Research Center News: Press Releases and Media Coverage

 Return to News Page

Press Releases

hESC hiPSC cartoon

Comparison of expression profiles between hESC and hiPSC lines. 
Image courtesy of Vasil Galat, PhD.

June 18, 2010 -- EurekAlert! ESC & iPSC News Top Story

Therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells

Are stem cells ready for prime time?

The therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells has been an intense focus of study and discussion in biomedical research and has resulted in technologies to produce human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Derived by epigenetic reprogramming of human fibroblasts, these hiPSCs are thought to be almost identical to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and provide great promise for patient-tailored regenerative medicine therapies. However, recent studies have suggested noteworthy differences between these two stem cell types which require additional comparative analyses.

Scientists at Children's Memorial Research Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine investigated the expression of key members of the Nodal embryonic signaling pathway, critical to maintaining pluripotency, in hiPSC and hESC cell lines. Nodal is an important morphogen – a soluble molecule that can regulate cell fate – in embryological systems that requires tight regulatory control of its biological function.

Read the full press release.

 

Peter F. Whitington

Whitington receives the 2010 CLF/CASL Sass‐Kortsak Award

Chicago, Illinois, December 14, 2009 — Peter F. Whitington, MD has been named the recipient of the 2010 Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF)/Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) Sass‐Kortsak Award for sustained excellence in pediatric liver‐related research. The award will be presented at the 2010 Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW) in Toronto, Ontario on February 28. Whitington is director of the Siragusa Transplantation Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine; and the Sally Burnett Searle Professor of Pediatrics and Transplantation.

Read the full press release.

Christopher Ott and Ann Harris

Hidden signals in a well-studied gene

Chicago, Illinois, November 9, 2009 — For the past 20 years, regulatory mechanisms controlling a large gene that is mutated in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients have eluded scientists. CF is a severe genetic disease that results in lung damage and nutritional deficiencies. Although treatments for CF patients have improved, therapeutics that target the underlying cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) defect could make a major difference to the health and longevity of these individuals.

In a study published online on November 6, 2009 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0908755106) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), the laboratory of Ann Harris, PhD has found that the CFTR gene adopts a very specific three-dimensional conformation in cells that express the gene and thus are affected by the disease.

Read the full press release.

 Amira ad  Image from Topczewski laboratory featured by Visage Imaging

An image created by postdoctoral fellow Rodney Dale, PhD and researcher Jacek Topczewski, PhD is being featured by Visage Imaging, Inc®. This is a confocal microscopy image highlighting the nucleus and cells of an embryonic zebrafish cartilage element. The image was rendered with Amira visualization software by Visage Imaging. At its 2009 annual meeting in Chicago, the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) distributed copies of its publication, the Journal of Neuroscience, and the image was included. The SfN meeting typically draws approximately 30,000 attendees. Jacek Topczewski, PhD and Rodney Dale, PhD are members of the Developmental Biology Program of Children's Memorial Research Center. Topczewski is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. To learn more about the Topczewski laboratory, please visit: https://childrensmrc.org/topczewski/.
Jhumku Kohtz

Control of development and disease from an unlikely source

Chicago, Illinois, August 17, 2009 — Can mental disorders result from altered non-coding RNA-dependent gene regulation during embryonic development? This is a question posed by Jhumku Kohtz, PhD, of Children’s Memorial Research Center. Kohtz, along with her laboratory and colleagues at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, has published research in the August 2009 issue of Nature Neuroscience that finds for the first time that a non-coding RNA (ncRNA) called Evf2 is important for gene regulation and the development of interneurons that produce GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. The absence or reduction of GABA is implicated in different psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, and Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

Read the full press release.

Vasil Galat 

Uncovering stem cell biology

Chicago, Illinois, July 30, 2009 — Vasil Galat, PhD, HCLD, with Philip M. Iannaccone, MD, PhD of Children’s Memorial Research Center and Bert Binas of Texas A&M University have been studying extraembryonic endoderm precursor (XEN-P) cells, a type of stem cell that displays a unique molecular signature sharing some of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, trophoblast stem cells and extraembryonic endoderm stem cells. In a paper published online in the May 2009 issue of Stem Cells and Development, they demonstrate that these cells integrate not only into the visceral and parietal extraembryonic endoderm lineages as observed before, but also into the inner cell mass (ICM), the primitive endoderm, and the polar and mural trophectoderm of cultured embryos.

Read the full press release.

