Our Experts

To arrange an interview with one of our pediatric specialists, please call Public Affairs at 312.227.4600 or e-mail us at publicaffairs@luriechildrens.org.

Robert H. Listernick, MD

Director, Diagnostic and Consultation Services; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Listernick is co-director of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic and is an avid researcher with contributions in over 41 NF1 scientific publications. He was the recipient of the 2019 NF Advocate of Hope award, presented annually to an outstanding individual who has significantly impacted the lives of children and adults with neurofibromatosis.

Expertise: Neurofibromatosis, consultative pediatrics, children with difficult diagnostic problems

Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH

Division Head of Adolescent Medicine; Co-Director of Gender and Sex Development Program; Director of Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention; Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Garofalo is the former President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and has served as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.

Expertise: Adolescent sexual health, transgender youth, HIV prevention, LGBTQ+ health issues in youth


Maria Rahmandar, MD

Medical Director of the Substance Use & Prevention Program in the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Expertise: Vaping, adolescent substance use, mental health and long-acting reversible contraception.


Lisa Simons, MD

Medical Director, Lurie Children's Gender Development Program in the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Expertise: Adolescent sexual health, transgender youth, HIV prevention, LGBTQ+ health issues in youth

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Research Professor for a Sr. Scientist in Child Health Research; Director of Science and Outcomes of Allergy and Asthma Research Team (SOAAR); Professor of Pediatrics (Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care) and Medicine (Allergy and Immunology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Gupta is nationally recognized for her research in food allergy and asthma epidemiology. She authored The Food Allergy Experience, in addition to over 100 academic publications, and has been featured on major TV networks and print media.

Expertise: Food allergies, asthma


Jacqueline Pongracic, MD

Division Head, Allergy and Immunology; Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Pongracic has published in top peer-reviewed journals such as JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine on clinical trials in food allergy immunotherapies and asthma treatments. She is the former President of the Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the current media spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She also is the Site Director of the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Clinical Network.

Expertise: Food allergies, asthma

Ann O’Connor, MD

Attending Physician, Pediatric Surgery; Director, Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Pediatric Outpatient Center; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. O’Connor is the only pediatric surgeon in Illinois certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. The bariatric surgery program she heads is nationally accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP ®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent Qualifications, which provides care across the continuum of patient ages.

Expertise: Surgical care and treatment of obesity and obesity-related disorders in teens

Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH

Section Head, Hematology; Director of the Comprehensive Thalassemia Program; A. Watson and Sarah Armour Chair of Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Thompson is the former President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and has led international clinical trials of gene therapy for transfusion-dependent thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. This gene therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells to replace the gene that is defective, and has eliminated the need for monthly transfusions for many patients. Results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. She also oversees gene therapy for sickle cell patients.

Expertise: Gene therapy, thalassemia, sickle cell disease

Stewart Goldman, MD

Division Head, Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation; Director, Center for Clinical Trials Research; Co-director, Falk Brain Tumor Center; Meryl Suzanne Weiss Distinguished Professor in Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Goldman has served on the FDA New Drug Advisory Panel of the Pediatric-Oncology Neuro-Oncology Subcommittee, and has held numerous leadership roles in the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. He is the site leader of the groundbreaking gene therapy clinical trial for pediatric brain tumors that uses the immune system to fight cancer.

Expertise: Cancer, precision/genomic medicine in oncology, gene therapy for cancer


Jennifer Reichek, MD, MSW

Attending Physician, Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; and Director of the STAR program -- The Survivors Taking Action and Responsibility Program for childhood cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplant survivors with a focus on quality of life.  Active participant in the Solid Tumor Program and heads the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer program. 

Expertise: Solid tumors, particularly sarcomas, adolescent and young adult oncology and survivorship.


David Walterhouse, MD

Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology; Richard A. Perritt, MD Professorship in Cancer and Blood Disorders; Associate Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Dr. Walterhouse is a national expert in soft tissue sarcomas and is a member of the soft tissue sarcoma committee of the Children's Oncology Group. He has served as study chair for a group-wide phase III COG clinical trial for rhabdomyosarcoma and as Institutional Principal Investigator for COG.

He has been named a Top Cancer Doctor in Chicago Magazine (2018 and 2019). 

Expertise: Soft tissue sarcomas and rhabdomyosarcoma

Sandeep Narang, MD, JD

Division Head, Child Abuse Pediatrics; Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Child Abuse, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Narang serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Child Abuse and Neglect, as well as the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. He has lectured across the world as the leading authority on child maltreatment topics.

Expertise: Child abuse and neglect, abusive head trauma, medico-legal aspects of child maltreatment


Norell Rosado, MD

Attending Physician, Child Abuse Pediatrics; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics-Child Abuse, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Rosado has been a member of the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Education and Evaluation Consortium (MPEEC) since 2004, where he participates in child abuse trainings for the Department of Children and Family Services. He has been an appointed member of the Cook County Child Death Review Committee since 2002.

Expertise: Child abuse and neglect

Matt Davis, MD, MAPP

Interim President and Chief Research Officer, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute; Senior Vice President and Chief, Community Health Transformation; Vice Chair and Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Division Head, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; A Todd Davis, MD, Professor of Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Associate Chief Research Officer, Health Services and Policy Research; Director, Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center; Professor of Pediatrics (Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care), Medical Social Sciences, Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Davis has served as Chief Medical Executive for the Department of Community Health and the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Michigan. He also has served as Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Special Emphasis Panel. In addition to authoring over 200 peer-reviewed publications, he was the lead author of the childhood obesity prevention guidelines from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has launched, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Voices of Child Health in Chicago, a research program focused on bringing the perspectives of Chicagoans to inform dialogue and action about child health in the city.

