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Lemonade Day Hero Ambassador, Cost-Conscious CHD Care, Environmental Data Collaboration, Philly Research Consortium, Predicting EOS

Published on March 10, 2017 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 4 months ago


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This week in the news, summertime lemonade stands and a trip to Disney World have more in common than just the whimsy of childhood: They are just a few of the places where you’ll find members of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia community sharing knowledge to improve pediatric research and treatments. Read on to see the different ways we made recent headlines in the name of health.

ALSF Names CHOP Patient a 2017 ‘Hero Ambassador’

Every year, the nonprofit organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) selects “Hero Ambassadors” to champion their mission of discovering childhood cancer cures. These outstanding families will represent ALSF in the week-long June campaign of “Lemonade Days”. This year, ALSF proudly dubbed 16-year old CHOP patient Elijah Talley and his family in Little Rock, Ark., as ambassadors. Elijah has battled stage IV neuroblastoma since the age of 4, and travels to CHOP for treatment. In their new role as Hero Ambassadors, the Talleys will raise money for cancer awareness by selling cups of lemonade and sharing their story. Talk about taking a stand!

Money raised by ALSF goes to cancer research projects at top hospitals and institutions, including the projects of many CHOP researchers that investigate novel approaches to neuroblastoma, leukemia, and more. Read more about Elijah and ALSF in their press release.

20th Annual Pediatric Cardiology Conference Discusses Cost-Conscious Care

Thanks to advanced research, we know more about congenital heart defects (CHD) than we have in past decades. More work must be done, however, to apply those discoveries to improve clinical practice. In the last week of February, more than 800 international cardiology experts gathered at Disney World Resort’s Yacht Club Resort in Orlando, Fla., for Cardiology 2017 — the 20th annual pediatric cardiology conference sponsored by CHOP’s Cardiac Center. This year’s meeting focused on cost-conscious care as experts discussed new treatments and current challenges for CHD. CHOP cardiology fellow Michael Liu, MD, and his team were among eight finalists for the Outstanding Investigator Award. Dr. Liu’s work quantified the total cost in hospital resources for children diagnosed with single-ventricle cardiac defects. Learn more about Cardiology 2017 and Dr. Liu’s research in the press release.

CHOP Partners With Drexel’s Urban Health Collaborative To Dig Into Big Data

What do large collections of data reveal about the ways different environments affect our children’s health? A recently announced collaboration between CHOP and Drexel University’s Urban Health Collaborative gives us the unique chance to find out. Led by Christopher Forrest, MD, a professor of Pediatrics at CHOP and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the team will match electronic health record data from CHOP with “spatially-referenced” environmental data collected by Drexel to investigate how everything from neighborhood socioeconomic features, to traffic exposures, to food availability, and more, contribute to incidences of pediatric health issues like asthma, obesity, and hospitalizations. Learn more about the collaboration in the press release.

JAMA Study Identifies Predictive Model for Neonatal Early-Onset Sepsis (EOS)

Early-onset sepsis (EOS) is a bacterial bloodstream infection that can occur in a newborn from birth through the first week of life. A new JAMA Pediatrics study involving CHOP neonatologist Karen Puopolo, MD, PhD, sheds light on how a multi-variable risk prediction model can help assess a newborn’s risk for EOS. Current algorithms to manage EOS often result in laboratory testing and administration of empiric antibiotics to large numbers of ultimately uninfected infants. Dr. Puopolo’s study centers on a predictive model that can be used by clinicians to safely reduce the proportion of newborns undergoing testing and receiving antibiotics. Read more about Dr. Puopolo’s research in JAMA Pediatrics.

CHOP Joins Philadelphia Research Consortium for Speedier Preclinical Studies

Philadelphia’s nickname as the “city of brotherly love” is fitting for a newly launched research network, the Philadelphia Research Consortium, that joins regional academic and research institutions like CHOP with for-profit biotech development companies. The network’s goal is simple: Help innovative preclinical research move swiftly from the lab to the marketplace by offering would-be biotech partners and start-ups easy access to the valuable research and resources that Philly institutions offer. Along with CHOP, the consortium currently includes Drexel, Jefferson, Temple, Penn State, Penn State College of Medicine, the Wistar Institute, and more.

“The end goal is to facilitate preclinical collaborations between startups and our research labs,” stated Heather Steinam, the Wistar Institute’s vice president for Business Development and the consortium’s launch leader in a press release. “Instead of using resources to support infrastructure, our partners can utilize their capital to support preclinical research across the region while advancing and de-risking their own programs. We have all the talent, research, and resources in Philadelphia — all working together to create a vibrant life sciences ecosystem.” Read more in the press release.


This week on Cornerstone, we congratulated Jason Stoller, MD, an attending neonatologist who will officially become president of the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research at their annual spring meeting. Accolades also went out to our 2017 Distinguished Research Trainee Awardees, for their excellent accomplishments as up-and-coming investigators.

Here are our top headlines from our Feb. 24 segment:

  • Study Uses Brain Imaging, Computer Algorithms to Predict Autism Risk Early in Life
  • On the Road to Improving Passenger Safety in Rear Seats
  • Collaboration to Expand Research for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Headache Common Symptom in Pediatric Stroke

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