Bench to Bedside

December 2013

Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Amino Acids Relieve Sleep Problems

Akiva

Every year in the U.S., an estimated 2 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), accounting for a major cause of disability across all age groups. Although 75 percent of reported TBI cases are milder forms such as concussion, even concussion may cause chronic neurological impairments, including cognitive, motor, and sleep problems.

Researchers who fed a cocktail of key amino acids to mice improved sleep disturbances caused by brain injuries in the animals. These new findings suggest a potential dietary treatment for millions of people affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI) — a condition that is currently untreatable.

“If this type of dietary treatment is proved to help patients recover function after traumatic brain injury, it could become an important public health benefit,” said the study’s co-leader, CHOP neuroscientist Akiva S. Cohen, PhD.

Dr. Cohen is the co-senior author of the animal TBI study. He collaborated with two experts in sleep medicine: the University of Pennsylvania’s Allan I. Pack, MD, PhD, and Miranda M. Lim, MD, PhD, of the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University.

While physicians can relieve the dangerous swelling that occurs after a severe TBI, there are no existing treatments to address the underlying brain damage associated with neurobehavioral problems such as impaired memory, learning and sleep patterns.

The researchers investigated the use of selected branched chain amino acids (BCAA) —precursors of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, which are involved in communication among neurons and help to maintain a normal balance in brain activity. Dr. Cohen previously showed that a BCAA diet restored cognitive ability in brain-injured mice. The current study was the first to analyze sleep-wake patterns in an animal model.

Comparing mice with experimentally induced mild TBI to uninjured mice, the scientists found the injured mice were unable to stay awake for long periods of time. The injured mice had lower activity among orexin neurons, which help to maintain the animals’ wakefulness. This is similar to results in human studies showing decreased orexin levels in the spinal fluid after TBI.

In the current study, the dietary therapy restored the orexin neurons to a normal activity level and improved wakefulness in the brain-injured mice. EEG recordings also showed improved brain wave patterns among the mice that consumed the BCAA diet.

“These results in an animal model provide a proof-of-principle for investigating this dietary intervention as a treatment for TBI patients,” said Dr. Cohen. “If a dietary supplement can improve sleeping and waking patterns as well as cognitive problems, it could help brain-injured patients regain crucial functions.”

Dr. Cohen cautioned that current evidence does not support TBI patients medicating themselves with commercially available amino acids.

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. For more information about this study, see the press release.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/following-traumatic-brain-injury-amino-acids-relieve-sleep-problems/

CHOP Research Featured Prominently at ASH Annual Meeting

Hematology

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia made a strong showing at this year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, with a number of CHOP researchers presenting data, chairing sessions, and delivering lectures. The “premier hematology event of the year,” the 55th ASH Annual Meeting featured special lectures, symposia on cancer, hematology, and genomic sequencing, and data from more than 5,300 abstracts.

Held December 7-10 in New Orleans, the conference brought together approximately 20,000 researchers, clinicians, and industry representatives. In just a few examples of CHOP’s strong showing at the meeting, Rodney M. Camire, PhD, co-chaired a session on targets in hemostasis and thrombosis, while sickle cell researcher Stella T. Chou, MD, gave a talk on transfusion therapy to treat sickle cell disease. Monica Bessler, MD, PhD, director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Bone Marrow Failure Center, chaired a discussion of the congenital disorder Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, and Mortimer Poncz, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology, co-chaired a session on platelets.

There were also a number of special talks given by internationally prominent researchers, including a lecture by Children’s Hospital hematologist Katherine A. High, MD, who discussed her decades of experience developing gene therapy.

Hematologist and Molecular Researcher Honored

For her pioneering hemophilia research Dr. High, director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics (CCMT), was honored with the 2013 E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize. The lecture and prize is named for the late E. Donnall Thomas, MD, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990 for his work developing bone marrow transplantation as a leukemia treatment. The award recognizes “pioneering research achievements in hematology that have represented a paradigm shift or significant discovery in the field,” according to the ASH.

