Children’s National Research Institute | Academic Annual Report 2017-2018

Innovation Through Collaboration

Institutes, Centers, & Offices

Center Report: Academic Affairs

Vision: The vision of Academic Affairs is to ensure that Children’s National Hospital is a leader in pediatric academic medicine.

To promote academic success, Academic Affairs 1) fosters career development through education, training, and mentorship programs; 2) enhances the presence of women and minorities in leadership positions; and 3) encourages faculty engagement in discipline-specific organizations leading to national and international leadership positions and recognition.

Goals of the Office
  • Appoint, promote, and retain excellent clinical and translational faculty
  • Provide junior faculty opportunities to further their careers through mentorship
  • Ensure that faculty are skilled in being mentored and mentoring others and are rewarded for their efforts
  • Develop synergies between Children’s National clinical and translational enterprise through the Clinical Research Directors program
  • Collect and analyze faculty data in support of academic advancement
  • Ensure that initiatives further faculty diversity and professional development


  • Naomi L. C. Luban, M.D., Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Department of Pediatrics; Program Lead, Mentored Career Development Award, Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National (CTSI-CN)
  • Stephen J. Teach, M.D., MPH, Chair of Pediatrics, George Washington University
  • Lisa Sheehy, Program Administrator

Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure (APT)

The Academics Affairs Team provides an electronic application to speed the appointment and promotion process and to provide guidelines, templates, and exemplars to ensure success in the promotion process at George Washington University (GW). The team provides both group and one-on-one sessions to review the process of promotion. For tenure-track faculty, the letter of appointment must provide detail on the mentorship, financial, and laboratory support and include a timeline for independent funding. Tenure-track faculty receive reviews at year three to four of appointment for suitability to remain on track with specific recommendations for ensuring future tenure. In 2017, APT reviewed promotion portfolios for 46 faculty, 100 percent of whom were promoted. This was the largest number of portfolios reviewed and approved in Children’s National history.

2017 Appointments, Promotions and Tenures

Promotion 2017

Professor (With Tenure)
  • Robert Freishtat

    Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, and Integrative Systems
  • Catherine Limperopoulos

    Pediatrics, Radiology, and Neurology
  • Dewesh Agrawal

    Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
  • Kathleen Brown

    Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
  • Louis Marmon

    Surgery and Pediatrics
  • Hans Pohl

    Urology and Pediatrics
  • Rahul Shah

    Surgery and Pediatrics
Associate Professor (With Tenure)
  • Anitha John

  • Aerang Kim

  • Anna Penn

  • Kimberly Chapman

Associate Professor
  • Claude Abdallah

    Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Sarah Clauss

  • Joanna Cohen

    Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
  • Aisha Barber (Davis)

  • Marc DiFazio

    Neurology and Pediatrics
  • Michael Guerrera

  • Shana Jacobs

  • Joshua Kanter

  • Darren Klugman

  • Anita Krishnan

  • Sahira Long

  • Albert Oh

    Surgery and Pediatrics
  • Chima Oluigbo

    Neurological Surgery, Pediatrics, and Neurology
  • Srijaya Reddy

    Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Brian Reilly

    Surgery and Pediatrics
  • Eva Rubio

    Radiology and Pediatrics
  • Hemant Sharma

  • Matthew Whitehead

    Radiology and Pediatrics
  • Pavan Zaveri

    Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
Research Associate Professor
  • Li-Jin Chew

  • Rathinaswamy Govindan

Clinical Professor
  • Marijean Miller

    Ophthalmology and Pediatrics
  • Kenneth Rosenbaum

Clinical Associate Professor
  • Christine Corriveau

  • Naida Kalloo

    Urology and pediatrics
  • Gonzalo Laje

    Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics
  • Sona Sehgal

  • Pranav Vyas

    Radiology and Pediatrics
  • Eric Rosenthal

Professor Emeritus
  • Avital Cnaan

    Pediatrics and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Raafat Hannallah

    Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Nalini Singh

    Pediatrics and Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences Biology
Clinical Professor Emeritus
  • Larrie Greenberg

Adjunct Professor Emeritus
  • Elena Nightingale


Research Education, Training and Career Development

  • Naomi L.C. Luban, M.D.
  • An Massaro, M.D.

