Cerebral Palsy Expert Sidhartha Tan Appointed Chief of Neonatology at Detroit Medical Center

Cerebral Palsy Expert Sidhartha Tan Appointed Chief of Neonatology at Detroit Medical Center

Dr. Sidhartha Tan, an award-winning pediatrician, professor and medical researcher in Chicago, has been appointed as the division director of the Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Hutzel Women’s Hospital.

Tan, also professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine and clinical professor at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, has also been given the Helppie Professorship in Pediatric Urban Health.

With more than 30 years’ experience as a hospital neonatologist and researcher in both cerebral palsy (CP) and ischemic hypoxic injury, Tan is a nationally recognized expert whose groundbreaking research has contributed to developing new therapies for cerebral palsy, a disease that affects more than 500,000 U.S. children.

Since 2009, Tan has served as a neonatologist at several Chicago hospitals while teaching pediatrics at the Pritzker School of Medicine. He currently serves as associate editor of the clinical publication Developmental Neuroscience, and his medical research has been financed by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) since 1992 with no interruptions.

Tan is internationally recognized as the founder of the Cerebral Palsy-Cure and Prevention Research Network and the Study Group for Therapies for Cerebral Palsy, which connects a dozen developing brain researchers worldwide.

He is a former member of the NIH Study Section for Developmental Brain Disorders and a current member of Neurological Sciences and Disorders – a NINDS committee. Tan has spent over two decades studying the causes of and treatments for fetal brain injury from ischemic hypoxia and inflammation. His Chicago laboratory has become an international center for research on developmental brain injuries in newborns.

“Dr. Tan has proven success in attracting federal funding support for his programs and is a dedicated clinician who’s passionately committed to improving patient outcomes,” Steven E. Lipshultz, MD, chair of Wayne State University’s Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, said in a press release.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Tan. His credentials as a researcher and leader are impressive – and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine are dedicated to encouraging and supporting clinical research. But I also want to salute the remarkable contributions in research and clinical care that have been made by Dr. Shankaran during her tenure of devoted service to the mission of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.”

Tan began his new positions on July 1. He replaced Seetha Shankaran, MD, the former division director of neonatal and perinatal medicine, who is a veteran researcher in hypoxia-related brain injury in newborns.

Shankaran is a professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine who, for 40 years, has been a major investigator in the Neonatal Research Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

She has taught hundreds of medical students how to care for both premature and full-term babies with her breakthrough longitudinal technique, “therapeutic whole-body cooling,” which she has been researching for many years. This is an approach to help infants who were oxygen-starved at birth, and that has so far contributed to lowering death and disability rates among newborn babies. She will continue to lecture and conduct research at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

“I think she’s done a tremendous job as chief of the division,” Tan said. “I look forward to building on her legacy, while maintaining the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s outstanding reputation for good patient outcomes, effective clinical practices and leading-edge research.”

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