Pediatrics Staff Recognized in Latest Thank You Video from Suresh

Several pediatric staff were recognized in the recently ‘Thank you’ video from hospital CEO Suresh Gunasekaran. The video shared examples of faculty and staff heroics that illustrate our ability to triumph over challenges, and included Drs. Christina Cifra and Shilpa Balikai from Critical Care, as well as Jacque Meierotto from the divisions of Hem/Onc and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Sheffield Elected to AAAS

Congratulations to Dr. Val Sheffield in the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics for being elected into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

The Academy boasts membership including several Founding Fathers to Jonas Salk to Nelson Mandela.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together, as expressed in our charter, “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.” AAAS studies have helped set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy, education, and the humanities.

With Dr. Sheffield’s election, he joins the company of notable members – from founders John Adams, James Bowdoin, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, and Alexander Graham Bell. Other distinguished members include Margaret Mead, Jonas Salk, Barbara McClintock, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, John Hope Franklin, Georgia O’Keeffe, I.M. Pei, and Toni Morrison. International Members include Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Laurence Olivier, Mary Leakey, John Maynard Keynes, Akira Kurosawa, and Nelson Mandela. Current members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than two hundred and fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.

The Induction weekend is currently scheduled for October 9-11, 2020.

Duwa to Celebrate 40 Years with Pediatrics

Congratulations to Peggy Duwa, Secretary II in the Division of Critical Care, who will reach the milestone anniversary of 40 years with the University of Iowa on May 12, 2020. Peggy has spent her entire University career in Pediatrics, and has been the division coordinator since the division was created.

Please join us in congratulating Peggy on this achievement, and wishing her a heart-felt ‘thank you’ for all she has done for the Department, the College and the greater University community.

Staff Spotlight – Ben Darbro, MD, PhD

Dr. Darbro is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics; and Director of the Shivanand R. Patil Cytogenetics and Molecular Laboratory.

I grew up in God’s Country…also known as Nebraska…although I was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Growing up my mother was a teacher and my father was a salesman. I am an only child but grew up with several dog and cat “siblings”.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and three miniature wiener dogs Hero, Nemesis, and Ally. Additionally, I like to play open world, PVP-focused, sandbox, MMORPGs as well as watching YouTube, Netflix, and various Twitch streams.

My dream job is basically what I am doing currently but with unlimited resources!

The most fascinating place I’ve ever visited? Norwegian fjords were definitely fascinating and breathtaking.

Favorite meal? Tough one…its a tie: Macaroni and cheese vs. pepperoni and mushroom pizza.

Favorite sports team? I plead the fifth.

Favorite book is Escape from Tenopia. Favorite movie is Star Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope).

If I had 3 wishes, they would be

  1. Wish 1: What would happen to me if I knew everything there was to know?
  2. Wish 2: Provided the answer to Wish 1 wasn’t horrific (like my head would explode or I’d go crazy) then I would wish to know everything there is to know.
    1. Alternate Wish 2: If the answer to Wish 1 above was horrific then Wish 2 would be what would happen to me if I were all powerful?
  3. Wish 3: Would depend as I would now know everything there is to know so I assume that would change my decision for my third wish.
    1. Wish 3: Provided the answer to Wish 2 wasn’t horrific (like I would ultimately destroy the entire universe or something) then I would wish to be all powerful.
    2. Alternate Wish 3: If the answer to Wish 2 above was horrific then Wish 3 would be for three more wishes!!! 🙂

Fun fact: I worked with Dr. Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and got to meet Dolly the sheep who was the first cloned mammal.

New TnECHO SIG for the American Society of Echocardiography

The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) has recently established a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography (TnECHO). This has been one of the many efforts by Dr. Patrick McNamara, Division Director for Neonatology , in collaboration with Dr. Ian Law, Division Director for Pediatric Cardiology,to bring together ASE members with similar professional interests and areas of expertise in TnECHO and offering a new forum for networking, knowledge sharing, and the development of SIG-specific programs.

Congratulations, Dr. McNamara!

Funding Opportunity for Early Investigators

Check out this funding opportunity for tenure track faculty in years 1-4 of faculty position (and with no R01 funding). It’s a really simple internal application initially. The internal application includes the following: (but, heads up, if you’re selected the formal application is due Aug 1st to the sponsor, so be prepared but I think only 1-2 get selected to apply from U Iowa).

  • An NIH biosketch
  • A description of the proposed project. It should have the following elements:
    • A cover sheet with the project title, your name and department, and the title of the program you are responding to.
    • A lay summary of the proposed research (no more than two pages in length).
    • A one-two page budget with a breakdown of how the funds will be used. Justify how the award funds will be used to advance the unique problem under study in a way that cannot be done with existing funds. Include detail on the levels of support of any grants already available or pending.
  • Additional pages may be used for references.

The above materials must be submitted no later than Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The selected applicants will be asked to complete the full application package in accordance with the sponsor’s Saturday, August 1, deadline.

More information is available at the Iowa site or the Mallinckrodt Foundation site

Curtis Receives Volunteer Award from Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa

Congratulations to Vicky Curtis (DEO/CDA office) for receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award, 2000 at the recent Annual State Conference of the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa (BIAA).  This Award is given to an individual or group who has given time and talent to the Alliance in service, program support, fundraising, administration, or other areas in ways that substantively impact the mission.

From the presentation:

“Vicky has served as a volunteer for BIAIA and its chapters for many years.  She and her husband, Terry, are no strangers to navigating brain injury.  Vicky has been a volunteer, board member, officer, fundraiser, visionary and guide for the East Central Chapter of BIAIA and for the BIAIA State Board for the past 6 years.   For the State Board, Vicky instituted a range of fundraisers bringing in thousands of dollars for the mission of BIAIA.  She also shared hundreds of hours of her time reviewing financial documents as Board Treasurer for many of her six year term. “