2024 Award Recipients

SPR Awards Recipients

Maureen Andrew Mentor Award

Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE

Stanford University

Dr. Leonard is the Arline and Pete Harman Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Adalyn Jay Physician-in-Chief of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and Director of the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI). Throughout much of her career, she devoted the majority of her effort to clinical research and mentoring junior investigators. Her overarching goal was to lead a vibrant, multidisciplinary, innovative, NIH-funded research program that attracts new trainees to clinical research and serves as a launching pad for junior investigators. As evidence of her commitment to mentoring, she was the PI of an NIH K24 award for ten years; this award supports effort mentoring junior clinical investigators. During her tenure at UPenn, she chaired the MS in Epidemiology thesis committee for 17 trainees and served as the primary mentor on more than a dozen NIH F32 and K23 awards and Foundation career development grants. Many of her mentees have established independent NIH-funded clinical research programs and ascended to major leadership positions. She was awarded the inaugural Faculty Mentor Award by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

More recently, as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University, Dr. Leonard created novel programs to support the development of fellows and junior faculty. She instituted a structured Bridge to K Program that provides selected graduating fellows with Instructor appointments, mentorship, and 75% protected time as they prepare and secure NIH K grants, and ultimately, faculty appointments. She created a departmental Office of Research Development to specifically support junior trainees during the development of K grants and the K-to-R transition. As Director of MCHRI, she spearheaded new initiatives to provide robust biostatistics, data management, and research infrastructure support to maternal and child health investigators across the University, including funds to support physician fellows on career development awards. MCHRI also provides MS tuition support for fellows seeking advanced training in health services research or clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.

Dr. Leonard has also instituted multiple programs to increase the diversity of the pediatric and physician scientist workforce. This includes pathways into pediatrics for URM high school students (The Pediatrics Internship Program at Stanford), undergraduate students (Maternal and Child Health Research Institute DRIVE program), medical students (Stanford Clinical Opportunity Residency Experience [SCORE]), and residents (Promoting Resident Experiences in the Subspecialties at Stanford [PRESS]). In 2018 the Department launched the Leadership Education in Advancing Diversity (LEAD) program with the vision of educating and empowering the next generation of medical leaders to carry forward the mission of diversity and inclusion. The results of the program include over 40 national and regional workshops from scholars. The program has expanded to include all clinical departments in the Stanford School of Medicine and was awarded the Stanford University President’s 2020 award for Excellence through Diversity.

Thomas A. Hazinski Distinguished Service Award

The Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) proudly announces that Hannah C. Glass, MDCM, MAS, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2024 SPR Thomas A. Hazinski Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Glass is a Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology of Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Glass is a neonatal neurologist and Director of Neonatal Neuro-Critical Care Services at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She is also the program director of the Neonatal Neurology Fellowship Program. Dr. Glass has received funding from the NIH, March of Dimes, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation to conduct clinical research that aims to improve developmental outcomes following newborn brain injury.

The Thomas A. Hazinski SPR Distinguished Service Award honors a special individual who has provided exceptional service to the Society for Pediatric Research over an extended period of time. Dr. Glass was elected to SPR membership in 2011. During her membership, she has served SPR in the following positions: PAS Program Committee (2012-2018), SPR Councilor for Neurology (2015-2017), and Director of Membership on SPR Executive Council (2018-2023), SPR representative on the PAS Board of Directors (2021-current), , as well as SPR Nominating Committee, SPR Communications Committee, SPR Bridging to Success Award Committee, and SPR Selection Committee for the Japan Pediatric Society Fostering Leadership Program.

“We are so pleased to recognize Dr. Glass for her outstanding dedication to the Society and her commitment to training the next generation of translational researchers,” said SPR President Cristina Alvira. “A vital part of our organization, she has tirelessly served SPR in a wide range of activities for more than a decade.  Her tremendous service to this organization has helped further our mission of creating a network of multi-disciplinary researchers to improve child health.”

The Society for Pediatric Research will present the Thomas Hazinski Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Hannah Glass during the PAS 2024 meeting. This event connects thousands of leading pediatric researchers and other healthcare providers worldwide united by a common mission: Connecting the global academic pediatric community to advance scientific discovery and promote innovation in child and adolescent health.

Dr. Glass’s dedication to advancing pediatric research and her outstanding service to the community exemplify the qualities that the Thomas Hazinski Distinguished Service Award seeks to recognize. The SPR extends its heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Glass on this well-deserved honor.

