Meet Our Care Team
Kara E. Godwin, ARNP
Care Center Coordinator
Peter B Kang, M.D., FAAN, FAP
Peter Kang is a pediatric neurologist and physician scientist who specializes in neuromuscular diseases. After completing his pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, apediatric neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Louis M. Kunkel at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School from 2002 to 2013, rising from instructor to associate professor of neurology during that period. From 2008 to 2013, he served as director of the EMG Laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He has been Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology since 2013 and Director of the Pediatric Neurology Residency Program since 2016.
John T. Sladky, M.D.
Dr. Sladky is a pediatric neurologist with particular interests in neuromuscular disorders, including inherited and acquired neuropathies in childhood, and in neuroimmunology. He was previously Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. After graduating from Yale College and Yale Medical School, he completed pediatric residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, followed by pediatric neurology and neuromuscular training at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for over a decade prior to his appointments at Emory University. He currently serves on the editorial board of Muscle & Nerve.
Barry J Byrne, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Byrne obtained his B.S. degree from Denison University, his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and completed his Pediatrics residency, cardiology fellowship training and post-doctoral training in Biological Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He joined the University of Florida in 1997 and is now the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Genetics.
His research team has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of Pompe disease, a type of neuromuscular disease due to glycogen storage in motor units. His research team has been developing new therapies using AAV-mediated gene therapy to restore muscle function in Pompe and other inherited myopathies, including the most common form Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is a pioneer in implementing complementary treatment strategies combining gene therapy and rehabilitation.
Renata L. Shih, M.D., Ph.D.
Renata L. Shih, MD, is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric cardiology. Dr. Shih received her medical degree from Faculdade Ciencias Medicas Santa Casa de Sao Paulo in Brazil. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Sao Paulo Children’s Institute and her pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Sao Paulo Heart Institute (InCor). Dr. Shih also completed a pediatric residency and pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Dr. Shih joined the UF Health Congenital Heart Center in 2013 after completion of her pediatric cardiology fellowship at University of Florida with focus in pediatric heart transplant, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. Before moving to United States, Dr. Shih worked in pediatric intensive care at Santa Catarina Hospital, Sao Camilo Hospital and Cruzeiro do Sul Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Carmen E Leon Astudillo, M.D.
Dr Leon Astudillo is a board certified pediatric pulmonologist. She received her medical degree from Universidad del Azuay, in Ecuador. After completing her pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she trained in Pediatric Pulmonology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr Leon Astudillo joined University of Florida in 2018.
Alyssa Henry, PA
Alyssa joined UF Health Pediatric Pulmonary in November 2018. She graduated University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies with her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies in June 2018. Alyssa is a dual Gator, as she also graduated with her Bachelor’s from University of Florida in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology in 2013. She sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting, including treatment and management of children with intermittent and persistent asthma and muscular dystrophy.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Frieda P. Ansoanuur, M.D.
Frieda Ansoanuur, MD, earned her medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She completed her residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Subsequently, she completed her fellowship training in pediatric rehabilitation medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Ansoanuur joined the faculty of the department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at the University of Florida in May 2016. Her clinical practice will focus on pediatric rehabilitation and functional issues – specifically, patients with cerebral palsy, tone/spasticity management, adaptive equipment needs, lower and upper extremity bracing, abnormal gait, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
Angelina Valladares Bernier, M.D.
Dr. Bernier is an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology. She is the Fellowship Director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Program and the Pediatric Obesity Medical Director where her focus is to establish an efficacious pediatric obesity care center. Aside from clinical responsibility and education, her primary research focus is pediatric diabetes education for which she has developed and is testing newer methods of improving learning for children with diabetes with the goal of establishing a model that can be extended to other pediatric chronic disease conditions.
Kristin Dayton, MD
Dr. Kristin Dayton is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist. She is originally from Tarpon Springs, FL and attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate degree, Wake Forest University for Medical School and returned to Gainesville, FL for her Pediatric Residency and Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at the University of Florida. She has always had a passion for advocating for the underserved, and became interested in transgender care through her work with Dr. Janet Silverstein and Dr. Colette Meehan during her Fellowship. She has been working with the clinic since early 2016 and plans to make transgender care a focus during her career. She is actively involved in research to improve transgender care and she is an advocate for improved education of all physicians and care providers regarding providing compassionate and comprehensive healthcare for gender nonconforming youth.
Laurel Blakemore, M.D.
Laurel Blakemore, M.D., earned her medical degree at the University of Alabama in 1991 before completing her residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center and fellowship in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve University. She joined the faculty of the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in January 2014. Blakemore’s clinical practice focuses on scoliosis, complex spinal deformity and general pediatric orthopedics. Blakemore was elected to membership in the American Orthopedic Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and has served on the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society and the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America. She participates in several international study groups focusing on pediatric spinal deformity.
Stephanie Ihnow, M.D.
Stephanie Ihnow, MD, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She went on to earn her Master’s in Education from Saint John’s University and was a high school teacher, before beginning her medical training at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. After completing a residency with the department of orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University, she pursued fellowship training in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Ihnow is a resident member of the Ruth Jackson Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the New York chapter Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Henry Adelman Memorial Award for Excellence in Geriatric Medicine, the Helen Bradford Graduate Scholarship and the Margaret Garth Steinert Greene Scholarship. She was also named the Dr. Benjamin H. Kean Class of 1964 and 1965 Global Health Fellow in 2012.
Dr. Ihnow has contributed to numerous abstracts, publications, manuscripts and presentations in pediatric orthopaedics. She participated in a Global Studies Orthopaedic Surgery Clerkship, during which she provided orthopaedic care in Thailand, and worked as a course developer and teaching assistant for the University of Pennsylvania.
Hematology and Oncology
Coy Heldermon, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Heldermon is an assistant professor of medicine, board certified medical oncologist with expertise in the treatment of breast cancer. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. His research expertise is in the use of gene replacement and stem cell therapies for the treatment of inherited disorders such as lysosomal storage diseases. He also studies the spread of stem cells from maternal or malignant sources using mouse models.
Dr. Heldermon’s primary research focus is on developing new therapeutic strategies using gene therapy and stem cell therapy for patients with inherited diseases such as lysosomal storage disorders and hemophilias. He is focused on studying the frequent cell transfer between mother and fetus during gestation that establish microchimerism and is determining ways to modulate the level of this chimerism to enable therapy of disease. Through the use of gene replacement, he hopes to correct the underlying deficiencies underpinning the disease manifestations.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Michelle Cardell, RD, Ph.D.
Dr. Cardel is an obesity and nutrition scientist and registered dietitian in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. Dr. Cardel received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida State University in 2005. In 2009, she was awarded a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and in 2012, a Doctorate Degree in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She went on to complete her dietetic internship at UAB and the Alaskan Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Her research is focused on understanding factors that contribute to the development of obesity and implementing treatment programs for obesity in underserved populations. Her specialties include nutrition, obesity, weight management, pediatric obesity, psychosocial factors contributing to obesity, and health disparities.
Dr. Cardel is a member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Nutrition (ASN), where she was recognized in 2015 as the recipient of the ASN Grand Prize for Young Minority Investigators Award. She has presented at both national and international conferences including the National Academy of Medicine annual meeting and has been recipient of a variety of awards including the UAB President’s Diversity Award, Charles Barkley Young Investigator Award, UAB’s Outstanding Woman Award, The Obesity Society’s Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award finalist, and the UAB National Alumni Society’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. In 2018, she was selected to become a Fellow of The Obesity Society. She is passionate about trans-disciplinary obesity research and is currently Chair of the Obesity Research Interest Section for the American Society for Nutrition.