Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to Lead Pediatric Pulmonology at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian
Newswise – NEW YORK, NY – Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD, a nationally recognized asthma researcher and emerging leader in pediatric pulmonary medicine, has been named director of pediatric pulmonary medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
From July 1, 2021, she will begin transitioning to her new role as she completes key research objectives. From January 1, 2022, Lovinsky-Desir will assume full responsibilities as Director of the Pulmonary Diseases Department of the Pediatrics Department. She is currently an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and a pediatric pulmonologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
Lovinsky-Desir’s research focuses on differences in health outcomes for underrepresented minorities, exposure to the urban environment and the relationship between exposure to air pollution and physical activity patterns in young people.
Her own experiences with asthma as a child have inspired her career and research focus. “As a child, I spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and emergency departments with symptoms of asthma, and I learned early on the importance of trusting your doctor,” says Lovinsky-Desir. “The doctors who took care of me at the time inspired me to become a pediatrician and specialize in lung diseases.”
As part of the National Institutes of Health-funded Inner City Asthma Consortium, she and colleagues are studying immunotherapies and other medications for children with asthma. She is also working with physician-scientists from New York City academic centers through the Health Data for New York City initiative to better understand the links between housing and asthma. Its aim is to increase health equality among the city’s many population groups. She is also a member of the American Thoracic Society’s Diversity and Health Equity Committee, which examines why COVID-19 cases and death rates are disproportionately higher among black Americans and Latinos.
Lovinsky-Desir has published more than 30 research papers and received a K01 Career Development Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study physical activity and air pollution in urban asthma. She has received numerous awards, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation’s Young Physician Scientist Award, the Society for Pediatric Research’s Early Career Investigator Award (of which she is an elected member), and a Young Investigator Award from the American Society. for clinical research. She is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Department of Pediatrics.
In addition, the Assembly on Pediatric (PEDS) Award Selection Committee of the American Thoracic Society has chosen Lovinsky-Desir to receive the ATS Assembly on Pediatrics Robert B. Mellins, MD Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her scholarship, mentorship and academic achievement in 2020 -21. (Mellins, a faculty member in Columbia, was a founder of the pediatric pulmonology specialty who died in 2012 and the first director of pediatric pulmonology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.)
Lovinsky-Desir joined the Pediatrics Department in 2013. She completed her pediatric pulmonary medicine fellowship in Columbia; her pediatrics residency at the Social Pediatrics Residency Program in Montefiore; and her medical degree from New York Medical College. She also holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Lovinsky-Desir succeeds Meyer Kattan, MD, professor of pediatrics, who was director of pediatric pulmonology for 15 years. He will stay at Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to continue to care for children with lung disease and to conduct research. His legacy includes many important contributions to pediatric lungology in addition to contributing to Lovinsky-Desir’s career growth.