Intramural Funding Opportunities


Pediatric Intramural Research Funding Program

The Department of Pediatrics manages a portfolio of philanthropic funds designated to support research in pediatrics. Proposals are accepted twice per year; Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall cycles.  See submission details and current RFA posted below.


A research funding announcement (RFA) will be circulated approximately 6-7 weeks before the due dates highlighting any program changes and detailed submission information. Applications are accepted through Competition Space.
*Download RFA: Pediatrics_Intramural_RFA_Fall2021_final.pdf

Application due dates:
Winter/Spring Cycle 2021 - completed
Summer/Fall Cycle 2021 -  October 12, 2021 - NOON

Jackie Torres: 763-9150;
Pediatric Research Office:  615-1740;



  • Only faculty with primary appointments in the Department of Pediatrics are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (with exception of the Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award, see separate RFA).
  • UM faculty from other Medical School departments may submit applications for the Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award under a MPI format with Pediatrics faculty (see separate RFA).
  • Faculty may submit only one application per cycle, as Principal Investigator (or as MIP on a Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award). However, a Woodson Biostatistics Award application may be submitted in addition to the single application.
  • Residents and fellows are not eligible to serve as Principal Investigators.
  • Applicants may resubmit revised applications that were not funded in the prior cycle.

Funding Restrictions

  • Unless otherwise stated, funds may be used for University of Michigan research staff salary support, supplies, and research equipment.
  • Award funds may NOT be used to support any UM faculty member, cost overruns or retroactive funding, publications, grant preparation costs, travel, hosting, annual membership dues, renovations, office equipment, GSRA tuition, external collaborator or consultant salaries, membership dues, or indirect costs (F&A).
  • Clinical trials that require a billing calendar are NOT eligible for funding.  Projects that involve collaboration, shared funding, or data sharing with commercial entities (i.e., academic-industry partnerships) are NOT eligible for funding
  • This Intramural award program is NOT designed to provide sustained infrastructure support for new or established clinical programs.

Human Subjects / Animals

  • Funds for research proposals that require IRB or IACUC approval will not be released until documentation of IRB or IACUC approval is provided to the Pediatric Research Office, along with any substantial changes to the proposed research required by the IRB or IACUC. 
    *Note: Regulatory approvals must be acquired within 6 months of award notification; grants may not have ‘delayed start’ past 6 months.

Project Period(s) 

All intramural awards will have an end date by which funds must be expended.

  • Awards < $30,000 must be expended within 1 year of disbursement of funds
  • Awards =/> $30,000 must be expended within 2 years of disbursement of funds
  • Faculty may request a 1-year extension beyond these time periods; written requests for extensions must be submitted to the Pediatric Research Office for approval 3 months prior to the award end date.
  • Funds that are not expended within the award project period will be returned to the Department of Pediatrics.


Awardees are required to submit post-funding progress reports, acknowledge the funding mechanism in research publications or presentations, and present research at the annual Pediatric Research Symposium.


The review committee currently includes Drs. Renée Shellhaas, John LiPuma, Dave Olson, and Faye Silverstein. Each application is reviewed by at least two committee members, and, for major awards ($30,000 or more) committee members may request supplemental reviewers. Committee members all score each application (excluding applications with specific conflicts), scores are provided to Dr. Martin, and she and Dr. Olson make final award decisions. 

Award Mechanisms

Mechanisms Only for Mid-Career or Junior Faculty in the Department of Pediatrics

  • Gorman Scholar Award ($30,000): Must be at the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, or Associate Professor. The award is potentially renewable for an additional year. The award must lead to submission of a new external grant application within 18 months of funding.

  • Janette Ferrantino Investigator Award ($40,000): Must be at the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor, and be within the first three years of appointment at the University of Michigan. The award is potentially renewable for an additional year.

  • Elizabeth E. Kennedy (Children’s Research) Award ($20-50,000): Must be at the rank of Instructor, or Assistant Professor. Areas of particular interest include developmental biology, genetic and translational research.

  • Department of Pediatrics Nephrotic Syndrome Pilot Research Award ($15-25,000): Must be at the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor. Goals: to stimulate nephrotic syndrome (NS) discovery, increase the likelihood for extramural funding, and facilitate faculty career development. Research Focus: Clinical or translational research focused on primary or genetic NS in native or transplant populations that leverages data, specimens and/or infrastructure of the NS Study Network.  

