The Department continues
to grow and prosper as it fulfills its missions of clinical care, research,
and education. Significant initiatives have been launched in all of these
areas during the past year, which will benefit the health of children
in our community, region, and nation.
Research activities in the Department continued to expand and encompass
a wide range of problems important for child health. This research has
been aided significantly by recruitment of new faculty, which has so
far resulted in approximately $3.0 million of new grant support from
the National institutes of Health and other sources. Research efforts
of particular note include studies focusing on the pathogenesis of parainfluenza
and herpes virus infections; the molecular genetics of congenital heart
disease; the developmental biology of the liver and biliary tract; the
pathophysiology of cholestatic liver disease; the mechanisms of electrolyte
transport by the kidney; the noninvasive treatment of congenital heart
defects; the immunopathogenic mechanisms of food hypersensitivity; the
regulation of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis; the development
of novel treatment strategies for sickle cell anemia; the pathophysiology
of bone marrow failure syndromes; and studies on the immune defense
mechanisms of the neonatal intestine. There are also a number of research
initiatives in primary care focusing on violence in the home and the
use of tympanostomy tubes in children.
The Department has confirmed its commitment to basic science and clinical
investigation that serves as the core of the pediatric subspecialties.
Our faculty will continue to apply the tools of modern molecular and
cellular biology to questions of development and physiology. The Department
is also committed to expanding its expertise in clinical epidemiology
and outcomes research so that we can more objectively assess the quality
and effectiveness of our health care to children.