Jill Morris and Kate Meyer

A genetic basis for schizophrenia

Chicago, Illinois, July 8, 2009 — Schizophrenia is a severely debilitating psychiatric disease that is thought to have its roots in the development of the nervous system; however, major breakthroughs linking its genetics to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment are still unrealized. Jill A. Morris, PhD studies a gene that is involved in susceptibility to schizophrenia, Disc1 (Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1). Two recent publications by Morris and colleagues focus on the role of Disc1 in development, particularly the migration of cells to their proper location in the brain and subsequent differentiation into their intended fate.

The first paper, published in the July 2009 online issue of the journal Development followed the role of Disc1 in cranial neural crest (CNC) cells, which are multi-potent cells that give rise to multiple cell types including craniofacial cartilage and the peripheral nervous system during development. The second paper, published in the June 2009 online issue of Human Molecular Genetics studied the hippocampus, a brain area that is involved in learning and memory, and is also associated with the pathology of schizophrenia.

Read the full press release.

Bento Soares

Research center becomes a member of GeneGo's Metaminer Stem Cell Partnership Program

St. Joseph, Michigan, April 14, 2009 — GeneGo, Inc., the leading systems biology tools company, announced today that Marcelo Bento Soares, PhD of Children’s Memorial Research Center has joined the MetaMiner Stem Cell Partnership Program. The goal of the program is to develop a series of blue print pathway maps for adult, embryonic, fetal, fibroblasts, hematopoietic, mesenchymal, multipotent, neoplastic, pluripotent and totipotent stem cells.

Read the full press release.

William Tse

Researchers at Children’s Memorial Hospital propose a new model of stem cell memory and plasticity

Chicago, Illinois, March 23, 2009 — How does a human cell remember its past and decide its future? This is a six million dollar question that biomedical researchers have long sought to answer in their attempts to control cell fate and develop better cellular therapy. Working with human bone marrow stem cells that can turn into bone or muscle, researchers at Children's Memorial Research Center, led by William T. Tse, MD, PhD, have recently demonstrated how these cells juggle decision-making processes that determine their fate. They showed that these stem cells respond to environmental stimulation by producing bone- or muscle-forming factors. The research was published in the April 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Read the full press release.

Karen Gouze

Integrative module-based family therapy: Combining the "art" and "science" of family therapy

Chicago, Illinois, November 12, 2008 — The field of marriage and family therapy is currently at a crossroads. The challenge for contemporary therapists is how to incorporate the wisdom of previous models of family assessment and treatment for child and adolescent emotional and behavior disorders with the accountability that comes from evidence-based practice. The integrative, module-based family treatment model (IMBFT) provides a formalized series of steps that clinicians can use in their case planning and implementation. It is based on nine clinically relevant modules for assessment and intervention that are consistent with current best practices and empirically supported treatments.

Developed by Karen R. Gouze, PhD, and Richard Wendel, DMin, IMBFT guides therapists through a number of layers of analyses, or modules, in considering assessment issues relevant to child, adolescent, adult, and family functioning. This process allows therapists to access and integrate evidence-based methods within a comprehensive treatment plan that is sensitive to both the art of clinical judgment and the developing science of family therapy.

Read the full press release.

Joon Won Yoon and David Walterhouse

Defining a developmental pathway for medulloblastoma

Chicago, Illinois, October 7, 2008 —Medulloblastoma, a rapidly growing tumor of the cerebellum, accounts for almost 1 in 5 of all childhood brain tumors1. Younger children have poor outcomes, while those who survive are at risk for long-term neurological effects. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms of medulloblastoma is necessary in order to develop better therapies for this devastating disease2. Previous research has shown that the GLI1 oncogene, part of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway, is overactive in a subset of medulloblastomas. In a publication in the International Journal of Cancer, Joon Won Yoon, PhD, David Walterhouse, MD, and colleagues studied changes in gene expression profiles in experimental cells transformed by GLI1. They compared the genes they identified to those found in the medulloblastomas with activation of the Shh pathway. Of the 25 resulting genes, several hold possibilities for further study. One of these is CXCR4, which plays a role in cerebellar development and whose expression may re-initiate developmental programs that contribute to medulloblastoma. Another is p53, a tumor suppressor. The group identified a mutation in the p53 gene in their experimental cells, suggesting that inactivation of p53 may shift the balance toward cell survival and proliferation in this subset of medulloblastomas.

Read the full press release.

Robert Garofalo

Family-based HIV prevention study of young men who have sex with men

CHICAGO, Illinois, July 7, 2008 — Is it time for HIV prevention programs for young men who have sex with men to involve families and parents – similar to approaches used for other adolescent/young adult populations? This is the question asked by a team of investigators at Children's Memorial Hospital, Howard Brown Health Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago. HIV surveillance data suggest that in the U.S., the majority of HIV-infected adolescent males and young adult men are infected through having sex with other men. However, there are few intervention efforts targeting this vulnerable population, and no family-based approaches, despite the fact that these approaches have shown promise with other groups of young people. Rob Garofalo, MD, MPH, is lead author on the study.  It was published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Read the full press release.

