Faculty Elected to the Society for Pediatric Research


Drs. Darbro, Fischer, Staber, Tansey and Wood were recently elected to the Society for Pediatric Research. Congratulations!

The Society for Pediatric Research provides professionals the opportunity to focus on improving child health through high quality research. SPR encourages and supports research endeavors by creating a network of multidisciplinary researchers for the purpose of connectivity within the pediatric community. As a diverse, innovative group of people, SPR offers collaboration among its members for research in order to create meaningful progress for the future of children’s health.

Drs. McNamara and Norris elected to the American Pediatric Society

Founded in 1888, the American Pediatric Society (APS) is the oldest and most prestigious academic pediatric organization in North America. The APS is dedicated to the advancement of child health through the promotion of pediatric research, recognition of achievement and cultivation of excellence through advocacy, scholarship, education and leadership development. Members of APS are recognized as academic leaders in pediatrics, and they continue to contribute to the overall progress of child health while inspiring the next generation of child health professionals.

Distinguished leaders shaping the future of academic pediatrics relies upon a strong membership base. Working together, APS members are dedicated to the vision of a secure future for academic pediatrics. Membership to the APS is by nomination only, and nominations come from current APS members.


Dr. Staber Publishes on Management of BRBNS

Dr. Janice Staber from the Division of Hematology/Oncology recently published an article on the management of BRBNS in Case Reports of Pediatrics. Congratulations, Dr. Staber!


  • Ogu UO, Abusin G, Abu-Arja RF, Staber JM. Successful Management of Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus Syndrome (BRBNS) with Sirolimus. Case Rep Pediatr. 2018 Oct 8;2018:7654278. doi: 10.1155/2018/7654278. eCollection 2018. PMID: 30402320

Dr. Lieberman Publishes Trio of Articles on Sjogren Syndrome

Dr. Scott Lieberman from the Division of Rheumatology published a trio of articles recently regarding Sjogren Syndrome.




  • Chaly Y, Barr JY, Sullivan DA, Thomas HE, Brodnicki TC, Lieberman SM. Type I interferon signaling is required for dacryoadenitis in the nonobese diabetic mouse model of Sjögren syndrome. Int J Mol Sci 19(10) pii:E3259, 2018 (doi:10.3390/ijms19103259).
  • Barr JY, Wang X, Kreiger PA, Lieberman SM. Salivary gland-protective regulatory T cell dysfunction underlies female-specific sialadenitis in the nonobese diabetic mouse model of Sjögren syndrome. Immunology 155(2):225-237, 2018
  • Lieberman SM, A Lu, MM McGill. Oral lesions as presenting feature of childhood Sjögren syndrome. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 113:303-304, 2018.

Dr. Wacker Puts Mentoring Program in the Spotlight

Dr. David Wacker, Professor Emeritus, put the Department’s Mentoring Program in the spotlight in a recent issue of Behavior Analysis in Practice, particularly with regard to the behavior analysis training program.


“A unique aspect of the behavior analysis training program in the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Iowa is that there has never been a formal training program. We have never had an official funded internship or fellowship program, and there are no required courses (our faculty has taught only one course entitled “Behavioral Assessment and Evaluation” in the College of Education on a voluntary basis for the past 30 years) other than practicum courses within our clinical services. Fewer than half of the 45-plus students who received their PhDs with us came to Iowa to train with our staff or faculty, or to become behavior analysts. Instead, most enrolled in the School Psychology or Special Education PhD programs, and via the course or practicum experiences, came in contact with our faculty and staff in applied behavior analysis and then committed to becoming behavior analysts for their doctoral training.”

Johnson Receives 2018 UI Outstanding Staff Award

Karen Johnson, RN in the NICU, is the recipient of the 2018 UI Outstanding Staff Award. This award is presented yearly to one staff member across the whole University of Iowa community who demonstrates excellence in performance, commitment to service, and who personifies the best qualities of citizenship. This is a tremendous honor, so please congratulate Karen when you see her!

NICU Receives GOLD-level AACN Beacon Award for Excellence

Please congratulate the Nursing Leadership and Nursing Education Team with Emily Spellman leading the charge on winning a GOLD-level AACN Beacon Award for Excellence for our NICU from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recognizing individual hospital units that improve patient outcomes.

The Beacon Award for Excellence lauds North American hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes and we are one of only nine NICU’s with a Gold Designation.

This is a major honor with fewer than 300 out of more than 6,000 intensive care units both adult and pediatric and both medical and surgical in the United States who have received this award.

This is a very significant national recognition of the quality of care provided by the nurses to our patients in the NICU and is highly deserved.

Drs. Zhorne and White Receive “You Make a Difference” Awards

Dr. Leah Zhorne (Neurology) and Dr. Kaitlin White (current PL3 and upcoming Chief Resident) have received “You Make a Difference” Awards from patients and their families. The statements from their respective families are below.

“Dr. Zhorne and her staff including Prairie were very helpful during an appointment for my son. After a less than pleasant previous experience they made a huge difference this time. Very thankful!”



“I just believe that Kaitlin is very down to earth, very good bedside manner. She is very caring, understanding and compassionate. When we couldn’t understand something, she would explain it in layman’s terms.”




Ciliberto, Nester, Reinking, and Sharathkumar Receive Awards for New Clinical Trials

Drs. Ciliberto, Nester, Reinking, and Sharathkumar received clinical trials awards recently:

  • Dr. Ciliberto: “A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) as Add-on Therapy in Patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Who Experience Inadequately-Controlled Seizures”, Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. for $172,000.
  • Dr. Nester: “A Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept, Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study of ACH-0144471 Treatment for 6 Months in Patients with C3 Glomerulopathy (C3G)”, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for $171,000.
  • Dr. Reinking: “A Prospective, Open-Label, Active-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Safety, and Efficacy of Rivaroxaban for Thromboprophylaxis in Pediatric Subjects 2 to 8 Years of Age After the Fontan Procedure”, Janssen Research and Development, Inc. for $105,000.
  • Dr. Sharathkumar: “A Phase I/II, Open-Label, Adaptive, Dose-Ranging Study to Assess the Safety and Tolerability of SB-525 [AAV2/6 hFactor VIII Gene Therapy] in Adult Subjects with Severe Hemophilia A”, Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. for $15,000.