The Arcus team at the Research Institute is solving a number of challenges at once: Decrease the time it takes for researchers to access data, increase the reproducibility of research, ensure data security, and speed up the rate of breakthroughs. Will Struebing loves that his role as supervisor of Scientific Computing for the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics (DBHi) pulls him in many directions. In this fourth in a series of Cornerstone posts about the convergence of talent and expertise to build Arcus — an internal program that is providing findable, reusable, trustworthy research data — find out more about Struebing and how his DevOps team is enabling cloud-first development efforts.
Researchers studying CDKL5 deficiency disorder (CDD), a complex and severe neurodevelopmental condition caused by mutations in the CDKL5 gene, gained novel insights into CDD’s underlying mechanisms. Their findings suggest that disrupted early development of neural circuitry has downstream consequences, disturbing neurotransmitter pathways and resulting in cognitive problems and autistic-like behaviors.
Previous research by the scientific team demonstrated that loss of CDKL5, which provides instructions for making a synaptic protein essential for normal brain development and functions, in forebrain glutamatergic neurons is implicated in learning and memory deficits. Their new findings suggest that loss of CDKL5 in forebrain GABAergic neurons leads to autistic-like features in mouse models of CDD.
The cicadas may be “singing,” but the summer season isn’t over quite yet. In the midst of heat waves, drenching rainstorms, and vacation escapes, our investigators continue to advance scientific discovery. In this edition of In The News, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers report a more sensitive method of detecting genetic material delivered via adeno-associated viral vectors, while another group published findings that could help avoid unnecessary non-culture cerebrospinal fluid infection tests. Meanwhile, Petar Mamula, MD, looks into more effective management of a rare vascular anomaly, and Alex Fiks, MD, assumes a director role within the Research Institute.
By Jillian Rose Lim
School might be out for the summer, but science is still in for eight high school students participating in a unique six-week program called the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Internship for Scholars and Emerging Scientists (CHOP-RISES). Offered by the Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs, CHOP-RISES gives students typically underrepresented in science the opportunity to work in some of our most innovative research laboratories and explore a variety of careers in science and medicine.
By Nancy McCann
Editor’s note: Welcome to our new blog series! “Off Campus” is where you’ll discover what our amazing Research Institute employees do for fun, recreation, and the good of their communities once they leave the city behind. And if you know someone in your department or lab with a fascinating hobby or interest, we’d like to hear about it!
By Jillian Rose Lim
For many girls, middle school comes with more challenges than just tests, tryouts, and tough grades. While the best of friendships can develop during the preteen years, it’s also a period prone to “mean girl” culture as gossip, rumors, and bullying abound.
It will take more than a little heat and humidity to stop our researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from making an impact in and around the community: In this edition of our biweekly news roundup, we cover a recent event that introduced South Jersey teachers to our innovative research, congratulate two scientists on new awards that recognize their contributions to rheumatology and hematology, and share how faculty members at PolicyLab are discussing the implications of their work in the realms of policy and public health.
By Nancy McCann
Editor’s note: We’ve started a new occasional blog series! Do you ever wonder what our super-docs and super-staff do on the weekends, during their downtime? Well, our Research Communications team did, and we created “Off Campus” to discover what our amazing Research Institute employees do for fun, recreation, and the good of their communities. Get a glimpse into their lives once they take off their capes … umm, we mean lab coats and business shoes. And if you know someone in your department or lab with a fascinating hobby or interest, we’d like to hear about it!
Editor’s note: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) is a competitive and dynamic internship that provides undergraduate students with hands-on experience in academic research, exposure to various facets of a career in pediatric research and/or medicine, and direct mentoring by CHOP faculty. In this guest blog, Cindy Hong, a rising third-year student at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, gives a glimpse into her experience as a 2019 CRISSP scholar embarking on the immersive 10-week internship — from learning new skills in biomedical and health informatics in the lab of Laura Almasy, PhD, to making new friends, to determining if research is a career she wants to pursue.
Start new collaborations. Find valuable data. Create cohorts that can seed new research endeavors. These are some of the key drivers for Arcus, an internal strategic program designed for researchers to more intuitively navigate clinical and research data produced by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Research Institute. Essentially, that means making the promising wealth of data in Arcus discoverable.
In this Cornerstone post, meet Spencer Lamm, MLIS, supervisor of Library Science within the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics (DBHi), who is adopting standards and practices for managing large volumes of data at places like NASA to make the new Arcus Archives a source of reliable, reproducible data for CHOP researchers long-term.