Expertise: Vaccines, obesity prevention, health insurance, child health policy, population health, social determinants of health


Nia Heard-Garris, MD, MsC

Attending Physician, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Instructor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Heard-Garris is a practicing pediatrician and researcher focused on the relationship between adversities experienced early in childhood and health, and how they contribute to that child’s ability to thrive. She has been interviewed nationally on a number of topics include corporal punishment in the black community and in the New York Times on “The impact of Racism on Children’s Health.” She chairs the AAP’s Provisional Section on Minority Health, Equity and Inclusion.

Expertise: Population health, social determinants of health, childhood resilience


Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Associate Chair of Advocacy for the Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director, Lurie Children’s Healthy Communities; Medical Director, Injury Prevention & Research Center; Medical Director, Strengthening Chicago's Youth; Gorter Family Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Sheehan has served on the Executive Committee on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, as well as the AAP Project Advisory Committee, Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence Project, among others. She is the Board Chair of Chicago Youth Programs, an organization that provides youth development services in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago. Recent findings from Dr. Sheehan’s long-range study demonstrate that these programs help at-risk youth achieve improved health and educational outcomes as adults and help interrupt intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Expertise: Injury prevention, violence prevention, child safety, population health

Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Associate Chair of Advocacy for the Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director, Lurie Children’s Healthy Communities; Medical Director, Injury Prevention & Research Center; Medical Director, Strengthening Chicago's Youth; Gorter Family Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Sheehan has served on the Executive Committee on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, as well as the AAP Project Advisory Committee, Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence Project, among others. She is the Board Chair of Chicago Youth Programs, an organization that provides youth development services in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago. Recent findings from Dr. Sheehan’s long-range study demonstrate that these programs help at-risk youth achieve improved health and educational outcomes as adults and help interrupt intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Expertise: Injury prevention, violence prevention, child safety, population health

Nancy Young, MD

Head, Section of Otology/Neurotology; Medical Director, Audiology & Cochlear Implant Programs; Director of Research, Division of Otolaryngology; The Lillian S. Wells Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology; Professor of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Professor & Fellow, Knowles Hearing Center, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Northwestern University School of Communication

Dr. Young is a fellow of the American Neurotology Society and American Otological Society. She is a founding member and served as board secretary of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACIA). She is co-editor of the text book Pediatric Cochlear Implantation - Learning and the Brain. The pediatric cochlear implant program she founded in 1991 at Lurie Children’s is now one of the largest in the world. Dr. Young is primary investigator of a National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders funded study to predict language outcome in children who receive a cochlear implant, in order to develop customized behavioral therapies to maximize each child’s language development.

Expertise: Cochlear implants, hearing loss

Cynthia LaBella, MD

Medical Director, Institute for Sports Medicine; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. LaBella has served on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness for the past 11 years, and for the last four years as the committee Chair. She also serves on the sports medicine advisory committees for the Illinois High School Association, US Soccer, and Pop Warner Football. Her research focuses on knee injury prevention in female adolescent athletes, youth concussion diagnostic tools and risk factors, and effects of sports specialization in young athletes.

Expertise: Knee injury treatment and prevention, concussions and post-concussion syndrome, overuse injuries, stress fractures, heat illness, nutritional concerns, exercise-induced asthma, and conditions unique to athletes with disabilities


Rebecca Carl, MD

Attending Physician, Pediatric Sports Medicine; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Carl is a national expert and researcher in the field of pediatric sports, concussions, non-operative musculoskeletal conditions ranging from scoliosis to hip dysplasia, sports injury prevention, knee and shoulder injuries, and congenital clubfoot treatment using the Ponseti method.

Expertise: Knee injury treatment and prevention, concussions and post-concussion syndrome, overuse injuries, stress fractures, heat illness, nutritional concerns, exercise-induced asthma, and conditions unique to athletes with disabilities

Marcelo Malakooti, MD

Medical Director and Director of Innovation and Strategy for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; Associate Professor of Pediatrics-Critical Care, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Malakooti’s research is focused on generating innovative solutions to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, while fostering dynamic strategies to minimize waste and optimize resources. He is on the board of the International Society for Pediatric Innovation, and is developing an Innovation curriculum at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Expertise: Critical care, innovation

Terri Laguna, MD, MSCS

Division Head, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine; Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center; Director, Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) Center of Excellence; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Laguna's research focuses on cystic fibrosis, including airway microbiome and the development of lung disease, as well as cystic fibrosis related diabetes and quality improvement. She was one of only three physician-scientists nationally to receive the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Clinical Research Scholars Award (2016-2019).

Expertise: Cystic fibrosis, airway microbiome


Susanna McColley, MD

Associate Chief Research Officer for Clinical Trials; Director, Clinical and Translational Research; Associate Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center; Associate Clinical Director for Child Health, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. McColley has held leadership roles and served on numerous committees of the American Thoracic Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Board of Pediatrics and European Cystic Fibrosis Society. She also served as Advisor on the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute Subcommittee on Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis.

Expertise: Cystic fibrosis, clinical and translational research, quality improvement

Ray Jurado, DDS

Division Head, Dentistry

Dr. Jurado has been Head of the Dentistry Division at Lurie Children’s since 1999. He has had training in General Dentistry, Oral Surgery and comprehensive pediatric dentistry for all children and for patients with special needs. He is the Program Director of Northwestern’s and Lurie Children’s Postdoctoral Program in Pediatric Dentistry.

Expertise: Infant oral health, preventive and restorative dentistry, dentistry for patients with special needs

Sarah Chamlin, MD

Attending Physician, Dermatology; Medical Director, Vascular Lesion Clinic; Professor of Pediatrics and Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Chamlin is the current president of the Hemangioma Investigator Group, an international research group. Her research interests include quality-of-life measurement in children and teens with skin disease and hemangiomas. Quality-of-life measurement; skin disease; hemangiomas She was honored as the Top Dermatologist in Chicago, IL, by the International Association of Dermatologists (2015).

