Meet Our Investigators

All of our faculty are actively engaged in research and scholarly activities. For more information about our faculty, please click here.

Research Leadership

Elizabeth Alpern, MD, MSCE

Division Head

Dr. Alpern is Head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Lurie Children's and a Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is both a pediatric emergency physician and clinical epidemiologist. Her research interests include the use of large databases within research networks to improve the quality of emergent care and decrease disparities of care delivered to children through application of evidence-based work. Dr. Alpern was the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and leverage the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) Registry to establish quality benchmarks for urgent and emergent care. She is also funded by the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) as the Principal Investigator for the PED Screen study utilizing electronic health record data to identify risk of sepsis in pediatric emergency department patients. Dr. Alpern serves on the mentorship teams for multiple K-level career development awards and has a longstanding interest in academic medicine mentorship. Currently Dr. Alpern serves as a standing member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Informatics and Digital Health study section. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has lectured nationally and internationally.

Todd Florin, MD, MSCE

Director of Research

Dr. Florin is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Head of the Grainger Research Program in Pediatric Emergency Research, and Director of Research for the Division of Emergency Medicine at Lurie Children’s. Dr. Florin is a nationally recognized expert in the field of respiratory infectious diseases in the acute care setting. He is the principal investigator of Catalyzing Ambulatory Research in Pneumonia Etiology and Diagnostic Innovations in Emergency Medicine (CARPE DIEM), a prospective cohort study of children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Current national and international studies led by Dr. Florin focus on the development of risk stratification tools and use of biomarkers to improve outcomes in children with pneumonia at the point-of-care. His work also centers on resource utilization, variation in care, antimicrobial stewardship, and use of clinical trials to improve treatments for respiratory tract infections in children. Dr. Florin has received funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Gerber Foundation. Dr. Florin is passionate about developing the science of pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) practice through rigorous collaborative research efforts and fostering the next generation of PEM clinician-scientists.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Faculty in Research

Mark D. Adler, MD

Dr. Adler is a Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Medical Education at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an attending physician at Lurie Children’s. His research interests include simulation-based healthcare education, curricular design and implementation, assessment of learners, and the use of current validity frameworks to support the use of assessment tools. Dr. Adler is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research and Education (INSPIRE), a Co-Chair for the Scholarly Activities Committee for the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare. He has served as the Chair for the past two years. He is an inaugural member of the National Academy of Distinguished Educators in Pediatrics (NADEP). He is an editorial board member of Simulation in Healthcare.

Erin M. Augustine, MD

Dr. Augustine’s clinical and academic interests involve medical education and healthcare delivery. 

Jacqueline B. Corboy, MD

Dr. Corboy’s clinical and educational efforts lie in both the academic and community hospital setting and focus on promoting quality in the subspecialty of pediatric emergency medicine. Following completion of a master's degree through Northwestern's Graduate Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, her primary effort has been in quality improvement and its ability to transform care within our division, the hospital, the medical school and among our community partnerships. Education and exposure to quality improvement initiatives at the medical student level will enable future physicians to provide care which is safe, equitable, efficient, effective, timely and patient-centered. Through implementation of initiatives across both academic and community sites, care can be optimized and coordinated, ensuring evidence-based practice regardless of where their care is obtained. As Co-Director of Quality within the Division of Emergency Medicine, her goal is focused on building a sound foundation for quality improvement efforts and the promotion of rigorous QI methodology, which will allow our efforts to extend beyond Lurie Children's walls both locally and nationally.

Colleen D. Fant, MD, MPH

Dr. Fant is a pediatric emergency medicine attending physican at Lurie Children's. Her particular areas of interest are in global health and medical simulation. Dr. Fant’s passion is working with providers caring for acutely ill children in Sub-Saharan Africa particularly in resource variable settings to help improve capabilities through simulation practice, faculty development, and point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) education. She currently has partnerships with institutions in Tanzania and Kenya and serve as the Assistant Director of Global Health Simulation within the Northwestern Institute for Global Health.

Jennifer Hoffmann, MD

Dr. Hoffmann is a pediatric emergency physician with an interest in improving care for children and adolescents who visit the emergency department for mental health conditions. Her research has focused on describing trends in emergency department utilization and health disparities in pediatric emergency mental health conditions. As a scholar in the K12 ACCELERAT program, she is currently working to develop and implement quality measures for acute agitation management in the emergency department that are informed by multidisciplinary perspectives including patients and families. She will subsequently determine whether a quality improvement initiative driven by clinical decision support improves the quality of care for acute agitation management. As the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine PEMCRC research prize, she is leading a multicenter retrospective study within the PEMCRC research network to determine the prevalence of clinically significant neuroimaging findings among youth who present to the emergency department with psychosis.

Michelle Macy, MD, MS

Dr. Macy’s research focuses on healthcare decisions within the context of acute care. She has expertise in analysis of administrative datasets, survey methodology, and the development and testing of pediatric measures for quality improvement. She also designs and evaluates interventions for primary prevention of unintentional injury. She is the Principal Investigator of an R01 project funded by the NICHD to test the efficacy of an ED-based mobile health intervention to promote size-appropriate child passenger safety behaviors with the goal of reducing preventable injuries and deaths from car crashes. Dr. Macy serves as the Co-Chair of the Injury Control Special Interest Group of the Academic Pediatric Association. She is a decision editor for Academic Emergency Medicine. 

