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Recognizing Pediatric Research Excellence With Global Reach

Published on April 5, 2023 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 11 months ago


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CHOP Global Scientific Excellence Award

The CHOP Global Scientific Excellence Award recognizes researchers-in-training whose pediatric research has a global reach.

droseyb [at] (By Barb Drosey)

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute strives to be the preeminent institution in the world dedicated to translational research for children — to serve not only the local community and the U.S., but to extend the reach of research and its translation to clinical care across the world.

The CHOP Global Scientific Excellence Award encourages and recognizes CHOP researchers-in-training who are making significant contributions to pediatric research focused on global impact. This competitive award honors exceptional trainees with a distinguished grant while supporting diverse talent and research.

Congratulations to the current awardees: Vanessa Denny, MD, MS; Rodrigo Menezes Forti, PhD; and Dieu Truong, PhD, who received grants to advance their work and its global impact.

Vanessa Denny, MD, MS

Vanessa Denny, MD, MS

Resuscitation Education and Acute Care Help (REACH) - Ghana

Vanessa Denny, MD, MS, fellow, Critical Care Medicine

After conducting an audit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, Dr. Denny identified a 54% mortality rate for children presenting to the hospital in septic shock. The majority of deaths and organ failure occurred within 48 hours of hospitalization and were deemed preventable. As a result of the baseline assessment at KATH, healthcare providers will be trained to rapidly recognize and treat children in shock using the Annenberg virtual tele-simulation low-or-no bandwidth training platform and will reinforce simulation training principles applied to patients.

Dr. Denny is collaborating with John Adabie Appiah, pediatric critical care specialist at KATH, and Princess Ruhama Acheampong, PhD, international scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Public Health in Ghana. Dr. Acheamponng will conduct interviews with focus groups to characterize the barriers to parent and patient access to hospital care in Kumasi.

Rodrigo Menezes Forti, PhD

Rodrigo Menezes Forti, PhD

Noninvasive Optical Monitoring of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

Rodrigo Menezes Forti, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Neurology

Dr. Forti's research focus is the development of diffuse optical methods to detect cerebral edema and cerebral physiological impairments after traumatic brain injury (TBI), a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children.

His research combines three different optical techniques:

  • Frequency-domain diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) to estimate cerebral blood volume and oxygenation
  • Broadband DOS to estimate cerebral water content and the concentration of cytochrome-c oxidase, a proxy for mitochondrial metabolism
  • Diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) to estimate cerebral blood flow.

Dr. Forti constructed a hybrid device prototype with the potential to improve management of patients with TBI.

Dieu Truong, PhD

Dieu Truong, PhD

Examining the Experience of Autism Social Service Systems in Vietnam: Perspectives from Families and Service Providers

Dieu Truong, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow, Center for Autism Research

Dr. Truong's project will continue her current research program in Vietnam with ongoing analysis of existing data of more than 100 Vietnamese service providers in schools and community-based settings regarding their perceptions of autism in Vietnam from an international large-scale dissertation study. She will examine families' perspectives on effective social services in schools and community settings; suggestions for improvement for current social service systems for autism; and evolving changes in cultural and social perceptions of disability and autism in Vietnam.

Additionally, Dr. Truong will evaluate service providers' perspectives in school and community-based settings regarding available autism-related training opportunities within their corresponding disciplines. She will incorporate suggestions on how to further improve the current training opportunities and models for providers involved with autism- and neurodiversity-affirming care in Vietnam.

Nominations for the 2023 CHOP Global Scientific Award are open through April 14 to CHOP researchers-in-training (postdocs, physician fellows, and research associates within five years of completing their terminal degree). Submit your application today.