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2015 Child Health Research Award Winners Named


Aug. 7, 2015 — The CHOC Children's-UC Irvine joint pediatric research group has selected six projects to receive the 2015 Child Health Research Awards.

The awards are intended to further the mission, vision and strategic aims of the CHOC-UC Irvine Child Health Research Strategic Plan by supporting research and collaboration in areas of excellence that align research strengths for growth and maximal translational impact.

The 2015 call for research proposals specifically solicited applications for two funding mechanisms, Pilot Collaborative Research Awards and Clinician Investigator Awards. Applications were open to CHOC medical staff, CHOC or UC Irvine pediatric residents and fellows, CHOC nurses and scientists and UC Irvine staff scientists.

Award categories

Pilot Collaborative Research Awards are intended to provide funds for projects in need of initial start-up funding to help procure independent support. These grants are designed to promote novel, translational research efforts by bringing together talented CHOC and UC Irvine clinicians and researchers from multiple disciplines to identify targets for improving the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a pediatric health problem related to the goals of the CHOC-UC Irvine Child Health Research Strategic Plan.

Clinician Investigator Awards are intended to support clinician-investigators in need of funding to advance the study of a clinically relevant topic that is likely to impact clinical practice and enhance the experience of pediatric and adolescent patients and their families. Priorities were given to proposals that are closely aligned with the research themes identified in the CHOC–UC Irvine Child Health Research Strategic Plan. Collaborations between CHOC and UC Irvine faculty were strongly encouraged, but not required.

This year we received 18 proposals, an increase of 13 percent over last year. They covered a wide range of topics and specialties. After external academic peer reviews and committee discussions, the review committee decided to fund three Pilot Collaborative Research Awards and three Clinician Investigator Awards.

Awardees named

Congratulations to the following 2015 recipients, whose awards are well-deserved:

Pilot Collaborative Research Awards

  • Principal Investigator: Gurpreet Ahuja, MD
    Collaborators: Nguyen Pham,  Kevin Huoh, Naveen Bhandarkar, Carolyn Coughlan, Joon You
    Project Title: NIR Imaging of Pediatric Sinuses

  • Principal Investigator: Tami John, MD
    Collaborators: Lilibeth Torno, Daniela Bota, Grace Mucci, Mary Zupanc, Jack Lin
    Project Title: Cognitive Training to Promote Neuroplasticity and Neural Re-circuitry in Chemotherapy-Associated Cognitive Impairment

  • Principal Investigator: Calvin Li, PhD
    Collaborators: John Weiss, Hong Yin, William Loudon
    Project Title: A Tunable Engineered Tissue Graft Model for Repair of Traumatic Brain Injury

Clinician Investigator Awards

  • Principal Investigator: Antonio Arrieta, MD
    Collaborators: Katrine Whiteson, David Michalik
    Project Title: Addressing the Fear Factor in Neonatal Serious Bacterial Infections: Distinguishing E Coli From Bacteremia, Urinary Tract Infection, and Bacteremic Urinary Tract Infection in Infants <28 Days vs. >28 Days to 90 Days Old by Pairing E. Coli Genome Analysis with Clinical Data

  • Principal Investigator: Joanne Starr, MD
    Collaborators: Richard Gates, Sharief Taraman, Mary Zupanc, Paul Yost, Michele Domico, Juliette Hunt, Tammy Yoon, Kimberley Lakes
    Project Title: Seizures and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mild Hypothermic Cardiopulmonary Bypass

  • Principal Investigators: Sharief Taraman, MD and Ruth McCarty, MS, LAc
    Collaborators: William Loudon, Frank Hsu
    Project Title: The Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a Complementary Treatment of Pediatric and Young Adults with Post-Concussive Syndrome
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