I specialize in infectious diseases, international adoption and travel medicine. As a physician, I have a desire to help prevent, treat and cure infections in children. Dr. Arthur Frank, a preventive medicine specialist, inspired me to consider public health as a career. Drs. Larry Pickering and Ralph Feigin encouraged me to provide clinical care and pursue research in pediatrics.
My research involves the epidemiology of contagions in children. For instance, I am very interested in learning when children are infected with certain pathogens, how the infection impacts them, and how their immune system responds to it. To uncover answers to our questions, we perform surveillance and cohort studies in mothers and babies.
Our research goals are to better understand and identify the immune response to the flu in babies who were exposed to influenza for the first time either from a natural infection or from the flu vaccine. By understanding this response, we hope to develop a universal influenza vaccine.
I thought we only had part of the story with certain pathogens and that we only knew the typical presentation or researched the children with the most relentless symptoms. I was curious to answer these questions: Why do some children get an infection and have mild symptoms, while others may die from that same infection? Why do some children have a good response to a vaccine and others do not? I wanted to get the whole story via my research studies.
My colleagues and I are thankful for families who participate in our studies and help us learn how to prevent infections in the future. We are truly passionate about the research we are pursuing.
Our team has been awarded a large Cooperative Agreement grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assess influenza in a maternal infant cohort in Cincinnati and Mexico City. Also, I was named Kulkarni Endowed Chair of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
My research has been published in various respected journals, including American Journal of Infection Control, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics International, and Pediatric Blood and Cancer.