Karena Gildea Lawrence, MD, MS, IBCLC, FAAP

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Assistant Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program

Karena Lawrence is a board-certified Pediatric subspecialist in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (NPM) and a Clinician-Educator with a Master of Science degree in Medical Education. As part of the NPM fellowship program leadership team, she specializes in the development of educational curricula and evaluation tools. Her most recent education projects within the Division of Newborn Medicine include development of a communication curriculum on difficult conversations, creation of a structured mentorship program, and development of a formal debrief program. In addition, Lawrence also has extensive experience in simulation-based training including recurring interdepartmental sessions on neonatal resuscitation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) wet labs, and point-of-care ultrasound workshops. As an Assistant Professor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Lawrence is the Course Director for the required course on Advanced Medical Interviewing.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011-Present
    • Trainees and Early Career Neonatologists, Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, 2017-Present
    • Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 2017-Present
    • Council on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, 2017-Present
    • Section on Simulation and Innovative Learning Methods, 2017-Present
  • Organization of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Program Directors, 2018-Present
  • Association of Pediatric Program Directors, 2020-Present

Education & Training

  • BA, Economics, Columbia University, 1999
  • BS, Biology, University of Maryland, 2006
  • MD, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 2011
  • MS, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2018
  • Residency in Pediatrics, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2011-2014
  • Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2014-2017

Selected Publications

Lawrence KG, Lee B, Dewar S, Shah J, Dohar JE, Nowalk AJ, Martin JM. Bacteroides bacteremia complicating otogenic Lemierre's syndrome. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Sept;13:53-56.  DOI: 10.1016/j.pedex.2016.05.002 

De Silva R, Raval AN, Hadi M, Gildea KM, Bonifacino AC, Yu ZX, Yau YY, Leitman SF, Bacharach SL, Donahue RE, Read EJ, Lederman RJ. Intracoronary infusion of unselected mononuclear cells derived from either G-CSF mobilized apheresis product or bone marrow does not improve remodeling, contractile function, perfusion or infarct size in a swine model of myocardial infarction. Eur Heart J. 2008 Jul;29(14):1772-82. PMID: 18502738.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Academic and Research Interests

1U01NS092764, HEAL (High Dose Erythropoietin for Asphyxia and Encephalopathy), (PI, 1% effort), 2017-2022, NINSD (National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke), Unfunded role

Letting Parents be Parents: A medical education curriculum to facilitate parent bedside engagement and family integrated care, (PI, 5% effort), 2019-2020, AAP Klaus Award: 2019 Education Research Award, $5,000 

1R01HD097578-01, NICU Antibiotics and Outcomes Trial (NANO), 2020-2024, NICDH (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), Unfunded role