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In the News: Researcher Awards, Hearing Loss, Abu Dhabi Partnership

Published on October 28, 2022 in Cornerstone Blog
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The leaves have turned with onset of autumn on the East Coast, so sit back with your favorite fall beverage and read the latest Research Institute highlights. A PhD student received two awards, researchers characterize hearing loss in patients with mitochondrial disease, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia partners with Abu Dhabi to foster research and collaboration, and Flaura Winston, MD, PhD, a clinician scientist and innovator, is recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Gottardi Lab Scientist Wins Awards From International Society for Biofabrication

Riccardo Gottardi, PhD

Riccardo Gottardi, PhD

Congratulations to Paul Gehret, a PhD student and researcher in the Bioengineering and Biomaterials Lab (Bio2) led by Riccardo Gottardi, PhD. Gehret received the International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF) New Investigator Award and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) Young Investigator Award. Gehret and Dr. Gottardi accepted the awards at the International Conference on Biofabrication, Biofabrication 2022, in Pisa, Italy.

The ISBF New Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by predoctoral members of the ISBF. The WFIRM Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by ISBF members who are in the early stages of their career in biofabrication. The Gottardi Lab had created a biomaterial patch to repair the tympanic membrane, or eardrum – a repair that approximately 100,000 children require each year.

Researchers Describe Hearing Loss Characteristics in Mitochondrial Disease

Marni Falk, MD

Marni Falk, MD

Sensorineural hearing loss is a possible symptom of mitochondrial disease, likely due to dysfunctional energy production in the inner ear. CHOP researchers in the Mitochondrial Medicine Frontier Program, along with researchers from Lund University in Sweden, identified the prevalence, severity, and timing of onset for hearing loss across various subtypes of mitochondrial disease. The findings, which appear in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, may help improve recommendations for hearing screening in patients with mitochondrial disease and improve referral to care.

Marni Falk, MD, executive director of the Mitochondrial Medicine Program, and colleagues examined health records of 193 patients with primary mitochondrial disease, who were further divided into genetic subgroups. Among the patients, 27% were diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss. By genetic subgroups, patients with single large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletions had the highest incidence of hearing loss.

"While all patients with mitochondrial disease should be regularly screened for hearing problems, this study highlights that certain genetic categories are particularly prone to developing sensorineural hearing loss, which is something that they commonly develop in mid-childhood and can begin to experience even as late as adulthood," Dr. Falk said.

Find out more in the CHOP press release.

CHOP Partners With Abu Dhabi Health Services to Boost Medical Research, Education in UAE

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CHOP to facilitate international collaboration to propel the quality of medical education, research, and patient experience in the UAE. SEHA and CHOP will partner to enhance research studies and exchange of trials, and explore further opportunities of collaboration in areas that foster cooperation in educational, research, clinical programs, and quality improvement projects.

"The exchange of quality professional education, expert medical care, and innovative research are hallmarks of CHOP's institutional mission and also key elements to this collaboration with SEHA," said Ruth Frey, MSN, CPNP, vice president of Global Strategy and Business Development at CHOP. "CHOP is honored to enter into this international partnership, and we look forward to watching its long-term benefits come to fruition."

Dr. Flaura Winston Recognized for Impact in Child Injury Prevention

Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD

Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD

Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD, a clinician scientist and innovator who is the founder and scientific director for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP), is the recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation David E. Rogers Award from the AAMC. The 2022 AAMC Awards recognized individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions in medical education, research, clinical care, and community engagement.

In her acceptance statement shown during the virtual awards ceremony Oct. 26, Dr. Winston shared that she wanted to focus on something that would make a difference in the lives of children.

"I focused on injuries because it's the leading cause of death in children, in particular, traffic injuries," Dr. Winston said.

Dr. Winston and her team at CIRP created a national child-focused crash surveillance system that has led to upgrades in 49 state and federal child passenger safety laws, and numerous upgrades to federal vehicle and child-restraint safety standards.

"What excites me is moving more of our science into changing lives for the better – for our patients, for the public, for communities," Dr. Winston said.

ICYMI

Catch up on our headlines from our Oct. 14 In the News:

  • Mitochondrial Medicine Center Collaborates With CureARS Through New Grant
  • CHOP Researchers Reveal Molecular Mechanism Behind Pigment Production in Skin Cells
  • TBCK Conference Brings Families From Around the Globe to Philadelphia

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