Department of Pediatric Medicine

Welcome from the Chair

Mitchell B. Cohen, M.D.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In the UAB Department of Pediatrics, we have one mission: to improve the health of the children of Alabama, the region and beyond. In order to do this, we focus on the four pillars of: 1) clinical care and service to the profession, 2) teaching and training the next generation of providers and leaders, 3) research and new knowledge discovery and 4) advocacy. During the second year of COVID-19–related challenges, we have rededicated ourselves to these pillars and accomplished much. Because racism is still a public health crisis, we reaffirm our pledge to create an anti-racist department with a commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

The clinical advances and research breakthroughs we describe throughout this Annual Report have a direct impact on children’s lives. That impact will be our legacy. We present evidence of this impact as measured by major research accomplishments, grants, publications and awards. In 2021, the Department of Pediatrics faculty had 375 publications. In FY 2021, we had funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $21.5 million and total research funding of $35.1 million. This puts us in the top 16 departments of pediatrics in the country. Since FY 2013, we have had a 3.8-fold increase in NIH funding, and we have grown the number of NIH-funded investigators from 8 to 26 (a 3.3-fold increase). Many of these new investigators have been supported by the department’s investments in their research programs, by pilot and feasibility awards from the Children’s of Alabama Kaul Pediatric Research Institute and by the combined investments from the department and Children’s of Alabama in research infrastructure.

The department aims to build on these successes, expand the size and, importantly, the impact of our research in the coming years. We anticipate continued growth not only in our core areas of significant accomplishment—virology, therapeutic drug development, cancer, sickle cell disease, neonatology, acute kidney injury and outcomes research—but also in newer areas, where the recruitment of talented young researchers will ensure continued and expanded success.

In addition to our research accomplishments, our focus on safety and quality is always paramount. For the twelfth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Children’s of Alabama’s pediatric specialty services among the top 50 in the nation, and we ranked third in the Southeast. Nine specialties were ranked: Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. We are proud to be one of only 27 children’s hospitals in the country ranked in at least nine specialties.

Our clinical mission is to deliver exceptional, safe and accessible care in order to improve the outcomes for children in Alabama and elsewhere. This year we had the added responsibility of caring for children with COVID-19. In the last 12 months, we have cared for almost 1,000 inpatients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2. This care and our achievements simply would not be possible without the physicians, nurses and staff who bring their talents and passion to the care of children every day, from everywhere in the state, the region and the nation. This coming year, we will continue to grow our subspecialty expertise, our research strength and our advocacy efforts. We have also launched new resident programs for those interested in education, rural health, global health and health equity. We will also initiate a mini-medical school curriculum for middle school students to increase the pipeline for those traditionally under-represented in medicine and STEM careers.

I am very hopeful that 2022 will be the best year ever. Please know that one thing always remains in focus: our commitment to serving the patients and families who look to us for healing and hope. Thank you for being part of that most worthy endeavor.

Mitchell B. Cohen, M.D.
Katharine Reynolds Ireland Chair of Pediatrics
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Physician in Chief, Children’s of Alabama


The UAB Department of Pediatrics at Children’s of Alabama is comprised of 19 Subspecialty Divisions each with a research, educational, and clinical focus. To find research initiatives, areas of clinical excellence, educational efforts and learn more about the faculty, click here to learn more about our divisions.

Residency Program

The UAB Pediatric Residency Program is a resident-driven program that provides diverse general pediatric training through extensive hands-on experience and scholarly activities. During their training, residents have the opportunity to explore every aspect of pediatrics from outpatient to critical care medicine and every subspecialty within the field. Additionally, residents are able to participate in a variety of research projects with department faculty and community outreach and advocacy.

Fellowship Program

The UAB Department of Pediatrics supports 20 fellowship programs (17 ACGME and 3 non-ACGME programs), representing 73 pediatric fellows. This past year, our incoming class of 28 fellows came from residency programs in 11 different states. Over the last 10 years, our graduates have gone on to practice in 33 states and 9 foreign countries. Approximately 80% of our pediatric fellowship graduates go into academic medicine or seek additional training, while 20% go into private practice or other areas of interest (i.e., CDC, International Missions, etc.).