 Mechanisms for Faculty of any rank with a Primary Appointment in the Department of Pediatrics

  • Charles Woodson/Children's Health Pilot Research Award ($15-30,000): Supports high merit, innovative pilot projects in children’s health research.

  • Charles Woodson Biostatistics Award (up to $10,000): Supports specialized biostatistical consultation within UM that is outside the scope of available Department support/services.

  • Pediatric DEI Research Award: ($15-30,000): Supports new research efforts to reduce disparities in health care delivery for children and adolescents, and to optimize long-term outcomes for the most vulnerable pediatric populations.

  • Amendt-Heller Award for Newborn Research ($15-50,000): Supports newborn research.

  • James and Lynelle Holden Research Award ($15-25,000): Supports newborn research or research being conducted within the Holden Research Laboratories.

  • Benz Birth Defects Research Award ($15-50,000): Supports birth defects research.

  • Nancy Newton Loeb Pediatric Cancer Research Award ($25-50,000): Supports cancer research.

  • Gracie’s Fund – Leukemia Research Award ($20-50,000): Supports leukemia research (especially relapsed and complicated leukemias). 

  • Barwick Scholar Award for Spinal Cord Research ($15-$50,000): Supports spinal cord research that will advance care/outcomes of children with spinal cord injuries.

  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award (see separate RFA below).

Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award

The University of Michigan/Michigan Medicine Department of Pediatrics manages the Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award, which is designated to support collaborative research in pediatrics. There are two peer-review competition cycles annually. The Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award focuses on support for innovative pilot projects in children’s health research through an interdisciplinary team approach that includes faculty from Pediatrics and other MM Medical School departments in a “Multiple Principal Investigator” approach. The award is up to $60,000; all costs must be explicitly justified.

The primary goal is to support innovative collaborations that will be highly competitive for new extramural (federal and foundation) funding.

See separate RFA below; applications are accepted through Competition Space.

*Download RFA: CWoodson_Collaborative RFA_SF2021_final.pdf

Winter/Spring Cycle 2021 - completed
Summer/Fall Cycle 2021 -  October 12, 2021 - NOON

Jackie Torres: 763-9150;
Pediatric Research Office:  615-1740;


  • There must be at least two* Principal Investigators (PI’s), each of whom brings separate but complementary expertise to a research topic that is directly relevant to children’s health. 
  • One of the PI’s must be a faculty member with a primary appointment in the UM/MM Department of Pediatrics, and at least one of the other PIs must be a faulty member in another UM/MM Medical School department.*
  • UM faculty with primary appointments in other UM/MM Medical School departments* may submit applications for the Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award under a multiple PI (as defined by NIH) format with Pediatrics faculty.
  • *Applications may have 3 PIs / only Medical School faculty are eligible* / MPIs cannot both be from Pediatrics.*
  • Residents and fellows are not eligible to serve as Principal Investigators.
  • Faculty may submit only one application per cycle, as Principal Investigator or MPI.
  • Applicants may be invited to resubmit revised applications that were not funded in the prior cycle.

 Funding restrictions:

  • Unless otherwise stated, funds may be used for University of Michigan research staff salary support, supplies, and research equipment. Budget requests must be justified.
  • Award funds may NOT be used to support any UM faculty member, cost overruns or retroactive funding, publications, grant preparation costs, travel, annual membership dues, hosting, renovations, office equipment, GSRA tuition, external collaborator or consultant salaries, or indirect costs (F&A).
  • Clinical trials that require a billing calendar are NOT eligible for funding.  Projects that involve collaboration, shared funding, or data sharing with commercial entities (i.e., academic-industry partnerships) are NOT eligible for funding.
  • This award program is NOT designed to provide sustained infrastructure support for new or established clinical programs.
  • Funds that are not expended within 3 years of the award date will be returned to the Department of Pediatrics.

Review Process:

Each application receives at least two reviews by members of the Intramural Award review committee; additional reviews may be requested in some cases. Applications are discussed and scored at a meeting of the Pediatric Intramural Program review committee, committee members all score each application (excluding applications with specific conflicts for any reviewer), and Drs. Martin (Department Chair) and Olson (Associate Chair for Research) review the scores and make final award decisions.

See RFA for application guidelines.

