The department seeks to develop substantive research programs to achieve our goal of becoming a national leader in academic, clinical and research activity.
We pursue a wide-range of research initiatives aimed at advancing pediatric surgical care. We place special emphasis on multidisciplinary and collaborative research efforts to reflect, foster and enhance our multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to clinical care.
The department has active research programs across its ten divisions. This reflects our core belief that productive research programs enrich our clinical practices as well as enhance our position as a national leader in pediatric surgery. We attract top-tier faculty and trainees. We are committed to exploring opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and faculty recruitment efforts that support academic as well as clinical productivity, such as our surgeon-scientist program and academic grant initiative.
Neurosurgery: Epigenetic mechanisms rescue neural tube closure. In an animal model that fails to show proper neural tube closure, resulting in spina bifida, a team demonstrated that folic acid rescued the proliferation potential of neural crest stem cells via epigenetic mechanisms.
Ophthalmology: MicroRNAs may play a role in retinoblastoma progression. Marilyn Mets and other members of the Retinoblastoma Center of Excellence are investigating why some genes are overexpressed in this cancer of the retina. These discoveries may lead to new therapies.
Transplant Surgery: The leading cause of liver transplant in children is a major focus. Children’s Memorial is one of 12 clinical research centers participating in the Biliary Atresia Research Consortium (BARC), which is designed to propose, develop and undertake trials related to biliary atresia.
Orthopaedics: Sports injuries need to be monitored. Rebecca Carl is researching the level of sports concussion knowledge in young contact sport athletes, their parents and coaches.
Otolaryngology: Newborn hearing screenings don’t identify all children at risk for hearing loss. About 25 percent of children who have a known cause of or risk factor for hearing loss pass the screening; these children are older at the time of cochlear implant.