“Dr. High is unquestionably a leader in gene therapy and has made remarkable, groundbreaking contributions to the field, demonstrating creativity, determination, and the ability to overcome numerous obstacles,” said Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, ASH president.

An internationally recognized hematologist and molecular researcher, in addition to her role at the CCMT Dr. High is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She has led translational studies in hemophilia, delineating mutations that cause the disease in patients and in a naturally occurring dog model of the disease, and reported on the first cure of hemophilia B in the canine model using gene therapy.

Recently, Dr. High’s work has expanded to include clinical studies of gene therapy for other inherited diseases, such as congenital blindness. For example, Dr. High contributed to a study of RPE65-related inherited retinal dystrophy, a rare retinal disease that progresses to total blindness by adulthood. The study team reported on improvements in vision in three adult patients previously treated with an innovative gene therapy in one eye who then received the same therapy in their second eye. And in July, a research team led by Dr. High published a study in Science Translational Medicine on their work with a bioengineered decoy designed to improve gene therapy by fooling the immune system.

In addition, Spark Therapeutics, a new “fully integrated gene therapy company” based in part on Dr. High’s work, was launched in October with a $50 million capital commitment from CHOP. Along with Children’s Hospital’s J. Fraser Wright, PhD, Dr. High is scientific co-founder of Spark. Dr. High is also a member of a number of prestigious organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In her talk at the ASH Annual Meeting, “Sailing to Ithaca: Gene Therapy’s Odyssey from Investigational Agent to Therapeutic Product,” Dr. High discussed the evolution of gene therapy.

“I am honored to receive this award from the ASH, particularly because Professor Thomas was a pioneer in the development of a novel type of therapy, bone marrow transplantation, about which many people were skeptical in its early days, but which is now a well-accepted therapy for hematologic, oncologic, and genetic diseases,” Dr. High said.

Focus on Leukemia Research

Several leukemia-related research projects led by Children’s Hospital investigators were also featured at the meeting. Oncologist David Teachey, MD, presented his investigation of autoimmune cytopenias, including Automimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, an inherited disorder that can lead to autoimmune issues and enlarged organs due to an accumulation of white blood cells. And Sarah Tasian, MD, an instructor in the Division of Oncology, presented her work on Philadelphia chromosome-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The most common form of leukemia found in children, ALL is largely curable, with a roughly 85 percent cure rate. However, the remaining 15 percent of ALL cases resist standard therapy.

Children’s Hospital’s Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD, co-chaired a special session on immunotherapy and gave a talk on his investigation of treating ALL with engineered T cells. Dr. Grupp, director of Translational Research for the Center for Childhood Cancer Research, in April published a study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing two leukemia patients achieved complete responses after receiving T cells engineered to selectively kill cancerous cells.

On December 7 at the ASH Annual Meeting, Dr. Grupp and colleagues presented follow-up results of their T cell clinical trial. Of the 24 pediatric and adult patients who were treated for ALL, 18 had ongoing complete responses at a median of 2.6 months after treatment.

One of Dr. Grupp’s patients, then 7-year-old Emily Whitehead, was the first pediatric patient to receive the engineered T cells in April of 2012. Though the treatment led to a life-threatening illness — known as cytokine release syndrome — Emily recovered after Dr. Grupp and his team were able to treat her symptoms. Since receiving the T cells, Emily remains healthy and cancer-free.

“Our results serve as another important milestone in demonstrating the potential of this cell therapy for patients who have no other therapeutic options,” said Dr. Grupp at ASH.

To read more about the 2013 ASH Annual Meeting, see the ASH website. To learn more about The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s hematology and pediatric leukemia research, see the CHOP site.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/chop-research-featured-prominently-at-ash-annual-meeting/

CHOP Research, Science Leadership Academy Form Partnership

Leadership_Academy

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and the Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a Philadelphia public high school focused on the sciences, recently formed a new partnership under which SLA students are working in CHOP labs. By being mentored by CHOP investigators, SLA students are able to contribute to a variety of studies while also getting a feel for the daily work of a career in science.

