Grant Opportunity from Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can submit two applications to the Curing Kids Cancer Grant mechanism. If you are interested in applying, please respond by Noon on Monday, July 1 with information on your proposed project, as per the terms of the grant.   –Tami Thompson (

Internal Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center deadline Noon, Monday, July 1, 2019

Curing Kids Cancer – limited to two applications per institution.

Sponsor Deadline Sept 9, 2019.

Donna Friel

Angi Roemerman

Dr. Widness Publishes on Erythropoietin in Premature Infants

Congratulations to Dr. Jack Widness (professor emeritus, Neonatology) and his research team on their recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

D’Cunha R, Widness JA, Yan X, Schmidt RL, Veng-Pedersen P, An G. A Mechanism-Based Population Pharmacokinetics Model of Erythropoietin in Premature Infants and Healthy Adults Following Multiple Intravenous Doses. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2019, 59(6) 835–846.

Abstract: The objective of the current study was to develop a population pharmacokinetics (PK) model for erythropoietin (Epo) in premature infants and healthy adults to characterize the variation in PK, and to study the differences in Epo PK in these 2 populations. Thirteen very low-birth-weight premature infants (<1500 g at birth), and 10 healthy adults received up to 4 intravenous doses of Epo that ranged from 10 to 500 U/kg. The final model had a target-mediated saturable, nonlinear, elimination pathway that incorporated the mechanism of Epo binding to its receptors along with a parallel linear, central elimination pathway. Epo clearance was found to be significantly higher in preterm infants compared to adults. Epo clearance via the nonlinear pathway was found to be much higher in infants; they had an Epo receptor capacity of 133 pM vs 86.6 pM in adults, which is most likely due to the higher erythroid progenitor cell mass per kilogram of body weight in infants. The parallel linear elimination was found to be more dominant in adults, reaching 91% of the total clearance with a 500-U/kg dose compared to just 6.1% of the total clearance following the same dose in preterm infants. Thus, this mechanism-based population PK model revealed that receptor-based nonlinear elimination is the dominant Epo elimination pathway in premature infants, and parallel linear elimination is dominant in adults.

Dr. Ferguson Co-Authors Rheumatology Guidelines

Congratulations to Dr. Polly Ferguson, Division Director of the Division of Rheumatology, for being co-author on some recent guidelines published for the American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation. The guidelines are below:

2019 American College of Rheumatollgy/Arthritis Foundation Guidelines for Treatment of Juvenile Idipathic Arthritis: Therapeutic Approaches for Non-Systemic Polyarthritis, Sacroiliitis, and Enthesitis.

2019 American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation Guideline for the Screening, Monitoring, and Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis-Associated Uveitis.

Pediatrics Research Day Poster Session Award Winners

Congratulations to the following award winners for their posters at last Friday’s Pediatrics Research Day on April 5, 2019.

  • Basic Poster Winners
    • Camilla Hippee Measles Virus Exits Primary Human Airway Epithelial Sheets by Infectious Center Sloughing
    • Amy Stanford Human beta defensing-2 significantly decreases intestinal injury in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis.
  • Clinical Poster Winners
    • Jared Peterson Neurocognitive Function in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors
    • Matthew Solomon Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease is Associated with Abnormal White Matter Integrity on Diffusion Tensor Imaging.

Congratulations to all participants and attendees for another successful Pediatrics Research Day!

Carter Receives Grant from ADA

Calvin Carter, a post-doc research scholar in Dr. Sheffield’s lab, recently received a grant for “Glycemic Lowering Mechanisms of Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields in Mouse Models of Type 2 Diabetes” from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

The award provides $61,388/year for 3 years, for a total of $190,413. Dr. Sheffield will serve as mentor on the project, with Calvin as the PI.

Congratulations, Calvin!

Dr. Grose Receives New Subcontract

Congratulations to Dr. Chuck Grose in Pediatric Infectious Diseases for his new subcontract for “Identification and Characterization of Children with Asthma Associated Comorbidities Through Computational and Immune Phenotyping“.

The NIH-funded research was provided to Mayo Clinic, who then subcontracted with Dr. Grose for this portion of the grant. The grant provides $38,125/year for 4 years, for a total of $152,500. Congratulations, Dr. Grose!

SFCH Chosen as Single Site in North America for Trial

Dr. Nester’s research is in the area of complement mediated kidney disease. One such disease, C3 glomerulopathy, can be particularly devastating for affected children. Because no disease-directed treatments exist 50% of affected children progress to end stage renal disease within 10 years of diagnosis and up to 90% recur when a transplant kidney is placed.

Stead Family Children’s Hospital (under the guidance of Dr. Nester and her research team, Meredith Wisniewski and Monica Hall) will be the single site in North America that will offer access to a novel, first in class anti-complement agent (phase 2 trial) – that has the potential to facilitate a complete remission of complement-mediated renal disease both in the native kidney and in the setting of transplant recurrence.

“The major point is that there are A LOT of high powered glomerular disease centers out there (both adult and peds) – yet the pharmaceutical company deliberately sought us out to run this trial. The ability to prove that we can save a renal transplant (if we can) is HUGE!”, says Dr. Nester.

Background and further information can be found in Dr. Nester’s paper in Nature Reviews, “C3 glomerulopathy – understanding a rare complement-driven renal disease“.

Divisional Research Data Request

Data request from Donna Friel, Research Support Manager.

I am asking your assistance as we gather information for Dr. Vyas to present at the Faculty Noon Luncheon on April 1st. on Faculty Research Activity. We would like to present an overall view of our Research Enterprise for the calendar year of 2018 thru current.

Could you please gather the information requested below from your divisional faculty members and send to me by March 10th?

Here are the areas of interest:

*Publications: especially those from high-impact journals. (Please give journal name, complete citation and short description). Next year, ORCID would be utilized to gather this information.

*National and International Awards

*International Speaking Engagements ( When, Where, Group name or Organization, Title of Speech)

*Names of faculty that are or where Study section members for the NIH or Dept. or Dept. of Defense: (Name and name of study section)

*Mentoring in the Department or College of Medicine.

*Anything else a faculty member may think is important to show our research strength and growth.

Please note, we have tried collecting this information from several different sources, including APR, Noon News and Peds Express. We don’t want to miss recognizing someone on their accomplishments to our Research Enterprise. Thank you for your help.

How to return the information to me?

– in a spreadsheet from your division.

– copy and paste all of your faculty responses into one e-mail and send to me.

-forward their individual responses to me..

If you have any questions, please contact Donna Friel.

Pediatric Biostats Support Pilot Program

The Department is initiating a pilot program to provide statistical support to the Department of Pediatrics. Please see the description of the program and the form to complete if you want to request assistance, which are located on the research page of the Pediatrics SharePoint site. These are also available in the “Statistics Support in Pediatrics” folder found on the COMMON folder of the S:drive.

Please contact Kathy Mathews, MD, Vice Chair for Clinical Investigation, if you have any questions.

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!