(From the January 2014 issue of Research Now)
Dr. Mark Hall and his team have developed low blood volume, same-day assays that can comprehensively evaluate immune system function in critically ill children. Their work suggests that many of the most seriously ill and injured children are immune suppressed in ways that are not otherwise apparent. In addition to understanding the causes and mechanisms underlying this suppression, Dr. Hall’s laboratory has embarked on an exciting phase of their work in which they are testing therapies to reverse critical illness-induced immune suppression. Dr. Hall is the principal investigator for an NIH-funded clinical trial of the drug GM-CSF for the treatment of critical trauma-induced immune suppression. His hope is that, through patient-specific immune monitoring and modulation, critically ill and injured children can experience faster recovery with lower risk of developing new infections along the way.
Mark W. Hall, MD, FAAP, FCCM, is a principal investigator in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, research director for the division of Critical Care Medicine, and director of the Immune Surveillance Laboratory at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.