First opened in 2006, SLA is a partnership high school with The Franklin Institute that “provides a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum with a focus on science, technology, mathematics and entrepreneurship.” According to the school’s website, SLA students have been accepted at prestigious colleges around the country, including the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Oberlin College, and Colby College.

The students are working at CHOP Research as part of SLA’s Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) program, which prepares students for adulthood by giving them the chance to work in organizations around Philadelphia. Students are placed in an array of Philadelphia institutions, from the Academy of Natural Sciences to the Philadelphia Zoo.

“SLA is incredibly excited for this partnership,” said SLA’s Jeremy Spry, manager of the ILP program. “One of the goals of Science Leadership Academy is to help inspire young Philadelphians to give back to their community in every way possible,” Spry said, so this chance to work closely with CHOP faculty and staff will be “invaluable.”

CHOP’s half of the SLA partnership is jointly administered by Raymond Colliton, MS, director of CHOP Research’s Office of Research Safety, Wendy Williams, PhD, and Jodi Leckrone, MEd, director and assistant director, respectively, of the Office of Responsible Research Training.

The students are able to work in the researchers’ laboratories under CHOP Research’s Minors in Research Laboratories Policy, which establishes parameters to ensure the safety of minors. In addition, prior to being placed in the investigators’ labs, the SLA students underwent comprehensive safety training, Colliton noted.

Six SLA students have been paired with five Children’s Hospital investigators from a number of disciplines. Pathologist Yair Argon, PhD, geneticist Ian Krantz, MD, cartilage and bone researcher Motomi Enomoto-Iwamoto, PhD, gastroenterologist Randy Matthews, MD, PhD, and anesthesiologist Francis McGowan, MD, are all currently hosting SLA students. The students, who began working in October, tend to work in the researchers’ labs for two to five hours one day a week, said CHOP’s Jodi Leckrone.

“By exposing these students to research at CHOP, we hope to not only provide them with practical, applicable laboratory skills but also foster an interest in science, research and medicine,” said Dr. Williams.

The new CHOP-SLA partnership is just the latest example of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s commitment to educating the next generation of scientists and clinicians. CHOP Research offers educational programs at all levels, from those geared for physician fellows to those intended for undergraduates. To learn more about CHOP Research’s educational programs, click here.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/chop-research-science-leadership-academy-form-partnership/

One Year After Sandy Hook

Sandy_Hook

Last year the nation — and indeed the world — was shocked by the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 26 people, 20 of whom were children. Although never far from our thoughts, the anniversary offers a chance to take a moment to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and their families, and to discuss the ways The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is working to prevent such violent acts from happening again.

The shooting led to many strident calls to curb gun violence. After all, the tragedy at Sandy Hook was hardly the first of its kind. As The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Joel A. Fein, MD, MPH, noted in a recent blog post, “in 2012 alone, seven mass shootings took place in the U.S., taking 151 lives. In 2013, there have been at least five mass shootings, injuring and killing more than 40. Each year, about 2,700 children (ages 0-19) years die by gunshot and an additional 15,000 are injured.”

Despite this and other calls for action, attempts to tighten gun laws have run into opposition. But such legislation inaction hasn’t stopped Children’s Hospital from working on its own to prevent violence against children.

The Hospital’s violence prevention efforts are led by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP). Center investigators work tirelessly to “understand how violence affects the lives of kids, as well as how the physical environment influences aggressive and criminal behavior.” CIRP offers violence prevention tools, and its researchers are involved in a number of violence prevention organizations, including the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center and the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs.

In addition, in the first quarter of 2014 Children’s Hospital’s Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) will be formally introduced. Led by psychologist Stephen S. Leff, PhD, and Dr. Fein, the VPI “is a comprehensive public health approach to this complex issue that addresses multiple aspects of violence: bullying, domestic violence, and physical assault,” Dr. Fein wrote on the CIRP blog. “Our focus as a pediatric healthcare facility is on promoting a safe environment for our patients and families,” Dr. Fein noted.