John Lavigne

Therapies for oppositional defiant disorder depend on family characteristics

Chicago, Illinois, May 22, 2008 — Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is the most common psychiatric disorder among preschool children, and sometimes leads to conduct disorder. Relatively few preschool children with ODD are treated in the mental health service system, and the need to extend treatment services to other settings is increasingly being recognized.

In two studies published in the June 2008 issue of Journal of Pediatric Psychology, John V. Lavigne, PhD and colleagues tested two types of therapies for ODD: minimal intervention bibliotherapy treatment (MIT), or a 12-session parenting program led by a nurse or psychologist. The team found that MIT was as successful as therapist-led treatment unless parents attend a significant number of sessions. Treatment success depends on degree of pre-treatment dysfunction, gender of the child and other factors.

Read the full press release.


Media Coverage

CenterPiece_Spring2010 
On the cover of CenterPiece: Confocal microscopy image of a head of four-
day-old zebrafish embryo.  Image
courtesy of Jacek Topczewski, PhD.

CenterPiece features work of Morris and Topczewski

CenterPiece, a magazine about research scholarship, collaboration, and outreach at Northwestern University, highlights the zebrafish work of Jill Morris, PhD and Jacek Topczewski, PhD in its Spring 2010 issue.  In the story, "Fishing for Answers", publications editor Amanda Morris discusses Morris' research on the Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC-1) gene and Topczewski's work on craniofacial defects.  Both use zebrafish, an increasingly popular model organism, in their research.  Topczewski is also highlighted as the manager of Children's Memorial Research Center's Fish Facility, "the biggest fish facility affiliated with Northwestern".  The story also features David McLean, PhD, and Sergei Revskoy, MD, PhD, both of Northwestern University.  Morris is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Human Molecular Genetics Program of the research center.  Topczewski is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School and a member of the Developmental Biology Program of the research center.

 

Debra Weese-Mayer American Thoracic Society Issues Statement on Disorder of Respiratory and Autonomic Nervous System Regulation

ATS has released a new official clinical policy statement on congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a disorder of respiratory and autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation. The ANS regulates reflexive acts, including heart rate and blood pressure, digestion, body temperature and pain perception. The statement appears in the March 15, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In 2003, a gene called PHOX2B was found to be the disease-defining gene for CCHS. The specific manner in which the gene mutates predicts the severity and form of the disease. “This discovery confirmed what we had long believed to be true: first, that CCHS is a genetic disorder; second, that the gene responsible for CCHS has a key role in the early embryology of the ANS; third, that inheritance of CCHS and the PHOX2B mutation is autosomal dominant; fourth, that the nature of the PHOX2B mutations can explain the spectrum of the CCHS,” explained Debra E. Weese-Mayer, MD, who chaired the committee that wrote the guidelines. “The discovery that PHOX2B is the gene that defines CCHS offers endless opportunities in terms of basic science inquiry and clinical care — all with the long-term goal to improve quality of life for these patients.”

Neurology Today Interview

Weese-Mayer was interviewed by Neurology Today about a February 2010 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that identified abnormalities in serotonin (5-HT) and tryptophan hydroxylase levels, and significantly reduced 5-HT receptor binding in the brains of babies who had died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Weese-Mayer said “As proposed previously, and confirmed in this new manuscript, there is likely a spectrum of serotonin deficiency such that some babies will need to be exposed to modifiable risk factors to succumb to SIDS but others will die regardless of risk factor exposure. It was this logic that originally led us to consider a genetic basis for SIDS.” Weese-Mayer is Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Medical director, Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital and a member of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of Children's Memorial Research Center.
Jenifer Cartland

Tackling the race gap in infant mortality

April 9, 2010 -- WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio

It’s the stuff of nightmares – a parent goes to check on a sleeping infant, only to find that the worst has happened. Sleep-related infant deaths have been on the decline in the U.S. But new research shows the problem around Chicago is more complicated. African-American infants in Cook County are 12 times more likely to die of sleep-related causes than white babies. Researchers aren’t sure why – but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to do something about it.

Jenifer Cartland is a professional number cruncher. But when she uncovered the huge disparity in sleep-related infant deaths, she had to run it by a few people.
CARTLAND: Because I wanted to make sure it was accurate before I would go out with something that was so shocking.
Cartland runs the Child Health Data Lab at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. And unfortunately, she didn’t find any math errors. The numbers aren’t huge – but they’re unevenly spread. Listen to the story.

