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Pediheart Podcast, EPA Asthma Award, Walk for Hope, Antibiotics and Kidney Stones, Gilyena Approval, Autism Challenge

Published on May 18, 2018 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 4 months 1 week ago


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In our latest roundup of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia research headlines, learn how our investigators took their discoveries from the bench to the bedside (and beyond), gaining local and national recognition for their hard-earned advances in interventional cardiology practice, asthma management, multiple sclerosis (MS), and more. On top of that, we give you updates on April’s successful Walk for Hope and share our excitement for this Saturday’s Eagles Autism Challenge — two fun-filled family events that illustrate just how much scientific breakthroughs rely on both the community and our scientists.

Clinical Effectiveness Expert Discusses New Research on Pediheart Podcast

A recent analysis from researchers in our Cardiac Center was featured on Pediheart: Pediatric Cardiology Today, a podcast that reviews the latest literature and hosts thought leaders in pediatric cardiovascular care. In the paper, published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, interventional cardiologists Andrew Glatz, MD, and Michael O’Byrne, MD, and their colleagues sought to measure variations in two well-established procedures, balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) and balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty (BPV). Drs. Glatz and O’Byrne also are core faculty members at Clinical Futures, a Center of Emphasis at the Research Institute. They found that rather than relatively stable practice patterns between hospitals, there was measurable hospital-level variation in BAV and BPV practices. In the podcast, Dr. Glatz speaks with host Dr. Robert Pass about the concept of practice variation and its impact on outcomes — particularly the question of whether “homogenizing” our approach to a somewhat “heterogeneous” group of patients makes sense.

Interested in learning more? You can listen to the podcast here.

CAPP Wins EPA Asthma Management Award

The Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) at CHOP won this year’s National Environmental Leadership Award for Communities in Action in Asthma Management, the highest recognition that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bestows for delivering excellent environmental asthma management. For over 20 years, CAPP has worked to continuously improve asthma outcomes for Philadelphia’s children through strong partnerships, the power of community ties, community health workers, and care coordination. CAPP actively seeks to optimize its outcomes through research initiatives. Led by its medical director, Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, the program develops and tests novel asthma evidence-based interventions, including a recent study focused on West Philadelphia called the West Philadelphia Asthma Care Collaborative. CAPP has also received a number of exciting grants, including a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to determine whether the trained use of a patient portal with or without home visits by a community health worker has an effect on health outcomes in adults with moderate to severe asthma from low income neighborhoods.

“We are honored to receive this award recognizing the sustained efforts of the CAPP team in Philadelphia,” Dr. Bryant-Stephens said. “We hope to continue to expand our reach to close all gaps that create asthma disparities in Philadelphia by working with our partners in every sector that impacts asthma control in children.”

Walk for Hope Raises $195,000 for IBD Research and Care

Researchers at CHOP have made great advances in our understanding and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which refers to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but there is still so much more to learn. The IBD Family Research Council, a volunteer organization, hosted the 2018 Walk for Hope at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard. The event held April 29 raised a remarkable $195,000 to fuel research and care for children with IBD. The funds will benefit the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease at CHOP, where more than 1,700 children go for treatment of abdominal pain, intestinal inflammation, and other symptoms. As the most active research program in pediatric IBD, scientists at the Center conduct a high number of clinical research studies that include investigations into the genetic basis of IBD and the relationship between the microbiome and IBD. CHOP also has recognized the Center’s relentless pursuit of new therapies by designating it as one of our Frontier Programs, which are unique, cutting-edge programs that receive internal funding to forge important new discoveries to help even more children thrive. Thank you to all who participated in the Walk for Hope and helped to drive more breakthroughs!

Read more about the Walk for Hope in this recap, and check out local media coverage on Fox29 and CBS3.

