Critical Care Medicine Research
Kaplan Lab

Kaplan Research Lab

Sepsis is a response to infection that can lead to a massive and dysregulated systemic inflammatory response resulting in multiple organ dysfunction and death. Although treatment with antibiotics treats the underlying infection, it does not reverse the cascade of signaling events activating the inflammatory responses. There are few interventional trials demonstrating clinical benefit in patients with sepsis. The Kaplan Laboratory is dedicated to understanding and treating the inflammatory responses in sepsis by using a basic, translational and clinical research approach.

Our research focuses on three main areas:

  1. The Role of PPAR gamma in Sepsis.
  2. The Increased Susceptibility of Diet-Induced Obesity to Sepsis.
  3. Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Pioglitazone in Pediatric Sepsis.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tang Girdwood, S; Tang, P; Fenchel, M; Dong, M; Stoneman, E; Jones, R; Ostermeier, A; Curry, C; Forton, M; Hail, T; et al. Pharmacokinetic parameters over time during sepsis and the association of target attainment and outcomes in critically ill children and young adults receiving ceftriaxone. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. 2023; 43:609-621.

Davis, X; Williamson, L; Stuck, J; Howell, K; Lahni, P; Piraino, G; Wolfe, V; Mukherjee, R; Sanchez-Gurmaches, J; Zingarelli, B; et al. SEX-DEPENDENT EFFECTS OF ADIPOCYTE STAT3 INHIBITION ON THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE DURING SEVERE SEPSIS. Shock. 2023; 59:779-790.


Girdwood, ST; Hasson, D; Caldwell, JT; Slagle, C; Dong, S; Fei, L; Tang, P; Vinks, AA; Kaplan, J; Goldstein, SL. Relationship between piperacillin concentrations, clinical factors and piperacillin/tazobactam-associated acute kidney injury. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2023; 78:478-487.

Pavia, K; Girdwood, ST; Paice, K; Jones, R; Curry, C; Stoneman, E; Yunger, T; Gamel, N; Gibson, A; Dong, M; et al. 610: RENAL IMPAIRMENT IS ASSOCIATED WITH HIGH CEFEPIME CONCENTRATIONS IN CRITICALLY ILL CHILDREN. Critical Care Medicine. 2023; 51:294.

Paice, K; Girdwood, ST; Pavia, K; Mizuno, T; Tang, P; Curry, C; Gibson, A; Jones, R; Stoneman, E; Yunger, T; et al. 38: CRITICALLY ILL CHILDREN WITH SEVERE SEPSIS OFTEN HAVE SUB-TARGET MEROPENEM LEVELS EARLY IN THERAPY. Critical Care Medicine. 2023; 51:19.

Tang Girdwood, S; Pavia, K; Paice, K; Hambrick, HR; Kaplan, J; Vinks, AA. β-lactam precision dosing in critically ill children: Current state and knowledge gaps. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2022; 13:1044683.

Girdwood, ST; Dong, M; Tang, P; Stoneman, E; Jones, R; Yunger, T; Ostermeier, A; Curry, C; Forton, M; Hail, T; et al. Population Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Total and Free Ceftriaxone in Critically Ill Children and Young Adults and Monte Carlo Simulations Support Twice Daily Dosing for Target Attainment. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2022; 66:e0142721.

Li, C; Davis, X; Lahni, P; Stuck, J; Williamson, L; Kaplan, J. Obesity protects against sepsis-induced and norepinephrine-induced white adipose tissue browning. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2021; 321:E433-E442.

Tang Girdwood, SC; Tang, PH; Murphy, ME; Chamberlain, AR; Benken, LA; Jones, RL; Stoneman, EM; Kaplan, JM; Vinks, AA. Demonstrating Feasibility of an Opportunistic Sampling Approach for Pharmacokinetic Studies of β-Lactam Antibiotics in Critically Ill Children. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2021; 61:565-573.

Girdwood, ST; Kaplan, J; Vinks, AA. Methodologic Progress Note: Opportunistic Sampling for Pharmacology Studies in Hospitalized Children. Journal of hospital medicine (Online). 2021; 16:35-37.

Girdwood, ST; Arbough, T; Dong, M; Mizuno, T; Tang, P; Vinks, AA; Kaplan, J. Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System Therapy with Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Enhanced Clearance of Piperacillin in a Pediatric Patient and Led to Failure to Attain Pharmacodynamic Targets. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. 2020; 40:1061-1068.

Girdwood, SC T; Murphy, ME; Kaplan, JM. The need to balance basic and clinical research with the safety of the research environment and personnel in the time of COVID-19 in the United States. Current Medical Research and Opinion. 2020; 36:1629-1631.

Ayalon, I; Woo, JG; Basu, RK; Kaddourah, A; Goldstein, SL; Kaplan, JM; Investigators, AW A R E. Weight as a Risk Factor for Mortality in Critically Ill Patients. Pediatrics. 2020; 146:e20192829.

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

Arbough, T; Girdwood, ST; Mizuno, T; Tang, P; Vinks, S; Kaplan, J. 840: MOLECULAR ADSORBENT RECIRCULATING SYSTEM ALTERS PIPERACILLIN CLEARANCE IN PEDIATRIC LIVER FAILURE. Critical Care Medicine. 2020; 48:400.

Ayalon, I; Friedman, S; Binenbaum, Y; Oppenheimer, N; Shiran, S; Grisaru-Soen, G; Uliel-Sibony, S; Glatstein, M; Kaplan, JM; Sadot, E. A Case of Methotrexate Neurotoxicity Presented as Status Epilepticus, Encephalopathy, and High Fever. Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports. 2019; 7:2324709619862311.

Contact Us

A photo of Jennifer M. Kaplan, MD, MS.

Jennifer M. Kaplan, MD, MS
Division of Critical Care Medicine
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Mailing Address:
3333 Burnet Avenue
MLC 2005
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

Phone: 513-636-4259
Fax: 513-636-4267

Administrative assistant:
Stephanie Parr