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Jay Grosfeld, MD Scholar Grant Recipients

The American Pediatric Surgical Association Foundation encourages the enrichment of pediatric surgeon scientists by providing support for projects which will broaden the horizon of the recipient in a fashion not otherwise readily achieved and for which funds may not be available from usual current sources. The APSA Foundation welcomes proposals for support of projects that encompass the humanities, medical ethics, education, clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, health care delivery, computer sciences, as well as clinical or laboratory research as they relate to the surgical sciences or to the delivery of pediatric surgical care and may include traveling fellowships or special scholarships.


Allison L. Speer, MD
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, Texas
Defining the Role of the Enteric Nervous System in Epithelial Barrier Function in Human Intestinal Organoids
Awarded $25,000

Christa N. Grant, MD
Penn State Children’s Hospital, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Contactin 1: A Potential Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in High Risk Neuroblastoma
Awarded $25,000

Emily Partridge, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Study of Cerebral Autoregulation in Pumpless Arteriovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
Awarded $25,000


Alex G. Cuenca, MD, PhD
Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
The Role of Adjuvant Induced Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Allograft Tolerance
Awarded $25,000

“The award is important to junior faculty because it provides additional monies for a junior investigator, it provides a forum and an invaluable experience for junior pediatric surgical faculty to develop and formulate a scientific question while in the early stages of their career as a pediatric surgeon scientist, and most importantly, it is the honor, recognition and support from the pediatric surgeon-scientists that many of us have aspired to become.”

Alejandro Garcia, MD
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, MD
Improving Reperfusion Injury in Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Using a Porcine Model of ECPR
Awarded $25,000

Beth A. Rymeski, DO
Cincinnati Children’s Hosiptal Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Current Management of Pediatric Pilonidal Disease: A Prospective Multicenter Surgeon-Choice Cohort Study
Awarded $25,000


Catherine Hunter, MD
Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL 
Defining the Role of ROCK in Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Awarded $25,000

“This award was pivotal in allowing me to successfully obtain an R03 award from the NIH (NIDDK).  This is a valuable mechanism to drive research forward and prevent from stalling at key transition points.  I am very grateful for the generous support that this award afforded me.”

Amar Nijagal, MD
The University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Fetal Mechanisms of Liver and Bile Duct Repair: A Link to the Prenatal Origins of Biliary Atresia
Awarded $25,000


Andrew J. Murphy, MD
Genomic Analysis of Bilateral Wilms Tumors
Awarded $25,000

“This award has been instrumental in my career development and particularly for the recognition that it garnered my scientific work among members of our specialty. This award was critical in securing NCI-sponsored funding and contributed to funding experiments.  The award has been absolutely critical in supporting my early career research and has contributed to further funding, publications and study protocols.”

Isam W. Nasr, MD
Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury by Inhibition of TLR4 Signaling in a Murine Model
Awarded $25,000


Helen Hsieh, MD
Effect of Midazolam on the Developmental and Maturation of Hippocampal Neuronal Circuitry
Awarded $25,000

Elisabeth T. Tracy, MD
Bleeding and Thrombosis in Infants and Children
Awarded $25,000


William H. Peranteau, MD
In Utero Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Congenital Disorders
Awarded $25,000

Bradley J. Segura, MD
The role of Enteric Glia in Pediatric Intestinal Inflammation
Awarded $25,000


Hannah Piper, MD
The Role of Intestinal Microbiota in Children with Intestinal Failure and Bacterial Overgrowth
Awarded $25,000

David Stitelman, MD
In-utero Delivery of Synthetic Nanoparticles for Gene Editing in the Central Nervous System
Awarded $25,000

“This award was meaningful to me as it signified I had the professional support from our specialty’s major professional organization. The early data generated using the APSA foundation funding allowed me to win internal funding within Yale University, a Hartwell Foundation Award, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Award, American Society of Hematology Award and American Surgical Association Award amounting to approximately $1m in funding.”


Ankush Gosain, MD
Splenic Neurovascular Units in Hirschsprung’s Associated Enterocolitis
Awarded $25,000

“Receipt of the Foundation Scholar Award was pivotal in advancing my early academic career.  The Award provided support for testing novel ideas and helped establish that my line of investigation is relevant to our specialty and was worth funding. Subsequently my career and laboratory have continued to benefit not just from the financial support, but more importantly, from the “stamp of approval” from APSA that this award implies to other funding agencies. Since receiving the APSA Foundation Award my lab has received ~$3.5m in extramural funding.”

David Gourlay, MD
IAP Prevents Intestinal Inflammation in the Newborn Intestine
Awarded $25,000

“Beyond the dollar amount, the recognition received as a result of the grant, in and outside the APSA community, is important to recognize.  It has clearly helped me in my academic career.”

Shawn Larson, MD
Inflammasome Activation is Critical for Neonatal Emergency Myelopoiesis and Expansion of Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Inflammation
Awarded $25,000


Harold N. Lovvorn, III, MD
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for the Study of Wilms’ Tumorigenesis
Awarded $25,000

“I was deeply humbled and appreciative to have been awarded a Grosfeld Scholar Grant. The APSA Foundation funds were incredibly helpful to broaden our research initiatives and afforded the opportunity specifically to test innovative techniques for modeling Wilms tumorigenesis using inducible pluripotent stem cells. This APSAF grant came at a foundational time in our laboratory and facilitated both transitioning from a K99 to an R00 and receiving several subsequent R awards supported through the NCI.”

