A photo of Jennifer Kaplan.

Jennifer Kaplan, MD, MS

  • Director, Clinical Research
  • Attending Physician, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My work in pediatric critical care medicine has inspired me and has influenced my research interests to assist critically ill children. For instance, I became more determined to learn why one child is more likely to contract an infection and become critically ill while another child has mild symptoms. Sepsis is a serious medical condition that occurs when the body responds to an infection. This response occurs when the body releases chemicals into the body to fight the infection. However, if this response is out of balance, sepsis occurs and leads to fluctuations that can harm numerous organ systems. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition, which is why research related to this condition is vital for saving lives. I continue to advance my research in sepsis because there are very few clinical treatments that improve outcomes in children with significant infections and sepsis.

Pediatric obesity is also growing into a major issue for children worldwide since it leads to a variety of health problems. In my research lab, my team and I are analyzing and attempting to better understand how issues such as obesity affect outcomes during sepsis. We are also trying to learn more about the role of adipose tissue in sepsis and its molecular features.

Other research interests include clinical pharmacology. My team and I are optimizing precision dosing of medications to improve clinical treatment for life-threatening illnesses.

Some of my achievements include being selected as Program Chair of the national meeting of the Shock Society, which supports relevant research of trauma, shock and sepsis. I’m a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipient and participate in NIH study sections.

My research has been published in respected journals such as The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Obesity, Shock and the Journal of Critical Care.

MS: Epidemiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

MD: University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.

BA: Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

Fellowship: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Residency: Pediatrics, Orlando Regional Healthcare, Orlando, FL.

Certification: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Pediatrics.


Sepsis; obesity; clinical pharmacology; trauma

Services and Specialties

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit PICU

Research Areas

Critical Care



Route of Oseltamivir Administration Affects Metabolite Concentrations in Critically Ill Children. Tang Girdwood, SC; Mizuno, T; Krallman, KA; Benken, LA; Stoneman, EM; Yunger, TM; Wong, HR; Vinks, AA; Kaplan, JM. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2020; 38:1224-1227.


Phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetic study on the use of pioglitazone in critically ill patients with sepsis: a randomized clinical trial. Kaplan, JM; Zingarelli, B; Krallman, K; Girdwood, ST; Lagory, D; Mizuno, T; Fei, L; Wong, HR; Vinks, AA. Intensive Care Medicine. 2018; 44:2006-2008.


Sepsis Induces Adipose Tissue Browning in Nonobese Mice But Not in Obese Mice. Ayalon, I; Shen, H; Williamson, L; Stringer, K; Zingarelli, B; Kaplan, JM. Shock. 2018; 50:557-564.


High fat diet-induced obesity increases myocardial injury and alters cardiac STAT3 signaling in mice after polymicrobial sepsis. DeMartini, T; Nowell, M; James, J; Williarnson, L; Lahni, P; Shen, H; Kaplan, JM. BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-MOLECULAR BASIS OF DISEASE. 2017; 1863:2654-2660.


Obesity enhances sepsis-induced liver inflammation and injury in mice. Kaplan, JM; Nowell, M; Lahni, P; Shen, H; Shanmukhappa, SK; Zingarelli, B. Obesity. 2016; 24:1480-1488.


Higher-volume hypertonic saline and increased thrombotic risk in pediatric traumatic brain injury. Webster, DL; Fei, L; Falcone, RA; Kaplan, J. Journal of Critical Care. 2015; 30:1267-1271.


Pioglitazone reduces inflammation through inhibition of NF-κB in polymicrobial sepsis. Kaplan, J; Nowell, M; Chima, R; Zingarelli, B. Innate Immunity. 2014; 20:519-528.


Short-term high fat feeding increases organ injury and mortality after polymicrobial sepsis. Kaplan, JM; Nowell, M; Lahni, P; O'Connor, MP; Hake, PW; Zingarelli, B. Obesity. 2012; 20:1995-2002.


Biomarker discovery and development in pediatric critical care medicine. Kaplan, JM; Wong, HR. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2011; 12:165-173.


Changes in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma activity in children with septic shock. Kaplan, JM; Denenberg, A; Monaco, M; Nowell, M; Wong, H; Zingarelli, B. Intensive Care Medicine. 2010; 36:123-130.

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