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University of Iowa News Release

June 18, 2004

Tsalikian Named Interim Pediatric, Children's Hospital Head; Morriss Steps Down

Eva Tsalikian, M.D. (left), associate professor of pediatrics in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, will serve as interim head of the UI Department of Pediatrics and interim medical director of Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics. The appointment will be effective June 25.

Tsalikian, who also will be promoted to full professor on July 1, will serve in the positions while a nationwide search is conducted to fill the spots currently held by Frank H. Morriss Jr., M.D. (right), professor of pediatrics, who will resume full-time teaching, research and clinical duties.

Morriss has been on the UI faculty and served as head of pediatrics since 1987. During his tenure, Morriss led the initiative to establish Children's Hospital of Iowa, and the UI Department of Pediatrics grew immensely in size and national stature. He has served as medical director of Children's Hospital of Iowa since 1997.

Both Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics, and Jean Robillard, M.D., dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine, applauded Morriss for his nearly two decades of leadership and accomplishments for the UI Department of Pediatrics.

"Dr. Morriss helped advance the care we provide to children of all ages at Children's Hospital of Iowa, and we are indebted to him for many years of dedicated leadership," Katen-Bahensky said.

Robillard added that he and Katen-Bahensky look forward to working with Tsalikian during the transition while the search for a permanent head of pediatrics is underway.

"We have identified an outstanding pool of candidates, and we are in the process of determining the finalists," Robillard said. "Meanwhile, the department is in excellent hands under Dr. Tsalikian's guidance."

In addition to caring for newborns, Morriss has a clinical interest in the effects of health care changes on clinical decision-making and financing of pediatrics health care. His research interests include fetal and neonatal physiology related to nutrition and analysis of decisions made about neonatal disease therapies.

Before coming to the UI, Morriss previously served in faculty and leadership positions at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He earned a medical degree from Duke University Medical School, where he also completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology, which is the care of babies in their first 30 days of life. In addition, Morriss was a research fellow in perinatal medicine at the University of Colorado Medical Center.

Tsalikian joined the UI Department of Pediatrics in 1983 and serves as director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. Tsalikian treats growth and endocrine disorders, as well as diabetes in children and adolescents. Her research endeavors include studying glucose control and hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes and the accuracy of devices for continuous glucose monitoring and their usefulness for predicting and detecting hypoglycemia. She also studies the effect of growth hormone treatment in growth disorders.

Tsalikian earned her medical degree in 1973 from the University of Athens in Greece and completed residencies in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Penn. She also was a research fellow in diabetes and metabolism at the University of California at San Francisco and a research fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Mayo Graduate College in Rochester, Minn.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

PHOTOS: Photos of Dr. Morriss and Dr. Tsalikian will be available on request and at the electronic posting of this release on June 18 at this Web site:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,