InTouch Summer 2008

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Violence in Chicago: A Multi-Level Approach

In keeping with its public health, prevention and advocacy responsibilities to children, Children’s Memorial Hospital takes an active interest in reducing violence. InTouch interviewed three Children’s Memorial experts on youth violence. Read more.

Director's Message

Children’s Memorial Research Center and Children’s Memorial Hospital hosted the 4th Annual Research Scholars Day on May 13, 2008. Postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, graduate students and research technicians showcased their research with poster presentations. The success of this wonderful event was measured by the scientific excellence of the research projects presented and the enthusiasm that permeated among the trainees and attendees. Ideas for collaborative initiatives were shared, and we anticipate new projects emerging from these fruitful interactions. Read about the Research Scholars Day award winners


Awards and Honors

Sookyong Koh, MD, PhD, received the 2008 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 60th annual meeting in April. This award recognizes physicians in the early stages of their careers who have made an independent contribution to epilepsy research. Read more. 

Philip M. Iannaccone, MD, PhD, has been appointed to the advisory board of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the highest impact environmental journal and second-highest public health journal by ISI’s Journal Citation Reports®.


 Appointments and Promotions

The research center is pleased to announce the recruitment of Yong-Chao Ma, PhD, to the Neurobiology Program as assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School. Read more.

 Corey_Summer08 Seth Corey, MD, MPH, joined Children’s Memorial on June 15 as the director of Oncology Research in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant.

Nikia Laurie, PhD, will join the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program of the research center in September 2008. Read more.

The research center welcomes Christine Sullivan to the Clinical and Translational Research Program as statistician. Read more.

Peggy Jones, MILS, has been promoted to Pritzker Librarian and Manager, CMRC Communications.

Research News


The integrative, module-based family treatment model (IMBFT) developed by Karen R. Gouze, PhD, and Richard Wendel, DMin, 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. Read more.

Zoe N. Demou, PhD, has published a study in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering describing a novel technique for studying morphological and molecular dynamics in differentiating 3D cell cultures. A custom-built chamber expands the Veritas laser capture microdissection (LCM) system by enabling time-lapse image acquisition for morphological and topographical mapping of cell cultures. Read more. 

 RobGarofalo_Summer08 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, Howard Brown Health Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH, is lead author on the study. Read more.
May 11 (Chicago Tribune)— Giovanna Breu’s feature story, “Growing up with HIV,” discusses the experiences of children and teenagers who were born with or acquired the disease at an early age. Read more.
April 21, 2008— The American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young Congenital Cardiac Defects Committee and the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing have issued a statement about cardiovascular evaluation and monitoring of children receiving drugs to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Read more.
April 30—May 2 (WGN Radio)— A three-part series on food allergies featured Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, Rachel Story, MD, and the Bunning Family of the Food Allergy Project, Inc., based at Children’s Memorial. Read more.


Twelve investigators have received grants totaling $5 million over two years to lead high-impact, innovative studies on food allergy, a significant public health concern. Xiaobin Wang, MD, MPH, ScD, is a recipient. Read more.

The Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) garnered a $29 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the NIH. The award supports NUCATS’ ongoing efforts and funds five centers within the institute. Two of the five centers will be led by Children’s Memorial attending physicians. Read more.


 Kenya_Summer08 In March of 2008, Martha C. Bohn, PhD, and five other hikers raised over $40,000 in support of orphans of AIDS in Kenya by hiking 110 miles across Tsavo National Park, in blistering heat and along hippopotamus-populated rivers. The funds will go toward a number of projects, including occupational training centers for teens. Read more.
Honglin Li, PhD, organized an effort to collect donations for victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, southern China, in May. Read more.

Student News

Several research center trainees presented posters at the 8th International Meeting on Zebrafish Development and Genetics held in Madison, Wisconsin June 25-29, 2008. Read more.


Kate Meyer, graduate student in the laboratory of Jill Morris, PhD, is first author on an in-press paper in Gene Expression Patterns, entitled “Immunohistochemical analysis of Disc1 expression in the developing and adult hippocampus.” Read more.

Awards went to several Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) students who were mentored by Children’s Memorial researchers in preparation for 2007 competitions. Read more. 

 Profile: Jill Morris



Jill Morris, PhD, assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School and director of a laboratory in the Human Molecular Genetics Program, has been a member of the research center since 2003. She has been studying, in her words, “the most interesting gene in mental illness,” DISC1, since its discovery. Read more.

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