The initiative includes a number of components that draw on CHOP’s leading experts and network of care, including intensive case management, crisis management, school programs, and volunteer opportunities for Children’s Hospital faculty and staff. No other institution is “better prepared to lead this very important work, which has the potential to make a difference for children in communities across the United States,” said Children’s Hospital CEO, Steven M. Altschuler, MD.

“This work is a reminder of how much leaders can do when they collaborate to reach a common goal — and of the many opportunities we each have to make a difference in our community,” added Dr. Altschuler.

Calling the right to own firearms “a freedom that cannot be taken lightly,” Dr. Fein notes in his CIRP post that we “need to develop and implement policies that focus on how to live in a nation with 300 million firearms, so that our children can enjoy the simple freedom of safe homes, schools, and streets.”

To learn more about the Center for Injury Research and Prevention’s violence prevention efforts, see the Center’s website. For information about firearm-related violence in the United States, see a recent report by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/one-year-after-sandy-hook/

Adam Resnick, PhD, Receives NSF Award to Study Novel Messenger Molecules

NSF_Award

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia molecular biologist Adam Resnick, PhD, recently received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study inositol pyrophosphates, a class of messenger molecules. A rare example of NSF support of research at CHOP, Dr. Resnick’s award is one of only a handful of active NSF awards given to Children’s Hospital investigators.

Dr. Resnick, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, first joined Children’s Hospital and UPenn as an instructor in 2006 after receiving his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he worked under Solomon Snyder, MD, DSc, DPhil. Named an assistant professor in Neurosurgery at CHOP/Penn in 2009, Dr. Resnick with his partner, Neurosurgery Division head Dr. Phillip (Jay) Storm, study cell signaling in pediatric brain tumors, working to better understand tumors at a molecular and genetic level.

With the support of this five-year award, Dr. Resnick plans to “discover and define the second messenger roles of inositol pyrophosphates.” Found in all eukaryotic cells, inositol pyrophosphates are a new class of signaling molecules that  “play roles in diverse processes,” said Dr. Resnick, who has been working with inositol pyrophosphates and related molecules since his time at Johns Hopkins. “They do novel things … they modify proteins in new ways,” he added.

While these molecules are ubiquitous, inositol pyrophosphates remain poorly understood, so with this project Dr. Resnick hopes to describe how these molecules work with an eye toward future experimentation, he said.

The award from the NSF is “extremely rare,” Dr. Resnick noted, because the agency is “very basic science and student education oriented.” Indeed, according to the NSF’s website, it is “the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities,” and is often the major source of funding in “mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.”

While Dr. Resnick has been “very involved in translational research,” at the same time his lab conducts “a fundamental level of research.” After all, in order to perform translational research scientists “have to know how cells work” first, Dr. Resnick said, so his inositol pyrophosphate project is a good fit for the NSF.

And in part because the NSF is committed to supporting “science and engineering education, from pre-K through graduate school and beyond,” Dr. Resnick’s project will also feature specific opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students to receive basic research training in the context of the laboratory’s translational science endeavors. Students will have the chance to get a “real authentic view of the importance of basic, fundamental research in the context of a children’s hospital setting,” Dr. Resnick said.

In addition to his work on inositol pyrophosphates, Dr. Resnick has been involved in a number of other investigations. He is a member of CHOP’s Stand Up 2 Cancer Dream team, is contributing to a project led by CHOP geneticist Struan Grant, PhD, investigating the genetic links between type 2 diabetes and cancer, and recently traveled to Washington, DC to advocate for continued federal support for childhood brain tumor-related research. And alongside CHOP’s Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, Peter C. Phillips, MD, and Phillip (Jay) Storm, MD, Dr. Resnick helps lead CHOP’s involvement in the Childhood Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC).