Expertise: Vascular skin lesions (hemangiomas, port wine stains, and other vascular malformations), laser therapy, quality of life issues, general pediatric dermatology, hair and nail disorders​


Anthony Mancini, MD

Division Head, Pediatric Dermatology; Professor of Pediatrics and Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Mancini conducts multicenter, collaborative clinical research on the epidemiology, natural history, risk factors and treatments for infantile hemangiomas with colleagues from around the U.S. and in Europe. He has served on numerous committees at the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Dermatology and Society for Pediatric Dermatology, which recognized Dr. Mancini with the Distinguished Service Award.

Expertise: Dermatology, atopic dermatitis, vascular skin lesions (hemangiomas and malformations), neonatal skin disorders, laser therapy, skin cancer/tumors, skin infections


Amy Paller, MD
 
Attending Physician, Dermatology; Walter J. Hamlin Professor and Chair of Dermatology, Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Paller is a world-known expert in eczema and other skin disorders.
The Paller lab studies the role of topically-applied, nanotherapy based gene therapy to treat skin disease, particularly diabetic ulcers, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), skin cancer and rare genetic skin problems. Dr. Paller is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology; American Academy of Pediatrics; and the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. She received the Mentor of the Year Award (NM Department of Dermatology) in 2012.

Expertise: Eczema, blistering disorders, ichthyosis, genetic skin disorders, immune disorders, atopic dermatitis, collagen vascular disorders, psoriasis​

Elizabeth Alpern, MD

Division Head, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Alpern is a founding member of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), the first federally funded national network for research on emergency medical services for children. In addition to her leadership roles with PECARN, she also was the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and leverage the PECARN Registry to establish quality benchmarks for urgent and emergent care. She serves as the standing member on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section on Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics.

Expertise: Emergency medicine, quality of care


Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Associate Chair of Advocacy for the Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director, Lurie Children’s Healthy Communities; Medical Director, Injury Prevention & Research Center; Medical Director, Strengthening Chicago's Youth; Gorter Family Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Sheehan has served on the Executive Committee on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, as well as the AAP Project Advisory Committee, Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence Project, among others. She is the Board Chair of Chicago Youth Programs, an organization that provides youth development services in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago. Recent findings from Dr. Sheehan’s long-range study demonstrate that these programs help at-risk youth achieve improved health and educational outcomes as adults and help interrupt intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Expertise: Injury prevention, violence prevention, child safety, population health

Linda Laux, MD

Medical Director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center; Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology and Epilepsy), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Laux is part of the Precision Medicine in Epilepsy research initiative at Lurie Children’s. She also is on the multidisciplinary team of researchers at Northwestern’s Channelopathy-Associated Epilepsy Research Center, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance genetic understanding of early childhood-onset epilepsy that will drive precision medicine. She serves on numerous advisory boards for organizations dedicated to epilepsy and Dravet syndrome.

Expertise: Epilepsy, Dravet syndrome (severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy), genetics of epilepsy syndromes, precision/genomic medicine in epilepsy, medical marijuana for children with epilepsy


John Millichap, MD

Attending Physician, Neurology and Epilepsy Center; Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology and Epilepsy) and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Millichap is part of the Precision Medicine in Epilepsy research initiative at Lurie Children’s. He also is on the multidisciplinary team of researchers at Northwestern’s Channelopathy-Associated Epilepsy Research Center, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance genetic understanding of early childhood-onset epilepsy that will drive precision medicine. He serves as the Associate Editor of the journal Neurology and the Editor of Pediatric Neurology Briefs. He has lectured nationally and internationally on epilepsy associated with KCNQ2 gene variants.

Expertise: Epilepsy, genetics of epilepsy syndromes, precision/genomic medicine in epilepsy

Monica Laronda, PhD

Director of Basic and Translational Research in the Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration Program; Warren and Eloise Batts Research Scholar; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Laronda’s cutting-edge work on restored fertility and hormone production in a mouse using 3-D printed ovaries was published in the journal Nature Communications. With an implanted bioprosthetic ovary, the mouse was able to not only ovulate but also give birth and nurse healthy pups.

Expertise: Fertility preservation research


Erin Rowell, MD

Director, Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration Program; Co-Director, Pediatric Surgery, The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health; Associate Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Rowell was the lead author on the first publication from the U.S. on surgical techniques and outcomes of single ovary removal for fertility preservation in girls as young as 5 months old, reporting that the procedure caused no complications and can be performed laparoscopically, on an outpatient basis, without delaying treatment for cancer or other therapies posing high risk of infertility. 

Expertise: Fertility preservation surgery, minimally invasive surgery, fetal anomalies


Courtney Finlayson, MD

Attending Physician, Endocrinology; Medical Director of Sex Development Program; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Finlayson leads the Gender and Sex Diversity Working Group of the Oncofertility Consortium, an international, interdisciplinary initiative, seeking to improve fertility preservation options for individuals with differences in sex development and for those who are transgender.

Expertise: Puberty disorders, differences of sex development, fertility preservation

Aimen Shaaban, MD

Director, The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health; Attending Physician, Pediatric Surgery; Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Shaaban is the leading expert in surgical fetal intervention. His clinical research contributions surround the diagnosis and treatment of congenital diseases such as spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT), congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM), gastroschisis, omphalocele, twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), and fetal bladder outlet obstruction (BOO). He has published extensively in these areas and receives support for his basic science research program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Expertise: Fetal surgery

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Research Professor for a Sr. Scientist in Child Health Research; Director of Science and Outcomes of Allergy and Asthma Research Team (SOAAR); Professor of Pediatrics (Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care) and Medicine (Allergy and Immunology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Gupta is nationally recognized for her research in food allergy and asthma epidemiology. She authored The Food Allergy Experience, in addition to over 100 academic publications, and has been featured on major TV networks and print media.

