Bruce Klein, MD, Awarded R21 from NIH
Bruce Klein, MD, recently received a new R21 award in the amount of $408,030 for his project entitled, "Hybrid histidine kinase: a drug target and path to anti-fungal drug development". In this 2-year grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), Dr. Klein and his team propose to discover the mode of action of anti-fungal drugs that require group III hybrid histidine kinases (HHKs). HHKs regulate the HOG (high-osmolarity glycerol) pathway and are conserved in fungi and absent in mammals, making them an ideal drug target. Fungicides that require the HOG pathway to kill pathogens are used in agriculture, but are too toxic for use in human patients. The drug target of these agricultural fungicides is unclear and represents a gap in our knowledge with significant implications. An understanding of the actual drug target will unveil a new path to antifungal drug development for patients. Congratulations, Bruce!
Daniel Jackson, MD, Leads New NIH Asthma Study with Boston Investigators
Congratulations to Daniel Jackson, MD for receiving funding for a consortium led by Children's Hospital of Boston. The group will initiate an asthma prevention study entitled, "Controlling and Preventing Asthma Severity in Kids" (CASK). The study will determine whether omalizumab (anti-IgE) therapy given to 2- and 3-year-old children at high risk for asthma based upon having allergies and wheezing will prevent the progression to childhood asthma. This 7-year, U01 grant funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), includes a subcontract to UW-Madison totaling over $2 million.
J. Scott Fites, PhD awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association
J. Scott Fites, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a Midwest Affiliate Summer 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA). This 2-year grant, in the amount of $102,550, is for his project entitled, "Harnessing a long-lived neutrophil to fight systemic fungal infections." This neutrophil population - referred to as a neutrophil-dendritic cell (PMN-DC) - has features of both neutrophils and DCs. This project will investigate the emergence and activities of PMN-DCs during Aspergillus and Candida infections in murine models; delineate the professional phagocyte and antigen-presenting functions of PMN-DCs important in antifungal immunity; and elucidate the inflammatory signals that drive PMN-DC development in vivo, which is a critical gap in knowledge with therapeutic implications. The long-term impact of this research will be in developing PMN-DC targeted immunotherapies to treat lethal Aspergillus and Candida infections. Congratulations, Scott!
Christine Sorenson, PhD, Named Distinguished Scientist
Congratulations to Christine Sorenson, PhD, who recently received the title of "Distinguished Scientist" by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, in recognition of her pivotal role in helping to strengthen the reputation of the university.
In Memoriam: Pulmonologist and Former Alumnus, Faculty John Mangos, MDPosted: January 2017
Fr. John A. Mangos, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist; former University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics resident, fellow and faculty member; and former chairman and professor emeritus of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio; died on December 25, 2016.
Dr. Mangos completed his medical training in 1956 at the Medical School of the Aristotelian University of Thessalonika in Greece. Following four years of service as a physician in the Greek Army, he completed a pediatric residency at the UW Department of Pediatrics, followed by fellowships there and at the Institute of Physiology at Free Berlin University.
He served as a faculty pediatric pulmonologist at the UW Department of Pediatrics and chief of pediatric pulmonology at the University of Florida, and was recruited as professor and chairman of pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 1982. He served as chairman there for 15 years and continued to serve on the pediatric faculty as chief of pediatric pulmonology, vice chairman for academic affairs and acting chairman. He held the Miss Eloise Alexander Distinguished Chair of Pediatric Pulmonology from 1997 until his retirement in 2012.
Dr. Mangos was a distinguished scientist contributing to the understanding of the basic biology of cystic fibrosis. He also led the development of a robust faculty development program. A Greek Orthodox priest, he served at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in San Antonio. His mission, as he proudly stated, was “taking care of people from cradle to grave.” He was recognized by students at the UT School of Medicine in San Antonio with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s 2003 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for Faculty. He will be remembered as “a master clinician and an eternal optimist.”
Dr. Jennifer Rehm Discusses Transgender Youth Health in WebMD articlePosted: December 2016
Jennifer Rehm, MD, co-medical director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health Clinic at American Family Children's Hospital, was quoted in a recent WebMD article on ways to support children who may be transgender.
The article noted that doctors recommend parents find a therapist who specializes in gender issues as early as possible if they sense gender is a source of conflict for their child.
"A lot of parents don't seek treatment because they're hoping this is a phase, or they don't want to do treatment that will cause harm for their child. [But] there's harm in doing nothing as well," Dr. Rehm said.
She also explained the importance of setting up medical care well before puberty, emphasizing the need for a plan to keep the child safe and address mental health concerns as well as physical ones.
Dr. Paul Sondel Wins Prestigious Award for Pioneering Cancer ResearchPosted: December 2016
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, has been awarded the top prize in the field of cancer immunology.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) announced that Dr. Sondel received the group’s top award for decades of work in developing immunotherapies for childhood cancers, especially neuroblastoma.
“This award is well-deserved for Dr. Sondel’s outstanding career, which has seen great improvement in outcomes for children with cancer,’’ says Dr. Howard Bailey, director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center. “Through his work in the lab and clinical trials, Dr. Sondel has helped usher in new treatments that are saving the lives of children everywhere."
Dr. Sondel’s research has emphasized the translation of laboratory innovations into clinical progress. His laboratory has pursued the biology of graft-versus-leukemia reactions, activation of antitumor immune destruction with Interleukin-2 and the use of tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies and immunocytokines to facilitate tumor killing by leukocytes. He has published more than 370 scientific articles and chapters, and many of these studies have moved into clinical testing.
HuiChuan Lai, PhD, and Cystic Fibrosis Investigators Secure NIH R01 Funding
The investigative team led by Principal Investigator HuiChuan Lai, PhD (Nutritional Sciences), and Co-Investigators Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, and Michael Rock, MD, were recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH/NIDDK) in the amount of $3,435,587 over 5 years. This project entitled, "Early Childhood Diet, Growth, Gut Microbiome and Lung Health in Cystic Fibrosis," will assess the effects of exclusive breastfeeding and preschool diet on growth, nutritional status and pulmonary health in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) through the first 6 years of life and determine if these effects are related to an insufficient essential fatty acid intake from breast milk and variations in gut microbiota. This grant will expand the follow-up of a highly productive, strong multi-center prospective observational study being conducted in a network of 5 CF Centers in 4 states (UT, WI, IN and MA) since 2012.
Jamie Limjoco, MD, Receives Innovation Award from UW Health
Congratulations to Jamie Limjoco, MD, for her grant from UW Health for the project, "Establishing a Regional Virtual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (vNICU) at the American Family Children's Hospital." This 2-year Innovation Award, in the amount of $6,600, will support preliminary analysis and initial planning to establish the first virtual neonatal care intensive care unit (vNICU) within the state of Wisconsin.
Jennifer Rehm, MD, and Brittany Allen, MD, Awarded Wisconsin Partnership Program Grant
A team from the Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, along with Academic Partners Jennifer Rehm, MD, and Co-Investigator Brittany Allen, MD, were recently awarded a two-year grant for their project entitled, "Transgender Health-A New Horizon in Equity and Health Care," in the amount of $50,000. This Community Opportunity grant, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program, aims to improve the environment of health care for transgender and gender non-conforming youth in Wisconsin. The project will build an online database of experienced physical and mental health care providers, connect those provider-advocates in a sustainable knowledge-sharing network, and conduct provider training around the state of Wisconsin.