Michael R. DeBaun, MD, MPH
Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPH, is the Ferring Family Chair in Pediatric Cancer and Related Disorders and professor of biostatistics and neurology. He is an internationally recognized leader in the epidemiology of strokes in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and the epidemiology of pediatric overgrowth syndromes.
DeBaun earned his medical degree from Stanford in 1987 and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins University in 1993. He trained in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and joined the Washington University faculty in 1996.
DeBaun’s clinical and translational research focuses on the etiology and management of cerebrovascular injury in children with SCD. With multidisciplinary collaborators, DeBaun received funding for the first National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored international clinical trial in sickle cell disease, the Silent Cerebral Infarct Multi-Center Trial. Also, DeBaun has focused on determining the epidemiology, clinical significance and genetic basis for asthma in children with SCD. He and colleagues received NIH funding to develop the first longitudinal cohort of children with SCD that are carefully evaluated for lung and sleep disorders, coupled with a biological repository for genetic and proteomic studies. This multidisciplinary team was the first to demonstrate that asthma increases mortality and morbidity in individuals with SCD.
DeBaun has mentored multiple medical students, fellows and faculty. In 2003, he became program director for the Doris Duke Clinical Fellowship at the School of Medicine, a one-year program for medical students to conduct clinical research. In 2002, with support from John and Allison Ferring, he created the three-year Ferring Scholars Program for talented high school students to have in-depth mentored research experiences at the School of Medicine.
DeBaun is the author of more than 110 publications and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. His national honors include the Burroughs Wellcome Translational Research Award and the Doris Duke Faculty Development Award.