2018 NIH Rankings Announced

According to the nationwide 2018 NIH rankings of Departments of Pediatrics receiving NIH funding, the Department has improved its standing.

As a whole the Department was up $2 million over the previous year in NIH funding, and our ranking nationwide went from #27 to #24. More details can be found here.

This is nice progress, and a testament to the robust opportunities to be gained here at Iowa. As the Department dedicates more resources to research recruitment over the next couple years, it is anticipated that this progress will continue. Well done!

Call for Abstracts for Pediatrics Research Day, Friday, April 5, 2019

We invite all fellows, residents, medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to present their research in poster and oral format on Friday, April 5, 2019. Recent and ongoing work or studies performed as part of summer projects are welcome.

The oral presentations will be 1 minute in length in a data blitz format and will be a brief summary of what will be presented at the poster session. One PowerPoint slide will be expected for each abstract. The data blitz will take place in the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Conference Center JCP 2415, (across from Elevator F- 2nd. floor) Friday, April 5th. 2:15-3:00 pm. The poster session and reception will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. at the same location. All pediatric faculty, trainees and their colleagues are invited to attend the poster session. Appetizers and beverages will be served. This session will follow an afternoon of presentations highlighting basic and translational research in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

Cash prizes will be given for the best presentations in the areas of basic and translational/clinical research.

Please submit an abstract and data blitz slide of your presentation to Cheri Stevens (email: cheri-stevens@uiowa.edu). The deadline for submission is Friday, March 22, 2019. Please see the research page of the Pediatrics SharePoint site for templates for the abstract and data blitz slide, or contact Cheri.

Dr. Uc Publishes in Gastroenterology on Pancreatitis

Dr. Aliye Uc, Division Director of the Division of Gastroenterolgy, Hepatology, Pancreatology, and Nutrition, published a review of Pancreatitis in Children in Gastroenterology. The review summarizes the definitions, epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis and management of pediatric pancreatitis, identifies the features that are unique to the childhood-onset disease, identifies gaps and proposes recommendations for future opportunities.

Dr. Glykys Publishes in Neurobiology of Disease

The newest faculty member to the Department, Dr. Joseph Glykys in Neurology, just had an article published in Neurobiology of Disease titled “Mannitol decreases neocortical epileptiform activity during early brain development via cotransport of chloride and water“.

J. Glykys, E. Duquette, N. Rahmati, et al., Mannitol decreases neocortical epileptiform activity during early brain development via cotransport of chloride and water, Neurobiology of Disease, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2019.01.024.

The paper concludes that that an increase in extracellular osmolarity by mannitol mediates the efflux of [Cl-]i and water through CCCs, which results in a decrease in epileptiform activity and enhances benzodiazepine actions in the developing neocortex in vitro. Congratulations, Dr. Glykys!

Research Rooms Now Available in the Pediatric Specialty Clinic

The PSC research rooms are open and available for use. The linked document outlines how they can be used, equipment in the rooms, and how to sign up for the subject-friendly room. Please note that we need to track use of the rooms and equipment, as outlined in the document (and thank you in advance for help with this).

You should all be able to access these rooms with your badge. If your badge doesn’t work, notify Darla Carter. Other questions can be directed to Kathy Mathews (Katherine-mathews@uiowa.edu) or Meredith Wisniewski, meredith-wisniewski@uiowa.edu

Grose and Bonthius Publish on Herpes Zoster

Drs. Chuck Grose (ID) and Dan Bonthius (Neurology) recently had an article published in the Journal of Child Neurology on Severe Herpes Zoster Following Varicella Vaccination in Immunocompetent Young Children. Congratulations Dr. Grose and Dr. Bonthius!

Abstract: Varicella vaccination is now virtually universal in North America, as well as in some European and Asian countries. Since varicella vaccine is a live attenuated virus, the virus replicates in the skin after administration and can travel via sensory nerves or viremia to become latent in the dorsal root ganglia. In some immunized children, virus reactivates within a few months to a few years to cause the dermatomal exanthem known as herpes zoster (shingles). Herpes zoster caused by vaccine virus often reactivates within the same dermatome as the site of the original varicella vaccine injection. We present evidence that occasional cases of herpes zoster following varicella vaccination in immunocompetent children can be as severe as herpes zoster following wild-type varicella. Analysis of the virus in one case disclosed that the vaccine virus causing herpes zoster was a wild-type variant with a mutation in ORF0. With regard to dermatomal localization of the viral eruption, we predict that herpes zoster of the lumbar dermatomes in children is likely to be caused by vaccine virus, because herpes zoster in those dermatomes is rare in children after wild-type varicella. One of the children with herpes zoster subsequently developed asthma, a known risk factor for herpes zoster, but none of the children had an autoimmune disease. Although postherpetic neuralgia is exceedingly rare, children who develop herpes zoster following varicella vaccination are at risk (albeit low) of developing meningoencephalitis and should be carefully observed for a few weeks.

Dr. Fischer Publishes in JCI Insight

Dr. Tony Fischer in Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology recently published an article in JCI Insight titled “Mucus strands from submucosal glands initiate mucociliary transport of large particles”.

Abstract: Mucus produced by submucosal glands is a key component of respiratory mucociliary transport (MCT). When it emerges from submucosal gland ducts, mucus forms long strands on the airway surface. However, the function of those strands is uncertain. To test the hypothesis that mucus strands facilitate transport of large particles, we studied newborn pigs. In ex vivo experiments, interconnected mucus strands moved over the airway surface, attached to immobile spheres, and initiated their movement by pulling them. Stimulating submucosal gland secretion with methacholine increased the percentage of spheres that moved and shortened the delay until mucus strands began moving spheres. To disrupt mucus strands, we applied reducing agents tris-(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine and dithiothreitol. They decreased the fraction of moving spheres and delayed initiation of movement for spheres that did move. We obtained similar in vivo results with CT-based tracking of microdisks in spontaneously breathing pigs. Methacholine increased the percentage of microdisks moving and reduced the delay until they were propelled up airways. Aerosolized tris-(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine prevented those effects. Once particles started moving, reducing agents did not alter their speed either ex vivo or in vivo. These findings indicate that submucosal glands produce mucus in the form of strands and that the strands initiate movement of large particles, facilitating their removal from airways.

New Email Address for Peds Bench Research

Please begin using peds-research@uiowa.edu for questions relating to grant submissions and awards (including NIH clinical trials), rather than emailing Donna Friel or Angi Roemerman directly. This will help us provide a more timely and coordinated response to your requests!

Please continue to direct your clinical research questions to Jessica Gallagher and Lindsey Eckrich.