Pediatrics Research

Pediatric Research Colloquium

Saint Louis University Department of Pediatrics' Pediatric Research Colloquium  meets every second and fourth Tuesday from 12:15-1 p.m. in the Husmann Room. Learn what fellow faculty members are doing in academics and present research projects (finished, just starting, or even well thought out ideas/hypotheses) in an informal collegial way.

Contact Lisa McNeil at mcneillm@slu.edu for further information or if you are interested in presenting at the Pediatric Research Colloquium.

Faculty Research Interests 

Ayoob Ali M.D., MPD, MBA, CPE
Dr. Ali is currently working on a neonatal laryngeal mask airway (NLMA) device to be used in premature and term infants for neonatal resuscitation or establishing difficult airway in neonates. The device can also be used as a non-invasive way to administer surfactant without endotracheal intubation. Currently, there is no other device available to administer surfactant into premature neonates without endotracheal intubation.
Stephen R. Braddock, M.D.

Dr. Braddock's research interests and goals are to investigate the prevalence of, consequences (including dysmorphology and longitudinal variation) of prenatal teratogen exposures and birth defects.

Matthew A. Broom, M.D.

Dr. Broom's current research is focused on: 

  • Improving medical education, specifically related to improving provider-patient communication and the teaching of professionalism.
  • Broadening ways to embrace technology (e.g. text messaging) in medical education and patient care.
  • Improving the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression within the pediatric clinic environment.
Marianne Dunstan M.D.
Dr. Dunstan's research interests include medical/nutritional issues within juvenile justice programs. She is currently advising an RD graduate student studying nutrition in juvenile jail settings.
Robert E. Fleming, M.D. 
Dr. Fleming's laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular and systemic iron metabolism, primarily using cell culture and genetically manipulated murine model systems. These investigations include examining the potential for exogenous transferrin to modify certain inflammatory conditions, iron overload states (hemochromatosis), and iron-loading anemias (e.g., thalassemia).
Robert Flood, M.D. 
As director of the Division of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Flood helps oversee all of the research in the division. His personal research interests include: 
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Acute reactive airway disease
  • Wound care
  • Trauma care
  • Emergency department flow/quality assurance/quality improvement
Jeremy S. Garrett, M.D. 
Dr. Garrett's research interests include simulation as a tool for both medical learning and building a highly efficient medical team. He is also interested in the use of innovative game format for medical learning. Previous basic science research interests in production and release of cellular growth factors in the pathogenesis of and recovery from critical illness.
James M. Gerard, M.D. 
Dr. Gerard's research interests include studying the use of simulation to train physicians in cognitive and psychomotor pediatric emergency medicine skills. He is beginning an ONR-funded project to develop and validate a virtual pediatric simulator to train physicians on high-stakes pediatric emergency medicine scenarios.
Donna R. Halloran, M.D., MSPH

Dr. Halloran is interested in the effects of pregnancy on infant and child health whether it is obesity in pregnancy or late preterm delivery. She uses birth certificates and insurance claims data to assess outcomes.

Research Website

Meg Hefner, M.S.

 We have developed CHARGE Syndrome Clinical Database Project (CSCDP), an extensive clinical database within Qualtrics (a SLU-contracted survey tool). Parents or adults with CHARGE syndrome can enter data in the 12 sections of clinical information via a web-based survey tool. We intend to collect as much information as possible on a very large cohort for local "data mining" and as an adjunct to others researching CHARGE syndrome. Provisions are in place to share data with other researchers.

Noah Hillman, M.D. 

Dr. Hillman is interested in ventilator-induced lung injury and the progression of inflammation and injury toward bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants. The focus of his current work is to evaluate the biochemical processes and signaling pathway activated by the initiation of ventilation at birth and developing ways to decrease this injury. He use preterm lamb models to evaluate modes of ventilation and lung injury.

Ajay Kumar Jain, M.D., 

Dr. Jain's research interests include pediatric liver diseases. He am part of several multicenter trials relating to pediatric liver diseases. He has a special interest in TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) associated liver disease and am looking at gene targets and novel molecules that would help in the amelioration of a potentially fatal complication of a life-saving therapy.

Marta Ania King, M.D., MED

Dr. King's hospital pediatrics areas of focus are GJ outcomes in neurologically impaired children, and inpatient identification and management of obesity. She is currently working on developing scholarly activities in the area of medical education with a focus on clinical reasoning.

Joyce Koenig, M.D.

Neonatal inflammation and immunity: Premature neonates are particularly prone to hyper-inflammatory responses that can lead to chronic inflammatory disorders in critical organs, including the brain, eyes, lungs and intestines. Our goal is to understand how neutrophils, alone and in their interactions with other immune cells, direct inflammatory responses in neonates. To achieve this, our studies are focused on in vitro and in vivo studies of human preterm and term neonates and neonatal mice. Neonatal neutrophil function & production: Neonates have increased susceptibility to the development of neutropenia, defined as subnormal numbers of circulating neutrophils. Studies to better understand the mechanisms that regulate neutrophil production and survival in neonates are primarily focused on two conditions commonly associated with neutropenia: preeclampsia (a pregnancy disorder associated with neonatal neutropenia) and neonatal sepsis.

