September 2020 Department of Pediatrics NewsletterSep 9, 2020
Dear Faculty and Friends,
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long Labor Day holiday weekend and find the time to connect with family and friends. As we persist in navigating the turbulent waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to thank all the Department’s faculty, staff and trainees who are contributing to our financial recovery efforts. While these remain challenging times for many, there continues to be much for us to celebrate as a Department. Here are some of the most recent accomplishments and highlights from across the DOP.
Macy Elected to ANRA Advisory Board
Margaret “Meg” Macy, MD (Associate Professor, Section of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation) has been elected to the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association (ANRA) North America/South America Regional Advisory Board. Dr. Macy’s selection comes in recognition of her international expertise in the fields of drug development, neuroblastoma, sarcoma and brain tumors. Congratulations, Meg!
Nokoff Awarded NIH Research Career Development Award
Natalie Nokoff, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Endocrinology) has been awarded a 5-year, $944,000 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23-HL151868) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr. Nokoff’s project titled, “Pubertal Blockade and Estradiol Effects on Cardiometabolic Health for Transitioning Youth (PUBERTY),” aims to evaluate the impact of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa) and estradiol on vascular function and insulin sensitivity among transgender females. Nearly 2 percent of youth in the United States identify as transgender, and many seek treatment to block unwanted secondary sex characteristics and later start gender-affirming hormone treatments so that their body aligns with their identity. The effects of these treatments on cardiovascular health and diabetes risk are significantly understudied in adults and adolescents. In Dr. Nokoff’s longitudinal, observational study, she will investigate the effects of puberty blockers and estradiol on insulin resistance and vascular health in adolescent transgender females.
Suh Among First Graduates of APA Scholars Program
Congratulations to Christina Suh, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of General Pediatrics) who has completed the first cohort of the Academic Pediatric Association’s Quality and Safety Improvement Scholars Program. QSIS is a three-year faculty development program designed to help APA members enhance their academic credentials in the area of quality and safety improvement science. As part of Dr. Suh’s training, she developed a scholarly project titled, “Integrating behavioral health care for adolescents into a busy pediatric primary care clinic.”
APA Names Cason-Wilkerson 2020 RAPID Scholar
Rochelle Cason-Wilkerson, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor, Section of Nutrition) has been selected by the Academic Pediatric Association as a Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID) Scholar. As a RAPID Scholar, Dr. Cason-Wilkerson will receive a one-year, $15,000 grant to advance her research project titled, “Adverse Childhood and Family Events in Preschoolers: Is There an Association with Obesity?” Congratulations, Dr. Cason-Wilkerson!
CHCO Research Institute Awards COVID-19 Funding
The Children’s Hospital Colorado Research Institute has awarded three, $75,000 grants focused on studying effects of COVID-19 in children. From a pool of 16 applications, the three funded projects are:
“Effect of Vaping on COVID-19 Infection”, Principal Investigator, Carl White, MD (Professor, Section of Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine). Dr. White’s project will explore the effect of vaping and nicotine in hamsters that are susceptible to COVID-19 to see if this changes their lung ACE2 expression and/or worsens their disease due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This model will be used to clarify the importance of vaping-induced lung injury on ACE2 expression and subsequent SARS2 infection and pathogenesis.
“Children with COVID-19 in Colorado: Evaluating Risk Factors for Severe Disease and Ethnic Disparities (The CCC Study)”, Co-Principal Investigators, Lisa Abuogi, MD, MS (Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases) and Christiana Smith-Anderson, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases). In this study, Drs. Abuogi and Smith-Anderson seek to gain an understanding of the epidemiology, demographics, and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 among children in Colorado. In collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), the co-Investigators have launched the only comprehensive pediatric database including all children and young adults diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 in Colorado since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will use findings from their study to both contribute to an understanding of COVID-19 epidemiology in children and to help providers recognize patients who are at higher risk of severe disease and who may require resource utilization for potential early intervention.
“Age Related Airway Host Factors Associated with COVID-19 Disease”, Principal Investigator, Peter Mourani, MD (Professor, Section of Critical Care). Dr. Mourani’s study will utilize combined host/microbe metagenomic next generation sequencing (mNGS) or respiratory specimens to address the outstanding question of how age impacts COVID-19 predisposition and disease severity. This will be among the first studies to investigate the differential response between asymptomatic carriage and symptomatic disease with SARS-CoV-2 in children and to compare the virus-host interaction between children and adults. Understanding the host responses that protect most children from severe disease and that render many adults and some children more vulnerable can inform novel prevention and treatment approaches.
