New Faculty Announcement – Dr. Ramakrishna

Please welcome Dr. Akhila Ramakrishna as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Dr. Ramakrishna earned her MD from the Armed Forces Medical College in 2011.  Next, she completed an internship at Bangalore Medical College in 2011. Dr. Ramakrishna completed pediatric residency training at the Case Western Reserve University, Metro Health Medical Center in 2017.  She recently completed pediatric endocrinology fellowship training at May Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.  She is board certified in Pediatrics and board eligible in pediatric endocrinology.

Dr. Ramakrishna joins the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes to expand availability in the Endocrine and Diabetes clinics, including outreach and attending on the inpatient and consultation services. Please welcome Dr. Ramakrishna to the Department, the University, and the community!

New Faculty Announcement – Dr. Mohammad Nijres

Please welcome Dr. Bassel Mohammad Nijres as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Mohammad Nijres received his MD from the University of Aleppo-Faculty of Medicine (Aleppo, Syria) in 2005 followed by his pediatric international residency training at Children’s Hospital-Damascus University in 2009.  Next, he completed US pediatric residency training at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in 2015.  Dr. Nijres earned his Master’s degree in 2017 and completed pediatric cardiology fellowship training in 2017, both at Rush University Medical Center.  He completed clinical research and pediatric interventional cardiology fellowship at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in 2019 and recently completed his pediatric interventional cardiology fellowship training at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine.  He is board certified in Pediatrics and board eligible in Pediatric Cardiology.

Dr. Mohammad Nijres will perform interventional cardiology procedures, participate in the pulmonary hypertension program, attend on the pediatric cardiology inpatient and consultation service, share on-call responsibilities, including pediatric cardiology interventional call, and help to continue the development of the cardiology program. Please welcome Dr. Mohammad Nijres to the Department, the University, and the Iowa City community!

New Faculty Announcement – Dr. Khan

Please welcome Dr. Rabia Khan as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Khan received her MD from the University of Miami, Mill School of Medicine in 2012 followed by her pediatric residency training at Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 2015.  Dr. Khan completed cardiology fellowship training at Northwestern/Lurie Children’s Hospital in 2019 and recently completed additional fellowship training in heart failure and transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  She is board certified in Pediatrics and board eligible in cardiology.

Dr. Khan will staff general, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and transplant clinics.  Additionally, she will share in the coverage of the cardiology inpatient and consultation services.

Please welcome Dr. Khan to the Department, the University, and the Iowa City community!

Dr. Schieltz and Dr. Wacker Praised in Article on Telehealth

Dr. Dave Wacker (Professor Emeritus) and Dr. Schieltz were praised in a recent article on telehealth in the field of behavior analysis.

LeBlanc LA, Lerman DC, Norman MP. Behavior analytic contribution to public health and telehealth. J Applied Beh Analysis, 2020, 53, 1208-1218.

From the article:

“Wacker and his colleagues at University of Iowa initiated this research almost 15 years ago when they began to coach parents of young children with autism to conduct functional analyses of problem behavior and to implement functional communication training (FCT) through the internet (Barretto et al., 2006; Wacker et al., 2013a,b). … As a result of research at the University of Iowa and other research labs, our field now has nearly 15 years of evidence demonstrating that telehealth ABA services can make meaningful changes in families’ lives. This evidence undoubtably impacted the number of practitioners who transitioned to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount of funding that was available from third parties (e.g., insurance companies) to support these services. In this first special section, Schieltz and Wacker (2020) provide an informative analysis of the type of telehealth work Public Health and Telehealth 1211 pioneered in their lab, along with pointed suggestions to guide the next generation of this research, in “Functional Assessment and Function-Based Treatment Delivered via Telehealth: A Brief Summary.”

Monetary Donations Accepted for Diversity Books

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has assembled a list of books recommended to read to children, which address questions on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Our Department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has assembled a list of books recommended to read to children, which address questions on diversity, equity and inclusion.  It has been suggested that copies of as many of the books as possible, be placed in each of the hospital libraries.  Faculty and staff have expressed the desire to donate toward the purchase of books and support of this Committee and a fund has been set up specifically for those donations.  The fund will remain open for future purchase of books and activities approved by the Department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Please find here the list of books to be purchased for this initiative.

To contribute, go to the Center for Advancement Donation Site.To search for the fund, enter “The Department of Pediatrics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund”.

