May 1 2019

Can Boosting an Oncogene Make Cancer Cells More Vulnerable to Chemotherapy?

By Sharlene George

The Findings:

Oncogenes such as MYC are notorious troublemakers that promote cancer. Previous research strategies have focused on finding ways to quiet down levels of MYC; however, basic scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia took the opposite approach. In preclinical models, they increased MYC activity in combination with conventional chemotherapy for Burkitt lymphoma to boost an anti-cancer response. The tumor cells became more sensitive to the drugs, and cancer cell death increased.

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Apr 22 2019

Parents Pair Up With Urban Families to Ease Early Intervention Access

By Barb Drosey

James Guevara, MD, MPH, a passionate advocate for kids’ health and well-being, greets visitors with a warm smile and soft voice. A founding member of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and senior fellow at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Public Health Initiatives, Dr. Guevara wants to help families connect with early intervention (EI) services to help children experiencing developmental delays get the best start in life.

“The earlier children access EI services, the easier it is to ameliorate developmental delays so, by the time they start kindergarten, they are on a more level playing field with their peers,” Dr. Guevara said.

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Apr 19 2019

In the News: PAS 2019, NFL Helmet Safety, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Bypass Prophylaxis Hemophilia, Lung Disease In Utero

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.

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Apr 17 2019

On the Road to Better Treatments for Obese Asthmatics

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.

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Apr 12 2019

LiBI Gathers Experts to Explore How Early Life Influences Neurodevelopment

By Barb Drosey, Nancy McCann, and Jillian Rose Lim

From discussions on early-life adversity to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI) delivered a stimulating second symposium April 8, gathering experts across diverse disciplines to share novel research into how brain and behavior develop over a lifetime. Two hundred attendees learned about cutting-edge basic and translational research projects that address a complex and critical question: What are the factors in early life that place some individuals at risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, while others are resilient?

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Apr 11 2019

2019 Distinguished Research Trainees Show Character and Creativity

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

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Apr 5 2019

In the News: Genes Causing Osteoporosis, Residents’ Longer Work Shifts, Pediatric Spinal Deformity, Ventilation Strategy for Preterm Infants, Pediatric Cell Atlas

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.

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Apr 3 2019

Collaborators Uncover Genetic Basis of Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease

By Barbara Drosey

It’s easy to see how Marcella Devoto, PhD, and Judith Kelsen, MD, work so well together. Their work is imperative, but they also are quick to laugh while falling in and out of side conversations about their research in the sort of shorthand longtime collaborators enjoy.

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Mar 29 2019

Collaborating for Pediatric Kidney Disease Clinical Research

By Jillian Rose Lim

Our kidneys work hard to keep us healthy, from regulating fluids, to flushing out waste, to supporting strong, supple bones. Protecting these key functions is especially critical for children, who rely on the all-important organ to keep their bodies growing and nutrients flowing. Thankfully, chronic kidney disease (CKD), in which kidneys sustain progressive and permanent damage over time, is rare in children. But this rarity also means researchers and clinicians need to work harder to gather enough patients and data to mount effective clinical trials and improve outcomes.

And though pediatric CKD is uncommon, the condition can be devastating, leaving a long-term impact on a child’s adult life. The overall life expectancy of children with kidney disease is approximately 40 years less than the average population.

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Mar 26 2019

How Does a New Computational Method Transform Public Big Data Into Knowledge of Transcript Splicing?

By Sharlene George

The findings:

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.

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