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General Academic Pediatrics - Research

Overview and Faculty Research Interests

The General Academic Pediatrics Section continues to expand its research enterprise, with the addition of new research faculty and an increase in federal funding. Immunization delivery research has been a major focus for the last ten years, involving Drs. Stephen Berman, Robert Brayden, Simon Hambidge, and Allison Kempe; and our Section is a recognized leader in this area nationally. Over the past three years we have received seven federal grants in the area of immunization delivery, examining attitudes of physicians nationally regarding vaccine policy issues, adolescent vaccine delivery, and school-based delivery of both influenza and adolescent vaccines. One of these was a prestigious Challenge grant from the NIH.

Preventive dental care for children has been a growing area of focus, involving Drs. Patricia Braun, Allison Kempe, and Elaine Morrato and there have been three grants funded in this area. Health care for children with special needs is also an area of growing interest, involving Drs. Stille, Kelminson, and Fox. Dr. Fox has submitted an AHRQ Career Development award in the area of shared decision-making for such children.

Our research in quality improvement also continues to grow - in the areas of asthma management (Drs. Maya Bunik and Allison Kempe) in collaboration with the Pulmonology Section, and in mental health care within the pediatric setting (Drs. Maya Bunik and Allison Kempe) in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry - have received grant funding support. Telephone care and self-triage over the internet continue to be a focus for several faculty (Drs. Barton Schmitt, Maya Bunik, and Allison Kempe). Our new focus in obesity prevention (Drs. Maya Bunik, Christina Suh, and Allison Kempe) has resulted in the completion of several projects and the submission of two new grants.


General Academic Pediatrics faculty are active in a variety of research areas.

Dr. Edwin Asturias conducts clinical and epidemiological research on the efficacy and safety of vaccines for children in developing countries. Dr. Stephen Berman is involved in access to health care and immunization services delivery research. Dr. Maya Bunik's interests include breastfeeding support for low-income women, quality improvement in asthma management, and primary care mental health services and after-hours care/telephone triage. Dr. Ellen Elias studies the physiological effects of the cholesterol deficiency seen in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome and is also interested in caring for children with osteogenesis imperfecta. Dr. David Fox is interested in quality of care and medical decision-making regarding special needs children. Dr. Karen Kelminson's interests include quality of care and improving racial/ethnic care disparities for children with special needs. Dr. Allison Kempe directs the Children’s Outcomes Research Program, and her research interests include immunization delivery, telephone care, and health care access in low-income children. Dr. Steven Poole’s research is focused on issues of access to care for children with Medicaid insurance. Dr. Barton Schmitt's current primary research interest is pediatric telephone triage and advice. Dr. Christopher Stille's research focuses on improving the process of care for children with special needs, especially the interactions between families, primary care and specialist clinicians, and community practice-based research. Dr. Christina Suh’s research interests are the development and evaluation of interventions to decrease childhood obesity.