Steven H. Abman, MD, was recently named the 2016 Mary Ellen Avery Neonatal Research Award recipient.
Abman, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Heart Lung Center (PHLC) at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado, obtained his undergraduate degree at Carleton College, attended Northwestern University Medical School, and completed his internship and residency in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado. After serving as Chief Resident, he completed a three-year fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 1986, and was promoted to Professor in the tenure track in 1996.
Throughout his career, Dr. Abman has maintained strong translational research and clinical interests in neonatal lung injury, lung vascular development, pulmonary hypertension, chronic lung disease in the newborn (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, BPD), persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), and related areas. With outstanding collaborators in the PHLC and others, his lab explored many original basic and clinical studies on the physiology, pathobiology and treatment of pulmonary vascular disease in the newborn, which included early studies on nitric oxide (NO) biology and therapy in diverse experimental models and human preterm and term newborns. His lab continues to explore basic mechanisms through which early disruption of angiogenesis and "angiocrine signaling" during lung development impairs alveolarization and contributes to long-lasting abnormalities of lung structure, especially after preterm birth.
With encouragement from Dr. Doug Jones (Chair of Pediatrics), his interests in both clinical and laboratory research and patient care led to the launch the PHLC at Children's Hospital Colorado, for which Dr. Abman has served as Director for nearly 25 years. The PHLC provides inter-disciplinary clinical care, research, training and education related to diverse pediatric cardiopulmonary disorders. Along with research training for many fellows and junior faculty, the PHLC has developed novel clinical care approaches that include development of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Program and Ventilator Care Program. More recently, Dr. Abman founded and continues to serve as Director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network (PPHNet), a multicenter clinical research and care group consisting of 10 leading PH centers from throughout North America, and initiated and led a joint American Heart Association/American Thoracic Society working group to establish the first joint guidelines for the care of children with pediatric pulmonary hypertension.
Dr. Abman has received several national awards, including the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (1998), the E. Mead Johnson Award of the SPR (1999), and the Distinguished Achievement Award of the American Thoracic Society for outstanding contributions to fighting respiratory disease through research, education, patient care, and advocacy (2015). Dr. Abman has been active as an educator and research mentor for numerous trainees, which was recognized by the Career Teachers Scholar Award (2012) from the University of Colorado and the Maureen Andrews Mentorship Award from the SPR (2015). Dr. Abman has also served or led numerous study sections and workshops of the ATS, American Heart Association and NIH, as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and on editorial boards for many leading journals.