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$523,424 Awarded to Phoenix Children’s Hospital 2020 Leadership Circle Grant Recipients

Four grants totaling $523,424 were awarded on Tuesday, May 26 from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital 2020 Leadership Circle Grant Presentations. The annual Leadership Circle Luncheon moved to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic so the hospital could continue to drive research and innovation, even during these unprecedented times.

The grants that were selected by the Leadership Circle members to be funded include:

Project Title: Pulmonary Function Following Lung Resections in Infancy and Early Childhood

Principal investigator: Ramin Jamshidi, MD, Pediatric Surgeon


Project Title: Pediatric traumatic brain injury and hypothalamic-pituitary disorders in Arizona: A prospective pilot study

Principal investigator: Alona Sukhina, Resident & Oliver Oatman, DO Endocrinologist

Co-investigators: Alona S. Sukhina,  Kara S. Lewis, MD, Rachel K. Rowe, PhD, Danielle Brown, Chirag Kapadia, MD, J. Bryce Ortiz, PhD, P. David Adelson, MD, Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD


Project Title: Novel Approaches to assess the gut microbiome and other biomarkers in pediatric gastrointestinal conditions

Principal investigator: Brad Pasternak, MD Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Co-investigators: Dr. Todd Sandrin, PhD, Dr. Peter Jurutka, PhD, Dr. Gary Silber


Project Title: Nonfibrotic Conductive Implantable Biomaterials for Pacemaker Electrode Coating

Principal investigator: Edward Rhee, MD, Director, Electrophysiology

Co-investigators: Mehdi Nikkhah, PhD (ASU), Mohamad Alaeddine, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, PCH

“These deserving grant recipients were selected based on their proposals presented to the Leadership Circle members,” said Dana Jirauch, senior director of philanthropy at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Even COVID-19 couldn’t stop this year’s finalists from presenting their innovative ideas, albeit via a different format online, in order to keep the momentum going and the opportunity for our Leadership Circle members to view and vote for the projects they wanted to fund this year.”

Once a year in the spring, Leadership Circle members have the opportunity to hear researchers, physicians, nurses and other hospital innovators present their cases for support to the group. Members then vote to determine which projects to fund and how their funds will be prioritized.

To learn more about Leadership Circle and the 2020 grant recipients, visit

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