Timothy J Kutz, M.D.

Dr. Kutz's research interests include: diagnostic imaging (decreasing radiation, role of fetal Hg), abuse prevention, medical needs of children in foster care/out of home care.

Jennifer S. Ladage, M.D.

Dr. Ladage's goal is to develop a clinic to provide comprehensive medical services for refugee children entering St. Louis which will include initial screening as well as long term primary care. The clinic will also provide a longitudinal academic experience for SLU medical students pursuing distinction in global health care or service. In addition, she has an interest in the impact of early trauma on social/emotional development and attachment in children adopted internationally.

Lia Lowrie, M.D.

Dr. Lowrie is interested in researching PICU outcomes, as well as pediatric sedation outcomes, processes and quality.

Adriana Maria Montaño, Ph.D.

Dr. Montaño's research interests include the development of registry and growth charts for patients with MPS IVA; development of bone targeting system for mucopolysaccharides; enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) pre-clinical trial for patients affected with MPS IVA; metabolism for keratan sulfate; substrate reduction therapy for mucopolysaccharidoses; gene therapy in Morquio A disease; studies on chondroitin sulfate metabolism; characterization of hyaluronidases; molecular evolution of glycosaminoglycans; molecular evolution of peptidoglycan receptor proteins (PGRP) and innate immunity.

Susan Myers, M.D.

Dr. Myers' research has mainly been growth hormone studies in subjects of all ages with Prader-Willi syndrome. She has also done some diabetes research, and is currently a study evaluating the transition process for adolescents.

Albert Nakanishi, M.D.

Dr. Nakanishi is currently involved in a retrospective study on the efficacy and safety of an ED migraine protocol a prospective ED study of IV valproic acid in status migrainous in children a prospective study of hylenex in the treatment of dehydration in very young children (<2 years of age).

Blakeslee E. Noyes, M.D.

Dr. Noyes is currently involved in clinical trials in cystic fibrosis, newborn screening for CF, and vocal cord dysfunction in adolescents and college athletes.

Robert S. Ream, M.D.

Robert S. Ream's current research focuses on describing contemporary practice in pediatric organ donor management across the 58 US organ procurement organizations. This intense period of clinical management typically extends from the declaration of brain death to the recovery of organs in the operating room. The ultimate goal is to determine which aspects of donor management are associated with a greater number of organs donated per donor and improved post transplant organ function. Important liaisons include Mid-America Transplant Services (MTS), the Organ Donation Research Consortium (ODRC) and the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO).

Farouk Sadiq, M.D.

Dr. Sadiq's research interests include melatonin use in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

Heidi M. Sallee, M.D.

Dr. Sallee's research interests include medical education, parenting and child safety.

Anthony J. Scalzo, M.D.

Dr. Scalzo's current research interests include studying the use of simulation to train physicians in cognitive and psychomotor pediatric emergency medicine skills. He is beginning an ONR-funded project to develop and validate a virtual pediatric simulator to train physicians on high-stakes pediatric emergency medicine scenarios.

Elaine C. Siegfried, M.D.

Dr. Siegfried's research interests include drug development for unmet areas of need in pediatric dermatology, especially severe inflammatory skin disease (atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, overlap) the associated complications of inflammatory skin diseases in children (eczema herpeticum, widespread molluscum, cutaneous Strep, antibiotic-resistant Staph aureus) and pathogenesis (skin barrier defects, altered microbiome and immune dysregulation).

Kurtis T. Sobush, M.D.

Dr. Sobush primarily studies distal airway epithelial cell dynamics in both the developing and adult lung during periods of both steady state and injury in mouse models. Specifically, his work focuses on Club (or Clara) cells as the localized progenitor cell population.

Marya Strand, M.D.

Dr. Strand is involved in clinical research regarding neonatal resuscitation, particularly in the delivery room setting. She also studies educational methodology for teaching/learning neonatal resuscitation skills.

Jeffrey Teckman, M.D.

Dr. Teckman's research interests involve investigation of the mechanisms of liver injury, especially as related to intracellular proteolysis, with the genetic disease, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency as the primary model. He is also involved in a wide range of clinical and translational research projects involving metabolic liver diseases, hepatitis B infection, fatty liver disease, hyperphagia, and cystic fibrosis.
Sherida E. Tollefsen, M.D.
Dr. Tollefsen is SLU's PI  for the NIH-funded, multicenter "Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth" (TODAY) Study. In response to the growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in childhood, the research protocol was designed to evaluate the efficacy of three treatment regimens on time to treatment failure based on glycemic control.
Jason Alexander Werner, M.D.
Dr. Werner's ongoing investigations relate to resident and fellow education, particularly as it relates to issues of patient safety and quality. This includes the utility of high-fidelity patient simulators, teamwork and role identification, and active fostering of a robust safety culture.
Debra H. Zand, Ph.D.

Dr. Zand's research focuses on how individual factors interact with environmental influences in a transactional manner throughout the developmental course of childhood to influence positive adaptation among children and their families. Specifically, she investigates processes that foster resilience in high-risk populations of children from birth through emerging adulthood (low income, deaf/hard of hearing, medically fragile), and applies this knowledge to the development and/or adaption of early intervention/prevention programs.

Visit Dr. Zand's Website