Research Retreat Draws Record Crowd

Nationwide Children's Research Retreat

Spotlight shone on wide range of discoveries, new insights and ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease and harm.

More than 500 Nationwide Children’s Hospital faculty, staff and trainees — a record number — attended the 2018 Research Retreat, which showcased the expanse of scientific and clinical investigations taking place at The Research Institute and throughout the hospital.

Under a new, fast-moving format, 32 clinical fellows and undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, staff and faculty researchers discussed their work and a total of 154 gave poster presentations. They described discoveries of gene mutations contributing to rare pediatric conditions, development of vaccines for chronic liver infections, how using machine learning and electronic health records could help predict in-hospital cardiac arrests, impediments preventing adolescents from getting medications to manage opioid cravings and much more.

Keynote speaker Wendy K. Chung, MD, PhD, Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Columbia University, laid out scientific advances and the opportunities to apply genomics to identify diseases days after birth or even in the womb. Early identification enables physicians to take action, thus preventing damage children would otherwise suffer before symptoms appear.

“The retreat highlighted excellence throughout The Research Institute,” says Dennis Durbin, MD, MSCE, chief scientific officer at Nationwide Children’s. “But, we’re not the only ones who recognize this.”

Dr. Durbin points to steadily increasing National Institutes of Health prime funding. During the first three-quarters of this year, the NIH has awarded faculty $49.4 million in grants, more than all of 2017. The increase moves Nationwide Children’s up to rank fifth in NIH funding among independent pediatric hospitals.

The increase in NIH prime funding, he says, is a result of both the growing number of faculty in The Research Institute and the world-class research being done, much of it on display at the retreat.

The retreat organizing committee included: Chris Walker, Zongdi Feng and Masako Shimamura from the Center for Vaccines and Immunity;  Kevin Flanigan and Scott Harper from the Center for Gene Therapy;  Rick Wilson, Peter White and Stephanie LaHaye from the Institute for Genomic Medicine; and Katie Campbell, Sara Marchionda, Kate Wagener, Kelly Conery, Nikki Reither and Lauren Capaci from Research Education.

Dr. Durbin offers his special thanks to the organizing committee and to The Research Institute’s Trainee Association for providing moderators for all the sessions and to the 76 faculty and postdocs who volunteered to judge posters.

Poster competition winners and the researchers selected to speak and make special presentations at this year’s retreat are listed below.

Nationwide Children's Research Retreat

Poster Competition Winners

Postdoctoral Fellow

*Winner – Ashley Jackson (Center for Clinical and Translational Research) Terminal Differentiation of the Intrarenal Urothelium Attenuates Kidney Injury During Congenital and Acquired Urinary Tract Obstruction

*Poster of Distinction – Katie Miller (Institute for Genomic Medicine) Expression profiling-based characterization of immune cell populations in pediatric brain cancers

*Poster of Distinction – Afrooz Rashnonejad (Center for Gene Therapy) Reduction of the Toxic DUX4 gene expression Through U7 snRNA-Mediated Exon Skipping: A Promising Therapeutic Approach for Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy

Clinical Fellow

*Winner – Jeffery Bennett (Cardiology) Reclassification of Variants of Uncertain Significance in Inherited Arrhythmia Syndromes is Associated with Clinical Factors

*Poster of Distinction- Alissa Guarneri (Endocrinology) Young presentation of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma arising within a Follicular Adenoma

*Poster of Distinction (Tie)

Lara Srouji (Critical Care) Early RBC Transfusion and Innate Immune Function in Children with Septic Shock

Holly Gillis (Critical Care) Novel Treatment of Cerebral Vasospasm Following Aneurysm Rupture in a Pediatric Patient

Graduate/Medical Student

*Winner – John Sherman (Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases) A metabolic checkpoint in G2

*Poster of Distinction – Gabriel Mirhaidari (Center for Regenerative Medicine) Elucidating the role of IL-10 in the host response to tissue engineered vascular grafts

*Poster of Distinction (Tie)

Adrianna P. Matos-Nieves (Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research) Identification of novel pathways for cardiac outflow tract disease via transcriptomic profiling

Bailey Dye (Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research) alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin (SMA) Expression is Associated with Heart Valve Pathogenesis

Research Staff

*Winner – Elaine Mokrzan (Center for Microbial Pathogenesis) Antibodies against the NTHI Type IV Pilus disperse Moraxella Catarrhalis from a dual-species biofilm

*Poster of Distinction – Sudipti Gupta (Center for Clinical and Translational Research) IL-6 signaling reduces intracellular bacterial reservoir to limit urothelial susceptibility to UTI

*Poster of Distinction – Sandra Glazer (Center for Biobehavioral Health) Depression in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors: An Analysis of White Matter Integrity of the Uncinate Fasciculus Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Undergraduate/High School Students

*Winner – Jonathan Bowden (Radiology) Validation of Automated Bone Age Analysis from Hand

*Poster of Distinction – Anand Shankar (Radiology) Magnetic Resonance Elastography of the Liver in Children: Variations in Regional Stiffness

*Poster of Distinction – Allen Ronis (Center for Microbial Pathogenesis) Defining the structure and function of serine-rich repeat proteins in Streptococcus oralis

Selected Speakers

*Courtney Pisano (Center for Perinatal Research/Surgery) Do breast milk exosomes decrease the incidents of severity of necrotizing enterocolitis?

