Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, Awarded Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Pediatric Research
Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, was recently awarded the Thomas Hazinski Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR). This award, which includes an honorarium, commemorative plaque, and financial support for attendance at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Society Annual Meeting, is in recognition of Dr. Balasubramaniam's exceptional service to the SPR, and his deep commitment to advocacy initiatives and furthering child health and child health research over an extended period of time. He will be honored at the May 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting in San Francisco at the Society's Presidential Scientific Plenary Session. Congratulations, Vivek!
New Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship Receives ABMGG Accreditation
The American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) has granted accreditation approval for the Department of Pediatrics' new Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) fellowship.
The ABMGG accredits medical genetics and genomics laboratory training programs, and credentials and certifies physicians in medical genetics and genomics. The Department of Pediatrics is one of only 24 sites across the country to offer all laboratory fellowship training programs and one of only 44 programs in the country.
The LGG fellowship will combine and replace the Division of Genetics & Metabolism's existing clinical cytogenetics and molecular genetics fellowships, both of which were also accredited by the ABMGG. The LGG fellowship provides clinical laboratory training within the UW Collaborative Genomics Core (a partnership between UW Cytogenetic Services and Molecular Genetics and UWHC Molecular Diagnostics/Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), and PreventionGenetics, Inc. in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
The division's biochemical genetics fellowship remains unchanged.
Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, is the program director for the LGG and biochemical genetics fellowships, and along with Vanessa Horner, PhD, FACMG, is the training director for the LGG fellowship. Patrice Held, PhD, FACMG, is the training director for the biochemical genetics fellowship.
The first LGG fellow will begin training in July 2017.
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria Named Affiliate of the UW Institute for Research on Poverty
Congratulations to Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, who has been formally named an affiliate of the UW Institute for Research on Poverty, the sole federally-funded Poverty Research Center in the United States at this time. The IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States, and has a particular interest in poverty and family welfare in Wisconsin as well as the nation.
David McCulley, MD, Wins Sutherland Award
Congratulations to David McCulley, MD, for winning the James Sutherland Junior Faculty Award at the 2016 Midwest Society for Pediatric Research Scientific Meeting, held September 22-23, 2016 in Chicago. The Sutherland Award recognizes the best investigative work presented by a junior faculty member, and was awarded for his presentation entitled, "A Genetic Model of Pulmonary Hypertension and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia."
Paul Sondel, MD, and Team Win UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative Award
Congratulations to Paul Sondel, MD, Principal Investigator, and Co-Principal Investigators, Mario Otto, MD, PhD, Jamey Weichert, PhD, Zachary Morris, MD, PhD, and Bryan Bednarz, PhD, for receiving a UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative grant for their proposal entitled, "Combining Radiotherapeutic with Antitumor Antibody and IL2 to Create a Potent In Situ Cancer Vaccine." This two-year project, in the amount of $382,015, is jointly funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the UW Carbone Cancer Center. This project will unite two separate approaches of antibody-based immunotherapy and novel radiation therapy with the goal of killing tumors in a way that results in the cancer cells acting as a vaccine that creates immunity to the cancer that created the tumor, thereby protecting the body from any spread or recurrence of that cancer. The aim is to produce the preclinical data needed to support steps to initiate human clinical trials of the combined treatments. Click here to see more about this award.
American Family Children's Hospital becomes "No Hit Zone"
UW Health is joining a community-wide initiative to stop corporal punishment, including spanking and hitting. As part of "Hitting Hurts," UW Health will create "No Hit Zones" in all of its facilities starting with American Family Children's Hospital.
"The goal of the ‘Hitting Hurts' campaign is to educate the public about the risks of using corporal punishment on children. UW Health's No Hit Zone will reinforce this message by creating a safe, healthy and non-violent environment for everyone," said Dr. Barbara Knox, medical director of the UW Health Child Protection Program and associate professor of pediatrics. "Our hope is that this initiative will grow to include communities and families."
"Most adults were spanked or hit as children," Dr. Knox continued. "But years of research tells us that hitting hurts in a variety of ways and on many levels. Additionally, it can lead to the physical abuse of children."
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.