Research

The University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics enhances and facilitates basic, translational and clinical research in pediatric science and fosters the successful development of investigators dedicated to generating new knowledge.

In FY15, our department had $20.2 million in extramural grant funding, nearly 70 percent of which came from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, 39 faculty are active members of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. (For more facts about our research program, read our annual report.)

Research by Division 

Research by Investigator 

Pediatric Clinical Research Coordination (PCRC) - Study Coordination 

The Pediatric Clinical Research Coordination Program provides Department of Pediatrics faculty and staff with comprehensive support to conduct clinical research studies at the University of Wisconsin. Study coordinators have extensive experience in all areas of pharmaceutical research, PI-initiated research and registries in all pediatric specialties.

Program Objectives

Our program is designed to handle multiple research studies simultaneously, to meet enrollment goals and to facilitate rapid budget and contract turnaround to promote timely study initiation. Overall objectives include:

  • Coordination of all aspects of research studies, including multi-center trials and investigator-initiated research;
  • Administrative, regulatory, and operational support to investigators to promote study initiation and implementation;
  • Support of outcomes and disease management research;
  • Implementation of translational research projects; and
  • Referral and facilitation of biostatistics support with the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics for clinical research for safety (DSMB) and endpoint analysis.
 

Services

  • Regulatory Support
    • Consultation on all types of IRB submissions
      • Note:  In general, the fee for non-NIH and non-trainee initiated initial review is approximately $3,000. There are several types of projects that are exempt from HS IRB fees. For questions associated with fee exemptions or funding of HS IRB or WIRB fees, please see: https://kb.wisc.edu/hsirbs/17762
    • Maintenance of all sponsor and FDA regulatory documentation
    • Monitoring of clinical research compliance
  • Administrative Support
    • Financial oversight of clinical research accounts and activities
  • Study Coordination
    • Inpatient and outpatient coordination of research studies
    • Recruitment of eligible subjects
    • Comprehensive subject follow-up
    • Timely data entry and query resolution
    • Assistance with REDCap (web-based application used for building and managing data collection forms).
      • In general, the REDCap fee is $200/project/year.
    • Biosample processing, storage, and shipping
 

To request services for funded and unfunded studies, please visit: https://www.pediatrics.wisc.edu/research/clinical-research-program. Each request will be reviewed by Drs. Wald & Gern.

 

Environment & Facilities 

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The research environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), including the School of Medicine and Public Health (UW-SMPH), is exceptional. There are expert scientists in many areas, as well as state-of-the-art core facilities. The ability to easily access expertise within any area of the campus provides an incredible setting for faculty and staff.

The UW-Madison campus encompasses 936 acres with an additional 1,607 acres of off-campus properties and has approximately 3.4 million square feet of building space dedicated towards research. The campus also has 1.7 million square feet towards academic support (this includes support staff for the research mission).

UW-Madison has long been recognized as an institution that excels in research. In fiscal year 2016 (July 2015-June 2016), over $945 million in extramural research dollars were awarded to the university, of which nearly $590 million were federally funded. In the last ten years, UW-Madison has consistently been in the top six institutions in terms of total NIH research support. 17 Nobel Prizes and 29 Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded to UW-Madison faculty or alumni.

School of Medicine and Public Health

The UW-SMPH has the largest research commitment of any school or college on the UW-Madison campus, receiving over $355 million in extramural support in FY 2016. More than 1,200 faculty members work in 27 departments and 21 centers and institutes, and have active research programs covering virtually every aspect of basic, clinical, and public health research. Existing internationally recognized centers include the UW Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (a CTSA program), the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, and the Waisman Center. New facilities, such as the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research and the UW Cardiovascular Research Center, ensure that UW-Madison will remain at the forefront of basic, clinical, and translational research, ultimately improving the health of the residents of Wisconsin and beyond.

Department of Pediatrics

The SMPH Department of Pediatrics received nearly $25 million in research grants in FY16, of which nearly $16 million was federally funded. This is the largest annual award amount since Dr. Ellen Wald’s appointment as Department Chair in 2006 and is reflective of her strong commitment to research and the success of pediatric investigators.

The Department of Pediatrics has extensive resources at its disposal to support basic, translational and clinical research. It has dedicated over 39,000 ft2 to research. Core laboratory facilities are described in detail below. The laboratory facilities are primarily located on the main campus in space within or adjacent to the Department of Pediatrics Faculty Office and Administrative Support home base. A subset of investigators whose research is cancer-related is located within the WIMR (Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research) facility, connected to the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic.

