Research Horizons


Researcher Recognition, January 2024

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Congratulations to these Cincinnati Children’s scientists who have recently been recognized in their fields of expertise.

Chidiogo Anyigbo, MD, MPH 

Chidiogo Anyigbo, assistant professor, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, was named one of Emory University’s 40 Under 40 Notable Alumni. This program shines a light on a select number of notable alumni who are becoming pioneers in their fields. She was selected for her achievements, such as her Young Investigator Award from the Academic Pediatric Association, leadership positions, and her current work on mitigating adverse childhood experiences and addressing the barriers that limit a caregiver’s ability to foster safe, stable and nurturing relationships for their children. Anyigbo was also recently elected a member of the Society for Pediatric Research (see below).

Stephen Becker, PhD

Stephen Becker, professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, has been selected as one of the two recipients of the 2024 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of psychopathology. He will be recognized at a virtual awards event next fall. In addition, Becker was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD) for 2024-2027.

Jennifer Frey, PhD, BCBA-D

Jennifer Frey, president of Every Child Succeeds, was named a Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year by Smart Business Cincinnati magazine for her work with Every Child Succeeds. She will receive the award at the 2024 Medical Mutual Pillar Awards for Community Service on January 18 at Duke Energy Center.

Mike Gittelman, MD

Mike Gittelman, co-director of the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center, received three awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2023. Mike received two national awards, including the AAP Special Achievement Award for Lifetime Services in Pediatrics and the AAP District Vice Chair Service Award. Additionally, he received the Ohio Chapter’s Leonard P. Rome, MD, Program of the Year Award for the Store it Safe Program. Read more about this award and the other program awardees here.

Mingxia Gu, MD, PhD

Mingxia Gu, assistant professor in the Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM), was elected as a councilor for the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO). NAVBO acts as a forum for vascular biologists who are in basic science disciplines or studying pathogenesis and treatment of disease.

Temara Hajjat, MD

Temara Hajjat, attending physician, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, received the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition’s Teri Li Young Educator Award. This award highlights individuals in the earliest phase of their professional career who have already made outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition through education. She received this award along with Jennifer Lee, MD (Nationwide Children’s Hospital), Peter Lu, MD (Nationwide Children’s Hospital), and Jason Silverman, MD, MSc, FRCPC (University of Alberta) for their work on the educational podcast, The Bowel Sounds.

LaQuita Jones, DO

LaQuita Jones, assistant professor, CBDI, Division of Oncology, was named a 2024 Keystone Symposia Fellow as an early career investigator. The program recognizes researchers for their accolades for innovative research as well as dedication to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in their communities and science at large. It offers early-stage independent researchers from underrepresented backgrounds the skills, professional connections and visibility to support their success. Jones’ clinical interest and research focuses on acute myeloid leukemia.

Ellen Lipstein, MD, MPH

Ellen Lipstein, co-director of Research in the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, has been elected vice president-elect (2023-2024) of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM). She will serve as vice president for the 2024-2025 term. The SMDM is a nonprofit organization promoting scientific and methodological rigor in health care decision research and its application to health policy and clinical care.

Alexander Miethke, MD

Alexander Miethke, medical director, Liver Transplant Program, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, received the Gerard B. Odell Award from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. This award honors Odell, a pediatric liver specialist who established the Division of Pediatric GI at the University of Wisconsin. Miethke’s research delves into immune mechanisms driving liver inflammation and fibrosis in children with biliary atresia or autoimmune liver disease.

Tomoyuki Mizuno, PhD

Tomoyuki Mizuno, director of Pharmacometric Services and Clinical Pharmacokinetics Consultation Service in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, was elected as a councilor to the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology. The organization is made up of scientists and physicians who are working to promote the related disciplines of therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical toxicology.

Jennifer Nicholas, MD, MHA, MEd

Jennifer Nicholas, chief of ultrasound, Department of Radiology, was named the 2024 recipient of the Society for Pediatric Radiology’s (SPR) Edward Singleton-Hooshang Taybi Award for Excellence in Education. This award honors Edward B. Singleton and Hooshang Taybi in recognition of their personal commitment to the educational goals of the SPR. Initiated in 2006, the award is presented annually to an SPR senior member whose professional lifetime dedication to the education of medical students, residents, fellows, and colleagues has brought honor to the discipline of pediatric radiology.

Anna Peters, MD, PhD, and Kelli VanDussen, PhD

Anna Peters, assistant professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, was named the 2024 recipient of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Women Scholars Program Award. The award will support her work focused on identifying personalized immunosuppressive therapies to improve outcomes for pediatric liver transplant recipients. Support will continue for 2023 Schmidlapp Scholar Kelli VanDussen, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. The award will support her studies of intestinal pathophysiology and inflammatory bowel disease.

Suzanne Sampang, MD

Suzanne Sampang, medical director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was elected as a member to The American College of Psychiatrists. Membership in The College is limited to psychiatrists who have demonstrated outstanding competence in the field of psychiatry, and who have achieved national recognition in one of the following fields: clinical practice, research, academic leadership, and teaching.

Neha Santucci, MD, MBBS

Neha Santucci, director of the Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction Program at the Neurogastroenterology and Motility Center, has been elected as a member of two distinguished organizations focusing on research: The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society’s Research Committee and the American Gastroenterological Association Council’s Neurogastroenterology & Motility Section.

