Research Director, Division of Hospital Medicine
Attending Physician

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Summary
  • Publications
  • Research
  • Locations

Christopher J. Russell, MD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. As a pediatric hospitalist, he has clinical expertise in the acute medical management and coordination of care for children with medical complexity. The overall objective of his work is to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bacterial respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, in children with complex medical conditions.

In January 2013, Dr. Russell was one of 13 pediatricians nationwide chosen by the Academic Pediatric Association to participate in the prestigious Research Scholars Program, a three-year 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 Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award and obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations at USC. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Russell was awarded the 2015 Academic Pediatric Association’s Young Investigator Award. More recently, he received support from the NIH/NHLBI Loan Repayment Program (2017-2021) and received a three-year award from the Gerber Foundation (2020-2022) to conduct a multicenter prospective study on children with tracheostomy being evaluated for suspected bacterial respiratory infections.

Clinical Interests

Children with medical complexity, respiratory infection in children with tracheostomy


Medical School: 

Harvard Medical School


University of California, San Francisco


University of California, San Francisco



American Board of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics
American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics Hospital Medicine

Professional Memberships: 

American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, American Thoracic Society, Society for Pediatric Research


Russell CJ, Mack WJ, Schrager SM, Wu S. Care Variations and Outcomes for Children Hospitalized with Bacterial Tracheostomy-Associated Respiratory Infections. Hosp Pediatr. 2017 Jan;7(1):16-23. PubMed PMID: 27998905; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5476218.

Russell CJ, Mamey MR, Koh JY, Schrager SM, Neely MN, Wu S. Length of Stay and Hospital Revisit After Bacterial Tracheostomy-Associated Respiratory Tract Infection Hospitalizations. Hosp Pediatr. 2018 Jan 16; PubMed PMID: 29339536.

Russell CJ, Simon TD, Mamey MR, Newth CJL, Neely MN. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and post-tracheotomy bacterial respiratory tract infection readmissions. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017 Sep;52(9):1212-1218. PubMed PMID: 28440922; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5561001.

Russell CJ, Thurm C, Hall M, Simon TD, Neely MN, Berry JG. Risk factors for hospitalizations due to bacterial respiratory tract infections after tracheotomy. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2018 Jan 4; PubMed PMID: 29314789.

Yu H, Mamey MR, Russell CJ. Factors associated with 30-day all-cause hospital readmission after tracheotomy in pediatric patients. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Dec;103:137-141. PubMed PMID: 29224755; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5728177.

Miyakawa R, Barreto N, Kato R, Neely MN, Russell CJ. Early Use of Anti-Influenza Medications in Hospitalized Children with Tracheostomy. Pediatrics. 2019 Mar;143(3). pii: e20182608. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2608. PMID: 30814271.

Russell CJ, Simon TD, Neely MN. Development of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa-positive respiratory cultures in children with tracheostomy. Lung. 2019 December; 197:811-817. doi: 10.1007/s00408-019-00285-6.  PMID: 31673781.

Research Interests: 


View Russel Laboratory

The aim of my current research projects is to determine risk factors for development of bacterial respiratory tract infections in pediatric patients with tracheostomy. 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 tracheostomy 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 to examine and evaluate how clinicians use clinical information to diagnose and treat suspected bacterial tracheostomy-associated infections and to identify factors associated with antibiotic overuse in this population. My research program is currently supported by the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Gerber Foundation.

Research Topics

1. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric bacterial tracheostomy-associated respiratory 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 are 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 of 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, the Academic Pediatric Association's Young Investigator Award, and the Gerber Foundation.

4650 Sunset Blvd.
MS #94
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-6177Office