In this edition of In the News, learn about digital medicine and what it means for children with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Read about a variation in care study, a recent FDA approved drug treatment for a specific childhood cancer, and why two Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers are calling for improved pediatric palliative care measures. And lastly, join us in celebrating the addition of six new initiatives to CHOP’s Frontier Programs.
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The Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is celebrating a decade of conducting autism research to understand the causes of autism spectrum disorder, develop effective therapies, and train the next generation of master clinicians and scientists in state-of-the-science best practices for autism screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
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.
Researchers identified a genetic mutation in CYP3A4 that is linked to vitamin D-dependent rickets (VDDR), a childhood disorder associated with impaired growth and skeletal mineralization. Scientists already knew about two other genetic forms of VDDR, but this third kind is caused by a gain-in-function mutation — a random genetic change that confers a new function on a gene — that leads to accelerated inactivation of vitamin D metabolites. This is a new insight into vitamin D metabolism.
Editor’s Note: Families facing a rare disease diagnosis often do not know where to turn first in their search for the most advanced treatments and potentially a cure for their children. Only 5 percent of rare diseases have a treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. This is due in part to the lack of high quality biospecimens for research.
Long before he entered medical school, John M. Maris, MD, pediatric oncologist and the recent recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award, became captivated by the mysteries of neuroblastoma. A cancer of the peripheral (not brain) nervous system, neuroblastoma accounts for 7 percent of all childhood cancers and 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths.
At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we believe diversity drives breakthroughs. Our investigators come from a multitude of academic backgrounds and life experiences to form a rich research community that thrives on collaboration. In 2016, CHOP launched the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Academic Diversity in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania to enhance the recruitment of postdoctoral fellows from diverse populations. This year, three new CHOP diversity fellows began the program, each contributing their own unique experiences to various fields of pediatric study. In this Cornerstone Q&A series, we asked the new fellows what diversity in research means to them and what they hope to achieve while at CHOP.
This week, new research findings at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are propelling the way we think about autism, single ventricle survivors, and neuroblastoma forward, as our investigators continued to push the boundaries of what we know.
Welcome back to another weekly roundup of research news from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia! Exciting and important pediatric research spans everything from conditions that are common and treatable, such as ear infections, to others more rare and deadly, such as cancer.
Many scientific endeavors take place quietly behind laboratory walls, but this week’s In the News items are worth shouting about.