Research Council Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 2

The Catalyst Program and Pediatrics; pediatric research programs in endocrinology, pulmonology, developmental immunology; research awards

The Catalyst Program and Pediatrics

James Perrin, MD

The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (a.k.a. Harvard Catalyst) is a University-wide endeavor to expand clinical and translational health care-related research at Harvard. Built on the substantial history of clinical research activities at several Harvard hospitals, including the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Catalyst includes essentially all Harvard schools and hospitals, as well as other key community partners.  Much program effort has gone into fostering greater collaboration across sites and, even more, across disciplines. read more.

Pediatric Research Programs

Madhusmita Misra, MD

Pediatric Endocrinology: Madhusmita Misra, MD

Primarily a clinical researcher, my investigations have focused on the neuroendocrine regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (H-P-G) axis, particularly as it relates to bone metabolism. My most recent work indicates that adipokines and appetite regulating peptides are possible mediators of the association between low fat mass and suppression of the H-P-G axis in teenage amenorrheic athletes, and may contribute to low bone density in these athletes. read more.

   
Thomas Bernard Kinane, MD

Pediatric Pulmonology: Thomas Bernard Kinane, MD

My group’s research focuses on the regulation of inflammatory cell migration, lung developmental defects such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia and the factors that regulate regeneration.  read more.

   
Adam Lacy-Hulbert, PhD

Developmental Immunology Program: Adam Lacy-Hulbert, PhD

The Developmental Immunology Program, located on the 14th floor of the Jackson building, is one of the major basis science research programs within the MGH for Children. The six principal investigators, and over 20 researchers in total, focus on molecular mechanisms of innate immunity, making this one of the largest groups at MGH/Harvard Medical School dedicated to the study of innate immunity in health and disease. read more.

Announcement of Research Awards

R01 Awards
Dr. Madhu Misra - R01 HD060827
“Fat Mediated Modulation of Reproductive and Endocrine Function in Young Athletes”
This research proposal will examine the impact of low fat mass and related hormones on reproductive function in adolescent and young adult athletes, and strategies to optimize bone mass accrual in athletes with amenorrhea, a population at high risk for low bone density and decreased rates of bone mass accrual.

Dr. Allan Goldstein - R01 DK080914
“Gdnf and endothelin-3 regulate colorectal enteric nervous system development”
The goal of this project is to determine how glial-derived neurotrophic factor and endothelin-3 function independently and coordinately to regulate development of the enteric nervous system. These experiments will enhance our understanding of the causes of Hirschsprung’s disease and other congenital neurointestinal disorders.

Dr. Nanda Nanthakumar - R01 HD059126
“Maturation of intestinal innate immunity and NEC”
Despite the recent advances of neonatal intensive care, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) remains a major health complication for the premature infants and an important cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. The major risk factors for NEC are prematurity and bacterial colonization. The proposal is designed to determine the mechanism of inflammation in the premature infants that leads to necrotizing enterocolitis. The proposed TLR-mediated signaling in the immature intestine and the steroids and probiotic therapy may accelerate the maturation of innate immune response preventing the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis. The identification of the mechanism and factors involved in this suppression of inflammation could be of tremendous benefit in understanding and preventing NEC in infants.

Harvard Catalyst Awards

Dr. Allan Walker
“Microbiome aspects of necrotizing enterocolitis in prematures”
The microbiome of prematures with and without NEC will be determined as a possible biomarker.

Dr. Allan Goldstein
"Metabolite profiling and neurotransmitter analysis for biomarker discovery in children with colonic dysmotility"
The major goal of this study is to use metabolomics and serum neurotransmitter assays to discover biomarkers associated with abnormal colonic motility in children with intractable idiopathic constipation.

Advanced Training Awards

Dr. Jeanne Van Cleave – MIMH K23MH083885
"Adoption of innovations for mental health care in pediatric primary  care."
The project will examine patterns of adoption of new tools to help primary care pediatricians diagnose and treat children and youth with mental health problems, and which factors facilitate and inhibit adoption.

Additional Grants

Brenda Miller, RN, MSN; Kathryn A. Beauchamp, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS – Yvonne Munn Nursing Research Grant
“Storybook versus Traditional Education for Children (aged 2-7) and their Families”
The purpose of this study is to compare storybook with traditional education reading material for earaches and fever, to determine if families who read them have any statistical difference in the utilization of health care resources or a reduction in their perceived anxiety.

Attention MGHfC Community

If you have any items (awards, grants, honors) for the MGHfC Research Community, please submit by e-mail to: W. Allan Walker, MD wwalker@partners.org

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What will we discover next?

Learn how researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children are finding new treatments that advance pediatric care.