Renovated Fourth-Floor Lab Opens

In May, the Department of Pediatrics opened its renovated research laboratory in the H4/4 module of University Hospital.

Over the previous seven months, the lab space had been completely gutted and rebuilt to better meet the needs of contemporary research projects.

For example, two walk-in cold rooms were replaced with large deli-style refrigerators that more efficiently handle cold-storage needs. Builders added a new microscopy room and two new tissue culture rooms, repurposed an old microscopy room into a clean room for PCR testing, removed unnecessary gas lines and fume hoods, and added more biosafety cabinets.

A new heating and cooling system, modern bench tops and furnishings, and an updated networking infrastructure round out the remodel.

It’s the first time the lab has ever been renovated. The project is an important investment in the department’s research mission: an up-to-date, code-compliant research facility is not only a regulatory requirement, but will also help attract new research faculty to the department.

The renovated space is home to the following programs:

  • Childhood Origins of ASThma (COAST), a longitudinal birth cohort study of asthma led by James Gern, MD, Daniel Jackson, MD, and Robert Lemanske, MD;
  • The Jackson laboratory, which studies the pathogenesis and treatment of childhood asthma, with a focus on host-microbe interactions in both the inception and exacerbation of disease;
  • The Mezu-Ndubuisi laboratory, which studies how low oxygen can affect the developing retina and lead to a condition called retinopathy of prematurity;
  • The Eldridge laboratory, which focuses on integrative cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, with specific attention on the effects of exercise, acute hypoxia, altitude, hyperbaria and environmental exposure;
  • The Balasubramaniam laboratory, which investigates lung function abnormalities in infants born prematurely or who suffer from bronchopulmonary dysplasia; and
  • The Wald/DeMuri research group, which studies pediatric upper respiratory infections, such as sinusitis, otitis media and pharyngitis.