Carolinas HealthCare System
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Pediatrics

Research Summary

Levine Children's Hospital, opened in 2007 and was recently named a Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in 5 specialties.  The hospital combines medical expertise with a new state-of-the-art facility aimed at meeting the physical and emotional needs of children and their families. The Departments of Pediatrics and Pediatric Research at Levine Children's Hospital/Carolinas Medical Center offer clinical studies to children and adolescents through various sub-specialty physicians. Currently, the majority of our clinical research is concentrated in the divisions of Infectious Disease, Genetics, Nephrology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Critical Care services (Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care).


Faculty Research Interests

Amina Ahmed, MD
Jason Dranove, MD
Vani Gopalareddy, MD
Thomas Griffin, MD, PhD
Susan Massengill, MD
Niraj Patel, MD
Lauren Piper, MD
Matthew Saxonhouse, MD
Susan Sparks, MD, PhD
Donald "Jack" Weaver Jr., MD

Amina Ahmed, MD
Infectious Disease

Dr. Ahmed has served on the faculty at Carolinas Medical Center since 1998. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her residency there upon graduation. In 1997, Dr. Ahmed completed her Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Disease at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Since joining the staff at Carolinas Medical Center, Dr. Ahmed has become a prominent researcher in childhood infectious diseases and illnesses and is currently the Director of the Pediatric Research department. Her research projects include a focus on Cytomegalovirus (CMV), latent tuberculosis, and neonatal herpes infections.  Dr. Ahmed is currently participating in a 10-year study of latent tuberculosis sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control.  She was also chosen to participate in four new studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, two of which are currently enrolling and two that will be open to enrollment soon.  

Recent Publications

Cruz AT, Ahmed A, Mandalakas AM, Starke JR.  Treatment of latent tuberculosis infection in children.  J Pediatr Infect Dis Soc; 2013; 2: 248-258. Doi: 10.1093/jpids/pit030

Donald PR,  Ahmed A, Burman WJ, Cotton MF, Graham SM,  Mendel C, McIlleron H, Mac Kenzie WR , Nachman S, Schaaf HS, Starke JR,  Wingfield C,  Hesseling AC.  Requirements for the clinical evaluation of new anti-tuberculosis agents in children.  Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013; 17(6): 794-799.  PMID: 23676164

Ross SA, Novak Z, Pati S, Patro RK, Blumental J, Danthruluri VR, Ahmed A, Michaels M, Sanchez P, Bernstein D, Tolan R, Palmer A, Britt WJ, Fowler KB, Boppana SB. Mixed infection and strain diversity in congenital cytomegalovirus infection. J Infect Dis. 2011; 204: 1003-7.  PMID: 21881114

Kimberlin DW, Whitley RJ, Wan W, Powell DA; Storch G, Ahmed A, Palmer A, Sánchez PJ, Jacobs RJ, Bradley JS, Robinson JL, Shelton M, Dennehy PH, Leach C, Rathore M, Abughali N, Wright P, Frenkel LM, Brady RC, Van Dyke R, Weiner LB, Guzman-Cottrill J, McCarthy CA, Griffin J, Jester P, Parker M, Lakeman FD, Kuo H, Lee CH, Cloud GA, for the NIAID Collaborative Antiviral Study Group. Oral acyclovir suppression improves neurodevelopment following neonatal herpes. N. Engl J Med. 2011; 365(14): 1284-92. PMID: 21991950

Ahmed A.  Antiviral treatment of cytomegalovirus infection. Infectious Disorders-Drug Targets. 2011; 11(5): 475-503. PMID: 21827432

Boppana SB, Ross SA, Shimamura M, Palmer AL, Ahmed A, Michaels MG, Sánchez PJ, Bernstein DI, Tolan RW, Novak Z, Chowdhury N, Britt WJ, Fowler KB, for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders CMV and Hearing Multicenter Screening (CHIMES) Study. Saliva pPolymerase cChain rReaction aAssays fFor Newborn cCytomegalovirus sScreening in newborns. N Engl J Med. 2011; 364(22): 2111-8. PMID: 21631323

