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Pediatric Neurosurgery expands research efforts

Jan. 24, 2013, 10:34 AM

Vanderbilt is expanding its role in the future treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus by recruiting

Chevis Shannon, MBA, MPH, Dr.PH.

Chevis Shannon, MBA, MPH, Dr.PH., to serve as director of the Vanderbilt Pediatric Neurosurgery Clinical Research Initiative.

John Wellons, III, M.D., MSPH, who was named chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Vanderbilt last July, helped to found the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN), a national collaboration for multi-center trials in pediatric hydrocephalus.

As part of the HCRN effort, he continues to serve as primary investigator for a multi-center study on shunting outcomes in post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (SOPHH).

“Dr. Shannon has a wonderful track record of successfully mentoring undergraduate, graduate and medical students in the art and science of effective clinical outcomes research, and will be a major asset to our institution and the children who benefit from her work.”

“Speaking both as a member of the Department of Neurological Surgery and as a community member of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, I am very pleased that she has brought her insights and skill set to our effort, which will certainly direct the future path of our outcomes research program,” Wellons said.

“I am thrilled to call Nashville and Vanderbilt my new home,” said Shannon. “I have the best job in the world, and love what I do every day. It is exciting to be a public health professional working side-by-side with clinicians to improve the overall health of our patients,” she said.

Their first priority will be to establish Vanderbilt as an HCRN collaborator by developing a core database for all children with hydrocephalus, and participating in shunt infection reduction studies and other SOPHH research.

Wellons also hopes to expand Vanderbilt’s presence on a national alliance for shared research on spinal disorders Chiari Malformations and Syringomyelia, as well as on a national pediatric head injury consortium.

“Dr. Shannon’s current research on evaluating outcomes from abusive head trauma, as well as the role of cost in pediatric medical care and outcomes will be a key driver in offering greater consistency in both treatment and outcomes for these children, nationwide,” Wellons said.

“Dr. Wellons and I have a long history of incorporating research into everyday clinical activities which allows us to flesh out research hypotheses, establish standardized protocols for care, and evaluate short- and long-term health outcomes in patients,” Shannon said.

“We call it our ‘learning library,’ which enables us to teach residents and students about research methodology while they are training in a clinical setting.”

Shannon comes to Vanderbilt from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she served as assistant professor and associate director of clinical research for the Department of Surgery and Division of Neurosurgery.

With more than 10 years of clinical research experience, Shannon also served as the HCRN site manager and department regulatory officer, as well as epidemiologist for the Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

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