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Pediatrics / Critical Care Fellowship / Fellowship Research


Fellowship Research

In meeting the requirements for board certification established by the American Board of Pediatrics, all trainees pursue scholarly activity. This research occurs over 17 months spread out over three years of training. They have the option to perform research within the Division of Pediatric Critical Care, within the Department of Pediatrics, or take advantage of the many academic resources across the University of Rochester. One of the most exciting opportunities for trainees is the identification of the research project. Some trainees pursue advanced degrees during fellowship and carefully craft a scholarly work product that meets both degree and board certification requirements.

Fellows identify a primary mentor and at least two other members of their Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) during the first six months of training. One of those members must be from outside the Division of Pediatric Critical Care. The trainee-mentor relationship supports the successful academic inquiry into a topic of interest to the field. Many of our trainees present their research at the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Annual Congress Meeting.

Current Fellows' Research

Matthew MacDougall, M.D., M.P.H., Second Year Fellow

Research Project: Demographics of CPS Referral
Research Mentors: Kathryn Palumbo, M.D., Elizabeth Nocera, D.O., Ann M. Dozier, Ph.D., Carla LeVant, L.M.S.W., Heather Reyes, M.D., M.Eng.

Recent Graduates

Emily Leshen, M.D., M.S., Third Year Fellow

Research Project: The evaluation of codanin-1 protein-protein interaction in vivo to study congenital dyserythropoietic anemia type I phenotype in CDA1 mutated and non-mutated HUDEP-2 immortalized cells
Research Mentors: Adam Dziorny, M.D., Ph.D., Zach Murphy Ph.D., Laurie Steiner, M.D., James Palis, M.D., Kate Ackerman, M.D., M.B.A.


  • 2021 - 2023 Chair's Fellow Award

Jacob Anderson, M.D., Third Year Fellow

Research Project: Comparison of Buprenorphine versus Methadone for Treatment of Opiate Withdrawal in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Research Mentors: Erin Barker, M.D., Sierra Stauber, Timothy Wiegand, M.D.Jake Deines, M.D.


  • Calleo V, Anderson J, Curtin P, Paolo W. High-Fidelity Simulation Scenario: Pediatric Sulfonylurea Overdose and Treatment. MedEdPORTAL. 2020;16:10965. Published 2020 Sept 2.

Mykael Garcia, M.D., M.S. Ed.

Research Project: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Simulation Education Program
Research Mentors: Michael Daley, Ph.D., Jake Deines, M.D., Sarah Peyre, Ed.D.


  • 2020 - 2021 Schor Award
  • 2020 - 2021 Clausen Fellowship Award

Garrett Coles, M.D.

Research Project: Protocol driven treatment of acute severe exacerbation of asthma in a pediatric population
Research Mentors: Steven Bondi, J.D., M.D., Lauren Solan, M.D., M.Ed., Colleen O'Neil Davis, M.D., M.P.H., Jill Halterman, M.D., M.P.H.

Melissa Cullimore, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Project: Cell free DNA as a marker for clinically significant pulmonary hypertension after cardiac surgery
Research Mentors: Kate Ackerman, M.D., Carol Whittlieb-Weber, M.D., Helene McMurray, Ph.D.


  • Ackerman, K, Attar, S, Cullimore, M, (2019). Neonates requiring cardiac intensive care post cardiovascular surgery have quantifiable levels of cellfree DNA (cfDNA) in urine and mediastinal fluid. Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. Baltimore, MD.

Heather Reyes, M.D., M.E.

Research Project: Use of neural networking to create smarter PICU alarm parameters
Research Mentors: Jeffrey Rubenstein, M.D., M.B.A., Jill Cholette, M.D., Scott Seidman, Ph.D.


  • Reyes, H. Use of Neural Networking to Create Smarter PICU Alarm Parameters. 2018 Critical Care Congress, San Antonio, TX, February 2018. (Oral Presentation)

Elizabeth Nocera, D.O.

Research Project: Evaluating the utility of safely using intra-operative cell salvage when comparing the infection rates (based on clinical and culture data) between patients who receive washed intra-operative cell salvage vs. historical data from our PCICU.
Research Mentors: Jill M. Cholette, M.D., M.P.H., Eugene Daugherty, M.D., Ron Angona


  • Nocera E., Daugherty, L, Angona, R, Wang, H, Tesini, B, Alfieris, G, Cholette, J. Re-infusion of Cell Saver For Up to 24 hours Post Collection Does Not Increase Risk of Infection. Critical Care Medicine: December 2016; Volume 44, Issue 12, p 225. doi: 10.1097/01


  • Nocera, E. Re-infusion of Cell Saver For Up to 24 hours Post Collection Does Not Increase Risk of Infection. 2017 Critical Care Congress, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2017. (Oral Presentation)

Jennifer DeMichele, M.D.

Research Project: Evaluating the safety and efficacy of microcuffed endotracheal tubes in neonates with congenital heart disease.
Research Mentors: Jill M. Cholette, M.D., Karen S. Powers, M.D., Dawn M. Sweeney, M.D.


  • DeMichele, J.C., Vajaria N., Wang H., Sweeney D.M., Powers K.S., Cholette J.M.. Cuffed Endotracheal Tubes in Neonates and Infants Undergoing Cardiac Surgery are not Associated with Airway Complications. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia. Accepted 04/28/2016.

Amanda Hall, M.D.

Research Project: Comparing ultrasound dilution with Fick principle in assessing cardiac output and shunt fraction in patients with congenital heart disease
This project was completed during Dr. Hall's Pediatric Cardiology fellowship. (2009-2012).
Research Mentors: Rae-Ellen Kavey, M.D., M.P.H., Colleen O. Jo, M.D., Jill M. Cholette, M.D.,


  • Hall AC, Miga DE, Leonard GT, Wang H, Kavey RE, Alfieris GM. Percutaneous Balloon Dilation of Carpentier-Edwards Porcine-Valved Right Ventricle-to-Pulmonary Artery Conduits. Pediatr Cardiol. Dec 11, 2012. PMID: 23229291

Karen Sethi, M.D.

Research Project: Risk factors for postoperative airway intervention in patients admitted to the pediatric ICU following adenotonsillar surgery
Research Mentors: Kate Ackerman, M.D., Heidi Connolly, M.D., Margo Benoit, M.D.


  • Sethi K, DeMichele JC, Halligan DH, Brown MR, Saubermann LJ, Stormont JM. Incidence and Distribution of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Children: A Ten Year Population Based Study in Monroe County NY. Pediatric Academic Societies. 04/30/2012. Boston, MA. Poster presentation.
  • DeMichele JC, Sethi K, Brown MR, Saubermann LJ, Stormont JM. Long-term safety profile of Infliximab therapy and its effect on surgical interventions and disease behavior for pediatric patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Clinical and Research Conference. 11/2011. Hollywood, FL.
  • Stormont JM, Syam R, Sethi K, Shah AN, Chessin LN, Stowe SP, Sharma A, Kothari T, Casey K, Saubermann LJ, Chey WY, Farmer RG. A 25 Year Population Based Epidemiologic Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Monroe County NY, USA. American College of Gastroenterology Conference. 10/2011. Chicago, IL.
  • Sethi K. Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The GCHaS Experience. Grand Rounds, University of Rochester Department of Pediatrics, May 2011.
  • Sethi K. Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The GCHaS Experience. Grand Rounds, Rochester General Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, May 2011.