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Edward Behrens, MD

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:09
Edward Behrens, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Joseph Lee Hollander Chair in Pediatric Rheumatology at CHOP, and associate professor of PediatricsEdward Behrens, MD

Interacting with the next generation of learners is an incredibly meaningful way to propagate the advancement of medical science for current patients as well as for all of the patients yet to come. Illustrating how the basic sciences can inform clinical care for patients, particularly for those who fall between the cracks of our refined existing pathways and algorithms, helps trainees at all levels reconnect with the roots of medical education in a significant way. 

For me, teaching is not just the transmission of factoids from one mind to another, but mentoring trainees to develop their own set of tools to rigorously investigate and discover new truths. This is how we move forward our capacity to effectively care for those for whom we have no answers today, but for whom we provide hope for a better future. 

Teaching the outstanding trainees at CHOP and Penn encourages me to be become a better physician-scientist, as the questions they often ask are not biased by preconception, and therefore are often the most insightful and provocative. This has, on more than one occasion, led to entirely new research directions and important new insights. I look forward to continuing to have the privilege of interacting with these fantastic young minds.

Joel Fein, MD, MPH

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:07
Joel Fein, MD, MPH, director of Advocacy and Health Policy in the Emergency Department, advocacy advisor for Government Affairs at CHOP, and professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine Joel Fein, MD, MPH

Having been raised at CHOP, I was faced with constant examples of what kind of educator I wanted to be “when I grew up.” Bedside teaching, although more haphazard and difficult to complete in a chaotic, busy clinical environment, gives me the most satisfaction. 

What I learned from my mentors, and realized I enjoy the most, is how to teach students to organize their thoughts around a clinical presentation or chief complaint. Factoids are important, but critical thinking is, well, critical. Not only are we exchanging clinical information but, more importantly, are able to teach communication style, listening skills, and how to actually get the information we need to make a diagnosis and plan — things we cannot get from any book or online resource.

During those one-on-one dialogues in the ED, the teacher and student roles are actually more fluid, and my trainees get to keep me updated on the latest approaches and medical management protocols they are learning from my colleagues elsewhere in the hospital.

I feel similarly about teaching in a research setting — it’s all about how to help someone make their brilliant ideas feasible, digestible, and fundable!

Meryl Cohen, MD

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:02
Meryl Cohen, MD, pediatric cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at CHOP, director of the CHOP Cardiology Fellowship Training program, associate chief of the Division of Cardiology, and professor of CardiologyMeryl Cohen, MD

What I find so rewarding about teaching is seeing your students achieve more than you. I am very proud of my students who have gone on to very successful careers. I often hear myself using pearls that were given to me by my teachers and mentors. We all want to have a legacy in our careers, and for me, that legacy will hopefully be that my teaching will live on in my students.

There is tremendous satisfaction when you see that a student understands a difficult concept or shows great enthusiasm for an interesting clinical case. Some of my favorite interactions with students are in small groups or one-on-one learning. One of the best aspects of teaching is when students challenge and question me. Over my career, it has certainly made me better at what I do.

Lisa Zaoutis, MD

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 08:58
Lisa Zaoutis, MD, attending physician at CHOP and associate professor of Clinical PediatricsLisa Zaoutis, MD

There are several ways that learners make me a better physician. First, learners motivate me to stay on top of the advances that are a near constant in the fast-paced world of medicine. Each learner, eager to push their own learning edge within their chosen domain, nudges me to try to stay a half-step ahead of them. Since I get to work with such a broad range of learners, each one stretches me in a slightly different area, helping to keep me vibrant and relevant across a wide spectrum.

Second, their presence makes me delightfully self-conscious, or should I say, self-aware. Any confusion I see on their faces forces me to break down my own understanding more carefully and more thoroughly. Any pushback they offer helps me reconsider my position and adjust it when appropriate. Complacency is not an option when you have bright learners challenging your knowledge, your logic, and your perspective.

Lastly, there is an undeniable joy in sharing my passion with motivated and receptive learners. The rewards of my efforts feel magnified and multiplied. It is a veritable burnout antidote.

