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Pediatric Researcher Selected for Young Investigator Coaching Program

Augusto Schmidt, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been recognized by the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) for his studies of inflammation, mechanical ventilation and brain injury in preterm babies. He was one of five U.S. junior faculty members chosen recently for SPR’s 2020/21 Young Investigator Coaching Program.

“Dr. Schmidt is poised to make remarkable breakthroughs to extend lives, improve infant development, and change generations of families,” said Judy Schaechter, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, chief of service at Holtz Children’s Hospital, and The George E. Batchelor Endowed Chair in Child Health.  “He bridges clinical care for the most vulnerable of patients with new scientific insights to help us better protect the brain and lungs, despite the challenges of prematurity, respiratory distress, and infection.”

Augusto Schmidt, M.D.

The SPR Young Investigator Coaching Program offers mentoring opportunities from established national leaders in pediatric research fields. Dr. Schmidt’s mentor will be Sujatha Kannan, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Kannan, who has a long research career in perinatal brain injuries,” said Dr. Schmidt, who has conducted laboratory research studies on the relationship between lung and brain injury in connection with perinatal inflammation.  His most recent publication as co-author was “Dose of Budesonide with Surfactant Affects Lung and Systemic Inflammation after Normal and Injurious Ventilation in Preterm Lambs” in the February issue of Pediatric Research.

“Prenatal inflammation can cause both lung and brain injuries in babies that are born preterm,” said Dr. Schmidt. “These children often have neurodevelopmental delays. Babies who are intubated on mechanical ventilators fare worse than others, even after correcting for clinical illness, and longer periods of intubation increase the likelihood of a brain injury.”

Dr. Schmidt became interested in neonatology in medical school at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil and continued in an experimental research Ph.D. program at Universidade Estadual de Campinas. He joined the Miller School faculty in 2018 after completing his pediatrics residency and neonatal fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

His research mentors at the Miller School are Shu Wu, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., scientific director at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery.  Last November, Dr. Schmidt was honored by the Miller School with a 2019 Micah Batchelor Scholar Award.



Tags: Dr. Augusto Schmidt, Dr. Judy Schaechter, Society for Pediatric Research