Karen A. Mangold, MD, MEd

Dr. Mangold has been an attending physican at Lurie Children's since graduating in 2011. She is involved in the kidSTAR Medical Education program, and she is the Program Director for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship. She also runs the McGaw Medical Education Clinical Scholars program. She is interested in the development and assessment of educational curricula, especially at the graduate medical level. Dr. Mangold uses simulation often in these curricula to teach medical management, team communication and leadership skills. She is interested in learner assessment, mentorship and in training other physicians to be better medical educators in order to have successful careers as clinical educators.

Kenneth Michelson, MD, MPH

Dr. Kenneth Michelson is most interested in emergency system performance: how well do emergency departments care for children? How much capacity does our system have, and how do we maximize it? How can all emergency departments provide outstanding care for children? He wants to design interventions to bring pediatric expertise to all emergency departments in the nation. Using innovative methods, Dr. Michelson uses large healthcare databases to understand emergency department performance and design targeted interventions.

Dr. Michelson is also active in the clinical care of patients and training of residents and fellows. He earned both the Senior Resident Teaching Award and Fellow Teaching Award for his active role in training pediatricians. He was selected as the first trainee member of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee’s Steering Committee, which selects projects and administers a multicenter research group across the nation. He is a technical expert in Leapfrog's diagnostic safety initiative.

Mary C. Pierce, MD

Dr. Pierce’s research interest focuses primarily on injuries in children with an emphasis on differentiating abusive from accidental trauma. Dr. Pierce collaborates with a multi-disciplinary lab with emphasis on injury biomechanics. This lab combines the expertise of medicine and engineering and utilizes both a clinical and an experimental approach. Dr. Pierce’s research focus is the development of injury plausibility models, including clinical decision rules, for differentiating abusive and accidental trauma in the young child that combines medical, social, biologic, and engineering knowledge. Her interest is also in epigenetics, psychosocial risk factors, factors, ecologic factors, and how child maltreatment confers health problems later in life. This collaborative work results in translational research that is guided by case-based studies with clinical, social, and basic science research, experiments, and modeling directly linked to pertinent clinic issues.

Elizabeth C. Powell, MD, MPH

Dr. Powell is a pediatric emergency physician with advanced training in public health. Her research interests include epidemiology, public health and injury prevention, and pediatric emergency care delivery. She has supervised numerous single site and multicenter observational studies and clinical trials in the emergency department. She has collaborated nationally in the development of clinical decision rules. Her ongoing work includes a multicenter study to identify children and adolescents at risk for the development of pulmonary embolus and an analysis of the effectiveness of ondansetron to reduce emergency department resource use.

Sriram Ramgopal, MD

Dr. Ramgopal is a pediatric emergency medicine attending physician who seeks to obtain expertise with data science and machine learning methodologies to better elucidate phenotypic characteristics and more precisely identify interventions in the pediatric acute care setting. He derives satisfaction from treating pediatric patients with acute care conditions in the pediatric emergency department in a team with residents, nurse practitioners, and nurses. With respect to research, the work Dr. Ramgopal has performed to date demonstrates an avid interest in clinical and health services research in a variety of domains within pediatrics and emergency medicine. His long-term, primary career goal is to identify precision medicine approaches toward the management of pediatric respiratory disease in the acute care setting using data science and machine learning approaches within health systems.

Karen M. Sheehan, MD, MPH

Dr. Sheehan is a Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Education, and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As a Northwestern University Medical Student over 30 years ago, Dr. Sheehan was a founding volunteer of the Chicago Youth Programs (CYP), a community-based organization that works to improve the health and life opportunities of at-risk youths. In addition to being trained in pediatric emergency medicine, Dr. Sheehan provides primary care to CYP children through the clinic located at Lurie Children’s. Dr. Sheehan is Associate Chair of Advocacy, Medical Director of the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities, and Medical Director of Lurie Children’s Injury Prevention & Research Center. Her research interests are community-based injury, violence prevention and youth development. 

Research Professionals

Jillian Benedetti, MPH

Manager, Clinical Research

Special Interests: Research operations, team development, healthcare innovation, resource allocation 

Anne Lakes

Lead Clinical Research Coordinator

Special Interests: Infectious Emergencies, Epidemiology, Public Health, Maternal and Child Health 

Kelsey Julian

Research Project Manager

Special Interests: child maltreatment, biopsychosocial risk factors for disease, and health disparities

Jack Kapes

Clinical Research Coordinator

Special Interests: Infectious Emergencies, Injury Prevention, Healthcare Utilization, and Healthcare Innovation 

Danielle Cory, MENG

Clinical Research Coordinator

Special Interests: Injury Biomechanics and Child Abuse Assessment, Quality Improvement and Quality Control utilizing Lean and Six Sigma, Mental Health, Research Professional Development and Engagement 

Jack Lavey

Clinical Research Coordinator

Special Interests: Community Engagement, Social Influencers of Health, Global Health, Health Technology 

Robert Tunick

Clinical Research Assistant

Special Interests: Firearm Violence Prevention, Health Disparities, Infectious Emergencies, and LGBTQ+ healthcare 

Miriam Aljuboory

Student Researcher

Special Interests: Health Technology, Maternal Health, Patient Advocacy. Infectious Emergencies  

Tara Janas

Student Researcher

Special Interests: Organ & Stem Cell Transplant Outcomes, Social Influencers of Health, Patient Advocacy 

Meghana Karan

Student Researcher

Special Interests: Public Health, Antibiotic Resistance, Social Determinants of Health, Medical Sociology 

Sanjana Shankar

Student Researcher

Special Interests: Maternal Health, Public Health, Firearm Violence Prevention, Mental Health, Health Disparities