Building on the highly successful APS and SPR Journey Program, we are pleased to launch the 2023-2024 APS SPR Journeys program.  This year the Journeys program will feature eight virtual sessions designed to encourage and support promising early-career investigators in pediatrics by offering inspiring career journey stories, career development mentoring, feedback on research and networking with experienced Cohort Leaders and peers in academic medicine.

Program participants will be organized into eighteen small cohort groups each guided by two leaders, experienced and successful academic pediatric professionals drawn mainly from the membership of APS and SPR. Pediatric department chairs, as well as leaders from FOPO and RAPID will nominate a total of 120 early-career participants, giving special attention to groups underrepresented in medicine. Further program details are below.

Journeys Success Stories

Mariko Bennett received a NIH DP5. “Our lab studies the role that microglia, the brain’s resident macrophages, play in normal development and disease. We are trying to uncover ways we can use microglia targeting therapeutically and our current focus is on overcoming natural microglia viral restriction to enable gene therapies.

The Journeys program allowed community and mentorship throughout the COVID shutdown during a critical period of my training (and new motherhood).”

Praveen Chandrasekharan received an RO1. “After participating in the Journeys 2020 – 2021 and other supporting programs by NIH-NICHD and a strong lab team, I received an R01 grant in 2021, focusing on chest compressions for bradycardia during newborn resuscitation.

The Journeys program was helpful as an adjunct in interacting with peers and established investigators. Their experiences and inputs while discussing my research were valuable to me.”

Thao (Tina) Ho received an R21. “The goal of my grant is to investigate characteristics of gut microbiota associated with severe anemia in preterm infants using stool multiomics approach.

The Journeys Program motivated me to stay focused on my research and how to improve on grant writing.”

Monica Hsiung Wojcik received an R21. “My research focuses on equitable implementation of genomic medicine in the perinatal context, with particular emphasis on clinical effectiveness as well as parent/patient-reported outcomes towards improved health-related quality of life. To this effect, our team received an R21 in 2022 to evaluate an approach to equitable participation in rare disease genomic research. Recognizing the obstacles families face when attempting to access genomic sequencing for precision diagnosis, we have implemented a personalized and supportive approach to enrollment in the Broad Institute Rare Genomes Project.

I participated in the Journeys Program in one of my first years after graduating from a combined fellowship program, and it was extremely beneficial to learn about how my mentors in this program paved their own paths to independence from an early stage, to receive feedback on research and career plans, as well as to broaden my network of colleagues, collaborators, and friends.

Emma Mohr received an RO1. “My research focuses on vertical transmission and infant developmental outcomes of emerging viral infections during pregnancy using a translational macaque model.

I benefitted from the Journeys program by improving how I communicate with department leaders.”

Elizabeth Yen received a K23. “My K23-funded research focuses on understanding the sex-specific impact of prenatal opioid exposure on brain reward signaling and neonatal feeding regulation. While opioid-exposed infants are known to encounter growth and feeding issues, the molecular mechanisms underlying these problems are unknown. Using neonatal salivary gene expression, feeding, and growth measurements, our team aims to elucidate the impact of reward and hypothalamic signaling dysregulation of infant feeding behavior and growth trajectory. The role of sex as an important biological variable is also the focus of this multiyear study.

As a participant in the Journeys, I quickly learned that the path to a successful research career was not easy, yet it was possible. Surrounded by brilliant scientists and physicians, I realized the importance of strong mentorship, grit, resilience, team science, and effective communication. My group leaders (Drs. Beth Tarini and Bruce Gelb) were engaging, transparent, encouraging, and insightful. The group members provided stories of wins and losses and lessons learned that truly brought a healthy perspective for the entire cohort. The Journeys provided helpful, tangible advice for my grant application and fostered my long-term career growth.”

We Want to Hear From You!

