Research Opportunities

During the first year of fellowship, each fellow is introduced and exposed to different programs of pulmonary research at the University of Michigan, including basic science research, mechanistic clinical research, and health services research. The fellowship leadership assists the fellow in identifying mentors and a project that aligns with their career goals. At the end of the first year, the fellow is expected to have identified a research mentor to work with during the 2nd and 3rd years of the fellowship program. Scholarly work also extends to quality improvement projects and clinical case reports.  All fellows are expected to have completed a scholarly work submitted to a journal.  

Mentorship can be found in the research programs of faculty in the Division with active research programs related to cystic fibrosis, asthma, viral infections, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung development,  sleep disorders, microbiology, and immunology that account for expenditures >$3.8M per year.

In addition, strong interdisciplinary interactions exist for mentorship from faculty in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care; Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology; the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center (CHEAR) and School of Public Health on projects related to respiratory diseases in children.

In addition to the mentor, scholarly activity committees are convened for each fellow composed of faculty members in the division and other researchers relevant to the proposed work.  Such committees meet regularly with the fellows to help guide their projects.  

Research support

The Department of Pediatrics has numerous resources for research support services including core services for molecular biology, biostatistical support, computer support, and data management.  Our fellows present at the annual symposium run by the Department as well as other centers/programs in the University.  

For trainees interested in research careers the Division and Department have a long-standing track record of assisting fellows transition to the faculty level as independent researchers. Fellows are eligible for support from one of the many NIH-funded T32 program. 

Support at the Junior faculty level is available from Departmental K12 and Institutional K12 programs that assist in mentored career development toward a research career.  

Research Projects

Fellow: Saly Essoh, M.D.
Mentor: Antonia Popova, M.D. - U-M Department of Pediatrics, Pulmonology

Fellow: Gita Gupta, M.D., M.S.
Mentors: Renee Shellhaas, M.D., Louise O'Brien, Ph.D.
Project Title: Assessment of disordered sleep and epilepsy outcomes in children with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome
Publications/Presentations: Gupta, G., Dang, L. T., O'Brien, L. M., & Shellhaas, R. A. (2022). Parent-Reported Sleep Profile of Children With Early-Life Epilepsies. Pediatric neurology, 128, 9–15. Learn more:

Fellow: Nada Youssef, M.D.
Mentor: Lindsay Caverly, M.D. - U-M Department of Pediatrics, Pulmonology
Project Title: Epidemiology and impact of Pseudomonas species other than aeruginosa in Cystic Fibrosis

Fellow: Dionne Adair, MBBS
Mentor: Nijra Lugogo M.D., - U-M Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonology and Critical Care
Project Title: Association between IL6 and asthma severity and relationship with obesity
Publications/Presentations: Adair D, Hider A, Filbrun AG, Tapley C, Bouma S, Iwanicki C, Nasr SZ. Assessing the Utility of an Outpatient Exercise Program for Children With Cystic Fibrosis: A Quality Improvement Project. Front Pediatr. 2022 Jan 13;9:734292. Learn more: PMID: 35096701; PMCID: PMC8793844.

Fellow: Lauren Castner, M.D.
Mentor: Lindsay Caverly, M.D. - U-M Department of Pediatrics, Pulmonology
Project Title: Lung microbiome changes associated with initial Pseudomonas acquisition in cystic fibrosis
Publications/Presentations: Castner LM, Zimbric M, Cahalan S, Powell C, Caverly LJ. Outcomes of cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbations treated with antibiotics with activity against anaerobic bacteria. J Cyst Fibros. 2021 Nov;20(6):926-931. Learn more: Epub 2021 Feb 19. PMID: 33612403; PMCID: PMC8371065