Research, Education, Training and Career Development provides faculty, fellows, residents, medical students, nursing and clinical research staff, doctoral and postdoctoral trainees, and visiting students with a broad array of training opportunities. Offerings include graduate degree programs, including the master’s and graduate certificate in clinical and translational science (MSCTR) and master’s in public health (MPH) through the GW. Other offerings include online seminar series and videoconferencing, non-graduate certificate programs, and lectures/workshops in clinical trial design and grants improvement. This comprehensive portfolio of training and education follows a competency-based model developed by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). An online learning management system, Focus on Clinical and Translational Science (FACTS), serves as a repository for existing and newly developed resources for self-directed learning in clinical and translational science. FACTS include a mentorship toolbox covering specific topics, such as study design, working in teams, research budget implementation, and responsible conduct of research. In 2017, four students enrolled in the CTR master’s and certificate program. Over 60 Children’s National faculty and fellows have taken advantage of the MSCTR since its inception. A Ph.D. in CTR is now also offered. Through the National Insititutes of Health (NIH), Research, Education, Training and Career Development also offers the Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (IPPCR) on-line certificate program; 72 individuals participated in this program in 2017.

Through Children’s National CTSA, Children’s Research Institute hosts underrepresented minority (URM) high school and GW medical students in clinical and laboratory research through two separate METEOR programs (Mentoring Experience to Expand Opportunities in Research, versions 1 and 2. CRI, Children’s National, and GW investigators will continue mentoring over time. Other URM students have had summer research experiences through NINDS, the American Society of Hematology and a recent R25 NICHD award.

Other research and education opportunities include: the three-year fellows core curriculum; clinical research management training for new faculty, research associates, and nurses; onsite training in the use of IRBear, RedCap, and Bear Grants, each of which are now on electronic platforms; and weekly email notification of foundation and peer review grant opportunities, regional academic opportunities and awards. The K Special Interest Group quarterly meetings and annual K Retreat continues.

Career Development SIGs

Research, Education, Training, and Career Development has over 35 junior faculty receiving support either from individual or institutional career development (K) awards. The K Special Interest Group meets quarterly and holds an annual K retreat. More than 40 junior and senior faculty attended the annual fall K retreat titled” NIH’s Next Generation Initiative and Its Interface with CRI.” Four NIH program officers (Kay Lund, Ph.D., director, Division of Biomedical Research Workforce, OEP; Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D., training program policy officer, OER; Traci Mondoro, Ph.D., branch chief, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, NHLBI; Tina K. Urv, Ph.D., program director, Division of Clinical Innovation, NCATS) shared their knowledge and experiences working with early stage investigators and explained the NIH’s new next generation initiatives. CRI directors (Drs. Catherine Bollard, Vittorio Gallo (now CRO), Lisa Guay-Woodford and Eric Vilain) provided an overview of CRI core facility resources and how they can assist advancing the careers of Children’s National junior faculty as part of this retreat.

In addition to the annual K retreat, two other events of note for were held 2017. In May of 2017, Research, Education, Training, and Career Development hosted Bert Lubin, M.D., as a visiting professor; Dr. Lubin is the founder of the Research Institute at Oakland Children’s and emeritus CEO of Oakland Children’s Hospital. Using four small group workshop formats, he addressed issues related to the integration of a research institute into clinical programs when there is physical distance between the clinical and research enterprise. He met individually with senior leadership, junior faculty, CRI doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and the K-SIG group. His experience was very helpful to all as CRI plans the move of some of its laboratories to the new Walter Reed Research and Innovation Campus of Children’s National.

Our most recent K-SIG event was entitled “Know What You Don’t Know” Jeopardy. Invited current and potential K scholars had the chance to play an interactive game of Jeopardy and talk with expert panelists about questions they have about the pre- and post-award processes. This overwhelming successful program resulted in a printed and electronic toolbox to help guide future applications and awards. The toolbox has now been uploaded to the CTSI website for widespread use.

Clinical Research Directors (CRDs)

The Clinical Research Directors (CRDs) now number 24. With broad expertise in mentorship and grant writing, CRDs are “buddied” with clinical divisions to help achieve the following goals:

  • Identify and mentor junior faculty toward peer-reviewed and foundation grant success
  • Catalyze clinical and translational investigators to work together to ask critical questions relevant to child health
  • Assist the chief academic officer and CRI center directors in program direction

CRDs have met individually or in group settings with their assigned clinical division or divisions and have been instrumental in establishing multidisciplinary think tanks and special interest groups (SIGs). The SIGs now number 22, of which three are shared with GW. CRDs support the expanded Grants Enhancement Program by assisting in remediation of failed grant submissions and by reviewing pilot and KL2 awards, assisting in K and T32 programming, participating in K Special Interest Groups and the K retreat, and serving as advisors and reviewers for CTSI-CN initiatives. The CRDs, with the assistance of the CTSI and GW, hosted a two-day grants workshop under the leadership of Dr. Robert Freishtat in the fall, 2017 where selected junior faculty had the opportunity to improve their future grant submission.

