Ian Paul: PTN Principal Investigator at the Penn State Children’s Hospital

Ian Paul brings a unique perspective to the PTN. A professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and director of research in the Division of General Pediatrics at Penn State Children’s Hospital, he is the only PTN Steering Committee member who works in primary care as a general pediatrician. His focus on everyday practice enables him to contribute knowledge about medications used commonly by family pediatricians as opposed to those needed mainly in specialty care situations. This “real-world” perspective is essential for keeping PTN studies as practical and useful as possible, both for the doctors involved in the research and for the patients who benefit from the results.

Dr. Paul’s research interests vary broadly, from the prevention of childhood obesity through home-based interventions delivered to new parents to the usefulness of postpartum home visitation provided by community-based health agencies versus office-based care for newborns and their mothers. Additionally, he is a co-investigator on numerous other projects also funded by the National Institutes of Health relating to co-parenting, infant sleep, prevention of shaken baby syndrome, prevention of poor pregnancy outcomes, and the treatment of asthma.

His connections to the larger PTN community are long-lived. During the three years he spent at Duke University as house staff in pediatrics in the late nineties, Dr. Paul worked extensively with Dr. Danny Benjamin, principal investigator for the network. Likewise, he enjoys a great professional relationship with Dr. Greg Kearns of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO (also a PTN principal investigator), who has aided his career development over the years.

Outside of work, Dr. Paul keeps busy with his family, which includes two young children (Ava, age 4, and Jack, age 20 months). He enjoys working in his vegetable garden and exercising, as well as rooting for Duke basketball and the Philadelphia professional sports teams.