March 2014

“If clinicians can reposition existing drugs to treat some patients with hypertension, this will save significant time in drug development, as they won’t be starting development from scratch.”- Brendan J. Keating, DPhil

Blood Pressure Signals Could Offer Drug Targets


The list of genes affecting blood pressure is expanding, as researchers pursue likely targets for therapeutics already in existence or in development. A Children’s Hospital researcher collaborated with an international study team that discovered 11 novel genetic signals associated with blood pressure levels and confirmed 27 previously discovered genetic signals. High blood pressure, or hypertensio …

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Study Reports Preterm Infant Tracheostomy Outcomes


Neonatologists at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia frequently face the difficult decision of whether to place a tracheostomy in a preterm infant with severe lung disease and when to do it. But a lack of relevant literature about this procedure can make it a challenging consideration. However, a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics led by a CHOP neonatologist offers further guidance on  …

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Retinopathy of Prematurity Associated With Disabilities


A study led by a CHOP neonatology expert showed that infants with severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosed and treated under modern protocols remain at risk of nonvisual disabilities, even if blindness can be averted in most children. ROP is a disorder of the blood vessels of the retina, which are not completely developed until a baby reaches full term. A baby born prematurely may have gr …

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Donation Creates Penn, CHOP Center of Excellence


Three longtime allies have joined forces to create the new Penn Medicine/CHOP Friedreich’s Ataxia Center of Excellence. The establishment of the center was catalyzed by a $3.25 million gift from the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), in partnership with the Hamilton and Finneran families. Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a progressive neurogenetic condition found in approximately 1 in 50,000 …

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Genetic Signals Linking Weight, Heart Risk Factors Found


Two recent studies, both co-led by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Brendan J. Keating, DPhil, expand the list of genes involved with body fat and body mass index, and their connection to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. One study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, showed that higher body mass index (BMI) caused harmful effects on the risk of type 2 dia …

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As One Food Allergy Resolves, Another May Develop


Some children who outgrow one type of food allergy may then develop another type of allergy, more severe and more persistent, to the same food. A new study by pediatric allergy experts suggests that healthcare providers and caregivers carefully monitor children with food allergies to recognize early signs of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a severe and often painful type of allergy that has been i …

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Paper Explores Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response


By shedding light on how cells deal with stress, a new study led by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Yair Argon, PhD, could lay the foundations for future therapies. The study, which identified an enzyme the body uses to ameliorate endoplasmic reticulum stress, was published recently in Molecular Cell. An organelle found in all eukaryotic cells, the endoplasmic recticulum (ER) plays an im …

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Gene Sequencing Test to Speed Donor Matching, Research


Immunogenetics experts at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have developed a unique laboratory test to characterize the genes that encode HLA molecules. The test relies on faster, more comprehensive gene sequencing technology to type human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) — complex, highly variable proteins on cell surfaces that are essential to immune function. The new test may improve transplanta …

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Campaign Raises Pediatric Palliative Care Awareness


Pediatric palliative care is a powerful intervention that can be prescribed alongside curative or life-prolonging therapies for children with serious illnesses. Research has shown that pediatric palliative care services can help reduce a child’s pain, help manage other distressing symptoms, and provide emotional support. At Children’s Hospital, a nationally esteemed Pediatric Advanced Care Team (P …

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CHOP Research Honors Distinguished Trainees

Distinguished Trainees

During The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute’s recent Poster Day event, the 2014 Distinguished Research Trainee Award winners were announced. Comprised of a physicist, a molecular biologist, and a cancer geneticist, this year’s awardees’ expertise spans the research spectrum. University of Pennsylvania doctoral candidate Jennifer Lynch, as well as James Psathas, PhD, and Jenni …

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Pediatric Psychology Experts Set to Shine at SPPAC


Pediatric psychology is a key component of family-centered care at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When a child has a serious or chronic illness, pediatric psychologists listen carefully and empathetically to concerns of the young patient and family while assessing their strengths, coping strategies, and goals. Pediatric psychologists also work to improve the welfare of well children in h …

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Congratulations to the 2014 Poster Day Award Winners!


The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute celebrated its 24th CHOP Research Poster Day on February 26, 2014, with more than 160 cutting-edge research posters on display in the Colket Translational Research Building. This annual event recognizes the outstanding research conducted at CHOP each year and honors our exceptional trainee participants. This year 40 individuals were select …

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