Pediatrics; Behavioral Medicine
The overarching goal of Dr. Anzman-Frasca’s research is to promote healthy developmental trajectories for all individuals beginning in early life. She is interested in the psychological processes behind individuals’ health behaviors, interactions between these processes and contextual factors, and the interplay between obesity risk and other aspects of well-being, particularly among young children. Dr. Anzman-Frasca received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bucknell University and MS and PhD degrees in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, where her dissertation research explored intersections between infant temperament and early obesity risk in the context of a behavioral obesity preventive intervention targeting first-time parents and their infants. Subsequently, as a post-doc at Tufts University, she focused on research promoting healthy eating among school-age children within community contexts like out-of-school-time programs and restaurants. Dr. Anzman-Frasca’s current research agenda is focused on making healthy choices easier for children using both laboratory- and community-based approaches. Specific areas of interest include increasing the availability and selection of healthier children’s meal options in restaurants, promoting early childhood self-regulation abilities, and examining individual differences in susceptibility to obesity interventions to ensure that childhood obesity prevention efforts address, rather than exacerbate, health disparities. Finally, Dr. Anzman-Frasca is interested in ways in which childhood obesity prevention efforts may benefit other aspects of health and well-being, such as cognitive functioning and socio-emotional development, and has been pursuing this idea in recent studies focused on school breakfast, physical activity, and self-regulation.
Pediatric Gastroenterology; Pediatrics
Dr. Robert D. Baker obtained his BA at Harvard University, MD at Temple University School of Medicine, PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo and his fellowship in gastroenterology at the Combined Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children‘s Hospital of Boston. Dr. Baker has worked in Africa and established two new programs in Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina before coming to Buffalo. He has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals, chapters, and reviews and has edited four medical textbooks. Dr. Baker is nationally recognized as a leader in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and frequently serves as a contact person in these areas for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has been listed as a Best Doctor continuously since 1996. Dr. Baker sees patients, performs procedures, directs research, and serves as the Medical Director of the Variety 4 Procedure Area and the Tanner 8 Infusion Area. He is board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology.
Pediatric Gastroenterology; Pediatrics; Liver (Hepatology); Nutrition
Dr. Susan S. Baker obtained her BS at the University of Pittsburgh, MD at Temple University School of Medicine, and PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo and her fellowship in gastroenterology at the Combined Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children‘s Hospital of Boston. Dr. Baker worked in Africa and established two new programs in Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina before coming to Buffalo. She has published many peer-reviewed articles, chapters, reviews, edited four medical textbooks and one non-medical book. Dr. Baker is recognized as a leader in the field, having served as the Chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition, the Chairperson of the American Board of Pediatrics, sub-board of Gastroenterology and numerous other national and international advisory groups including the Institute of Medicine, USDA and the FDA representative to the CODEX expert committee on infant formula. She has been listed as a Best Doctor continuously since 1996. Dr. Baker sees patients, performs procedures, directs research, and serves as the Laboratory Director for the Gastroenterology Laboratory at Women and Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo. She is the Program Director for the Pediatric GI Fellowship program and is board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology.
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology; Pediatrics
As a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, I care for children from birth through age 21 who have blood disorders or cancers. This includes care for children with illnesses such as anemia, platelet problems, white blood cell abnormalities, bleeding disorders, leukemias, lymphomas, kidney and liver tumors and other cancers. I diagnose these illnesses and develop treatment plans, often in collaboration with physicians from other specialties such as surgery and radiation oncology. I manage patients who are receiving care at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). In addition, I have a special focus on pediatric blood and marrow transplantation. I transplant children with malignant and non-malignant disorders, performing both autologous (self) and allogeneic (donor other than the patient) transplants. My research is clinical in nature. I participate in clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. I also am the local principal investigator on several pediatric transplant trials through the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network and other multi-institutional trials. I am the clinical director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program located at RPCI. I have also served as the chair of the Institutional Review Board at the institute for over a decade. I am extensively involved with medical education, providing lectures on pediatric hematology and oncology on a regular basis to University at Buffalo third-year medical students and pediatric residents and fellows.
