The Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Division prides itself on collaborative, diverse and far-reaching research, focused on studying the biology and management of critical illnesses in children.  

The Division is involved in multicenter clinical trials in collaboration with the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators (PALISI) network and other research groups at leading academic institutions. The research efforts of the critical care faculty are supported by extramural sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, the American Heart Association, the Laerdal Foundation and various industry sponsored grants.  The Stanford Child Health Research Institute also provides intramural support for ongoing research within the Division. Faculty members have mentored both clinical and postdoctoral fellows in basic science/translational, global health, quality improvement, and palliative care research.  Faculty and fellows have presented their research in both oral and poster presentation formats at national scientific meetings held by the Pediatric Academic Societies, the Society for Critical Care Medicine, the American Thoracic Society, and the Pediatric Critical Care World Congress.  Future opportunities for expanding research include broadening the breadth and depth of basic and translational research programs within the Division, and the development of a DNA biobank that could serve as a platform for genomics research in pediatric critically ill patients, fostering alignment with the Stanford School of Medicine’s goal of leading a biomedical revolution in Precision Medicine. 


Developmental Biology of the Pulmonary Vasculature

Cristina Alvira, MD

Dr. Alvira's lab is focused on three fundamental scientific goals: (i) identification of the signaling pathways that regulate the transition between the saccular and alveolar stages of lung development; (ii) exploration of the interplay between postnatal vascular and alveolar development; and (iii) determination of developmentally regulated pathways that mediate lung repair after injury. 

Mechanisms & Management of Opiod Induced Hyperalgesia

Kanwaljeet Anand, MD

Dr. Anand's research is focused on mechanisms and management of opioid-induced hyperalgesia, tolerance and withdrawal, and novel measures of chronic stress or pain. 

Porcedural Sedation, Medical Education & Machine Learning

Kevin Couloures, MD

Dr. Couloures interests are procedural sedation, medical education and machine learning of large databases.

Impact of Quality Improvement

Mihaela Damian, MD

Dr. Damian investigates the impact of Quality Improvement (QI) activities on the clinical outcomes of children in the PICU, and is currently engaged in linking these activities across the State of California, while developing ways to improve the outcomes of children undergoing solid-organ transplantation at LPCHS. 

Effects of Severe Sepsis

Bereketeab Haileselassie, MD

Dr. Haileselassie's laboratory is focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms which mediate end-organ failure in pediatric sepsis. Their current work focuses on determining the role of altered mitochondrial dynamics in sepsis-induced multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). Specifically, they focus on understanding the mechanisms that mediate derangements in mitochondrial fission and autophagy in sepsis. The laboratory is equipped with state of the art equipment necessary to access cellular respiration and oxidative stress at a tissue and cellular level. In collaboration with Dr. Mochly-Rosen, they have access to a vast library or short peptide modulators of mitochondrial dynamics, specifically fission and mitophagy, which have been tested in basal and pathological conditions.

Medical Simulation and Education

Peggy Han, MD

Dr Han, as Director of PICU Simulation, focuses on the impact of team training and learner advancement. She also serves as the PICU ECMO Physician Lead and conducts multidisciplinary team training with high-fidelity ECMO simulations.

Development of Global Health Programs

Saraswati Kache, MD

Dr. Kache focuses her activities on developing global health programs in resource-limited countries, while improving the quality and outcomes of patients in low-income countries.

Medical Education

Kevin Kuo, MD

Dr. Kuo is interested in the development of curricula and the impact of educational interventions on learners.

Pediatric Acute Care in LMICs

Peter Meaney, MD

Dr Meaney’s research goal is to understand the factors that contribute to high quality pediatric acute care in low and middle income countries (LMICs), with a specific focus on improving healthcare worker education. His geographic focus is in East Africa.

Clinical Informatics Tools to Enhance Patient Care

Natalie Pageler, MD

Dr. Pageler, as Chief Medical Information Officer of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford (LPCHS), performs innovative research using clinical informatics tools to leverage the power of the electronic medical record and thereby enhance patient care.

Neurocritical Care

Lindsey Rasmussen, MD, FAAP

As Co-Director of Pediatric Neurocritical Care, Dr. Rasmussen investigates inflammation following severe traumatic brain injury, outcome prediction after cardiac arrest, and neuro-monitoring in the pediatric intensive care setting.  She pursues this focus through clinical and translation studies as well as programmatic quality improvement.

Human Factors Research & Implementation Science

Katherine Steffen, MD

Dr. Steffen is focused on Implementation Science.

Pharmacokinetics of Drugs in Clincally Ill Patients

Felice Su, MD

In collaboration with Dr. Hammer in the Department of Anesthesia, Dr. Su actively pursues research to improve our understanding of the pharmacokinetics of drugs commonly used in critically ill pediatric patients, as well as novel improvements in resuscitation quality and outcomes through the ReVIVE program. 

Healthcare Provider Well-being and Quality of Care

Daniel Tawfik, MD, MS

Dr. Tawfik’s research focuses on identifying and evaluating new methods of predicting healthcare provider burnout, using biomarkers, bioinformatics, and machine learning approaches, in order to improve provider well-being and quality of care.