Starting next year, the organization plans to honor deserving physicians with its annual “Nathan Kuppermann Award for Mentorship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research.”
“Nate was the unanimous selection for the lifetime research mentorship award, which was based on his remarkable leadership collaborations and clinical practice-changing work done with future leaders in pediatric emergency medicine,” said Kurt Denninghoff, distinguished professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona and chair of the SAEM pediatric emergency group.
Kuppermann, who is a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, and holds the Bo Tomas Brofeldt Endowed Chair in Emergency Medicine at UC Davis, is known internationally for his research work and enthusiasm for mentoring junior faculty and trainees. In 2010, he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (originally known as the Institute of Medicine) for his efforts in generating evidence in the care of acutely ill and injured children through research. As a consequence, he has made substantial impact on improving standards of care in pediatric emergency medicine, and he has been recognized with a number of other awards over his nearly 30-year medical career.
SAEM colleagues and others have noted that Kuppermann is a leading medical investigator, with an impressive number of highly regarded studies that have focused on infectious emergencies in children, diabetic ketoacidosis-related cerebral injury in children, and the utility of laboratory and radiographic diagnostic studies in pediatric trauma patients, including efforts to safely avoid unnecessary computed tomography scans. His findings have been published in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and, recently, yet another article in the Journal of American Medical Association.
Kuppermann’s mentorship qualities can be seen through his work and leadership in a multicenter research network that he helped establish in 2001, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Through PECARN and other collaborations, Kuppermann established a network of pediatric emergency departments nationwide that work together to perform high-impact research to improve the care of acutely ill and injured children. In many of PECARN’s groundbreaking studies, Kuppermann provided research leadership and mentoring guidance for a number of his co-investigators. He currently also serves as the chair of the executive committee of the Pediatric Emergency Research Networks (PERN), an international consortium of research networks that performs important global research in pediatric emergency care.
“Simply put, Nate has been a tireless worker for growing the number of funded researchers who are productively working in our specialty,” added Denninghoff.
Kuppermann, who always seems to be in motion, whether working a shift in the emergency department, writing a grant or presenting his latest research findings, was surprised and humbled by the SAEM award in his name.
“I love the work I do and the people with whom I get to work with on a daily basis because it really keeps me going,” said Kuppermann. “To have my colleagues in pediatric emergency medicine establish an award in my name is a very special honor, especially because I’m not even close to retiring. Hopefully, they’re not just trying to give me a hint!”