Heather Siefkes receives 2021 Eli Gold Prize

UC Davis distinction awarded to young faculty who demonstrate prominence


Heather Siefkes, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, has received the 2021 Eli Gold Prize. Siefkes works in the Pediatric and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and serves as medical director of Project ADAM Sacramento, which helps schools prepare for a sudden cardiac emergency through AED and CPR training.

Heather Siefkes
Heather Siefkes

The prize was named for Eli Gold, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, who supported and encouraged many young aspiring pediatricians. The annual award of $3,000 supports winners’ research and career development.

“In her relatively short time in our department, through a unique combination of focus, persistence and vision, Dr. Siefkes has established herself as a leader in clinical research,” said Jennifer Plant, division chief of pediatric critical care medicine at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, who nominated her for the award. “Dr. Siefkes has also made considerable contributions to the Department of Pediatrics, related to service, education and clinical work. She is a thorough and thoughtful clinician worthy of recognition for the quality of her work.”

Siefkes’ research interests include early detection of critical congenital heart disease in newborns and outcomes related to pediatrics critical care medicine. She has earned a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) grant and a UC Davis CTSC KL2 scholar grant to improve critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) detection in newborns by measuring their blood flow levels in addition to blood oxygen levels.

The Eli Gold Award is open to any junior faculty member in the department who has achieved prominence in clinical, teaching, research or community service. The criteria for identifying the award recipient includes innovation, impact on child health, and impact on UC Davis Children’s Hospital or its community. The award winner is invited to give a lecture on a topic of his or her choice at a Pediatric Grand Rounds.