The 2018 Leadership Circle Grant recipients were revealed Thursday, May 10, 2018, at a special reception at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

During the reception at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Leadership Circle Board Co-Chair, Clarissa Robinson, had the honor of awarding the five grants. Ms. Robinson was assisted by Tyler, a Phoenix Children’s Hospital patient, who was born with Long QT syndrome. As a result of Long QT, Tyler received a pacemaker at five years old. Tyler is now 12 years old and one of the top club basketball players in the state, an incredible accomplishment as his heart only operates at about 80%! Tyler and his family are still very active in the Phoenix Children’s community.


Together, Ms. Robinson and Tyler announced the first recipient, Dr. Zeb Timmons, Emergency Department Physician and Director of Sepsisi Management. His grant project, Life Flow Rapid Infuser to treat patients with Sepsis at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, received the the highest ranking by the members of Leadership Circle. He received a check of $91,250 for his project.

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Next, Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz, Director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Dan Griffiths, Research Scientist, were awarded $60,146 to work on their project. Their grant project, Miniscopes: Seeing brain function for the first time, will now be able to be put into action with the funding from Leadership Circle.

The third ranked project was Dr. Theresa Currier Thomas’ Accessories to existing equipment for 3D digital neuron and vascular reconstruction. Dr. Thomas was awarded $55,878 to upgrade her Integrated Computer Microscope and continue her important Neurotrauma Research.

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The team of Dr. Michael Kruer and Dr. Brandon Guida, of the Phoenix Children’s Neurogenetics Laboratory, were ranked fourth for their An automated, real-time analysis suite to translate genetic discoveries to a patient-derived human brain cell model of cerebral palsy reserach project and were awarded $145,190.

Finally, Leadership Circle was happy to announce that this year they could fund five projects. The fifth and final grant funded was that of Dr. Heather Menzer and
Dr. Hadi Salehi of Orthopaedics for their project EMG & Footplate Analysis of the Young Athlete. They received $55,000.

None of these projects would be possible without the funds provided by Leadership Circle. Leadership Circle was founded in 2004 by a committed and compassionate group of community leaders who
care deeply about ill and injured children. Annually, each Leadership Circle member gives a minimum donation of $1,000. These annual gifts are pooled and used to fund specific programs and projects,
like the ones listed above.

If you are interested in joining Leadership Circle, please contact Dana Jirauch at or visit its website. Photos from the 2018 Leadership Circle Grant Reception are available on Flickr.

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