Grant Opportunity from Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can submit two applications to the Curing Kids Cancer Grant mechanism. If you are interested in applying, please respond by Noon on Monday, July 1 with information on your proposed project, as per the terms of the grant.   –Tami Thompson (

Internal Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center deadline Noon, Monday, July 1, 2019

Curing Kids Cancer – limited to two applications per institution.

Sponsor Deadline Sept 9, 2019.

Donna Friel

Angi Roemerman

Children’s Miracle Network 2019 Research Awardees Announced

Congratulations to the awardees of the 2019 Children’s Miracle Network Research Awards below:

  • Donna Santillan, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Effects of E-Cigarettes on Babies“, $50,000.
  • Catherina Pinnaro, MD, Pediatrics fellow (Endocrinology and Diabetes), “Genetic Modifiers of Glycemic Phenotype in Turner Syndrome“, $4,980.
  • Rhanda Darville, MD, Pediatrics fellow (Gastroenterology), “The role of diet, sex, and the microbiome in sterile osteomyelitis“, $50,000.
  • Mitchell Luangrath, MD, Pediatrics fellow (Critical Care), “Determining the role of tissue resident memory CD4 T cells in RSV infection“, $50,000.

Dance Marathon 2019 Research Awardees Announced

Congratulations to the awardees of the 2019 Dance Marathon Research Awards. Each will receive $50,000 for their projects.

  • Jessica Zimmerman, MD, Pediatrics Fellow in Hematology/Oncology, “Enhancing Glucocortificoid Potency for Treatment of B-ALL Using Functional Genomics”.
  • Rebecca Dodd, PhD, Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine, “Epigenetic Combination Therapy in Pediatric Sarcomas.”

Whisler Departing, Heinemann Named Interim CDA

We are pleased to announce that Melissa Whisler, MBA, MHA, who has served as the Stead Family Department of Pediatric Clinical Department Administrator for the last four years, has been promoted to Administrative Chief of Staff at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. In her new role, she will be working closely with all departmental executive officers to implement strategic plans and will oversee operations in the Office of the CEO. While her last day in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics will be Tuesday, June 11, there will be a longer transition period in place to ensure the process is as seamless as possible.

In the interim, John Heinemann, MHA, MPH, will be serving as our Clinical Department Administrator. He joined UI Health Care in 2017 as an associate administrator and has previous administrator experience in various hospital and health care settings. He will oversee the day-to-day operations in pediatrics and ensure the continuation of our projects and strategic priorities.

Please join us in congratulating Melissa and John on their new roles.

Dr. Tsalikian Named Interim Chair/DEO Beginning June 2

The College of Medicine has announced that Eva Tsalikian, MD, will serve as interim chair and departmental executive officer (DEO) of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, effective June 2, 2019. As part of this role, she will also assume duties as interim Physician-in-Chief of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Tsalikian is currently director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Tsalikian, a Professor of Pediatrics, joined the faculty of the Carver College of Medicine in 1983. She served as Chief of Staff for UI Hospitals & Clinics from 2006 to 2012. Her research primarily focuses on the causes, effects, treatment and prevention of Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents. Dr. Tsalikian will succeed Raphael Hirsch, MD, who has served as chair and DEO of the Department, as well as Physician-in-Chief of the children’s hospital since 2012. He is leaving to take similar posts at Benioff Children’s Hospital and University of California-San Francisco. His final day at Iowa is June 1, 2019.

A national search for a replacement will be co-chaired by Janet Fairley, MD, Chair of the Department of Dermatology, and Lois Geist, MD, MS, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development. More information about the search will be forthcoming.

Please Welcome Dr. McLennan to Pediatric Cardiology

Please welcome Dr. Daniel McLennan to the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

Dr. McLennan earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney in 2007. He then completed advanced training in pediatric cardiology in Australia until 2010 after which he went on to perform as a Pediatric Registrar until 2013. Dr. McLennan completed his categorical Pediatric Cardiology fellowship at Sydney Children’s Hospital in 2016. He was an advanced fellow at Bristol Children’s Hospital as well as in Pediatric Intensive Care at Evelina Children’s Hospital, where he managed post-surgical patients with congenital and acquired cardiac disease. Dr. McLennan is currently completing an extended specialized fellowship in Pediatric Interventional Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver.

Dr. McLennan will be active as a member of the Pediatric Cardiology Clinical Service. He will perform interventional cardiology procedures, attend on the pediatric cardiology inpatient and consultation service, share on-call responsibilities, including pediatric cardiology interventional call, and helping to continue the development of the Cardiology program. He will also assist in the advancement of a pediatric and congenital heart pulmonary hypertension program.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. McLennan to the Department, University, and the community!

Dr. Hirsch is Departing UI Health Care


Dear friends and colleagues,

It is with mixed feelings that I am writing to notify you that I will be stepping down as department chair on or about June 1. I have accepted the position of Chair of Pediatrics at UCSF and Physician-in-Chief of Benioff Children’s Hospitals. I will be working with Dean Jackson and Department leadership to ensure a smooth transition.

I look forward to sharing additional thoughts with all of you in the coming weeks about the Department and its future. In the meantime, I want you to know that the decision to leave this wonderful organization was a difficult one. But as I indicated at my recent State of the Department address, I believe that an organization must refresh its leadership on a regular basis in order to remain outstanding and that the time has come to pass on the baton. It has been my honor to shepherd the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and the Stead Family Children’s Hospital these past seven years. I have never worked with more outstanding people than yourselves and I will miss all of you. I will retain many fond memories of my years at the University of Iowa and the times we shared together.


Pediatrics Research Day Poster Session Award Winners

Congratulations to the following award winners for their posters at last Friday’s Pediatrics Research Day on April 5, 2019.

  • Basic Poster Winners
    • Camilla Hippee Measles Virus Exits Primary Human Airway Epithelial Sheets by Infectious Center Sloughing
    • Amy Stanford Human beta defensing-2 significantly decreases intestinal injury in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis.
  • Clinical Poster Winners
    • Jared Peterson Neurocognitive Function in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors
    • Matthew Solomon Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease is Associated with Abnormal White Matter Integrity on Diffusion Tensor Imaging.

Congratulations to all participants and attendees for another successful Pediatrics Research Day!

Drs. Ashwath and Misurac Named Medical Directors of the PSC.

The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce new medical directors for the Pediatric Specialty Clinic. Dr. Ravi Ashwath will be the new Medical Director, and Dr. Jason Misurac will be the Associate Medical Director. These roles will be effective as of today, April 1, 2019.

Dr. Ashwath completed his MD at Mysore Medical College in India, pediatric internship and residency at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY, fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and a fellowship in Advanced Imaging from Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ashwath practiced at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital for almost 13 years prior to joining Iowa in 2017. Dr. Ashwath has been the Imaging Director in Pediatric Cardiology and directs the cardiac MRI imaging. He is also the Program Director of cardiology fellowship program.

Dr. Misurac completed his MD at Indiana University School of Medicine, pediatric residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Since coming to Iowa in 2015 Dr. Misurac has been very active clinically, both here at the hospital and at outreach clinics in Cedar Falls and Johnston.

Please welcome Drs. Ashwath and Misurac into their new roles. We would also like to thank Dr. Warren Bishop who has served as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Specialty Clinic since 2014. His guidance has been crucial to expanding pediatric specialty services within the Department and around the state, and he has always been a true champion for improving the healthcare for children and their families.