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology; Pediatrics
I am a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. I see patients in UBMD pediatric outpatient clinics, and I care for young patients who are admitted to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). In addition to my clinical practice, I have a keen interest in hematological malignancies and the use of targeted therapies in their treatment. As a fellow in the lymphoma translational research laboratory at RPCI, I began investigating novel therapeutic anti-CD20 antibodies in cell-line and xenograft models of rituximab resistant B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Based on my initial findings with the antibody ofatumumab, the University at Buffalo granted me the Dr. Henry C. and Bertha H. Buswell Fellowship, an award for promising physician-scientists who are in the beginning stages of their careers. The award allowed me to continue my work with this novel monoclonal antibody and begin exploring why B-cell lymphoma cells become resistant to multiple therapeutic modalities, including anti-CD20 immunotherapy and traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. For children with relapsed/refractory disease, this resistance portends a survival rate that is less than 20 percent. Using cell-line models of resistant disease and a variety of techniques such as gene expression profiling, phosphoproteomics, phospho-flow cytometry and western blotting, I have sought to characterize aberrant signal transduction pathway activation in the setting of resistant B-NHL and the ability to target relevant pathways as a means to overcome or bypass therapeutic resistance. These efforts have led to collaborative research with several investigators throughout the country who have similar interests, e.g., the clinical investigation of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab in childhood B-NHL. In addition to my basic science and translational research, I am involved in developing trials that investigate other novel therapies in the setting of relapsed/refractory disease. I am co-PI of an investigator-initiated trial studying the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody obinutuzumab, in combination with chemotherapy, for relapsed/refractory childhood B-NHL. I am also an industry-sponsored investigator researching the role of rituximab in the treatment of de novo childhood mature B-NHL. Additionally, I serve on the study committees of ongoing clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group. I often supervise residents on their research projects and periodically welcome medical students, college students and high school students to work with me in the lab—mostly as part of the RPCI summer research program. I teach medical students, residents and fellows rotating through pediatric hematology and oncology, in outpatient clinics and at the bedside on inpatient units. Using brief impromptu lectures/discussions, I also teach these trainees about disease processes they encounter as they rotate through hematology/oncology. I also lecture the pediatric residents during the hematology/oncology portion of their didactic series. Additionally, I teach our hematology/oncology fellows, in small-group didactic lectures and in both inpatient and outpatient clinical encounters.
Pediatric Endocrinology; Pediatrics; Pediatric Diabetes
I see patients at the pediatric outpatient clinic at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. I also have a monthly outreach clinic in Olean, NY. My clinical expertise includes diabetes, adrenal disorder, delayed and early puberty, problems with growth, thyroid disease and obesity. I spend a significant amount of time conducting clinical research. My research projects are related to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, obesity and early puberty. I am the local principal investigator for the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry, a research network of over 26,000 patients with Type 1 diabetes from across the country. The purpose of this clinic registry is to improve the care of persons with Type 1 diabetes by sharing best practices and answering important clinical questions through research. My role is to supervise a team of research assistants and make sure that we protect patient privacy, maintain patient volunteer safety and follow protocols for the study so that the results are valid. Based on my research and clinical expertise, I have written many chapters about adrenal disease, early puberty and general endocrinology that have been published in medical textbooks. As the program director for the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Pediatrics, I supervise and monitor the training of the pediatric endocrinology fellows. I teach pediatric endocrinology to medical students and residents, primarily as a preceptor in clinic, though I also lecture in the classroom setting. I introduce the field to undergraduate students by allowing them to shadow me in clinic. In addition, I participate in medical career panels for undergraduates.
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine; Pediatrics
As a pediatric intensivist, I am responsible evaluating and treating children and young adults afflicted with critical illness and varying degrees of end-organ dysfunction and failure. I am also actively involved in the supervision and education of medical students, resident physicians, and fellows in pediatric critical care medicine. My practice is located at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, where our division is committed to providing comprehensive, expert care and multidisciplinary support for the children of Western New York and their families. Throughout the course of my subspecialty training, I developed a special interest in quality improvement, and personally developed an award-winning project at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, North Carolina which focused on streamlining and standardizing communication for all postoperative admissions to its pediatric ICU. This work, the first of its kind in a pediatric multidisciplinary, non-cardiac, ICU demonstrated sustainable improvements in communication errors, antibiotic delays, and pain control, upwards of one year after its implementation. I am looking forward to working with the expert teams here at Women and Children’s to find ways in which we might build upon our mutual past successes and continue to help set the standard for best practice medicine.