Funded Projects

Winter/Spring 2021

  • Gorman Scholar Research Award: Suzanne Dawid, MD, PhD (Pediatrics Infectious Diseases)
    Bacterial conversations in a crowd: spatiotemporal assessment of two critical quorum sensing systems in Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilms.
    Lay Summary: Streptococcus pneumonaie is a bacterium that resides in the human nose often without causing symptoms. In times of stress, the bacterium can overcome natural barriers to cause significant disease including ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis and pneumonia. While residing on human surfaces, S. pneumoniae communicates information about its numbers and local environment through the secretion of small protein messages. This proposal is designed to better understand how these conversations play out in complex bacterial communities by using a combination of molecular methods, microscopy and computational analysis.
  • Janette Ferrantino Investigator Award: Dana Albright, PhD (Pediatrics Psychology)
    Adapting self-regulation intervention for clinic-based delivery to teens with type 1 diabetes (AIMS-BRIEF).
    Lay Summary: The ability to manage one’s own thoughts, emotions and behaviors to achieve a desired outcome, known as self-regulation, is a key component of adherence and self-management of diabetes. Unfortunately, youth do not often have access to evidence-based intervention to build self-regulation skills. Specialty care providers (i.e., pediatric endocrinology treatment teams) have a well-suited environment to teach these important skills. The proposed study aims to collaborate with providers, patients and intervention specialists to gather critical key stakeholder data that will allow informed adaptation of existing interventions for delivery in the pediatric endocrinology clinics.
  • Pediatric DEI Research Award: Sowmya Balasubramanian, MD (Pediatrics Cardiology)
    Understanding the Role of the Home Monitoring Program in Reducing Disparities in Interstage Mortality and Other Morbidities for Infants with Single Ventricle Heart Disease.
    Lay Summary: Despite significant advancement in surgical and post-operative care for patients with congenital heart disease, overall mortality in patients with single ventricle heart disease continues to be impacted by racial and socioeconomic factors. Newer strategies for home monitoring of patients with a multidisciplinary team has been shown to reduce overall mortality. This study aims to understand if these newer strategies also narrow the gap in social determinants that contribute to disparate outcomes. Identification of any such factors can be extended to centers across the country, reallocate resources and increase awareness so that we achieve greater equity in health outcomes.
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award: Teryn Bruni, PhD (Pediatrics Psychology)
    Health Utilization and Health Outcomes Associated with Adolescent Depression Screening in the US.
    Lay Summary: Depression is prevalent among adolescents. Primary care provides an important opportunity for screening and effective dissemination of evidence-based mental health treatments, however before effective implementation strategies can be identified, we need a careful assessment of the current trends, outcomes, and practices. The proposed study aims to fill an important gap in our understanding of adolescent depression symptoms over time and also identify factors that impact outcomes and primary care screening and treatment practices. Information from this study will inform future implementation research and provide recommendations for primary care screening practices and clinical care.

