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Anita Mesi  

We are pleased to announce Anita Mesi, M.B.A. has been appointed as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Ms. Mesi succeeds Gerald Boshi, who has retired, and whom we thank for his years of outstanding service, commitment, and excellence to the Department of Pediatrics.

Ms. Mesi received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hunter College in 2004 and her Master of Business Administration in Finance and Investments and Organizational Behavior-Human Resource Management from the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College in 2010. She joined Weill Cornell Medicine in 2002 as an intern while an undergraduate predental student at Hunter, but in turn, stayed and built her professional career as an academic administrator, holding several positions in the Departments of Biochemistry, Population Health Sciences (previously known as the Department of Public Health) and Medicine. 

A group of scientists led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian reported that the Moderna mRNA vaccine and a protein-based vaccine candidate elicited durable neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in pre-clinical research. There were no adverse effects.

The research, published in Science Immunology, suggests that vaccines for young children are likely important, safe tools to curtail the pandemic.

The co-senior authors of the paper are Dr. Kristina De Paris, professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine, and Dr. Sallie Permar , chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. Co-first authors are Dr. Carolina Garrido at Duke University and Dr. Alan Curtis at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer I. DiPace, M.D. as Vice Chair of Education as of July 1, 2021. In this new role, Dr. DiPace will oversee the complex educational mission of the Department, including the coordination of faculty and trainees involved in that mission. We would like to thank Susan Bostwick, M.D., M.B.A. for her outstanding service as Executive Vice Chair of Education and Administration and are thrilled she will continue her leadership as Executive Vice Chair of Administration and Faculty.

A recognized and respected national leader in medical education, academic pediatrics and trainee/faculty mentorship, Dr. DiPace brings strong organizational skills and a commitment to collaboration and inclusion. As Vice Chair of Education, Dr. DiPace will lead the Department’s educational initiatives across the spectrum of activities related to undergraduate medical education (UME), graduate medical education (GME) at both residency and fellowship levels, and professional development such as continuing medical education (CME).

Dr. Oleh Akchurin

Dr. Oleh M. Akchurin, the Rohr Family Clinical Scholar and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, has received a 2020 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation. The award will provide funding for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year to support Dr. Akchurin’s research project entitled “Immunophenotyping of Peripheral Blood Monocytes to Personalize Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).”

CKD is a gradual loss of kidney function formerly known as kidney failure. Children with kidney failure grow at a slower rate than their peers, endure poor appetite, anemia, bone fractures and face significant behavioral challenges that may affect learning and social development. The incidence of childhood CKD has been increasing steadily over the last 20 years and while its exact prevalence in the United States is unknown, it is conservatively estimated to exceed 200,000 children. CKD has no cure and inevitably progresses to end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis or kidney transplantation. Dr. Akchurin seeks to identify novel cellular and molecular basis of the disease which he believes will inform clinical therapy that can be customized for each patient.

The past few weeks have been studded with painful evidence that speak to America’s congenital disease of racism. It is a seemingly constant force, whether seen or not, whether acknowledged or not, whether challenged or uncontested. Racialized violence has victimized many communities of color, past and present. We have seen disturbing increases in anti-Asian bias and attacks recently, escalating to the mass shooting in Atlanta. Although the motive behind the Indianapolis shooting last week remains under investigation, it is notable that four of the eight individuals killed were from Indianapolis’ Sikh community. The lynchings that marred America’s past have been replaced by the egregiously disproportionate numbers of Black and Brown people killed as a result of uncalibrated use of deadly force by police.

Many in our community breathed a collective sigh of relief last week over the fact that a small measure of accountability had finally been delivered to but one of hundreds of families whose loved ones were murdered by police. The Chauvin trial took place a few miles away from where Daunte Wright was killed last week, and the verdict announced within the hour of when Ma’Khia Bryant was killed. These events, the persistent disparities that impose excess morbidity and mortality on communities of color, and medical and scientific racism, should be more than sufficient to compel those committed to justice to act.

