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Editor: Sara Davies 
March 25, 2016

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The holiday is observed during Holy Week on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar. Easter symbolizes forgiveness, rebirth, and God’s saving power. Christians view the day as a victory over sin and death. May this Easter be a time for renewal, gathering of family and joyful reflection.


As many of you interface with the Pediatric Chair's office, you will notice some new faces. We are excited to be working with the Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic School Corporate Work-Study Program. This program uses corporate partnerships to offer “real world” job experience to high school students from their freshman through senior years. The students below will be assisting our Administrative Associate, Mitzi Pitzing, in completing the daily tasks associated with the Chair’s office. Visit the website for more information on Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic School and its Corporate Work-Study Program.

The first annual Pediatric Science Day was held on March 17, 2016 in the Bradley Conference Center. The organizers are pleased to announce the day was a huge success! Twenty pediatric presentations were showcased including presentations by 12 pediatric fellows, six pediatric residents, one post doc in psychology and one medical student. Additionally, eight posters were presented, five by pediatric fellows, one by a chief resident, one by a nutrition graduate student and one by a research associate. We were thrilled that Dr. Paul Spearman, Vice Chair of Research from Emory University was able to join us as the featured Grand Rounds speaker. He was an integral active participant during both the platform and poster sessions, and gave a very informative grand rounds presentation. Three fellows were highlighted with best abstracts in their section: Dr. Eric Ring and Dr. Jenny McDaniel, first and second year fellows from Hematology/Oncology, and Dr. Johanna Hall, third year fellow from Emergency Medicine. The day was even more complete as close to 70 faculty members took time to enjoy the presentations during the day. Special thanks to the six faculty who took time to review the abstracts: Drs. Tofil, Wu, Walley, Lebensburger, Whitley and McCormick.

We look forward to future Pediatric Science Days, please watch for future announcements.

Michael Stalvey, M.D., and Ann Klasner, M.D.
Congratulations! The Pediatric Residency program is pleased to announce that we are celebrating another awesome year in the Match. We matched 22 Pediatric Interns, four Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Interns, one Pediatrics-Genetics Intern and one Pediatrics Neurology Intern. Overall, our 2016-2017 intern classes represent 18 medical schools from 13 different states plus D.C. and Peru. There is no doubt you will be pleased with their quality and performance.
We have had an incredibly busy recruiting season. The quality of applicants this year was outstanding with well over 300 candidates interviewing for all Programs combined. Many factors contribute to the success of a residency program. Obviously, the superb efforts of Drs. Cohen and Stagno, the Residency Recruiting Committee, the Chief Residents, and our amazing Residents are critical to our success. Numerous applicants commented on the residents’ camaraderie and friendliness, and undoubtedly recognized the excellence of our interns and residents.
We sincerely appreciate the dedication of our Faculty, the support given to us by Children’s of Alabama, and our wonderful Residents. Again, congratulations and thank you for your commitment to the success of the Pediatric Residency Programs.

Kimberly Butler, RN; Program Manager
Pediatrics and Med-Peds Residency Program


The International Adoption Clinic (IAC) welcomed delegates from China on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Children’s South for a tour of the IAC and many other subspecialty clinics at the Children’s South facility. The Chinese delegates consisted of orphanage directors and staff that are accompanying a group of orphans to the US from China hosted by Lifeline Adoption Agency. This is the 3rd time that different Chinese orphanage directors have been to the visit the IAC at Children’s South. Every year the IAC sees hundreds of children from China (as well as multiple other countries) with an array of special needs including complex congenital heart, various neurologic conditions (CP, spina bifida, sequelae of polio), cleft lip, and palate as well as many other complex special needs. On the tour of the Children’s South facility, the orphanage directors were able to see the various expert subspecialist care that their Chinese adoptees are able to benefit from once they are adopted to the U.S. Through the IAC’s unique partnership with Lifeline, the IAC has been able to develop relationships with Chinese officials at China Center for Child Welfare Agency, which is the governing body for Chinese adoptions. Through this partnership, all IAC specialists (physicians, occupational therapist and family therapist) have been able to visit various orphanages in China to assess the medical, physical, developmental and social/emotional needs of the potential adoptees.