Boppana S, Ross S, Novak Z, Shimamura M, Tolan R, Palmer A, Ahmed A, Michaels M, Sanchez P, Britt W, Fowler K. Dried blood spot real-time polymerase chain reaction assays to screen newborns for congenital CMV infection. JAMA 2010; 303(14): 1375-1382. PMID: 20388893

Current and Pending Grant Support

Grant Title: An Adaptive Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacodynamic, Concentration-
Response Investigation of CMX001 in the Infants with Neonatal
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Followed by a Randomized Assessment of Oral Valacyclovir versus Oral Acyclovir Suppression
Funding Agency: NIH/DMID
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Pending

Grant Title: Evaluation of the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Ganciclovir in Premature Infants Receiving
Treatment for Cytomegalovirus
Funding Agency: NIH/DMID
Pending

Grant Title: A Phase II Randomized and Controlled Investigation of Six Weeks of Oral Valganciclovir Therapy in Infants and Children with Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection and Hearing Loss
Funding Agency: NIH/DMID
Years: 2012-2016

Grant Title: Identification of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Shedding in the Female Genital Tract of Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women by Xpert 1/2 Assay, Routine PCR, and Culture
Funding Agency: NIH/DMID
Years: 2012-2016

Grant Title: Prospective Comparison of the Tuberculin Skin Test and Interferon-Gamma Release Assays in Diagnosing Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and in Predicting Progression to Tuberculosis Infection
Funding Agency: CDC
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2011-2021

Grant Title: The Natural History of CMV-Related Hearing Loss and the Feasibility of CMV Screening as Adjunct to Hearing Screening in Newborns
Funding Agency: NIH/NIDCD
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2005-2011

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Jason Dranove, MD
Gastroenterology

In 2009, Dr. Dranove joined the faculty of Levine Children’s Hospital as a pediatric gastroenterologist.  He received his Doctor of Medicine in 2003 from the Medical College of Georgia.  Dr. Dranove completed his residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2006 and, in 2009, completed a fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN. His special interests include neurogastroenterology, gastrointestinal motility disorders, functional bowel disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Recent Publications

Sitton M, Tipnis, N, Arvedson J, Rao A, Dranove J, Brown G, and   Chun R.  Endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy (CPM) for management of cricopharyngeal achalasia (CA) in an 18-month-old child. Laryngoscope. 2013;123(3):797-800. PMID: 22991054

Dranove J, Horn D, Reddy N, Croffie J.   Effect of intravenous erythromycin on the colonic motility of children and young adults during colonic manometry.  J Pediatr Surg.  2010 Apr;45(4):777-83. PMID: 20385286

Dranove J, Applegate K, Croffie J.  Type I familial visceral  myopathy presenting with CT findings of superior mesenteric artery syndrome in an adolescent.  J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr.  2009 Oct;49(4):379. PMID: 20032629

Dranove J, Davis M, Horn D, Kernek K, Gupta S.  Predictors of  response to proton pump inhibitor therapy among children with significant esophageal eosinophilia.  J Pediatr. 2009;154(1):96-100. PMID: 18783791   

Dranove JE, Pope J, and Kim S.  The Development of Diffise Large B Cell Lymphoma in early onset IBD.  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.  2012; 12(S18):  S69.

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Vani Gopalareddy, MD
Gastroenterology

Dr. Gopalareddy joined the faculty of Levine Children’s Hospital in 2007 and is the current Medical Director of the Pediatric Hepatology and Liver Transplant Program.  She received her Doctor of Medicine from Bangalore Medical College/University of Bangalore in India in 1992.  In 2002, she completed her residency at Atlantic Health System in New Jersey and, in 2005, she completed a fellowship in Pediatric GI and Nutrition from Al DuPont Hospital for Children/Thomas Jefferson University.  Dr. Gopalareddy’s research interests include chronic liver disorders, viral hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

Recent Publications

Leiby A, Mehta D, Gopalareddy V, Jackson-Walker S, Horvath K. Bacterial overgrowth and methane production in children with encopresis” J Pediatr. 2010; 156(5):766-70. PMID: 20036380

