Staff Spotlight – Kathy Lee-Son, MD

Dr. Lee-Son is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation.

I have been in Nephrology for 6 years. I travel for Outreach clinics to Johnston and Bettendorf. I have been the Medical Director of the Pediatric Dialysis Unit and Infusion Center since July 2018.

My husband, Dave, and I adopted our 10 year old son, Gage, in May 2019. He has a great sense of humor and loves anything sports related.

I enjoy swimming. I used to run half-marathons until a toe injury in 2015. I would love to get back into running somehow.

My dream job is to look after kids on dialysis but get them to transplant as soon as possible!

Most fascinating place I’ve ever visited? Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in 2008.

I love Sushi at Sushiya!

Favorite sports team? Vancouver Canucks in the NHL. My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

My one wish would be to transport myself to see my family on the whim. They are scattered and live in Detroit, Windsor Ontario, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Singapore, and China.

Fun fact: I’ve participated in a Tough Mudder race.

Staff Spotlight – Jill Presler, HR Associate

Jill is an HR Associate in Pediatrics Human Resources.

I’ve been in Human Resources since May 2019- supporting the Department of Pediatrics with overseeing credentialing of new providers and faculty, faculty promotion and annual review processes, license expiration monitoring, and facilitating recredentialing, IPPE and modification of privileges.

My husband Dustin and I recently relocated from Des Moines with our 4 year old Daughter, Quinn. Quinn is passionate about dancing, baby dolls, and Frozen (at this moment). Dustin works for a distributing company out of Cedar Rapids- his passion though, is for his own business working in event entertainment. Check out A Special Event DJ if you are ever in the market for a DJ or photobooth (shameless plug)!

My hobby time is limited- with all the cleaning, laundry, groceries, dance class, etc. – but when possible, I love to craft! My Cricut, sewing machine and I can do all sorts of things! My most favorite pastime is simply enjoying friends and family though- even if the house a mess!

My dream job is to be an event planner and own a wedding venue. I absolutely love paying attention to the details and working to host something special. Whether it be my daughter’s birthday parties or my parents 40th anniversary- I enjoy the opportunity to be creative and the thrill of planning something unique!

Most fascinating place I’ve visited? I went to Ireland in college, it’s the first place I traveled that really took me to experience a new culture and lifestyle. The landscape is breathtaking!

Favorite meal? Tacos. Also, spaghetti, Chinese, and pizza. Soup! I really just like pretty much all food?!

Favorite sports team? Iowa Hawkeyes and Atlanta Braves (osmosis having been with my husband 6 years). But, I’ll be honest, I have zero control over the remote and there is always some sports team on.

Fun fact: I danced for about 15 years- competed in state competitions in High School and competed nationally in College. I once danced live to Lee Greenwood for a basketball halftime.

Dr. El-Shanti Chosen as a Selected Research Speaker

Dr. Hatem El-Shanti was chosen as one of four selected researchers, chosen by Dean Jackson, to present on his research efforts at the upcoming event Spotlight on Current and Future Research. This event will feature 4 presenters giving a short-talk seminar about their research and how it’s breaking new ground in their field.

The event is Monday, December 2, from 4:00-5:00 PM in 1459 PBDB.

Dr. Strathearn Publishes on Drug Addiction

Congratulations to Dr. Lane Strathearn (Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics) and his research team on their recent publication in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Strathearn L, Mertens CE, Mayes L, Rutherford H, Rajhans P, Xu G, Potenza MN, Kim S. Pathways Relating the Neurobiology of Attachment to Drug Addiction. Front Psychiatry, 08 November 2019 |

Abstract: Substance use disorders constitute a significant public health problem in North America and worldwide. Specifically, substance addictions in women during pregnancy or in the postpartum period have adverse effects not only on the mother, but also on mother-infant attachment and the child’s subsequent development. Additionally, there is growing evidence suggesting that parental addiction may be transmitted intergenerationally, where the child of parents with addiction problems is more likely to experience addiction as an adult. The current review takes a developmental perspective and draws from animal and human studies to examine how compromised early experience, including insecure attachment, early abuse/neglect, and unresolved trauma, may influence the development of neurobiological pathways associated with addictions, ultimately increasing one’s susceptibility to addictions later in life. We approach this from three different levels: molecular, neuroendocrine and behavioral; and examine the oxytocin affiliation system, dopamine reward system, and glucocorticoid stress response system in this regard. Increased understanding of these underlying mechanisms may help identify key targets for early prevention efforts and inform needed intervention strategies related to both insecure attachment and addiction.

November 2019 Wellness Updates

Be sure to check out the attached list of November 2019 Wellness Updates from liveWell. The updates this month include:

  • a Green Living Wellness Challenge encouraging behaviors to reduce your carbon footprint,
  • a TIAA discussion the latest trends in the financial markets and the global economy that could effect your financial health, and
  • a webinar supporting healthy weight maintenance.