A multi-institutional, collaborative research organization dedicated to the collection, annotation, and analysis of children’s brain tumors, the CBTTC is comprised of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Consortium member institutions are currently engaged in several research projects, three of which are investigations of specific types of brain tumors, while a fourth is focused on better understanding pediatric and adult gliomas. Much of the consortium’s work is reliant on genomic sequencing, which is performed at Children’s Hospital.

To read more about Dr. Resnick’s project, see the NSF award page.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/adam-resnick-phd-receives-nsf-award-to-study-novel-messenger-molecules/

Developing a Promising Approach to Treat Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Hyperinsulinism

The “opposite of diabetes” may be the simplest way to explain congenital hyperinsulinism (HI), a rare disease in which the pancreas makes too much of the hormone insulin, causing blood glucose to plummet. Depriving the brain of the sugars it needs to function can damage it quickly, so identifying and monitoring kids with HI is urgent and active work. But one CHOP physician has discovered a new drug that may change HI patients’ lives.

Of the approximately 100 children born with HI each year in the United States, half seek treatment at CHOP’s Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center. In fact, the Center’s expertise is so renowned that it draws children with HI from around the world.

“In this country, CHOP is the only center that has a multidisciplinary team dedicated to caring for these children and doing research to improve the management of their condition,” says the Center’s director, Diva De León, MD.

Currently, about half of HI cases can be treated with medication or cured by surgically removing portions of the pancreas. For the other half, the only option is to remove most or all of the pancreas. It’s an imperfect solution; many of these children will need a feeding tube to control blood sugar until they’re 5 to 7 years old, and almost all will eventually develop diabetes.

But Dr. De León and her colleagues are investigating an alternative approach that could revolutionize treatment for HI: a new drug that can help manage glucose levels in even the most severe forms of the disease — without surgery.

It builds on a decade of research by Dr. De León to understand how insulin-secreting pancreatic cells work. Armed with that knowledge, she ultimately zeroed in on an investigational drug called exendin-(9-39), which showed success in decreasing insulin production in mice. Exendin-(9-39) is a modified form of exendin-4, a synthesized version of a protein derived from Gila monster saliva that is currently used to treat diabetes.

The results of Dr. De León’s clinical trial, the first using this drug in humans, were published in the journal Diabetes. They showed that exendin-(9-39) successfully increased fasting blood glucose and inhibited insulin secretion in nine patients. This study, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and generous donations from the Lester and Liesel Baker Foundation and the Clifford and Katherine Goldsmith Foundation, provides proof of concept that will allow for larger studies in the future and hopefully FDA approval of the medication. The center is preparing an expanded clinical study for 2014.

“It is a challenge to get funding for HI drug trials because pharmaceutical companies want to develop medications that can be used in larger populations,” explains Dr. De León. “A big part of what we have been able to do is because of philanthropic support. It allows us to do the research that we’re doing.”

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/developing-a-promising-approach-to-treat-congenital-hyperinsulinism/

Fetal Surgeon N. Scott Adzick, MD Honored with John Scott Award

Adzick

Children’s Hospital fetal surgeon N. Scott Adzick, MD, recently received an award for contributing to the greater “comfort, welfare, and happiness” of the world. Along with the University of Pennsylvania’s P. Leslie Dutton, PhD, and Robert L. Brent, MD, PhD, the former chairman of Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Adzick received the prestigious 2013 John Scott Award at a ceremony at Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society.

Established by the Edinburgh druggist John Scott in the early 1800s, the John Scott Award is given each year by the Philadelphia Board of City Trusts to “the most deserving men or women who make useful inventions” that benefit society. Past winners of the award, which has been handed out since 1822, include luminaries like Marie Cure, Nikola Tesla, and helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky.

“Each of the 2013 winners bring honor to the legacy of Benjamin Franklin,” noted Ronald Donatucci, president of the Board of City Trusts. “The was John Scott’s purpose in establishing the award upon his death in 1815, and it is clear from the groundbreaking achievements of Drs. Dutton, Adzick, and Brent that Dr. Franklin’s advice remains as true today as it did during his lifetime: ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’”

A world-renowned fetal surgery pioneer, Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Adzick has led the development of fetal surgery to correct myelomeningocele, a devastating form of spina bifida that when treated with conventional postnatal surgery can lead to lifelong disabilities, including paralysis, bladder and bowel problems, and cognitive impairments.

