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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Names New Otolaryngology Chief

Principal investigator of widely acclaimed twin study Margaretha L. Casselbrant, MD, PhD, named chief

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has named Margaretha L. Casselbrant, MD, PhD, as the chief of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology.

Dr. Casselbrant, who also is the director of research at the ENT Research Center at Children's, succeeds Charles Bluestone, MD, who served as chief from 1974 until 2004.

Through her research in the area of otitis media, also called middle ear disease, Dr. Casselbrant is fighting one of the most common infections for which children seek care. Her main areas of research are the prevention and treatment of otitis media, how it can affect balance and the hereditary aspects of the disease. Studies that Dr. Casselbrant and her colleagues have performed show that children who have fluid in their middle ear seem to be clumsier than children who do not and that balance improves after tympanostomy tubes have been inserted or the fluid goes away.

Dr. Casselbrant is the principal investigator of the widely acclaimed "Prospective Twin Study of Otitis Media," published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999, which was conducted at Children's. Dr. Casselbrant and her colleagues followed twins and triplets from birth to 5 years of age. They found a high genetic susceptibility to ear disease existed among these children.

This study justified the next step - the search for the genes that put children at risk for developing the illness. By finding the genes, it would be possible to develop methodologies by which to determine which children are prone to the disease and also to develop new ways of treating otitis media. Dr. Casselbrant is applying for grants to find the genes and is beginning the search for siblings, at least two or more who have had ear tubes, to include in the study.

Dr. Casselbrant currently has National Institutes of Health funding for the study of the genetic epidemiology of otitis media and serves as the principal investigator for the research training grant in pediatric otolaryngology.

Dr. Casselbrant received her medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Lund, Malmo, Sweden. She subsequently emigrated to Pittsburgh, where she completed fellowship training in pediatric otolaryngology. She currently serves as professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she is the director of Pediatric Otolaryngology Residency Training and serves as co-director of the general otolaryngology training program.

Dr. Casselbrant lives in Squirrel Hill, and is originally from Sweden.

Download Dr. Casselbrant's photograph.

Learn more about Children's Division of Otolaryngology.

Contacts:
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu

Last Update
February 22, 2008
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Last Update
February 22, 2008
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