News & Events

  • How Young Teens See the Smartphone Debate: UW Research Provides Novel Findings

    Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH
    Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH

    Young adolescents think a child's maturity, not necessarily age, should be a factor in when a child gets a smartphone - and they worry about using that phone to bully other children.

    As debate rages on about when a child should get a smartphone, a study led by Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) provides novel and sometimes surprising findings that address that and other related questions.

    The results of the research were published Oct. 30, 2018, in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

    "Our team's findings present novel viewpoints to inform current discussions around the appropriate timing and parental strategies for tweens' first smartphones," said Moreno.

    Those viewpoints focused around three issues:

    1. maturity, as opposed to merely age;
    2. deference to parents, but having children be part of the conversation; and
    3. accountability, including preventing cyberbullying and determine who pays for the phone.

    The study involved 12 focus groups of tweens otherwise known as early adolescents. A total of 45 participants ages 10 to 14 represented both rural and urban areas.

    Read more at uwhealthkids.org...

     
  • Paul Sondel, MD, PhD and Team Awarded U54 Subaward from NIH/NCI and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

    Paul Sondel, MD, PhD
    Paul Sondel, MD, PhD

    Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Subaward Principal Investigator, and UW Team Members, Amy Erbe-Gurel, PhD, Jacquelyn Hank, PhD, Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, and Alexander Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD, for their recent subaward through the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI). This U54 award was made through the Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network, as part of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and will provide ~$2.1 million to the UW over 5 years. This collaborative multi-institutional consortium, entitled, "Discovery and Development of Optimal Immunotherapeutic Strategies for Childhood Cancers," has a total award of $12.1 million and is led by overall Principal Investigator, Dr. John Maris at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Lead Institution, and Co-PI Dr. Crystall Mackall at Stanford University. Dr. Sondel and his team will lead Project 3, "Discovery and development of pediatric cancer antigen targets recognized by adaptive immune response," as well as support two additional projects of the cooperative agreement.

     
  • Dr. Elizabeth Cox Publishes New Findings on PROMIS Metrics

    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

    Elizabeth D. Cox, MD, PhD and colleagues recently published new findings about the content validity of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®) Family Relationships measure in the journal, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.  This NIH-funded study used qualitative methods to assess whether this new patient-reported outcome measure reflects the experiences of children with chronic conditions.  The authors found that the Family Relationships measure, which had been developed and validated in a general pediatric population, does capture the experience of family relationships for chronically ill children.  For the study, over 30 children with asthma, sickle cell disease, or type 1 diabetes and their parents were interviewed about their family experiences and the impact of chronic illness on those relationships. Interviewees described their family relationships in a manner consistent with the facets of the PROMIS® metric.  Findings suggest potential utility for this metric in research and clinical practice with chronically ill children and their families. 

    Flynn KE, Kliems H, Saoji N, Svenson J, Cox ED. Content validity of the PROMIS® pediatric family relationships measure for children with chronic illness. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018;16:203. doi: 10.1186/s12955-018-1030-8

     
  • Dr. Inga Hofmann's Research Team Discovers Cause for Myelofibrosis

    Inga Hofmann, MD
    Inga Hofmann, MD

    An eight-year quest to find the cause of a disease has apparently ended now that scientists at UW-Madison have identified the mutations that produce a form of myelofibrosis, a rare genetic blood disorder.

    Mutations in a protein that controls the production of blood platelets appear to be the source of a genetically inherited form of macrothrombocytopenia with focal myelofibrosis, according to Inga Hofmann, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, medical director for the UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy, and lead author on the paper.

    The results were recently featured as the September cover article in the journal Blood.

    Hofmann and her team showed that the protein, G6b-B, which also regulates the production and function of megakaryocyte – a large bone marrow cell –can be manipulated to increase production of blood platelets, suggesting a potentially new treatment approach, Hofmann said.

    “This is the first cause ever identified,” she said.

    Full story on SMPH website...

     
  • Pediatrics Faculty Receive UnityPoint Health Meriter Foundation Awards

    Congrats to the following faculty on their recent awards from the UnityPoint Health Meriter Foundation:

    Dinushan Kaluarachchi, MBBS
    Dinushan Kaluarachchi, MBBS
    Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH
    Elizabeth Goetz, MD, MPH

    Elizabeth Goetz, MD, and Dinushan Kaluarachchi, MD, received $27,046 for their project, "Oxygen saturation profiles in healthy term neonates."  The goal of this project is to determine normal values for an oxygen saturation profile over an 8-hour monitoring period among healthy term neonates 24-48 hours after birth. This study aims to provide scientific evidence to guide clinical decision making in the NICU, potentially resulting in the avoidance of unnecessary laboratory and radiological studies, shorter hospital stays and lowering of healthcare costs.

    Elizabeth Goetz, MD, received $5,000 to support a multidisciplinary education session for health care professionals at UnityPoint Health-Meriter and community stakeholders in Dane County about identifying and caring for victims of human trafficking.