Pediatrics; Psychology; Behavioral Medicine
I am a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Community Health and Health Behavior and Social and Preventive Medicine, and the Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine. My research interests focus on health behavior change and determinants of eating, physical activity and drug self-administration. I am an internationally recognized authority in the fields of childhood overweight, physical activity, weight control and family intervention. For the past 30 years, I have conducted research relevant to the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, including mechanisms that regulate intake and energy expenditure in children. I am a fellow in numerous scientific organizations, and have been the President of the division of Health Psychology, APA, and recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology. I chaired the Behavioral Medicine Study Section, NIH, and served on the Advisory Board for Center for Scientific Research, NIH. I have published over 300 scientific papers and three books.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Pediatrics
My research over the past 5 years has focused on the recent outbreak of community-associated MRSA skin and soft tissue infections. In our first publication entitled “Clinical and Molecular Characteristics of Staphylococcal Skin Abscesses in Children,” we demonstrated that MSSA accounts for 30-40% of the infections and that MSSA and MRSA share many of the same molecular characteristics including pulse field types and PVL genes. Based on our observations in the first report, we published a second article entitled “Importance of Colonization Site in the Current Epidemic of Staphylococcal Skin Abscesses.” This second publication demonstrated a high rate of rectal colonization in children infected with USA300 strains of S. aureus. We are currently investigating the mechanisms of colonization with USA300 strains of S. aureus. In the past, my lab focused on the role of nasopharyngeal colonization in otitis media. The current research continues in the same vein although the pathogen is different and the sites of colonization are different. We believe that colonization patterns are the key to disease evolution. I am also interested in the mechanism of community-acquired C. difficile diarrhea among children. I am investigating the mechanism of tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy among children with sleep apnea with a focus on chronic viral infections.
Epilepsy; Neurology; Neuromuscular Disorders; Pediatrics
As a pediatric neurologist, my clinical practice focuses on the comprehensive neurologic care of infants, children and adolescents. Having completed fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology, my expertise focuses on the evaluation and management of epileptic and non-epileptic (stress-induced) seizures, as well as neuromuscular disorders, with particular skill in performing electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG). I am one of the panel neurologists in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB). As a physician for the inpatient and outpatient neurology service, I attend to the needs of patients who present to WCHOB with a variety of neurologic symptoms. In addition to epilepsy and neuromuscular disorders, my clinical interest includes stroke in the young. I am fascinated by the various factors that may predispose infants and children to cerebrovascular ischemia. After an ischemic event, I work closely with the patients and their families to help coordinate long term care and rehabilitation in their road to recovery. I am actively involved in research mentorship and in the teaching of medical students, residents in adult neurology, pediatric neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry and fellows in clinical neurophysiology. I am further interested in autoimmune, demyelinating and infectious processes within the nervous system. After the 2009 influenza A - H1N1 pandemic, I extensively researched the neurologic complications of H1N1 in pediatric patients in Western New York. I compared our results to those of other groups in the global pediatric and neurologic communities. I presented my results at various international medical conferences. I feel fortunate to have participated in and conducted numerous clinical research projects. I have a track record of research, collaboration and publishing in the field of pediatric neurology. I intend to continue blending research with my clinical work, as I feel that both of these are essential for the art of practicing medicine.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Pediatrics
I am a leader in childhood infectious gastrointestinal diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 86% of all child deaths occur in the developing world. Six preventable diseases account for most of the 5.6 million yearly deaths in children younger than five years of age: pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, neonatal pneumonia or sepsis, preterm delivery and asphyxia at birth. My overall goal is to help decrease the morbidity and mortality of childhood infections through excellence in research, education and patient care. As chief of the Infectious Diseases Division in the Department of Pediatrics, I provide excellence in patient care locally and abroad, and I oversee patient care services, infection control and antibiotic stewardship programs. I established and lead a global health research program, the International Enteric Vaccines Research Program (IEVRP), on the epidemiology, pathogenesis and vaccine development of childhood gastrointestinal infections. This program is dedicated to biomedical research, scientific training and international collaborations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the United States. My collaborative scientific achievements with IEVRP include developing rapid diagnostic tools for diarrheal disease surveillance, identifying the most prevalent diarrheal pathogens and detecting emergent intestinal pathogens. My collaborators and I also worked on vaccine development research studies on pediatric infectious diseases associated with a high burden of disease. A long-term goal of these studies is to facilitate public health interventions for managing and preventing common infection diseases in children. Our studies on bacterial pathogenesis include genetic and phenotypic characterization of emergent E. coli pathogens and the role of surface proteins on gut colonization. Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) bacteria are important causes of diarrhea in travelers and children in the developing world. Our vaccine development research evaluates immunogenicity and immunoprotection of ETEC antigens delivered as live vaccines or purified proteins. I oversee our pediatric infectious diseases fellowship program and teach trainees in medicine and biomedical research. My clinical trainees include medical students, residents and fellows. I also teach and mentor research trainees at different career levels, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. My academic leadership has been instrumental in fostering the careers of numerous American and international trainees in basic, translational and clinical infectious diseases research.
Clinical Neurophysiology; Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation; Neurology; Pediatrics
I am trained as a pediatric neurologist and am board-certified in both pediatrics and neurology with special qualification in child neurology. My clinical practice focuses on autism spectrum disorders and children with related developmental disabilities. I also completed fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology and have related knowledge of seizures as well as skill in reading electroencephalograms (EEGs) used to diagnose and manage epilepsy. Children with autism and related developmental disabilities often have an increased risk of seizures; my experience in neurophysiology contributes to my clinical acumen in thoroughly evaluating and treating my patients. I am the medical director of the Children’s Guild Foundation Autism Spectrum Disorder Center at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a center I helped create and one that is jointly operated by the University at Buffalo and Kaleida Health. The goal of the center is to reach the increasing number of children in need of autism evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. The center is the only one of its kind in Western New York for medically-based, multidisciplinary evaluation and diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders. The center takes a team-based approach to evaluation; during a visit, each child is seen by a developmental pediatrician, child neurologist and child psychologist. After the visit, the team discusses the child and determines the diagnosis and/or need for any additional testing or services. The center has a full-time social worker and nurse and offers a monthly parent group, information resources for parents of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and sessions for new patients that have not yet been diagnosed on the autism spectrum but who may be exhibiting behavioral or developmental issues. Medical students, residents and fellows are welcome to work with me on research projects. I have a particular interest in the neurobiology of autism and conduct research regarding how behavior is affected in autism in the concurrent presence of a seizure disorder. I am also interested in the etiology, screening and evaluation techniques in children with autism. As well, I research epileptiform abnormalities that are seen in patients with autism spectrum disorders. My goal is to find the pattern among children on the autism spectrum who have more risk of an EEG abnormality. My research informs my efforts to promote awareness in, and educate families and medical providers about the approach to caring for a child with these specialized needs.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Pediatrics
My lab currently focuses B cell responses during inflammation with current main projects focusing on HIV and Kawasaki disease. Currently, the HIV field is in desperate need for greater knowledge regarding the mechanisms involved in induction of neutralizing antibodies and mucosal immune responses against HIV. I have characterized a collection of human antibodies that target structural epitopes on the Envelope protein of HIV. Current work is being pursued to define the targets of these antibodies and to assess if they can recognize cutting edge HIV vaccine candidates. Designing improved immunogens that elicit enhanced antibody activity from vaccination is the overall goal of my HIV research. Kawasaki Disease (KD) is an inflammatory disorder of children that can lead to dire consequences. KD is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children and primarily affects children under 5 years of age. However, the cause remains unknown. Some groups have shown indications that B cell responses target a specific entity. My work focuses on characterizing how KD presents in Western New York and explores a role for specific B cell responses in the pathogenesis of this mysterious disease. In my career I hope to become an accomplished physician-scientist who significantly impacts both the fields of lymphocyte development and HIV infection. Mucosal immune responses are of particular interest since they are so vital in the first line of defense in HIV and most other viral infections.
