Catherine S. Forster, MD, MS, FAAP

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Catherine Forster is a pediatric hospitalist and researcher. She earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, followed by internship and residency in general pediatrics at the Boston Combined Residency Program at Children's Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center. After residency, she completed fellowships in both pediatric hospital medicine and general academic pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She then worked at Children's National Medical Center for 3 years before moving to Pittsburgh. She is board certified in both general pediatrics as well as pediatric hospital medicine.

Her research focuses on the host-pathogen interaction in the urinary tract. She is especially interested in understanding the difference between a true urinary tract infection as opposed to benign bacterial colonization of the urinary tract in children with complex genitourinary systems. She uses a systems biology approach to studying this problem, with a focus on the urobiome.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Member, 2011-Present
  • Society for Pediatric Research, Junior Section Member, 2014-2019
  • Society for Pediatric Research, Member, 2019-Present
  • American Urological Association, Affiliate Member, 2017-Present

Education & Training

  • BA, Cultural Anthropology, Hamilton College, 2004
  • Premedical, Columbia University in the City of New York, 2006
  • MD, Jefferson Medical College, 2011
  • MS, Clinical and Translational Research, University of Cincinnati, 2017

Selected Publications

Forster CS, Loechtenfeldt A, Shah SS, Goldstein S. Urine Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin in Girls with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections. Pediatric Nephrology. In press.

Lamanna O, Hsieh MH, Forster CS. Novel Catheter Design Enables Transurethral Catheterization of Male Mice. American Journal of Physiology, Renal Physiology. In press.

Tang-Girdwood S, Morrison J, Forster CS. Cell-free DNA sequencing, pathogen detection, and the journey to value. Hospital Pediatrics, in press.

Curley T, Forster CS. Recurrent UTIs in Girls: What is the Role of the Microbiome? Urology. In press.

Burns A, Ackerman K, Thammasitbook S, Rassbach C, Ward M, Blankenburg R, Forster CS, McPhillips H, Wenger T, Powell W, Heyman MB, Hogarty M, Boyer D, Hostetter M, Weiss P, Nguyen S, Parsons DW, Moore DJ, Byrne B, French A, Orange JS. Fixing The Leaky Pipeline: Identifying Solutions For Improving Pediatrician-Scientist Training During Pediatric Residency. Pediatric Research. In press.

Forster CS, Panchapakesan K, Stroud C, Banerjee P, Gordish-Dressman H, and Hsieh MH. A cross-sectional analysis of the urine microbiome of children with neuropathic bladders. Journal of Pediatric Urology. In press.

Forster CS, Wang J. Symptom and urinalysis-based approach to diagnosing urinary tract infections in children with neuropathic bladders. Pediatric Nephrology, 2020 May;35(5):807-814. PMID: 31919595 

Hamdy R, Pohl H, Forster CS. Antibiotic prophylaxis prescribing patterns of pediatric urologists for children with vesicoureteral reflux and other congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract. Urology. 2020 February;136: 225-230. PMID: 31758980

Gasiorek M, Hsieh H, Forster CS. The Utility of DNA Next Generation Sequencing and Expanded Quantitative Urine Culture in the Diagnosis and Management of Chronic of Persistent Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms. The Journal of Clinical Microbiology. In press. PMID: 31619534

Forster CS, Tang Girdwood S, Morrison J, Ambroggio L. Changing the Paradigm of Research in Pediatric Hospital Medicine. Hospital Pediatrics, 2019, 9(9);732-735. PMID: 31444246.

Roy JP, Forster CS. Clinical Progress Note: Pediatric Acute Kidney Injury. Journal of Hospital Medicine. E pub Aug 16, 2019. PMID: 31433778.

Forster CS, Pohl H. The diagnosis of UTI in the neuropathic bladder: Changing the paradigm to include the microbiome. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehab, 2019, 25(3):222-227. PMID: 31548789.

Forster CS, Hsieh MH, Pérez-Losada M, Caldovic L, Pohl H, Ljungberg I, Sprague B, Stroud C, Groah S. A Single Intravesical Instillation of Probiotics is Safe in Children and Adults with Neuropathic Bladder: A Phase Ia Clinical Trial. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, e pub May 17, 2019. PMID: 31100050

Forster CS, Powell EA, Deburger B, Courter J, Haslam DB, and Mortensen JE. Association of Systemic Antimicrobials with the Expression of Beta-Lacatamases in Bacteria Cultured from Urological Patients. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, 2019, 94(4): 391-394. PMID: 30890298

Forster CS, Haffey WD, Bennett M, Greis KD, and Devarajan P. Identification of Urinary CD44 and Prosaposin as Specific Biomarkers of Urinary Tract Infections in Children with Neurogenic Bladders. Biomarker Insights, 2019 Mar 15;1. PMID: 30906192

Forster CS, Goldstein S, Pohl H, and Jackson E. The Association Between Urodynamic Parameters and Urine NGAL Concentrations in Children with Neurogenic Bladders. Journal of Pediatric Urology, Epub 2019; Jan 23. PMID: 30799170

