Research

Simulating Surgery With High-Performance Computing
Simulating Surgery With High-Performance Computing 1024 575 Abbie Roth

By applying high-performance computing to the field of otolaryngology, a team of researchers is developing a simulation environment for teaching surgical techniques related to the temporal bone. The purpose of training — whether a fire drill or practicing a surgical technique — is to create successes and avoid failures. “The impact of training is safety…

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Signaling Pathway Changes May Flag CAVD, Offer Target for Therapies
Signaling Pathway Changes May Flag CAVD, Offer Target for Therapies 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

Loss of TgfB1 from the endothelium leads to a reduction in Sox9 expression and valve calcification. A team of researchers has identified a molecular signaling pathway that, when altered, can contribute to calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). The finding may provide a method for early diagnosis — many patients don’t learn they have the disease until it’s in the final…

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The Journey to a Program Project Grant
The Journey to a Program Project Grant 1024 575 Tiasha Letostak, PhD

Recommendations from a multi-institutional research team who persevered to obtain a P01 to develop a vaccine for RSV. In 2015, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarded a $6.75 million program project grant to Mark Peeples, PhD, Octavio Ramilo, MD, and M. Asuncion Mejias, MD, PhD, all principal investigators in the Center for Vaccines and Immunity at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s…

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Vaccine Fails to Reactivate Immunity to Hepatitis C Virus
Vaccine Fails to Reactivate Immunity to Hepatitis C Virus 150 150 Abbie Roth

T cells remain inactivated even after immunization in subjects with persistent, controlled infections. Two papers recently published in Hepatology uncovered evidence of permanent immune system damage after hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The studies used a vaccine currently in clinical trials to attempt to restore immunity against HCV in animal models and humans with chronic HCV infection. “In chronic HCV, CD8+…

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Researchers Find Signatures of Rhinovirus Infection and Incidental Presence
Researchers Find Signatures of Rhinovirus Infection and Incidental Presence 150 150 Kevin Mayhood

Transcriptional profiling may speed discrimination between the two, aiding in clinical decisions. Transcriptional profiling, measuring the activity of thousands of genes at once to create a snapshot of cellular function, may make quick work of discriminating between active rhinovirus infection and incidental virus detection — and improve clinical decisions — researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital…

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Boosting Research With a Down Syndrome Biobank
Boosting Research With a Down Syndrome Biobank 150 150 Abbie Roth

A new biobank for Down syndrome blood samples will enable clinical and translational researchers everywhere to shed light on conditions related to Down syndrome, including Alzheimer’s disease. Certain conditions such as congenital heart disease, childhood leukemia and epilepsy are more common in patients with Down syndrome than in the general population. Other conditions, including solid…

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Genetic Testing for Pediatric Epilepsy Can Be Complicated but Beneficial
Genetic Testing for Pediatric Epilepsy Can Be Complicated but Beneficial 150 150 Gina Bericchia

Application of genetic testing in pediatric epilepsy requires understanding of the advantages and limitations of testing modalities The use of genetic testing in pediatric epilepsy is complicated and the list of known epilepsy genes changes almost daily. The steps from a doctor initially evaluating a patient when they first demonstrate the symptoms of epilepsy to genetic diagnosis…

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Better Care and Better Business
Better Care and Better Business 150 150 Dave Ghose

The changing economics of health care are forcing hospitals to find solutions that are good for patients and for the bottom line. A puzzled neonatologist approached Richard McClead, MD, after he spoke at a conference in Boston. It was 2010, and Dr. McClead just finished detailing a new initiative at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to reduce the…

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Revealing the Secrets of Sepsis
Revealing the Secrets of Sepsis 969 533 Abbie Roth
Illustration of NK Cells, T Cells, other immune cells floating across white background

Charting new territory in the understanding of how the immune system responds to sepsis. Two children are admitted to the hospital with sepsis. Both receive antibiotics and fluid resuscitation within the critical first hour. Why does one get better after the initial crisis while the other goes on to develop additional infections and multiple organ…

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Sickle Cell Disease: Global Disparities in Prevalance and Outcomes
Sickle Cell Disease: Global Disparities in Prevalance and Outcomes 150 150 Abbie Roth

Unique challenges exist for people with sickle cell disease depending on where they live. An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 babies worldwide are born with sickle cell disease (SCD) each year. In Africa and India, where SCD is most prevalent, newborn testing is not performed, and many children with sickle cell disease die before they are…

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Severely Obese by Kindergarten: What’s a Doctor to Do?
Severely Obese by Kindergarten: What’s a Doctor to Do? 150 150 Tiasha Letostak, PhD

