HONORS

David Cooper, MD, MPH, Chief Safety Officer, Heart Institute,
has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS). Cooper also serves as the society’s associate treasurer.

Gurjit (Neeru) Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Asthma Research,
has been awarded the 2015 World Allergy Organization (WAO) Scientific Achievement Award. The WAO is an umbrella organization that includes 95 allergy and immunology societies from around the world. The honor was presented in October at the XXIV World Allergy Congress in Seoul, Korea. Hershey also presented a keynote lecture at the congress about the Ohio Pediatric Asthma Repository Collaborative.

David Moore, PhD, Director, Communication Sciences Research Center,
received the 2015 Career Award in Hearing from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). The distinguished auditory neuroscientist has conducted pioneering work on auditory processing disorder (APD) in children. Moore also founded MindWeavers PLC, which creates auditory learning experiences, and won the George Davey Howells Prize of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2010 for editing the Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science.

Rita Pickler, PhD, RN, Research in Patient Services,
was appointed in April 2015 to the science committee of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science.

Wendy Pomerantz, MD, FAAP, Co-Director, Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center,
was voted president-elect of the national Injury Free Coalition for Kids. Pomerantz also is a member of the Ohio Emergency Medical Services Board, an executive board member of the National AAP Section on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention Committee, a member of the Ohio AAP Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention, the American Red Cross Medical Assistance Team and the Greater Cincinnati Safe Kids Coalition.

Amy Shah, MD, MS, Endocrinology,
received the Young Investigator Award from the National Lipid Association at its annual meeting held in June in Chicago.

Sandra Staveski, PhD, RN, Research in Patient Services,
has been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS). This is the first time PCICS has included nurses as full-fledged board members. Staveski has also been elected as the first Executive Vice President of Nursing for PCICS and will serve as the first nurse President of PCICS next year.

Ian Windmill, PhD, Clinical Director, Division of Audiology,
has been named 2015-16 president-elect of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA).

 

Cincinnati Children’s,
Received the annual Dr. Frank Dono Best Practice Award from the Ohio Patient Safety Institute in recognition of a hospital-wide quality improvement project that reduced central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) by 70 percent in the last six months of 2014. 
Cincinnati Children’s received the annual Dr. Frank Dono Best Practice Award.

Von Allmen Becomes Surgeon-in-Chief

Daniel von Allmen, MD, was appointed in July 2015 as Surgeon-in-Chief at Cincinnati Children’s. He succeeds Richard Azizkhan, MD, who has become president and CEO of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.

Von Allmen earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont. He performed two years of clinical work and two years of research during his surgical internship and residency at the University of Cincinnati, and completed a pediatric surgery fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s.

Von Allmen served in faculty positions at the University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill and then at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He returned to North Carolina as division director and surgeon-in-chief at North Carolina’s Children’s Hospital, then moved back to Cincinnati in 2010 to direct the Division of Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s.

In his new role, von Allmen will oversee the technical and clinical operations of surgical services, including perioperative services, while providing institutional leadership in strategic, operational and programmatic planning.

Daniel von Allmen, MD.

Bezerra Named Director of Gastroenterology

Jorge Bezerra, MD, was selected earlier this year as the new Director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s. In this role, he will oversee well-funded research programs, state-of-the-art clinical centers, 32 physicians and eight PhDs.

Bezerra earned his medical degree from the Federal University Rio Grande Norte in Brazil, and completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of Arizona. He joined Cincinnati Children’s in 1990, initially as a fellow.

“My goal is to build on our tradition of providing the best possible care for children with digestive disease,” Bezerra says. “This will mean continually improving our existing models of care, pursuing research that increases our knowledge so that we can design new prevention and treatment strategies, and training future GI specialists through our fellowship program.”

In addition to his role as Division Director, Bezerra is Medical Director of the Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Liver Care Center and maintains an active research career. He serves as an associate editor for the medical journal, Hepatology, and he has authored more than 114 peer-reviewed publications and 41 book chapters on topics including molecular control of biliary atresia, the genetic basis of liver disease and tissue engineering.

Bezerra succeeds Mitchell Cohen, MD, who has become Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and Physician-In-Chief of Children’s of Alabama.

Jorge Bezerra, MD.

GRANTS

David Bernstein, MD, MA,
Infectious Diseases, was awarded a four-year, $13 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his role in a nationwide group of institutions that conducts clinical trials of promising candidate vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases.

Jorge Bezerra, MD,
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, will use a two-year, $4.3 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for his role with the Digestive Health Center: Bench to Bedside Research in Pediatrics.

Frank Biro, MD,
Adolescent and Transition Medicine, received a two-year, $4 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study environmental epigenetics.

Patrick Brady, MD, MSc,
Hospital Medicine, was awarded a five-year, $1 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study family-physician partnerships to improve child safety.

Jose Cancelas-Perez, MD, PhD,
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, will use a four-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences to study the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor in severe congenital neutropenia.

Robert Coghill, PhD,
Anesthesia, received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study brain mechanisms supporting individual differences in pain.

James Cnota, MD,
Heart Institute, will use a two-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for his work with the Pediatric Heart Network Prairieland Consortium, a collaborative effort between Cincinnati Children’s and the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Stella Davies, MBBS, PhD,
Bone Marrow Transplantation, will use a one-year, $1.8 million award from Novartis Pharmaceuticals to study the efficacy and safety of its CTL019 personalized cell therapy in patients with relapsed and refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Lee Denson, MD,
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for training in pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Senad Divanovic, PhD,
Immunobiology, will study the immunopathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD,
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences to study the molecular regulation of neutrophil transcellular migration. She also received a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal.

Brian Gebelein, PhD,
Developmental Biology, received a two-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences to study the control mechanisms of cell-specific EGF signaling during development.

