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Emerging Principal Investigators: Dr. Keith Feldman


Emerging Principal Investigators: Dr. Keith Feldman

Headshot of Keith Feldman, PhD
Keith Feldman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
Full Biography

As Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) grows its research programs, the institute has welcomed many innovative, early-career investigators to its roster of researchers. These investigators bring their novel ideas, unique talents, and diverse interests to CMRI. The following profile is one in our series on emerging principal investigators.

Keith Feldman, PhD, Doctoral Research Faculty in Health Services and Outcomes Research, noted that it was his mom, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse, whose efforts to help children became a major driver for his career in health care. In high school, Dr. Feldman volunteered in the NICU through the early transition of electronic records. When he decided to pursue a college degree in computer science, he drew from his experience to study how informatics could be applied to improving patient care, specifically in intensive care settings where large amounts of data are collected but remain underutilized. The utilization of existing medical records became the focus of his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Since joining Children’s Mercy in 2019, Dr. Feldman has been involved with more than 25 projects across more than 10 hospital divisions and three external institutions. These projects are collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts in both clinical translational outcomes research and methodological studies. His work is motivated by the potential of computational methods to understand variability within patient conditions and outcomes. “Ultimately, the goal is to identify evidenced-based risk factors and treatment patterns that can be used to better inform the quality and effectiveness of care,” he said.

While Dr. Feldman partners with clinical colleagues throughout Children’s Mercy, neonatal health remains a continuing area of focus for him. Recently, he published a study of neonates on long-term parenteral nutrition, finding those with congenital heart conditions were at a significantly higher risk for parenteral nutrition associated liver disease. The work was a cross-divisional effort, involving collaborations with Hepatology (Ryan Fischer, MD), Neonatology (Christopher Nitkin, MD, Ayan Rajgarhia, MD), Pharmacy (Alexandra Oschman, PharmD), and Health Outcomes Research (Brian Lee, PhD), together with a local medical student (Yasasvhinie Santharam).  

Dr. Feldman also collaborates with the Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program (CHAMP®) and Remote Patient Monitoring teams on projects involving the use of home monitoring data for congenital heart patients after neonatal discharge. These collaborations have included a recent study to investigate if caregiver-entered data could be used for early identification of patients requiring interventional catheterization for recurrent coarctation of the aorta, and a feasibility study on the utilization of commercially available electronic bassinets for postoperative soothing of patients with congenital heart disease.

In addition to clinical translational studies, Dr. Feldman has developed a body of methodological research to improve the way patient data is represented. He recently received an award from the American Heart Association (AHA) that builds on previous research funded by an award from the Frontiers Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Kansas. The AHA-funded project’s aim is to develop a computational framework for improving case control studies by using patients’ complete medical histories to reduce confounding in matched study designs. The study aims to use these techniques to better identify early life risk factors for Fontan Associated Liver Disease in infants with single ventricle heart disease. He also has an ongoing internal pilot to develop interpretable patient trajectories using new, higher order network methodologies. Finally, Dr. Feldman and team are wrapping up work on a supplement funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop methods to define representativeness of study participants available as part of a parent R01 on asthma disparities  led by Elin Grundberg, PhD, Genomic Medicine Center.

As his research moves forward, Dr. Feldman is interested in exploring how to use existing data to augment decisions. “As I’ve gotten more involved in translational research, I realized how much work focused on replicating practitioner’s workflows to predict decisions that were already going to be made,” he said. “That sparked my research on this idea of Augmentation not Automation, which I take to mean the development of informatics-driven methods that enhance the effectiveness of those engaged in health care to answer the question, ‘What information, if available, would improve a decision I need to make?’”

Dr. Feldman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMKC School of Medicine and is the Faculty Director of CM’s Research Summer Scholars Program. The program provides undergraduate students an experience to engage in hypothesis-driven research projects under the mentorship of Children’s Mercy clinicians and scientists.