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June 2019 Department Newsletter


Dear Faculty and Friends,

Welcome to the June edition of the Department of Pediatrics Newsletter. Here you will find a sampling of all the amazing activity happening within the Department of Pediatrics and at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Thanks to all our talented faculty, trainees, and staff who make this the best Pediatrics Department in the country!


New Boettcher Foundation Awardees

Congratulations to Kelly Sullivan, PhD (Assistant Professor, Section of Developmental Biology; pictured at left) and Robert Dietz, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Section of Neonatology; pictured at right) on being a named a 2019 “Boettcher Investigator” and recipients of the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award from the Boettcher Foundation. These prestigious awards support the work of promising, early stage biomedical researchers at Colorado universities. Boettcher Investigators receive $235,000 per year for three years to help establish research programs to become competitive for major awards from federal agencies and private sources.

Dr. Sullivan’s work seeks to better understand the causes of the novel disease spectrum in Down Syndrome; wherein individuals are protected from diseases such as solid tumors and heart disease and predisposed to others like Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmune disorders. Dr. Sullivan’s research project, titled “Interferon (IFN) signaling in Down syndrome,” aims to explore the hypothesis that hyperactivation of IFN signaling contributes to the development of numerous pathologies in people with Down Syndrome, including those related to development, neuroinflammation, and cognition.

Dr. Dietz’ research project, titled “Functional recovery and reversal of impairment after ischemia in the developing brain,” is focused on understanding the impact of ischemic events on the early childhood and juvenile brain. While a great deal is known about ischemic consequences in adults, very little is known about the juvenile brain in response to global ischemic insults, thus leading to very few, if any, therapies for children after cardiac arrest. Dr. Dietz’ basic science research aims to move beyond the current clinical focus on preventing neuronal death after ischemic injury, and instead work to identify new therapeutic approaches to improving the functional recovery of surviving neurons and maximizing learning capacity before adulthood. If successful, this research will be of high translational potential for suggesting novel neurorestorative strategies, both for children and perhaps for adults and neonates.


Krebs Named ASN Fellow

Nancy Krebs, MD, MS (Professor and Head, Section of Nutrition) has been named a Fellow by The American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

To be inducted as a Fellow of the Society is the highest honor ASN bestows, recognizing individuals for significant discoveries and distinguished careers in the field of nutrition.

Congratulations, Dr. Krebs!


Program Spotlight – Advanced Practitioner Fellowship

Nearing the end of its inaugural year, the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Colorado is proving a tremendous success. The first of its kind nationally, the fellowship is a unique, one-year program dedicated to advanced practitioners interested in pursuing a pediatric hospital-based medicine career. Designed for graduates of Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner training programs, the fellowship provides personalized education and mentorship to equip Advanced Practice Providers with the specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in a pediatric inpatient medicine career.

Launched in fall 2018, Kristen McDaniel and Cathryn (Catie) Senour joined as the first fellows. The training curriculum includes core rotations in Hospital Medicine (3 months), Pediatric Critical Care (3 months), Cardiac Intensive Care (1 month), Pulmonary (1 month) and Hematology-Oncology (1 month). Elective rotations are offered in Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology, and Neurology. Fellows participate in a dedicated lecture series, patient simulations, clinical conferences and morbidity/mortality conferences. Lastly, the fellows complete a Capstone Project focusing on a quality or process improvement initiative, development of a clinical care guideline, or educational initiative.

Now preparing for its second year, the program has received 25 applications and expanded to four training slots. The program is demonstrating efficacy in improving clinical competence and readiness before having APPs enter a full-time role. Impact has also been observed in lowering recruitment costs and shortening replacement timelines.

Leadership of the program has been via the partnership of faculty from the Section of Critical Care and the Section of Hospital Medicine. Program leaders include: Cameron Gunville, DO (Associate Professor, Section of Critical Care), Erika Jekich, PA (Senior Instructor, Section of Critical Care), Jolie Eirich, NP (Senior Instructor, Section of Hospital Medicine), Jason Zamkoff, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Hospital Medicine) and Chris Newman, PA-C (Associate Professor of Clinical Practice, Section of Critical Care).

This novel program is another example of the entrepreneurial spirit of our Department’s faculty and their strong commitment to high quality educational programs, career development, and patient safety. 