Summer/Fall 2020

  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award: Antonia Popova, MD (Pediatrics Pulmonary Medicine) & Christine Freeman, PhD (Internal Medicine)
    Neonatal Hyperoxia Augments Prenatal Cigarette Smoke Exposure-induced Mucus Metaplasia and Pulmonary Inflammation: Implications for Chronic Lung Disease and Asthma Development.
    Lay Summary:  Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that develops in preterm infants that were treated with supplemental oxygen. Maternal smoking increases the odds of developing BPD, but the mechanism for this is not known. We have developed a murine model that combines maternal cigarette smoke (CS) with exposure of offspring to hyperoxic conditions. We found that these offspring had increased cellular infiltration and evidence of mucus production in their lungs compared to offspring exposed to either CS or hyperoxia alone. In mice, both prenatal exposure to CS and postnatal hyperoxic exposure have been shown to induce pro-inflammatory activation of dendritic cells (DC), a type of white blood cell that is known for its ability to coordinate immune responses. This proposal will test the hypothesis that DCs are contributing to CS-enhanced BPD and will seek to identify targets for BPD prevention and treatment.
  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award: Mark Schultz, PhD (Pathology) & Louis Dang, MD/PhD (Pediatrics Neurology)
    Cell type-specific differences in Niemann-Pick type C disease.
    Lay Summary:  Niemann-Pick C is a fatal childhood genetic disease with no FDA-approved therapeutics. Affected children have an abnormal accumulation of cholesterol which causes progressive cognitive impairment, seizures, liver failure, and premature death. While most research has focused on the brain, we are interested in understanding Niemann-Pick C in both the brain and liver. We hope to use this information to create a single brain and liver corrective therapeutic.
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award: Joseph G. Kohne, MD (Pediatrics Critical Care Medicine)
    FOCI: Following Outcomes after Critical Illness.
    Lay Summary: Pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS) is a sudden life-threatening lung failure, but the impacts of the disease beyond the intensive care unit are largely unknown for survivors. This project will follow children who survive PARDS to understand who is most at risk for having difficulty after discharge. A better understanding of what happens after the hospital will allow healthcare teams and researchers to discover ways to better support children and their families after a serious illness.
  • Nancy Newton Loeb Pediatric Cancer Research Award:  Andrea Franson, MD, MS (Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology)
    Pre-Clinical CNS Pharmacokinetic Studies of Promising Agents in the Treatment of Posterior Fossa Ependymomas.
    Lay Summary:  Many types of childhood cancers are readily cured with combinations of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. However, when tumors recur after initial treatment, they are much less likely to be cured. Posterior fossa Group A ependymomas (PFA ependymomas) are a type of brain tumor that most commonly occurs in an infant age group. Although some children are cured with surgery and radiation therapy alone, many others will have recurrent tumor that has no standard therapies to date. The work of Dr. Venneti’s laboratory has shown that a drug used in diabetes management (metformin) leads to anti-tumor activity in PFA ependymomas, and this anti-tumor activity is increased when another class of compound (called HDAC inhibitors) is added. Here, we aim to use both of these types of drugs in a mouse model to determine how much of each drug actually makes it into the brain (a typically “protected” part of the body where drugs do not easily enter). This work will be used to design a clinical trial in the future for these children with recurrent PFA ependymoma tumors to make sure we pick the right drugs and doses to have the best chance of helping these children.

Winter/Spring 2020

  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award: Angela C. Weyand, MD (Peds Hematology/Oncology); Kate D. Fitzgerald, MD (Psychiatry); Elizabeth H. Quint, MD (Ob-Gyn)
    Evaluating mental health in adolescents with heavy menstrual bleeding using patient reported outcomes and ecological momentary assessment. 
    Lay Summary. Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common complaint in adolescent girls and is associated with significant morbidity. In addition to physical morbidity, quality of life is adversely affected. Preliminary retrospective data suggests that anxiety and depression are increased in this population. We aim to evaluate the prevalence of anxiety and depression prospectively using patient reported outcome measures and identify contributing factors (e.g. severity of symptoms, treatment used and response to treatment). To further enrich this data, we will utilize digital health capabilities through the use of wearable sensors and smartphone applications, and increase our understanding of how heavy menstrual bleeding affects the day to day experience of adolescent females.
  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award: Mark W. Russell, MD (Peds Cardiology) & Lars Fritsche, PhD (Biostatistics, SPH)
    Genetic determinants of hemodynamic instability and survival in infants undergoing surgical repair of critical congenital cardiac defects. 
    Lay Summary: Children born with a critical congenital cardiac defect face numerous challenges. Survival rates have improved but progress has slowed and there continues to be significant mortality for the most severe defects, despite implementation of best practices. In this study, we will pair genetic data and with a rich clinical database collected by the Pediatric Critical Care Consortium to identify genetic reasons that some children have better results after their heart surgery than others. We anticipate that we will identify biologic pathways that are more resilient in some patients than others. Identification of these pathways will allow better individualization of patient care and the development of targeted treatments for patients at risk for a poor outcome. With the ongoing studies from this dataset, the continued recruitment of subjects into PHN-supported studies and continued growth of the biorepository, and the anticipated R01 application, we anticipate that this project will provide the foundation for an ongoing collaborative relationship between the two PIs.
  • Amendt-Heller Award for Newborn Research: Rebecca Vartanian, MD (Peds Neonatal/Perinatal Med); Cargri Besirli, MD (Pediatric Ophthalmology)
    Quantitative Analysis of VEGF in Infant Tears as a Biomarker for ROP.
    Lay Summary: Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is an eye disorder that occurs exclusively in premature infants and is caused in part by conditions in which high oxygen levels paradoxically damage the retina (the “light sensor” of the eye). ROP remains among the leading causes of preventable blindness in children and early identification and treatment is critical in preventing permanent vision loss. Currently ROP must be screened for and managed by eye doctors using examination methods that are uncomfortable for infants, including holding the eyelids open with a metal retractor and shining a bright light in the eye for several minutes. Our research project has the potential to create a reliable, technically simple, low-cost, readily available, and non-invasive method to screen for ROP and to monitor treatment response and disease activity. If funded, our research could greatly reduce the number of ophthalmologic examinations required by premature infants, which currently range from every one to three weeks, and may lead to earlier identification and treatment of ROP, thus reducing the incidence of blindness in premature infants.