1943

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:37
Big Heart by Lucas Hurford1943

Donald Gray Triplett is the first child diagnosed with autism. Dr. Leo Kanner describes autism as a social and emotional disorder, characterized by highly intelligent children who withdraw socially and have emotional limitations. The condition was considered extremely rare, limited to Triplett and 10 other children.

1950s – 1970s

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:17
Royal Portrait by Hope Rhoads1950s – 1970s

Autism is thought to be caused by cold and unemotional parenting, commonly referred to as the Refrigerator Mother theory. The theory is later debunked as a growing body of research reveals autism to have a biological basis and rooted in brain development.

1980

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:10
Autumn by Laciann Parker1980

Autism is classified as its own separate diagnosis, a “pervasive developmental disorder” — distinct from schizophrenia — with three essential features: a lack of interest in people, severe impairments in communication, and bizarre responses to the environment, all developing within the first 30 months of life.

Mid-1990s – 2000s

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 07:06
Robot X-treme by Andrew SmithMid-1990s – 2000s

Screening and diagnostic tools are developed and available for use: Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal screening based on research co-authored by Susan Levy, MD, MPH, director of the Autism Integrated Care Program at CHOP.

2019

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:26
Tropical Fruit by Colin Casey2019

CHOP researchers are integrating brain imaging with the ability to collect and analyze genomic and technology-based behavioral information. These innovations will enable them to precisely map the three main domains of autism — genetics, the brain, and behavior — in thousands of patients who receive expert care at CHOP each year, establishing a precision medicine approach to autism.

2013

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:23
The Six Legged Long Antennae by Kevin McGarriage2013

The term “autism spectrum disorder” is introduced. ASD is defined as ranging from mild to severe, characterized by “persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction” and “restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior,” both present in childhood. Asperger’s disorder and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified are no longer considered separate diagnoses, but on the spectrum.

2009

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:19
Yellow Flower by Youssouf Sacko2009

CHOP researchers led by Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Applied Genomics, discover the first common genetic variants of ASD in collaboration with CHOP’s Center for Autism Research (CAR).

Mid-1990s – 2000s

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:16
Robot X-treme by Andrew SmithMid-1990s – 2000s

Screening and diagnostic tools are developed and available for use: Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal screening based on research co-authored by Susan Levy, MD, MPH, director of the Autism Integrated Care Program at CHOP.

1980

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:11
Autumn by Laciann Parker1980

Autism is classified as its own separate diagnosis, a “pervasive developmental disorder” — distinct from schizophrenia — with three essential features: a lack of interest in people, severe impairments in communication, and bizarre responses to the environment, all developing within the first 30 months of life.

1950s – 1970s

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 22:06
Royal Portrait by Hope Rhoads1950s – 1970s

Autism is thought to be caused by cold and unemotional parenting, commonly referred to as the Refrigerator Mother theory. The theory is later debunked as a growing body of research reveals autism to have a biological basis and rooted in brain development.

1943

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 21:54
Big Heart by Lucas Hurford1943

Donald Gray Triplett is the first child diagnosed with autism. Dr. Leo Kanner describes autism as a social and emotional disorder, characterized by highly intelligent children who withdraw socially and have emotional limitations. The condition was considered extremely rare, limited to Triplett and 10 other children.

Sharon J. Diskin, PhD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 11:20
Sharon J. Diskin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 

My research uses integrative quantitative computational methods and rigorous experimental approaches to understand the genetic basis of childhood cancers and identify new therapeutic targets. My long term goal is to improve outcomes for those diagnosed with cancer or to prevent cancer from initiating. I was drawn to the field of cancer research after a loved one was diagnosed with colon cancer over 20 years ago, prompting a career conversion from the aerospace industry. I remain driven by the amazing young children fighting cancer yet still smiling, and their families.

I would give two words of advice to young women interested in pursuing science – perseverance and balance. Perseverance is an essential quality of all successful scientists. There may be times when it seems that nothing is working, your experiments aren’t working, the road seems too long, you may even think you aren’t cut out for a career in science. Don’t quit, believe in yourself, have perseverance. Equally important, especially for woman, is balance. There will be competing priorities – career, family, friends, and self. Be sure to make time for all of these. Balance will make all the highs and lows of your scientific career better.