Current and Pending Grants

Grant Title: A Comparative Study of the Antiviral Efficacy and Safety of Entecavir (ETV) versus Placebo in Pediatric Subjects with Chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) Infection who are HBeAg-Positive
Funding Agency: Bristol Myers Squibb, Inc.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2010-2017

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Thomas Griffin, MD, PhD
Rheumatology

Dr. Griffin has been with Levine Children’s Hospital since 2011 and is the Director of Pediatric Rheumatology.  He received a PhD in biochemistry in 1989 and his Doctor of Medicine in 1991 from Case Western Reserve University Schools of Medicine and Graduate Studies.  He completed a residency in Pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital/University Hospitals of Cleveland in 1994 and a fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1998.  He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Arthritis Foundation in 1999.  Dr. Griffin is an accomplished researcher whose interests include juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and other rheumatology disorders.

Recent Publications

Barnes MG, Grom AA, Griffin TA, Colbert RA, Thompson SD. Gene expression profiles from PBMC are sensitive to short processing delays.  Biopreserv Biobank. 2010;8(3):153-62. PMID: 21743826

Clericuzio C, Harutyunyan K, Jin W, Erickson RP, Irvine AD, McLean WH, Wen Y, Bagatelli R, Griffin TA, Shwayder TA, Plon SE, Wang LL. Identification of a novel C16orf57 mutation in Athabaskan patients with Poikiloderma with Neutropenia. Am J Med Genet A. 2011;155A(2):337-42 . PMID: 21271650

Hinze CH, Fall N, Thornton S, Mo JQ, Aronow BJ, Layh-Schmitt G, Griffin TA, Thompson SD, Colbert RA, Glass DN, Barnes MG, AA Grom. Immature cell populations and an erythropoiesis gene expression signature in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis: Implications for pathogenesis.  Arthritis Res Ther. 2010;12(3):R123. PMID: 20576155

Barnes MG, Grom AA, Thompson SD, Griffin TA, Luyrink BA, Colbert RA,  Glass DN. Biological similarities based on age at onset in oligoarticular and polyarticular subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62(11):3249-58. PMCID: PMC3018072

Thompson SD, Barnes MG, Griffin TA, Grom AA, Glass DN. Heterogeneity in JIA, impact of molecular profiling based on DNA polymorphism and gene expression patterns.  Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62(9):2611-5. PMID: 20496366

Stringer E, Bohnsack J, Bowyer S, Griffin TA, Huber AM, Lang B, Lindsley CB, Ota S, Pilkington C, Reed AM, Scuccimarri R, Feldman BM. Treatment approaches to juvenile dermatomyositis across North America: the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) JDM treatment survey. J. Rheumatol. 2010;37(9):1953-61. PMID: 20595275

Hensley SE, Zanker D, Dolan BP, David A, Hickman HD, Embry AC, Skon CN, Grebe KM, Griffin TA, Chen W, Bennink JR, Yewdell JW. Unexpected role for the immunoproteasome subunit LMP2 in antiviral humoral and innate immune responses. J. Immunol. 2010;184(8):4115-22. PMID: 20228196

Griffin TA, Barnes MG, Ilowite NT, Olson JC, Sherry DD, Gottlieb BS, Aronow BJ,  Pavlidis P, Hinze CH, Thornton S, Thompson SD, Grom AA, Colbert RA, Glass DN. Gene expression signatures in polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis demonstrate disease heterogeneity and offer a molecular classification of disease subsets. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;60(7): 2113-23. PMID: 19565504 or PMCID: PMC2741130

Barnes MG, Grom AA, Thompson SD, Griffin TA, Pavlidis P, Itert L, Fall N, Sowders DP, Hinze CH, Aronow BJ,  Luyrink LK, Shrivastava S, Ilowite NT,  Gottlieb BS, Olson JC, Sherry DD, Glass DN, Colbert RA. Subtype-specific peripheral blood gene expression profiles in recent-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;60(7):2102-12. PMID: 19565513 or PMCID: PMC2782469

Current and Pending Grants

Grant Title: A Multicenter, Open-Label Study to Assess the Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Efficacy of Certolizumab Pegol in Children and Adolescents with Moderately to Severly Active Polyarticular-Course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Funding Agency: UCB Biosciences
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-indefinite

