Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Christopher J. Russell, MD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital Medicine at CHLA. As a pediatric hospitalist, he has clinical expertise in the acute medical management and coordination of care for children with medical complexity. Since joining the faculty at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, he has received the Barbara M. Korsch Award in Medical Education to create and evaluate an educational intervention to improve physician knowledge about pediatric pain management.

In January 2013, Dr. Russell was one of 13 pediatricians nationwide chosen by the Academic Pediatric Association chose to participate in the prestigious Research Scholars Program, a faculty development program created to assist participants interested in preparing for a career in academic medical research. In March 2014, he was awarded the three-year USC-SC CTSI KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award and will obtain a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations at the University of Southern California. Dr. Russell was awarded the 2015 Academic Pediatric Association’s Young Investigator Award.  He hopes to become an independent clinical researcher focusing on improving evidence-based care of hospitalized children with complex conditions, particularly for pediatric patients with tracheostomies.

Clinical Interests

Children with medical complexity, respiratory infection in pediatric patients with tracheostomies, pediatric pain management and palliative care


Medical School: 

Harvard Medical School


University of California San Francisco


University of California San Francisco



American Board of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships: 

American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association


Russell CJ, Mack WJ, Schrager SM, Wu S. Care variations and outcomes for children hospitalized with bacterial tracheostomy-associated respiratory infections. Hospital pediatrics. Forthcoming; doi: 10.1542/hospeds.2008-1536.

Russell CJ, Shiroishi MS, Siantz E, Wu BW, Patino CM. The use of inhaled antibiotic therapy in the treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia and tracheobronchitis: a systematic review. BMC Pulm Med. 2016 Mar 8;16:40. PubMed PMID: 26956371; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4784295

Russell CJ, Simon TD. Care of Children with Medical Complexity in the Hospital Setting. Pediatr Ann. 2014 Jul 1; 43(7):e157-e162. PMID: 24977678

Russell CJ, Golub SA, Cohen DE, Mayer KH. Urine-based asymptomatic urethral gonorrhea and chlamydia screening and sexual risk-taking behavior in men who have sex with men in greater Boston. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Mar; 21(3):205-11. PMID: 17428188

Cohen DE, Russell CJ, Golub SA, Mayer KH. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among men who have sex with men at a Boston community health center and its association with markers of high-risk behavior. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2006 Aug; 20(8):557-64. PMID: 16893325

Frahm N, Korber BT, Adams CM, Szinger JJ, Draenert R, Addo MM, Feeney ME, Yusim K, Sango K, Brown NV, SenGupta D, Piechocka-Trocha A, Simonis T, Marincola FM, Wurcel AG, Stone DR, Russell CJ, Adolf P, Cohen D, Roach T, StJohn A, Khatri A, Davis K, Mullins J, Goulder PJ, Walker BD, Brander C. Consistent cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte targeting of immunodominant regions in human immunodeficiency virus across multiple ethnicities. J Virol. 2004 Mar; 78(5):2187-200. PMID: 16893325

Russell CJ, Keel PK. Homosexuality as a specific risk factor for eating disorders in men. Int J Eat Disord. 2002 Apr; 31(3):300-6. PMID: 11920991

Research Interests: 

The aims of my current research projects are to determine risk factors for development of bacterial respiratory tract infections in pediatric patients with tracheostomies placement. I hope to develop evidence-based guidelines for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bacterial respiratory tract infections in this vulnerable population. Despite being the most common potentially preventable condition for which pediatric patients with tracheostomies are hospitalized, there is little clinical research surrounding the prevention and management of respiratory infections in this population.

I am the Principal Investigator for a series of projects using secondary database analyses of large administrative databases to examine resource utilization and risk factors for readmission and prolonged hospitalizations for pediatric patients with tracheostomies admitted with bacterial respiratory tract infections. My research program is supported by the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Academic Pediatric Association.

Research Topics

1. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric bacterial tracheostomy-associated resipiratory tract infections
2. Pediatric post-tracheotomy outcomes

Key Findings

Care variations in treatment of bacterial tracheostomy-associated respiratory tract infections in pediatric patients: Our group has demonstrated that children with tracheostomies hospitalized with bacterial respiratory tract infections have 30-day inpatient/ED readmission rates over 30% with variation in length of stay and resource utilization. We have identified that patients less than 12 months old with certain complex chronic conditions and chronic ventilator dependency are at the highest risk for longer length of stay and 30-day all-cause hospital revisit.

Risk factors for bacterial respiratory tract infections after tracheostomy placement in pediatric patients: Our single-center data shows that Hispanic ethnicity and post-tracheotomy Pseudomonas aeruginosa acquisition is associated with increased odds of readmission for bacterial respiratory tract infections within 12 months after tracheostomy placement. Our multicenter study demonstrated that young, Hispanic children with multiple complex chronic conditions who use Medicaid insurance and are discharged home have the highest risk for hospitalization for a bacterial TARTI after tracheotomy.

Current Funding

My work has been supported through the USC-SC CTSI KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award Academic Pediatric Association's Young Investigator Award,

4650 Sunset Blvd.
MS #76
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-6177Office