Division of Pediatric Critical Care
Division of Neonatology
My research in the laboratory is on pulmonary developmental pathology, with a primary focus on hyperoxia-induced injury and resolution/repair in developing lungs. Using a variety of ante- and/or post-natal animal models of experimental bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and hyperoxia-induced acute lung injury (HALI), we study the mechanisms of molecular mediators and signaling pathways of inflammation, alveolarization and vascularization contribution to the disease phenotypes of HALI and BPD. The ultimate aim of the research laboratory is to be able to translate our work into a better understanding of the pathogenesis of HALI and BPD to allow improved targeting of therapeutic interventions. We have long-standing collaborations with physicians and scientists from various Universities and Pharmaceutical companies. Our long-term goal is to identify drug candidates for HALI and BPD. My other research interests include Neonatal Sepsis, BPD-associated Pulmonary Hypertension and use of “OMICS” (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiomics) approaches relevant to premature neonates.
I am proud to have been named to SJ Magazine's list of "Top Doctors for Children 2021" in Neonatology.
Das P, Curstedt T, Agarwal B, Prahaladan VM, Ramirez J, Bhandari S, Syed MA, Salomone F, Casiraghi C, Pelizzi N, Bhandari V. Small Molecule Inhibitor Adjuvant Surfactant Therapy Attenuates Ventilator- and Hyperoxia-Induced Lung Injury in Preterm Rabbits. Front Physiol. 2020 Apr 9;11:266. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00266. eCollection 2020.
Gilfillan M, Das P, Shah D, Alam MA, Bhandari V. Inhibition of microRNA-451 is associated with increased expression of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor and mitigation of the cardio-pulmonary phenotype in a murine model of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Respir Res. 2020 Apr 22;21(1):92. doi: 10.1186/s12931-020-01353-9.
Alam MA, Betal SGN, Aghai ZH, Bhandari V. Hyperoxia causes miR199a-5p-mediated injury in the developing lung. Pediatr Res. 2019 Nov;86(5):579-588. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0524-3. Epub 2019 Aug 8.
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Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Sandra Nairn DO, is the Division Head of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Cooper University Hospital and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned her medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Nairn completed a rotating internship at Parkview Hospital in Philadelphia and her residency in pediatrics at Cooper University Hospital, where she was chosen to be chief resident. She then completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. Dr Nairn accepted an attending EM position at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY, where she also served for several years as Medical Director of the Transport team, overseeing ground, fixed-wing, and helicopter transports. She returned “home” to Cooper in 1994 to help establish the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine within the EM Department.
Dr. Nairn is active on many hospital and medical school committees and serves as a conduit between the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Cooper. She enjoys her roles in medical student and resident education and is passionate about developing the pediatric services at Cooper to provide quality care for the children of South Jersey.
Lisa Drago, DO, is the Pediatric EMS Medical Director at Cooper University Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. As an undergraduate Dr. Drago became involved in Emergency Medical Services as a volunteer EMT and was the EMS director for West Chester University EMS. She then earned her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where she was inducted into the PSI Sigma Alpha National Osteopathic Scholastic Honor Society. Dr. Drago completed a Pediatric Osteopathic Internship at Newark Beth Israel Hospital and a Pediatric Residency at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. She then went on to complete a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper University. She is board certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Emergency Medical Services.
Dr. Drago is passionate about prehospital education. She enjoys serving as faculty for Cooper’s EMS fellowship program and providing education to prehospital providers. Dr. Drago received a pediatric prehospital education grant from the Cooper Foundation to provide pediatric education and simulation for prehospital providers. Her special interests include addressing pediatric pain and safe transport of pediatric patients. She has had the privilege of speaking at The National Conference on EMS, EMS Today The JEMS Conference and Exposition, The EMS World Expo and many local/regional conferences.
Elliott M. Harris, MD, is an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Harris completed his residency in Pediatrics at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and received fellowship training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. After training, Dr. Harris worked as an attending physician in the Pediatric Emergency Departments at University Hospital in Syracuse, New York and Temple University Children’s Hospital before coming to Cooper in 2001.
Dr. Harris is very involved with Graduate Medical Education at the hospital level and is a member of several committees related to GME. He has been very active in PALS training at Cooper and for years served as PALS Regional Faculty for the American Heart Association. Dr. Harris has a strong interest in simulation training for residents and does multiple sessions each year for both Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Residents in the Simulation Lab.
Michael Gillman, MD, is an attending physician in the Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Cooper University Hospital and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada with a bachelor of commerce with a major in accounting and a minor in statistics. He went on to complete his medical degree in Poznan, Poland where he graduated with honors from the Poznan School of Medical Sciences. He then went on to complete his residency in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weil Cornell and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine.
Ernika Quimby, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in biology and psychology and received her medical degree from the University of Chicago. She completed her pediatric residency at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (Northwestern University) and pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Quimby's main research interests are substance use and mental health in youth. She is passionate about advocating for underserved populations and mentoring underrepresented trainees. She enjoys medical student and resident education.
Marci Fornari, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and received her medical degree from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, where she was a proud member of the inaugural class. She completed pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and pediatric emergency medicine fellowship and pediatric emergency ultrasound fellowship at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Fornari's main research interests are intimate partner violence screening within the pediatric healthcare setting, youth violence intervention programs, and expanding the use of point-of-care ultrasound in the pediatric emergency department. She is passionate about ensuring that children receive the same high-quality care, as it relates to their clinical experience and social determinants of health, at all emergency departments in which they seek care. She enjoys teaching and mentoring medical students and residents.