Five new CRDs (Michael Bell, Dorothy Bulas, Michael Hsieh, Suvankar Majumdar, Marva Moxey-Mims) four of whom are new division chiefs have been added to the CRD program. A new K-SIG has been added to better orient new division chiefs to the structure and nuances of CRI, grant funding opportunities and infrastructure available for faculty advancement.

A review of CRD efforts this past year was remarkable for the following:

  • CRDs have personally mentored 42 faculty resulting in 100 grant submissions
  • CRDs themselves submitted 65 grants
  • 30 out of 65 of those grants include junior faculty as co-investigators
  • KL2 letters of interest peaked at 18 with 10 selected for full submission, most with the help of the CRDs

Other CRD successes this year included the following:

  • Procedures for selection of mentors for resident Research, Education, Advocacy and Child Health Care (REACH) projects with establishment of a mentorship contract
  • Establishing through the Grants Enhancement Program (GEP) documentation of mentor and GEP review and approval process for all first-time peer reviewed and pilot grants from assistant and associate professors
  • Developing an improved NIH Loan Repayment Program with centralized mentor sourcing, review and sign off
  • Modifying the Fellow Core Research Curriculum with a focus on blended and online learning on research design and biostatistics, and improving translational laboratory access for fellows
  • Developing a coordinated system for NIH Just-in-Time, Grants and Contract and IRB review to speed grant funding
Clinical Research Directors (CRDS) 2017
  • Batshaw, Mark
  • Berl, Madison
  • Bollard, Catherine
  • Burd, Randall
  • Cleary, Kevin
  • Corbin, Joshua
  • Freishtat, Robert
  • Fu, Linda
  • Gaillard, William
  • Guay Woodford, Lisa
  • Limperopoulos, Catherine
  • Luban, Naomi
  • Maris, Charles
  • Massaro, An
  • Ottolini, Mary
  • Parikh, Kavita
  • Penn, Anna
  • Pollack, Murray
  • Preciado, Diego
  • Scheidt, Peter
  • Streisand, Randi
  • Teach, Stephen
  • Tuchman, Mendel

Promoting Faculty

This year, two individuals received mentorship awards: Dr. Lauren Kenworthy in basic and translational research science and Dr. Murray Pollack for clinical investigation. Two faculty members were elected to the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR): Nobu Ishibashi and R.B. Govindan. Two new KL2 were support this past year: John Strang, Ph.D., (CRI) and Homa Ahmadzia, M.D., MS (GW). Several faculty members are on the executive committees of both APS and SPR: Dr. Robin Steinhorn is president-elect of APS, and Dr. Mark Batshaw was past president, continuing Children’s National leadership of this organization.

Several years ago, Children’s National developed WatCH (Women at Children’s Hospital) to help address the specific needs of women in academic medicine. Led by Dr. Luban, the program began as a series of informal lectures designed to address the challenges faced by women in medicine and academia. With the assistance of Anitha John, M.D., Neha Shah, M.D., Sabah Iqbal, M.D., and Irene Zohn, Ph.D., this program has expanded to include a yearly “brown bag” seminar series with a formal WatCH-related Grand Rounds, a half-day Career Development Workshop, and a growing organizing committee. WatCH leaders have also presented the curriculum at national workshop including at four Pediatric Academic Society Annual meetings.

WatCH also oversees selection of a faculty member to attend the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) Professional Development Seminars. This past year, Dr. Alyssa Abo attended the Mid-Career program. This coming year, Dr. Tessie October and Dr. Kavita Parikh will be attending GWIMS leadership programs.

WatCH’s 2017 Grand Rounds lecturer was Phyllis A. Dennery M.D., professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and chair of Pediatrics at Brown and pediatrician-in-chief at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Her topic was “Happiness and the Art of Being an Academic Pediatrician.” Of note, Dr. Dennery trained at Children’s. Her presentation was followed by a workshop on “Practical Strategies for Reducing Stress and Burnout” led by a team from the Advisory Board. WatCH hosted their second speed mentorship program in fall 2017, following the success of the 2015 program attended by over 40 junior and senior faculty. This program will be repeated every two years

WatCH Working Group
  • Abo, Alyssa
  • Ahn, Sun Yang
  • Boogaard, Clair O'Connell
  • Chokshi, Binny
  • Coleman, Nailah
  • Francesca, Joseph
  • Hahn, Andrea
  • John, Anitha
  • October, Tessie
  • Parikh, Kavita
  • Sha, Neha
  • Simpson, Joelle
  • Zohn, Irene
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