January Department Highlights

UF Pediatric Researcher Recognized by National Tay-Sachs Foundation and Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation

Thomas Conlon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor with the Child Health Research Institute and Director of the National Gene Vector Laboratory (NGVL) Toxicology Center at the University of Florida will be recognized in March for his compassionate research in the gene therapy program.

He will be honored at the MFRF Sweetness and Laughter 15th Anniversary Gala,  during the “See the Light” Awards Ceremony, continuing their tradition of recognizing the wonderful work of leaders in the fight against children’s genetic diseases of the brain.

The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) was inspired by Mathew who lost his eight-year battle with Tay-Sachs disease in 2003.

UF researcher sets age threshold for treatment of viral respiratory infection in preterm infants

A University of Florida researcher is the first to establish that 4 months old is the age threshold for preterm babies to receive preventive treatment for a common viral respiratory infection.

Read the entire article by Linda Homewood.

UF Pediatrics Researcher Recognized as “Investigator of the Month” by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

David Markusic, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor with cellular and molecular therapy division. ASGCT’s New Investigator of the Month profiles an ASGCT member who is new to the field or just beginning an independent position. To be considered for a future New Investigator of the Month, applicants must be an Active or Associate Member of the Society.

Get to Know Pediatrics’ Newest Division Chiefs

Leslie Avery, MD, Chief and Assistant Professor
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Leslie Avery, M.D., Chief, Pediatric Critical Care, Pediatrics

K. Leslie Avery, MD, JD, MBA, joined the University of Florida College of Medicine faculty July 1, 2013, as the chief of pediatric critical care medicine.

Dr. Avery completed medical school at Yale University, her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland and her pediatric critical care clinical fellowship at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland and the University of California San Francisco. She also earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.

Dr. Avery was previously the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Sedation Services, as well as the Pediatric and Neonatal Transport Team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Avery was recognized as a Farr Scholar at Yale University’s School of Medicine in recognition of her superior performance, as well as her leadership, integrity and intellectual honesty in pursuit of medical knowledge. She was also the recipient of the Dr. Harold H. Lamport Biomedical Research Prize at Yale University’s School of Medicine for her outstanding thesis reporting original biomedical research.

Dr. Avery is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Peter Kang, MD, Chief and Associate Professor
Pediatric Neurology


Peter B. Kang, MD, joined the University of Florida College of Medicine faculty Nov. 1, 2013, as the chief of pediatric neurology.
Dr. Kang completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, a pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a pediatric neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Previously an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Kang was also the director of the electromyography laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he cared for children with neuromuscular diseases and performed electrophysiologic diagnostic studies. He also started a research laboratory, which he is expanding at UF, focusing on the genetics of muscular dystrophy and other pediatric neuromuscular disorders.

Dr. Kang is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Neurology, and also serves on the editorial boards of Pediatric Neurology and Pediatrics.

Dr. Kang serves as the principal investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.