Forster CS, Jackson E, and Goldstein S. Variation in the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection in Children with Neurogenic Bladders between Subspecialists. Journal of Pediatric Urology, 2018 Dec;14(6):567.e1-567.e6. PMID: 30177384

Forster CS, Elizabeth Jackson, Qing Ma, Michael Bennett, Samir Shah, and Stuart Goldstein. Predictive Ability of NGAL in Identifying Urinary Tract Infection in Children with Neurogenic Bladders. Pediatric Nephrology, 2018; 33(8): 1365-1374. PMID: 29532235

Forster CS, Shaikh N, Hoberman A, Jackson E. Uropathogens and Pyuria in Children with Neurogenic Bladders. Pediatrics, 2018;142(2). PMID: 29618582 - featured in American Academy of Pediatrics “Grand Rounds”, September 2018, Vol. 40, issue 3.

Gerber DC, Forster CS, Hsieh M. The role of the genitourinary microbiome in pediatric urology: a review. Current Urology Reports. 2018 Feb 22;19(1):13. PMID: 29468401

Parikh A, Rizzo J, Chalfin D, Canetta P, Forster CS, Sise M, Marroug O, Singer E, Elger A, Elitok S, Schmidt-Ott K, Barasch J, Nickolas T. Does NGAL Reduce Cost? A Cost Analysis of Urine NGAL and Serum Creatinine for Acute Kidney Injury. PLOS One, 2017 September; 12(9). PMID:28953968

Forster CS, Haslam DB, Jackson E, Goldstein S. Utility of a Routine Urinalysis in Children Who Require on Clean Intermittent Catheterization. Journal of Pediatric Urology, 2017 October;13(5): 488.e1-488.e5. PMID 28284733

Forster CS, Johnson K, Patel V, Rodig N, Barasch J, Bachur R, Lee R. Urinary NGAL Deficiency in Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections. Pediatric Nephrology, 2017 June; 32(6): 1077-80. PMID 28210838

Xu K, Rosenthal P, Paragas N, Hinze C, Gao X, Merth M, Forster CS, Deng R, Bruck E, Boles RW, Tornato A, Jones M, Konig J, Gopal T, D’Agati V, Erdjument-Bromage H, Saggi S, Wagener G, Schmidt-Ott K, Tattonetti N, Tempst P, Oliver J, Guarnieri P, Barasch J. Unique Transcriptional Programs Identify Subtypes of “Acute Kidney Injury”. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2017 June; 28(6): 1729-40. PMID: 28028135

Forster CS, Courter J, Jackson E, Mortensen J, Haslam D. Rates of Antimicrobial Resistance in Urine from Children on Clean Intermittent Catheterization. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, 2017 Nov 24;6(4):332-338. PMID: 29186590

Forster CS, Herbst L, Jerardi KE, Brady P. Right Test, Wrong Patient: Biomarkers and Value. Hospital Pediatrics, 2016 May; 6(5):315-7. PMID 27052032.

Beinvogl B, Rosman N, Baumer F, Rodan L, Forster CS, Kwon A, Berry G. A 10-month-old with Intermittent Hypotonia and Paralysis. Pediatrics, 2016 Jul; 138(1). PMID 27252036

Khan A, Rogers JE, Forster CS, Furtak SL, Schuster MA, Landrigan CP. Communication and Shared Understanding between Parents and Resident-Physicians at Night. Hospital Pediatrics, 2016; 6(6): 319-329. PMID 27188189

Auger K, Mueller E, Weinberg S, Forster CS, Shah A, Wolski C, Mussman G, Ipsaro A, Davis M. A Validated Method for Identifying Unplanned Pediatric Readmission. Journal of Pediatrics, E-published December 30, 2015. PMID 26743495

Paragas N, Kulkarni R, Werth M, Schmidt-Ott K, Forster CS, Deng R, Zhang QY, Singer E, Klose AD, Shen TH, Francis KP, Ray S, Vijayakumar S, Seward S, Bovino M, Xu K, Takabe Y, Amaral FE, Mohan S, Wax R, Corbin K, Sanna-Cherchi S, Mori K, Johnson L, Nickolas T, Lin CS, D'Agati V, Qiu A, Al-Awqati Q, Ratner AJ, Barasch J. The alpha-Intercalated Cell Defends the Urinary System from Bacterial Infection by Excreting H+ and LCN2 in Mouse and Human Urine. Journal of Clinical Investigation, July 2014; 124(7): 2963-76. PMID 24937428

Verna EC, Brown RS, Farrand E, Pichardo M, Forster CS, Sola-Del Valle D, Adkins SH, Sise ME, Oliver JA, Barasch J, Nickolas TL. Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin Distinguishes Types of Kidney Failure and Predicts the Mortality of Patients with Cirrhosis. Dig Dis Sci, May 6, 2012. PMID 22562534

