Pediatrics In The News

November 27, 2017
Critical link between obesity and diabetes identified

UT Southwestern researchers have identified a major mechanism by which obesity causes type 2 diabetes, which is a common complication of being overweight that afflicts more than 30 million Americans and more than 400 million people worldwide. Dr. Philip Shaul and Dr. Chieko Mineo are co-senior authors on the report. Read More

October 10, 2017
UTSW/THR study investigates fitness of obese children

A study underway at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine is investigating the respiratory effects of obesity in children, including obese children who may be misdiagnosed with asthma. Co-investigators for the study with Dr. Babb are Dr. Tanya Martinez Fernandez and Dr. Olga Gupta, who hope to get more insight into how obesity affects a child's lung function and ability to exercise. Read more

October 5, 2017
CRI study challenges long-standing concept in cancer metabolism

Scientists at the Children's Medical Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have discovered that lactate provides a fuel for growing tumors, challenging a nearly century-old observation known as the Warburg effect. Read more

October 5, 2017
Good-guy bacteria may help cancer immunotherapies do their job

Individuals with certain types of bacteria in their gut may be more likely to respond well to cancer immunotherapy, researchers at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center found in a study of patients with metastatic melanoma. Senior author, Dr. Andrew Koh, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology with the Simmons Cancer Center, found that the bacteria was able to prime the immune system to attack cancer cells and kill them. Read more

September 21, 2017
UTSW lung cancer researcher named NCI Outstanding Investigator

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has selected UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researcher Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis to receive its prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award. The award includes annual funding of $600,000 for seven years to support Dr. DeBerardinis' continuing research into changes in cellular metabolism that occur in cancer. Read more

August 24, 2017
CRI scientists develop an innovative system to characterize regulatory DNA sequences responsible for human diseases

Scientists from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have developed an innovative system to identify and characterize the molecular components that control the activities of regulatory DNA sequences in the human genome. Read more

August 21, 2017
CRI scientists discover vitamin C regulates stem cell function and suppresses leukemia development

Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then regulates their function and suppresses the development of leukemia. Read more

August 2017
McCracken named Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics

Dr. George H. McCracken Jr., a pioneer on the effective delivery of antibiotics to infants and young children with infectious diseases, has been named Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics after a half-century career at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Read more

July 21, 2017
CRI scientists increase our understanding of the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders

A study by scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is providing insight into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. In this research, the first mouse model of a mutation in the arid1b gene was created and then used to show that growth hormone treatments reverse some manifestations of the mutation. Read more

July 19, 2017
A Therapy For Leukemia That Turns The Human Body Into A ‘Living Drug’ Awaits FDA Approval

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ushered in a new era for cancer treatment last week. The panel unanimously recommended the approval of the first treatment to fight acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common blood cancer in children – with a patient’s own cells. For the past few years, researchers from around the world have been running clinical trials, where they genetically alter people’s T-cells, their immune cells, to attack and shut down leukemia in the body. UT Southwestern Medical Center was one of 13 research sites in the U.S. – in fact, one of the biggest. Dr. Theodore Laetsch is a pediatric oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health℠ in Dallas. He was also one of the study’s lead investigators. Laetsch says this first-ever gene cancer therapy could be formally approved as early as this year. Read more about this study and listen to Dr. Laetsch's interview on KERA.

July 10, 2017
Do breathing issues hamper exercise in overweight pre-teens?

Dr. Tanya Martinez Fernandez, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. Olga Gupta, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care, are co-investigators on a study to determine if overweight children have more breathing limitations, intolerance for exercise, and breathlessness when exercising than normal weight children, leading to possible misdiagnosis for conditions such as asthma. Read more

June 2017
Minassian holding Westcott Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Neurology

Dr. Berge Minassian, Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, has been selected to hold the Jimmy Elizabeth Westcott Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Neurology. Read more

June 13, 2017
Researchers identify the best treatment for iron deficiency anemia in children

Dr. George Buchanan and researchers in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified the most effective treatment approach for children diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia (IDA). Read more

April 24, 2017
JAMA study, clinical trials offer fresh hope for kids with rare brain disease

A study led by Dr. Juan Pascual, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Pediatrics, and Physiology, and investigators in UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute offers novel insight into how a newly designed diet can help children cope with Glut1 deficiency. Read more

April 10, 2017
Weather-forecast tool adapted to evaluate brain health of oxygen-deprived newborns

UT Southwestern pediatric researchers have harnessed an analytical tool used to predict the weather to evaluate the effectiveness of therapies to reduce brain injury in newborns who suffer oxygen deprivation during birth. Dr. Lina Chalak, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, a specialist in treating birth asphyxia, uses wavelet analysis of amplitude EEG and near infrared spectroscopy to create a new proxy measure of brain health called "neurovascular coupling." Read more

March 8, 2017
Pediatrician is a champion for children in foster care

Dr. Anu Partap, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, saw a need to improve the system of medical care for the highly vulnerable group of foster care children being seen at Children's Health℠, and prominent organizations listened. Dr. Partap cited access to early treatment, continuous caregiver support, and safe transitions as guiding principles for the new foster care treatment facility, the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence. Read more

March 3, 2017
Research forum highlights collaborative efforts of students, mentors

Dr. Phil Shaul, Vice Chair for Research, Director of the Center for Pulmonary and Vascular Biology, Interim Chief of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, and Professor of Pediatrics, presented the keynote address at the 2017 Medical Student Research Forum, one of the most high-profile events whose key is the ongoing student-mentor relationship. Read more

March 2017
Punaro honored as Master by Rheumatology group

Dr. Marilynn Punaro, Professor of Pediatrics and Master of Fashena College at UT Southwestern, has received Master of the ACR designation from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The designation is conferred upon ACR members, age 65 or older, who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession. Read more

MOC Credit Provides "Sweet Cookie" Incentive for Improving Implementation

Clinical practice guidelines can be a very effective mechanism for sharing best practices in the treatment of many childhood diseases. In 2006, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics published clinical practice guidelines on the treatment of bronchiolitis, a common cause of hospitalization in children from birth to age 2.

Dr. Vineeta Mittal, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Health℠, worked with colleagues to discover the variation in treatment for different children who were hospitalized in their medical center with bronchiolitis. They identified gaps between practice and evidence. Read more

January 2017
Tyler's Legacy: A Tragic Start Reveals Hope and Grace

In June 2014, Whitney and Adam Zapotocky were given life-changing news. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D., a specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, told them that their baby had renal agenesis, better known as Potter Syndrome, a condition in which a newborn is missing one or both kidneys. In the case of the Zapotocky baby, it was a fatal diagnosis: even if the baby survived labor, he was not likely to live more than 24 hours.

As the pregnancy progressed, the UT Southwestern staff mobilized to surround the Zapotockys with an army of care. That included Dr. Horsager-Boehrer, Drs. Ann Lutich and Natalie W. Frost, as well as nurses, techs, and staff in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.

The Zapotockys asked about organ donation – an uncommon question from people in their situation. The timing was uncanny, as the Southwest Transplant Alliance, a nonprofit organization that acts as a bridge to provide life-saving organ transplant throughout Texas, had been approached about a clinical trial involving liver cells in infants.

"He was the first baby in Dallas to donate liver cells," said Miosotis Torres, RN, BSN, RNC-NIC. "And now there is so much hope for people who get these diagnoses, that something so heartbreaking can be turned into something positive."