Friday, March 22, 2013

MGHfC hosts fifth annual Research Day

OUTSTANDING ABSTRACTS: From left, Palakshappa, Kleinman,
Acharyal and Moschovis

FOR MASSGENERAL HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN Physician-in-Chief Ronald Kleinman, MD, the highlight of the fifth annual MGHfC Research Day was the thought-provoking conversations he had with pediatric researchers. “It’s really remarkable how integrated our research is within a set of highly diverse themes,” says Kleinman. “That tells me we are really coming together as a research community here and helping each other to grow.”

During the March 20 event in the O’Keeffe Auditorium, members of the MGHfC Research Council selected three outstanding posters from the 38 submitted by pediatric researchers. The lead authors were honored with travel awards to attend national meetings. They are: Mridu Acharyal, PhD, a research fellow in the Program of Developmental Immunology, for “αv Integrins Use Autophagy Machinery to Modulate Specific B Cell Immune Responses”; Peter P. Moschovis, MD, MPH, an MGH Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatric Global Health fellow, for “Household Air Pollution and Risk of Childhood Pneumonia Death in Low and Middle Income Countries”; and Deepak Palakshappa, MD, of Pediatric Medical Services, for “Communication Discrepancies Between Pediatric Residents and Attendings: A Supervision Dilemma for Residency Training.”

“I am grateful to the Research Council for having another fantastic research symposium,” said Palakshappa. “It was a wonderful opportunity to hear about the exciting projects that are talking place at MGHfC, and I am honored that they chose our project as one of the winners for the travel award. Improving resident-faculty communication is a project that I am really excited about, and I was thrilled to hear so many others are as well.”

Keynote speaker Stephanie Seminara, MD, FACP, of the MGH Reproductive Endocrine Unit, gave a talk, “Exome Sequencing Solves a 100-Year-Old Mystery,” describing her studies of the genes that modulate the timing of sexual maturation. 

Other speakers included Ryan Carroll, MD, MPH, of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, who discussed his work as the principal investigator of a study called “Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Inhaled Nitric Oxide as Adjunctive Treatment for Cerebral Malaria,” which combines critical care with translational research in tropical medicine; Kim Francis, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, a neonatal clinical nurse specialist, presented “The Preterm Infant’s Behavioral Pain Response,” outlining ways to assess pain response in extremely premature infants; and Takara Stanley, MD, of the Pediatric Endocrine Unit, whose work on the “Effects of Growth Hormone Augmentation on Visceral Fat and Metabolic Risk in HIV Infection” investigates the abnormal body fat distribution, including visceral fat accumulation and peripheral fat atrophy, seen in patients treated for HIV infection.

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