Nickolas TL, Forster CS, Sise ME, Sola-Del Valle D, Barasch N, Viltard M, Buchen C, Kup3ferman S, Fanti G, Bennett M, Argentiero L, Bovino A, Mattei S, Carnevali ML, Devarajan P, Mori K, Erdjument-Bromage H, Tempst P, Allegri L, Barasch J. uNGAL (Lcn2) is Associated with Tubulointerstitial Damage in Chronic Kidney Disease. Kidney International, June 2012. PMID 22695331

Nickolas TL, Schmidt Ott KM, Canetta P, Forster CS, Singer E, Sise ME, Elger A, Maarouf O, Sola-Del Valle DA, O’Rourke M, Sherman E, Lee P, Gupta A, Polland A, Rahman W, Elitok S, Malik N, Giglio J, El-Sayegh S, Devarajan P, Hebbar S, Saggi S, Hahn B, Kettritz R, Luft FC, Barasch J. Diagnostic and Prognostic Stratification in the Emergency Department with Urinary Biomarkers of Nephron Damage: A Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012;59:246-55. PMID 22240130

Sise ME, Forster CS, Singer E, Sola-Del Valle D, Hahn B, Schmidt Ott K, Barasch J, Nickolas TL. Urine Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin Identifies Unilateral and Bilateral Urinary Tract Obstruction. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2011; 26(12): 4132-4135. PMID 22049182.

Paragas N, Qiu A, Zhang Q, Samstein B, Deng SX, Schmidt-Ott KM, Viltard M, Yu W, Forster CS, Gong G, Liu Y, Kulkarni R, Mori K, Kalandadze A, Ratner AJ, Devarajan P, Landry DW, D’Agati V, Lin CS, Barasch J. The NGAL Reporter Mouse Detects the Response of the Kidney to Injury in Real Time. Nature Medicine. 2011 Feb; 17(2): 216-222. PMID 2124026

Paragas N, Nickolas TL, Wyatt C, Forster CS, Sise ME, Morgello S, Jagla B, Buchen C, Stella P, Sanna-Cherchi S, Carnevali ML, Mattei S, Bovino A, Argentiero L, Magnano A, Devarajan P, Schmidt-Ott KM, Allegri L, Klotman P, D’Agati V, Gharavi AG, Barasch J. Urinary NGAL Marks Tubular Disease in HIV Associated Nephropathy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2009 Aug; 20(8):1687-92. PMID: 19628667

Bardakci H, Cheema FH, Topkara VK, Dang NC, Martens TP, Mercando ML, Forster CS, Benson AA, George I, Russo MJ, Oz MC, and Esrig BC. Discharge to Home Rates are Significantly Lower for Octogenarians Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2007 Feb; 83(2):483-9. PMID: 17257973.

Christie JD, Robinson N, Ware LF, Plotnick M, DeAndrade J, Lama V, Milstone A, Orens J, Weinacker A, Demissie E, Bellamy S, Kawut SM for the Lung Transplant Outcomes Groups (Forster, CS*). Association of protein C and type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor with primary graft dysfunction. Am J Resp Crit Care Med. 2007 Jan 1; 175(1); 69-74. PMID 17023732 (*member of investigative team cited in appendix)

Topkara VK, Cheema FH, Kesavaramanujam S, Mercando ML, Forster CS, Argenziano M, Esrig BC, Oz MC, Naka Y. Effect of Donor Age on Long-Term Survival Following Cardiac Transplantation. Journal of Cardiac Surgery 2006; 21:1-5. PMID 16492267.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Academic and Research Interests

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary microbiome
  • Host-pathogen infections

Research Grants

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on Health and Function for People with Physical Disabilities Focused on Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction (Site PI), 2019-2021.

Department of Defense, Spinal Cord Injury Research Program. Intravesical Lactobacillus to Reduce Urinary Symptoms after Spinal Cord Injury (Site PI), 2019-2022.

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (PI), 2015-2021.

NIH K12HD001399, Child Health Research Career Development Award, Children’s National Health System (PI), 2017-2020.

Children’s National Medical Center, CTSI Pilot Award, Development of a Murine Model of Neurogenic Bladder (PI), 2018-2019.

Gerber Foundation, Young Investigator Award, Urinary NGAL Deficiency in Patients with Recurrent UTIs (PI), 2015-2018.

Center for Environmental Genetics New Investigator Scholar Award, Molecular Changes in Genes Related to Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria Cultured in Urine from Children on CIC (PI), 2016-2017.

Ruth L Kirschestein National Research Service Award (NRSA T32), General Pediatrics Research Fellowship, 2015-2017.

Frederick Lovejoy Resident Research Award, Boston Children’s Hospital, Urinary NGAL in Recurrent UTI (PI), 2012-2013.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Summer Research Program, The Cardioprotective Effects of INO-4885, a Novel Peroxynitrite Decomposition Catalyst (Summer Intern), 2007.