CHDLHomePg
Karen Sheehan, Maryann Mason and Jenifer Cartland, Child Health Data Lab

Racial disparity seen in infant sleep deaths

March 28, 2010 -- Chicago Tribune

African-American infants in Cook County are 12 times more likely to die of sleep-related causes than white infants, according to researchers at Children's Memorial Research Center. Sleep-related deaths include sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), unintentional suffocation in bed and those in which the cause was undetermined but investigations found that the infant died during sleep. When researchers took a closer look at the undetermined deaths, they found an even more striking racial disparity: African-American infants were almost 17 times more likely to die of unknown sleep-related causes. In most cases, the infants had been sleeping in unsafe situations that put them at risk, such as being placed in a bed with a parent. Read the full story.

Research shows Chicago teens exercise less than teens statewide

Chicago--- A new study by Children's Memorial Research Center finds that fewer than one-third of Chicago teens exercise, compared to the Illinois average of slightly fewer than half. As a result, researchers fear Chicago’s youth could be at risk for chronic illness as adults.

The research, conducted by Jenifer Cartland, PhD, director of the research center’s Child Health Data Lab, and Tracie L. Smith, MPH, Child Health Data Lab, reveals the percentage of Chicago teens participating in the amount of physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strikingly low. The CDC recommends a number of activities including running or walking 60 minutes a day to improve one’s bone strength, reduce fat, maintain weight and increase mental health. Read the full story.

February 16, 2010
Listen to WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio's coverage of the story.

Alexis Thompson Studies Investigate Emerging Trends and Treatment Options for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

December 6, 2009 — PRNewswire-USNewswire (Source: American Society of Hematology)

Sickle cell disease, a condition characterized by deformed and dysfunctional red blood cells, is one of the most common genetic blood disorders affecting millions of people around the world, including more than 70,000 Americans. Research presented at the 51st annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology highlights intriguing studies on the acute danger that the H1N1 pandemic presents for children with this blood disorder, evaluations of both new and standard treatments for common complications of sickle cell disease, and an expansion of the current understanding of hemoglobin expression in red blood cells that may lead to new treatments.
“Treatment for sickle cell disease consists primarily of life-long supportive care, with the only cure being bone marrow transplantation — a risky procedure that is not readily available for most patients,” said Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH, moderator of the press conference, director of Hematology Services at Children’s Memorial; Associate professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; a member of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of the research center; and A. Watson and Sarah Armour Chair of Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. “Therefore, research in this area is particularly important to help ensure that improved therapies continue to be developed and that patients with sickle cell disease have access to the best possible care.”
Cynthia LaBella 

September 1, 2009 — Chicago Sun-Times

Girls who play sports in Chicago’s public schools are getting an assist from Children’s Memorial Hospital. For the fifth year, the hospital is offering free training to city schools coaches on preventing knee injuries in female athletes by teaching them warm-up exercises that improve muscle control and coordination. Girl athletes — especially those who play basketball and soccer — are as much as six times more likely than boys to injure the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, which helps control rotation of the knee. That’s because girls “don’t seem to use their muscles as well as boys do to control their knees during sports activities,” says Dr. Cynthia LaBella, medical director of Children’s Memorial’s Institute for Sports Medicine, which is providing the training. The Knee Injury Prevention Program — called KIPP — teaches coaches and athletes a 15-minute warm-up drill that emphasizes proper alignment of the toes, knees and hips when jumping, changing directions and performing other movements on the field or on the court. The program is geared toward middle school and high school-age girls. The initial research on girls who have taken part in the program has been promising.

by Monifa Thomas, Health Reporter

Seth Corey  October 6, 2009 — adapted from Northwestern News

Think of a protective fence that blocks the neighbor’s dog from charging into your backyard. The body, too, has fences — physical and biochemical barriers that keep cells in their place. When breast cancer spreads or metastasizes, it crashes through the body’s protective fences. The disease becomes fatal when it travels outside the mammary ducts, enters the bloodstream and spreads to the bones, liver or brain. Until now, drugs that try to stem the uncontrolled division of cancer cells within the ducts existed, but no drugs specifically targeted the invasion and spread of breast cancer to the organs. Seth Corey, MD, MPH has found a way to strengthen the breast’s “fence” to prevent cancer from metastasizing. He has discovered that when the leukemia drug dasatinib is combined with the breast cancer drug doxorubicin, the potent mix inhibits cell invasion by half in breast cancer cells. “This is an entirely new way of targeting a cancer cell,” said Corey. The study was recently reported in the British Journal of Cancer. Dasatinib targets an enzyme called Src kinase, which is believed to play a key role in breast cancer invasion and metastases. “Perhaps this drug could be given to prevent invasion from happening in the first place,” said Corey. “This might keep the disease in check and prevent it from progressing.” Corey is director of oncology research at Children’s Memorial Hospital, co-director of the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at Children’s Memorial and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and a member of the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program of Children's Memorial Research Center. He is the Sharon B. Murphy, MD and Steven T. Rosen, MD Research Professor of Cancer Biology and Chemotherapy and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. 

