James Gern, MD, Leads $15 Million Grant to Study How Environmental Exposures Affect Childhood AsthmaPosted: September 2016
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health a two-year, $15 million grant to establish and oversee the Children’s Respiratory Research and Environment Workgroup (CREW) - a national consortium of 14 institutions that will study how genetics interact with environmental exposures during the prenatal and early childhood years to cause specific subtypes of childhood asthma.
The grant is part of $157 million in awards by the NIH that launches a seven-year initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). The ECHO program will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development – from conception through early childhood – influences the health of children and adolescents.
“Studies of children from single research centers have taught us that the environment during the prenatal period and in infancy greatly influences who develops asthma,” said James Gern, MD, principal investigator of the study. “The CREW study and the overall ECHO program will for the first time enable information from multiple studies to be combined so that U.S. investigators working together can identify causes and develop new strategies to prevent severe childhood asthma.”
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Releases PRISM Toolkit to Identify Type 1 Diabetes Self-Management Barriers
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, director of the Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids), has released a toolkit to support identification of type 1 diabetes self-management barriers for children and adolescents. The toolkit, Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management (PRISM), includes two brief, validated surveys – one for 13-17 year-old adolescents and one for parents of youth ages 8-17 years. The PRISM surveys identify up to six barriers to self-management that youth and families may be experiencing.
The majority of youth with type 1 diabetes struggle to manage their condition, which can lead to life-threatening complications. There are multiple strategies to support successful diabetes self-management, so understanding the specific challenges faced by a youth and their family enable tailoring of the resources offered to individual needs. This type of tailored help shows promise in improving glycemic control and quality of life.
“Children with type 1 diabetes and their families face many challenges to controlling diabetes and maintaining good quality of life,” Dr. Cox explained. “Our preliminary work suggests taking good care of diabetes can be easier when healthcare providers offer resources tailored to each family’s specific needs.”
The PRISM toolkit includes the two surveys, a manual for administration and scoring, and a workbook for automatic scoring of PRISM. It is available as a free download on the HIPxChange website.
Collaborative Funded to Improve Screening for Intimate Partner Violence
Dr. Elizabeth Cox, associate professor of pediatrics at UW-Madison, in collaboration with Laurie Thompsen, MSW (West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and Dr. Danielle Davidov (West Virginia University), received a Tier 1 Eugene Washington Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. This award will develop a collaborative focused on improving screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) in healthcare settings. Screening for IPV can increase identification by 133%, and both providers and patients, including victims, are generally supportive of screening. However, screening rates among physicians are low, and current practices are not effective.
As noted by the project team in their successful proposal, “Seven million US women and five million men experience IPV annually. Although the Affordable Care Act mandates coverage for screening to detect IPV, compliance with this mandate is hampered by lack of evidence about patient-centered screening methods.”
The funding will support the establishment of crucial partnerships between health services researchers, IPV victims and survivors, and other stakeholders such as healthcare providers, policymakers, advocacy groups, and the criminal justice system. The collaborative aims to develop questions for further research regarding effective screening methods and an evidence base for addressing IPV in healthcare settings.
Trish Barribeau Awarded Academic Staff Development Grant
Congratulations to Trish Barribeau, MA, Administrative Program and Grant Specialist in Administration - Fiscal, who was recently awarded an Academic Staff Professional Development Grant from UW-Madison in the amount of $1,289 to attend the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) 58th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in early August. These competitive funds provide up to 50% support for professional development and/or training activities to improve the effectiveness of academic staff members in their current roles.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD Receives R35 Award from NIH
Anna Huttenlocher, MD was recently awarded a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (R35) from National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS) worth over $2.9 million for 5 years, for her research entitled "Cell migration and wound repair." The focus of her research is to understand the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate cell migration and how defects in cell migration contribute to human disease in the context of tissue damage and repair. Understanding how wound repair is orchestrated and integrated at both the single cell and multi-cellular level in the context of different types of damage is the focus of her future research. She will address these questions using optogenetic tools, genomic approaches and advanced imaging in zebrafish and in vitro analysis using human cells.
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Awarded Grant from Cannonball Kids' Cancer Foundation
Mario Otto, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a 3-year grant in the amount of $75,000 from Cannonball Kids' Cancer Foundation for his clinical trial entitled, "TCR-α/β+ and CD19+ depleted KIR/KIR ligand-mismatched Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant and Zoledronate for Pediatric Relapsed/Refractory Hematologic Malignancies and High Risk Solid Tumors." Funds from this award will be used in a clinical trial for children with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies and high-risk solid tumors (such as rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma), utilizing haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation employing a novel, highly selective graft engineering process that removes unwanted cellular components (e.g., α/β T cells and B cells). The CEO, Ashley VanDerMark, and co-founder of Cannonball Kids', Melissa Wiggins, recently visited with Dr. Otto at his laboratory in Madison.
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD Receives Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Grant
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Klein, MD, has been awarded a $60,000, 3-year Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This grant is designed to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research. Her project, entitled "Role of airway epithelial cells in host defense against pulmonary fungal pathogens," will allow her to test the hypothesis that airway epithelial cells underpin host resistance to fungi.
Research Associate Receives Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the AHA
Congratulations to Huafeng Wang, PhD, who was recently awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA) of $110,300 over 2 years. For his project, "New Adjuvants for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Fungal Infections," Dr. Wang, under the mentorship of Marcel Wüethrich, PhD, and Bruce Klein, MD, will identify fungal cell wall ligand(s) that are recognized by Dectin-2 (a C-type lectin receptor) and test their adjuvancy with a safe subunit fungal vaccine. Findings from this project will ultimately advance methods of prevention among cardiovascular patients that are at risk of fungal infection.
James Gern, MD, Receives NIH Supplement
Congratulations to James Gern, MD, who recently was awarded a supplement to his U19 grant award from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (AADCRC). The supplement, in the amount of $143,009, is titled, "A First-in-Human Safety and Dose-Finding Study of New Type-16 Human Rhinovirus (RG-HRV-16) Inoculum in Healthy Volunteers," and will help determine the dose of reverse genetics human rhinovirus 16 (RG-RV16) needed to produce moderate colds in most seronegative individuals, in order lead to testing of new antiviral agents.
Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, Receives NIH Diversity Supplement Support
Congratulations to Bruce Klein, MD, and Postdoctoral Fellow Nydiaris Hernandez-Santos, PhD, who have been awarded a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research Program from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID) in the amount of $173,655. This supplement, as part of Dr. Klein's NIH-NIAID R01 Parent Award entitled, "Molecular pathogenesis of Blastomycosis," provides 2 years of support for Dr. Hernandez-Santos' research.