The focus of Dr. Balasubramaniam's research in both the laboratory and clinically has been in the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of lung disease that is the result of premature birth. This includes abnormalities of lung function from being born premature and also those infants who suffer from bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). In his lab they are combining research that use animal models of disease, with correlation to patient samples from premature infants. These studies goal is to understand the mechanisms of lung growth, injury and repair utilizing an experimental approach that examines the role of oxidative stress on the lung.
Dr. Boriosi's area of interest is clinical research, with a goal is to promote and develop clinical research in the PICU.
Through clinical studies Dr. Aaron Carrel's reseach has sought to better understand the relationship between obesity/body composition, cardiovascular fitness, and the development of insulin resistance in children. This work began in children with a genetic form of obesity, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS).
Dr. Pelin Cengiz’s research focuses on finding a novel therapy for neonatal encephalopathy subsequent to hypoxia ischemia (HI). She is particularly interested in the role of Na+/H+ exchanger protein isoform 1 in the reactive hippocampal astrocytes following HI. She is working both with in vitro and in vivo models of HI in order to identify the role of this protein and its effects on neuronal degeneration in the hippocampus.
The Conway Research Group is conducting several studies looking at vaccine effectiveness and the use of the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).
Dr. Rock and the research team have been involved in studies of DNase in infants, azithromycin in patients chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, BIIL-284, denufosol, inhaled hypertonic saline for infants, pancreatic enzyme studies, a new formulation of AquADEKs vitamins and studies of therapies for the eradication of new acquisition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Additionally, Dr. Rock conducted an investigator-initiated study of a new method of sweat testing, the CF Quantum® Test system. This technology showed promise in a multicenter study, and a larger trial of this will be conducted.
The major focus of the Eldridge Laboratory is integrative cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology as it occurs in isolated heart-lung preparations, non-anaesthetized animals and humans, with specific applications to the effects of exercise, acute hypoxia, altitude, hyperbaria and environmental exposure (particulates, endotoxin and ozone). A center focus of their studies is novel regulatory mechanisms of the pulmonary microcirculation and there impact on pulmonary gas exchange.
Dr. Farrell has had a long-standing interest in pediatric pulmonology and nutrition, especially as related to infants with respiratory disorders such as cystic fibrosis (CF). His research group for the past 25 years has been focused on CF newborn screening and has been continuously funded by the NIH to investigate the benefits, risks, tests, and costs of early diagnosis through newborn screening for this important genetic disease.
In an effort to overcome barriers to translating neuroprotective interventions, the Ferrazzano Laboratory use small animal MRI to identify biomarkers of injury and therapeutic effect in animal models of pediatric cerebral ischemia. A combination of real-time imaging, conventional longitudinal imaging, and rodent behavioral testing is used to comprehensively assess neurodevelopmental differences in the physiology of ischemia and reperfusion, and the response to neuroprotective interventions.
The Gern Laboratory is conducting several NIH-funded studies to define the role of viral infections in the initiation and disease activity of asthma, and to identify interactions between host and viral factors that determine the severity of respiratory illnesses.
Dr. Hokanson's research goal is to investigate the use of pulse oximetry screening to detect congenital heart disease. This research is important because some babies with significant heart defects will appear to be perfectly well for the first few days after they are born, only to become critically ill within days of going home from the hospital. The use of pulse oximetry screening may help to identify these babies before they get into trouble.
The Huttenlocher Laboratory research focuses on understanding the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate cell movement—in the context of wound healing, inflammation and cancer. Cell migration plays a central role in many different disease processes including cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disease. Insight into the mechanisms that regulate cell migration will contribute to our understanding of basic cellular processes, but will also aid in the identification of new treatment strategies for a wide variety of medical conditions. Despite extensive interest in the receptors and mechanisms involved during cell migration, many fundamental questions remain unanswered.
Dr. Capitini's group focuses on using preclinical mouse models of allogeneic blood and marrow transplant (alloBMT) to cure pediatric leukemias and solid tumors with tumor-directed immunotherapeutic therapies such as dendritic cell vaccines, adoptive NK cell and T cell-based infusions. The goal of this research is to both improve presently used biological therapies in clinical alloBMT, such as donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), as well as develop novel immune-based therapies that have potential to be translated into the clinic.
