Join us in welcoming Erik Westin, Ph.D., to the Department of Pediatrics!

Erik Westin, Ph.D., Instructor, in Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Iowa. Dr. Westin recently completed his postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry and molecular genetics at UAB. His clinical and research interests include studying the mechanisms related to blood and bone marrow failure disorders such as Dyskeratosis Congenita and Diamond Blackfan anemia in addition to research that utilizes CRISPR to correct underlying genetic mutations in patients’ cells.
Chang L. Wu, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine, has been selected for the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) Region VIII Co-Chair position. He will be officially recognized at the national APA meeting at the upcoming Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) conference in San Francisco, CA.
He wishes to express his sincerest gratitude for all the support he received during the election.
The ImproveCareNow quality improvement leadership team has invited Children’s of Alabama to join the Trailblazers Learning Lab. This selected group of teams includes those who have several years of experience in ImproveCareNow, in addition to impressive results in process and outcome measures.  Responsibilities will include testing innovations ahead of the spread across the network and teaching and mentoring other groups within the network. Our division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition ImproveCareNow team's focus is on quality care and improvement efforts for our pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients and to participate in research through ImproveCareNow. 

For more information on ImproveCareNow, click here.
Children’s and the UAB Department of Pediatrics announce the opening of the new Child Health Research Unit (CHRU) on the third floor of Dearth Tower at Children’s. The CHRU is a partnership between Children’s, the UAB Department of Pediatrics and the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) to meet the growing needs of pediatric researchers. The expanded unit will reduce barriers for Children’s and UAB researchers to conduct rigorous clinical and translational research in childhood diseases.

“The CHRU is a crucial tool that enables pediatric investigators to improve our understanding of childhood diseases and bring new therapies to children. I am proud of the role that Children’s of Alabama plays in child health in this state, the region and beyond,” said Mitchell B. Cohen, M.D., Chair, UAB Department of Pediatrics and Physician-In-Chief, Children’s of Alabama.

The facility has more than 2,500 square feet of space and includes a reception area, triage room, six exam rooms, office and conference space, workspace with monitors, a lab with centrifuge and freezer, and a storage room for equipment.

The CHRU will host an open house on Friday, May 12 from 1 - 3 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the unit. For more information on the CHRU, visit

Read the story at
As a young nurse floating among assignments at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Southern California in the mid 1980s, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing Associate Professor Wendy Landier, PhD, RN, often found herself working the pediatric oncology unit when others wouldn’t.

The more Landier worked there and saw the interactions among the nurses, their young patients and the families, the more she grew to love it. 

Continue reading the story highlighting Wendy Landier, Ph.D., RN, Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, on the UAB School of Nursing websitePhotos courtesy of UAB School of Nursing.
Child abuse is a serious and prevalent public health problem throughout the United States including Alabama. In 2015, there were 21,722 reports made to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) involving 30,647 children1. After investigation, 8,466 children were determined to be child abuse victims. With an overall population of just over 4.8 million and 1.1 million children under 18, this amounted to nearly 3% of Alabama’s children being involved in investigations and 1% determined to be victims of child abuse for that year. Child abuse is divided into four categories: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, & psychological (emotional) abuse. The health consequences for abused children are substantial, including short term risks such as physical injuries (fractures, bruising, lacerations, abdominal injury, head trauma), sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, mental health problems (anxiety, fear, depression), and death. In 2015, there were 1,670 deaths due to child abuse in the US, 13 of those deaths occurred in Alabama. The long-term consequences of child abuse in adults include significant increases in substance abuse, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature mortality. The financial cost to society is substantial, estimated at $2.3 billion annually (2013 dollars) in Alabama alone2. 
Every April, the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health & Human Services observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month “to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families, and promote community involvement through activities that support the cause.” Children’s of Alabama and the CHIPS Center stay busy all month in an effort to increase awareness of this common and serious public health problem affecting all aspects of society, but most especially, our children. Some of the many activities planned for the month include: awareness in the hospital, handing out posters to local school systems, participating in Child Fun Day, and cosponsoring the International Association of Forensic Nurses-Alabama Chapter annual conference. For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website.

Michael A. Taylor, M.D.
Click here for references
Attending the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in San Francisco? You're invited to join Children's of Alabama and UAB Department of Pediatrics on Saturday, May 6 at 6 p.m. in the Hilton San Francisco, Union Square. Mark your calendars and invite your friends! 

Download the invitation.
Maaike Everts, Ph.D., Pediatric Infectious Disease has been named as the recipient of the International Society for Antiviral Research William Prusoff Young Investigator Lecture Award. This award is given to outstanding young scientists who have demonstrated dedication and excellence in the field of antiviral research and future potential for contribution to the field and the society. Dr. Everts will receive the award at the upcoming 30th International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR) in Atlanta, GA in May. 
The UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) recently acknowledged Department of Pediatrics (DOP) members who participated in the CCTS Panels Done Quickly (PDQ)/ Nascent Panel Project (NPP) team this past year. 

PDQs and NPPs provide investigators across the UAB Campus and throughout the CCTS Partner Network with expert feedback during a critical window of grant development - within 6 weeks of an application deadline. Reviewing proposals at this stage requires an agile, highly focused response that is only possible with the involvement of accomplished scientists. Those who participated from the Pediatrics include: Drs. Namasivayam Ambalavanan, Randy Cron, Maaike Everts, Tom Harris, Ken McCormick, and Matthew Stoll.

Thank you for your participation! 
Children’s of Alabama and the UAB Pediatrics Residency Program will host the 11th annual Spring Scramble 5K on Saturday, April 22. The 5K begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Levite Jewish Community Center, followed by a Fun Run at 6:30 p.m.
The registration fee is $20 for UAB and Children’s employees; $25 for the general public and free for children under 12 with an adult entry. The registration fee covers a 5K T-shirt and goodie bag. To register, visit