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Hala Chaaban, MD

​Hala Chaaban, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

1200 North Everett Drive; ETNP 7504
Oklahoma City, OK 73104


Dr. Chaaban is a neonatologist and physician-scientist at OU Children’s. Her research interests are in premature intestinal development and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Her work focuses on identifying pre- and postnatal factors that play a role in the development of the small intestine in preterm infants, and the contribution of those factors on the development of NEC.

MyNCBI Publications

Fun Fact: "I raid the swear jar at my home to buy coffee."

Academic Section(s):

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine


MD: Beirut Arab University Medical School - 2001 
Pediatric Residency: American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon - 2004 
Fellowship: Neonatology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon - 2006 
Perinatal-Neonatal Fellowship: Women and Infants Hospital of RI/Brown University, Providence, RI - 2009
Pediatric Residency: University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD - 2011 

Board Certification(s):

American Board of Pediatrics
American Board of Neonatology

Clinical/Research Interests:

The Chaaban lab is working to identifying factors that influence the development and maturation of the small intestine in premature infants; and how they play a role in the pathogenesis of NEC. These include prenatal factors such as maternal demographics/pathologies, neonatal factors such as feeding practices, antibiotic use, and others.  Using murine models of NEC, in-vitro culture models (enteroids), and human samples, Dr. Chaaban’s work aims to improve our understanding of NEC, develop reliable biomarkers for early diagnosis of NEC, and develop strategies that prevent this deadly disease.

Select Honors & Accomplishments:

2020 - Mentor Award, OUHSC, Department of Pediatrics
2015-2017 - Mentor Award, OUHSC, Department of Pediatrics
2013-2015 - Young Faculty Award, Southern Society of Pediatric Research
2014 - Outstanding Pediatric Faculty Award, OUHSC (month of June)
2011 - Best Pediatric Resident, Mercy Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center
2009 - Clinical Research Award, Neonatal New England Conference
2008 - Chief Fellow, Neonatology, Brown University
2008 - Clinical Research Award, Neonatal New England Conference
2005 - Pediatric Chief Resident, American University of Beirut
2005 - Best Pediatric Resident, American University of Beirut

Select Publications:

  • Chaaban H, Burge K, Eckert J, Keshari RS, Silasi R, Lupu C, Warner B, Escobedo M, Caplan M, Lupu F. Neutrophil extracellular trap inhibition increases inflammation, bacteremia, and mortality in murine necrotizing enterocolitis. J Cell Mol Med. 2020 Jun 8; DOI: 10.1111/jcmm.15338. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32515131.
  • ​Gunasekaran A, Eckert J, Burge K, Zheng W, Yu Z, Kessler S, de la Motte C, Chaaban H. Hyaluronan 35 kDa enhances epithelial barrier function and protects against the development of murine necrotizing enterocolitis. Pediatr Res. 2020 Jun;87(7):1177-1184. DOI: 10.1038/s41390-019-0563-9. Epub 2019 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 31499514; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7061074.
  • Burge K, Bergner E, Gunasekaran A, Eckert J, Chaaban H. The Role of Glycosaminoglycans in Protection from Neonatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2020 February; 12(2):546-. DOI: 10.3390/nu12020546.