Expertise: Food allergies, asthma


Jacqueline Pongracic, MD

Division Head, Allergy and Immunology; Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Pongracic has published in top peer-reviewed journals such as JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine on clinical trials in food allergy immunotherapies and asthma treatments. She is the former President of the Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the current media spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She also is the Site Director of the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Clinical Network.

Expertise: Food allergies, asthma

Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH

Section Head, Hematology; Director of the Comprehensive Thalassemia Program; A. Watson and Sarah Armour Chair of Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Thompson is the former President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and has led international clinical trials of gene therapy for transfusion-dependent thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. This gene therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells to replace the gene that is defective, and has eliminated the need for monthly transfusions for many patients. Results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Expertise: Gene therapy, thalassemia, sickle cell disease


Stewart Goldman, MD

Division Head, Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation; Director, Center for Clinical Trials Research; Co-director, Falk Brain Tumor Center; Meryl Suzanne Weiss Distinguished Professor in Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Goldman has served on the FDA New Drug Advisory Panel of the Pediatric-Oncology Neuro-Oncology Subcommittee, and has held numerous leadership roles in the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. He is the site leader of the groundbreaking gene therapy clinical trial for pediatric brain tumors that uses the immune system to fight cancer.

Expertise: Cancer, precision medicine in oncology, gene therapy for cancer


Nancy Kuntz, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Neurology; Medical Director, Mazza Foundation Neuromuscular Program; Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic; Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Kuntz was the site leader of the landmark clinical trial that provided the most robust evidence that the drug nusinersen (Spinraza), which targets the genetic defect in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), can safely and effectively help infants with this devastating condition gain muscle function. It was the first drug for SMA to receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Kuntz also is leading an international clinical trial of gene therapy for X-linked myotubular myopathy – a rare disease characterized by severe muscle weakness, breathing difficulty and early death.

Expertise: Gene therapy for neuromuscular disorders, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), muscular dystrophy

Joel Charrow, MD

Head, Genetics, Birth Defects & Metabolism; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
 
Dr. Charrow specialties include skeletal dysplasia, birth defects, dwarfism, Gaucher, Fabry and Pompe disease (lysosomal storage disorders), metabolic disorders, neurofibromatosis, Tay-Sachs Disease. His research interests focus on Tay-Sachs disease; natural history of genetic disorders; neurofibromatosis-1; Gaucher disease; and lysosomal storage diseases.

Expertise: Genetics, birth defects & metabolism

Patrick Seed, MD, PhD

Division Head, Infectious Disease; Associate Chief Research Officer of Basic Sciences; Children’s Research Fund Chair in Basic Science; Research Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Seed’s research aims to identify patient-specific immunologic therapies to design new diagnostics and improve health outcomes. His work examines the molecular mechanisms by which a child's immune system interacts with germs, including the body's own microorganisms, the microbiome. Dr. Seed has served as a reviewer on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees and academic journals.

Expertise: Microbiome (including gut bacteria), immune system, research


John Fortunato, Jr., MD

Director, Neurointestinal & Motility Program; Attending Physician, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; Professor of Pediatrics-Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Fortunato's research focuses on the relationship between disorders of the autonomic nervous system and functional GI symptoms, notably chronic nausea. He has also designed technology directed towards intelligent web-based collection of patient symptom data, which can auto-populate into the electronic medical record and serve as a patient reported outcome tool for follow-up.

Expertise: Motility disorders, chronic nausea and abdominal pain, chronic constipation, intersection between nervous system and gastroenterology

Carl Backer, MD

Attending Physician, Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery; Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Backer is a national leader in heart transplantation, congenital heart surgery, and the Fontan conversion and arrhythmia surgery. He has been the lead surgeon in 80 percent of the heart transplants first performed at the hospital since 1988.  He has served on numerous committees and boards including Secretary-Treasurer for the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society and board member at the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Expertise: Congenital heart surgery, adults with congenital heart disease, complex reoperations in congenital heart surgery, heart transplantation, tracheal surgery, vascular rings, Fontan conversion and arrhythmia surgery


Stuart Berger, MD

Executive Director, Heart Center; Division Head, Cardiology; Chief of Cardiology in the Department of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology), Medicine (Cardiology) and Pediatrics (Critical Care), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Berger has lectured extensively nationally and abroad, and holds leadership roles with the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. He also has launched a national program to teach warning signs of sudden cardiac death in youth and expand access to automated external defibrillators. His other clinical and research interests include congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and interventional cardiac catheterization in children.

Expertise: Cardiology, cardiac surgery


Joseph Forbess, MD

Division Head of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery; Surgical Director, Single Ventricle Reconstruction Program; Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Forbess heads the Heart Center's renowned cardiovascular-thoracic surgery team that provides comprehensive surgical care for all congenital and acquired cardiac defects.  In addition to his surgical expertise in complex single and biventricular reconstruction in neonates, Dr. Forbess is a well-established scientist. His research interests include the development of bioresorbable (or naturally-dissolving) stents, coatings and nanoparticles for use in pediatric vascular and airway applications.

Expertise: Neonatal repairs, coronary artery problems, vascular rings, tracheal abnormalities, mitral valve repair, arterial switch for transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, palliative and reparative operations, and the Fontan and Norwood procedures


Bradley Marino, MD, MPP, MSCE

Attending Physician, Cardiology; Co-Director, Research and Academic Affairs, Heart Center; Professor of Pediatrics-Cardiology and Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Marino is an international expert on cardiac intensive care, resuscitation, and the impact of neurodevelopmental, psychosocial, and physical morbidities on quality of life, functional status, and behavioral/emotional outcomes in children with high-risk complex congenital heart disease. He is the Chair of Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Research Consortium – 19 pediatric cardiovascular centers in the United States and United Kingdom to advance research in health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with pediatric and congenital heart disease. He also is the Chair of Consortium Clinical Investigation of Congenital Heart Disease – 11 pediatric cardiovascular centers in the United States collaborating to advance research in the single ventricle population.