Pediatric Rheumatology; Pediatrics
I have a broad interest in rheumatic diseases in children. I am particularly interested in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and improving the time frame over which we can achieve remission in this family of illnesses. With newer medications, we are making significant progress, but we still have much to learn. I also have a keen interest in children with systemic lupus and inflammatory muscle disease. Over time, because of my own Native American ancestry (Mohawk), I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with indigenous American children, whose expression of rheumatic disease and treatment response are slightly different from the broader population. We hope that tribal health systems will see our pediatric rheumatology service as the “go-to” place for children with arthritis and related illnesses. I spend most of my time doing research, and my laboratory focuses on mechanisms through which genes and so called “DNA dark matter” are turned off and on through the course of successful therapy in JIA. We study these processes using state-of-the-art ChIP-sequencing, DNA methylation sequencing, and RNA sequencing techniques. These projects consist of collaborating with colleagues at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics (COE). I also spend considerable time working with indigenous American communities on a broad range of child health issues. I currently chair the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Native American Child Health, which has a strong interest in why rheumatic diseases are so common and severe in indigenous American children. We are particularly focused on so-called epigenetic factors, stemming from historical traumas and cultural dislocation that may play a role in how rheumatic diseases are expressed in indigenous children. One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been the opportunity to mentor talented Native American students and assist them in developing their interests in science and medicine. Previous students include a veritable “Who’s Who” among young Native American physicians, and I am working to establish and foster partnerships for UB with local colleges and tribes to develop a rich resource of Native American physician scientists in New York State.
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine; Pediatrics; Behavioral Medicine; Nutrition
My primary research focus is on infant health, specifically infant nutrition and physical activity and enriched home environments. My research aims to identify how infant-toddler eating behaviors affect obesity later in life and how early interventions can protect those at risk from obesity. Ultimately, my work will help promote healthy, active lifestyles for families. The motivation to eat varies among individuals. As food is more reinforcing to individuals with obesity, studying the origin of food reinforcement can provide important steps in obesity prevention. I strive to understand the causes of infant obesity and preventative measures that will decrease the risk of obesity during infancy and later life stages. My laboratory recently developed a paradigm to measure infants’ motivation to eat compared to their motivation to engage in other activities. This paradigm uses a computerized task during which infants press a button to earn reward in the form of the infant’s favorite food and a non-food alternative (e.g., playing with bubbles, listening to music). My studies suggest that the reinforcing value of the non-food alternative may drive the motivation to eat, thus infancy weight gain. To support the importance of the reinforcing value of non-food alternatives, my colleagues and I have shown that strengthening the non-food alternative at home can reduce the motivation of food. I am also currently involved in a large, randomized-control trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine the effect of a two-year music enhancement program on altering infants’ motivation to eat. I mentor students from UB’s Honors College and its pre-medicine and nutritional sciences programs. I invite interested students to work with me in my research, including data collection and preparation. I help students develop their research, analytical and writing skills to prepare them for their professional goals. Students who work with me on research projects also will gain experience in interpersonal interaction by working with families who participate in my studies.
General Pediatrics; Pediatrics
I am a general academic pediatrician, Division Chief of General Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, and Medical Director of Primary Care Services at Women & Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo. I began my career with five years in full-time general pediatrics practice before completing a three year general academics pediatrics fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Following my fellowship, I was on the pediatrics faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for eight years, where I was also an attending physician at Arkansas Children‘s Hospital. I am particularly interested in population health, practice transformation, health care delivery and outcomes for children with special health care needs and medical complexity. My research interests focus on health care systems and quality improvement for children with special health care needs, children with medical complexity, the patient/family-centered medical home, and family-centered care.
