Category Archive: Perelman School of Medicine

Jun 7 2018

Bring on the Noise: Genomics Experts Think Through Big Data at SAGES

The Symposium on Advances in Genomics, Epidemiology and Statistics (SAGES) has a winning formula for success: Bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists who are all working toward the same goal of understanding the genetic basis of human disorders. Close to 200 SAGES attendees gathered June 1 at the Smilow Center for Translational Research for a dynamic opportunity to explore a wealth of ideas and make connections with colleagues from diverse areas of expertise.

Read the rest of this entry >>

May 22 2018

Physician-Scientist Jason Van Batavia, MD, Accepts Prestigious Urology Prize

Leading-edge neuroscience techniques are facilitating Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers’ better understanding of how the brain controls bladder function, and their novel insights have earned them special recognition from the neurourology community.

Jason Van Batavia, MD, a urologist and physician-scientist in the Division of Urology at CHOP, is the grand prize winner in the 2018 Diokno-Lapides Essay Contest. His manuscript described a research project focused on optogenetic stimulation of specific neurons in a section of the brainstem called Barrington’s nucleus, which scientists think is an important “command center” for controlling voiding (urination).

Read the rest of this entry >>

May 1 2018

Does an Impaired Biological Pathway Help Explain Heart Problems in Huntington’s Disease?

The Findings:

Researchers gained new insights into the heart problems that are the second leading cause of death in patients with Huntington’s disease (HD). An incurable, inherited disease with progressive loss of brain cells and motor function, HD occurs when a defective gene produces repeated copies of a protein called huntingtin, or HTT. The mutant HTT (mHTT) protein disrupts multiple fundamental cellular processes along the mTORC1 pathway that promotes cell growth and metabolism. The study team described how decreased mTORC1 activity contributed to the development of heart disease with stress in mouse models of HD. By restoring cardiac mTORC1 activity, the researchers improved the animals’ heart function and survival over the course of the study.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Apr 13 2018

Entrepreneurial Science Scholars Turn Ideas Into Medical Innovation

By definition, entrepreneurs are energetic leaders who challenge existing ideas to drive impactful change. Entrepreneurs think outside the box, follow their passion, and stay resilient and resourceful to achieve their goals. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, fellows in the Entrepreneurial Science Scholars Program do all of these things — and more — to improve the health of children and families.

On Feb. 22, we celebrated this year’s CHOP Entrepreneurial Science Scholars, a group of six clinician-researchers who are conducting pioneering research and innovation in diverse and critical fields. The CHOP Entrepreneurial Science Scholars Program aims to produce highly trained investigators skilled in translational research and the generation of creative solutions to biomedical problems. Joseph St. Geme, MD, Physician-in-Chief and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at CHOP, hosted the event.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Mar 21 2018

Lifespan Brain Institute Symposium Digs 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.

Read the rest of this entry >>

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.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Jan 11 2018

Is Autism Associated With Stronger or Weaker Brain Connections?

The Finding:

In a new study that sheds light on a longstanding paradox in autism research, investigators showed how children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can have both stronger and weaker brain connections than their typically developing peers. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed that while individuals with ASD have weaker brain connections compared to their peers overall (a measure known as absolute connectivity), they simultaneously exhibited stronger connections within the brain networks implicated in attention and social cognition compared to their other networks (a measure known as relative connectivity). Additionally, the more these brain connections differed from typical development, the more severe the child’s ASD symptoms seemed to be.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Jan 5 2018

Researchers Take Gaming to a New Level to Help Children With Autism

Each new year comes with anticipation for the latest and greatest in the world of video games to be revealed. Which sequels will surpass their originals? Will beloved characters be reinvented? And we want to know: What brand-new entries are lined up that could offer an amazing experience in field of gaming for health?

The Center for Autism Research (CAR) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has several studies in the works that are looking at the feasibility of using video games and virtual reality to help children improve symptoms of autism. With engaging platforms and cutting-edge graphics, these games are aiming for a “high score” as easy-to-access, affordable, and effective interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here’s a quick glance at what is on the horizon:

Read the rest of this entry >>

Dec 27 2017

Our Most Read Stories of 2017 Bring Back the Wonder of Childhood

It was a big year for children’s health: We celebrated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the world’s first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy this September, followed closely by approval of the very first gene therapy to treat inherited blindness this month — both of which have their roots at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. But besides the big headline-making breakthroughs (brilliant as they are), we wanted to know what other stories captivated our readers in 2017.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Dec 5 2017

Three Key Questions for Breaking Into Translational Research

Breakthroughs in basic science build the foundation for clinical research and our treatment of children’s health. Many basic scientists, however, find themselves wanting to play a more active role in connecting their lab discoveries from the bench to the bedside. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia held a Q&A panel, “How to Break Into Translational Research As a Basic Scientist,” in October as part of their week-long, biannual Translational Research Workshop.

Read the rest of this entry >>