*Kevin Blum (Center for Regenerative Medicine) What is the trigger for the phases of the neo-vessel development in tissue engineered vascular grafts?

*Punashi Dutta (Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research) How can we avoid surgery to better treat calcific aortic valve disease?

*Catherine Cottrell (Institute for Genomic Medicine) How is pediatric genomic profiling improving patient care?

*Darren Wethington (Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine) Can we utilize mathematical modeling to dissect basic mechanisms underlying Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection?

*Safiya Khurshid (Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases) How (and why) does the insulin receptor (INSR) gene get alternatively spliced in cancer and how can we target it?

*Alex Hartladge (Center for Vaccines and Immunity) Can a T-cell based vaccine protect against Hepatitis C and can we use a new model to answer this question?

*Jocelyn Eidahl (Center for Gene Therapy) Is the Dux4 protein a viable target for treating FSHG Muscular Dystrophy?

*Michael Weber (Center for Clinical and Translational Research) Immune suppression after traumatic brain injury with hemorrhagic shock in a juvenile rate model of polytrauma

*Pavani Beesetty (Center for Microbial Pathogenesis) How can we develop a vaccine for Staph skin infections? What have we learned to date in trying to do so?

*Tyler Gorham (Research Information Solutions and Innovation) Can we predict clinical deterioration events using machine learning and the electronic health record?

*Caitlin Pope (Center for Injury Research and Policy) What explains teens’ intentions to engage in safe driving and safe driving-related technology?

*Laura Chavez (Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice) The Opioid Crisis in Ohio: Are adolescents getting the right treatment?

*Meika Travis (Center for Biobehavioral Health) Does temporal lobe epilepsy affect the normal development of white matter tracts in the brain?

*Alejandro Diaz (Infectious Disease) Is there any correlation between Nasopharyngeal (NP) detection of Potentially Pathogenic Bacteria (PPB) and severity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection?

*Rachel Poeppleman (Critical Care) How can we better prepare families to care for pediatric tracheostomy patients?

Selected Poster Presentations

*Hibo Abdi (Center for Perinatal Research/Surgery) Gabapentin use for hospitalized neonates

*John Kelly (Center for Regenerative Medicine) Short term evaluation of a tissue engineered vascular graft by magnetic resonance imaging in a translational sheep model

*Rainda Breikaa (Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research) Endothelial cell-specific deletion of Jag1 attenuates Notch signaling in concentric smooth muscle cell layers in the adult vasculature

*Kathleen Schieffer (Institute for Genomic Medicine) Somatic mosaicism of SLC35A2 p.Ser212fs*9 in brain tissue in a case of intractable epileptic spasms

*Maksim Kouza (Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine) Kinetics and mechanical stability of the fibril state control fibril formation time of polypeptide chains: Insights from all-atom simulations

*Meisam Naeimi Karaoudi (Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases) The first report of genetic modification of NK cells opens a new era of cancer immunotherapy

*Shibi Lithke (Center for Gene Therapy) Intra-thecal scaav9-CLN3 administration: Potential gene therapy for CLN3-Batten disease

*Kristin Bender (Center for Clinical and Translational Research) Ribonuclease 7 protects host against uropathogenic E. coli in vivo

*John Buzzo (Center for Microbial Pathogenesis) Extracellular Z-DNA and not B-DNA is the important extracellular DNA configuration that maintains the structural integrity of mature biofilms

*Nichole Asa (Center for Injury Research and Policy) Horseback Riding Related Injuries; Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

*Samantha Boch (Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice) Housing quality, neighborhood safety, and the health of youth: analysis of the survey and income program participation (SIPP) study

*Anna Weise (Center for Biobehavioral Health) To attend, or not to attend: Examining parent intentions and study completion in a pediatric, randomized controlled trial

*Rita Shelby (Infectious Disease) The antimicrobial effects of Lactobacillus reuteri in protection against necrotizing enterocolitis

*Austin Biggs, MD (Clinical Fellow) Clinical application of the Deterioration Risk Index

Junior Faculty Talks

*Zongdi Feng (Center for Vaccines and Immunity) Origin and function of secreted ORF2 in hepatitis E virus infection

*Dan Koboldt (Institute for Genomic Medicine) Genome sequencing for discovery and diagnosis in rare pediatric disorders

*Nancy Liao (Department of Hospital Medicine) Problem list review improvement in two high volume inpatient services