Marcel Wüthrich, PhD, Awarded NIH R01 Renewal Funding
Congratulations to Principal Investigator Marcel Wüthrich, PhD, on his recent R01 award of over $2.2 million for his grant, "Regulation of vaccine-induced anti-fungal Th17 cells," from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). This 4-year renewal, in collaboration with Bruce Klein, MD, Co-Investigator, provides funding for Years 6-9 of this project, which will investigate a novel adjuvant that elicits cellular immune responses needed for better vaccines. The lack of an appropriate adjuvant is one major barrier to developing a safe and effective vaccine against infections with fungal pathogens, which represents an unmet need in medicine and public health.
Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, and Mei Baker, MD, Awarded Grant from The Legacy of Angels Foundation
Phil Farrell, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, and Mei Baker, MD, Co-Principal Investigator, were recently awarded a 3-year grant in the amount of $717,045 for the grant entitled, "Assessing the Added Value of Whole Genome Sequencing in Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening." This grant from The Legacy of Angels Foundation provides additional funding to complement research done in Dr. HuiChuan Lai's FIRST study supported by NIH and Cystific Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) to add whole genome sequencing (WGS) assessment. We anticipate that the WGS data will help explain the onset and course of cystic fibrosis (CF) to aid clinical decision making in the care of children with CF.
Miriam Kim, DO, Awarded St. Baldrick's Foundation Fellowship
Congratulations to Miriam Kim, DO, Fellow in Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant, who recently received a 2017 St. Baldrick's Fellowship Award. This 2-year award, with mentor Christian Capitini, MD, is in support of her work titled, "Developing MSC-derived exosomes to enhance HSCT for pediatric leukemia." This award, in the amount of $171,000, will allow Dr. Kim to test the hypotheses that MeEMs (MSC-Exosome Educated Macrophages) share properties seen in other immunosuppressive cell subsets in vitro and have anti-inflammatory properties in vivo using a graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) model. Results from this proposal may lead to a novel cellular therapy using MSC derived exosomes for the management of GVHD.
Inga Hofmann, MD, and Emery Bresnick, PhD, Awarded EvansMDS Foundation Grant
Congratulations to Inga Hofmann, MD, Principal Investigator, and Emery Bresnick, Co-Principal Investigator, for their one-year, $200,000 grant from the Edward P. Evans Foundation, for the project, "Prognostic Markers and Therapeutic Targets in GATA2-Related Myelodysplastic Syndromes." In this study, a team involving a laboratory scientist who is a GATA-2 expert (Bresnick) and a clinical scientist that treats children with MDS and leukemia (Hofmann), will combine efforts to better understand how GATA-2 functions and how it causes MDS and leukemia. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a disease that keeps the body from properly producing enough healthy blood cells. We aim to use our unique expertise to discover prognostic markers and targets for new therapies to improve the outcomes of patients with MDS.
Dr. Elizabeth Cox Awarded 3-year Innovative Translational Science Award From The American Diabetes AssociationPosted: November 2017
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD was recently awarded a 3-year Innovative Translational Science Award from the American Diabetes Association for her project, “Identifying Actionable Self-Management Barriers for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.” Building upon her prior work developing PRISM (Problem Recognition in Illness Self-Management), a 10-minute survey to identify diabetes self-management barriers among youth, the newly funded research will develop and validate a version of PRISM to assess diabetes self-management barriers among adults. Availability of this survey tool for adults is expected to positively impact diabetes care by aligning the self-management resources provided with the actual needs of a person with type 1 diabetes. The PRISM tool for youth is available at: https://www.hipxchange.org/PRISM.
Dr. Inga Hofmann Receives $50,000 Infrastructure Grant from St. Baldrick's FoundationPosted: November 2017
Dr. Inga Hofmann, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist and director of pediatric stem cell transplantation at the Carbone Cancer Center and medical director of the program for advanced cell therapy, has been awarded $50,000 by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
The infrastructure grant supports her work in advanced cellular therapies for pediatric cancer and predisposition syndromes.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Hofmann. “This gives us the resources to give more children the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation said most infrastructure grants support research personnel who are responsible for opening and coordinating clinical trials. The grants are made in geographic areas where the need is high and St. Baldrick’s volunteers are active.
Dr. Paula Cody Speaks on Teen Suicide Risk at AAP National Conference
Paula Cody, MD, FAAP, an assistant professor (CHS) in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Adolescent Health, gave an educational session on how to help teens at risk for suicide during the AAP's National Conference, held September 16-19, 2017, in Chicago.
Dr. Cody explained how pediatricians can screen for suicidal ideation, recommended that they do so as part of a complete social history at each visit and outlined steps to take if they identify an at-risk patient.
"Eighty percent of teems attempting suicide had contact with a health care provider in the past three months," she said in an article published in the conference's news magazine.
Dr. Cody also encouraged pediatricians to advocate for access to mental health care, train future health care providers to screen for suicide risk and work to make sure suicide isn't sensationalized in the media.
Dr. Megan Moreno Writes AAP News Column on 'Empathy App'
In an invited column in the September 2017 issue of AAP News, Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, an associate professor and vice chair for digital health in the Department of Pediatrics, and the chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, interviewed the developer of an app designed to increase empathy in teens.
Dr. Moreno, who is a member of the AAP's Council on Communications and Media Executive Committee, began by noting that parents often ask pediatricians for apps that can help with specific issues, such as potty training or medication compliance. "As child health experts and advocates, many of us wish we also knew more about apps focused on health and prevention," she wrote.
She conducted a Q&A with Sara Konrath, PhD, an assistant professor of philanthropic students at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research.
Konkol developed Random App of Kindness (RAKi), an evidence-based app that includes nine mini-games focused on recognizing emotions, caring for vulnerable animals and babies, controlling and managing cognitive processes, resolving conflict and other skills to promote empathy.
Konkol's team studied 106 adolescents to examine the effect of playing RAKi compared to a different app. After two months, they found that children who played RAKi were more likely to feel compassion for and help someone in distress, and had less aggressive behavior.
Read the complete Q&A at aapnews.org (AAP login required)
Dr. Elizabeth Cox, Collaborators Receive PCORI Funding to Improve Patient-Centered Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, in collaboration with partners from West Virginia University, recently received approval for a Pipeline to Proposal Tier I award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This project will focus on engaging stakeholders around the topic of preventing type 2 diabetes in West Virginia. The stakeholder group will include patients, caregivers, diabetes educators, clinicians, health services researchers, and community organizations, among others. Findings from this work will be used to further support patient-centered strategies to improve type 2 diabetes prevention and management. Details about the project are available here.
Dr. Megan Moreno Discusses Screen Time and Teen Suicide Risk
Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, recently appeared on News3 to talk about how teenagers' increased screen time may be a possible factor for increased suicide risk.
“Screens have changed bullying and I think in one way they changed is through a broader audience,” she said.
Screens are teenagers' primary mode of communication---some spend over six hours a day using screens---but when communication turns into bullying, children can't escape it, even in their own home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 10 years suicide rates for teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19, has doubled. For teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 19, the suicide rate has risen 30 percent.
“It is exceptionally difficult to come up with a single cause to explain something that is that complicated,” said Dr. Moreno.
But she says the more screen time a child is exposed to, the more it reduces their interaction with people and that’s not good for mental and physical health.
Dr. Moreno's lab, the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), conducts research that focuses on the intersection of social media and adolescent health.