2020-2021 & 2022 – 2023 Cohorts

Journey’s Cohorts Feedback

Fantastic program, I found it very valuable since there are few physician-scientists at my institution.I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in this seminar. The small groups allowed for the ability to ask meaningful questions. I enjoyed being able to present my research ideas and gain feedback (also was great timing I was applying for an internal research training program and pilot grant and the feedback was very helpful).Really enjoyed the journey and the honest stories and advice that the leaders provided. Also enjoyed meeting the other members and hearing similar questions and struggles that we all have. I particularly enjoyed the expert sessions with all the incredible experiences that each person had; truly encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for organizing this super important program!
This was a wonderful program. I loved the stories from leaders, mentors, and guest speakers. I loved being able to connect with other researchers who were early-career, and to know that I’m not operating in a silo where I feel like I’m toiling away in my research. It is nice to hear from all different aspects and fields of research within pediatrics, since all of our work is so varied. I can’t rave enough about this program. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.This group helped me talk to leadership about needing a partner and needing additional protected time. I said it multiple times over the years, but previously I approached it incorrectly. This time, I dug into numbers and showed them that I am currently at 1.7 FTEs. Starting May 1, I officially have more protected time. We hired 2 local family med / sports med physicians to pick up my dropped clinics until we hire another physician full time as a partner. (They can continue to stay on after that if they want to). I am hopeful that things are heading in the right direction! This group really gave me the tools to jump-start things here.I thought this was an exceptional program! Coming from a smaller pediatric department where clinical research is just emerging as a priority, I found it so valuable to meet others in a similar career path and stage as me. I thought the plenary speakers gave incredibly sage wisdom, particularly for women. In the plenary and in my group, I found the conversations around leadership, imposter syndrome, balancing clinical and research, and work-life balance so powerful. I really valued having a senior career leader who is a woman.
Great program! Didn’t realize how helpful it was going to be until I had multiple “aha” moments. THANK YOU!

2023-2024 APS SPR Journeys Sessions

(all times are CT, except for Mini-Gordon Conference)

  • Session 1 Opening Plenary
    The Power of Grit, Passion, Resilience, and Perseverance in Researcher Success
    November 10, 10-11am CT
    Dr. Jennifer Woo Baidal

    Open to All – APS, SPR Members and Journeys Cohorts

  • Session 1: Cohort Breakout
    November 10, 11-11:30am CT

    Participants: Cohort Members and Leaders – invitation only

  • Sessions #2 – 6: Cohort Breakout Sessions (2nd Fri of month) (1-hour time TBD*)
    December 8* between 10am-12pm CT
    January 12* between 10am-12pm CT
    February 9* between 10am-12pm CT
    March 8* between 10am-12pm CT
    April 12* between 10am-12pm CT

    Topic: Science & Career Development

    Participants:  Cohort Members and Leaders – invitation only

  • Mini-Gordon Conference
    May 3, tentatively 7am-12pm ET at PAS 2024, Toronto, Canada

    • 7-7:10am ET: Welcome
    • 7:10-8:40am ET: 3 Presentations
    • 8:40-8:55am ET: Break
    • 8:55-10:50am ET: 3 Workshops
    • 10:50-11:00am ET: Break
    • 11-11:45am ET: Lunch

    Participants: Cohort Members and Leaders – invitation only

  • Session 7*:Cohort Breakout Session

    Participants: Cohort Members and Leaders – invitation only

  • Session 8: Closing Plenary: The Power of Grit, Passion, Resilience, and Perseverance in Researcher Success.
    June 14, 10-11am CT
    Speaker: TBD

    Participants: Open to All – APS & SPR Members and Cohorts

  • Session 8: Cohort Breakout
    June 14, 11-11:30am CT

    Participants: Cohort Members and Leaders – invitation only

2023-2024 APS SPR Journeys Leaders

Kurt Albertine, University of Utah School of Medicine
Pankaj Agrawal, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Brett Anderson, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Eric Austin, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Vineet Bhandari, The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper/Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
David Brousseau, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware
Helen Christou, Harvard Medical School
Ann Chahroudi, Emory School of Medicine
Stephanie Fritz, Washington University School of Medicine
Misty Good, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
CW Gowen, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Lori Holtz, Washington University School of Medicine
David Hunstad,  Washington University School of Medicine
James Jarvis, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Praveen Kumar, University of Illinois
Ashwini Lakshmanan, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Henry Lee, University of California, San Diego
Steven Miller, University of British Columbia
Teresia O’Conner, Baylor College of Medicine
Anna Penn, Columbia University
Jochen Profit, Stanford University
Sally Radovick, University of Arizona
Norman Rosenblum, University of Toronto
Lisa Satlin, Icahn School of Medicine
Emily Tam, University of Toronto
Beth Tarini, Children’s National Hospital, George Washington University
David Warburton, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Ariel Williamson, University of Oregon

