May 11 2018

Clinical Research Coordinators Get Crowns and Congratulations

Clinical research coordinators are the heart and soul of our research breakthroughs, as many of our investigators and staff at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia know. Whether they’re ensuring that a study falls within regulatory protocols, explaining the science behind a health condition to a family, or simply spending time with patient participants to put them at ease, coordinators bridge the gap between an idea and its execution, as well as between scientists and the patients whose outcomes they hope to improve.

Read the rest of this entry >>

May 8 2018

Mapping Out Journeys of Changing Hopes for Seriously Ill Children

Editor’s Note: In his career as a social psychologist, Douglas Hill, PhD, focuses on understanding how parents, children, and healthcare providers think about and cope with stressful health situations. For the past six years, Dr. Hill has worked with an interdisciplinary team in the lab of Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH, on research topics including hopeful thinking among parents of children with serious illness, regoaling, good parent beliefs, coping skill interventions for parents, barriers to initiation of palliative care among pediatric oncologists, the impact of pediatric illness on families, and identifying pediatric patients who are unable to communicate.

Read the rest of this entry >>

May 4 2018

Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting Packed With Discovery and Discussion

For many of our researchers, the annual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting is more than just another conference or convention: It’s an exciting and educational event filled with discovery and discussion about the myriad ways we can improve children’s health. This year, experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will convene in Toronto from May 5 to 8 for four days of networking, presentations, poster sessions, and awards. They’ll represent a range of pediatric fields — from behavioral health to bone health, injury research to emergency medicine, neonatology to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and almost everything in between.

Read the rest of this entry >>

May 2 2018

Sabin Institute Honors Paul Offit, MD, Vaccine Champion

Paul Offit, MD, director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccine Education Center (VEC) and Maurice R. Hilleman Chair of Vaccinology at Penn, added “gold medalist” to his vibrant list of honors and accolades, as he stepped up to receive the 2018 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal from the Sabin Vaccine Institute last week in Washington D.C. The award complements Dr. Offit’s impactful, decades-long career as a researcher, author, professor, and strident spokesperson for accurate science, not to mention a champion for vaccine advocacy who has reached a range of audiences from the scientific to the mainstream, and from adults to children.

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 27 2018

“Unique, Different, and Special”: Ben Hartranft Speaks Up for Autism

Nineteen-year-old Ben Hartranft remembers the first research study he participated in at the Center for Autism Research (CAR) nearly eight years ago. Though he was just 12, he didn’t feel nervous or scared about the functional magnetic resonance imaging machine that would capture images of his brain. Instead, Ben’s mom recalls him joking that the researchers could duct tape his legs to the chair to help him keep still (which, of course, wasn’t necessary).

“I just stayed still, and it was very fun,” Ben said.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Apr 24 2018

Life After Childhood Cancer: Q&A With Matthew Hocking, PhD

After surviving cancer, getting back into the rhythms of childhood or adolescence can be a challenge. From school, to a social life, to settling into independence, the impact of cancer often lingers beyond just the period of treatment, and it affects both the body and the brain.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Apr 20 2018

Emily Whitehead Anniversary, Buchanan Lectureship, Hyundai Young Investigators, Yi Xing, New York Auto Show

Cars, computational biology, and cancer advances are all featured in this week’s roundup of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research news, as our investigators received recognition at places as far as the New York International Auto Show, and as close as our hospital’s own Seacrest Studios. Read on to learn more about new awards from Hyundai’s nonprofit organization, Hope on Wheels, the Emily Whitehead Foundation’s generous gift to our Cancer Immunotherapy Frontier Program, and more!

Read the rest of this entry >>

Apr 18 2018

Center for Autism Research a Proving Ground for Novel Approaches

Editor’s Note: Each year, 10,000 patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) visit a wide range of clinical programs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — including developmental pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, neurology, psychology, speech and language therapy, clinical genetics, general pediatrics, and more. With this enormous patient base and broad sets of expertise across specialties, the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at CHOP offers a tremendous opportunity to conduct rigorous research with its ultimate aim being to improve care, quality of life and long-term outcomes for individuals with ASD.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Apr 16 2018

Researchers Target Brain Circuity as Driver of Antidepressant Behavior

Neurobiology researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are looking deep into the brain’s circuitry to search for new avenues for the treatment of major depressive disorder, the most common mental illness.

In 2016, 10.3 million adults had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While care by a health professional and antidepressant medication may be effective for some people, current treatments have a high rate of relapse and side effects.

Read the rest of this entry >>