Society for Pediatric Research Award in Honor of E. Mead Johnson

Daniel E. Bauer, MD, PhD

Boston Children’s Hospital

My research focuses on gene regulation in blood cells, in particular hemoglobin switching, the developmental regulation of globin gene expression. These studies have both fundamental and translational importance. By comparing common trait-associated genetic variation with epigenetic modification of primary human erythroid precursors, and applying genome editing technology, I have discovered an erythroid enhancer element of the BCL11A gene that is a critical determinant of fetal hemoglobin level and therapeutic target for the beta-hemoglobin disorders. I identified the guide RNA that is used in exa-cel, the first FDA-approved CRISPR-based gene-editing therapy. I have developed functional genomics methods to utilize genome editing to correlate genotype and phenotype in mammalian cells, including pooled CRISPR screening, sequence analysis and therapeutic nuclease, base and prime editing in primary patient hematopoietic stem cells. My ongoing studies continue to be translational in scope, defining novel therapeutic strategies for blood disorders and performing first-in-human studies of gene editing, as well as of fundamental biological significance, in investigating the genetic architecture of developmental hematopoiesis. I have identified a gene editing approach for universal amelioration of ELANE-mutant severe congenital neutropenia, described novel molecular mechanisms of HbF repression, illustrated how human genetic variation modifies gene editing risk, and uncovered nucleotide metabolism as a constraint on prime editing efficiency.

Douglas K. Richardson Award for Perinatal and Pediatric Healthcare Research

Anna-Barbara Moscicki, MD

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Anna-Barbara Moscicki is a Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles, Chief, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Associate Executive Chair for Clinical Research, and Chair, Clinical Trials Committee for Pediatrics. She has 35+ years of experience working in the field of molecular epidemiology, behavioral studies of adolescents, mucosal immunology, and phase I and II clinical trials. Much of her work has focused on detailing the natural history of HPV in adolescents and young adults, primarily from a 25-year study “Natural History of HPV in Teens”. Her work has also involved children and adolescents living with HIV working with several national networks including Adolescent HIV and AIDS Research Network (AMHARN), Adolescent Therapeutic Trials Network, IMPAACT and Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort study. Much of her work has influenced public health policies involving age to start HPV vaccinations, cervical and anal cancer screening in general and vulnerable populations.  She is past president of ASCCP, and received the Distinguished Scientific and Meritorious Service award as well as Award of Merit for Screening for cervical cancer and Management of abnormal cytology in non-HIV immunocompromised women. She also received the AAP’s Adele Hofmann Lifetime Achievement Award in Adolescent Medicine for her work on HPV and adolescents. has served on multiple national and international committees including CDC, NIH, PATH, WHO and SAGE. She is a current Board Member of International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS).

Bridging to Success Award

PROSPER Diversity Award

Paula Dias Maia, MD

University of Colorado

Dr. Paula Dias Maia, MD, is a second-year fellow in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Colorado. She graduated medical school cum laude from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where she was born and raised, and completed her residency in Pediatrics at the University of Colorado. Her primary interests include neonatal hemodynamics, pulmonary vascular disease, pulmonary hypertension, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Her current research at the Colorado Pulmonary Heart Lung Center focuses on understanding the effects of antenatal inflammation on pulmonary endothelial cell diversity and cardiopulmonary sequelae. Dr. Dias Maia is also passionate about advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the medical field and serves as a junior mentor for the New Century Scholars Mentoring Program

Srishti Jayakumar, MBBS, MPH

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Srishti was born and raised in Mumbai, India, where she found her passion for health services research. Her work with Teach for India setting up pediatric screening programs demonstrated the role that systemic inequity and chronic disinvestment played in poor health outcomes for neonates and infants from disadvantaged backgrounds. She obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, working closely with the Baltimore community in her roles leading the Child Health Society and as a researcher with the neonatal follow-up clinic at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, witnessing the incredible resilience and fortitude with which families navigated health systems that were not always designed to serve them. Her clinical experiences have informed her advocacy efforts serving as district and national representative to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup for AAP SOPT, as invited member of the Michigan Advocacy Committee, and now, as Fellow Representative to the Hopkins Diversity Council. The amalgam of these experiences has strengthened her deep commitment to untangling and eliminating drivers of neonatal health disparities.

Srishti aims to become a neonatal health services clinician-researcher, with a focus on outcomes of high-risk NICU graduates and an emphasis on interventions to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in underserved populations. Socioeconomic disparities have a lasting impact on the health of neonates and infants, yet they remain poorly studied in the literature. With the support of a multidisciplinary team, Srishti will evaluate the association of indices of socioeconomic vulnerability with the follow-up care, health utilization and ultimately neurodevelopmental outcomes among high-risk neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Initial results from her study have demonstrated significant differences in cognitive outcomes at 24 months of age for neonates living in areas with greater vulnerability at the census-tract level. Srishti aspires to utilize this research to identify areas for potential solutions and design evidence-based targeted interventions to improve outcomes for vulnerable neonates.

New Member Outstanding Science Award

James Bayrer, MD,PhD

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine

James Bayrer, MD,PhD is a board certified pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained his medical degree and Ph.D. in pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University. He completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, where he currently serves as the pediatric gastroenterology fellowship director.  The intestine represents the largest exposed surface area in the body, standing at the interface between the ever-changing luminal environment and the host. Dr. Bayrer’s laboratory is keenly interested in understanding how the gut senses and responds to this dynamic environment and how maladaptive responses may trigger intestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. His laboratory utilizes mouse models of disease coupled with mouse and human intestinal organoids to probe the key molecular contributors to gut epithelial regeneration and gut-brain signaling. Dr. Bayrer’s laboratory has made key contributions to the understanding of how gut epithelial sensory enterochromaffin cells influence visceral pain and how the nuclear receptor NR5A2 promotes intestinal epithelial restitution following injury.