Expertise: Cardiac intensive care, neurodevelopmental outcomes of congenital heart disease


Elfriede Pahl, MD

Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program; Marvin E. Wodika Professor of Cardiology; Co-Director, Research and Academic Affairs, Heart Center; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Pahl is interested in the causes and treatment of heart failure in children, both congenital and acquired--this includes myocarditis, single ventricle patients and all types of cardiomyopathy. She is committed to studying the clinical aspects of pediatric heart transplantation, particularly in improving the late outcomes that impact on survival, such as allograft vasculopathy and late rejection.

Expertise: Heart transplant, cardiomyopathy, heart failure

Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH

Division Head of Adolescent Medicine; Co-Director of Gender and Sex Development Program; Director of Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention; Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Garofalo is the former President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and has served as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.

Expertise: Adolescent sexual health, transgender youth, HIV prevention, LGBTQ+ health issues in youth

Tina Tan, MD

Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases; Medical Director, Adoption Clinic; Medical Director, International Patient Services Program; Co-Medical director, Travel Immunization Clinic; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Tan is the Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Infectious Diseases (SOID) and a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID – Redbook Committee). She also serves as a member of the: AAP Global Immunization Advocacy Project Advisory Committee and is a Technical Advisor for the AAP/CDC Global Immunization Advocacy Project, the AAP Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Workgroup – Education Subcommittee, AAP Expert Pertussis Cocooning Advisory Committee, and is a liaison to the CDC ACIP Pertussis Working Group and to the Illinois Chapter of the AAP OB/GYN Immunizations and Pregnancy Outreach Committee. She is a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force Dissemination and Advocacy Work Group. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Dr. Tan also serves on the Immunization Advisory Committee for the State of Illinois Department of Public Health and a member of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Expertise: Immunizations/vaccines, infectious diseases, whooping cough


Matt Davis, MD, MAPP

Interim President and Chief Research Officer, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute; Senior Vice President and Chief, Community Health Transformation; Vice Chair and Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Division Head, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; A Todd Davis, MD, Professor of Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Associate Chief Research Officer, Health Services and Policy Research; Director, Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center; Professor of Pediatrics (Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care), Medical Social Sciences, Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Davis has served as Chief Medical Executive for the Department of Community Health and the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Michigan. He also has served as Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Special Emphasis Panel. In addition to authoring over 200 peer-reviewed publications, he was the lead author of the childhood obesity prevention guidelines from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has launched, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Voices of Child Health in Chicago, a research program focused on bringing the perspectives of Chicagoans to inform dialogue and action about child health in the city.

Expertise: Vaccines, obesity prevention, health insurance, child health policy, population health, social determinants of health

Patrick Seed, MD, PhD

Division Head, Infectious Disease; Associate Chief Research Officer of Basic Sciences; Children’s Research Fund Chair in Basic Science; Research Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Seed’s research aims to identify patient-specific immunologic therapies to design new diagnostics and improve health outcomes. His work examines the molecular mechanisms by which a child's immune system interacts with germs, including the body's own microorganisms, the microbiome. Dr. Seed has served as a reviewer on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees and academic journals.

Expertise: Microbiome, immune system, research


Tina Tan, MD

Attending Physician, Infectious Diseases; Medical Director, Adoption Clinic; Medical Director, International Patient Services Program; Co-Medical director, Travel Immunization Clinic; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Tan is the Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Infectious Diseases (SOID) and a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID – Redbook Committee). She also serves as a member of the: AAP Global Immunization Advocacy Project Advisory Committee and is a Technical Advisor for the AAP/CDC Global Immunization Advocacy Project, the AAP Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Workgroup – Education Subcommittee, AAP Expert Pertussis Cocooning Advisory Committee, and is a liaison to the CDC ACIP Pertussis Working Group and to the Illinois Chapter of the AAP OB/GYN Immunizations and Pregnancy Outreach Committee. She is a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Global Health Task Force Dissemination and Advocacy Work Group. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Dr. Tan also serves on the Immunization Advisory Committee for the State of Illinois Department of Public Health and a member of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Expertise: Immunizations/vaccines, infectious diseases, whooping cough

Craig Langman, MD

Head, Kidney Diseases; Isaac A. Abt, MD, Professor of Kidney Diseases; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Langman’s research focuses on the basic and clinical expression of inherited or acquired disorders of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases in children with obesity or chronic kidney disease, the proteomics of inherited stone disease, inherited genetic kidney diseases, and the rehabilitation of patients around the world with chronic kidney disease.

Expertise: Kidney diseases, kidney stones, osteoporosis and frequent fractures

Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH

Division Head of Adolescent Medicine; Co-Director of Gender and Sex Development Program; Director of Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention; Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Garofalo is the former President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and has served as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.

Expertise: Adolescent sexual health, transgender youth, HIV prevention, LGBTQ+ health issues in youth

Jim Donaldson, MD

Department Head, Medical Imaging; Earl J. Frederick Professor of Radiology; Professor of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Donaldson was the President of the Society for Pediatric Radiology and the first President of the Society for Pediatric Interventional Radiology. Under his leadership, Lurie Children’s was one of the pioneering children’s hospitals to develop a robust pediatric interventional radiology program in the late 1990s, bringing to pediatrics procedures routinely done in adults, such as image-guided needle biopsies, percutaneous abscess drainage and image-guided vascular access. He is a leading champion of the national Image Gently campaign to change practice by raising awareness of the opportunities to lower radiation dose in the imaging of children.

