Principal Investigators

  • John A. Bauer, PhD, Pediatrics
  • Thomas E. Curry, PhD, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Peter J. Giannone, MD, Pediatrics
  • Ilhem Messaoudi Powers, PhD, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
  • John M. O’Brien, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research Priority Area

This research alliance is designed to enhance and coordinate transdisciplinary research in the areas of pregnancy, perinatology, and pediatrics. This research alliance welcomes all investigators (clinicians, physician-scientists, and basic/preclinical researchers) and is relatable to each of the already established UK Research Priority Areas.

Research Support

Click here for the MaPRA research support portal.

How to Join

If you have an interest in this research area and/or expertise and/or projects you are willing to contribute please consider joining MaPRA. We are especially seeking investigators ready, willing, and able to collaborate in teams, enhance the research momentum of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and create research-related work products and a collaborative culture.

You can join the UK-MaPRA by clicking below and completing the information requested. 

Please contact either principal investigator via the email addresses above, or contact MaPRA alliance administrators,; , if you have any other questions or suggestions.


Meeting Times

First Tuesday of the month, 3 p.m. EST


  • The medical care for pregnant women and children comprise a significant portion of UKHealthcare and UK-COM and includes the Department of Obstetrics/Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics/Kentucky Children’s Hospital. These clinical services are in many cases regionally vital to residents of the state of KY. Most of these clinical settings have been strengthened and expanded in recent years.
  • The UK Children’s Hospital has experienced unprecedented growth and it has taken a leadership role in KY for most pediatric services, and especially high-risk pregnancy and level 4 NICU care. There is at this time an outstanding opportunity to leverage signature clinical programs by adding and aligning research activities to address healthcare needs in these special populations.
  • There is already strength and momentum in the settings of perinatal and pediatric research, much of it has been developed and supported by individual investigator teams. Expanding the investigator pool, and developing research theme and interest groups will catalyze new research growth and improve collaborative ties.
  • The goal of the MaPRA alliance will be to serve as a beacon across the UK campus for the development and support of research studies that address pregnancy, infancy, and childhood. This effort will provide value with respect to faculty retention and recruitment, training opportunities, external reputation, and additional funding support specifically dedicated to pregnancy and childhood. The long-term goal of this alliance will be to form a lasting unit that is self-sustainable, with ties to other already established entities.


Alliance Members

  • John A. Bauer, PhD, Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Peter Giannone, MD, Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Thomas E. Curry, Professor – Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Ilhem Messaoudi Powers, PhD, Professor - Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics 
  • John O’Brien, MD, Professor – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Roman Deniskin MD, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Johanne Dillon, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Radiology
  • Mina Hanna, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Maggie Murphy, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Aric Schadler, PhD, Statistician - Department of Pediatrics
  • Robin Shoemaker, PhD, Assistant Professor - Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
  • Yasir Alsiraj, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, College of Medicine
  • Hubert O. Ballard, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Thitinart Por Sithisarn, MD, PhD, Associate Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Arnold J. Stromberg, PhD, Professor – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ranjit Torgalkar MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pediatrics
  • Mark Wurth, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Pediatrics