Clinical Facilities

American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH)AFCH

The state-of-the-art, $100 million AFCH at 1675 Highland Avenue replaced the existing UW Children's Hospital in August 2007. With inpatient rooms approximately double in size of the old UW Children's Hospital, the 87-bed AFCH provides patients and families from throughout Wisconsin and beyond a place to heal in a soothing, child-friendly environment.

A second phase of fundraising enabled the hospital to open a new Pediatric Surgical Pavilion in September 2008. The 37,000 square foot facility includes 6 operating rooms and two procedure rooms. With a Lake Michigan motif, the pavilion is the latest in operating room design and technology. A combination of dollars from operations and philanthropic giving funded a dedicated pediatric imaging unit and a hybrid catheterization lab that opened in 2013.

Our world-class team of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals provide everything from preventive health care to highly specialized programs. These include a pediatric intensive care unit, an internationally recognized transplant surgery program, a children's cancer center, a world-renowned pediatric asthma and allergy center and many others. With the growing need for increased space and services, a 14-bed NICU and 12 bed Universal Unit were added in 2014. These units will focus on supporting new directions in cardiothoracic surgery in infants and children, expanding pediatric surgery and its subspecialties to include neonates, and the creation of a Neuro-NICU facility. The seventh floor will open in January 2018 and the sixth floor in 2020. In 2016-2017, our hospital was ranked by the US News and World Report among the top 50 children’s hospital in the United States in 6 medical and surgical specialties.

UW Health (formerly, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics)

UW Health ranks among the finest academic medical centers in the United States. The 505-bed hospital has more than 1,400 physicians and 16,500 staff at 6 hospitals and 80 outpatient sites that serve more than 600,000 patients annually in the Upper Midwest. The graduate medical education program rests on a solid foundation anchored by opportunities in more than 66 accredited specialty and subspecialty programs. UW Health has long been recognized as a national leader in many specialized fields of medicine, including radiology, cancer treatment, nephrology, pediatrics, surgical specialties (ophthalmology, otolaryngology and urology) and organ transplantation. The hospital is frequently cited in publications rating the nation's best medical facilities. For instance, UW Health ranked among the top 50 of the nation's teaching hospitals in 9 adult specialties and 6 pediatric specialties, according to the 2016-2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report's list of Top 50 US Hospitals.

UnityPoint Health–Meriter

UnityPoint Health–Meriter is a 448-bed non-profit community hospital that provides comprehensive health services for residents of southern Wisconsin and areas of northwest Illinois. It is a major teaching affiliate of the University of Wisconsin and is ranked #7 in the US News and World Report’s Best Regional Hospitals in Wisconsin. With a combined staff of 3,500 employees, UnityPoint Health–Meriter offers adults primary and specialty care . It is the home of the UW Health birthing service (~4,600 births/year – the largest in the state) and a 44-bed, level III neonatal ICU. The hospital has been recognized three times as a 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics and for the fifth consecutive year, was named “Most Wired” by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. The associated UnityPoint Health – Meriter Foundation supports research and education activities that relate to the newborn infant.

Waisman Center

The Waisman Center is an internationally renowned center dedicated to research, service, outreach, and training, all to benefit people with developmental disabilities or neurodegenerative disorders and their families.  The Department of Pediatrics Divisions of Genetics, Neurodevelopmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and Intensive Care Unit have lab space and/or clinic space within the Waisman Center. Opened in 1973, the center is named after Harry A. Waisman, a pediatrician, biochemist, and pioneer in research involving intellectual disabilities. The Center is a 210,016 square foot complex that encompasses an eight floor tower, one story annex, and a six story addition completed in 2001. The Waisman Center is one of 14 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers, one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and 43 LEND programs in the U.S.

The Waisman Center receives support from the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) for the Wisconsin Mental Retardation Developmental Disabilities Research Center (MRDDRC). The core grant (U54 HD090256) supports an administrative core and the research infrastructure of the Waisman Center through Waisman Core Services (WCS). The WCS includes four research service cores: Clinical Translational Core, Brain Imaging Core, Rodent Models Core and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Core. These cores provide essential, high-quality services to biomedical, behavioral and social science research projects for principal investigators.