Summer/Fall 2019

  • Gorman Scholar Award: Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD (CHEAR)
    Naloxone Prescribing and Dispensing Among Adolescents and Young Adults at High Risk of Opioid Overdose.  In 2016, 2,985 adolescents and young adults aged 15-24 years died of an overdose related to prescription or illicit opioids, representing a rate of 1 death every 11 minutes.1 To mitigate the risk of these overdose deaths, it is crucial to ensure that adolescents and young adults at high risk of opioid overdose have access to naloxone, a medication that can save lives by rapidly reversing overdose. However, it is unknown how frequently these patients are prescribed naloxone, how often naloxone prescriptions for these patients are dispensed at pharmacies, and whether out-of-pocket costs are a barrier to naloxone dispensing. In this proposal, I will use insurance claims databases and national prescription data to assess naloxone prescribing and dispensing among high-risk adolescents and young adults and to evaluate whether out-of-pocket costs deter naloxone dispensing. The results from this study will inform the design and implementation of interventions to increase naloxone use and reduce overdose deaths among high-risk adolescents and young adults. Additionally, results will also inform whether insurers should eliminate out-of-pocket costs for naloxone.
  • Janette Ferrantino Investigator Award: Louis Dang MD, PhD (Pediatrics Neurology).
    Targeting upstream open reading frames to amplify haploinsufficient SCN1A expression.  Dravet Syndrome (DS) is a devastating disease affecting children who suffer from severe seizures, developmental regression and a high risk of premature death. DS is caused by a mutation in the SCN1A gene, resulting in decreased levels of its protein product, Nav1.1. It is observed that the normal SCN1A gene has multiple “false” protein synthesis start sites which would result in decreased efficiency of Nav1.1 protein synthesis. An antisense oligonucleotide that targets and blocks the “false” start sites and may result in increased production of the crucial Nav1.1 protein. We intend to use a human stem cell model of DS to determine whether targeting the “false” protein synthesis start sites in the SCN1A gene with antisense oligonucleotides can result in increased production of the Nav1.1 protein. This therapeutic strategy has the potential of preventing or halting the progression of seizures and cognitive impairment in patients with DS as it addresses the underlying cause.
  • Ravitz Advancement Award: Suzanne Dawid, MD, PhD (Pediatrics Infectious Diseases).
    The role of competitive pneumococcal loci in invasion of the airway microbiome: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common cause of middle ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis primarily affecting young children and the elderly population. The bacteria reside in the nasal cavity, and from there passes from person to person, typically causing no symptoms until there is a breach in host barriers. The nasal cavity is filled with a diverse and varied community of bacteria that all compete to survive in each human host. These competitive interactions are vital for persistance of this pathogen but are very poorly understood. This research focuses on creating a new model that uses human saliva to establish a complex bacterial community that we can use to study the competitive interactions that allow Streptococcus pneumoniae to continue to be a serious cause of human disease.
  • Elizabeth E. Kennedy Children’s Research Award: Zubin J. Modi, MD (Pediatrics Nephrology).
    Identification of pediatric chronic kidney disease and health services use in a national cohort.  Kidney disease in children is a devastating, lifelong condition. It is thought that childhood kidney disease is a rare problem Using data from insurance claims can help us better understand how many children have kidney disease. Unfortunately, we currently have many ways to identify these children, but do not know which way is best. This study will start to answer the question of what method of using insurance claim data for pediatric kidney disease research is best. We will compare the way different methods capture children with kidney disease to estimate how many US children have kidney disease, what health services they use, and if we can track worsening kidney disease over time.
  • Charles Woodson Biostatistics Award. Jenny  Radesky, MD (Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics)
    Understanding Early Childhood Media Use Profiles. Young children’s access to modern digital media, such as smartphones and tablets with interactive applications, has been increasing rapidly over the past 10 years. Past research has looked at children’s media use behaviors in isolation; for example, testing whether total ‘screen time’ duration is linked with developmental delays. However, children’s modern media usage is far more complex than a single ‘screen time’ concept; therefore, research needs to take into account the multiple layers of media use in a child’s environment, such as the design of the apps they use, how much media parents use, and family rules and engagement around media in the home. This study proposes to use statistical modeling to define preschoolers’ Media Profiles – a novel concept that captures the multitude of ways media is used by families – and examine how these profiles correlate over time and with family characteristics.