Grant Title: CARRA Registry
Funding Agency: NIH/NIAMS/Arthritis Foundation
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-indefinite

Grant Title: Gene Expression in Pediatric Arthritis
Funding Agency: NIH
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-2017

Grant Title: A Phase 1b, Open-Label, Multicenter Study to Investigate the Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Safety of Tocilizumab Following Subcutaneous Administration to Patients with Polyarticular Course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Funding Agency: F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2013-2015

Grant Title:  A Phase Ib, Open-Label, Multicenter Study to Investigate the Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Safety of Tocilizumab Following Subcutaneous Administration to Patients with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Funding Agency: F. Hoffmann-LaRoche Ltd
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2013-2015

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Susan Massengill, MD
Nephrology

Dr. Massengill has been with Carolinas Healthcare System since 1997 and is currently the Medical Director for Pediatric Nephrology at Levine Children’s Hospital.  She received her Doctor of Medicine from East Carolina University in 1987 and completed her residency there in 1990.  Dr. Massengill also completed a pediatric nephrology fellowship at the University of Florida in 1993.  Her research interests include chronic kidney disease in children, hypertension, and the treatment of various pediatric kidney disorders.

Recent  Publications

Gipson DS, Selewski DT, Massengill SF, Wickman L, Messer KL, Herreshoff E, Bowers C, Ferris ME, Mahan JD, Greenbaum LA, MacHardy J, Kapur G, Chand DH, Goebel J, Barletta GM, Geary D, Kershaw DB, Pan CG, Gbadegesin R, Hidalgo G, Lane JC, Leiser JD, Plattner BW, Song PX, Thisssen D, Liu Y, Gross HE, DeWalt DA.  Gaining the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) perspective in Chronic Kidney Disease: a Midwest pediatric nephrology consortium study. Pediatr Nephrol (in press)

Gibson K, Gipson DS, Massengill SF.  Renal Manifestations of Systemic Disease. Seminars in Nephrology, 29(4):360-369, 2009.

Gipson DS, Massengill SF, Yao L, Nagaraj S, Smoyer WE, Mahan JD, Wigfall D, Miles P, Powell L, Lin JJ, Trachtman H, Greenbaum LA.  Diagnosis and Management of Children with Nephrotic Syndrome.  A Report from the North American Children’s Nephrotic Syndrome Consensus Conference. Pediatrics. 124(2):747-757, 2009.

MacHardy N, Miles PV, Massengill SF, Smoyer WE, Mahan JD, Greenbaum L, Massie S, Yao L, Nagaraj S, Lin JJ, Wigfall D, Trachtman H, Hu Y, Gipson DS.   Management patterns of childhood-onset nephrotic syndrome. Pediatr Nephrol. 2009;24(11):2193-201. PMID: 19672630

Gibson KL, Gipson DS, Massengill SF, Dooley MA, Primack WA, Ferris MA, Hogan SL.  Predictors of relapse and end stage kidney disease in proliferative lupus nephritis:  focus on children, adolescents, and young adults.  Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009;4(12):1962-7. PMID: 19820130

Steciuk MR, Massengill S, Banks PM.  In immunocompromised patients, Epstein-Barr virus lymphadenitis can mimic angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma morphologically, immunophenotypically, and genetically: a case report and review of the literature.  Hum Pathol. 2012;43(1):127-33. PMID: 21733557

Flynn JT, Pierce CB, Miller ER 3rd, Charleston J, Samuels JA, Kupferman J, Furth SL, Warady BA; Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Study Group. Reliability of resting blood pressure measurement and classification using an oscillometric device in children with chronic kidney disease.  J Pediatr. 2012;160(3):434-40. PMID: 22048052 or PMCID: PMC3274610

Gipson DS, Messer KL, Tran CL, Herreshoff EG, Samuel JP, Massengill SF, Song P, Selewski DT.  Inpatient healthcare utilization in the United States among children, adolescents and young adults with nephrotic syndrome.  Am J Kidney Dis.  2013;61(6):910-917. PMID: 23423062