The Jackson research group is interested in furthering our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of childhood asthma, with a focus on host-microbe interactions in both the inception and exacerbation of disease. The long-term goal is asthma prevention.
The increasing burden of fungal disease in the world combined with the emergence of treatment resistant organisms is an alarming challenge to medicine and human health. The Klein laboratory is a molecular medical mycology research group with two broad areas of focus: fungal pathogenesis and immunology.
Dr. Kling's research goals have been to investigate the developmental and nutritional regulation of erythropoiesis (red blood cells production). This research is important because anemia complicates the clinical care of nearly 30,000 premature neonates in US yearly and effective strategies for combating anemia must be developed.
Dr. Lemanske's research interests have focused primarily on the pathophysiology and treatment of asthma including mechanisms underlying pulmonary late phase reactions, virus-induced airway dysfunction, and asthma inception in infants and young children.
Dr. Matthews' research interests include sleep medicine education in medical training as well as sleep education in community and public health.
The Mezu-Ndubuisi lab focuses on studying the effects of oxygen on the retina using newborn mice, who at full term birth are at the same developmental stage as premature babies born at 24 to 26 week gestation. Knowing that the retina can be visualized through an optically clear media, we discovered a way of studying ROP in mice without extracting the retina, leading to the development of an in vivo model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). The Mezu-Ndubuisi lab also studies the correlation between the effects of oxidative stress in the retina and other developing organs, like the lung and kidneys, and investigates the signaling mechanisms involved in these complex interactions.
The Otto Laboratory is pursuing novel, alternative approaches to treat childhood cancer. Our research includes areas such as adoptive immunotherapies, nano-oncology and stem cell graft design for the transplant setting.
One area of focus for the Pillers-Pattnaik research team is to investigate the genetic basis of disease in neonates. With the evolution of neonatal health care to address major physiologic contributors to disease, new opportunities are emerging to investigate the influence of genetic mechanisms on neonatal health and to apply new molecular methods in the diagnosis of neonatal disease and its markers. A second major focus has been in the role of dystrophin and its associated proteins in the non-muscle manifestations of Duchenne and other inherited muscular dystrophies. Their particular emphasis has been on neurosensory physiology of both vision and hearing.
Launched in 2007, the Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids) is a health services research team whose major goal is to improve the children’s outcomes by implementing family-centered interventions and evaluating these interventions from the perspectives of children and families. Under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Cox, PROKids not only conducts original research (over $4.6 million in federal and non-federal research funding since 2009) but also serves as a key collaborator or consultant for other investigators at UW and beyond.
The Ralphe Laboratory is interested in understanding the impact of metabolism and energy production on cardiac contractile performance in the immature heart. They are particularly focused on understanding how the transitioning perinatal heart responds energetically to the stress of congenital heart disease or other contractile abnormalities.
The Seroogy Laboratory has been interested in understanding the immunologic contexts that lead to CD4+ T cell unresponsiveness or anergy. During these investigations, they have found that a major operational mechanism of cellular immune unresponsiveness involves a T cell with suppressive capabilities. This T cell was formally identified in the early 1990s and has been termed a CD25+ T regulatory (Treg) cell.
The major focus of the Smith Laboratory is an intracellular stress response originating from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) called the “Unfolded Protein Response” or “UPR”. The UPR has been implicated in such diverse processes as viral infection, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Sondel's team is pursuing basic, preclinical and clinical mechanisms to induce in vivo activated innate immune effector cells to provide anti-tumor benefit.
The focus of the Sorenson Laboratory is to understand the role apoptotic processes play in kidney and vascular development. They have been focusing on the roles of bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic) and bim (pro-apoptotic) members of bcl-2 family play in these processes. The research in this laboratory utilizes transgenic mice, as well as endothelial and nephron specific epithelial cells generated from these mice.
The major research focus of the Wald/DeMuri Research Group is upper respiratory infections (URI) in children such as sinusitis, otitis media and pharyngitis.
The major focus of the Wilhelm Laboratory is the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory and how they are perturbed in inherited or congenital brain diseases. They use a variety of in vitro and in vivo tools to study synaptic and dendritic biology to elucidate these mechanisms. The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children with both congenital and acquired forms of central nervous system injury. These efforts are imperative because neurodevelopmental disabilities remain the primary negative consequence of critical illness in infants and children despite ever-improving mortality rates for our sickest patients.