Celine Silva Lages, PhD

Celine Silva Lages, PhD, manager of the Research Flow Cytometry Facility and an assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology, was chosen as a Shared Resource Laboratory Emerging Leader SRL (SRL EL) for the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) for 2024 to 2028. The SRL EL program is a four-year program designed to enhance and develop the next generation of emerging leaders in SRL education, applications, and operations. Designation as an SRL EL is highly competitive and recognizes individuals for their leadership potential, technical expertise, an ability to achieve career goals and a commitment to give back to ISAC.

Ty Troutman, PhD

Ty Troutman, assistant professor, Division of Allergy and Immunology, was one of three 2023 recipients of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease’s (AASLD) Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Diseases. This award is part of the AASLD’s Research and Career Development Annual Awards, which highlight exceptional investigators and clinicians and support innovative research in liver disease, career development for early career professionals, and specialized training for front-line providers. Troutman received the award for his project, “ATF3-Dependent Mechanisms for Kupper Cells in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.”

Kim Yolton, PhD

Kim Yolton, director of Research Section, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, was named president-elect for the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society. The society is focused on studies of the developmental origins of nervous system disorders and their long-term effects on behavior and biology.

Meg Zeller, PhD

Margaret “Meg” Zeller, pediatric psychologist in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, director of the KL2 Scholars Program, and co-director of the Center for Child Behavior and Nutrition Research and Training, was elected chair of the Pediatric Section of The Obesity Society. Started in the early 1980s, The Obesity Society is the leading professional society focused on obesity science, treatment and prevention.

Basilia Zingarelli, MD, PhD

Basilia Zingarelli, director of Critical Care Basic Science Research, was awarded the International Federation of Shock Societies’ (IFSS) Distinguished Service Award. For this prestigious award, the Executive Committee recognized Zingarelli for her long-standing service to the IFSS as General Secretary, service to the SHOCK journal as deputy editor, exceptional leadership as past president of the U.S. Shock Society and chair of the International Relations Committee, scientific contribution in trauma and sepsis, and strong advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion mission of the IFSS.


2023 Lab Safety Stars

Individuals and laboratories who demonstrate excellence in laboratory safety, biosafety, chemical safety, and safety in general are recognized with the Safety Star Award. This recognition is meant to acknowledge the distinguished achievement of these individuals in the areas of safety and health in the research laboratory and work environment. This year marks the 15th year celebrating Safety Stars, who include:

  • Andrea Toth, Will Zacharias Lab, Pulmonary Biology & Neonatology
  • Annie Emmert, Cornwall Lab, Orthopaedics
  • Carmy Forney, Kottyan Lab, CAGE
  • Sarah Baumgartner, Crone Lab, Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Catherine Fadden, Kaufman Lab, CAGE
  • Donna Stewart, Histology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Kristina Preusse, Kopan Lab, Developmental Biology
  • Lisa Waggoner, Pasare Lab, and Jeanette Miller, Herr Lab, Immunobiology
  • Sara Vicente MunozKoko Sakabe, Miki WatanabeLindsey Romick, NMR –based Metabolomics Facility
  • Stacey Reed, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory


Newly Appointed SPR Members

The Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) is a multidisciplinary network of diverse researchers who share the goal of improving child health. New members were nominated and seconded by active members of the SPR and then appointed by their governing council. Cincinnati Children’s has six newly appointed members.

Katja Gist, DO, MSc, Cardiology Clinic, Center for Acute Care Nephrology
Kelly Kamimura-Nishimura, MD, MS, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Sonya Tang Girdwood, MD, PhD, Divisions of Hospital Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology

Chidiogo Anyigbo, MD, MPH, Division of General and Community Pediatrics
Alexandra Corley, MD, MPH, Division of General and Community Pediatrics
Grant Paulsen, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases


Newly Elected American Pediatric Society Members

The mission of the American Pediatric Society includes shaping the future of academic pediatrics through the engagement of distinguished child health leaders to represent the full diversity within the field. New members are nominated by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves as child health leaders, teachers, scholars, policymakers, and/or clinicians. Congratulations to these individuals who recently were elected:

Andrew Beck, MD, MPH, attending physician in the Divisions of Hospital Medicine and General and Community Pediatrics
Jae Kim, MD, PhD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute, director of the Division of Neonatology
Amy Sanghavi Shah, MD, MS, director of the Adolescent Type 2 Diabetes Program


Technology Validation Start-Up Fund Awardees

The Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund provides grants to transition technology from Ohio research institutions into the marketplace through Ohio startup companies. The goal of the program is to create greater economic growth in Ohio through startup companies that commercialize technologies developed by institutions of higher education, other nonprofit research institutions, and federal labs. Congratulations to these recent recipients:

Kevin Dufendach, MD, MS, Division of Biomedical Informatics, for his project, “Unit Conductor – Harmonizing Hospital Flow” (additional funding)
Douglas Millay, PhD, and Sajedah Hindi, PhD, Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, for their project, “Pseudotyped Viral Particles for Skeletal Muscle Gene Therapy” (new project)
Drew Barzman, MD, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Judith Dexheimer, PhD, Division of Biomedical Informatics, for their project, “Advancing Commercialization of the Automated Risk Assessment (ARIA) System to Prevent School Violence in Ohio” (additional funding)

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