Winter/Spring 2019

  • Charles Woodson Collaborative Research Award: Catherine Keegan, MD, PhD (Pediatrics Genetics) and Stephen Parker, PhD (Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics).
    Single-cell resolution developmental regulatory mapping of caudal structural birth defects.   Birth defects are the leading causes of infant mortality in the United States accounting for 1 in 5 infant deaths. Affected children who do survive often endure numerous corrective surgeries causing emotional and financial stresses to many families. Birth defects involving the caudal, or lower half of the body, affect the reproductive organs, kidneys, spine, stomach, intestines, and the lower limbs. Caudal birth defects are well recognized clinically, though the biological processes behind them are currently not well understood. This research project integrates the use of mice carrying specific genetic changes to model caudal birth defects and cutting-edge genomic technologies to learn how individual cells behave in normal and abnormal development. The results of our studies will translate into increased knowledge of normal human development and allow for better counseling, diagnosis, and treatment for patients and families affected by this class of birth defects.
  • Amendt-Heller Award for Newborn Research. John Charpie, MD, PhD (Pediatrics Cardiology)
    Nicorandil attenuates cardiomyocyte injury and ventricular dysfunction after cardiopulmonary bypass. Early cardiac failure after open heart surgery in children is a relatively common phenomenon that is associated with major complications and death.  The precise causes for cardiac failure are incompletely understood, but the heart-lung bypass machine and relatively brief period of interrupted blood flow to the heart muscle that are necessary for surgical repair clearly contribute.  Nicorandil, a drug approved for use in adults with chest pain, appears to have protective effects against early cardiac failure in adult animal models.  We plan to evaluate the potentially beneficial effect of nicorandil in a young animal model of open heart surgery in preparation for a clinical trial in human infants.
  • Benz Birth Defects Research Award. Shane Quinonez, MD (Pediatrics Genetics). 
    Agricultural Pesticide Exposure and the Risk of Neural Tube Defects in Rural Ethiopia.  Birth defects and genetic diseases are increasing in importance as causes of lifelong disability and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. A well-known and preventable cause of birth defects is the exposure of pregnant women to agricultural pesticides and other environmental toxins. In areas surrounding flower farms in rural Ethiopia, local health care providers have reported an increased occurrence of a serious birth defect affecting the central nervous system known as neural tube defects. In this research proposal, we aim to use a mobile application called the MiGene Family History App to study if there is an association between occupational and/or residential exposure to flower farming pesticides and neural tube defects. This study has important implications for the rural population of Ethiopia and will bring increased attention to the care of underserved populations. 
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award. Prachi E. Shah, MD, MS (Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics).
    Parent and Teacher Antecedents of Curiosity, Associations with Academic Achievement at KindergartenIn the young child, curiosity, combined with a strong drive to master new information, provides a solid foundation for early learning, but the expression and promotion of curiosity may vary with the quality of early experiences, which may contribute to disparities in academic achievement. Our previous work has identified that higher curiosity in early childhood is associated with higher academic achievement in kindergarten, and can potentially close the achievement gap associated with poverty. To date, little is known about the conditions in the home and early learning environments which can foster early childhood curiosity, especially for children in poverty. This application will identify the types of early experiences at home and at kindergarten which can foster curiosity and academic achievement in young children, with special attention to the role of these experiences for children with socioeconomic disadvantage. This work can lead to the development of interventions, policies and practices to promote the expression of curiosity in young children, to potentially mitigate the achievement gap associated with poverty.
  • Charles Woodson Biostatistics Award.  Lindsay Ellsworth, MD and Brigid Gregg, MD (Pediatrics Endocrinology).
    Infant Metabolism and Gestational Endocrinopathies (IMAGE) StudyInfant Metabolism and Gestational Endocrinopathies (IMAGE) Study. Maternal metabolic diseases are becoming increasingly common during pregnancy which can impact maternal and infant health. This research study is being done to look at levels of nutrients, hormones and bioactive factors in breast milk from mothers with obesity, diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome as well as maternal urine, infant stool and infant saliva. Our goal is to better understand the many factors that impact how mother’s health influences infant’s health during the lactation period. 