Expertise: Pediatric medical imaging, interventional radiology

John Walkup, MD

Department Head, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health; Margaret C. Osterman Professor in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Walkup is a recognized authority on the Tourette syndrome and is a Co-Chair of the Tourette Syndrome Association Clinical Trials Consortium. He serves as the scientific advisor to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. He leads Lurie Children’s efforts to address the shortage of pediatric mental health providers by training pediatricians to identify and treat common mental health conditions in children and adolescents.

Expertise: Mental and behavioral health disorders, anxiety, ADHD, depression, suicide prevention, Tourette syndrome, tic disorders


Colleen Cicchetti, PhD, MEd

Executive Director, Center for Childhood Resilience; Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health; Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Cicchetti is a national expert and spokesperson on trauma-informed care.  She serves in leadership roles in numerous statewide advocacy groups and has provided testimony on behalf of children and families in Illinois and Washington, D.C.  She has contributed to legislation that addresses the critical need for building awareness, prevention and intervention strategies for children who experience trauma in Chicago and throughout the nation.

Expertise: Trauma-informed care; impact of violence on children and families; strategies to curb violence in communities, trauma treatment, disruptive behavior disorders  

Jimmy Collins, MD, MPH

Medical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Collins has authored numerous research articles and is a frequent lecturer on issues related to birth outcomes. His research focuses on understanding the social determinants of racial and ethnic group disparities in birth outcomes (preterm delivery, small for gestational age, low birthweight, neonatal and post-neonatal mortality) in the United States.

Expertise: Racial/ethnic disparities in birth outcomes (such as infant birthweight, preterm delivery, infant mortality and neonatal outcomes)


Karna Murthy, MD

Attending Physician, Neonatology; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics-Neonatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Murthy is the Vice Chair of the Children's Hospitals Neonatal Consortium, which includes 34 hospitals with Level IV neonatal intensive care units in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Murthy’s research through the Consortium aims to determine best practices and develop data-driven clinical care guidelines to promote the best outcomes for neonates with medically complex conditions.

Expertise: Neonatal care of infants with medically complex conditions

Leon Epstein, MD

Division Head, Neurology; Derry A. and Donald L. Shoemaker Professor of Pediatric Neurology; Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Associate Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Epstein has over 30-year experience caring for children with complex neurologic disorders. His research focuses on the impact of viral infections on the developing nervous system. He is the Chair of the American Academy of Neurology Ethics, Law and Humanities Committee. He also was the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Neurological AIDS Research Consortium.

Expertise: Pediatric neurology, migraines, impact of viral infections on the developing nervous system

Nancy Kuntz, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Neurology; Medical Director, Mazza Foundation Neuromuscular Program; Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic; Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Kuntz was the site leader of the landmark clinical trial that provided the most robust evidence that the drug nusinersen (Spinraza), which targets the genetic defect in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), can safely and effectively help infants with this devastating condition gain muscle function. It was the first drug for SMA to receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Kuntz also is leading an international clinical trial of gene therapy for X-linked myotubular myopathy – a rare disease characterized by severe muscle weakness, breathing difficulty and early death.

Expertise: Gene therapy for neuromuscular disorders, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), muscular dystrophy

Amanda Saratsis, MD

Attending Physician, Neurosurgery; Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Assistant Professor

Dr. Saratsis's research aims to characterize the molecular biology of pediatric brain tumors for identification of biomarkers of disease and development of novel, targeted therapeutic approaches to improve clinical outcomes.

Expertise: Brain tumors, pediatric brainstem glioma

Erik King, MD

Attending physician, Orthopaedic Surgery; Member; Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. King’s research focuses on pitching biomechanics in youth baseball pitchers, bone remodeling in children following fractures, and outcomes following upper extremity surgery in hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Expertise: Scoliosis, hand deformities, fractures of upper and lower extremeties


John Sarwark, MD

Division Head, Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Sarwark is a national leader in the treatment and research of scoliosis. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; American Academy of Pediatrics; Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America; Scoliosis Research Society.

Expertise: Scoliosis (spinal curvature), gait analysis, injury prevention, sports injuries, trauma/fractures, general pediatric orthopaedics, skeletal dysplasia, spine deformities

Patrick Birmingham, MD

Division Head of Pain Medicine; Professor of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Birmingham leads the Chronic Pain Treatment Program that offers the compassion and experience of pediatric anesthesiologists, nurses and a clinical psychologist working together to care for patients. Lurie Children’s was awarded a ChildKind International certification for its comprehensive approach to pain prevention and management in children. Lurie Children’s one of six hospitals in the US to receive the certification. 

Treatment includes medication management, counseling and instruction in relaxation techniques. Community referrals to alternative therapies are available. Occasionally, invasive procedures are used to provide aggressive pain management.

Expertise: Anesthesiology, chronic pain, chronic pain management, post-operative pain


Santhanam Suresh, MD

Department Head Pediatric Anesthesiology; Director, Pain Management Team; Arthur C. King Professorship in Anesthesiology; Professor of Anesthesiology and of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Suresh is internationally recognized for using innovative techniques to supplement or replace general anesthesia for surgical procedures and in the management of chronic pain. He has pioneered research in the use of regional anesthesia to manage pain in children, and is involved in implementing guidelines and policies nationally and internationally on its use and on pediatric pain management in general.

Expertise: Pediatric pain management, regional anesthesia

Elisha Waldman, MD

Division Head, Palliative Care; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Palliative Care), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Waldman is a pediatric oncologist who also is certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He has lectured internationally on topics in pediatric palliative care, including spiritual needs of children facing life-threatening illness. He serves on the Academic Palliative Medicine Leadership Council of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and is a Board Member of the Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition.

