Pediatric pulmonologist earns national acclaim

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Benjamin Gaston, MD, pediatric pulmonologist at Riley Children's Health, earns national recognition for his trailblazing work in pediatric pulmonology.

Benjamin Gaston, MD, pediatric pulmonologist at Riley Children’s Health, is among one of few to be inducted into the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in 2024. The AAP, a prestigious society comprised of leading physician-scientists who make impactful contributions to improve health, recognizes Dr. Gaston for his trailblazing work in pediatric pulmonology.

Founded in 1885, the AAP seeks to inspire research, medical knowledge, advancement and discovery, as well as build a community of physician-scientists who are dedicated to improving patient care. With only 70 nominees per year, the AAP involves only the best medical innovators in their fields.

"Election as a member of the AAP is a milestone achievement in the career of a physician-scientist," executive associate dean for research affairs at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Tatiana Foroud, PhD said.

Among many achievements, Dr. Gaston is especially renowned for developing new therapies for severe asthma, with the goal to eliminate the symptoms of the life-threatening disease. Under a five-year, $12 million program project grant (P01) from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the research analyzes S-nitrosylation signaling, airway pH regulation and androgen signaling to target treatment options for severe asthma. With the research findings, Dr. Gaston’s next endeavor will involve taking the therapies to market.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach for treating asthma,” Dr. Gaston said. “Each patient’s symptoms are different; therefore, we aim to develop personalized treatments in order to find the right drug for the right person.”

In addition to asthma, Dr. Gaston leads basic and translational research focused on improving the management of childhood respiratory diseases such as apnea, viral pneumonia, bronchiolitis, septic shock, primary ciliary dyskinesia and more. To date, Dr. Gaston has disclosed 13 inventions, published numerous patents, completed over 230 publications and created five startups.

Dr. Gaston was inducted into the AAP April 5 – 7, 2024 in Chicago, IL as part of a joint meeting with The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), another society representing physician-scientists who have made notable contributions to improve health and wellness. He was alongside other representatives from Riley Children’s, those being David Hains, MD, division chief of pediatric nephrology and Chandy C. John, MD, MS, pediatric infectious disease specialist.

"I'm thrilled that the innovation and outstanding research of our faculty is being recognized at such a high level,” Dr. Foroud added. “Dr. Gaston is incredibly deserving of this honor.”

About pediatric pulmonology

Riley Children’s boasts a leading pediatric pulmonology program, home to specialists providing care for children with respiratory and sleep disorders. Program highlights include:

  • Core member of the Severe Pediatric Asthma Consortium, aimed to develop best practice guidelines and cultivate asthma research initiatives
  • Home to the nation’s only multidisciplinary program for patients with Alström syndrome
  • One of the largest cystic fibrosis programs in the nation

Learn more about pediatric pulmonology at Riley Children's.

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Benjamin M. Gaston, MD

Pediatric Pulmonary