Research Horizons


Researcher Recognition: November 2023

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

Karen Burkett, PhD, RN, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, is the recipient of Mount Saint Joseph University’s 2023 Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award, which recognizes recent significant research activities that have positively affected nursing practice. Her research on health disparities among children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has had tangible impact on children in the Cincinnati area, and her studies have helped to increase ASD awareness and successful intervention in Spanish-speaking and African American communities.

Jonathan Dillman, MD, MSc, associate chief of research in the Department of Radiology, was selected as one of 58 recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Investigator Award, presented by the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research. This prestigious honor recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of medical imaging.

Every Child Succeeds has been named a Cincy Magazine 2023 Nonprofit of the Year in the “Home Based Parenting Education” category. This home-based care organization was established based on brain research showing that the first three years of life are more important than all that follow, and its research arm is led by Robert Ammerman, PhD, a staff psychologist and professor in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology and CCRF Endowed Chair. Look for a feature story about the award in Cincy Magazine‘s upcoming Holiday Traditions Issue, and learn more about the Every Child Succeeds research team.

Robert Frenck, Jr., MD, director of the Vaccine Research Center and executive chair of the Institutional Review Board, was chosen to receive the Cincinnati Pediatric Society’s 2023 Founders Award. The honor is bestowed upon a member of the medical profession who has accomplished exemplary results in basic or clinical research and demonstrated distinguished contributions to the health and welfare of the children of our community.

H. Leighton “Lee” Grimes, PhD, Cancer Pathology Program director for the Experimental Hematology and Pathology divisions and co-leader of CBDI’s Program in Hematologic Malignancies, has been elected Basic Investigative Research Councillor to the American Society of Hematology. The organization is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood.

Abby Hess, DNP, APRN, Pre-Anesthesia Consultation Clinic, invented a breathing-controlled video game to help young kids relax when it’s time to put on an anesthesia mask before surgery. Because of her innovative work, she has been named a recipient of a Women Who Mean Business Award. Presented by the Cincinnati Business Courier, the awards recognize 10 women whose accomplishments over the past year have had a big impact on their organizations and Greater Cincinnati. Profiles of all the winners will appear in the Dec. 15 edition of the Business Courier.

LaQuita Jones, DO, Oncology, has been named to the Business Courier‘s 2023 Forty Under 40 class. This honor recognizes Greater Cincinnati’s next generation of young leaders and innovators. Jones is among 40 professional rising stars who are making great strides in shaping our community’s future.

Jennifer O’Toole, MD, MEd, director of the Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) Residency Program and professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Internal Medicine and Pediatrics departments, has been selected as one of 10 recipients in the nation to receive the 2024 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The award recognizes residency program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows. O’Toole also recently became the interim designated institutional official for UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital.

Michelle Saad, MD, MS, assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, received the Amin Tjota Award for Excellence in Pancreatic Research Prize. This honor was developed to promote the pursuit of research related to pancreatic disorders in children. Michelle won for her work, “From Acute Pancreatitis to Diabetes: Risk Factors and Timeline Analysis in a Pediatric Population Study,” which she recently presented at their annual meeting.