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American Pediatric Association honors two Children’s Hospital pediatricians

May. 26, 2021, 9:00 AM

Two physicians in Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics — James Antoon, MD, PhD, and Shani Jones, MD — have been honored for their work by the American Pediatric Association.

They received their awards, with grant support for current research projects, at the recent 2021 Pediatric Societies Annual Meeting, which was held virtually.

Antoon, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, received the

James Antoon, MD, PhD

2021 Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award to study adverse drug events in children. Young Investigator Award funds projects in health services research, medical education, adolescent medicine, public health, epidemiology, emergency medicine, child maltreatment, hospital medicine, developmental/behavioral pediatrics, and other general pediatric clinical research domains.

Shani Jones, MD

Jones, an Academic General Pediatrics fellow at Children’s Hospital, was named a 2021 APA RAPID (Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity) scholar to examine food insecurity in young children. RAPID research awards target applicants who identify as underrepresented in medicine and who are pursuing a career in academic pediatrics.

Antoon’s research program focuses pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety in the pediatric population. His ongoing work involves evaluating the relationship between neuropsychiatric adverse events and antiviral medications, as well as determining the role of drug-drug interactions in the development of serious adverse events in children.

“I am honored to receive the Young Investigator Award from the Academic Pediatric Association,” Antoon said. “Support from the APA has allowed previous winners to make great strides in improving the health of children, and I hope to do the same by improving safe and effective medication use in kids.”

Antoon, who has been at Vanderbilt since 2019, earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Davidson College, and MD and PhD in pharmacology from the Tulane University School of Medicine.  He went on to complete a residency in pediatrics at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Prior to arriving at Vanderbilt, he was an assistant professor of Clinical Pediatrics and associate medical director for the Pediatric Inpatient Unit in Chicago at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois. He is currently pursuing his Master of Public Health with a focus in epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Jones’ work seeks to develop a new protocol with Head Start family advocates to routinely screen food security status in Head Start families. The project will connect families to community resources which promote access to affordable, healthy foods, then follow up to assess how resource use affects food security.

“I am honored to be selected as a 2021 Academic Pediatric Association RAPID Scholar,” Jones said. “This grant will support community-engaged research to benefit Head Start children and families affected by food insecurity. Through the program, I will be paired with an accomplished senior investigator and mentor. I will also gain a network of other young scholars committed to a career in academic general pediatrics.”

Jones earned a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from the University of Miami in Florida and went on to earn her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. She is currently in the Vanderbilt fellowship program within General Pediatrics and is a PROgRESS T32 Scholar pursuing her Master of Public Health with a focus in epidemiology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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