The numbers of children and adolescents with severe obesity have continued to rise in the past 30 years, but only a few centers provide evidence-based care for severe childhood obesity. Childhood obesity affects 17 percent of children in the United States, and nearly one-third of these children are severely obese. The prevalence rates of children…

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Taking a Closer Look at the Relationship Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
Taking a Closer Look at the Relationship Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease 1024 575 Tiasha Letostak, PhD

A new study reveals surprising results regarding vascular stiffness of coronary microvessels in the presence of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic condition that affects the glucose metabolism as a result of insulin resistance. Patients with T2DM are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack than non-diabetic patients.…

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Adolescents, Young Adults and Cancer: What Are the Issues?
Adolescents, Young Adults and Cancer: What Are the Issues? 150 150 Abbie Roth

Adolescents and young adults with cancer have unique needs that may explain their plateau in survival rates, despite improved survival rates in other age groups. At an age when achieving independence and experiencing life milestones are most important, adolescents and young adults facing a cancer diagnosis must meet unique challenges. These challenges may contribute to…

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A Watershed Moment for Cancer Virotherapy
A Watershed Moment for Cancer Virotherapy 150 150 Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD

A recent decision may define the future of virotherapy’s role in the clinical treatment of cancer. At 4:50 pm on Wednesday, April 29 2015, the votes were cast: 22 in favor, 1 against. With this overwhelming majority, an advisory committee sent a clear message to the FDA recommending the first marketing approval for a live virus cancer…

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Crohn’s Disease Not Exempt From Racial Disparities
Crohn’s Disease Not Exempt From Racial Disparities 150 150 Gina Bericchia

Disparities exist among pediatric Crohn’s patients of different races for a number of health care metrics. A study published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found significant differences in hospital readmissions, medication usage and both medical and surgical complications of children with Crohn’s disease related to race. In the study, black children had a 1.5 times higher frequency…

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Technology Expands Access to Translational Medicine
Technology Expands Access to Translational Medicine 150 150 Abbie Roth

When primary care physicians, specialists and all the lab work in their arsenal fail to provide a diagnosis for debilitating symptoms, patients earn the label of “undiagnosed.” These undiagnosed patients wait with unresolved symptoms for medical research to catch up with them. The Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) at the National Institutes of Health sees 120-150 previously undefined…

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Orphan Disease Seeks Parents, Funding
Orphan Disease Seeks Parents, Funding 1024 575 Kevin Mayhood
Color photo, family portrait of Reagan, a young girl with an orphan disease, her parents, and their dog

Research on rare pediatric diseases often remains underfunded and obscure until motivated families give scientists — and their own children — a much-needed shot at potential therapies worthy of federal funding. Reagan McGee’s pediatrician couldn’t figure out why she had cold after cold. Her parents, Karin and Peter McGee, took her to an ear, nose and…

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Fighting Fibrosis
Fighting Fibrosis 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES
Colorful illustration showing how fibrosis, or a spiky lumpy mass of scar tissue, forms over healthy liver tissue when the liver attempts to repair and replace damaged cells

Fibrosis is an unmet medical challenge with no satisfactory test and insufficient therapy. Now, one naturally occurring cellular component could simultaneously diagnose and heal patients. It’s much more than a million-dollar idea. The person who invents a simple blood or urine test that can accurately measure the severity of scarring in internal organs will have…

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Preserving Biopreservation
Preserving Biopreservation 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Funding challenges, operational complexity and poor visibility threaten the field of human tissue biobanking. How sustainable are biorepositories? The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) boasts the collaboration of more than 9,000 pediatric cancer experts. They treat patients and research disease at more than 200 hospitals around the world. Nine out of every 10 U.S. children with cancer receive…

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Conflicting Directions for BPD Treatment
Conflicting Directions for BPD Treatment 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia differs dramatically among institutions. But why does variation matter? Recent studies report extreme variation among hospitals ordering three common medications for chronic lung disease, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, calling into question the appropriateness of their use and the reason for their prescription. “In the use of diuretics, inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids,…

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Placental Transfusion Confusion
Placental Transfusion Confusion 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Medical professional organizations cannot reach consensus regarding delayed cord clamping and umbilical cord “milking.” Nearly every relevant professional organization has its own recommendations for placental transfusion techniques known as delayed umbilical cord clamping and milking. But it’s unclear whether additional research will lead to consensus. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy of Pediatrics say there’s…

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Beyond the Basics: Enrolling Children in Research
Beyond the Basics: Enrolling Children in Research 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

