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CIRP Webinar, IBD Symposium, NICU Antibiotics, Breakthrough Fundraising, NORD Award

Published on June 1, 2018 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 2 days 12 hours ago


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June marks National Safety Month, and there are so many different ways that we as a pediatric research community help to keep children safe from harm by protecting their health and well-being, whether it’s by discovering more about a disease or condition, identifying effective interventions and treatments, or studying the impact of evidence-based policies. In this week’s roundup of research headlines, we share how the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) shines a spotlight on U.S. child mortality rates in order to reduce injuries from two of the biggest drivers behind our nation’s child deaths: gun violence and car accidents. On top of that, learn about new findings that support the need for antibiotic stewardship efforts, a symposium dedicated to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research, and recent fundraisers that are helping to fund our future breakthroughs.

CIRP Webinar Discusses Child Mortality Rates

Experts across CHOP will gather June 5 to discuss the child mortality in the U.S. — from its underlying causes and contributing factors to potential evidence-based policies — in a webinar titled “Playing Catch-up: How to Address US’ Lag in Reducing Child Mortality Rates.” The 90-minute webinar continues the conversation begun in a Health Affairs study from Christopher Forrest, MD, pediatrician at CHOP, that found the US lagged behind all other wealthy nations in reducing its overall childhood mortality. By inviting health policy stakeholders, government agency staff, child health policy advocates, and healthcare providers to listen to the webinar, CIRP reaffirms its commitment to explore new policies and mindsets for further reducing teen injuries.

Ahaviah Glaser, JD, health policy director for the Office of Government Affairs and PolicyLab, will moderate the session with Dr. Forrest as the featured speaker. The webinar also will feature a panelist of CHOP experts including Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, senior scientist and director of epidemiology and biostatistics at CIRP; Michael Nance, MD, director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at CHOP; and Scott Lorch, MD, MSCE, attending neonatologist and director of the Center for Perinatal and Pediatric Health Disparities Research at CHOP.

Read more about Dr. Forrest’s Health Affairs paper in a Cornerstone guest blog post from Flaura Winston, MD, PhD, founder and scientific director of CIRP.

Premature Infants Continue to Receive Early Exposure Antibiotics

Findings from a new observational study published in JAMA Network Open point to the continued need for antimicrobial stewardship efforts, particularly when it comes to infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Dustin Flannery, DO, a Fellow in the Division of Neonatology at CHOP, led the multicenter cohort study of over 40,000 premature babies that found a large majority of very low-birthweight (VLBW) and extremely low-birthweight infants continue to receive empirical early antibiotic administration, even though they may not have a culture confirmation of infection. Antibiotics are often given to VLBW infants due to their risk for sepsis and clinical instability. Previous studies, however, suggest that early and prolonged antibiotic exposure in premature infants may also be associated with potential risks, including increased mortality. The researchers note that neonatal antibiotic stewardship efforts will help clinicians identify those infants at the lowest risk for infection to avoid unnecessary antibiotic exposure.

Read the study online and get highlights from the JAMA Network.

CHOP Hosts IBD and VEO-IBD Symposium

Clinicians, researchers, residents, and a host of other healthcare professionals gathered May 18 for the second annual symposium for pediatric IBD and very early onset-IBD (VEO-IBD) at CHOP’s Ruth and Tristram Colket Jr. Translational Research Building entitled, “Personalized IBD and VEO-IBD: Genomics, Microbiome, Biologics, and Beyond.” With about 120 attendees in person, the conference presented the latest developments in research and clinical care for VEO-IBD and IBD, including lectures by nationally and internationally recognized experts and interactive panel discussions. Participants learned about the latest genomic, immunologic, and microbiome discoveries in IBD, as well as the recent advances in the diagnosis, management, and therapy of the disease. VEO-IBD differs from IBD in that children with VEO-IBD (meaning those who have IBD from a young age), typically do not respond to traditional treatments and exhibit different symptoms than older children and adults. Furthermore, VEO-IBD often consists of different genomic contributions.

