Mar 21 2018

Lifespan Brain Institute Symposium Dig Into Roots of Mental Illness

Leaders of the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) brought together experts in child and adult psychiatry, and basic and translational science, to delve into the origins of mental illness, during the Institute’s first symposium, “Pathological Antecedents to Neuropsychiatric Disorders.” Throughout the day, 200 attendees learned about how the typical trajectory of brain development and function is derailed in psychiatric disorders at various points throughout life — perhaps as early as in the womb.

LiBI is uniquely positioned as a broad collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that supports research across the fetal-adult continuum, which is a pillar of CHOP Research Institute’s strategic plan.

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Mar 15 2018

Four Women in Science: What Inspires Them to Make Breakthroughs

In the halls and history of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and its Research Institute, you don’t have to search far to find role models who thrive in science fields that have been, historically, underrepresented by women.

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Mar 9 2018

Lung Stem Cells, 2021 Congress of the ISTH, Backseat Safety, Pan-Cancer Analysis, Gates Cambridge Scholarship

From the discovery of stem cells that multiply after a lung injury, to new data that advances how we think about (and treat) childhood cancer, our first roundup of March is packed with discovery. Read on to learn how our researchers stay at the forefront of pediatric science with a new study that expands what scientists know about the body’s extraordinary ability to regenerate, a pan-cancer project that distinguishes how cancer develops in children versus adults, and a handful of updates on what our investigators have in store for the near future.

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Mar 6 2018

Is an Uncommon Genetic Mutation Linked to Vitamin D-dependent Rickets?

The Findings:

Researchers identified a genetic mutation in CYP3A4 that is linked to vitamin D-dependent rickets (VDDR), a childhood disorder associated with impaired growth and skeletal mineralization. Scientists already knew about two other genetic forms of VDDR, but this third kind is caused by a gain-in-function mutation — a random genetic change that confers a new function on a gene — that leads to accelerated inactivation of vitamin D metabolites. This is a new insight into vitamin D metabolism.

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Mar 2 2018

Exploring the Wide World of the Microbiome

Studying the microbiome — the 40 trillion or so invisible microbes that call your body home — is like being an explorer of a secret world with its own language and lifeforms. Whether these microbes are sometimes friends or sometimes foe depends on subtle interactions with each other and the role of influential factors such as your genetics, environment, age, and diet.

The PennCHOP Microbiome Program awards annual pilot and feasibility grants to help faculty members of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia scientific communities navigate this uncharted territory. With the funding awarded in 2017, eight projects are underway, and CHOP clinician-scientists are leading two of them.

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Feb 28 2018

Better Biobanking a Best Bet for Rare Disease Research

Editor’s Note: Families facing a rare disease diagnosis often do not know where to turn first in their search for the most advanced treatments and potentially a cure for their children. Only 5 percent of rare diseases have a treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. This is due in part to the lack of high quality biospecimens for research.

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Feb 26 2018

John Maris, MD, Receives National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award

Long before he entered medical school, John M. Maris, MD, pediatric oncologist and the recent recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award, became captivated by the mysteries of neuroblastoma. A cancer of the peripheral (not brain) nervous system, neuroblastoma accounts for 7 percent of all childhood cancers and 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths.

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Feb 23 2018

Martha Curley, Cardiology 2018, Hearing Loss and Heart Surgery, Driving Safety, Parents and Allergies

As our cardiology experts flock to sunny Scottsdale, Ariz., this weekend for Cardiology 2018 — 21st Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease, sponsored by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — we have some exciting discoveries and developments from the last two weeks to share. In this roundup of research headlines, we meet our new Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at CHOP, learn about potential associations between infant heart surgeries and hearing loss, discuss research results about driver decals that can inform practice and policy, and share novel findings from families with food allergies.

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Feb 21 2018

Different Walks of Life: Q&A With Annabel Torres, PhD, New Diversity Fellow

Over the last week, we have gotten to know the newest scholars in the Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a program designed to strengthen the Research Institute’s diverse population of postdoctoral investigators. Every year, new researchers join the program and contribute their unique perspectives to various fields of pediatric science, from genomics to neurobiology.

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Feb 16 2018

Driven to Inspire: Q&A with Melvin Bates, PhD, New Diversity Fellow

As part of a three-part Q&A series on Cornerstone, we’re learning more about the newest scholars of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity, a program that aims to expand our community of researchers from unique backgrounds and academic experiences. Central to our breakthroughs at CHOP, diversity allows our investigators to collaborate and confront pediatric problems from a variety of perspectives. In this series, we let each of our fellows tell their own stories, touching on everything from what diversity in research means to them to the exciting projects they have underway.

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