Two CHOP Neonatologists Receive Prestigious Awards During 2017 PAS Conference

Published on in CHOP News Neonatology Update

Barbara Schmidt, MD, MSc, CM, an Attending Neonatologist at CHOP Newborn Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, received the William A. Silverman Lectureship Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Perinatal Pediatrics. This award addresses evidence-based medicine and/or bioethics in neonatal practice.

In 1980, Dr. Silverman observed that “tunnel vision” led practitioners of perinatal medicine to neglect the social consequences of their actions, make uncoordinated advances, and introduce new therapies on the basis of poor scientific methods.

Dr. Schmidt’s lecture, entitled “Progress in a Groove?” explored whether neonatal clinical research has improved since Dr. Silverman’s critique of perinatal medicine.

Dr. Schmidt received this award on May 7, 2017, at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting in San Francisco. She presented her lecture at the AAP Presidential Plenary Sessions during the meeting.

Also at PAS 2017, Sagori Mukhopadhyay, MD, a CHOP Neonatologist who is researching the long-term effects of antibiotic usage in newborns, was the first person to receive a new award from the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR). The SPR established this award to recognize and support physician-scientists early in their careers. The $40,000 award, along with a matching amount from CHOP, will support Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s research in the coming year.

Approximately 350,000 full-term newborns receive antibiotics at birth under current national guidelines intended to prevent sepsis, a serious bloodstream infection. However, in about 97 percent of cases, these babies are found to be uninfected in the first place. Dr. Mukhopadhyay will analyze whether early antibiotic exposure leaves a child more vulnerable to allergy and later infections by disrupting the microbiome—the population of bacteria in a person’s gut.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay received this award on May 8, 2017. She also presented her research project at the SPR Presidential Scientific Plenary session during the PAS 2017 Meeting.