In 2011, Dr. Adzick and his team published the results of more than two decades of research in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed fetal surgery can significantly improve the outcomes for children diagnosed in utero with spina bifida. Their study demonstrated that two and a half years after fetal surgery children with spina bifida were better able to walk when compared to children who received surgery shortly after birth, and patients who received fetal surgery scored better on tests of motor function.

Dr. Adzick also leads CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, the largest and most comprehensive fetal program in the world, with internationally renowned specialists treating the full range of fetal anomalies.

“To be recognized with the past winners of the John Scott Medal is extremely humbling,” Dr. Adzick said. “The Wright Brothers won the Scott Medal, Dr. Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison — for men and women of science, that’s extraordinary company and extremely gratifying,” he added.

To read more about the history and background of the John Scott Award, see the award’s page.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/fetal-surgeon-n-scott-adzick-md-honored-with-john-scott-award/

AIDS Researcher Robert Doms, MD, PhD, Named AAAS Fellow

Doms

Several researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania were recently named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Children’s Hospital AIDS researcher and Pathologist-in-chief Robert W. Doms, MD, PhD, who also serves as chair of the Perelman School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology, was named an AAAS Fellow along with four UPenn investigators.

Dr. Doms and his colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania — Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, Andrew Dancis, MD, J. Kevin Foskett, PhD, and Philip A. Rea, DPhil — were among 388 scientists and researchers recently named AAAS Fellows. Elected by their peers, AAAS Fellows “are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications,” according to the AAAS site. The 2013 Fellows will be honored at the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in February, and “will receive a certificate and a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments.”

After more than two decades at the University of Pennsylvania — where he retains a dual appointment — Dr. Doms joined Children’s Hospital as its pathologist-in-chief in September. Dr. Doms first came to UPenn in 1992, and in 2001 was named chair of the Department of Microbiology. He received his MD and PhD from Yale in 1988, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH in 1992.

Much of Dr. Doms’ research has been focused on AIDS pathogenesis and how viruses enter cells, but more recently his lab has also studied West Nile Virus and other emerging pathogens. He has won a number of awards for his work, including the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The publisher of Science, the Washington, DC-based AAAS “is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.”

To read more about the recently elected group of AAAS Fellows, see the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s press release.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/aids-researcher-robert-doms-md-phd-named-aaas-fellow/

Surgeon and Brain Tumor Researcher Named Chief of Neurosurgery

Storm_Jay

Phillip B. “Jay” Storm, MD, has been appointed to the leadership position of chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Storm’s surgical practice is primarily focused on brain tumors and complex spine tumors. He has pioneered several innovative procedures and is recognized as a leader in endoscopic skull base surgery and complex reconstructive spine surgery.

On the research front, he has spearheaded an innovative collaboration with the Division of Oncology and the CHOP Research Institute in which tissue from every brain and spine tumor treated at CHOP is collected for gene sequencing.

Based on an understanding of the genetic abnormalities present in individual tumors, the goal of the Childhood Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium is to develop more precisely targeted postoperative chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This important work could ultimately change the standard of care in the treatment of pediatric brain and spine tumors.

Dr. Storm has more than 100 publications, and his laboratory has received more than $5 million in NIH grants, foundation grants and philanthropic support. His work has been published in top peer reviewed journals, including Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Storm joined Children’s Hospital in 2003 as a pediatric neurosurgery fellow. Since 2004, he has served as an attending surgeon, and is an associate professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He will take on his new role as chief of Neurosurgery on Jan. 1.

Direct link: http://btob.research.chop.edu/surgeon-and-brain-tumor-researcher-named-chief-of-neurosurgery/


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