Please join me in congratulating Dr. Katie Larson Ode for her well earned promotion to full professor!! In brief, Dr. Larson Ode has been promoted in recognition of her clinical mastery, her teaching enthusiasm, her compassion as a physician, and her international recognition as a leader in the clinical research field of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. She joined the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2011, having just completed a pediatric endocrine fellowship at the University of Minnesota. During fellowship she simultaneously obtained a Master’s in Clinical Research. She has spearheaded several new clinical initiatives at the University of Iowa, including initiating the Pediatric Endocrinology outreach services in the Quad Cities and serving as the inaugural LGBTQ-clinic endocrinologist. To her peers and trainees, she is highly esteemed for her enthusiasm. Her international reputation stems from clinical studies she directed relating to diabetes in persons with cystic fibrosis. She was chosen by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to mentor a cadre of physicians across the country in the endocrine care of persons with cystic fibrosis and related clinical research. She has published multiple manuscripts in this area as well and is regularly invited to talk across the country and even internationally on this subject matter. Once again, congratulations Dr. Larson Ode!
We are pleased to report that 6 of the pediatric endocrinology physicians in our division have received Patient Choice Awards. These awards are given out by UI Health Care to recognize physicians for consistently providing patients with an excellent healthcare experience. The recipient physicians were:
- Lauren Kanner
- Katie Larson Ode
- Liuska Pesce
- Catherina Pinnaro
- Mike Tansey
- Eva Tsalikian
The Award was given to only 156 providers across the entire institution. The Award recognizes those who scored in the top 10% nationally in response to patient surveys asking whether the physician showed concern for patient questions or worries, gave explanations about problem or condition, made efforts to include the patient in care decisions, discussed proposed treatments (options, risks, benefits, etc), and whether they would be likely to recommend the care provider to others. Our division is fortunate to have these Award winning physicians on our team. We thank each of them for their wonderful work. Find more about the awards at this link.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that leads to progressive lung dysfunction. Persons with cystic fibrosis are also at high risk to develop diabetes. Unfortunately, cystic fibrosis plus diabetes is a dangerous combination, further worsening lung function and increasing risk of death. Recently, over the past decade, several new very effective medications for cystic fibrosis have been developed. Collective, these new medications are termed modulators. The modulators work by restoring function to the mutated proteins that cause cystic fibrosis. Thus, the specific modulator therapy used must be matched to the specific mutations that each person with cystic fibrosis has inherited. Although the modulators are very effective at improving lung function, their impact on diabetes risk for persons with cystic fibrosis is not yet clear. Dr. Larson Ode has co-authored a new, peer-reviewed article (PubMed link) summarizing current knowledge about how modulators might impact diabetes risk in persons with cystic fibrosis. The article highlights mechanisms and data suggesting that modulators might reduce risk of diabetes, but also notes potential mechanisms by which the modulators might increase diabetes risk.
We are proud to note that the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital has maintained its recognition by the National Pancreas Foundation as a Center of Excellence for treatment of youth with pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is uncommon in children, but requires expert multidisciplinary care including specialists from gastroenterology, endocrinology, radiology, and surgery. Diabetes is a common complication of recurrent pancreatitis. Pancreatitis-related diabetes is not the same as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and can have specific treatment considerations. As such, it requires expertise from an experienced pediatric endocrinologist, such as Dr. Katie Larson Ode, who is the lead pediatric endocrinologist who works with the pancreatitis clinic here. You can read more about the designation at the original press release here.
Congratulations to Dr. Katie Larson Ode, who was just named the recipient of a research grant award. The award comes from the joint Minnesota-Iowa Diabetes Research Center (MIDRC) as part of an initiative to foster collaborative diabetes research between the two institutions. For the research project, Dr. Larson Ode has teamed up with Univ of Minnesota physician Dr. Melena Bellin, whom is also a pediatric endocrinologist. A portion of children who develop chronic or recurrent acute pancreatitis will develop diabetes. However, the reasons for this are poorly understood. To better understand why, and hopefully delineate preventative strategies, Drs. Larson Ode and Bellin will enroll children with pancreatitis into a study in which glucose monitors and meal tests will be used to determine how well their pancreases are functioning to produce insulin and control blood sugar.
The National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation held a 3-day workshop devoted to cystic fibrosis related diabetes from June 23-25 (workshop link). The workshop was attended by interested physicians, scientists, and affected families and persons, and also was open to the public. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the current state of knowledge about this form of diabetes, and to help inform future research directions. Dr. Larson Ode and Dr. Norris from our division both spoke on their areas of related expertise, with talks entitled “Glycemic Abnormalities in Young Children” and “Innervation of the CF Pancreas” respectively. The University of Iowa was also represented by two other speakers, gene therapy expert John Engelhardt PhD and pediatric gastroenterologist Aliye Uc MD. Drs. Engelhardt and Norris were also part of the workshop planning committee, along with other experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Boston Children’s Hospital.
We are proud of Dr. Larson Ode for sharing her experience and expertise on short notice with TV station WeAreIowa. In particular, she reflects succinctly on how the physician’s guiding principle of “do no harm” impacts medical decision making regarding transgender care in youth. Her statements also reflect current medical consensus guidelines on the topic. You can find the interview clip at the WeAreIowa website, here.
Dr. Katie Larson Ode has been named director of the Clinical Core component of the University of Iowa’s Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis. The NIH grant funding for this project was just renewed. Her core will support maintenance and growth of a Cystic Fibrosis biobank which will obtain/provide clinical samples from/to researchers in cystic fibrosis for translational projects. Congratulations to Dr. Larson Ode on your excellent work.
It has been a productive fall for Dr. Larson Ode, who has published 5 review articles focused on various endocrine complications of cystic fibrosis. You can find summaries of these works at the following links: one – two – three – four – five. Dr. Larson Ode is a leading expert in the clinical care and clinical research involving persons with cystic fibrosis who have developed diabetes and other endocrine complications. She sees children and adult patients in the cystic fibrosis clinic to help them manage these conditions. On the research side, she coordinates a variety of clinical studies here at Iowa and also at other academic medical centers across the country to better understand these complications. She is also serving as a career and research mentor to several junior endocrinology faculty across the country to further their expertise and research in this important area. Kudos Dr. Larson Ode on your accomplishments!
There is a strong need to train endocrinologist to help provide expert care for the endocrine complications experienced by patients with cystic fibrosis. For this reason, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has established a program to identify national leaders in this area who can help mentor other endocrinologists. We are proud of Dr. Katie Larson Ode, who has been named one of the selected mentors to help train the future leaders in cystic fibrosis endocrinology. This honor includes grant funds to support her time in these efforts.