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.

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!

Cardiology and Genetics Combine to Solve Medical Mystery

“An 11-year-old boy playing baseball stops running, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. He cannot be resuscitated. One of his brothers survives a similar attack and no one can figure out why, until a medical team at the University of Iowa discovered an unknown genetic disorder.”

Charity Nebbe, from Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa podcast, talked with Dr. Ian Law (Cardiology) and Hannah Bombei, MS, CGC (Medical Genetics and Genomics) to discuss their years of testing and research to stop a disease plaguing an Iowa Mennonite family of eight.

BMT Program Now a Member of PIDTC

Under the leadership of Dr. Arun Modi (Hematology/Oncology), the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) program is now a part of the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium (PIDTC) – an NIH-funded consortium of select children’s hospitals involved in the diagnosis, cutting-edge research, and new clinical trials for Primary Immune deficiency disorders.

This is a great honor and achievement to be included in the PIDTC. “This is a feather in the cap of Dr. Modi and his BMT team”, says Dr. Yatin Vyas, Division Director for Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Vyas Accepted into Leadership Program

Congratulations to Dr. Vyas for being accepted into the 9th Cohort of the 2020-2021 Pediatric Leadership Development Program through the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC). The purpose of this program is to develop leadership skills and provide experience in all aspects of leading departments in an academic medical centers.

Dr. Dickens to Receive UI Dance Marathon Chair

Congratulations to Dr. David Dickens (Hem/Onc), who will be receiving the UI Dance Marathon Chair in Pediatric Oncology. The investiture ceremony will be Thursday, March 5 at 3:30 PM in the Urmila Sahai Auditorium in MERF (second floor).

All are welcome to attend the ceremony, and no RSVP is necessary.

The College will also will recognize the generosity of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon organization, who with their philanthropic gifts, established this prestigious position within the College of Medicine.

NICU Praised in New Book


Journalist and mother Sarah DiGregorio praises the UI NICU in her new book, “Early,” (Harper Collins, 2020) a deeply personal study of premature birth in the United States.

Inspired by her own harrowing experience giving birth to her premature daughter, the book is a compelling and empathetic work that combines memoir with rigorous reporting to tell the story of neonatology—and to meditate on the questions raised by premature birth.

Ms. DiGregorio also speaks about the book and her experiences on NPR’s On Point podcast.

Specifically, page 188 of the book makes some exemplary comments at the NICU at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

September is Now Newborn Screening Awareness Month in Iowa

Family members and Newborn Screening Program (NBS)  staff with Governor Kim Reynolds. Carol Johnson, Program Coordinator for the NBS program from the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics is on the far right, with her granddaughter, Lillian.

Due to the work of the individuals in our Iowa Newborn Screening (NBS) program, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a proclamation designating the month of September as Newborn Screening Awareness Month in Iowa!

Congratulations to all the NBS staff in the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics for all they do for newborns and their families.