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Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

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Pulmonary Medicine Research

J. Michael Collaco, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., M.B.A., Ph.D.

J. Michael Collaco is a clinician-scientist whose research focuses on the epidemiology of risk factors for chronic pediatric respiratory diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. His work in cystic fibrosis centers on genetic epidemiology with regard to the disease-causing gene (CFTR) and modifier genes through gene-environment interactions. Dr. Collaco maintains one of the largest registries of outpatients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the U.S. Clinically, his practice includes general pulmonary and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Dr. Collaco participates in a multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinic, and he is the pediatric pulmonary consultant for the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins. He also serves as a consultant for medically complex children at two subacute facilities in Baltimore. Dr. Collaco provides research mentorship to trainees interested in the epidemiology of pediatric respiratory disorders, and formal education for the pediatric pulmonary fellowship as the fellowship director. He also serves as faculty for the pediatric palliative care fellowship.

Mandeep S. Jassal, M.D., M.P.H.

Mandeep S. Jassal conducts research that primarily addresses two distinct areas: health equity and pediatric asthma drug delivery. In addressing health equity, Dr. Jassal works at the intersection of tobacco cessation, community-based participatory research and behavioral-based incentives. His research has explored the clinical and economic benefit of financial incentives delivered to adult caregivers who smoke tobacco products in close proximity to children with chronic lung disease. The work has expanded to a multi-stakeholder, academic-community collaborative effort in reducing tobacco smoking within Baltimore City public housing.

He is working with the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering on improving pediatric asthma drug delivery devices. This drug delivery research is aimed at improving the utility and end-user preferences for respiratory devices that have classically not been available for younger-aged children. Moreover, Dr. Jassal serves as a partner on an inpatient working group at The Johns Hopkins Hospital that is monitoring and improving protocols pertaining to inpatient pediatric asthma care at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He also is medical director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Function Laboratory and Pediatric Respiratory Therapy Services. He serves as the primary pulmonologist in the Pediatric Asthma Clinic, which provides comprehensive respiratory diagnostics and personalized asthma therapies.

Maureen A. Lefton-Greif, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Maureen A. Lefton-Greif leads a clinical practice and research focused on feeding/swallowing development and the evaluation and management of its disorders. Her specific research interest is swallowing disorders (dysphagia) in children and adults diagnosed with complex aerodigestive conditions and rare disorders with pediatric origins. Dr. Lefton-Greif participates in the multidisciplinary clinical and research group studying the natural history of ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), and is co-investigator for an NIH-supported R21 grant to develop a functional scale for clinical trial readiness. Her RO1-funded research led to the development of a standardized, reliable and valid scale for the videofluoroscopic assessment of swallowing function of bottle-fed children. As an extension of this work, Dr. Lefton-Greif is a co-investigator on an RO1 grant to study radiation exposure in infants and children from videofluoroscopic swallow studies. She is investigating the utility of nonradiologic swallowing measures in patients with neuromuscular disorders, and has developed the first outcome measure to assess the impact of children’s feeding and swallowing problems on their caregivers, which has been translated into Turkish and Brazilian Portuguese. She is a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and a founding member of the Board of Certified Specialists in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.

Eric McCollum, M.D.

Eric McCollum is director of the Johns Hopkins Global Pediatric Respiratory Sciences Program. His research focuses on optimizing respiratory care for children in low-resourced settings. Dr. McCollum has more than a decade of on-the-ground clinical and research experience in low- and middle-income countries in southern Africa and South Asia. Dr. McCollum lived in Malawi for five years as a clinician and National Institutes of Health Fogarty International clinical research fellow, and lived in Bangladesh for two years as the principal investigator of an NIH K01 International Research Scientist Development Award, through the Fogarty International Center, examining the role of pulse oximetry in Bangladeshi children with clinical pneumonia.

Since 2018, he has been based full-time in the southern African country of Lesotho. Dr. McCollum has successfully designed, led or co-led several multisite studies in developing countries throughout Africa and Asia. He advises multiple international foundations and organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), on a variety of child respiratory health areas. He serves as a member of the WHO Technical Working Group on Guidelines for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, a member of the WHO Technical Support Network for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine impact studies, and as a member of an expert global working group for revising the WHO chest radiograph guidelines for children. Dr. McCollum holds a joint faculty appointment in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

M. Cecilia Melendres, M.D.

M. Cecilia Melendres is board-certified in sleep medicine and pediatric pulmonology. Her clinical work focuses on pediatric sleep-disordered breathing. She has a particular interest in children at high risk for persistent obstructive sleep apnea following surgical therapy, including those with Down syndrome, obesity and neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Melendres is involved in a multicenter, retrospective and prospective research study on early onset narcolepsy, which is looking into the recent increase in cases of narcolepsy, its seasonal variation and the role of infection.