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine; Neonatology; Pediatrics
As chief of the Division of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics, I oversee and provide delivery of specialized, family-centered, advanced medical care to critically ill preterm and term newborn infants as well as support to their families. My practice is located in Western New York’s most advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. I also practice at the Level II NICU at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. As the director of the Center for Developmental Biology of the Lung, my research focuses on the pathophysiology of the cardiopulmonary transition – how fetal lungs change, at birth, to breathe air – and disorders of this transition, such as birth asphyxia, PPHN, retained lung liquid and respiratory distress syndrome. My laboratory’s translational research aims primarily at preventing and treating these disorders with optimal neonatal resuscitation techniques, steroids, nitric oxide, surfactant and judicious use of oxygen. I have an interest in managing newborn infants with hypoxic respiratory failure and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and have investigated the role oxygen-free radicals, nitric oxide and antioxidants play in the pathogenesis and management of PPHN. I currently focus on optimal strategies for neonatal resuscitation. My division is part of the Neonatal Research Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – a group of 15 academic neonatal centers conducting multicenter trials with the goal of improving outcomes in sick preterm and term neonates. Together, we work to transfer innovative discoveries from our laboratory to the bedside through clinical trials, improving outcomes for this vulnerable population. I am a committed professor and mentor to trainees. I received the “Mentor of the Year 2016” award from the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research ‘in recognition of sustained excellence as an educator and mentor of medical students, pediatricians-in-training, and pediatric faculty.’ I work with medical students, residents from the departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology and pediatric neurology fellows from neonatal-perinatal medicine -- many of whom do not have prior exposure to research. I welcome them to work with me and introduce them to exciting opportunities in translational and clinical research. As a result, my mentees have won prestigious national and school awards as well as competitive grants from the NIH and national organizations. Seeing my mentees succeed is the most rewarding aspect of my academic career.
Child Neurology; Children and Adults; Developmental Neurology; Neurology; Pediatrics
My research was focused originally on using astrocyte cell cultures to shed light upon processes related to astro-gliosis, the key response of developing and mature brain to injury. The laboratory succeeded in modeling many immunochemical features of gliosis in primary brain cell culture. More recently, I have been involved in the clinical care of, and research regarding, children with leukodystrophies. This includes coordinating several clinical research projects in roles as Clinical Director of the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute (HJKRI), and as President of the New York State Krabbe Disease Consortium. Projects include expansion of the World Wide Registry for Krabbe Disease (WWR), a database maintained at HJKRI that now has clinical and genetic information for over 150 affected patients afflicted with this rare disease, and examining ways to involve the WWR in national data-sharing initiatives promoted by the NIH, including the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN). HJKRI is also conducting long-term follow-up studies of affected children, in conjunction with the Rare Clinical Disease Research Network (RDCRN) examining neuro-developmental parameters before and after therapeutic transplantation. Additional projects include exploration of the genotype/phenotype relationship in Krabbe, including exome and whole genome analyses with collaborators, and participating in research to uncover new biomarkers and to develop novel therapies. I am also the Director of the Headache and Concussion clinics at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. These clinical leadership roles in Western New York and New York State can facilitate significant recruitment into multi-center research studies.
General Pediatrics; Pediatric Diabetes; Pediatric Endocrinology; Pediatrics
As a pediatrician specializing in treating hospitalized patients, I care for children, including neonates with various serious medical conditions requiring inpatient care. I work closely with community pediatricians to provide care for these newborns and for other children who need hospitalization. I am additionally board certified in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes. As a pediatric endocrinologist, I manage children and adolescents, both as inpatients and outpatients, with various endocrinological and metabolic disorders. I am particularly involved in the care of youths with juvenile diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, calcium and bone disorders, abnormalities of growth and puberty, and disorders of sex development. I serve as the program coordinator at the Diabetes Center of the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) for the American Diabetes Association’s Educational Recognition Program. I supervise the diabetes self-care management education provided by the center’s certified diabetes educators and nutritionists to young people diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, I coordinate quality improvement projects that are focused on improving diabetes care delivery. As an assistant professor of pediatrics at UB and a member of the Teaching Interest Group at WCHOB, I educate and train medical students, residents and fellows and devise methodologies to improve learning. I supplement my core lectures with targeted bedside teaching. I conduct clinical research and publish on various aspects of general pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. My current focus is on the prevention of abnormal weight gain in children and adolescents with new onset type 1 diabetes. I also mentor UB medical students in research on topics such as evaluating the current level of diabetes care provided at our diabetes center and our efforts to improve diabetes self-care.