Rachel K. Myers, PhD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:37
Rachel K. Myers, PhD

Research Scientist, Violence Prevention Initiative, Center for Injury Research and Prevention

My research focuses on recovery after violence-related injury and developing innovative ways to address the burden of pediatric injuries. I am interested in how we can use technology to reduce the burden on patient families and improve the accuracy of our data. My interest grew from work in adolescent health, where disparities remain in which youth are most affected by violence. Working with a multidisciplinary team, I see firsthand the outcomes our programs help youth achieve, and I am driven to understand what works and how, so we can disseminate our models of care to other institutions.

I encourage young women to seek out mentors and colleagues who help build their confidence, provide critical but supportive feedback, and value their contributions. Science is a team sport, and who we work with can be as important, if not more so, than what the work is. During my first mentored research opportunity, my female mentor suggested to me that a male peer carry out more complicated calculations. While this is not the introduction to the world of science that any young woman should have, it was foundational in helping me to understand the importance of colleagues who respect your skills, provide opportunities for growth, and celebrate successes.

Yael Mossé, MD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:36
Yael Mossé, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Oncology

I am a physician-scientist committed to defining and exploiting oncogenic pathways in pediatric cancers – with a focus on neuroblastoma – and translating my basic science discoveries to the clinic. Despite major enhancements in the intensity of therapy over the past several decades, the cure rate for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma lags significantly behind that of other childhood cancers. My lab has unwaveringly focused on the hypothesis that discovery of the genetic basis of this disease will provide insights that are clinically actionable and improve patient outcomes. We have harnessed our discovery of germline and somatic mutations in the Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase gene as an opportunity to make a big difference for a small group of patients battling this often lethal disease. 

Focus. Perseverance. Ruthless prioritization. [These are] distinguishing characteristics that have inspired and motivated me and that I hope to impart to young women in science. Perhaps with these attributes always front and center, one has the opportunity to really do something great.

Sarah Tasian, MD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:34
Sarah Tasian, MD

Attending Physician, Division of Oncology

I am a pediatric oncologist and physician-scientist with a research focus on precision medicine therapeutics for high-risk childhood leukemias. My translational lab has two major interests: preclinical testing of kinase inhibitors in genetic subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and preclinical testing of CAR T cell immunotherapies in AML and ALL subtypes. I also lead or co-lead early phase clinical trials in these areas through the Children’s Oncology Group and other consortia. All of this work is truly inspired by our young patients. They quietly show us the real problems in childhood cancer and highlight the gaps in our knowledge as physicians and scientists. We must listen to our patients carefully and deeply, then investigate diligently in the lab how to solve these problems with a goal of bringing better therapies to the clinic as quickly as possible.

Persist! Maintain a laser focus on your goals, and don’t be discouraged if a first (or second or third) attempt doesn’t work. Be open to new ideas and circumstances that may arise along the way, as these opportunities can sometimes be real silver linings.

Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:29
Elizabeth Walshe, PhD

Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Injury Research and Prevention

My research brings together the latest neuroimaging methods with virtual driving technology, establishing the Neuroscience of Driving Research Program. This program bridges basic neuroscience with applied driving research to tackle the public health problem of motor vehicle crashes. My research focuses on understanding how ongoing development of the brain and cognitive function during adolescence may impact the ability of teen drivers, alongside developing simulated driving as an ecologically relevant probe of brain function so that we can investigate typical and atypical neural and cognitive development in adolescents.

Persevere. We use the scientific method as a tool to generate new knowledge and understanding of the world around us: to investigate the unknown. So, by definition, the answer, the solution, and the path ahead will almost never be clear. To be successful in your scientific inquiry, and in a career in science, you must persevere. Keep alive your passion for the scientific method and for using it to create change, inform healthcare, and better our society. This will help you to keep going when you are unsure, get back up when you get set back, and carry on when you learn that it’s not how you thought.

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