Our breakthrough research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute made headlines in both popular science media outlets and prominent scientific journals alike, from advances in detecting sepsis, to pioneering work in prenatal gene editing, to the future of genomic medicine. Read on to learn more about how our scientists stay at the cutting-edge of their fields by approaching pediatric medicine inventively, whether it’s by developing the most effective alerts in emergency medicine, modernizing genetic testing models to keep up with an accelerating pace of discovery, and beyond.
Four scientists from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cancer Center received grants from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to conduct research projects to improve outcomes for children with cancer.
The top private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the U.S., St. Baldrick’s awarded researchers and institutions around the nation a total of $19.1 million this year in what the charitable organization called “its biggest grant cycle of 2018.” In all, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $253 million in childhood cancer research grants since 2005.
With an enterprising career spanning 50 years in basic and clinical immunology and more than 500 publications, Steven D. Douglas, MD, had the honor of presenting the 25th Herman and Gertrude Silver Lecture, in which he reviewed major milestones in the field of pediatric HIV/AIDS and shared his optimism that paradigm shifts and new discoveries are ahead.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Ignacio Tapia, MD, received the inaugural Carole L. Marcus Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society (ATS), named in honor of his CHOP colleague who was a leader in pediatric sleep medicine research.
“It was a great honor to receive this award named after my mentor,” Dr. Tapia said. “I am working hard every day to live up to the expectations.”
For more than 20 years, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania have been at the forefront of taking a system perfected by nature — a virus — and transforming it into breakthrough gene therapies for rare single-gene diseases. CHOP was the first pediatric research institution to develop chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In this approach, viral vectors are used to modify a patient’s own T cells, training them to track down and eliminate the circulating cancer cells.
As we move full-speed ahead into fall, the new season brings with it a handful of headlines from our researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This week, we share the latest news about investigators who have been recognized for their research legacies and for their current cutting-edge work, from discoveries in the basic and clinical science of HIV/AIDS, to the development of learning health system-based training in outcomes research, to the design of innovative approaches to childhood cancer.
For Michael A. Levine, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist, scientist, and fixture in the bone and mineral research community for nearly four decades, few things are a greater source of pride than to be honored by one’s own peers. The medical director of the Center for Bone Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and chief emeritus of the hospital’s Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, was recognized Sept. 29 by the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) — an organization he describes fondly as his “home society” — with the 2018 Frederic C. Bartter Award.
Researchers have published best practice recommendations for nasogastric (NG) tube location placement and verification in pediatric patients. Endorsed by the American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), the recommendations include: provide education; use appropriate NGT placement and securing methods; measure gastric pH; consider a radiograph for any patient in whom there is a concern for correct NGT placement; and improve interpretation and communication about the radiograph.
Why it matters:
Upto this point, no standard for the NG tube insertion procedure existed in the United States. If performed improperly, the common practice has potentially serious or fatal complications, including tubes being placed in the child’s lung or snaking into the brain. In addition, the tube can be inserted into the small intestine rather than the intended target of the stomach.
Editor’s Note: It’s an exciting time for the Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Center launched a new website, www.parentandteen.com, offering timely, easy to understand articles, videos, podcasts, slideshows, quizzes, and more for both parents and teens. For parents and caregivers, topics include: developmental forces that shape adolescent behavior, strategies for improving parent-teen communication, avenues for supporting character strengths that lead to a successful life, and best approaches for disciplining and monitoring. We took the opportunity to ask Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, co-founder and director of programs for the CPTC, to tell us more about the Center and its research efforts.
In 1997, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia partnered with State Farm Insurance, one of the largest automobile insurance companies in the U.S., to create the nation’s first large-scale, child-focused crash surveillance system. Over the next 10 years, the Partners for Child Passenger Safety Program (PCPS) studied more than 875,000 children involved in 600,000 car crashes, conducted 33,000 in-depth interviews, and analyzed over 800 on-site investigations. By its close in 2007, the world’s largest study of children in crashes had produced a robust set of recommendations based on hard data and backed by scientific expertise that would shape and advance legislation, vehicle design, and public health education for years to come. Since PCPS began, the U.S.