Weily Soong, M.D., and Joe LaRussa, M.D., both longstanding members of the Allergy and Immunology teaching faculty in the Allergy and Immunology fellowship program, have been promoted to Clinical Associate Professor. Drs. Soong and LaRussa provide teaching for fellows as well as medicine and pediatric residents and medical students at their private practices in Birmingham.

Matthew S. Alexander, PhD, Pediatric Neurology, has organized a Children's team for the upcoming Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Muscle Walk of Birmingham. The walk is Saturday, April 23 at Tannehill State Park at 10 a.m. If attending, be sure to wear either Children's, UAB or MDA gear! This is a great way to interact with patients and their families (especially those who come to the clinics).

Click here to donate or join Dr. Alexander's team. 

If you have any questions or want to get involved, email Dr. Alexander.

More than 200 million children age 5 and under do not reach their developmental potential due to poverty, malnutrition, poor health and un-stimulating home environments, according to Fred Biasini, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychology. The majority of these children live in South Asia or sub-Saharan Africa.

Biasini and Wally Carlo, M.D., division director of UAB Neonatology, are co-authors of a multicountry study that shows home-based interventions that teach parents to engage children in interactive, developmentally appropriate learning activities during the first three years help erase this gap. Biasini led the team of developmental assessors, while Carlo was the principal investigator.

To continue reading the press release, click here.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will broadcast  “Smoke and Mirrors: Electronic Cigarettes and Child Health” on Thursday, April 28 at noon - 2 p.m. Susan Walley, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine, will be the lead speaker. The second speaker is Ann Slattery, managing director for the Regional Poison Control Center at Children's. 
Register on the ADPH website and test their computer for compatibility.

Click here to read about the women honored as the UAB Outstanding Women for 2015 during a ceremony March 17. Make sure to read about the three women in pediatrics: Rebecca Cantu, M.D., Michele Kong, M.D., and Penelope Jester.

The annual Physician Appreciation Breakfast is today, Friday, March 25. Children’s Corporate Communications & Marketing department sponsors the breakfast each year in celebration of National Doctor’s Day (March 30).  
All residents, fellows, and faculty are invited to stop by in the physician dining room any time between 7 - 10 a.m. This year’s breakfast is a salute to the 2016 Summer Olympics!
The nominations deadline is next Friday, April 1. The 2016 Dean’s Excellence Awards are an annual honor established to recognize the outstanding contributions made by faculty across the School of Medicine. 
Click here for more information. 

The UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine was established to help UAB and HudsonAlpha be recognized as world leaders in the integration of genetics and genomics into medicine. The Center will publish its first newsletter at the end of March. To subscribe, send an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to Dr. Aida El Kholi Starling, coordinator of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine. By subscribing, you’ll be kept up-to-date on events, resources, present technologies, and latest developments in the world of genomics and ways you can benefit from the Center.

The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will host a Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) training as a pre-conference session on Thursday, April 28, including both a "train-the-trainer" morning session and standard training in the afternoon (conducted by the new trainers from the morning session). UAB Neonatology faculty will provide this training, which requires online registration and a nominal fee. For details and to register, click here

The Civitan International/Simpson-Ramsey Neurodevelopment Symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 21 - 22, in the UAB Alumni House. The two-day event will feature seminars from local and invited speakers and a poster session for those involved in basic or clinical research related to normal or disordered brain development, or child health.
Poster abstracts are due April 1 and a PDF of the poster is due April 15 (for pre-judging purposes). Registration deadline without a poster is April 11 to receive a boxed lunch on the Thursday of the event. For more information and registration, click here
The third annual Concussion Summit 2016 is on Friday, April 15 from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Lecture Center at Children's of Alabama. See the featured speakers below. More information here.
To view the flyer, click here
Employees registration - click here.
Public registration - click here
OFD Announces Faculty Scholars Program –
We are now accepting applications from Department of Pediatrics faculty (MDs and PhDs) and fellows, who are current or prospective clinician-educators for trainees, medical students, residents, and fellows to the Faculty Scholars Program funded by the Department of Pediatrics. This is a one-year faculty development program that begins with a half-day orientation in June 2016, followed by monthly two-hour meetings July 2016 - June 2017. Meeting dates will be selected by group consensus and sessions will be recorded for later viewing. Program participants are expected to attend the program orientation in June on the Children's campus with at least 70 percent of the monthly meetings consisting of videoconferences and small group meetings. The application deadline is Friday, April 15, 2016. Applicants will be notified by May 2, 2016.
The objectives of the department's Faculty Scholars Program:
  1. Develop knowledge and skills related to curricular design and innovation
  2. Promote leadership and career development in graduate medical education
  3. Provide education and training on leading, teaching and providing culturally responsive, family-centered  patient care
Click here for more information and the application. 
For more information about the application, contact Clare Mallette. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Tina Simpson.

