BALTIMORE, September 1, 2021 – Kennedy Krieger Institute has named Dr. Miya Asato, a pediatric neurologist, as the Institute’s new vice president of training. Asato also directs the nationally recognized Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities Program (LEND), which provides graduate level, interdisciplinary training to clinicians with an interest in neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Asato joined the Institute from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, where she was the director of their Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program, also known as LEND, and was the associate director of the school’s pediatric neurology residency. She was a professor of both pediatrics and clinical and translational science at the school.
“Dr. Asato, a superb clinician and training director, represents the next generation of leadership in neurodevelopmental pediatrics and we are extremely fortunate to have her expertise directing Kennedy Krieger’s LEND,” said Brad Schlaggar, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Asato completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University in Boston, before receiving a pre-medical certificate from Goucher College in Towson and her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She completed residencies and fellowships at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She has been the program director of Pitt’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency since 2007.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to advance training at Kennedy Krieger,” Asato said. “The commitment to advancing science to improve patient care and outcomes, the focus on interdisciplinary care, and the ability to collaborate are just a few of the highlights that make Kennedy Krieger a unique place and drew me here.”
Dr. Bruce K. Shapiro, the Institute’s current vice president of training, has announced his retirement later this year after more than 40 years at the Institute, where he helped to shape the field of neurodevelopmental pediatrics as well as train generations of leaders within the discipline.
Since 2009 Shapiro has directed LEND, after serving in a variety of roles with the program and developing it as a renowned national model. During his time with LEND, the program trained more than 5,000 trainees. Shapiro also was the founding project director for the Johns Hopkins/Kennedy Krieger Institute Conjoint Residency in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, the first residency program in the nation to be accredited in this specialty.
In 2018, the Child Neurology Society awarded Shapiro the Blue Bird Circle Training Director Award for his ground-breaking and visionary work at Kennedy Krieger.
“The work of Bruce Shapiro and the tremendous impact of his efforts and insight on the field of neurodevelopmental pediatrics are well known across the medical community,” Schlaggar said. “Dr. Shapiro has been critical in the development and success of our LEND program, the largest by far, and over the course of his highly consequential career, has impacted the training and professional development of thousands of clinicians throughout the U.S.”
Shapiro attended medical school at Boston University and completed his residency at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. before accepting a fellowship in developmental pediatrics at Kennedy Krieger. He trained as a fellow and later a junior faculty member with Arnold J. Capute, MD, MPH, who is widely seen as a founding leader in the field of neurodevelopmental pediatrics.
Shapiro now serves as the Arnold J. Capute, MD, MPH, Chair in neurodevelopmental disabilities. In addition to his work at Kennedy Krieger, he is also a professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2010, Shapiro’s career came full circle when the American Academy of Pediatrics awarded him the Dr. Arnold J. Capute Award for his work with children with disabilities.
“Dr. Shapiro is one of the most talented and respected neurodevelopmental pediatricians in the country, with wonderful clinical skills and a commitment to families and the needs of their children with developmental disabilities,” said Mark L. Batshaw, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital and professor of pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“While Dr. Shapiro has personally helped innumerable families, he has taught and mentored a generation of practitioners through his decades-long leadership of both the LEND training program and the Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics residency program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute,” Batshaw continued. “These programs are the most respected, influential and honored in the U.S. Dr. Shapiro has been a master teacher and mentor to the entire field of neurodevelopmental pediatrics, and his kindness, good humor and wisdom will be greatly missed, especially by me, his friend and colleague for over 45 years.”
Dr. Eboni Lance, associate director of the Neurology and Neurogenetics Clinic and medical director of the Sickle Cell Neurodevelopmental Clinic, described Shapiro as “the foundation” for her training at Kennedy Krieger.
“I came here to receive the best clinical training in neurodevelopmental disabilities, pediatric neurology, and developmental medicine. Dr. Shapiro saw more in me than I saw in myself during my training, challenging me to learn about family centered and holistic care, the history of disability legislation in this country, and neurodevelopmental disorders in patients with chronic disease,” she said. “He opened the doors for me to receive exposure and training in hematology and clinical research during my fellowship training and introduced me to giants in the field who have now become collaborators and colleagues.”
Dr. Brian Rogers, professor emeritus at Oregon Health & Science University, said what he has treasured “the most over the years while working with Dr Shapiro has been his unrelenting efforts to remind all of us of the substantial work that lies ahead while gently nurturing and supporting all of our efforts in improving the lives of children and youth with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. His efforts will continue to be an endless source of hope for what can be accomplished in one’s career for all of us in the field of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.”
Shapiro will remain at the Institute throughout the year to assist Asato in the transition.
“It has been an honor to work with trainees, faculty and staff whose dedication to the children we serve is an inspiration,” Shapiro said. “They have taught me something new each day I have been at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. My hope is that I have reciprocated.”
About Kennedy Krieger Institute:
Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally known nonprofit organization located in the greater Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region, transforms the lives of more than 25,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient medical, behavioral health and wellness therapies; home and community services; school-based programs; training and education for professionals; and advocacy. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders and injuries that impact the nervous system, ranging from mild to severe. The Institute is home to a team of investigators who contribute to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneering new interventions and methods of early diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Visit KennedyKrieger.org for more information about Kennedy Krieger.
Jamie Watt Arnold