Department Newsletters

Department of Pediatrics Newsletter
May 21, 2012

PDF version

Items to be covered in this edition:

  1. Important Dates
  2. Welcome to New Faculty and Changes to Current Faculty
  3. Faculty News
  4. Faculty Publications and Presentations


May 24: Pediatric Bioethics Grand Rounds. 8–9AM in Wright Auditorium at SCH. Sconyers/Godfrey Ethics Lecture: “Congenital Complexities:  Ethical Challenges in Prenatal Diagnosis” with panelists: Edith Chang, Daniel Doherty, Patrick Javid, Meg Vernon, and David Woodrum. Questions? Contact

May 24: Science in Medicine Lecture.  12-1PM in T-733 Health Science Building at UW.  Prion infections: From molecular biology towards therapy and prophylaxis” presented by Hermann Schatzl, MD, Wyoming Excellence Chair; Professor, Veterinary Sciences and Molecular  Biology.   No  registration  required.  This  lecture  is  open  to  all  faculty,  staff and  students.    Questions? Contact  Viola Brown,

June 12: Department of Pediatrics Faculty Meeting. 5:15–8PM in Wright Auditorium at SCH.  A social gathering with appetizers from 5:15-5:45 will be followed by the regular meeting from 5:45-8PM. Questions? Contact

June 15: Resident Graduation and End-of-Year Banquet. Graduation will be 8-10AM in Wright Auditorium at SCH.  The banquet will be at 6:00PM at the 415 Westlake Building in the South Lake Union neighborhood.  Please remember to RSVP by June 5 to

June 29: Special retirement event for Dr. Jean Sanders.  The Clinical Research Division at the Hutchinson Center and the UW Department of Pediatrics are planning a special retirement event for Dr. Jean Sanders to recognize her pioneering contributions to pediatric oncology and HSC transplantation. Please reserve the date and plan to join us at the Hutchinson Center campus on South Lake Union to celebrate Jean's career and her retirement. The event will include an afternoon seminar starting at 1pm. An invited panel of speakers will present followed at 5pm by a special reception with refreshments and food. More information forthcoming. Questions? Contact

July 27-28: Pediatric Bioethics Conference. “The thin ethical line: When professional boundaries and personal interests collide” at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Registration information  online.

July 31: Annual Department of Pediatrics Faculty & Family Picnic. 6-8PM at Gas Works Park. More information to follow at a later date. Questions? Contact Diane Wade,





Helen Emery, MBBS

Professor Emeritus


Sabreen Akhter, DO

Clinical Assistant Professor

Emergency Medicine

Erin Albers, MD, MSCI

Assistant Professor


Dr. Bonnie Ramsey’s research in cystic fibrosis was recognized by the NHLBI as one of the ten outstanding clinical research accomplishments in the United States this year.

Dr. Michael Bamshad was appointed as the second holder of the Allan and Phyllis Treuer Endowed Chair in Genetics and Development.

Dr. Joseph Flynn has been appointed as the second holder of the Robert Hickman Endowed Chair of Pediatric Nephrology.

Dr. Mark Del Beccaro was promoted to VP of Medical Affairs at Seattle Children’s.

Dr. Ruth McDonald was promoted to Pediatrician-in-Chief and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs.

Dr. Sandy Melzer was promoted to Senior Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer at Seattle Children’s.

Dr. Kyle Yasuda received reappointment to Washington State's Title XIX (Medicaid) Advisory Committee and its Executive Committee.

Congratulations to our newly elected UWSOM Faculty Senate representatives, who were elected for a term as a Pediatrics Senator beginning September 16, 2012, and ending September 15, 2014:

Dr. Maureen Kelley
Dr. Julie Brown
Dr. Joyce Yi-Frazier
Dr. Kristie Bjornson
Dr. Adrian Piliponsky


A team led by Dr. Michael Cunningham discovered a pair of defective genes that cause auriculocondylar syndrome (ACS), a rare congenital malformation syndrome that may make it impossible for the child to breathe or eat properly without reparative surgery. The genes, known as PLCB4 and GNAI3, were pinpointed in a genetic pathway affecting children with ACS. Findings suggest these genes may also play a role in more common disorders of the jaw and ears. Others Seattle Children’s Research Institute contributors include: Dr. Michael Bamshad, Dr. Anne Hing and Dr. Brendan Stamper. The press release can be found here.

The study was published in the May edition of American Journal of Human Genetics:

Drs. Michael Bamshad, Timothy Cox, Anne Hing and Michael Cunningham: A human homeotic transformation resulting from mutations in PLCB4 and GNAI3 causes auriculocondylar syndrome. Rieder MJ, Green GE, Park SS, Stamper BD, Gordon CT, Johnson JM, Cunniff CM, Smith JD, Emery SB, Lyonnet S, Amiel J, Holder M, Heggie AA, Bamshad MJ, Nickerson DA, Cox TC, Hing AV, Horst JA, Cunningham ML. Am J Hum Genet. 2012 May 4;90(5):907-14. PubMed PMID: 22560091.

Dr. Carolina Di Blasi was an award recipient for Endocrine Trainee Day at ENDO 2012. Her abstract “Is intermediate thelarche a new entity following a different clinical course than premature thelarche and central precocious puberty?” was then further selected by the Endocrine Society for consideration of the Clinical Research Fellowship and Mentor Award Supported by Pfizer, Inc. in conjuction with ENDO 2012. With this selection, they up her previous travel award to $2000 and require her to compete in an oral competition, which determines the ultimate winner of the award. Good luck to Dr. Di Blasi and her mentor Angela Badaru, MD!

Dr. Emily Myers (Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow) and Dr. Curt Bennett co-authored three chapters in the newest edition (2012) of the book The Behavioral Sciences and Health Care: “Selected Theories of Development”; “The Fetus, Newborn and Infant”; “Toddlerhood and the Preschool Years”.

Dr. Kenneth Feldman: Risk factors for mortality in children with abusive head trauma. Shein SL, Bell MJ, Kochanek PM, Tyler-Kabara EC, Wisniewski SR, Feldman K, Makoroff K, Scribano PV, Berger RP. J Pediatr 2012 May 11.

Dr. Michael Cunningham: Brain volume and shape in infants with deformational plagiocephaly. Collett BR, Aylward EH, Berg J, Davidoff C, Norden J, Cunningham ML, Speltz ML. Childs Nerv Syst. 2012 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22447491.

Drs. Anne Hing, Heather Mefford and Michael Cunningham: New developments in genetic diagnosis: implications for the craniofacial surgeon. Hing AV, Mefford HC, Cunningham ML. J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Jan;23(1):212-6. PubMed PMID: 22337411.

Dr. Tamara Simon:
1. Center effect and other factors influencing temporization and shunting of cerebrospinal fluid in preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage. Riva-Cambrin J, Shannon CN, Holubkov R, Whitehead WE, Kulkarni AV, Drake J, Simon TD, Browd SR, Kestle JR, Wellons JC 3rd; for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 May;9(5):473-481.

2. Hyponatremia with intracranial malignant tumor resection in children. Williams C, Simon TD, Riva-Cambrin J, Bratton SL. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 May;9(5):524-9.