Blazowski featured in FSM Research Newsletter 
Francine Blazowski, MSW, Special Assistant to the President and Scientific Director of Children's Memorial Research Center, was profiled in the April 2009 issue of the Feinberg School's Research Newsletter.

Hendrix testifies on NIH funding before Congress
Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, testified before the United States Congress Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on March 18, 2009. Dr. Hendrix represented the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research -- a coalition of more than 300 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry. Her testimony advocated for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health in 2011 and beyond, in order to advance the new directions charted with the support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Read the full text of the testimony. 

See also the March 20, 2009 edition of FASEB Washington Update featuring Dr. Hendrix.

Rajesh Kumar  November 21, 2008 — Reuters Health

A “distressingly high” proportion of inner-city children with asthma are exposed to cigarette smoke at levels that could be harming their health. More than two-thirds of the 8- to 14-year-olds in a study conducted by Rajesh Kumar, MD, Assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School and attending physician in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s Memorial and colleagues, had levels of the nicotine byproduct cotinine in their saliva, demonstrating that they were breathing enough second-hand smoke to affect their asthma. Identifying caregivers of asthmatic children who are smokers and providing intense intervention to help them quit could help reduce harm from asthma in poor inner city children, the researchers conclude. The study was published in the October 2008 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Karen Sheehan November 28, 2008 — Washington Post (HealthDay News)

In response to the annual toy safety report, Trouble in Toyland, issued by the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH, medical director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Children’s Memorial, and medical director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, thinks more must be done to protect children from dangerous toys. “For decades, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been under-funded and lacked the resources to be proactive in screening for hazards. Parents need to carefully choose toys — especially for young children,” Sheehan said. 
Jill Morris

A study conducted by  Jill Morris, PhD  during her tenure as a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH, was featured in the November 2008 issue of The Scientist. The 1997 study, published in Science, was the first to describe the NPC1 gene, which is responsible for a rare neurodegenerative disorder called Niemann-Pick Type C. As a result of this discovery, the NIH is currently conducting drug screens for the treatment of NPC and Alzheimer’s disease. Morris is Assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School and a member of the  Human Molecular Genetics Program  of the research center.

Craig Langman

Langman's research featured on ABC 7
A Vitamin D story featuring the research of Craig B. Langman, MD, head of the Division of Kidney Diseases, aired on ABC 7 Chicago on Thursday, January 15, during the HEALTHBEAT section of the program. Click here to view the segment.


Researchers put a microscope on food allergies
December 9, 2008 -- The Children's Memorial Food Allergy Project, Inc., featuring Drs. Xiaobin Wang and Jacqueline Pongracic, is the feature story in the New York Times health section.

WGN Radio's thee-part series on the growing problem of food allergies
A three-part series on food allergies featuring Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, head of the Division of Allergy and Immunology; Rachel Story, MD, Allergy and Immunology; and the Bunning Family of the Bunning Food Allergy Project based at Children’s Memorial, aired twice daily on WGN Radio April 30 - May 2.
Go to the Children's Memorial Hospital news room story.

Hidden Wounds of Violence
Deborah L. Shelton, Chicago Tribune reporter
April 28, 2008 -- In a Chicago Tribune article about violence and its effects on children in Chicago, Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH, attending physician at Children's Memorial Hospital, Medical Director of the hospital's Injury Prevention and Research Center and Injury Free Coalition for Kids, said that some of the children she sees confide that they have difficulty falling asleep because they feel afraid. She said, "Lack of sleep leads to obesity, attention-deficit disorders and other things that feed into a cycle of poor health."

Her colleague, Maryann Mason, PhD, associate director of the Child Health Data Lab at Children's Memorial Research Center, is conducting research on the physical activity levels of children ages 5 to 10 who live in five primarily low-income black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Chicago. Her team has found that the parents most likely to keep their children indoors weren't always the ones living in areas with the most crime; they were the ones who thought the crime rate was highest. "The higher the parental perception of crime, the more sedentary the kids are after school," Mason said. "It's probably true that they are keeping them inside to play video games and watch TV." 

Return to News Page 

Back to the top of the page