Research Council Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2

Announcements from the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Research Council, including the MassGeneral Weight Center for Children, and research programs of faculty Rajashri S. Iyengar, MD; Christopher J. Moran, MD; and Hongjie Zhang, PhD.

MassGeneral Weight Center for Children

Alison G. Hoppin, MD
Alison G. Hoppin, MD
Obesity is a unique medical problem because it affects a large proportion of the population across the entire lifespan, causes comorbidities in virtually every organ system including mental health and social functioning, typically affects several members of the same family, and is remarkably refractory to treatment. Accordingly, the MassGeneral Weight Center for Children is a unique program, with the following goals: multidisciplinary clinical care for children with obesity, lifespan approach, collaborative research. Read more.

Research programs of faculty

Rajashri S. Iyengar, MD
Breastfeeding and the Development of Allergic Disease
Rajashri S. Iyengar, MD
In addition to practicing pediatric allergy/immunology at MGHfC and the Newton-Wellesley Hospital outpatient Pediatric Specialty Ambulatory Care Center, Dr. Iyengar conducts translational research on breast milk factors implicated in the development of allergic disease. As an Associate Investigator of the Harvard Clinical Nutrition Research Center (HCNRC) at MGH, she studies the role of breast milk in modulating gut mucosal responses in allergic disease. Read more.

Christopher J. Moran, MD
Studying the Genetics of Early-Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Christopher J. Moran, MD
Dr. Moran is a pediatric gastroenterologist who practices clinically in the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Programs at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Newton Wellesley Hospital. He conducts clinical and basic science research to better understand the cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Read more.

Hongjie Zhang, PhD
Microvillus inclusion disease (MVID): clathrin and intestinal polarity
Hongjie Zhang, PhD
Dr. Zhang studies microvillus inclusion disease (MVID), an inherited intestinal failure syndrome of infancy. She currently works in Dr. Verena Gobel's laboratory in Developmental Gastroenterology. Read more.

Funding received by MGHfC faculty and fellows

Updates since the last newsletter. Learn more (pdf).

Representation of MGHfC at national/international meetings

Updates since April 2012 Learn more (pdf).


The Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard (P30 DK 040561-16) was renewed for five years beginning July 2012.  This HMS wide Center promotes research (particularly clinical research) a HSPH, HMS and its teaching hospitals through an annual pilot feasibility grant competition, access to core facilities (Statistics, Genomics, Cell Biology and Mass Spectrometry/Metabolomics).  An annual “cutting edge” symposium is held at HMS and clinical nutrition lectures are given monthly at HMS.  The Division of Nutrition website is

For specific information please contact Allan Walker, MD at or 617-726-7988.

The Research Council at MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Learn how the Research Council supports and enhances research within MassGeneral Hospital for Children as well as new initiatives and directions for pediatric research at Mass General.


What will we discover next?

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