At this year's all-virtual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting, Weill Cornell Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics was well-represented, with faculty, residents, fellows and staff presenting posters, platforms, workshops, plenaries, SIGs and other sessions across sub-specialties.  

Please see below for a guide to Weill Cornell Medicine abstracts. Note:  All times are in Central Time. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Emergency Medicine

Presenter: Alexandra Licona-Freudenstein, M.D., PGY-2
Type: Poster
Abstract Title: An analysis of pediatric emergency visits during the COVID-19 pandemic using a multi-centered network database in NYC
Authors: Deborah Levine, Yurhee Lee, Alan Wu, Susan Fraymovich, Jin-Young Han, Elizabeth Feuille, Shravya Pant, Shari L. Platt, Erika Abramson, Zachary Grinspan
Session Number/Title: Emergency Medicine: e-Posters−COVID-19
Session Date and Time: Friday, April 30, 2021, 5:00 am - 6:00 am CT
Presentation Time: 5:00 am - 6:00 am CT
Poster Board No. 728
Publication No. EP-122.728
Presentation Format: e-Poster with Chat Q&A

Join our Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital experts on adolescents and vaping for conversation and Q&A! Teens, families, and community members are welcome to attend. Hosted by Dr. Jonathan Avery (Child Psychiatry), Dr. Lisa Ipp (Adolescent Medicine) and Dr. Elizabeth Fiorino (Pediatric Pulmonology).

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Giulino Roth, M.D. as the Director of Pediatric Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

An expert in pediatric oncology, Dr. Roth cares for children, adolescents and young adults with lymphoma and leukemia. In 2014, Dr. Roth launched Weill Cornell Medicine’s Adolescent and Young Adult Lymphoma Program to meet the needs of young persons, ages 15 to 39, who did not quite fit in at pediatric or adult treatment centers, after she herself was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Dr. Roth recognized a gap in care and developed a program tailored to address the complex medical and psychosocial needs of young patients such as finishing their education, living independently, preserving their fertility, and maintaining quality of life.

As Director of Pediatric Oncology, Dr. Roth plans to expand clinical care and research in pediatric oncology. She will lead an effort to expand the clinical service through collaborations with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist. She will also work with the Meyer Cancer Center to apply for NCI Cancer Center designation. She will work with researchers within the department of pediatrics and beyond to increase clinical and laboratory research efforts focused on pediatric malignancies.

Dr. David Lyden and Dr. Oleh Akchurin

We are pleased to announce the appointment of David C. Lyden, M.D, Ph.D. as Director and Oleh Akchurin, M.D., Ph.D. as Associate Director of the newly launched Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in the Department of Pediatrics. Physician-scientist development is a multi-faceted process that requires extensive mentoring and guidance throughout an individual’s career, but particularly during periods of intensive clinical training, such as fellowship and residency. Building a departmental Physician Scientist Training Program will aid trainees at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in successfully embarking on a career in pediatric research by fostering research training during their clinical training. In their new roles, Dr. Lyden and Dr. Akchurin will work to develop the program to identify and train the next generation of pediatric physician-scientist leaders engaged in research to improve the health of children.

About Dr. David Lyden

This year marked the 18th year for Pediatric Research Day, a collaboration between medical students and faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian and allied institutions to share their research projects.  The March 10th event, which was organized the by Pediatric Interest Group and was virtual this year, included poster presentations by six student researchers.  See below for list of presenters and screenshots from the evening.  Department Chair Dr. Sallie Permar provided opening and closing remarks. 

In addition to medical student research and scholarly project abstracts, the annual research day also concides with the publication of The Art and Science of Pediatrics, an annual journal featuring interviews with faculty, activities sponsored by the Pediatric Interest Group and community service opportunities for medical students. 


Presenter: Kyle Zappi
Title: A Preliminary Look at The Role of Early Diagnostic Imaging in the Era of
Endoscopic Suturectomy
Faculty Moderator: Sujit Sheth, M.D.

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