Pictured: Dr. Goins-Fernandez, a psychologist in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, poses with the first batch of diversity books purchased. Each book will be stamped indicating they were purchased from funds given by the faculty and staff of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

Colaizy and Terry Named to IRB Biomedical Board

Congratulations to Dr. Tarah Colaizy (Neonatology) and Dr. William Terry (Hem/Onc) on being named to the IRB-01 Biomedical Board of the University’s Human Subjects Office. They will serve a minimum of 2 years but can choose to renew their Board membership at that time.

Research projects involving human participants are reviewed by IRB-01 if:

  • the Principal Investigator is from the College of Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, or the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology in the College of Liberal Arts, College of Public Health* OR
  • the Principal Investigator is from the College of Nursing AND the study involves a physical or physiological intervention that is greater than minimal risk OR
  • the study involves patients at the University of Iowa Health Care (UIHC) OR
  • the study involves access to or creation of any protected health information about the subject that is maintained in UIHC health care provider’s records.
    * the College of Public Health has the option to submit under IRB-02 if none of the above apply.

New Faculty Announcement – Dr. Pinnaro

Please welcome Dr. Catherina Pinnaro as Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Dr. Pinnaro earned her BS from the University of Notre Dame in 2008.  Next, she earned her medical degree from New York Medical College in 2013. While a medical student, she spent 1 Doris Duke year working in the Dr. Jeff Murray lab at University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics.  Dr. Pinnaro completed an Advance Certificate in Clinical Bioethics at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 2015.  She continued her medical education at the University of Iowa, completing her pediatric residency training in 2016 including, a Chief Resident year. She recently completed endocrinology fellowship training and physician scientist training pathway (PSTP) at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  In addition, she is completing a masters program in translational biomedicine.   She is board certified in Pediatrics and board eligible in Pediatric Endocrinology. 

Dr. Pinnaro joins the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes to expand availability in the Endocrine and Diabetes clinics and attend on the inpatient and consultation services. Additionally, she will continue and expand her ongoing human genetics research program focused on discovering genetic modifiers of disease phenotype in 22q deletion syndrome, Turner syndrome, pediatric diabetes, and other endocrine related conditions.

Please welcome Dr. Pinnaro to her new role in the Department!

Norris Named Permanent Division Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes

I’m happy to announce Dr. Andrew Norris as the permanent Division Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes beginning July 1, 2020. He had been interim Division Director since July 2019.

Dr. Norris received his MD and PhD in Molecular Biophysics from Washington University School of Medicine in 1997. He completed his Pediatric internship and residency from 1997‐2000 at the University of Iowa, followed by his Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship from 2000‐2003 at Children’s Hospital Boston. From 2003‐2005 he was an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, before starting at the University of Iowa in 2005. He has been Professor of Pediatrics and of Biochemistry since 2018.

Aside from being an active clinician, an excellent teacher and mentor, Dr. Norris has been a productive investigator that has focused in the study of the root causes of cystic fibrosis‐related diabetes, early life programming of type 2 diabetes risk, fatty acid metabolism and insulin action, and the bioinformatic study of common metabolic diseases. He has published extensively and has received numerous R01 awards through the NIH and remains a prolific scholar. Dr. Norris is also Associate Director of the Fraternity of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Norris to his permanent role within the Department.

–Eva Tsalikian, MD Professor and Interim Chair, Stead Family Department of Pediatrics

New Faculty Announcement – Dr. Alhamoud

Please welcome Dr. Issa Alhamoud as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation.

Dr. Alhamoud received his MD degree from Faculty of Medicine, University of Aleppo, Syria in 2006.  Next, he completed international residency training at Children’s Hospital, University of Damascus, Syria.  Dr. Alhamoud completed US fellowship training in pediatric nephrology at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in 2018. Subsequently, he completed pediatrics residency (PGY1) at Metro Health Medical Center-CWRU in 2019 and just completed pediatric residency training (PGY3) at Westchester Medical Center/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.  He is board eligible in Pediatrics.

Dr. Alhamoud will fill a critical deficiency in our renal transplant group.  Dr. Alhamoud will attend on the inpatient and consultation services and will also be utilized to expand the pediatric nephrology outpatient services in the community.  

Please welcome Dr. Alhamoud to the Department, the University, and the Iowa City community!