January 31, 2024

Jaser, Patrick, Upperman elected to the American Pediatric Society

Vanderbilt’s Sarah Jaser, PhD, and Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, and Jeffrey Upperman, MD, have been elected to the American Pediatric Society.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt continues to grow its class of members elected to the American Pediatric Society with three new inductees for 2024.

The newest members of APS include two faculty from the Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics — Sarah Jaser, PhD, and Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS — along with Monroe Carell pediatric surgeon Jeffrey Upperman, MD.

With their induction, the Department of Pediatrics now has 40 faculty who are members of APS, in addition to Upperman’s induction as a member of the VUMC Section of Surgical Sciences.

The APS, founded in 1888, was the first North American honorary society for academic pediatricians. Members are recognized for leadership, teaching, research and contributions at an international level.

“Congratulations to Drs. Jaser, Patrick and Upperman on being elected to the American Pediatric Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious societies for academic pediatricians. Their commitment to advancing the field of pediatrics through research, education and advocacy has made a significant impact on the lives of children and families. We are proud to have them as leaders in our organization and congratulate them on this well-deserved honor,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Pediatrician-in-chief of Monroe Carell and James C. Overall Professor.

The new members will be recognized during the APS Presidential Plenary at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2024 Meeting, which will be held in Toronto in May.

Sarah Jaser, PhD

Jaser is a professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology within the Department of Pediatrics.

Jaser’s research is focused on risk and protective factors in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. She has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles on pediatric diabetes and has been continuously funded by the NIH for 14 years. Additionally, she has been an invited guest speaker several times at the American Diabetes Associations Scientific Sessions and an invited expert for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Type 1 diabetes and disordered eating.

She has demonstrated the effects of adolescent coping, sleep, maternal adjustment and parenting on adolescents’ glycemic control and quality of life. Currently, Jaser is developing and testing interventions to improve outcomes in young patients with diabetes and their families. She is also interested in neurocognitive complications in pediatric Type 1 diabetes.

“I am honored to be selected for the American Pediatric Society, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and collaborate with leaders in the field across disciplines. I hope to further the mission of the society, shaping the future of academic pediatrics through my contributions in research and mentoring,” said Jaser, holder of the Dr. William R. Long Directorship in Pediatric Psychology.

Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS
Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS

Patrick is director of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy, a neonatologist at Monroe Carell and a professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy. He has dedicated his work to and published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles on improving outcomes for pregnant women and infants affected by the opioid epidemic, including infants who have drug withdrawal symptoms after birth, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, as well as evaluating state and federal control policies.

Additionally, he is executive director of the Firefly program at VUMC, which provides comprehensive care and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder and their children.

Patrick’s awards include the American Medical Association Foundation Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award, the Nemours Child Health Services Research Award, the Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award and the Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research.

“It is an honor to be selected for the American Pediatric Society along with such incredible colleagues. I am thrilled to be engaged in the Society’s mission, shaping academic pediatrics through research, advocacy and inclusivity,” said Patrick, holder of the Dr. William R. Long Directorship in Children’s Health Policy.

Jeffrey Upperman, MD

Upperman is the surgeon-in-chief of Monroe Carell, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery, and vice chair for Pediatric Surgical Services in the Section of Surgical Sciences.

As a pediatric trauma surgeon, he specializes in emergency preparedness with a focus on children and families. In his research, Upperman has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, 200 abstracts and 20 book chapters. His focuses include sepsis, inflammation, trauma and disaster preparedness, and he has received research funding support for these areas from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Upperman is currently serving as president of the Surgical Infection Society, and he serves on the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters, an appointment by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Among his many other professional service activities, he has been a member of the disaster committee for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and served as secretary of the Pediatric Trauma Society.

“I am immensely grateful for the honor of being inducted into the American Pediatric Society. This recognition deepens my commitment to advancing child health, and I look forward to contributing to the society’s legacy of excellence,” Upperman said.