Promotions March 2020

Jonathan Cooper, PhD, is who is already a Professor of Pediatrics, in the Division of Genetics, and Genomic Medicine has just been appointed to additional secondary positions in the Departments of Genetics and Neurology. Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Cooper’s bachelor’s degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology was from the University of Sheffield.  He then completed his doctoral degree in neuroanatomy at the University of Bristol, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge, the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry (Martinsried, Germany), the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University.  He continued his multicontinental professional life first at King’s College in London, where he advanced to the role of Professor of Experimental Neuropathology and Head of Graduate Studies (Research), then moved back to California as Professor of Pediatrics at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine.  Washington University was fortunate to recruit him to be Professor of Pediatrics in the summer of 2018, and he is now Professor of Pediatrics, Genetics and Neurology. His work on neurodegeneration and rare genetic neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Batten Disease, has earned numerous awards including the Edwin Boldrey Award to the San Francisco Neurological Society for Excellent in Basic Science Neurological Research, the NCL Stiftung Research Award, and he was also awarded the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in Postgraduate Research Education.  In addition, he serves on the boards of Batten Disease Support and Research Association, the UK Batten Disease Family Association, and several other non-profit organizations.  His current work includes evaluating various therapeutic strategies in lysosomal storage disorders, with an increasing focus on disease outside the brain and the use of large animal models.  In the course of his career he has published more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and mentored 15 PhD students and over 30 masters’ students.


Kayleigh A. Fischer, MD is appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Fischer earned a BS in biology with a Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and her medical degree at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in Stony Brook, NY. Her pediatric residency was completed at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. She came to WUSM for her clinical fellowship and is now an attending physician at both St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Christian Hospital Northwest. Her research involves care of adolescents in the pediatric emergency department. She is PI of two active clinical trials, Feasibility Trial of a Hormonal Contraceptive Initiation Program in the Pediatric Emergency Department and Health Education for Adolescent Males in the Pediatric Emergency Department. She is also a member of the adolescent working group within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), where she was part of a subgroup that developed and ran a workshop for adolescent care in the Emergency Department at a PAS national meeting.


José Antonio Torres Garcia, MD, MHA is an appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Torres Garcia earned a BS from East Carolina University. He then attended medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he also earned a Master in Health Administration. He completed his pediatric training at St. Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. After residency he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he completed the Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine fellowship program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This was followed by an additional fellowship in Sleep Medicine at the University of Colorado, where he trained at Children’s Hospital Colorado, UC Health, the Eastern Colorado Veterans Administration Medical Center, and at National Jewish Health. His clinical and research interests have focused on pediatric sleep disorders, asthma, patient safety, and quality improvement.


Thomas Girard, PhD, is appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Hematology and Oncology.  Dr. Girard has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and doctoral degree in biochemistry.  He came to St. Louis in 1985 for postdoctoral work at Jewish Hospital and spent five year with Dr. George J. Broze, Jr. investigation the regulators of coagulation.  Dr. Girard then spent 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to Washington University’s Division of Hematology in 2009. He is now transferring his primary appointment to Pediatrics to continue work is in the area of coagulation.



Sakil S. Kulkarni, MBBS is appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He earned a MBBS at Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, his residency at both PGIMER, Chandigarh and Miami (Nicklaus) Children Hospital. He came to WUSM for a pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship and a pediatric Transplant Hepatology fellowship. He is now the Associate Medical Director of Pediatric Liver Transplantation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He has developed Pediatric Liver Transplant guidelines for both outpatient and inpatient patients for nursing, residents and fellows. He is the first author of numerous journal articles.


Fuhai Li, PhD, is appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Newborn Medicine with a secondary appointment in the WUSM Institute of Informatics.  Dr. Li earned his bachelor’s degree and doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics at Yantai University, and Peking University, China respectively.  Afterward, he moved to Harvard Medical School and Brigham Women’s Hospital as a visiting scholar during his Ph.D training, and Houston Methodist Research Institute for postdoctoral work in Computational Biology.  Prior to coming to Washington University, he was on the faculty at Houston Methodist Research Institute then the Ohio State University.  He will be working, in part, on bioinformatics, machine learning and deep learning models, integrating multi-omics data systematically, to predict synergistic drug combinations, and uncover mechanisms of synergy to improve therapy of cancer, e.g., medulloblastoma.


William B. Orr, MD is appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Cardiology. Dr. Orr earned a BS in Genetics at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia and a MD at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta. He came to WUSM as a pediatric resident and continued through his fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Orr is the Medical Director of the Exercise Stress Lab in Pediatric Cardiology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Associated Director of the Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program.

His primary interests are inpatient cardiac medicine, sports and exercise physiology, and exercise testing with additional focus on clinical education, fellowship training and quality improvement.  Dr. Orr continues to increase the awareness of the clinical value of pediatric exercise testing among patients with congenital heart disease. He has contributed to quality improvement in the areas of patient awareness and safety in exercise testing and improvement of family center rounds in the Heart Center.


