Molecular and Cellular Pathobiology
|Lauren M Pachman, MD
2300 Children's Plaza, box 212
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (773) 755-6381
Fax: (773) 755-6374
Insights about infection and juvenile dermatomyositis
This research shows for the first time that a significant number of the children affected by JDM are very young. The frequent occurrence of JDM following infectious symptoms provides further evidence that an infectious agent is one of the factors that leads to the onset of JDM in some children. In related studies, we have found that early diagnosis and appropriate treatment help to improve the disease outcomes (read more)
Lauren Pachman, MD, Program Director
By far the greatest growth in external funding to Children's Memorial Research Center has been in the area of translational research, which involves the study of the role that basic mechanisms play in a clinical disease. At Children’s Memorial Research Center, clinician-scientists are studying a wide-range of pediatric diseases and conditions including studies of the mechanisms of: (i) immune recognition and regulation; (ii) injury to the gastrointestinal tract in the newborn period; (iii) single-cell transplantation approaches to liver diseases; (iv) angiogenesis and the regulation of vascular tone and tumor cell biology; and (v) mechanisms of drug resistance. While the clinical focus of these investigators may vary, the intersecting studies in the mechanisms that alter disease susceptibility and response were brought together formally in 2002 by the creation of the Disease Pathogenesis Program to foster the sharing of ideas among scientific groups.
Immunobiology/Immunotherapy are central themes of the current group of Physician Investigators. These unifying concepts apply to the laboratory of William Tse, MD, PhD, who is assessing the role of mesenchymal stem cells in repair/regeneration in animal models of muscular dystrophy. mmunobiology, specifically NF-kB, plays a critical role in damage to the premature intestine by necrotizing enterocolitis, is the subject of Dr. Isabelle De Plaen's NIH sponsored investigations. In an adjacent laboratory area, Xiao-Di Tan, MD, in collaboration with Yaqin Zhu, PhD, dissects the action of an intestinal factor (trefoil) on the function of intestinal epithelial cells, also funded by the NIH. Studies of the pediatric liver which focus on the pathophysiology of biliary atresia and neonatal hemochromatosis under the direction of Dr. Peter Whitington include emphasis on the role of osteopontin by Atul Sahai, PhD.
Immunobiology/Immunotherapy -- specifically T lymphocyte subsets, CD8+ICAM-1+ memory cels and NK cells (CD3-, CD16+, CD56+) are under intense investigation in the Pachman lab with the assistance of Maurice O'Gorman, PhD as potential mediators of an IFN-alpha/beta induced response recently identified in juvenile dermatomyositis, which responds to immunosuppression, such as prednisone. The specific mode of immune mediated tissue damage may be an important component in the development of pathological calcifications seen in chronic inflammation in JDM. Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH investigates the genetic control of platelet development and function by the study of HOXAII genes, while Bernard Mirkin, MD, PhD's group, which includes Pauline Chou, MD, Abdelhadi Rebbaa, PhD and Rama Dwivedi, PHD, studies mechanisms by which tumor cells develop resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs.
Other pediatric Physician Investigators who are not housed in the Children's Memorial Research Center building include Dr. Ann Rowley, who is characterizing the immune response and potential agent in Kawasaki Disease, Dr. Robin Steinhorn who studies endothelial cell function in the infant lung and Dr. William Schnaper whose studies focus on TGF-beta in pediatric renal disease.