2023-2024 APS SPR Journeys Cohort Participants

Babajide Abidemi Ojo, Stanford University
Pankaj Agrawal, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Joseph Alge, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Ashaunta Anderson, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Madison Anderson, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
Nicolas Bamat, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Maria Barbian, Emory University & Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Tracy Bedrosian, Nationwide Children’s Hospital/The Ohio State University
Soumyaroop Bhattacharya, University of Rochester
Noah Bierwirth, University of Texas Health San Antonio
Catherine Biggs, UBC & BC Children’s Hospital
James Bohnhoff, The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center
Viola Caretti, UTHealth Houston
Matthew Carwana, UBC & BC Children’s Hospital
Jessica Calihan, Boston Children’s Hospital
Mia Chandler, Boston Children’s Hospital
Marie-Coralie Cornet, UCSF
Aditi Dhir, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Paula Dias Maia, University of Colorado
Chinenye Dike, UAB
Mallory Downie, McGill University
Melanie Dubois, Weill Cornell Medicine
Thomas J. Duggan, NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine
Carol Duh-Leong, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Son Duong, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Melissa Dvorsky, Children’s National Hospital
Daniel Ebbs, Yale School of Medicine
Kelsey Egan, Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center
Osayame Ekhaguere, Indiana University School of Medicine
Rishi Ganesan, Western University, Children’s Hospital LHSC
Alexander Glick, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Daniel Goldenberg, Saint Louis University
Irina Gorbounova, Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Daniela Guisado, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Leslie M Harris, Rush University Children’s Hospital
Jo-Anna Hudson, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Zeyar Htun, NYU Grossman Long Island School of Medicine
Cara Janusz, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
LaQuita Jones, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Camilia Kamoun, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Andrew Kern-Goldberger, Cleveland Clinic
Marcy Kingsbury, Massachusetts General Hospital
Lauren Klein, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Emily Knight, University of Rochester
Nana Kwaku Minkah, University of Washington/ Seattle Children’s Hospital
Kayla LaRosa, Norton Children’s Medical Group/ University of Louisville
Jimin Lee, Weill Cornell Medicine
Carmen Monthe-Dreze, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Sonia Morales, University of California, Irvine
Alison Nair, University of California San Francisco
Christian Nieves Rivera, Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Daniel Nolan, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
Marisa Orbea, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Esli Osmanlliu, McGill University
William R. Otto, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Samuel Pabon Rivera, The University of Texas Health San Antonio
Andrea Pedroza Tobias, Stanford University
Angela Peraino, Dept of Pediatrics & Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Ryan Perkins, Boston Children’s Hospital
Katherine Pickard, Emory University & Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Catherine Poholek, University of Pittsburgh
Spencer Poore, UAB
Aidan Porter, University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer Porter, University of Louisville
Weston Powell, University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital
Ellen Pudney, Eastern Virginia Medical School/Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters
Vidya Puthenpura, Yale School of Medicine
Alexander Raskin, Medical College of Wisconsin
Sara Sabbagh, Medical College of Wisconsin
Ahmad Salah Sami, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Monica Serrano Gonzalez, Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Allison Shapiro, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Katharine Simon, University of California, Irvine
Kanya Singhapakdi, Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Fotios Spyropoulos, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Michelle Stransky, Boston Medical Center
Brittany Tayler, Dept of Pediatrics & Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Kalie L. Tommerdahl, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus/Children’s Hospital Colorado
Keri Toner, Children’s National
Laura Vella, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Alaina Vidmar, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Umesh D. Wankhade, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Lece Webb, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Miheret Yitayew, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine- Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
Leal Yonker, Massachusetts General Hospital
Diana Zepeda-Orozco, Nationwide Children’s Hospital/The Ohio State University

Thanks to our 2023 – 2024 Journeys Book Sponsors

for providing complimentary copies of the book GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance to all Journey participants!