Epilepsy; Multiple Sclerosis; Neurology; Neuropsychology; Pediatrics
As a neuropsychologist with training in both child and adult neuropsychology, my clinical practice focuses on the comprehensive neurocognitive and psychological evaluation of children, adolescents and adults. My primary focus is in pediatric neuropsychology; I see children ages 3 to 18 with a variety of developmental and neurological disorders. I also evaluate adults with developmental disorders and epilepsy. One of my areas of expertise is in pre- and post-surgical assessment, primarily for patients with intractable seizure disorder. As a consultant with our epilepsy unit at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, I work with patients’ neurologists and neurosurgeons regarding seizure focus, cognitive integrity and prognostic factors related to surgical outcome. I also serve as the primary neuropsychologist for the Pediatric MS Center of Excellence, one of six such centers in the U.S. designated by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society that offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation and care for children with demyelinating conditions. I provide neuropsychological assessment for the children and conduct research in the center and with collaborating sites within the network. In addition, I have extensive training and experience in assessment and diagnostic clarification for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In my outpatient clinic at Buffalo General Medical Center, I focus on thorough evaluations of neurocognitive function to provide not only diagnostic clarification, but a better understanding of specific areas of strength and weakness to help guide my patients’ medical treatment, school interventions and other therapeutic interventions. Given findings from the neuropsychological evaluation, I provide specific recommendations to help my patients achieve the greatest degree of success possible. My research interests include understanding neurocognitive functioning in pediatric patients with demyelinating disorders and epilepsy treatment and surgical outcomes. Conducting clinical research allows me to use information from my clinical work to guide research questions, improve understanding of patient populations and provide better care and guidance regarding treatment interventions to my patients. As a teacher, I work with medical residents and psychology graduate students to improve their understanding of neurocognitive functioning and neurocognitive assessment in children and adults with a variety of disorders such as MS, demyelinating disorders, epilepsy, head injury and autism spectrum disorder. I also tailor training if a resident/student has a particular area of interest. In addition, I serve as a mentor for neurology residents and psychology graduate students on research projects and offer more extensive training in neuropsychological assessment and diagnostics. I am also available to work with recently graduated undergraduates and master’s students who would like to gain research experience.
Clinical Genetics; Pediatrics; Children and Adults; Dysmorphology; Pediatric Genetics
I specialize in the evaluation of children and adults with birth defects, developmental disability, autism and genetic disorders and/or syndromes. My goal as a clinical geneticist/dymorphologist is to make specific overall diagnoses in order to provide patients and their families with information regarding prognosis and recurrence risks, i.e., the likelihood that a trait or disorder present in one family member will occur again in other family members. In addition, I help coordinate patient care in conjunction with patients’ primary care physicians and other specialists. I also work closely with genetic counselors who evaluate patients for a variety of concerns and help to coordinate genetic diagnostic testing as indicated. As a UBMD physician working at the Women and Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo, I direct the Williams Syndrome Clinic and serve as the clinical director at the Craniofacial Center of Western New York. The Craniofacial Center provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary evaluation and management of individuals from birth through adulthood with congenital and acquired craniofacial abnormalities. Common diagnoses include clefts of the lip and/or palate, craniosynostosis and ear anomalies. We hold monthly conferences that focus both on teaching and communication amongst providers in an effort to optimize patient care. My particular interest in the care of individuals with Williams Syndrome led me to start a multidisciplinary Williams Syndrome clinic in 1994. This is one of only twelve such clinics in the country. The clinic is held monthly, and it is organized by patient age groups; the format allows families to interact and share their experiences. Geneticists, genetic counselors, cardiologists, pediatric psychiatrists and pediatric dentists contribute their expertise at these clinics, and every patient sees a provider from each of these specialties. Additional evaluations for our Williams Syndrome patients are provided by other specialists such as ophthalmologists, nephrologists and neuropsychologists, depending on individual patient needs. I have coordinated a number of research studies in this patient population, and I have published extensively in this field. As a UB faculty member, I also teach residents and medical students during their month-long genetics elective.