James Greenberg, MD,
Perinatal Institute, will use a four-year, $3.8 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration for his role with Healthy Start Cincinnati, an initiative to reduce infant mortality.

Lee Grimes, PhD,
Immunobiology, received a four-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study the mechanisms of granulocyte homeostasis.

Alan Jobe, MD, PhD,
Perinatal Biology, received a two-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Research Institute for Child Health and Development to study the initiation and progression of pre-term lung injury.

Simon Hogan, PhD,
Division of Allergy and Immunology, will use a five-year $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study food allergy and the passages of goblet cell antigen.

Kevin Hommel, PhD,
Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, received a two-year, $1 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study improvements in treatment adherence.

Bin Huang, PhD,
Biostatistics and Epidemiology, has been awarded a three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study patient centered adaptive treatment strategies using Bayesian causal inference.

Kakajan Komurov, PhD,
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, earned a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study proteotoxic stress in therapy-refractory HER2+ cancers.

Vladimir Kalinichenko, MD, PhD,
Pulmonary Biology, will study the Foxf1 transcription factor in the development of pulmonary capillaries with a four-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Jane Khoury, PhD,
Biostatics and Epidemiology, was awarded a two-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study recanalization therapies.

Xinhua Lin, PhD,
Developmental Biology, will study molecular mechanisms regulating intestinal stem cells with a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences.

Peter Margolis, MD, PhD,
James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, received a one-year, $1.4 million grant from ImproveCareNow, Inc., to advance the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

Punam Malik, MD,
Experimental Hematology & Cancer Biology, was awarded a three-year, $8.9 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for her work on sickle cell disease with the Cincinnati Center of Excellence in Hemoglobinopathies Research.

Doug Millay, PhD,
Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, will study the mechanisms of myoblast fusion with a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Stephen Muething, MD,
Hospital Medicine, will use a five-year, $2.9 million grant from Ohio Children’s Hospitals for his work with Solutions for Patient Safety,  a network of more than 80 pediatric hospitals in the U.S.

Lou Muglia, MD, PhD,
Perinatal Institute, received a two-year, $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for approaches in systems biology to birth-timing and preterm birth.

Anjaparavanda Naren, PhD,
Pulmonary Medicine, received a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study LPA2 receptor-containing complexes.

Dao Pan, PhD,
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, will study treatment of Gaucher disease, a neurodegenerative disease in which fatty substances accumulate in cells and organs, using a three-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Jeffrey Robbins, PhD,
Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, will study the signaling processes underlying cardiovascular function with a three-year, $8.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Mary Allen Staat, MD, MPH,
Infectious Diseases, will study enhanced surveillance of new vaccines for preventable diseases with a one-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Elaine Urbina, MD, MS,
Preventive Cardiology, received a four-year, $3.7 million grant from the American Heart Association to help create a Strategically Focused Research Network Center, which will focus on how blood pressure levels lead to damage of the heart, kidney, arteries and brain in adolescents.

Stephen Waggoner, PhD,
Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology, received a four-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study a revolutionary approach to an efficacious HIV vaccine.

Shari Wade, PhD,
Rehabilitation Medicine, will study methods of effective caregiver communication after adolescent traumatic brain injury, using a three-year, $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Stephanie Ware, MD, PhD,
Human Genetics, will study genotype-phenotype associations in pediatric cardiomyopathy, using a two-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Yutaka Yoshida, PhD,
Developmental Biology, will study synapse elimination in the central nervous system with a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Margaret Zeller, PhD,
Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, received a four-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study the psychosocial risks of adolescent bariatric surgery.

Yi Zheng, PhD,
Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the targeting of Cdc42, a novel target in stem cells, for bone marrow transplantation. He also received a one-year, $4 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for his work with the Cincinnati Center For Excellence In Molecular Hematology, and a one-year, $1.7 million award from the National Institute on Aging to study lineage determination and tissue homeostasis.


Nine Projects Win Innovation Funding

Cincinnati Children’s has selected nine early-stage research projects with commercialization potential to receive bridge funding from two special programs.

Seven recipients have been selected for the fourth annual round of support from the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund. Two other projects are receiving funding through the new Alexion Rare Disease Innovation Fund, a collaboration between Cincinnati Children’s and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Submissions were reviewed by the Innovation Fund Advisory Committee, which includes leaders from Cincinnati Children’s, Alexion, and local entrepreneurs. 

2015 CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S INNOVATION FUND RECIPIENTS
  • Human Assisted Needle Delivery System
    Daniel von Allmen, MD; Surgeon-in-Chief, Cincinnati Children’s
  • Model of Human Intestine
    Michael Helmrath, MD, MS; Surgical Director, Intestinal Rehabilitation Program; Director of Surgical Research
  • Novel Systems Pharmacology Platform for Individualized Morphine Treatment in Neonates
    Alexander Vinks, PharmD, PhD, FCP; Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology; Scientific Director, Pharmacy Research, Research in Patient Services
  • Genetic Prediction Tool for Thrombotic Microangiopathy
    Sonata Jodele, MD; Division of Bone Marrow Transplantation & Immune Deficiency
  • School Based Neuropsychiatric Point-of-Care Using Speech-to-Signal Processing to Identify Suicidal Behavior
    John Pestian, PhD, MBA; Director, Computational Medicine Center
2015 ALEXION RARE DISEASE INNOVATION FUND RECIPIENTS
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy in Patients with a Growth Failure Disorder
    Andrew Dauber, MD, MMSc; Program Director and Director of Translational Research, Cincinnati Center for Growth Disorders
  • Controlling Inflammation in Gaucher Disease
    Manoj Pandey, PhD; Division of Human Genetics