Department Leadership

Mitchell Cohen, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics

Smita Bhatia, M.D., MPH
Vice Chair for Outcomes

David Kimberlin, M.D.
Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research

Michele H. Nichols, M.D.
Vice Chair for Education

Erin Shaughnessy, M.D.
Co-Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D., MPH
Vice Chair for Community Engagement

Yung Lau, M.D.
Co-Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs

Lauren Nassetta, M.D.
Chief Wellness Officer

Tina Simpson, M.D.
Vice Chair for Faculty Development

Richard J. Whitley, M.D.
Vice Chair for Research

Division Directors

Terry Wall, M.D.
Academic General Pediatrics

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D., MPH
Adolescent Medicine

Prescott Atkinson, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Allergy & Immunology

Yung R. Lau, M.D.
Pediatric Cardiology

Michael Taylor, M.D.
Child Abuse Pediatrics

Nancy Tofil, M.D., M.Ed.
Pediatric Critical Care

Laura McGuinn, M.D.
Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Kathy Monroe, M.D.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Ambika Ashraf, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes

Reed Dimmitt, M.D., MSPH.
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Girish Dhall, M.D.
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Erin Shaughnessy, M.D.
Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Richard J. Whitley, M.D.
  David Kimberlin, M.D.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Waldemar A. Carlo, M.D.
Namasivayam Ambalavanan, M.D.

Daniel Feig, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Nephrology

Leon S. Dure, M.D.
Pediatric Neurology

Hector Gutierrez, M.D.
Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine

Drew Davis, M.D.
Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Randy Cron, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Rheumatology

Endowed Chairs

Children’s of Alabama Endowed Chairs

Leon Dure, M.D.
William Bew White, Jr. Chair in Pediatric Neurology

Michele Nichols, M.D.
Frederick W. Renneker, III Endowed Chair for Pediatric Education

Nancy Tofil, M.D.
Ann Dial McMillan Endowed Chair in Pediatric Critical Care

Dan Feig, M.D.
Margaret M. Porter Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nephrology

Hector Gutierrez, M.D.
Raymond K. Lyrene, M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine

Terry Wall, M.D.
John W. Benton, M.D. Endowed Chair in General Pediatrics

David Kimberlin, M.D.
Sergio B. Stagno, M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Kathy Monroe, M.D.
C. Phillip McWane Endowed Chair in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Yung R. Lau, M.D.
Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology

Erin Shaughnessy, M.D.
Beth Gordy Dubina Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hospital Medicine

Reed Dimmitt, M.D.
David E. Dixon Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D.
Derroll Dawkins, M.D. Endowed Chair in Adolescent Medicine

Laura McGuinn, M.D.
Thomas H. Lowder Endowed Chair in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Ambika Ashraf, M.D.
Ralph Frohsin Endowed Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology

Namasivayam Ambalavanan, M.D.
Virginia Walker Jones Endowed Chair in Neonatology

Girish Dhall, M.D.
Benjamin Russell Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Santiago Borasino, M.D., MPH
Donald M. James Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care

David Askenazi, M.D., MSPH
W. Charles Mayer Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nephrology

Drew Davis, M.D.
Temple W. Tutwiler, III Endowed Chair in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine


Children’s of Alabama Endowed Professorships

Michael Taylor, M.D.
Child Abuse Pediatrics Professorship

Suresh Boppana, M.D.
Hugh Dillon, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Carl Coghill, M.D.
Waldemar A. Carlo, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Clinical Neonatology


UAB Endowed Chairs

Rich Whitley, M.D.
Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics

Mitch Cohen, M.D.
Katharine Reynolds Ireland Chair of Pediatrics

Wally Carlo, M.D.
Edwin M. Dixon Chair in Neonatology

Randy Cron, M.D.
Arthritis Foundation Alabama Chapter Endowed Chair in Pediatric Rheumatology

Bill Britt, M.D.
Charles A. Alford, M.D. Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Smita Bhatia, M.D.
Gay & Bew White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology


UAB Endowed Professorships

Alan Percy, M.D.
Sarah Katherine Bateh Endowed Professorship for Rett Syndrome

Liz Worthey, Ph.D.
Endowed Professorship in Pediatrics