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An underlying problem with the production of important cellular building blocks called sphingolipids may explain why children with certain genetic risk factors develop asthma, according to a study by Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center investigators.

In a previous investigation, teams led by Dr. Stefan Worgall, chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Tilla Worgall, associate professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, showed that reduced production of sphingolipids causes hypersensitive airways in mice. Now, in a study published Jan. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they confirm that asthmatic children who have genetic variations associated with an increased risk for the disease also produce less sphingolipids. The findings may help scientists develop new therapies for asthma that target this underlying problem rather than later symptoms of the disease like inflamed airways.

An esteemed physician-scientist with expertise in pediatric hematology and vascular cell biology, Dr. Katherine Hajjar has been named senior associate dean for faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine, effective Jan. 1. Dr. Judy Tung, a distinguished internist and educator, has been appointed associate dean for faculty development.

Dr. Hajjar will lead Weill Cornell Medicine’s Office of Faculty, which will focus on all aspects of faculty advancement at the institution and under whose auspices the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development will operate. The Office of Faculty Development is dedicated to ensuring Weill Cornell Medicine’s physicians, scientists and educators achieve academic success by providing them with the resources and support—including mentorship and leadership training—they need to advance their careers. The Office of Faculty Affairs reviews, processes and tracks all faculty appointments for the institution’s nearly 1,800 full-time faculty members. It implements policies and best practices for promotions and tenure actions, working with academic staff to prepare faculty dossiers, solicit recommendations and manage reviews.

Caring for the Caregivers: Dr. Zoltan Antal leads a workshop for domestic workers on issues affecting children’s health. Photo by John Abbott.

We are very pleased to announce the promotion of Snezana Nena Osorio, M.D., M.S. to Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Osorio, who serves as Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Pediatrics, leads the Department’s Quality and Patient Safety initiatives, provides clinical care in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics, and serves as an educator in the Department. She is also an Attending Pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Since joining the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Osorio helped to develop the Patient and Family-Centered care (PFCC) Program, including the formation of the Komansky Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council (KCH FAC) and introducing Family Centered Rounds. She serves as a Quality and Patient Safety Chair for the Department of Pediatrics and in this role she leads the Quality Council and co-leads the monthly safety event reviews.

Kids Health Cast is a podcast for parents and other caregivers covering a variety of topics relevant to pediatric care.   Weill Cornell Medicine’s expert physicians and researchers discuss a wide range of health and wellness topics, and provide information on the latest medical science. 

Recent podcast topics include:

  • ADHD
  • Teen Vaping and Impact of Vaping on Public Health
  • Unplugging Your Children From Their Digital Devices, Cyber Bullying and More
  • Anxiety in Children

To listen or subscribe, visit the Kids Health Cast portal.



A set of definitions for distinguishing the severity of bleeding in critically ill children has been developed by a team led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. The criteria, when generally adopted, will allow critical care pediatric specialists around the world to describe bleeding in children using standardized terminology. That, in turn, should facilitate the study of potential treatments for bleeding, such as blood components and non-blood-based products.

The researchers described their proposed criteria, Bleeding Assessment Scale in critically Ill Children (BASIC), along with its rationale and an initial clinical validation, in a paper published on Sept. 25 in Critical Care Medicine.

“I think that establishing a common set of terms is a necessary first step in being able to study the best ways to treat bleeding in critically ill children,” said lead author Dr. Marianne Nellis, the John D. & Lili R. Bussel, M.D. Assistant Professor in Pediatric Hematology at Weill Cornell Medicine and a pediatric intensivist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce the appointment of Cori M. Green, M.D., M.Sc. as Director of Behavioral Health Education and Integration in Pediatrics.  

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jamie Palaganas as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Assistant Attending Pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Phyllis and David Komansky Children’s Hospital.

Her clinical expertise is in general child neurology including pediatric epilepsy, tics, headache, and hypotonia.  As a pediatric neurohospitalist at the NYP Komansky Children’s Hospital, she focuses on providing high quality care to acutely ill children, improving the transition from inpatient to outpatient care and cultivating interdisciplinary teams to best care for patients in all aspects of their life with neurologic conditions.  

Dr. Palaganas completed her medical degree (M.D.) at the University of Buffalo. Following her residency in Pediatrics at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, she went on to complete a residency in Child Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital.  She is board certified in pediatrics and neurology with special qualifications in child neurology. 

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in New York, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of “Best Hospitals,” published online today. This is the 19th consecutive year NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the top-ranked hospital in New York.  

Dr. David Lyden, the Stavros S. Niarchos Professor in Pediatric Cardiology and a professor of pediatrics and of cell and developmental biology and Dr. John Blenis, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Professor in Cancer Research and a professor of pharmacology are this year's recipients of the Siegel Family Award for Outstanding Medical Research. They were recognized for their exceptional professional achievement and scientific innovation, as well as a commitment to positively impact future generations of researchers.

Dr. Lyden, who is also affiliated with the Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children's Health at Weill Cornell Medicine, received the National Cancer Institute's Outstanding Investigator Award in 2018. 

Visit Dr. Lyden's research profile page to learn more about his publications and innovative research.

Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medicine Appointments & Referrals: (646) 962-KIDS (646) 962-5437 Chair's Office: Weill Cornell Medicine 525 E 68th St.
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