New Faculty: Beth Sandberg, MD

Dr. Sandberg

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Beth Sandberg is starting as a new pediatric endocrinologist in our division. She received her MD from Northwestern University, completed a residency in pediatrics at Univ North Carolina, and then completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology there as well. She has published expertise in the areas of quality improvement for diabetes care and in the genetics of short stature. In clinic, her practice will include general pediatric endocrinology and diabetes, as well as gender-related endocrine care.

Dr. Pinnaro, Endocrinology Fellow, Receives National Rising Star Award

Dr. Pinnaro

The Pediatric Endocrine Society is dedicated to advancing the treatment of children and adolescents with endocrine disorders. Part of its mission is to identify and support talented young physicians who show acumen for biomedical research. For this purpose, the Pediatric Endocrine Society has created a competitive “Rising Star Award”, which provides funds to support research being conducted by pediatric endocrine fellows. We are pleased to announce that our own pediatric endocrine fellow, Dr. Cat Pinnaro, has been announced as the recipient of one of these competitive awards. Congratulations Dr. Pinnaro on this recognition and support.

The Effects of Diabetes on the Developing Brain.

It has long been wondered what effects diabetes in kids may have on the developing brain. Recent studies suggest that higher glucose levels found in poorly controlled diabetes alter brain development. Dr. Tsalikian is an author on a recent manuscript (link) published in the prestigious journal Diabetologia furthering these observations. The multicenter observational trial found that among children with diabetes, those with higher average glucose levels had greater degrees of persistent disruption of their brain white matter, and that the changes in white matter were associated with worsened cognitive performance. These results suggest that good glucose control is important for future brain function in children with diabetes. However, since the study was observational and correlative, these conclusions are not truly definitive and further study is needed. It remains crucial that children with diabetes be followed by an expert pediatric endocrinology team, such as at the University of Iowa. Several other of our division members contributed to this work, including Dr. Tansey, along with study coordinators Julie Coffey MSN, Joanne Cabbage, and Sara Salamati.

“Diabetes Off To College” Class.

Dr. Kanner

Heading off to college is challenging enough, but especially for teens and young adults with diabetes. Issues range from storing insulin in dorms, navigating roommates, knowing about the effects of alcohol, and complete independence of diabetes care. To assist with this transition, Dr. Kanner helped organize and host our inaugural “Diabetes Off To College” class which was held today. The event included dinner and 2 hours of diabetes education for teens and young adults about to head/return to college. The event was held in the beautiful and scenic Press Box on Level 12 of Stead Family Children’s Hospital. 

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency in Adolescents.

Dr. Kanner

Dr. Kanner has published a case series aimed at understanding the characteristics and most common non-cytotoxic causes of primary ovarian insufficiency in adolescents. Her publication can be found here, and appeared in the Dec 2018 issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

Dr. Curtis Institutes Senior Medical Student Lecture Series.

Dr. Curtis

Dr. Vanessa Curtis is the Assistant Director for Medical Student Education in Pediatrics at the University of Iowa, and Director of Advanced Electives and Sub-Internships. As such, she provides intensive one-on-one advising and direction to medical students in the final year of their education, especially for students who plan on pursuing pediatrics as a specialty. This year, Dr. Curtis instituted a lecture series to further teach these senior medical students.

Dr. Pinnaro Receives the Leona Cuttler Quality Assurance Award.

Dr. Pinnaro

The Leona Cuttler award recognizes the best quality improvement abstract presented at the national Pediatric Endocrine Society meeting. We could not be more proud to announce that the 2019 winner of this award is our own fellow, Dr. Cat Pinnaro. Her abstract reported her work building an app to help pediatric residents learn how to manage ketones in children with diabetes. Dr. Curtis was the faculty mentor involved in this project. Together they are submitting this work for peer-reviewed publication. We also want to point out that Dr. Pinnaro‘s acumen for teaching residents is well recognized, as she was awarded the 2018 Stead Family Children’s Hospital Fellow Teaching Award. Congratulations to Dr. Pinnaro on both these awards !!

Our Program is Nationally Ranked Among the Best Children’s Diabetes & Endocrinology Programs.

Dr. Tsalikian

We have been rated among the Best Children’s Hospitals for Diabetes & Endocrinology Care by the US News & World Report 13th annual national report, where we were ranked #21 nationwide. Other top ranked specialties at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital included neonatology, pediatric urolology, pediatric orthopedics, pediatric nephrology, and pediatric cancer.

“Being once again ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals—and the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Iowa—highlights our dedication to providing the best care to all of Iowa’s children, as well as those in surrounding states and across the country. This is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our doctors, nurses, and staff.”

Dr. Eva Tsalikian

Dr. Larson Ode Gives Invited European Lecture.

Dr. Larson Ode

We are proud of Dr. Katie Larson Ode, who is giving an invited lecture today at the European Cystic Fibrosis Society annual Conference in Liverpool, UK. The title of her lecture as “CFRD (cystic fibrosis related diabetes) in the age of correctors”. Dr. Larson Ode is an internationally recognized expert in the care of patients with CFRD. Patients with cystic fibrosis are now being treated with powerful medications that directly restore function of the defective protein that causes their disease. These medications dramatically improve lung function, but their impact on cystic fibrosis related diabetes is less clear. In her talk, Dr. Larson Ode will review available data and discuss ongoing uncertainties.