Peter J. Mogayzel, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.

Peter J. Mogayzel, Jr., is director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center. His clinical work, teaching and research focuses on the treatment of children with cystic fibrosis. Dr. Mogayzel’s research interests include understanding the regulatory properties of the CFTR gene, mucociliary clearance and development of new therapeutics for cystic fibrosis. He is co-director of the Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Center at Johns Hopkins, and he served as the principal investigator for both investigator-initiated and multicenter clinical trials. Dr. Mogayzel served as chair of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutic Development Network Protocol Review Committee, and he currently serves on the board of trustees for the foundation.

Shruti M. Paranjape, M.D.

Shruti Paranjape is a clinician-researcher whose expertise incorporates independent and collaborative efforts to study sleep, respiratory mechanics, energy expenditure and nutrition in children and young adults with cystic fibrosis (CF). She is a co-investigator for an NIH-supported multicenter CF liver disease study, serving as the only pediatric pulmonologist on the study’s steering committee, and for ongoing clinical trials for children with spinal muscular atrophy.

Dr. Paranjape leads quality improvement initiatives supported by the Department of Pediatrics and the CF Foundation. She was elected to the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine in 2013. Her work with the section includes quality improvement initiatives, editorial board membership, and the development of clinical practice and technical guidelines to standardize and improve clinical management of pediatric respiratory diseases. Dr. Paranjape is an AAP fellow, member of the Society for Pediatric Research, and serves on the regional and national medical advisory panels for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

S. Christina Sadreameli, M.D.

S. Christina Sadreameli is a pediatric pulmonologist with a clinical and research focus on the pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease. She is the principal investigator for the Sickle Cell Disease and Environmental Influences on Lung Function (SELF) trial. This two-site, prospective, observational cohort examines the relationship between indoor environmental exposures, including tobacco smoke and allergens, and pulmonary complications, including asthma, lower airway obstruction and acute chest syndrome, in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease. She is also interested in asthma and the impact of secondhand smoke exposure in pediatric chronic disease.

Laura Sterni, M.D.

Laura Sterni is a board-certified specialist in pediatric pulmonary and sleep medicine and has a clinical and research focus on disorders of respiratory control and sleep-disordered breathing in children. Dr. Sterni is director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Sleep Center, a multispecialty pediatric sleep center that provides state-of-the-art care to the children of Maryland and beyond. The center is recognized nationwide for the ability to evaluate and manage medically complex children with sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. Sterni is also an expert on the management of children with chronic respiratory failure requiring home ventilator support. She was the first author on a recently published American Thoracic Society clinical practice guideline addressing the care of these complex patients, and has edited a book on the topic titled Caring for the Ventilator Dependent Child: A Clinical Guide.

Jessica Rice, D.O., M.H.S.

Jessica Rice leads research focused on modifiable risk factors for pediatric lung disease. Her fellowship project resulted in a publication showing that air purifiers are both feasible and effective in reducing air pollution in the homes of pregnant women and infants living with a smoker. Dr. Rice was awarded a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences K23 award to investigate the health effects of indoor air pollution in the homes of preterm infants. Results from this study will provide important preliminary data for interventional studies to improve indoor air quality and evaluate the impact on respiratory health outcomes in this population.

Lori Vanscoy, M.D.

Lori Vanscoy leads research focused on the application of precision medicine in cystic fibrosis (CF) care. She is working with engineering colleagues to use a sweat sensor developed at Johns Hopkins to measure sweat chloride concentrations in children with CF during exercise, with the long-term goal of incorporating this device into a home surveillance program to monitor modulator drug response. A second aim of Dr. Vanscoy’s research is the creation of a CF “fingerprint” using available CFTR genetic information coupled with granular data from the electronic medical record, which will be extracted and categorized using machine learning techniques, including natural language processing. This fingerprint, which is designed to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of the CF phenotype, will inform individualized treatment decisions and provide a robust phenotype for future clinical research.

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