Kuo Jen Tsao, MD
Errors and Adverse Events in the Setting of the Neonatal Surgery Performed in the NICU
Awarded $25,000


Shaun M. Kunisaki, MD
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Regulation of Fetal Lung Development in Diaphragmatic Hernia
Awarded $25,000

“I am incredibly grateful to be one of the recipients of the APSA Foundation Scholarship. This seed funding was awarded at a critical point enabling my laboratory to conduct cutting-edge basic studies. This subsequently led to multidisciplinary collaborations and, as a result, there have been several other pediatric surgery laboratories that have pursued similar laboratory efforts in this research space. The direct return on investment has included additional foundation grant funding, including being an R01 funded investigator ($1.6 million) since 2017.”

Peter F. Nichol, MD
Using a Genetic Model of Duodenal Atresia to Understand Regenerative Mechanisms within the Intestine
Awarded $25,000


Cynthia D. Downard, MD
Control of Intestinal Microcirculation in NEC
Awarded $25,000

“The APSA Foundation Grant has offered me the opportunity to focus my initial research efforts on finding new treatments for challenging diseases in Pediatric Surgery such as necrotizing enterocolitis. Due to this funding, I have been able to complete significant preliminary studies which have formed the basis for competitive national grants. The APSA Foundation is making a great investment in the future of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Surgery Research.”

Cassandra M. Kelleher, MD
Extracellular components Critical to Alveolarization: Contributions of Elastin
Awarded $25,000


Tippi C. MacKenzie, MD
Maternal Immune Response in Utero Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Awarded $25,000

Kelly A. Miller, MD
The Pathogenic Role of Enteric Glia in Hirschsprung’s Enterocolitis
Awarded $25,000


Douglas N. Miniati, MD
Role of Notch4 Signaling in Aberrant Pulmonary Vascular Development
Awarded $25,000


Allan M. Goldstein, MD
Role of Sonic Hedgehog in Enteric Nervous System Development
Awarded $25,000

“The Grosfeld Scholar grant was a very impactful award for me.  It’s a vote of confidence from my specialty, it provided funding early in my career when grant funding is especially scarce and encouraged me to keep going.”


James C.Y. Dunn, MD
Enteric Nervous System Regeneration for Hirschsprung’s Disease
Awarded $25,000


Elizabeth A. Beierle, MD
Focal Adhesion Kinase and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3 in Human Neuroblastoma
Awarded $10,000

Kerilyn K. Nobuhara, MD
Intestinal Dysmotility in Fetal Repair of Gastroschisis
Awarded $10,000


Karl G. Sylvester, MD
Liver Regeneration and Stem Cell Regulation via the WNT Signaling Pathway
Awarded $10,000

Christopher K. Breuer, MD
Do Tissue Engineered Venous Conduits Grow? Investigating the Growth Potential of Tissue Engineered Venous Conduits in a Juvenile Lamb Model
Awarded $10,000

“This represented my first research grant and was very important in launching my career.  I have obtained over $20,000,0000 in NIH funding since the APSA award in addition to $3,000,000 in DoD funding, $3,000,000 in industry funding, and over $5,000,000 in philanthropic support. None of this would have been possible without the initial support provided by the APSA Foundation.”


Peter F. Ehrlich, MD
Injury Prevention through Brief Intervention: A Novel Approach to Pediatric Injury Prevention
Awarded $10,000


Mary Beth Madonna, MD
Growth Factor Receptor Signaling and its Relationship to Cell Proliferation and Differentiation in a Neuroblastoma Cell Line
Awarded $10,000


Anthony Stallion, MD
Intestinal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Contributes to the Initiation of the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Awarded $10,000


Edward M. Barksdale Jr., MD
The Therapy of Neuroblastoma-Induced Disorders of Dendropoiesis of Dendritic Cell Development
Awarded $10,000


Steven Stylianos, MD 
Evidence-Based Guidelines for Resource Utilization in Pediatric Spleen/Liver Injury
Awarded $5,000


Gail E. Besner, MD
Heparin-Binding EGF-Like Growth Factor (HBEGF) and Intestinal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Awarded $7,500

“The APSA Foundation Scholarship Award was one of the first externally funded grants that I received as a young faculty member. External funding is imperative for a young faculty member’s academic success. This has become even more important over the years, as the pressures of needing to produce clinically have discouraged many from even trying to become surgeon-scientists.


Since receiving the APSA Foundation Award, I have been continuously funded by the NIH for 27 years, generally holding two to three NIH grants at a time. I firmly believe the APSA Foundation Award was in large part responsible for my future academic success.

APSA Foundation Awards are critically important to support young ​pediatric surgeon-scientists. All APSA members should donate funds annually to support this extremely important award.”


Charles N. Paidas, MD 
Septation of the Cloaca
Awarded $8,000


Michael G. Caty, MD 
Preservation of Intestinal Mucosal Structure and Function with Intraluminal Oxygenated Perfluorocarbon
Awarded $9,825