Media Outlets Feature CHOP Antibiotics and Kidney Stone Study

Whereas kidney stones used to occur quite rarely in children, the prevalence of the condition has risen 70 percent in the last 30 years, with sharp increases among adolescents. In a recent study led by our own Gregory Tasian, MD, MSCE, pediatric urologist, a team of Clinical Futures researchers reported that children and adults treated with some oral antibiotics have a higher risk of developing kidney stones, marking the first time that antibiotics have been linked with kidney stones. In the last week, various local and national media outlets featured the novel research, including the New York Times, TIME,, and more.

“We’re dealing with a risk-benefit relationship, and we want to make sure that antibiotics are prescribed without unnecessarily increasing adverse health outcomes,” Dr. Tasian told the New York Times.

The team, which included Michelle Denburg, MD, MSCE, a pediatric nephrologist at CHOP, and Jeffrey Gerber, MD, PhD, an infectious diseases specialist at CHOP, analyzed electronic health records from the United Kingdom that cover 13 million adults and children seen by general practitioners between 1994 and 2015. The research advances what we already know about how antibiotics can alter the composition of the microbiome, and it supports our investigators’ efforts to reduce children’s exposure to unnecessary antibiotics. They published their findings in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

We invite you to learn more about the research in the CHOP press release, and read the study abstract online.

FDA Approves Gilyena for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis

This week, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gilyena® (fingolimod) as the first-ever disease-modifying drug for treatment in children and adolescents with relapsing forms of MS. The drug, which has been shown to significantly reduce relapses and brain lesions, was granted approval to Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Brenda Banwell, MD, chief of the Division of Neurology at CHOP, served as co-principal investigator of the pivotal Phase III PARADIGMS study that produced data that the FDA considered in the approval process.

“We now finally have an FDA-approved treatment for children and adolescents with relapsing MS,” Dr. Banwell stated in a press release. “Repeated relapses are more common in young people with MS than in adults, so this is heartening news for patients and their families.”

Read more about the approval here.

Get Excited for Saturday’s Eagles Autism Challenge!

The day is almost here! With much anticipation, we’d like to give you a friendly reminder that this Saturday, May 19, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the inaugural Eagles Autism Challenge to support autism spectrum disorder research at the Center for Autism Research at CHOP, along with Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. The Challenge will help provide the resources that doctors and scientists need to drive scientific breakthroughs for current and future generations touched by autism. We’ve been looking forward to the fun-filled event, packed with cycling, running, and walking (and appearances from Eagles players, alumni, coaches, and cheerleaders), covering the excitement and impact of the day from many angles: We shared a guest blog from Bryan Wolf, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Research Institute, about getting involved, and we told the story of Research Hero Ben Hartranft, one of the Challenge’s most enthusiastic fundraisers (and an active participant of CAR Research studies). Recently, Robert Schultz, PhD, Scientific Director at CAR, also wrote a guest blog about some of the pioneering research initiatives underway at CAR.

Our Eagles are true champions both on the field and off. Help them support ASD research by getting involved.


Recently on Cornerstone, we discussed life after surviving childhood cancer with Matthew Hocking, PhD, a psychologist at CHOP; met our April Research Hero, Ben Hartranft; took a snapshot of a study on heart problems in Huntington’s Disease; congratulated Paul Offit, MD, on his Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal; and gave you a preview of research from the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. We also shared a guest blog about novel research into hopeful thinking from Douglas Hill, PhD, social psychologist, and covered highlights from two recent events: the Clinical Research Coordinator RE@CH Awards and a Neonatology Clinical Research Symposium held in honor of retiring neonatology pioneers, Barbara Schmidt, MD, and Haresh Kirpalani, MD.

Catch up on our headlines from our April 20 edition of In the News:

  • Celebrating Six Years of CAR T-cell Success
  • ASPHO Recognizes Stephen P. Hunger, MD
  • Hyundai Awards 2018 Young Investigator Grants
  • Helen Loeb, PhD, Discusses Self-Driving Tech at New York Auto Show
  • Yi Xing to Direct New Computational Biology Center at CHOP