Pediatric Pulmonology; Pediatrics
I oversee clinical, teaching and research activity related to evaluating and treating infants, children and young adults with pulmonary diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, neuromuscular disease, interstitial lung disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic ventilatory failure. My practice is primarily located at the Lung Center at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where I provide family-centered care to our patients that promotes wellness and quality of life. I manage the respiratory care of patients with neuromuscular disease such as spinal muscle atrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and other muscular dystrophies. I believe strongly in striving for equity in health care, e.g., all children and adults with muscular dystrophy should be offered the full spectrum of respiratory care choices. With investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I conduct research within the five-site Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking and Research Network (MD STARnet) to study respiratory care trends for individuals with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies. There is a shortage of pediatric and adult pulmonologists trained in neuromuscular respiratory care, and through MD STARnet, we can explore variances in care delivery, particularly as patients make the transition from pediatric to adult health care providers, and thus can help guide allocation of funding, training and resources. My other passion is teaching, especially preparing the next generation of physicians to provide care that is humanistic, holistic and patient-centered. In February 2015, I joined the UB Office of Medical Curriculum as Associate Dean. I am a member of the faculty advisory council for the medical school’s Center for Medical Humanities. I also serve as an instructor for the University at Buffalo/Royal College of Physicians Educator Program (UB/RCP), and I am a member of its master educator committee. Through these collaborations, we will develop a four-year medical student humanities curriculum by using examples in the humanities and the arts to provide insight into the human condition. This insight will foster in medical students and residents skills of observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection − skills that are essential for humanistic medical care as well as self-care for the physician.
Pediatrics; Public Health and General Preventive Medicine; Behavioral Medicine
My current research focuses on epidemiologic analyses and interventions related to obesity. I am particularly interested in the developmental origins of obesity and cardio-metabolic diseases, including maternal diet,smoking,and other lifestyle during pregnancy, placenta, intrauterine growth, epigenetics, and infancy growth. I am also very interested in clinical intervention for pediatric obesity. Below are my ongoing research projects. 1) Etiological subgroups of small-for-gestational-age: differential childhood physical and cognitive development; 2) Vegetarian diet during pregnancy and prevention of gestational diabetes and offspring obesity; 3) Smoking cessation during pregnancy and lactation and offspring outcomes; 4) Infant diet and health; 5) Toddler's self-regulation and later healthy behaviors.
Pediatrics; General Pediatrics
I am a physician executive with extensive experience in medical management, medical informatics – including big data and data science − financial analysis and computer modeling. I serve as the executive director of the University at Buffalo Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI), as chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) of UBMD, a multispecialty faculty practice of over 500 UB physicians, and as CMIO of Kaleida Health, the largest health care provider in Western New York The IHI supports big data health care research and economic development at UB and its partner institutions in the Buffalo Translational Consortium by providing a secure computing environment, data science and security consulting and extensive health care datasets. The IHI provides a secure data center with a state-of-the-art data repository infrastructure that can be used to generate knowledge that improves the health of the Western New York community, New York State and the nation. As CMIO my goal is to implement and optimize electronic health records (EHRs) and other systems so that they will collect data that can simultaneously provide clinical decision support, manage patient populations and feed data repositories. I have served in multiple medical and informatics leadership roles, and my background in clinical, administrative and technological medicine enables me to interface effectively with multiple health care environment stakeholders, including physicians, nurses, other clinical and administrative staff, information technology personnel and vendors. As a result, I have been able to lead physician practices through transformative changes, including the adoption of electronic health records. I have published and presented extensively in the field of informatics; my particular interest is ethical issues in informatics. I am a board-certified pediatrician and continue to practice general pediatrics in inner-city Buffalo.