Allison Named PRC Co-Director

Effective June 1, Mandy Allison, MD (Associate Professor, Section of General Pediatrics) has been named Co-Director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health (PRC).

As Co-Director, Dr. Allison will focus her research on extending the Nurse-Family Partnership to serve new vulnerable populations and improving NFP dissemination and implementation. 

She gradually will become immersed in all aspects of PRC work so she eventually can assume full leadership.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Allison on her new role.


Pediatrics Spring Poster Session Highlights

The 2019 Annual Spring Pediatric Research Poster Session was held on May 17. There were 122 posters presented, which highlighted the recent and ongoing clinical, translational and basic research activities of the Department’s trainees – including residents, fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Poster submissions from 41 fellows were evaluated by judges from the Committee on Education and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Winners and Honorable Mentions of the Fellow Poster Awards are:

1st Year Fellows:

Winner – Kathleen Hannan, MD (Section of Neonatology). Project Title: Prevalence and Predictors of Complex Chronic Conditions and Technology Dependence in VLBW Infants.

Honorable Mention – Emily Greenwald, MD (Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine). Project Title: Development of ED/UC Algorithm and Work Tool to Improve Vascular Access in Children with Sepsis.

2nd Year Fellows:

Winner – Richard Roberts, MD, MPH (Section of Endocrinology). Project Title: Evidence of Systemic Absorption of Enteral Budesonide in Fontan-Associated Protein-Losing Enteropathy.

Honorable Mention – Irene Hurst, MD (Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine). Project Title: Implementing Pediatric Emergency Department Substance Abuse Screening and Referrals.

3rd Year Fellows:

Winner – Keith Hazleton, MD, PhD Jaime Moore, MD (Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Pediatric Nutrition). Project Title: Diet modulates Clostridioides difficile pathogenesis through host and microbe bile acid metabolism.

Honorable Mention – Nathan Dahl, MD (Section of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant). Project Title: NTRK fusions in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.

Congratulations to all the poster session winners and participants. Your hard work as investigators in pediatric research demonstrates your commitment to academic career development and to advancing scientific discovery toward improving child health in Colorado and beyond.


Faculty Interest Group Update

The PhD and Junior Faculty Interest Groups will present “Now What? How to Develop a Project after Receiving a Grant” on Friday, June 21 from 9 - 10:30 a.m. in Nighthorse Campbell 204. The event will include information on the SARC Review Process, Team Management, and Compliance. Please RSVP online by June 10, as lunch will be served. Additional information can be found on the PhDFIG web page.

The Junior Faculty Interest Group (JFIG) hosted a Wellness Event on May 16 that included information on well-being, along with breakout groups for Mindfulness Mediation and Art Therapy. The event successfully allowed faculty a place and time to engage in practical methods of managing their wellbeing.

JFIG will host a Junior Faculty Social event on Thursday, June 13 from 4 - 6:30 p.m. at the Cedar Creek Pub (2100 N. Ursula St., north of Building 500/Fitzsimons). Junior faculty will have the opportunity to grab a free drink and appetizers, catch up, and network. Please RSVP online by June 10. More information can be found on the JFIG web page.

The Instructor/Senior Instructor Spring Reception titled “Be Dynamic – Find a Way to Have Your Say - Taking the Reins in Your Career Enhancement” will be held on Thursday, June 13 from noon - 1 p.m. in the Children’s Hospital Colorado Dori Biester Conference Room. The event will cover topics on career enrichment and advancement opportunities including advocacy, community outreach, and innovation. RSVPs are required, as heavy appetizers, beverages, and deserts will be provided. RSVP by June 10 to

LGBTQ+ Mentorship Group. The newly formed LGBTQ+ Mentorship Group held its first meeting on May 30. The group provides LGBTQ+ residents, fellows, and faculty a safe space to connect with LGBTQ+ colleagues, ask career and life questions, and increase their visibility. If you are an LGBTQ+ resident, fellow, or faculty member interested in joining the group, please contact Justin Lotspeich at or Rhonda Buckner at


As always, for these and other exciting Department of Pediatrics news stories, please visit our Pediatrics News web page.  



Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics | University of Colorado School of Medicine
Pediatrician-in-Chief | Children’s Hospital Colorado