Whether they study helmets on the football field or hemophilia in a lab, our scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute are always on the cutting-edge of their respective fields, as the latest roundup of research news shows. This week, read about what to expect at next week’s Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, discover how a CHOP engineer is helping to make the NFL safer, and learn about new results from our Center for Fetal Research about treating lung diseases in utero.
Category Archive: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute
By Nancy McCann
Ten year-old Jack looks longingly out his living room window, yearning to play kickball with his friends. But mom doesn’t want his asthma to flare up, which it tends to do when he runs around. As much as he wants to go outside, he won’t, because he knows how uncomfortable he gets when his chest starts to tighten. Instead, Jack spends hours on the couch in front of the television, playing video games.
This reinforcing cycle keeps churning — exercise and outdoor play are great for combatting Jack’s obesity, but they’re bad for his asthma. Sitting around begets more weight troubles, but it doesn’t cause him breathing discomfort. Around and around it goes.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute recognizes the unique and remarkable trainees who have been nominated by their mentors across CHOP through the Distinguished Research Trainee Awards. This year, the Research Trainee Advisory Committee selected four scientists across different disciplines and divisions who are positioned to drive bigger breakthroughs in their fields. Learn more about these researchers’ achievements and accolades:
Sarah Sheppard, MD, PhD, Pediatrics/Medical Genetics Resident
Mentor: Elizabeth Bhoj, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics
As spring slowly arrives here in Philadelphia, take a deep breath of fresh air and catch up on our research that’s been making publishing news. This week we’re covering genes that cause osteoporosis, the effects of longer work shifts for first-year residents, and the project to map every cell in a child’s body. You’ll also learn about respiratory support in preterm infants and research results that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia investigators published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) One.
Risk Genes for Osteoporosis May Lead to Future Treatments
Scientists have harnessed powerful data analysis tools and three-dimensional studies of genomic geography to implicate new risk genes for osteoporosis, the chronic bone-weakening condition that affects millions of people. Knowing the causative genes may later open the door to more effective treatments.
By Sharlene George
A new computational framework called deep-learning augmented RNA-seq analysis of transcript splicing (DARTS) uses deep-learning based predictions to add dimension to the wealth of information available in public RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) big data sets. DARTS allows researchers to gain new insights into RNA and protein complexity, particularly for genes with low expression.
Who conducted the study:
A team from the Center for Computational and Genomic Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted the study including Yi Xing, PhD, who is the Center’s director, and first authors Zijun Zhang and Zhicheng Pan, who are PhD students.
In this week’s news roundup, there’s a lot to be proud of as our researchers make impactful discoveries, such as new-found variability in a mitochondrial disease-causing gene and encouraging findings about an antibody-drug conjugate that targets a surface protein expressed in childhood neuroblastomas, effectively killing cancer cells. Wanjiku Njoroge, MD, and colleagues followed mothers of very preterm infants to determine stress in the NICU and its effects five years later, and Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, is changing perceptions about visually impaired drivers.
Last week marked International Women’s Day (March 8), and while we recognize the remarkable women in science and healthcare at the Research Institute every day of the year, it seems especially fitting that this news roundup features some of those role models as they receive accolades and awards. Hematology researcher, Lindsey George, MD, was honored for her breakthrough work in developing a gene therapy for hemophilia B, while our CEO and President, Madeline Bell, ranked on the Top 25 Women Leaders list by Modern Healthcare. Meanwhile, in other news, researchers published findings on obesity and vitamin D, the use of machine learning for early sepsis detection, and a promising drug to treat some mitochondrial disorders.
Persevere, persist, and prioritize. These are some of the powerful words of wisdom that women in science at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia would like to share with the next generation of female scientists. To celebrate Women’s History Month this year, we are continuing our tradition of highlighting the talented researchers at CHOP who work in the science, engineering, math, and technology (STEM) fields, which have historically been underrepresented by women.
It’s been an exciting week on Cornerstone, as we’ve gotten to know the newest recipients of the Postdoctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity and learn about the richness of experience they bring to our research community.
Closing our three-part Q&A series is Jean-Bernard Lubin, PhD, who discovered the perfect place to pursue his research interests in the microbiome and its effects throughout the lifespan. With the goal of directing the course of those effects with therapeutic interventions, Dr. Lubin brings his passion for bacterial genetics to CHOP.