SPR Awards to Enhance Diversity in the Research Workforce

Young Investigator Award

Steven J. Jonas, MD, PhD

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dr. Steven J. Jonas M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, and an investigator at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and Broad Stem Cell Research Center. His laboratory explores new ways to probe and engineer cells that leverage advances in microfluidics, nanofabrication, and gene editing approaches. In his clinical practice, he serves as an attending physician at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital where he directs the care of patients with a variety of hematologic and oncologic conditions as well as those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and/or gene therapy. He also serves as the Associate Program Director of the UCLA Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program where he has fostered an inclusive scientific training environment that guides the next generation of pediatric hematology/oncology physicians as they embark on their research journeys.

Dr. Jonas received his M.D. and Ph.D. from UCLA through its NIH-supported Medical Scientist Training Program. His Ph.D. training in Materials Science and Engineering under the direction of Professor Bruce Dunn investigated the design of functional materials tailored for controlling the maintenance and lineage-specific differentiation of pluripotent stem cell populations. He completed his clinical training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. During his Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship, he joined the lab of Professor Paul S. Weiss where he established his current research program that targets the development of nanotechnology-enabled cellular therapy manufacturing platforms for gene and stem cell-based therapeutics.

Dr. Jonas’ research explores the intersection of pediatrics, hematology/oncology, stem cell biology, bioengineering, and nanoscience & nanotechnology. His laboratory harnesses advances in these areas to develop and apply new, broadly applicable and accessible technologies and methodologies that support the children’s health and regenerative medicine research communities along two themes: i) developing efficient, high throughput, and economical gene and cell therapy manufacturing platforms; and ii) fueling precision pediatric oncology via the translation of liquid biopsy methods that can help amass the data required for longitudinal and real time molecular profiling of pediatric malignancies and monitoring their response to treatment dynamically. These capabilities advance the laboratory’s efforts to create tools that enable stem cell biologists to probe and to interact with stem cells more precisely and empower clinician scientists to apply this knowledge to design and implement new treatments more quickly. By engaging in these efforts, his team is helping to accelerate the discovery and democratize the implementation of emerging gene and cellular therapeutic strategies and precision medicine-focused diagnostic approaches that will unlock new solutions for impacting the care of children with complex healthcare needs. Dr. Jonas has received several awards for his research, including a Director’s Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health and has been the recipient of Young Investigator and Scholar awards from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation, and the Tower Cancer Research Foundation.

SPR and APS Joint Award Recipient

Mary Ellen Avery Neonatal Research Award

FOPO Award Recipient

Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award

Benard P. Dreyer, MD

Pediatrician Dr. Benard P. Dreyer is the 2024 Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award recipient. Dr. Dreyer is a leader with a lifetime record of significant contributions to child health and the profession of pediatrics. He has had a major impact in the areas of health equity, child poverty, diversity and inclusion, early brain and child development, and the promotion of pediatric research. Dr. Dreyer is an Academic General Pediatrician and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician who has devoted his professional career to serving poor children and families who are mostly immigrants or minoritized.

Press Release

Abstract Related Awards Recipients

House Officer Research Award

Student Research Award

Japan Pediatric Society (JPS)/SPR Fellows’ Exchange Award

European Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Exchange Award

Jip Spekman, BSc

Leiden University Medical Center

My research focuses on the long-term effects of selective fetal growth restriction in monochorionic twins. These twins share a single placenta that is unequally shared, subsequently leading to a large birth weight discordance. We investigate whether this growth discordance leads to differences in long-term outcomes in order to provide both caregivers and parents with more information on what to expect and what to watch for.

Accumulating evidence shows that fetal malnutrition can negatively affect early lung development and function, as lung development starts early in pregnancy. Yet, studies regarding the impact of fetal growth restriction on lung function in singletons are subject to genetic, obstetric, and maternal factors potentially influencing the outcomes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of fetal growth restriction on childhood lung function in a discordant identical twin model, where we compare the growth-restricted twin with its appropriately grown co-twin, thereby naturally eliminating potential confounders.

We found that discordant fetal growth in monochorionic twins is associated with a reduction in static lung volume with an equivalent decrease in dynamic lung function. Furthermore, our analysis showed that fetal growth restriction is associated with a reduction in lung diffusion, even when taking the reduced lung volume into account. This indicates that adverse growth conditions in these twins negatively affect lung development and function, potentially contributing to an increase in respiratory morbidities later in life. Therefore, screening in those with concomitant risk factors and timely counseling of additional hits on lung function is warranted in those born after FGR.

Fellows’ Basic Research Award (3 awards given annually)

David G. Nathan in Basic Research Award (1 award given annually)

Basic Research Award for Fellows, sponsored by the Junior SPR Members’ Section (2 awards given annually)

Fellows’ Clinical Research Award (3 awards given annually)

Richard D. Rowe Award in Clinical Research (1 award given annually)

Clinical Research Award for Fellows, sponsored by the Junior SPR Members’ Section (2 awards given annually)