Dr. Janice Sullivan is a pediatric intensivist in the Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit at the University of Louisville and Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, which means that she specializes in caring for infants, children, and adolescents with serious illnesses or injuries. She’s also a clinical pharmacologist with a focus on pediatrics and a particular interest in phase I trials (which test new drugs in small groups of healthy people to evaluate safety, determine dosage, and identify side effects). These varying passions drew her to the Pediatric Trials Network, for which she is serving as a PI on the POPS study and as a co-investigator with colleague Michael Smith, MD, on the study of clindamycin in overweight and obese children. Dr. Sullivan also acts as a member of the PTN Steering Committee, which oversees the network’s activities.
In recent years, her pharmacological and medical pursuits have merged in the advancing field of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine comprises an effort to tailor health care to each patient’s unique clinical, genetic, genomic, and environmental circumstances. Because these factors differ from person to person, the nature of diseases—from their onset and course to how they respond to drugs or other treatments—is as unique as the people who have them. Dr. Sullivan hopes to improve care for her young patients by taking into account as many of these factors as possible to ensure the best possible outcomes.
In addition to her clinical and research undertakings, she devotes a great deal of time to mentoring medical students, residents, and junior faculty, educating the next generation of physicians and scientists. Dr. Sullivan also chairs the Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics for the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is currently working to address drug shortage issues that are dangerously compromising the care of children, particularly those who are critically ill.
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with the latest addition to her family—her beautiful, 3-month-old “granddaughter” Ellie, who, according to Dr. Sullivan, “has won my heart.” Other hobbies include reading, quilting, home decorating, gardening, biking, and church activities. Awash in family and friends, she reflects, “I am so blessed!”