ABOUT THE RESEARCHER

OVERVIEW

Dr. Monica Kleinman has a strong clinical and academic interest in pediatric resuscitation, including the development of evidence-based treatment guidelines. Dr. Kleinman has been a volunteer for the American Heart Association (AHA) for more than 30 years. In 2003 she was appointed to the AHA’s National Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee's Pediatric Subcommittee and subsequently served as its chair from 2007 through 2009. Dr. Kleinman's contributions include serving as an editor of the 2006 version of the Provider and Instructor Textbooks for Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and writing group chair for the 2010 AHA PALS Guidelines and 2015 AHA Basic Life Support Guidelines. From 2011 through 2015 she served as co-chair of the Pediatric Task Force for the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), the international consortium that develops consensus statements on resuscitation science and treatment recommendations. Currently Dr. Kleinman serves as a Domain Lead for the ILCOR continuous evidence evaluation process.

Dr. Kleinman is also passionate about patient safety and harm prevention, including the early identification of patient deterioration outside of the critical care setting. She developed the early warning score system used at Boston Children’s Hospital and has published several reports on its use as a predictor of deterioration in specific patient populations as well as in resource-limited settings. She is also interested in in-hospital emergency response systems in Children’s Hospitals, the use of checklists for improving patient safety, and inter-facility transport for critically ill children.

Dr. Kleinman has served as principal investigator for several clinical trials for children suffering from a rare disease, progeria. Affected children appear to age prematurely with poor growth, hair loss, skin tightness and joint contractures and, most importantly, accelerated atherosclerosis. Children die from cardiovascular events (heart attacks, heart failure and stroke) at an average age of 14. The genetic cause of progeria is a single base pair mutation in the Lamin A gene which results in the production of a mutant Lamin A protein. This protein, known as progerin, permanently intercalates into the nuclear membrane resulting in tissue and organ dysfunction. Clinical trials are aimed at reducing the production of progerin as well as hastening its elimination from affected cells. Three interventional trials at Boston Children’s Hospital have demonstrated that one drug, Lonafarnib, improves vascular distensibility and extends lifespan of children with the disease.

BACKGROUND

Dr. Monica Kleinman earned her MD from Brown University, then completed a residency in pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital. She subsequently completed fellowship training in neonatology (Women & Infants’ Hospital) and pediatric critical care medicine (Yale-New Haven Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital). She is currently a senior associate in Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and serves as the Medical Director for the Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Critical Care Transport Service. She is responsible for the hospital’s emergency medical response system and is the senior medical advisor for the Program in Patient Safety and Quality.