The ethics of pediatric research include far more than the concepts of autonomy and assent. Consent and assent. Competence and autonomy. Physicians are familiar with the catchphrases of ethical research, but the deeper researchers dig, the more they find that the field’s current understanding of the dimensions involved in pediatric investigations is still shallow. Numerous…

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Study Finds Cow’s Milk is Added to Breast Milk and Sold to Parents Online
Study Finds Cow’s Milk is Added to Breast Milk and Sold to Parents Online 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Deceptive Internet advertisements for human breast milk may put infants at risk. What do parents (and doctors) need to know about milk sharing? A study published yesterday on the safety of human breast milk bought over the Internet found that 10 percent of samples contained added cow’s milk. The discovery that purchased samples of human milk may…

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Are We Properly Capturing the Maternal-Child Health Continuum?
Are We Properly Capturing the Maternal-Child Health Continuum? 150 150 Irina Buhimschi

An obstetrician doing research at a children’s hospital may seem out of place. But not according to one clinician-scientist, who believes that maternal health and child health are inextricably intertwined. Traditionally, doctors divide into those who practice adult medicine and those who practice pediatrics. With the exception of family physicians, there is little crossover in…

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Advancing Pediatric Anesthesiology Through Research
Advancing Pediatric Anesthesiology Through Research 150 150 Joseph Tobias, MD

Pediatric anesthesiology research is a relatively new phenomenon. But one clinician-scientist believes it is the key to bringing the field into the “big leagues” of evidence-based medicine. Over the past 30 years, the field of pediatric anesthesiology has expanded with the recognition of the need for specialized training, the development of fellowship programs and, most…

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Big Data: Ride the Bandwagon, Sell Hot Dogs at the Show, or Jump Out of the Way?
Big Data: Ride the Bandwagon, Sell Hot Dogs at the Show, or Jump Out of the Way? 150 150 William Ray, PhD

Big Data has big potential. But can it truly tell you what you want to know? Big Data. It’s all the rage, and if you listen to the hype, you might get the impression that it’s going to cure cancer, bring about world peace and clean your kitchen while it’s at it. All the cool…

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Bacterial or Viral? New Technique to Clear Muddy Waters
Bacterial or Viral? New Technique to Clear Muddy Waters 150 150 Jan Arthur

Transcriptional profiling could help reduce inappropriate administration of antibiotics for lower respiratory infections in hospitalized patients. Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are one of the most frequent reasons for hospitalization in adults and children worldwide. However, in most cases, establishing the cause of the infection is challenging and many patients undergo unnecessary treatment with antibiotics…

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Speeding Up the Genome Analysis Process
Speeding Up the Genome Analysis Process 150 150 Jan Arthur

New software analyzes human genomes faster than other available technologies, empowering population-scale genomic analysis. Investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have developed an analysis “pipeline” that slashes the time it takes to search a person’s genome for disease-causing variations from weeks to hours. An article describing the ultra-fast, highly scalable software was published in the latest…

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How to Build and Lead a Successful Medical Department
How to Build and Lead a Successful Medical Department 150 150 V. Rama Jayanthi, MD

Fostering an environment that supports evidence-based medicine, professional development and equal footing for clinician-researchers is a critical challenge for medical leadership. You can spot the collaborative leader because he’s rejected the heroic, solitary model of leadership. He doesn’t try to dominate his organization as its all-seeing visionary, leading idea generator and controlling intelligence. Instead, he…

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Building the Modern-Day Vaccine
Building the Modern-Day Vaccine 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Vaccine development used to be straightforward. Now, the challenges are many and the successes are few. What will it take to overcome the obstacles presented by both immunology and society? For 160 years, vaccine after vaccine succeeded at safely and effectively preventing its targeted illness using a set of standard strategies. Scientists knew they simply…

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Body, Heal Thyself: Harnessing Our Innate Immunity
Body, Heal Thyself: Harnessing Our Innate Immunity 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

What the urinary tract’s front-line defenses can teach us about our innate ability to self-heal …. and thwart antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise, health care-acquired infections are becoming harder to treat and even simple infectious illnesses account for billions of dollars per year in spending in the United States alone. As with…

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Using Zinc for Growth Delays in Babies Born Preterm
Using Zinc for Growth Delays in Babies Born Preterm 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Zinc supplementation in extremely low birth-weight (ELBW) infants with chronic lung disease improves weight gain and linear growth, according to a retrospective study performed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The study is one of the first to look at the association between zinc supplementation and growth in ELBW babies with chronic lung disease, also known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia.…

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