Gipson DS, Selewski DT, Massengill SF, Wickman L, Messer KL, Herreshoff E, Bowers C, Ferris ME, Mahan JD, Greenbaum LA, MacHardy J, Kapur G, Chand DH, Goebel J, Barletta GM, Geary D, Kershaw DB, Pan CG, Gbadegesin R, Hidalgo G, Lane JC, Leiser JD, Plattner BW, Song PX, Thisssen D, Liu Y, Gross HE, DeWalt DA.  Gaining the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) perspective from children with nephrotic syndrome: a Midwest pediatric nephrology consortium study. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2013;11:30. PMCID: PMC3599189

Blydt-Hansen TD, Pierce CB, Cai Y, Samsonov D, Massengill S, Moxey-Mims M, Warady BA, Furth SL. Medication Treatment Complexity and Adherence in Children with CKD.  Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014; 9(2):247-54. PMID: 24262500

Current and Pending Grant Support

Grant Title: Clinical Phenotyping Rsource and Biobank Core to Understand Kidney Diseases (C-PROBE)
Funding Agency: NIH/NIDDK
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2013-2018

Grant Title: Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD)
Funding Agency: NIH
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2006-indefinite (closed to enrollment)

Grant Title: Novel Therapies for Resistant Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) Phase II Clinical Trial (FONT II)
Funding Agency: NIH/Feinstein Institute
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2010-2014

Grant Title: Validation of Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Pediatric Banks with Incident Nephrotic Syndrome
Funding Agency: NIH
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2010-2014

Grant Title: Assessing and Implementing Transition to Adult Care in Children with CKD
Funding Agency: Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2011-indefinite

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Niraj Patel, MD
Infectious Disease 

Dr. Patel joined the faculty at Levine Children’s Hospital in 2009 and is the Director and Founder of the Immunology clinic, which provides diagnosis and treatment for pediatric patients with recurrent infections, primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, complement disorders, and patients receiving antibody replacement such as IVIG or SCIG.  He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Louisville in 2000, and completed his residency there in 2003.  His fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases was completed at the Baylor College of Medicine in 2006 and in pediatric allergy/immunology in 2009. Dr. Patel’s research interests include immunodeficiencies, antibody replacement, and vaccine studies. In 2012, Dr. Patel was awarded the department’s first multi-center trial, of which he is the principal investigator.  The study includes nine participating centers from the U.S. and Canada.

Recent Publications

Patel NC, Halvorson SJ, Sroller V, Arrington AS, Wong C, Smith EO, Vilchez RA, Butel JS.  Viral regulatory region effects on vertical transmission of polyomavirus SV40 in hamsters.  Virology. 2009; 386(1):94-101. PMCID: PMC2668977

Patel NC, Chinen J, Rosenblatt HM, Hanson IC, Krance RA, Paul ME, Abramson SL, Noroski LM, Davis CM, Brown BS, Ritz J, Shearer WT.  Outcomes of severe combined immunodeficiency patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with and without preconditioning.  J Allergy Clin Immunol.  2009; 124 (5): 1062-9.e1-4. PMID: 19895994

Patel NC, Hertel PM, Estes MK, Dela Morena M, Petru AM, Noroski LM, Revell PA, Hanson IC, Paul ME, Rosenblatt HM, Abramson SL.  Vaccine-acquired rotavirus disease in infants with severe combined immunodeficiency. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362(4): 314-9. PMID: 20107217

Patel NC, Hertel PM, Hanson IC, Krance RA, Crawford SE, Estes M, Paul ME.  Chronic rotavirus infection in an infant with severe combined immunodeficiency: successful treatment by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  Clin Immunol. 2012; 142(3):399-401. PMID: 22244360

Gallagher JL, Patel NC.  Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy with Hizentra® is safe and effective in two infants.  J Clin Immunol. 2012; 32(3):474-6.  PMID: 22228569

Harknett KM, Hussain S, Rogers MK, Patel NC.  Scurvy mimicking osteomyelitis: Case report and review of the literature.  Clin Pediatr. 2013. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24137032