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NEW! Divorce Support Group- for Parents and Children Starting Wednesday, April 13, 2016 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. and continuing every Wednesday thru May 4, 2016. Please call to register spouse and child. Click here for more information.
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Parental Leave - In the fall, UAB announced that it will provide up to four weeks of paid parental leave for eligible employees following the birth or adoption of a child. We are extremely pleased to announce that paid parental leave is also being added for UAB Health System, UAHSF and Callahan Eye Hospital employees. The new benefit will be effective by July 2016. The addition of this benefit reflects our continuing effort to establish family-friendly policies and help employees maintain a satisfactory work-life balance. For more information, click here
Integrated Provider System (IPS) Program
The IPS Program is part of a statewide Medicaid transformation effort intended to improve care coordination, efficiency of service delivery and beneficiary outcomes. Providers work with Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) on demonstration projects focused on improved 1) prevention and management of chronic disease, 2) access to and care coordination of health services, 3) birth outcomes, and 4) financial efficiency of the healthcare delivery system. Up to $20 million per IPS work plan/project is available. Additional information on the program can be found here.  All letters of intent should be sent to Cheryl Perry in the Pediatric Research Office no later than April 8.  Final LOIs must be submitted by RCOs on April 15.
UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) 2016 Pilot and Feasibility Program
The NORC will fund at least three nutrition-related pilot and feasibility studies at up to $25,000/year, with a second year of funding possible through a competitive renewal process. Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate close relevance to the NORC mission, NORC core facility usage, and likelihood of future R01 funding.  For more information, including eligibility, click here for the RFA. The pre-application is due April 8, at noon, with full applications invited after review.

2016 CCTS Spring Research Training Program
This program provides training in the basics of implementing and managing a clinical trial with emphasis on good clinical practices (GCPs), research compliance, and other key topics. It is recommended for people who are starting out in research careers or those who would like to receive updates on the various UAB departments and programs that are on campus. Courses will be offered April 5, 13, 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 17 from 7:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the Children’s Harbor Building, 4th Floor, Bradley Conference Center.  To register ($125 fee), click here.  For questions, please contact Sara Davis or 205-934-5316.
CCTS April Forum to Explore Informatics Resources, Strategies for Research
UAB Informatics Institute Director, Dr. James Cimino, and CCTS Informatics Director, Dr. Elliot Lefkowitz, will discuss informatics tools and resources such as i2b2, SHRINE and TriNetX. The Forum will be held on Wednesday, April 6 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. in PCAMS (1924 7th Ave So).
Computational Genomics – Save the Date
This advanced Genomics Immersion Course will be held May 16 - 19 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Finley Conference Center (720 20th St So).  The course will provide a better knowledge of how to analyze genomics data using various Linux (command line) based analytical tools.  Hands-on activities include analyzing whole genome for causal variants, transcriptome for gene expression, and epigenetics for calling peaks in ChIP/ATAC-Seq.  Cost is $50 for faculty, $25 for post-docs, and $10 for students.  You can reserve your spot by contacting Shaila Handattu.


Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Mar 21. pii: ciw145. Single-Dose Live Oral Cholera Vaccine CVD 103-HgR Protects Against Human Experimental Infection with Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor. Chen WH, Cohen MB, Kirkpatrick BD, Brady RC, Galloway D, Gurwith M, Hall RH, Kessler RA, Lock M, Haney D, Lyon CE, Pasetti MF, Simon JK,Szabo F, Tennant S, Levine MM.
No licensed cholera vaccine is presently available in the U.S.A.  Cholera vaccines available in other countries require 2 spaced doses.  In a multi-site, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pivotal efficacy trial, we documented significant protection against moderate and severe cholera subsequent to experimental challenges with wild-type Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor at 10 days and 3 months after a single dose vaccination. The vaccine was well tolerated, with no difference in adverse event frequency among 95 vaccinees versus 102 placebo recipients. The primary endpoint, moderate (≥ 3.0 liter) to severe (≥ 5.0 liter) diarrheal purge occurred in 39/66 (59.1%) placebo controls but only 2/35 (5.7%) vaccinees at 10 days (vaccine efficacy=90.3%, p<0.0001) and 4/33 (12.1%) vaccinees at 3 months (vaccine efficacy=79.5%, p<0.0001).

Neuroscience. 2016 Mar 12. pii: S0306-4522(16)00237-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.014. Altered metabolic activity in the developing brain of rats predisposed to high versus low depression-like behavior. McCoy CR, Golf SR, Melendez-Ferro M, Perez-Costas E, Glover ME, Jackson NL, Stringfellow SA, Pugh PC, Fant AD, Clinton SM.
This study assesses brain metabolic fitness in a well stablished animal model of depression. Cellular metabolism is significantly different in specific brain areas that are affected in depression such as the amygdala. More importantly, it shows that this metabolic anomalies related to depression are already present in early postnatal development, well in advance to the development of depression-like behaviors. These findings suggest that future therapeutic strategies may need to focus in early identification of prodromal symptoms and application of preventive therapies

Pediatr Neurol. 2016 Jan 11. pii: S0887-8994(15)30314-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2015.12.021. Caretaker Quality of Life in Rett Syndrome: Disorder Features and Psychological Predictors. Killian JT Jr, Lane JB, Lee HS, Pelham JH, Skinner SA, Kaufmann WE, Glaze DG, Neul JL, Percy AK.
In chronic diseases, addressing Quality of Life (QOL) for both the affected individual and the caretaker is important and often emphasized by the FDA in natural history studies leading to clinical trials.  In Rett syndrome (RTT) as in many chronic diseases, caretaker QOL, evaluated by the SF-36v2® Health Survey, proved to be quite stable over a five year span, showing better physical QOL and worse mental QOL, although limited personal time and home conflict adversely affected physical QOL.  Feeding issues are often problematic in RTT and negatively affected both physical and mental QOL in univariate analyses, but adversely affected only mental QOL in multivariate analysis.

 2016 Mar;31(3):465-72. doi: 10.1007/s00467-015-3236-x. Vitamin D in incident nephrotic syndrome: a Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium study. Selewski DT, Chen A, Shatat IF, Pais P, Greenbaum LA, Geier P, Nelson RD, Kiessling SG, Brophy PD, Quiroga A, Seifert ME, Straatmann CE, Mahan JD, Ferris ME, Troost JP, Gipson DS.
Cross-sectional studies of children with prevalent nephrotic syndrome have shown 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency rates of 20-100 %. Information on vitamin D status in incident patients or following remission is limited. This multicenter longitudinal study of 61 children with incident nephrotic syndrome demonstrated that all subjects had 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency (levels < 20 ng/ml) at diagnosis and 53% had persistent 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency at follow-up visits. Children prescribed vitamin D supplements at diagnosis were 80% less likely to have 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency at follow-up visits, supporting a role for 25-hydroxyvitamin D supplementation at the time of diagnosis of incident NS.

 2016 Mar;100(3):497-505. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000000903.The Kidney-Vascular-Bone Axis in the Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral Bone Disorder. Seifert ME, Hruska KA.
In kidney transplantation, long-term patient and allograft survival remains limited by cardiovascular disease and chronic allograft injury, among other factors. The chronic kidney disease-mineral bone disorder (CKD-MBD) is a syndrome recently coined to embody the biochemical, skeletal, and cardiovascular pathophysiology that results from disrupting the complex systems biology between the kidney, skeleton, and cardiovascular system in native and transplant kidney disease. This overview reviews current knowledge of the pathophysiology of the CKD-MBD, including emerging concepts surrounding the importance of circulating pathogenic factors released from the injured kidney that directly cause cardiovascular disease in native and transplant chronic kidney disease. 
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