Ashlyn Brooke Turner, MD is appointed Assistant Professor on the Clinician Track in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Dr. Turner earned a BS in Integrative Physiology at University of Iowa, Iowa City and a MD at University of Illinois at Rockford, Rockford. She came to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for residency and continued at WUSM for a fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

She is co-medical director and co-creator of the Multidisciplinary Center for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders. She is a physician with the multidisciplinary Celiac Center and Aerodigestive Disease Center.


Jonathan C. Chiles, MD is promoted Associate Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospitalist Medicine. Dr. Chiles earned a BLA and MD at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Kansas City, MO. He came to Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO for his residency. He is attending physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri Baptist, Progress West and Memorial Hospital. He is an avid clinical educator including POM 1, PALS, NRP, Transport Simulation and PSOOR. His quality improvement efforts include Children’s Direct/Transfer Center Installation, Rapid Response Debrief Project, Pre-Rounds Discharge Project, DKA Pre-Admit Fluid/Insulin Ordering Project, and Medical Readiness for Discharge Criteria Project and the Patient Experience Project.  He has been a physician leader within the general medicine Unit Based Joint Practice Team since 2014.


 Janis Stoll, MD is promoted Associate Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.  Dr. Stoll earned a BA in Biology (Major) and Music (Minor) at Washington University, St. Louis, MO and a MD at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA. She completed her residency at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Her Gastroenterology and Pediatric Transplant Hepatology fellowship were completed at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, and Boston, MA.

Dr. Stoll is the Pediatric Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Program Director at WUSM, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Pediatric Liver Transplant Medical Director, St Louis Children’s Hospital and Director of the Healthy Start Clinic, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, St Louis Children’s Hospital.

She was the PI in two research studies: Longitude Study of Cystic Fibrosis Liver Disease (Push Study) and Healthy Steps for a Healthy Start.


Oloruntosin A. Adeyanju, MD is promoted Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Adeyanju earned a BA in Chemistry at Williams College in Williamstown, MA and her MD at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Her residency was completed at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and fellowship at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Adeyanju is an active educator with involvement in the Hospitalist Medicine Education Committee, Residency Selection and Advisory Committee, Pediatric Clerkship Grading Committee, and she is Core Faculty for the Hospitalist Medicine Fellowship. She serves as a Capstone Co-Course Director, and facilitates the Practice of Medicine I & II: Ethics & Humanities sessions for pre-clinical students. In the community she serves as Chair of the Ranken Jordan Speaker Series.


Kelleigh Elizabeth Briden, MD is promoted Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the division of Newborn Medicine. Dr. Briden earned a BA in Biology with a minor in Italian from New York University, New York City, New York, her MD from the University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT. She came to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and WUSM for her pediatric residency and Newborn Medicine fellowship. As an educator she created a two year curriculum for NICU resident morning teaching, guided by American Board of Pediatrics content outline for General Pediatrics and she is the Newborn Medicine Elective Director for fourth year medical students.



Clayton Cummings, MD is promoted Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospital Medicine.  Dr. Cummings earned a BSBA in Finance and Accounting at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, a MD at the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine, Columbia, MO and completed his residency at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

Dr. Cummings acts as a liaison between the SLCH transport team and the hospitalist group with patient simulation, neonatal and pediatric skill training sessions optimized team use and efficiency and minimize one-way transports, guided the transition of the Transport Team to a nurse leadership model and co-authored Transport Team patient care protocols. Dr. Cummings has served as a physician in the pediatric intensive care unit, the critical transport team, helped institute and served on children’s direct transfer center, as an ED and newborn physician at Missouri Baptist, progress west and Belleville facilities, as a physician for the children’s ED and CARES unit, as an inpatient physician at SLCH and for sedation at SLCH in both the paws and apc units.

Dr. Cummings is currently the sole pediatric representative to Santiago, Dominican Republic and Honduras with Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Washington University and subsequently Surgical Outreach for the Americas (SOFA). He performs evaluations, critical care and procedures to the indigent population of the Dominican Republic and Honduras and assists in hernia operations to patients of all ages. As a physician with the Pediatric Orthopedic Project, he served as a representative to Santiago, Dominican Republic with private St. Louis mission group and performed evaluations, critical care and sedations and procedures to teenage patients receiving scoliosis repairs.


Hayley Friedman, MD is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Newborn Medicine.  Dr. Friedman earned a BA in Political Science at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, a MS in Biological Sciences, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA and a MD at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, District of Columbia. She completed her residency at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO and her fellowship in Neonatology at The Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Dr. Friedman’s interest in Opioid Use Disorder in pregnancy and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) has led to her to participate in development of care guidelines and family focused NAS programming in the NICU. She is a member of the multidisciplinary CARE clinic (Clinic for Acceptance, Recovery, and Empowerment) team committed to caring for women with Opioid Use Disorder in pregnancy. She also established the NAS Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Clinic at SLCH for infants and families.


