Lina Chalak, M.D.

Interim Chief, Division of Neonatal-perinatal Medicine

  • Pediatrics - Neonatal-Perinatal
  • Fetal-neonatal neurology
  • Neonatal asphyxia

Biography

Lina Chalak, M.D., M.S.C.S., is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. A physician-scientist, she specializes in fetal-neonatal neurology and developmental neuroscience.

Dr. Chalak earned her medical degree at the American University of Beirut, where she also performed a residency in pediatrics. She completed a second residency in pediatrics at Children’s Health in Dallas and received advanced training in neonatal-perinatal medicine and in neonatal resuscitation through fellowships at UT Southwestern. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in clinical science from UT Southwestern.

Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in neonatal-perinatal medicine, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2008.

Dr. Chalak’s primary focus is to improve neonatal neurologic care and outcomes. Her synergistic clinical and research programs integrate cutting-edge research and team science clinical care focused on the neonatal brain. Her research trajectory has evolved from bridging translational studies in a piglet model of asphyxia to elucidating mechanisms of neonatal brain injury to conducting clinical trials aimed at optimizing neuroprotection and developing novel physiological biomarkers of brain health. Her interdisciplinary collaborations include nationally funded networks, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Neonatal Research Network (NRN).

In parallel with her sustained National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research program, Dr. Chalak created UT Southwestern’s clinical Neurological Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NeuroNICU) program in 2018 and the Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Fellowship Training Program in 2019. Additionally, she is the Associate Chief for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in UTSW’s Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Chalak is Co-Chair of the Newborn Brain Society (NBS) Research and Quality Committee, Chair of the NIH NST Study Section, and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellow Western Conference on Perinatal Research. She also serves on the executive council of the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) and the council of the American Pediatric Society (APS). In addition, she is a member of several other professional organizations, including the Perinatal Research Society and the International Perinatal Collegium. She has delivered scores of lectures and presentations and authored more than 100 publications focused on neonatal brain injury research. She serves as Associate Section Editor of Pediatric Research and as a reviewer for numerous medical and scientific journals.

In 2021, she received UT Southwestern’s Best Mentor Award.

Education & Training
  • Internship - Children's Health Dallas (2001-2002), Pediatrics
  • Residency - Children's Health Dallas (2002-2004), Pediatrics
  • Internship - American University of Beruit (1995-1996), Pediatrics
  • Medical School - American University - Beirut (1991-1995)
  • Residency - American University of Beruit (1996-1998), Pediatrics
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1998-2001), Neonatal-perinatal Medicine
  • Graduate School - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2008-2011)
  • Other Post Graduate Training - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2008-2011)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Pediatric Society
  • International Perinatal Collegium
  • Newborn Brain Society
  • Perinatal Research Society
  • Society for Pediatric Research
Honors & Awards
  • Best Mentor Award 2021, UT Southwestern Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards
  • Program Development Award Nomination 2020, UT Southwestern Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards
  • Mentor Award Nomination 2020, UT Southwestern Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards
  • Acarin Award for Outstanding Presentation 2016, 2016, 10th Hershey Conference Equivilly, France
  • PRS Young Research Investigator Award 2010, Perinatal Research Society Annual Meeting Travel Award
  • Dean’s Teaching Award for Education 2007-2008, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • Best Teacher Award 2006-2007, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • Educator of the Year 2005-2006, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • AAP Young Investigator Award 2004, AAP Annual Meeting
  • Perinatal Travel Grant Award, 2004, 2001, AAP Annual Meeting
  • Best Graduating Resident Award 1998, Department of Pediatrics, American University of Beirut
  • Dean’s Honor List, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, American University of Beirut
Books & Publications
Research
  • Asphyxia
  • Hypothermia
  • Neonatal brain injury

Clinical Focus

  • Fetal-neonatal neurology
  • Neonatal asphyxia

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2021 Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. Lina Chalak

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