February 2013

“A first step in developing treatments for a disease is to understand its precise cause.”- Marni J. Falk, MD

Children’s Hospital Researchers Create Mitochondrial Disease Test

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A team led by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Marni J. Falk, M.D., has expanded next-generation gene sequencing tools designed to unlock the secrets hidden in nuclear DNA to analyze a separate source of DNA — that found within mitochondria. Mitochondria, which contain their own DNA, are key suppliers of the energy needed for the multiple functions of our cells, and play a pivotal role in …

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Study Finds Neuroblastoma Evolves Rapidly, Limiting Treatment Targets

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An extensive genomic study of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma reinforces the challenges of treating the most aggressive forms of this disease. Contrary to expectations, the researchers found relatively few recurrent gene mutations — mutations that would suggest new targets for neuroblastoma treatment. Instead, the investigators have refocused on how neuroblastoma tumors evolve in response to me …

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CHOP Named Top Pediatric Hospital by Parents Magazine

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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been named the nation’s best pediatric hospital by Parents magazine. In addition to the overall ranking, CHOP was ranked in the top 3 in all 6 specialties included in the survey. Parents ranked Children’s Hospital’s Cancer Center and emergency medicine first; the Cardiac Center tied for first; neonatology ranked second; and orthopedics and pulmonology ra …

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Study Finds Some Children Can “Recover” from Autism

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A new study verifies the long-controversial belief that a few children, in exceptional cases, can “recover” from autism. The study, which included investigators from the Center for Autism Research, is the first solid science to confirm that, however rarely, with the help of behavioral therapy some children can make such great improvements that they no longer qualify as having autism. Published onl …

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Dr. Lamia Barakat to Head Section on Behavioral Oncology

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Frank Balis, M.D., and John M. Maris, M.D., recently announced the appointment of Lamia P. Barakat, Ph.D., to head the Section on Behavioral Oncology. Dr. Barakat is currently the Director of Psychosocial Services for the Division of Oncology, and she will be promoted to the rank of Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Pediatrics effective July 1st 2013. Dr. Barakat has an active  …

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CHOP Researchers Find Gene Variants Affect Human Lifespan

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By broadly comparing the DNA of children to that of elderly people, gene researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have identified gene variants that influence lifespan, either by raising disease risk or by providing protection from disease. “This research is the first genome-wide, population-based study of copy number variations in children associated with human longevity,” said Hako …

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Veteran CHOP Researcher Receives MS Award

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At a recent event in Cherry Hill, N.J., longtime Children’s Hospital researcher Judith Grinspan, Ph.D., received the “Professional Impact Award” from the Greater Delaware Valley Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dr. Grinspan has spent more than 25 years examining how multiple sclerosis damages the nervous system, and ways that damage might be repaired. Dr. Grinspan was the first researcher to receive th …

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The Human Genome — Yep, There’s an App for That!

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It’s been nearly a decade since scientists completed the Human Genome Project — a scientific marvel that, in its essence, provided the blueprint for the genetic make-up of humans. A team in the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute took all of the information generated from the project and developed a free iPad® app so users can quic …

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Extending CPR Saves Lives, National Studies Find

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The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers contributed to two recent studies showing that extending cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) longer than previously thought useful saves lives in both children and adults. The research teams analyzed the impact of duration of CPR in patients who suffered cardiac arrest while hospitalized. “These findings about the duration of CPR are game-changin …

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Required Certification for Clinical Research Coordinators

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Clinical Research Coordinators (CRCs) are an essential component of the clinical research enterprise at CHOP, serving a pivotal role in human subjects protection and overall study management. The CHOP Research Institute (CRI) is committed to providing the proper education, training, and support for the CRCs. Toward this goal, the CRI is implementing a CRC certification program. All Clinical Resear …

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