Lee YN, Frugoni F, Dobbs K, Walter JE, Giliani S, Gennery A, Al-Herz W, Haddad E, Bleesing J, Henderson L, Pai SY, Nelson RP, El-Ghoneimy DH, El-Feky RA, Soler-Palacin S, Fuleihan RL, Patel NC, Su HC, Puck JM, Palma P, Cancrini C, Chen K, Vihinen M, Alt FW, Notarangelo LD.  A systematic analysis of recombination activity and genotype-phenotype correlation in human RAG1-deficiency.  J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;133(4):1099-108. PMID: 24290284

Patel NC.  Esophageal Infections, In: Pediatric Gastroenterology (A Color Handbook), J. Pohl, ed., CRC Press, New York, pp 99-103, 2013

Patel NC.  Small Bowel Infections, In: Pediatric Gastroenterology (A Color Handbook), J. Pohl, ed., CRC Press, New York, pp 205-208, 2013

Current and Pending Grant Support

Grant Title: Safety and Efficacy of Hizentra® in Patients Less Than 5 Years of Age
Funding Agency: CSL Behring
Role: Principal Investigator (multi-center trial)
Years: 2012-2014

Grant Title: An Open-Label, Multi-Center, Single-Arm Study to Evaluate the Safety and Tolerability of Intravenous Zanamivir in the Treatment of Hospitalized Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric Subjects with Confirmed Influenza Infection
Funding Agency: GlaxoSmithKline
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-2105

Grant Title: A Registry of Patients with Primary Immune Deficiency Disorders
Funding Agency: United States Immunodeficiency Network (USIDNET)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-indefinite

Grant Title: Immunoglobulin, Diagnostics, Evaluation, and Key Learnings Patient Registry:  IDEaL
Funding Agency: Coram Clinical Trials, Inc.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2011-indefinite

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Lauren Piper, MD
Pediatric Intensive Care

Dr. Piper joined the faculty in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Levine Children’s Hospital in 2010.  She received her Doctor of Medicine in 2004 from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and, in 2010, received a Master’s of Science in Clinical Research from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Dr. Piper completed her residency in 2007 at St. Louis Children’s Hospital/Washington University and her fellowship in 2010 at Duke University.  Dr. Piper brings an enthusiasm for research to Levine Children’s Hospital and currently has one open study enrolling pediatric patients with traumatic brain injuries and additional studies planned for the near future.

Recent Publications

Piper L, Smith PB, Hornik CP, Cheifetz IM, Barrett J, Moorthy G, Wade K, Cohen-Wolkowiez, M, Benjamin DK Jr. Fluconazole Loading Dose Pharmacokinetics and Safety in Infants. Abstract, Poster Presentation, American Pediatric Society / Society for Pediatric Research Conference, Vancouver, Canada, May 2010.

Piper L, Smith PB, Cotten, M, Clark, R, Cohen-Wolkowiez, M, Benjamin DK Jr. Blood Stream Infections in Young Infants with Congenital Heart Disease. Abstract, Poster Presentation, American Pediatric Society / Society for Pediatric Research Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, May 2009.

Cohen-Wolkowiez M, Smith PB, Piper L, Moran C, Liu P, Kashuba A, Capparelli E, Walsh TJ, Hope WW, Benjamin DK Jr. Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Multiple-Dose Anidulafungin in Infants. Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Francisco, CA, 2009.

Current and Pending Grants

Grant Title: Approaches and Decisions for Active Pediatric TBI (ADAPT) Trial
Funding Agency: NIH
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2014-2019

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Matthew Saxonhouse, MD
Neonatal Intensive Care

Dr. Saxonhouse joined the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center – Northeast as a neonatologist in 2009.  He received his Doctor of Medicine in 1998 from the University of Florida College of Medicine and completed residency in 2001 there.  In 2004, he also completed his fellowship in neonatology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Saxonhouse was an active researcher during his time at the University of Florida College of Medicine and his first clinical research study at Levine Children’s Hospital is pending.  We are excited that Dr. Saxonhouse has an interest in research and look forward to participating in many more studies with him.

