

    Phone: 513-636-4336

    Email: nicole.zahka@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Adjustment to chronic illness; adolescence; anxiety and related disorders; individual and family therapy; psychological assessment

    Education and Training

    PhD: University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, 2010.

    Fellowship: A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Clinical Care Staff

    A photo of Alison Cassin.

    Alison Cassin, MS, RD, LD
    Registered Dietitian, Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders

    513-636-1093

    alison.cassin@cchmc.org

    A photo of Leandre M. Gerwin.

    Leandre M. Gerwin, MA, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathologist II, Division of Speech-Language Pathology

    513-636-4341

    leandre.gerwin@cchmc.org


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    Erin A. Holbrook, MSW, LISW
    Social Worker II, Division of Social Services

    513-803-2558

    erin.holbrook@cchmc.org