Neonatology Division Research
The Division of Neonatology and Department of Pediatrics identified research in pulmonary hypertension and vascular biology as a priority area and the research program was established under the direction of Dr. G. Ganesh Konduri. This research is currently based at two labs, one each at the VA Medical Center and the Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Research Center. The program has had a very successful year and is currently funded by a grant from NHLBI and the American Heart Association. The direct grant support for the project totals $1,000,000 in external funding. During the current year, this research has resulted in publication of four articles and two reviews. In addition, the program trains two neonatology fellows in research methods and has resulted in two abstracts being presented by neonatology fellows at national meetings. There are currently two faculty members in neonatology conducting bench research in the labs- Drs. Venkatesh Sampath and Ru-Jeng Teng. Their individual projects resulted in abstracts presented at national meetings. The future goals of the research program include expansion of the translational research initiative to investigate the genetic basis for susceptibility of neonates for persistent pulmonary hypertension. In recognition of the research contributions, Dr. G. Konduri was appointed to the “Pediatrics” study section of NICHD as a permanent member for a four-year term. He also served as an ad hoc reviewer for special emphasis panel of NICHD and is a reviewer for the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatric Research, and the Journal of Perinatology.
Dr. Venkatesh Sampath, Assistant Professor, is an active participant in laboratory research and presented an abstract at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2007 Meeting on the effect of LPS on the oxidative stress in endothelial cells. He received a grant from the Children’s Research Institute for the investigation of toll receptor polymorphisms in chronic lung disease. His other research interests involve the role of TLR signaling in the causation of diseases of prematurity, the role of genetic susceptibility in diseases of prematurity and growth disorders, and the use of evidence based medicine to improve health outcomes in neonatology. He has also submitted grants to the AHW Foundation and the Basil O’Connor Grant of MOD.
Dr. Ru-Jeng Teng, Assistant Professor, has obtained valuable preliminary data studying angiogenesis in the pulmonary artery endothelial cells. He demonstrated that cells from hypertensive lambs have decreased angiogenesis potential and poor recovery response to injury. He has submitted an abstract to the PAS 2008 meeting and is writing a proposal for the CRI Foundation Grant.
Dr. Mike Uhing, Associate Professor and Medical Director of the CHW Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is also the QA lead for the division. Dr. Uhing, along with the help of two research nurses, maintains the nationwide Vermont Oxford Database for the NICU’s participation in this multi-centered clinical trial sponsored by the network to improve the outcomes of neonates. Currently, he is also involved in the HELP Trial through VON, Chlorhexidine trial, methadone pharmacokinetics, and QA projects with the Neonatal fellows.
Dr. Tzong-Jin Wu, Assistant Professor, has a strong interest in evidence based medicine. She is developing research projects in the NICU investigating the effect of late fluid intake on the incidence of chronic lung disease in premature babies. She is also studying the factor associated with failure of ductus to close in response to indomethacin treatment in premature babies and has submitted protocols to Children’s IRB.