Some of the topics touched on during the symposium included new candidate genes for VEO-IBD and their relevance to disease development, the role for endoscopic intervention in pediatric IBD, and how the role of dysregulated immune system in VEO-IBD and pediatric IBD might impact therapeutic strategies. Some of the symposium’s presenters included Kathleen E. Sullivan, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at CHOP, and Edward Behrens, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology at CHOP.

Designated as a CHOP Frontier Program, the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program is committed to connecting translational research and clinical care in extraordinary ways. Learn more about breakthroughs in IBD and VEO-IBD research at the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

For Breakthroughs: Recent Fundraisers Support Research

The last two weeks were packed with good news about creative community efforts to raise money for children’s health. Last week, staff, volunteers, and donors from St. Baldrick’s Foundation visited the Cancer Center at CHOP with a check of $2,940,400 to support childhood cancer research and met with eight current and past grant recipients to learn about the immense impact that their funding makes on cancer research and care.

Meanwhile, numbers from the Eagles Autism Challenge are in, and we’re thrilled to announce that participants collectively raised over $2.3 million to support innovative autism spectrum disorder research and programs at the Center for Autism Research and fellow institutions, in what the Philadelphia Eagles call a “spectacular success story.”

Finally, the Runway, a fun-filled lunchtime fashion show hosted by CHOP May 1 at the Bellevue, raised more than $500,000 to support sickle cell research and care at CHOP. The Sickle Cell Center at CHOP, the featured beneficiary of the 2018 Daisy Days Fundraising campaign, has pioneered breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of stroke in children with sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that affects the red blood cells.

A Lifetime of Achievement for Robert Campbell, MD

Warm congratulations to Robert Campbell, MD, director of the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome, for his receipt of the National Organization for Rare Disorders Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award May 17. Dr. Campbell received the high honor for his groundbreaking work in thoracic and pulmonary disability.

In 1988, Dr. Campbell invented the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) device, the first and only device approved by the FDA to treat thoracic insufficiency syndrome (TIS), a rare congenital condition that Dr. Campbell was the first to identify. In TIS, severe deformities of the chest, spine, and ribs prevent normal breathing, lung growth, and lung development. TIS can cause children to become dependent on oxygen or a ventilator to support breathing. Left untreated, TIS may lead to death due to respiratory insufficiency. Dr. Campbell first implemented the VEPTR device in 1989, and the innovation has since proved its effectiveness. Attached vertically on a child’s ribs near the spine, the VEPTR device separates the ribs and helps to straighten the spine, giving a child’s lungs room to grow and expand, allowing them to breathe without the aid of a ventilator.

“Dr. Campbell truly exemplifies the thought leadership and dedication required to make breakthroughs that revolutionize how patients with rare diseases are treated,” said John Flynn, MD, chief of the Center for Orthopedic Surgery at CHOP, in a press release.

Read more about the VEPTR device and Dr. Campbell’s research as part of a CHOP Frontier Program to improve outcomes for patients with TIS.


Recently on Cornerstone, we congratulated Jason Van Batavia, MD, urologist and physician-scientist on his receipt of the 2018 Diokno-Lapides Essay Contest grand prize, celebrated Brain Tumor Awareness Month with a guest blog post from Adam Resnick, PhD, director of the Center for Data Driven Discovery (D3b), and spoke with Aletha Akers, MD, and Jennifer Harding, MD, of our Division of Adolescent Medicine, about Parents are Talking, a website developed to give parents an online platform to discuss and learn about teen sexual and reproductive health.

Catch up on our headlines from our May 18 edition of In the News:

  • Clinical Effectiveness Expert Discusses New Research on Pediheart Podcast
  • CAPP Wins EPA Asthma Management Award
  • Walk for Hope Raises $195,000 for IBD Research and Care
  • Media Outlets Feature CHOP Antibiotics and Kidney Stone Study
  • FDA Approves Gilyena for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis

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