Expertise: Pediatric hospice and palliative medicine, pediatric hematology-oncology

Arun Gosain, MD

Division Head, Plastic Surgery; Professor of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Gosain is an international expert in pediatric plastic surgery. He is the Chair of the Education Committee of the American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons (AAPPS) and he was named the AAPPS Clinician of the Year in 2018. Dr. Gosain has served on numerous committees at the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, Plastic Surgery Research Council, among other professional organizations. Dr. Gosain also is dedicated to international service and currently is the Ambassador to India for the Plastic Surgery Foundation.

Expertise: Pediatric plastic surgery with expertise in craniofacial and vascular anomalies, congenital nevi, correction of cleft lip and palate and secondary deformities, distraction of the facial skeleton, dynamic reanimation for facial paralysis and the treatment of neurofibromatosis, cosmetic surgery in adolescents and rhinoplasty

Courtney Finlayson, MD

Attending Physician, Endocrinology; Medical Director of Sex Development Program; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Finlayson leads the Gender and Sex Diversity Working Group of the Oncofertility Consortium, an international, interdisciplinary initiative, seeking to improve fertility preservation options for individuals with differences in sex development and for those who are transgender.

Expertise: Puberty disorders, differences of sex development, fertility preservation

Patrick Seed, MD, PhD

Division Head, Infectious Disease; Associate Chief Research Officer of Basic Sciences; Children’s Research Fund Chair in Basic Science; Research Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Seed’s research aims to identify patient-specific immunologic therapies to design new diagnostics and improve health outcomes. His work examines the molecular mechanisms by which a child's immune system interacts with germs, including the body's own microorganisms, the microbiome. Dr. Seed has served as a reviewer on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees and academic journals.

Expertise: Microbiome, immune system, research


Nico Katsanis, PhD

Associate Chief Research Officer for Translational Research; Director, CHILDS (Child Health Investigation Leveraging DNA Sciences); Professor of Pediatrics and Cell & Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Throughout his career, Dr. Katsanis has published over 250 research papers, reviews and book chapters. He has delivered over 150 lectures in 20 countries. In recognition of his work, Dr. Katsanis was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrology in 2009, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research in 2012, and the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics in 2017. Most recently, he has been elected President of the World Hellenic Biomedical Association.

Expertise: Human molecular genetics research, genetic disorders; Bardet-Biedl syndrome


Susanna McColley, MD

Associate Chief Research Officer for Clinical Trials; Director, Clinical and Translational Research; Associate Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center; Associate Clinical Director for Child Health, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. McColley has held leadership roles and served on numerous committees of the American Thoracic Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Board of Pediatrics and European Cystic Fibrosis Society. She also served as Advisor on the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute Subcommittee on Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis.

Expertise: Cystic fibrosis, clinical and translational research, quality improvement


Matt Davis, MD, MAPP

Interim President and Chief Research Officer, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute; Senior Vice President and Chief, Community Health Transformation; Vice Chair and Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Division Head, Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; A Todd Davis, MD, Professor of Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care; Associate Chief Research Officer, Health Services and Policy Research; Director, Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center; Professor of Pediatrics (Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care), Medical Social Sciences, Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Davis has served as Chief Medical Executive for the Department of Community Health and the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Michigan. He also has served as Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Special Emphasis Panel. In addition to authoring over 200 peer-reviewed publications, he was the lead author of the childhood obesity prevention guidelines from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has launched, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Voices of Child Health in Chicago, a research program focused on bringing the perspectives of Chicagoans to inform dialogue and action about child health in the city.

Expertise: Vaccines, obesity prevention, health insurance, child health policy, population health, social determinants of health

Stephen Sheldon, DO

Director, Sleep Medicine Center; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Sheldon is Director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Lurie Children’s and is one of the top pediatric sleep experts in the country. He has published in a variety of academic venues with focus on pediatric sleep medicine, obstructive sleep apnea and sleep disorders. In 2019, he was included in Chicago Magazine’s Top Doctors in Chicago issue, and in Best Doctors in America, Castle Connally, 2018.

Expertise: Obstructive sleep apnea in children, excessive daytime sleepiness in children, parasomnias, sleep-related movement disorder and pediatric narcolepsy


Irina Trosman, MD

Attending Physician, Sleep Medicine; Health System Clinician of Pediatrics (Pulmonary Medicine), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Trosman’s specialties include pediatric sleep disorders associated with obesity, asthma, allergies, restless leg syndrome and other chronic illnesses and pediatric behavioral insomnia​. She sees patients in four locations, including the downtown campus.

Expertise: Sleep disorder in adolescents and children that impact obesity, asthma and allergies

Robin Bowman, MD

Director, Multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Center; Co-Director, Fetal Neurosurgery, The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health; Medical Director, Camp Independence; Member, Lurie Children's Surgical Foundation; Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Bowman leads the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Center team at Lurie Children’s. The Center provides compassionate, comprehensive care for children and adolescents with spina bifida and other types of congenital spinal anomalies, from prenatal consultation through young adulthood. Dr. Bowman is also co-director of fetal surgery.

Expertise: Spina bifida, hydrocephalus, spinal dysraphism, brain tumors, birth defects, neonatal surgical care

Cynthia LaBella, MD

Medical Director, Institute for Sports Medicine; Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. LaBella has served on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness for the past 11 years, and for the last four years as the committee Chair. She also serves on the sports medicine advisory committees for the Illinois High School Association, US Soccer, and Pop Warner Football. Her research focuses on knee injury prevention in female adolescent athletes, youth concussion diagnostic tools and risk factors, and effects of sports specialization in young athletes.