Summer/Fall 2018

  • Amendt-Heller Award for Newborn Research. Kimberly Monroe, MD, MS (Hospital Medicine).
    Epidemiology and Risks of Alternative Perinatal Practices: Establishing a National Registry for Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding and Lotus Birth (Umbilical Non-Severance) Cases.  Vitamin K refusal and umbilical non-severance are alternative newborn practices currently practiced in this country without a mechanism to track outcomes. Vitamin K refusal can infrequently lead to vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). Umbilical non-severance is a birth practice without evidence to support its safety. Umbilical non-severance can, theoretically, lead to hyperbilirubinemia and/or infection. A national registry to track outcomes does not exist for either practice. By establishing a national registry, we will be able to track the rates of vitamin K refusal, VKDB, umbilical non-severance, and infection and hyperbilirubinemia associated with umbilical non-severance. Characteristics associated with vitamin K refusal and umbilical non-severance will also be tracked. Since the frequency of vitamin K refusal, VKDB, and lotus births in hospitals is low (6 cases of lotus births/~8000 deliveries at U of M), gathering data on a national scale is essential to increase the sample size. This registry will ultimately give practitioners the evidence needed to provide safe, patientcentered care when a lotus birth is desired. The registry will also allow for a more accurate understanding of the scale of vitamin K refusal and VKDB; leading to greater opportunities to address this unsafe alternative. This would be the first national registry of rates of vitamin K refusal, VKDB, and lotus births. The University of Michigan Pediatric Hospital Medicine and General Pediatrics Divisions will be national leaders in this area. Development of the registry comes after a recent publication in Contemporary Pediatrics and acceptance of a manuscript to Clinical Pediatrics; as well as a very well received presentation at the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Conference in Atlanta on alternative birth practices. In addition, University of Michigan physicians wrote Senate Bill 1075.
  • Janette Ferrantino Young Investigator Award. Erin Carlton, MD (Critical Care Medicine).
    New Morbidity and Healthcare Utilization after Pediatric Severe Sepsis.  Severe Sepsis, the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, hospitalizes more than 75,000 children each year and while survival rates have improved dramatically, the long-term effects of sepsis beyond hospital discharge remain largely unknown. Using large, nationally representative datasets, I will determine the impact of severe sepsis by evaluating the rate of new medical device dependence (i.e. tracheostomy or gastrostomy tube) and new chronic conditions (i.e. the development of chronic kidney disease) in children hospitalized for severe sepsis. Additionally, I will define the change in healthcare utilization, specifically, repeat hospitalizations, outpatient clinic visits and presentation to the emergency department, after severe sepsis. By understanding the impact of severe sepsis after the initial event, we can then work to identify children at highest risk and intervene to prevent the lasting impact of sepsis.

 Winter/Spring 2018

  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award. Albert Rocchini, MD / Stephanie Goldstein, MD (Cardiology).
    Colchicine in postoperative Fontan patients. Primary Objective: Determine if Colchicine is associated with decreased inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α) within the pleural space in post-operative Fontan patients compared to a historical cohort of Fontan patients. Secondary Objective: 1. Examine the cytokine concentrations in Fontan patients treated empirically with Colchicine in comparison to a cohort of Fontan patients at a given time-point postoperatively. 2. Determine if Colchicine is associated with decreased duration of pleural drainage in post-operative Fontan patients compared to a cohort of Fontan patients 3. Determine if Colchicine reduces hospital length of stay following Fontan procedure.   
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award. Sung W. Choi, MD, MS (Hematology/Oncology)
    Vorinostat for GVHD Prevention in Children and Adolescents Undergoing Allogeneic BMT
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award. Matthew G. Sampson, MD, MSCS (Nephrology)
    Biobank to Illuminate the Genomic Basis of Rare Disease ("BIGBiRD")
  • Charles Woodson Pilot Research Award. Megan H. Pesch, MD (Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics)
    A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of primary care physicians’ perceptions of and responses to faster patterns of growth in infancy.
  •  Janette Ferrantino Young Investigator Award. Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD (Child Health Evaluation & Research Center). 
    A National Profile of Opioid Prescriptions to Children
  •  Amendt-Heller Newborn Research Award. Antonia Popova, MD (Pulmonary Medicine). 
    Elucidating the Role of Lung Exudative Macrophages in Chronic Neonatal LPS Exposure-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation and Hypoalveolarization
  •  Children's Health Research Award. Heang M. Lim, MD (Cardiology). 
    Quality of Life and PTSD in Pediatric Cancer Survivors With Chemotherapy-Related Cardiac Dysfunction
  • Benz Birth Defects Research Award. Catherine Keegan, MD, PhD (Genetics, Metabolism & Genomic Med).
    Identification of direct targets of ectopic Ptf1a expression in Danforth's short tail mice



