Autonomic Medicine

The Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics (CAMP) in the division of Autonomic Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital is the first of its kind in the world. The Center is an interdisciplinary program that studies infants, children and young adults with conditions that affect the autonomic nervous systems (ANS). The ANS controls the automatic regulation of breathing, body and skin temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, cerebral autoregulation, intestinal motility, pupillary response to light, and more. CAMP is an international leader in the study of congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) and rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation (ROHHAD), and in the development of child-friendly, non-invasive autonomic testing of all organ systems served by the ANS with application to children with more common diseases.

This cross-silo, inclusive approach to ANS (dys)regulation (ANSD) is rare even in adult medicine, where the handful of existing autonomic centers are based on a single discipline such as cardiology or neurology, and with other disciplines participating as needed. The referral base for CAMP includes consultation from physicians in 48 of the United States and 50 foreign countries. Download our referral base PDF to see a full list of locations.

Read a meaningful poem, told from a child's point of view, that shares the magic and many unique attributes of CAMP, and introduces the reader to the program's Chief, Debra E. Weese-Mayer, MD. This poem was written with admiration and love by Robert N. Mayer, PhD, in honor of Dr. Weese-Mayer's Investiture in the Northwestern University Beatrice Cummings Mayer Professorship in Pediatric Autonomic Medicine on May 29, 2015.

View our Family Resource Guide. 

Learn about our world-class treatment in this short documentary that details the life of a patient during a week's time in our program.


CAMP integrates the expertise of specialists from across the hospital to thoroughly evaluate each child and develop a treatment plan, specific to each child’s needs. The family and the referring physicians also play a critical role in each child’s treatment.

CAMP’s collaborating divisions include:

Conditions We Treat

Our physicians make every attempt to stay at the forefront of treatment advances, making sure they provide our patients with the best care possible. We take specialized and evidence-based approaches to diagnosing and treating children’s autonomic nervous system conditions. The following is a list of the conditions we treat.     


Debra E. Weese-Mayer, MD, provides leadership as Chief of the Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Weese-Mayer is recognized internationally for her clinical care and translational research study of children with disorders of respiratory control and autonomic regulation, and as a pioneer in developing the newly emerging discipline of Pediatric Autonomic Medicine.

Dr. Weese-Mayer was formally invested on May 29, 2015, as the Cummings-Mayer Professor of Pediatric Autonomic Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Susan Slattery, MD, HSOR, is an attending physician at the Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics and Instructor of Pediatrics -Neonatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her interests include: physiologic data analytics in high-risk children and premature neonates.

Ilya Khaytin, MD, PhD, is an attending physician at the Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His interests include: obstructive sleep apnea in children, non-invasive positive airway pressure, excessive sleepiness, behavioral insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep in children with neurologic disorders.


If you would like to know more about scheduling an appointment at our center, please call 312.227.3300.

Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

Our highly-specialized team supports patients with autonomic conditions both inside and outside the hospital.

Diaphragm Pacers

Diaphragm pacing, a form of artificial ventilation, relies on implanted phrenic nerve electrodes and receivers to help patients breathe. Lurie Children’s is one of only two institutions in the country using the advanced, minimally invasive technique for thoracoscopic diaphragm pacer implantation.

Gene Testing

We offer PHOX2B gene testing services for patients who are determined to be candidates.


Our research efforts are dedicated to improving the care of our patients.


Debra Weese-Mayer, MD, has also worked with other physicians on various publications about autonomic disorders.


Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or call 312.227.7500