Erik R. Hoefgen, MD is promoted Assistant Professor on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospital Medicine.  Dr. Hoefgen earned a BS in Chemistry and a MS in Organic Chemistry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO. He received a MD at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, IL and is working towards a MS in Clinical and Translational Research at University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. His residency was completed at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO and fellowship in Hospital Medicine at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH.

Dr. Hoefgen is attending physician at SLCH, Progress West and Memorial Hospital. He participates in residency education through the applicant ranking committee and clinical competence committee.

As a member of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Laboratory Stewardship Committee he is involved in creating policy regarding appropriate clinical laboratory medicine stewardship guidelines.


Megan Spokes Martin, MD is promoted (to?) Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Martin graduated cum laude from The University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) where she earned a BA in Psychology; She earned her MD at The University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas. She completed her pediatric residency at The University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, Illinois where she stayed on as Chief Resident prior to moving to St. Louis. Dr. Martin joined the Division of Hospital Medicine in 2016 while her husband completed an ENT Head and Neck Cancer Fellowship at Washington University before they settled in St. Louis for the long run. While at WUSM, Dr .Martin has been Physician Leader in one of St. Louis Children’s Hospital Unit Based Joint Practice Teams (UBJPT). As an educator, she is an instructor for the Medical Student Pediatric Core Curriculum, WUMS III NRP Practical Exam, and General Pediatrics Overview for Orthopedic Residents. She enjoys General Pediatric Inpatient Medicine at SLCH and Newborn and Nursery Medicine in the community.


Dr. Shakila Mathew is promoted to Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track – Division of Pediatrics.  Dr. Mathew earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a mathematics minor from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO and a D.O. from A.T. Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO.  She completed her Pediatric Residency at Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL.

Dr. Mathew’s research includes Measuring overuse of continuous pulse oximetry in bronchiolitis patients, Knowledge base of health care providers about influenza vaccine, Quality improvement initiative to increase rates of influenza vaccination in hospitalized children, and  the impact of contaminated blood cultures on children, families and the healthcare system.


Gillian Clare Pet, MD is promoted Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Newborn Medicine. Dr. Pet earned a BA in Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA and a MD and MSCI at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. She completed her pediatric residency and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Dr. Pet is very active in community activities including serving on the NICU Respiratory Guidelines Committee as Leader of Quality Improvement and Data Collection; participating in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital QI Boot Camp; serving as Chair of BJC Pediatric Clinical Program – Newborn Hearing Screen Committee; and serving as a member of both NICU Eye Exam Process Workgroup and NICU Very Low Birth Weight Champions.

She has co-authored numerous journal articles including first author on Attitudes Surrounding the Management of Neonates with Severe Necrotizing Enterocolitis, J Pediatric and Risk Factors for Peripherally Inserted Catheter Complications in Neonates, J Perinatol.


Patrick Joseph Reich,, MD is promoted Assistant Professor on the Clinician Track in the division of Infectious Disease. Dr. Reich earned a BA and MD at St. Louis University, Saint Louis, MO; an MSCI at Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO. His pediatric residency and fellowship in Infectious Disease were completed at St. Louis Children’s Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Reich is the Medical Director of Infection Prevention, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine and the Associate Program Director, Pediatric Residency Program, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine.


Heidi L. Sandige, MD is promoted Assistant Professor of Pediatrics on the Clinician Track in the Division of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Sandige earned a BA in English Language and Literature, Women’s Studies at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; a MA in English Language and Literature at Yale University, New Haven, CT; a MD at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; a MA in Biological and Biomedical Sciences: Clinical Research at Washington University Graduate School, St. Louis, MO. Her pediatric internship and residency were completed at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH, fellowship in International Pediatric Malnutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi, and fellowship in Global Clinical Education from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Sandige’s extensive international experience includes:  Research Field Director, St. Louis Nutrition Project of the University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre; Pediatric Medical team (volunteer) member, Washington University School of Medicine Pediatric Neurosurgery Mission, Bernard Mevs Hospital, in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Doha; Attending Physician and Interim Division Chief for Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha ; Consultant in Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Center, and Qatar Foundation Clinic, Doha; Pediatric Hospitalist (Locum Tenens), Governor Juan F Luis Hospital, St. Croix; Clinical Team Lead for Medical Expedition trip(volunteer) for Himalayan Health Exchange, Himachal Pradesh, India;  Clinical Educator and Pediatric Consultant (volunteer), Ankgor Hospital for Children, Siem Reap, Cambodia ; Pediatric Hospitalist (Locum Tenens), McKinsey Willamette Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon; Consultant in Pediatrics, Phebe Hospital, Gbarnga, Bong County; and Pediatric Physician Educator, Global Health Services Partnership Program / US Peace Corps, Gbarnga, Bong County.


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