Resident and Fellow Research Grant Program 

 The Department of Pediatrics Resident and Fellow Research Grant Program is intended to support the research career development of residents and fellows in the Department of Pediatrics. The Department will accept funding requests on a biannual basis. Review of proposals will be coordinated by the Associate Chair for Education, in collaboration with the Associate Director of Fellowship Programs, Residency Program Director, and Associate Chair for Research. 

Eligibility: House Officers with Primary Appointments in the Department of Pediatrics proposing a pediatric-focused research topics. Eligible trainees include:

  • Pediatric Residents
  • Internal Medicine-Pediatric Residents
  • Pediatric Neurology Residents
  • Pediatric Subspecialty Fellows

Funding: Up to $1000 for residents, Up to $5000 for fellows.

Funding Restrictions:

  • Unless otherwise stated, funds may be used for University of Michigan research personnel salary support, research supplies, and research equipment. Award funds may not be used to support any UM faculty member, cost overruns or retroactive funding, publications, grant preparation costs, travel, hosting, annual membership dues, renovations, office equipment, GSRA tuition, external collaborator or consultant salaries, or indirect costs (F&A).
  • Funds for research proposals that require IRB or IACUC approval will not be released until documentation of IRB or IACUC approval is provided to the Pediatric Research Office, along with any substantial changes to the proposed research required by the IRB or IACUC.
  • All funds must be used within 24 months of disbursal or before the completion of the training program (whichever comes first).

Reporting:  The project must be submitted for presentation at the Pediatric Department Research Symposium within 24 months of funding or before the completion of the training program (whichever comes first). 

*All applications must also be accompanied by a letter of support from a faculty sponsor with a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Program Director or Division Director within the Department of Pediatrics.  

Applications are accepted twice yearly with deadlines of September 15th and April 15th (or the first subsequent weekday) by 11:59 PM. Questions and applications should be submitted by email to  


Jackie Torres: (763-9150)

Pediatric Research Office: (615-1740)

Download application: Resident and Fellow Research Grant Program_RFA_2021Fall.docx

Funded Projects

Spring 2021

  • Elizaveta Bourchtein, PhD (Pediatric Fellow, Psychology; Advisor: M. James Lopez, MD, PhD). Evaluating the efficacy of a brief sleep intervention in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Fall 2020

  • Kavita Warrier, MD (Pediatric Fellow, Infectious Diseases; Advisor: Alison Tribble, MD). Trends in use of oseltamivir in pediatric patients hospitalized with influenza between 2010 and 2020.
  • Natalia Painter, MD (HO 2, Medicine Pediatrics; Advisor: Thomas Saba, MD). Assessment of a procedural curriculum using 3D printed airways to teach pediatric flexible bronchoscopy.

Spring 2020

  • Richard Birnbaum, PhD (Pediatric Psychology Fellow; Advisor: Andrew Cook, PhD). Revising and Validating the Parent Acceptance of Pediatric Integrated Care Survey (PAPICS)Revising and Validating the Parent Acceptance of Pediatric Integrated Care Survey (PAPICS)

Fall 2019

  • Jennifer Lai Yee, MD, MPH, PhD (Pediatric Nephrology Fellow; Advisor: Rebecca Lombel, MD). Functionally resolving WT1 variants of uncertain significant in Nephrotic Syndrome.
  • Stephani K. Zakutansky, MD (Medicine-Pediatrics HO-3; Advisor: Erin Carlton, MD).  Analyze mortality outcomes in patients with severe sepsis admitted to PICUs versus MICUs using a single database.