NEWS | October 15, 2012

Internationally respected neonatologist to lead UC Davis Department of Pediatrics


Robin H. Steinhorn, an internationally recognized neonatologist, has been named chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine. The department provides state-of-the-art clinical care and conducts research into disease conditions affecting infants, children, adolescents and young adults. As chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Steinhorn also serves as director of UC Davis Children's Hospital, the only nationally ranked pediatric hospital in inland Northern California.

Robin Steinhorn Robin Steinhorn

"I'm excited about coming to UC Davis because of the very tangible sense of momentum and of a medical school with a trajectory of excellence and growth," Steinhorn said. "I look forward to investing in the scientific endeavors of the department to take it to the next level of achievement."

Steinhorn is a highly respected clinician and researcher whose primary focus is the pulmonary vascular development of the fetus and newborn. Nearly 2 percent of all babies are not able to adapt to breathing after birth because of prematurity or other lung diseases, making neonatal respiratory failure a major national health concern. She is widely known for her research, developed in animal models and clinical studies, on nitric oxide signaling in young lungs.

Steinhorn's groundbreaking investigations supported the use of inhaled nitric oxide for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. Steinhorn's recent work provided the rationale and preclinical studies for using the phosphodiesterase inhibitor sildenafil in infants for the treatment of neonatal respiratory failure. Other inquires have addressed the effects of hyperoxia on neonatal pulmonary vascular reactivity, and contributed to the new recommendations by the American Heart Association that room air, rather than pure oxygen, should be used for neonatal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Prior to coming to UC Davis, Steinhorn was the Raymond and Hazel Speck Berry Professor and chief of the Division of Neonatology and vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She is the recipient of the Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award for Research from the Illinois Chapter of the March of Dimes, and has been listed among Chicago's Top Doctors and America's Top Doctors.

"Dr. Steinhorn is an outstanding scientist and clinician whose vision and dynamism place her at the forefront of pediatrics in our nation today," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. "We are excited that she has joined UC Davis to lead our pediatric clinical, educational and research enterprise to new heights of excellence."

Steinhorn will oversee a department encompassing 14 divisions with more than 300 staff, students, residents, fellows, and volunteer and full-time faculty.

Steinhorn is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Pediatrics, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Her professional affiliations include the American Thoracic Society, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society, Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, Perinatal Research Society and the Society for Pediatric Research.

She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Akron in Ohio and her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her residency in pediatrics and fellowship in neonatology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Steinhorn will receive an annual base salary of $220,400. Additional information about her compensation is available upon request.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at