Research in Pediatric Infectious Disease
Pediatric Infectious Disease faculty are actively engaged in numerous investigations that provide an invaluable opportunity to learn the most modern molecular biologic techniques and to apply these to common clinical problems in pediatrics. For example, we have conducted clinical trials of anti-inflammatory agents in bacterial meningitis and febrile children with asthma, diagnostic studies using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in congenital syphilis and pneumonia, and studies of endotoxin concentrations in body fluids of infants and children with meningococcal or Haemophilus meningitis and correlating these values with outcomes.
- Jeffrey Kahn's areas of scientific research include emerging pathogens, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus and rhabdoviral vectors.
- Michelle Gill, whose research centers on evaluating the role of dendric cells in pediatric respiratory viral infections, partners with the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology to evaluate the role of dendritic cells in asthma pathogenesis.
- Michelle Hsiang's research focuses on malaria eradication and elimination.
- Dawn Wetzel is involved in investigations of the entry of Leishmania.
- Paul Sue's interests are in the epidemiology and clinical features of hepatitis E virus.
Research areas include:
- The link between pulmonary infection and asthma
- Microarray analyses to identify unique genetic signatures of children with various infectious diseases, particularly RSV and MRSA
- Neonatal infections
- Immunogenetic profiles of children with various infections
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- Hepatitis E virus
- Infection control and prevention
The Division has established collaborative research programs with members of the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology at UT Southwestern. The principle goals of these collaborative projects are:
- To delineate the molecular immunobiologic basis for the pathogenesis of certain infectious diseases in pediatrics
- To define and control the inflammatory processes involved in bacterial infections, such as bone and joint infections
- To develop the immunobiologic profiles of children with infectious diseases
On average, Division faculty members publish 10-12 research papers per year in peer-reviewed journals. All fellows participate in research projects with the faculty.