Clinical and Translational Facilities

University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR)

The ICTR transforms research into a continuum from investigation through discovery to translation into real-life community practice, thereby linking the most basic research to practical improvements in human health. The interdisciplinary nature of the ICTR changes the culture from “silos” to cooperation and collaboration. Funded by NIH, ICTR represents a novel partnership between UW-Madison (with the William S. Middleton [Madison] VA Medical Center) and the Marshfield Clinic to create an amalgamation of the strong and distinct resources of these institutions, with unique opportunities to enhance the clinical and translational research opportunities in Wisconsin. The UW-Madison area of ICTR is composed of the Schools of Engineering, Medicine & Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine that partner to achieve four aims:

  • Aim 1. To develop an academic home for clinical and translational science with experienced leadership and resources conducive to the creation and support of creative and effective interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Aim 2. To develop a cadre of multidisciplinary biomedical and behavioral scientists capable of accelerating translation of research findings into evidence-based policies and practices which will improve health.
  • Aim 3. To create a coordinated infrastructure that makes critical resources available, including biomedical informatics, biostatistics, core technologies, and facilities for clinical and population based research.
  • Aim 4. To develop the infrastructure necessary to investigate and establish the tools essential to transfer medical discoveries to the community and respond to the health care needs of the community. 
 

The ICTR has made good on its promise, and as of 2016 has awarded 134 grants totaling $6.9 million to support clinical and Type 1 translational research and 814 grants totaling $6.4 million to support community-engaged translational research. In addition to its research mission, the ICTR is a resource for education in clinical and translational research that will be used by our faculty and staff. The Department of Pediatrics has a strong tie to the ICTR, with leadership roles belonging to Pediatric faculty members, including Robert Lemanske, MD as the Deputy Executive Director, Anna Huttenlocher, MD as the Director of the Institutional Career Development Program, Paul Sondel, MD, PhD as the Head and the Assistant Director of the Scientific Review Committee and Ellen Wald, MD as a member of the Internal Advisory Committee.

For a MS Word downloadable version of this text: Research Environment & Facilities

Funding Opportunities 

The list below is a sample of the opportunities available to Department of Pediatrics researchers.  For additional information, please contact the research administration staff.

Internal/UW Opportunities

         
  • The Hartwell Foundation – UW internal competition; details emailed as they become available
 
  • Department of Pediatrics, R&D – funding details are sent via email in November/December
   

Extramural Opportunities (sponsors commonly submitted to)

Federal Sources

       

Non-Federal Sources

                   

Training Opportunities

  • UW-ICTR Career Development Awards
    • TL1 Post-doctoral Training Program: All applicants must currently hold a non-tenure track faculty series title (CHS, Clinical track) or have that appointment by the time of the award
    • KL2: This award supports junior faculty at UW Madison pursuing and actively engaged in translational research and who are committed to developing an independent research program
      • Awardees in the Department of Pediatrics:
        • David McCulley, MD (2015-present)
        • D.B. Sanders, MD (2014-2016)
        • Pelin Cengiz, MD (2011-2015)
        • Michael Wilhelm, MD (2011-2015)
        • Dan Jackson, MD (2010-2014)
        • Peter Ferrazzano, MD (2009-2013)
        • Judy Smith, MD, PhD (2008-2009)
                     

Department Support/Resources

The Department of Pediatrics Research Administration Staff assists principal investigators in building and maintaining successful research programs. This includes navigating the intricacies of the research enterprise, both within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and externally through the myriad of other funding sources beyond the University.

The Department of Pediatrics Grant Success Program (GSP) provides a thorough review and feedback on a research grant application prior to submission in order to strengthen the proposal and enhance its probability of success. Draft aims should be submitted for GSP review 4-6 weeks in advance of the deadline and the full draft at least 3 weeks before the deadline. All proposals submitted to GSP will be partnered with a senior investigator for review. Department of Pediatrics investigators are encouraged to take advantage of this service and, based on feedback from senior researchers, we anticipate this review will become a requirement for Assistant Professors submitting a proposal for internal or external funding on or after January 1, 2018.

The Department of Pediatrics maintains a select group of core resources which supply expertise, equipment and maintenance contracts. These cores complement those supported by the University of Wisconsin campus.

Tools 

   
  • ECRT (effort reporting)
 
  • Cayuse (for proposal submission)
 
  • WISPER (proposal routing tool)
                   

 

Research Training 

The UW Department of Pediatrics’ research training program cultivates learners and faculty who want to develop careers in pediatric research.

Our residency program’s research opportunities include a required scholarly project and support of the research pathways developed by the American Board of Pediatrics. We also offer a National Institutes of Health-supported MD/PhD program for future physician-scientists.

Our fellowship programs offer outstanding research opportunities with mentors in basic, translational and clinical research—in our department, the School of Medicine and Public Health and across campus.

Our faculty mentoring program provides guidance and critical evaluation of research performance and productivity.

Spring Research Day 

Spring Research Day spotlights scholarly work from UW Department of Pediatrics residents, fellows, faculty, and staff, plus health sciences students from the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH).

Although many of the presentations have been or will be given at regional or national meetings, the event is a great way to share the department’s work with the SMPH community.