Dr. Emma Mohr Appointed to ICTR Post-Doctoral Training Program
Congratulations to Emma Mohr, MD, PhD, on being appointed to the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research's (ICTR) TL1 post-doctoral trainee program. The award provides funding for Dr. Mohr's annual stipend, travel allowance and tuition. Her project, "Defining maternal antibody responses in congenital Zika virus infection," focuses on the immune response to Zika virus infection using body fluid and tissue samples from a project studying the pathogenesis of Zika virus during pregnancy.
Dr. Pelin Cengiz Awarded ICTR Grant
Pelin Cengiz, MD, was recently awarded a $50,000 one-year grant from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and the Waisman Center for her project, “Role of ERα following brain injury: ligand dependent or independent?” In her previous studies, Dr. Cengiz found a novel pathway in female brains that resulted in better long-term neurological outcome in mice following brain injury. This pathway involves the increased expression of the sex-steroid receptor estrogen receptor alpha in female but not in male brains. In this project, Dr. Cengiz will expand on her previous novel findings of the upregulation of estrogen receptor alpha in female neonate brains being neuroprotective and investigate whether this receptor activation is dependent on the sex steroid, estradiol. If she proves that the ERα is dependent on estradiol, she will determine whether the estradiol is originating from adrenals or brain.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, Receives NIH/NIAID Grant
Congratulations to Anna Huttenlocher, MD, and David Beebe, PhD (College of Engineering), on the funding of their project, "Microscale models of inflammation and its resolution," from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID). Chronic inflammation caused by improper immune cell clearance is a significant human health problem contributing to tissue damage and chronic inflammation in autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer. During this 5-year project for $3.76 million, Drs. Huttenlocher and Beebe will apply bioengineering techniques and organotypic models using induced pluripotent stem cells to gain a better understanding of inflammation to guide better treatments strategies and patient outcomes.
Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, Collaborating on UW2020 Grant
Krishanu Saha, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), will lead a team of investigators, including Co-PIs Shaoqin Sarah Gong, PhD (Biomedical Engineering), Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, and David Gamm, MD, PhD (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), and other collaborators, to study genetic disorders of the eye, in their recently awarded UW2020 grant entitled, “Gene Editing Nanomedicines to Correct Pathogenic Mutations in Retinal Pigmented Epithelium.” This 2-year WARF Discovery Initiative project will use advances in biomaterials to generate nonviral, synthetic nanocarriers of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing machinery for targeted delivery to the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) that surrounds the retina. Such research would generally expand the types of tissues that could be edited and hence the spectrum of disease where genomic medicine could have an impact. Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin? Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. More about the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-4-projects/gene-editing-nanomedicines-mutations-retinal-pigmented-epithelium/
Graduate Student in Otto Laboratory Awarded ICTR TL1 Grant
Sean Rinella, MPH, Research Assistant in Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant and the Otto Laboratory, was recently awarded a 2-year grant as part of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Predoctoral TL1 Program. This award provides an annual stipend, tuition, insurance, fees, and a travel allowance in support of his project, “Development of pre-clinical models and clinical applications for T cell receptor alpha beta depleted haploidentical stem cell transplant.” Mentors for the project are Mario Otto, MD, PhD, and Christian Capitini, MD. This project will utilize a highly selective graft engineering process to examine the role of alpha beta T cell depletion in pediatric malignant and non-malignant diseases including engraftment, immune reconstitution and function. Congratulations, Sean!
Two Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grants Awarded to Pediatrics Investigators
Congratulations to Christine Seroogy, MD, PI, and Mei Baker, MD, Co-PI, who were recently awarded a 3-year, $120,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant for their project, “Development and Implementation of Rapid Genetic Test to Improve Health Outcomes in Wisconsin Plain Newborns.” The goal of this proposal is to develop and implement state-of-the-art genetic testing for Wisconsin Amish and Mennonite, collectively called Plain, newborns. Development of this testing will improve early diagnosis and treatment for disorders found at a higher frequency in these communities compared to the general population.
Tonya Roberts, PhD, RN (Nursing), and Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, were recently awarded a 2-year, $120,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Grant for their project, “Engaging Families as Care Partners in Community Nursing Homes.” Funding for these awards is made possible through the generous gift to the UW-Madison from Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin through the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Congratulations!
Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Awarded a UW2020 Grant
Congratulations to Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, who was awarded a 2-year UW2020 grant for her project entitled, “Building a Translational Research Pipeline to Personalize Diabetes Prevention and Treatment.” Support for this research was provided by the University of Wisconsin?Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. This WARF Discovery Initiative award, in conjunction with Co-Principal Investigators Dawn Davis, MD, PhD, (Medicine) and Michelle Kimple, PhD (Medicine), as well as Pediatric Co-Investigator Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, and numerous other collaborators, will establish the Diabetes Research Accelerator for Wisconsin (DRAW), a data registry and biobank of individuals with diabetes, as a next step toward delivering personalized diabetes care and facilitating interdisciplinary translational diabetes research at UW-Madison. More on the award can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-4-projects/personalize-diabetes-prevention/
Iams Lectureship Speaker Eric Post, PhD, ATC, Focuses on Youth Sports Specialization
The University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics welcomed Eric Post, PhD, ATC, as its Grand Rounds speaker for the 2018 Alexander M. Iams Lectureship in Pediatric Practice, held May 10, 2018.
Dr. Post is an athletic trainer at the University Health Services Athletic Training Clinic, a research assistant in the UW-Madison Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory and a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology.
His presentation, “The Who, What, and Why of Sport Specialization,” educated attendees on the prevalence, factors and injuries associated with youth sport specialization, defined as “year-round intensive training in a single sport at the exclusion of other sports.”
Dr. Post shared data showing that about 36 percent of high-school athletes specialize, with higher percentages seen at large schools; among female athletes; among those who play volleyball, soccer and basketball; and among students from higher-income families. Those who specialize are at higher risk for overuse injury, especially in the upper extremities.
He also cited studies showing that while students and parents often perceive that sport specialization increases their child’s chances for a college athletics scholarship, less than 0.5% of youth athletes actually play at the college level.
Dr. Post concluded by sharing American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that parents delay their children’s sport specialization until age 15-16, to monitor that elite sports programs aren’t over-stressing their child and to encourage their children to take time off from their sport each week and for three months per year.
The Iams program continued later that day with a facilitated American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) MOC Part 2 activity, “Pediatric Infectious Diseases Self-Assessment,” led by Greg DeMuri, MD, and Emma Mohr, MD, PhD. It concluded that evening with a pediatric community reception at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
The Iams lectureship is named after Alexander M. Iams, MD, who practiced pediatrics in Madison from 1948 until his death in 1984. His friends and family established a memorial fund in his honor to establish and maintain an annual lecture series on the practice of pediatrics that promotes camaraderie between community pediatricians.
The lectureship is funded through the generosity of the Pediatric Founders’ Fund of the Meriter Foundation, Meriter UnityPoint Health, and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Christian Capitini Featured in Wisconsin State Journal Article on CAR T-Cell Therapy for Resistant Leukemia
Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor Christian Capitini, MD, was among UW Health physicians and staff featured in a Wisconsin State Journal article on CAR T-cell therapy, a promising new immunotherapy for resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The article profiled two young patients who were the first to receive CAR T-cell therapy in Wisconsin since it was approved last year. UW Health is the only place providing it in the state.
The treatment is the first gene therapy approved in the United States, a “living drug” made by genetically modiying a patient' immune cells to better recognize a specific protein on leukemia cells. The treatment, called Kymriah, is “a paradigm-shifting game changer,” Dr. Capitini said.
Two Students in Dr. Marlowe Eldridge's Lab Receive Awards at APS Experimental Biology Meeting
Two UW-Madison undergraduate students in the lab of Marlowe Eldridge, MD, were recognized during the American Physiological Society’s Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego.
Caitlin Jarrard and Rachel Harradine were 2018 Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Awardees. These awards are presented annually to undergraduate students presenting their research at the April 21-25 Experimental Biology event.
Jarrard also was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards based on her oral presentation.
Dr. Eldridge's lab centers its work on integrative cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology.
Two other students, Alexandra Carl and Karly Katchen, who have worked in the Barnes Lab of the Bruno Balke Biodynamics Laboratory in the UW Department of Kinesiology, were also honored with both awards.
Above, from left: UW-Madison undergraduate students Karly Katchen, Alexandra Carl, Caitlin Jarrard and Rachel Harradine pose for a photo in at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego. Harradine and Jarrard are students in the lab of Marlowe Eldridge, MD.