Meet Our Researchers

Learn more about what we're investigating by reading about what the following researchers are studying.

Meredith Bone, MD, MSCI 
Interests: Critical Care Outcomes; Delirium; Education; Quality of Life; Rehabilitation/Therapy 

Bria Coates, MD
Dr. Coates is a physician-scientist who specializes in the intersection between pediatric critical care medicine and inflammatory responses to illness. Her research explores differences in the inflammatory response to viral respiratory infections in children and adults with the goal of understanding why young children and elderly adults bear a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality associated with viral respiratory infections. Her lab is currently investigating the role of innate immune responses in influenza infections. These results may contribute to the broader understanding of innate immunity and its role in critical illness.

Sabrina Derrington, MD 
Twitter: @SDerringtonMD
Dr. Derrington is a critical care and palliative care practitioner at Lurie Children's, where she also chairs the Ethics Advisory Board. She has published articles that discuss the ethical challenges faced by physicians, patients, and families as they navigate communication and decision-making related to end-of-life care, life-sustaining treatment, prognostication, and participation in genomic research. Her present course of research examines ethical and clinical domains for promoting health equity and addressing health disparities in the care of critically ill children.

Conrad Epting, MD 
Dr. Conrad Epting has a research background in neuronal cell differentiation, pulmonary hypertension on the basis of pulmonary vascular disease, skeletal muscle repair and regeneration, parasitic infections causing myocarditis, and a primary research focus on pediatric heart failure. His collaborative research team hopes to promote cardiac repair through manipulation of resident heart cells impacted by the epigenetics of age and heart failure. He is the director of the Cardiac Biorepository, a research biobank to stimulate collaborative science and the Fontan Futures program, a clinical initiative preserving heart tissue and stem cells from patients with critical congenital heart disease.

Marcelo Malakooti, MD 
Twitter: @Innovatedoc
The research of Dr. Marcelo Malakooti is focused on using Innovation to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, while fostering dynamic strategies to minimize waste and optimize resources. In particular, he is interested in building innovative strategies and platforms for novel idea generation, solutions for costly system processes, and creative approaches to forwarding patient safety and quality. Dr. Malakooti is the Director of the IGNITE PICU Innovation Center, which brings together diverse experts to help solve problems affecting the healthcare of the unique PICU patient population.

Lauren Marsillio, MD 
Interests: Big Data; Critical Care; Critical Care Outcomes; Pediatrics; Sepsis

Kelly Michelson, MD, MPH
Twitter: @Kelly_Michelson
In addition to her role as an attending physician in the Division of Critical Care at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Dr. Michelson serves as the Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research focus complements her passion for both the medical humanities and pediatric intensive care; recent projects of hers include efforts to improve communication and decision making among patients, family caregivers, and professional caregivers in the pediatric intensive care unit as well as in the pediatric palliative care setting.

Erin Paquette MD, JD, MBe 
Dr. Erin Paquette received her JD, MD and Masters in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. The focus of her research represents the intersection between the disciplines of law and medicine. She studies the informed consent and assent process, an essential component of both research and medical practice, as well as communication between clinicians, patients, and families, including the use of health literacy principles to improve communication. Dr. Paquette is currently studying how enrollment in research studies varies between ethnic and socioeconomic groups.  She is also interested in ethical issues around the diagnosis of brain death and organ donation.

L. Nelson Sanchez-Pinto, MD, MBI
Dr. Sanchez-Pinto is a pediatric critical care physician and biomedical informatics specialist. His research focuses on the intersection of these two disciplines and the application of data science principles to critical care problems. A recipient of a Master’s degree in Biomedical Informatics, he is interested in the discovery and evaluation of data-driven phenotypes (or subgroups) of critical illness. He is the principal investigator of PRIMER PICU, a study that aims to integrate clinical information, physiologic trends, and multi-omics data (that is, information from the genome, microbiome, and epigenome), to discover these novel phenotypes. The discovery of these phenotypes will hopefully lead to the development of more effective targeted therapies for critically ill children.

Craig Smith, MD 
Interests:Brain Injury; Brain Trauma; Critical Care; Pediatric Neurology

Lauren Sorce MSN, PhD(c), RN, CPNP-AC/PC, FCCM
Twitter: @LRSorce
Lauren Sorce is the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ARPN) manager of Pediatric Critical Care, Neurocritical Care, Palliative Care and Almost Home Kids divisions. She is co-director for Clinical Research in the PICU and the Associate Director of Nursing Research for the Department of Nursing. Her areas of research include improvement of clinical outcomes for critically ill children, and nurses. Lauren has led a multicentered trial, co-investigator of numerous studies and has been site investigator for NIH-funded national studies. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation, focusing on human milk feeding and severity of critical illness.

Eric Wald, MD, MSCI ​
Interests: Congenital Heart Disease; Critical Cardiac Care; Endocrinology; Physiology; Translational Research