The Family Planning (BC4U) leadership team would like to recognize Katherine “Katie” Leonard, FNP-BC (Instructor, Section of Adolescent Medicine). “Katie goes above and beyond for our patients on a daily basis. She is constantly taking calls at the last hour, problem solving things that may affect our patients, being so incredibly helpful and supportive to the support staff and talks to our patients in the most supportive and earnest way possible. This has been a very weird and stressful time for everyone, both personally and professionally, and despite that Katie manages to bend over backward every day to make sure that we meet our patients where they are at. It is such an honor to work with her, and while I know everyone at BC4U knows how wonderful she is, I think it is also important to say it out loud, because she honestly brings such a bright light to the program and to our patients.” Thank you, Katie!
5280 Top Doctors
Once again, the Department of Pediatrics dominated the listing of specialty pediatricians honored by 5280 Magazine as among the Denver areas Top Doctors. Kudos to all of those who have earned this recognition from their peers in the physician community.
St. Geme Symposium (September 10) and Lectureship (September 11)
A reminder to all to please tune in to the St. Geme Symposium this Thursday (September 10) from 2 - 4 p.m. to hear about the exciting research work being done by faculty and trainees in the Section of Developmental Biology. View symposium flyer. Zoom link: https://ucdenver.zoom.us/j/92140407653
Then on Friday (September 11) from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., please join Pediatric Grant Rounds for the 34th Annual Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD Lectureship and presentation of the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD Medical Student Award. Virtual Lecture Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/293160798
This year’s Lectureship will feature Nancy Bonini, PhD, the Florence R.C. Murray Professor of Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her talk is titled, “Insight into Neurodegenerative Disease from Drosophila.” This presentation will describe how a powerful genetic model organism like Drosophila can be used to study questions critical to human brain integrity and resilience from neurodegenerative disease. View program flyer
The Medical Student Award is presented to a deserving 4th year medical student who has demonstrated outstanding research with a mentor and who is interested pursuing a career in academic pediatrics. Caroline Rowlands, MD will present the award to Josten R. Overall, MSIV, (2021 MPH candidate).
Faculty Affairs Updates
2020 DOP New Faculty Orientation
The DOP held its first remote 2020 New Faculty Orientation on August 5. Topics ranged from a general DOP overview, CHCO, finance, wellness resources, to clinical and research. The event was well received.
DOP Focus Groups
DOP Faculty Affairs, in collaboration with CHCO Director of Provider Wellness Jenny Reese, MD, conducted a series of DOP faculty focus groups in August to explore the impacts of COVID-19 on caring for dependents, back to school challenges, and the additional support faculty require. We obtained invaluable feedback, are analyzing themes and suggestions, and are exploring options to best support faculty moving forward. We will release a detailed report soon to section heads and all our faculty.
Faculty Interest Groups
PRiSM Perplexity? How to Use PRiSM to Your Advantage
September 28, 2020
1:40 – 3:00
Register for this Zoom event by September 23rd.
Join the Junior, PhD, and Instructor Faculty Interest Groups for an educational event on tailoring PRiSM to your specific career.
Tailoring Your PRiSM Routing, Software Overview, Q & A
Justin Lotspeich, MA, Faculty Affairs Coordinator, DOP PRiSM Liaison
Breakout: Tailoring PRiSM for Clinical Faculty
Andrew Sirotnak, MD, Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs
Breakout: Tailoring PRiSM for Promotion-track Junior Faculty
Nancy Krebs, MD, Associate Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
Breakout: Tailoring PRiSM for Research Faculty
Janet Snell-Bergeon, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Barbara Davis Center
Jill Kaar, PhD, Associate Professor, Endocrinology
PhD Faculty Interest Group Managing Remote Teams
September 29, 2020
Register for this event by September 25th.
Join PhDFIG for an interactive career-development event facilitated by CU HR that will discuss the challenges of managing teams remotely and strategies to minimize those challenges. Registration is capped at 30 people on a first-come basis due to the interactive nature of the event.
Well-Being and Resilience
If you are looking for ways to improve your individual resilience and well-being, consider taking the Flourish course. The course is currently offered via Zoom. To enroll, or if you have questions, email Jenny Reese, MD, at email@example.com.
Please take Session 1 course before Session 2.
Session 1 (Modules 1 & 2) 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (sign up for one session)
Session 2 (Modules 3 & 4) 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (sign up for one session)
For these and other exciting Department of Pediatrics news stories, please visit our Pediatrics News web page.
Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics | University of Colorado School of Medicine
Pediatrician-in-Chief | Children’s Hospital Colorado