Expertise: Knee injury treatment and prevention, concussions and post-concussion syndrome, overuse injuries, stress fractures, heat illness, nutritional concerns, exercise-induced asthma, and conditions unique to athletes with disabilities

Reggie Duerst, MD

Director, Stem Cell Transplant Program, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Duerst leads the Stem Cell Transplant Program which focuses on treating pediatric diseases--hematologic and immunologic diseases, select congenital metabolic diseases as well as high-risk malignancies. Expand the indications for Stem Cell transplantation as cellular therapy for other diseases/organ dysfunction. Utilize Stem Cell Transplantation as a platform for cellular therapies for inherited and acquired diseases.

Expertise: Cancer survivorship and quality of life; stem cell transplantation outcomes research​


Jennifer Schneiderman, MD, MS

Attending Physician, Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Schneiderman focuses on developing new, non-toxic approaches to the induction of tolerance in the allogeneic transplant setting. Her primary research interest is the induction of transplant tolerance; this applies to the prevention and treatment of a/cGVHD in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and prevention and treatment of rejection in solid organ transplantation. Dr. Schneiderman has been selected numerous years as one of the "Most Influential Faculty" by the Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine.

Expertise: Hematology, oncology, neuro-oncology and stem cell transplantation

Estella M. Alonso, MD

Medical Director, Lurie Children’s Siragusa Transplant Center; Sally Burnett Searle Professor of Pediatric Transplantation; Professor of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) and Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Alonso oversees one of the top transplantation programs in the country, and is a leading researcher and clinician in the field of pediatric liver transplantation and acute liver failure. She leads a national research group that studies all aspects of outcomes from survival to health related quality of life (HRQOL). She focuses on the cognitive outcomes in pediatric liver transplant survivors, long term complications related to immunosuppressive medications and the causes and treatment of acute liver failure. Her clinical practice includes treatment of all forms of chronic liver disease in childhood and management of children following liver transplantation.

Expertise: National organ listing, acute liver failure, complications of cirrhosis and withdrawal of immunosuppression following liver transplantation


Riccardo A. Superina, MD

Head, Transplant Surgery; Co-Director, Siragusa Transplantation Center; Surgical Director, Kidney and Liver Transplant Programs; Robert E. Schneider Chair in Transplantation; Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Superina is a world-renowned authority in the field of pediatric liver, kidney and intestinal transplantation and an internationally recognized expert in the surgical treatment of complex hepatobiliary conditions, pancreatic disease and endocrine tumors. Because pediatric transplantation requires rigorous subspecialty training beyond traditional residency and fellowship, Dr. Superina is one of only a handful of pediatric surgeons in the United States with the depth of expertise and scope of training to perform highly specialized transplantation procedures of the intra-abdominal organs in children. Dr. Superina is a leading expert on the a procedure known as the meso-rex bypass, or Rex shunt, a complex liver surgery used to restore venous circulation in a rare condition known as pediatric portal vein hypertension. He has performed more than 200 such procedures — the largest pediatric case series in the world.

Expertise: Pediatric liver, kidney and intestinal transplant surgery

Colleen Cicchetti, PhD, MEd

Executive Director, Center for Childhood Resilience; Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health; Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Cicchetti is a national expert and spokesperson on trauma-informed care.  She serves in leadership roles in numerous statewide advocacy groups and has provided testimony on behalf of children and families in Illinois and Washington, D.C.  She has contributed to legislation that addresses the critical need for building awareness, prevention and intervention strategies for children who experience trauma in Chicago and throughout the nation.

Expertise: Trauma-informed care; impact of violence on children and families; strategies to curb violence in communities, trauma treatment, disruptive behavior disorders​  


Tali Raviv, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Raviv is a member of The Center for Childhood Resilience​ and works with Chicago Public Schools on recognizing students who are impacted by trauma and are in need of developing social and emotional coping skills as well as training school professionals on how to address trauma in youth. Her work has been published in numerous articles, the most recent, How Do Parent Psychopathology and Family Income Impact Treatment Gains in a School-Based Intervention for Trauma? School Mental Health. 2019 Jan.

Dr. Raviv’s research focuses on poverty, child abuse and trauma and its impact on children and adolescents.

Expertise: Treatment of trauma-related disorders; mood and anxiety disorders; stress and coping in children and adolescents; consultation and training for schools and community agencies

Earl Cheng, MD

Division Head, Urology; Co-Head, Reconstructive Pediatric Urology; Co-Director, Sex Development Program; Founders’ Board Chair in Urology; Professor of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Cheng is a national expert in complex reconstructive urology and has a special interest in the medical and surgical management of individuals with sex development conditions. His research focuses on bladder tissue engineering.

Expertise: Differences of sex development, complex urinary tract reconstructive surgery in children

Colleen Cicchetti, PhD, MEd

Executive Director, Center for Childhood Resilience; Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health; Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Cicchetti is a national expert and spokesperson on trauma-informed care.  She serves in leadership roles in numerous statewide advocacy groups and has provided testimony on behalf of children and families in Illinois and Washington, D.C.  She has contributed to legislation that addresses the critical need for building awareness, prevention and intervention strategies for children who experience trauma in Chicago and throughout the nation.

Expertise: Trauma-informed care; impact of violence on children and families; strategies to curb violence in communities, trauma treatment, disruptive behavior disorders​   


Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH

Attending Physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Associate Chair of Advocacy for the Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director, Lurie Children’s Healthy Communities; Medical Director, Injury Prevention & Research Center; Medical Director, Strengthening Chicago's Youth; Gorter Family Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Sheehan has served on the Executive Committee on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, as well as the AAP Project Advisory Committee, Medical Home for Children Exposed to Violence Project, among others. She is the Board Chair of Chicago Youth Programs, an organization that provides youth development services in under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago. Recent findings from Dr. Sheehan’s long-range study demonstrate that these programs help at-risk youth achieve improved health and educational outcomes as adults and help interrupt intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Expertise: Injury prevention, violence prevention, child safety, population health