Recent Publications

Deschmann E, Sola-Visner M, Saxonhouse MA. Primary hemostasis in neonates with thrombocytopenia. J Pediatr. 2014 Jan;164(1):167-72. PMID: 24094764  

Sparger K, Assmann S, Granger S, Kalish L, Miller J, Winston A, Christensen R, Josephson C, Widness J, Saxonhouse M, Sola-Visner M. Platelet Transfusion Practices Among Very Low Birth Weight Infants: A Multicenter Study. 2013, in submission.

Saxonhouse MA, Garner RG, Mammel L, Li Q, Muller KE, Greywood J, Miller C, Sola-Visner M. Closure times measured by the platelet function analyzer PFA-100 are longer in neonatal blood compared to cord blood samples. Neonatology. 2010;97(3): 242-9. PMID: 19887853

Saxonhouse MA, Kays DK, Burchfield DJ, Hoover R, Islam S. Gastroschisis with jejunal and colonic atresia, and isolated colonic atresia in dichorionic, diamniotic twins. Pediatr Surg Int. 2009;25(5):437-9. PMID: 19308430

Saxonhouse MA, Tarquinio D, Carney PR, Bennett J, Smith A, Hunger SP, Geyer JD. Low molecular weight heparin in a case of non-cardiogenic multifocal perinatal thromboembolic stroke. Advances in Hematology. 2009. 1536-1543. Article ID 153643. doi:10.1155/2009/153643

Saxonhouse MA, Burchfield DB. The evaluation and management of postnatal thrombosis. J Perinatol. 2009;29(7):467-78. PMID: 19279647

Current and Pending Grants

Grant Title: Antibiotic Safety in Infants with Complicated Intra-Abdominal Infections (ABS01)
Funding Agency: NIH/NICHD
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Pending

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Susan Sparks, MD, PhD
Genetics

Link to Full Bio
Dr. Sparks is a clinical geneticist and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who joined Levine Children’s Hospital in 2009.  She received her Doctor of Medicine from the Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School in 1999, and completed her residency in 2002 at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  Dr. Sparks also completed her fellowship in clinical genetics and clinical biochemical genetics in 2005 at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.  She has an extensive background in clinical research and collaborates with the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research and the Neuroscience and Spine Institute to advance the translational research program in neuromuscular disorders at Carolinas Medical Center.  She is also the PI of the Carolinas Medical Center Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG; www.cinrgresearch.org), and participates in clinical trials in neuromuscular disorders initiated through this network.  She has a particular interest in neuromuscular disorders with a biochemical basis.

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Donald "Jack" Weaver, MD
Nephrology

Dr. Weaver joined the division of Pediatric Nephrology in 2008 and is currently the Medical Director of the Pediatric Dialysis Unit.  He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina in 2003 and completed his residency at Carolinas Medical Center in 2006.  He also completed a fellowship in nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2008.  Dr. Weaver’s research interests include hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and complications of chronic kidney disease.

Recent Publications

Weaver DJ Jr, Reis ES, Pandey MK, Kohl G, Harris N, Gerard C, Koehl J.  C5a receptor-deficient dendritic cells promote induction of Treg and Th17 cells.  Eur J Immunol. 2010;40(3):710-21. PMID: 20017191

Weaver DJ Jr, Mitsnefes MM. Inflammation and cardiovascular complications of chronic kidney disease.  J Organ Dysfunction. 2009;5(4):208-17.

Weaver DJ Jr, Kimball TR, Koury PR, Mitsnefes MM. Cardiac output and associated left ventricular hypertrophy in pediatric chronic kidney disease.  Pediatr Nephrol. 2009;24(3):565-570. PMID: 19048301

Current and Pending Grant Support

Grant Title: Clinical Course of STEC HUS in a Contemporary Group of American Children
Funding Agency: Alexion Pharmaceuticals via the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2012-2014

Grant Title: M11-001: An Observational, Mon-Interventional, Multi-Center, Multi-National Study of Patients with Atypical Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome
Funding Agency: Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2013-indefinite

Grant Title: Genotype as a Predictor of mycophenolate Mofetil Related Complications in Pediatric Transplant Recipients
Funding Agency: Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Years: 2009-indefinite

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