    Pamela Kling, MD
    Pamela Kling, MD

     

    Pamela Kling, MD, received $48,979 for her project, "Impact of prenatal depression & anxiety on iron-mediated inflammatory pathways in infant behavior & brain development."  The overall goal of this proposal is to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of prenatal maternal depression and anxiety on infant behavior and brain development.

     

     

     

     

     

    Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
    Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
    Ryan McAdams, MD
    Ryan McAdams, MD

    Ryan McAdams, MD, and Co-Investigator Jasmine Zapata, MD, received $97,986 for their project, "A pregnancy, birth, and lactation support program to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in African American women."  This funding will support a 12-month pregnancy, birth, and lactation support program for African American women cared for in the UnityPoint Health-Meriter obstetrical, newborn nursery, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) settings with the goal of increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates for African American babies to 85% at the time of discharge.

     
  • Social Media Adolescent Health Research Team Seeks Proposals to Study Mental Wellness and Technology

    Posted: October 2018
    Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH
    Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH

    The relationship between mental wellness and technology is a hot topic, yet it is underexplored, according to Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the University of Wisconsin Social Media Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT).

    As a result, SMAHRT is seeking proposals from diverse groups to study mental wellness and technology among 10- to 24-year-olds.

    Up to six projects will be funded, at a maximum of $200,000 a year. The projects will be eligible for more funding if they achieve deliverable findings and outcomes by early 2020.

    View more information on eligibility and the application process

    “The potential for technology to assist with prevention, identification and intervention in cases of anxiety and depression deserves more robust investigation,” said Dr. Moreno.

    Eligible applicants include domestic public and private institutions of higher education, nonprofits, small businesses and other for-profit organizations, independent school districts, and faith-based, community-based or tribal organizations. Applications are not limited to those groups.

    Dr. Moreno said the three objectives are to consider how technology can promote mental wellness; to disseminate that knowledge to diverse audiences at the industry, academic, community and individual levels; and to unify a collaborative and diverse community of stakeholders around the funded projects.

     
  • PROKids Team Receives NIH Funding For PROMIS Metrics

    Posted: October 2018
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD
    Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD

    The PROKids team, led by Elizabeth Cox, MD PhD, received new NIH funding to develop standard guidance for the use of pediatric PROMIS metrics in ambulatory clinical populations. In collaboration with leadership from prominent child health advocacy organizations and delivery systems nationally, as well as other PROMIS experts and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Dissemination and Implementation Program, PROKids will interview healthcare stakeholders to understand, and ultimately address in the guidance, the challenges and opportunities of assessing pediatric population health with patient-reported metrics.

     
  • Scott Fites, PhD, Awarded Fellowship from the Hartwell Foundation

    Congratulations to Scott Fites, PhD, and his mentor, Bruce Klein, MD, for their recent fellowship award from the Hartwell Foundation. This 2-year grant, titled "Harnessing a long-lived neutrophil to fight systemic fungal infections," awards $100,000 to Dr. Fites to support his research on invasive fungal infections, which take the lives of many vulnerable children-those receiving long-term intravenous catheters, organ-transplants, or a diagnosis of cancer are at exceptionally high risk. A small and poorly-understood population of white blood cells, called neutrophil-dendritic cells, potently kill fungal pathogens, and this project aims to elucidate the signals that cause neutrophil-dendritic cells to emerge. A goal of this project is also to develop adoptive transfer therapy of neutrophil-dendritic cells into pre-clinical models of invasive fungal infection that are receptive to transfer of human cells.

     
  • Dr. Neha Patel to Host Symposium on Neurofibromatosis Type 1

    Neha Patel, MD
    Neha Patel, MD

    On Saturday, October 13, Neha Patel, MD, and her team will be hosting the 2nd annual Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Symposium. This unique event is designed to help patients, parents and siblings better understand NF1, seek answers from the experts, learn about exciting research, meet others and gather resources. There is no cost to attend. Click here for further details.

     
  • Facebook, UW School of Medicine and Public Health Team up on Social Media Research

    Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH
    Megan Moreno, MD,
    MSEd, MPH

    A partnership between Facebook and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will explore the relationship between teens’ use of digital technologies and their mental and social health.

    The research is part of Facebook’s $1 million commitment to work with academics, experts and partners across the industry to further explore this topic. Dr. Megan Moreno, professor and head of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) will lead the project at the School of Medicine and Public Health. 

    “The research will answer foundational and unanswered questions regarding youth, technology, and well-being and will provide guidelines for healthy family digital use,” said Moreno.

    Objectives of the study include understanding the relationship between digital technology use and health and well-being of youth; understanding the role of parents in their children’s use of digital technology and well-being; assessing effects of interventions on health and wellbeing; and understanding real-time links between mood and social-media use behaviors.

    The study will begin this fall.