InTouch Winter 2008




Feature Story Jane Holl, MD, MPH, attending physician and Medical Director for Patient Safety at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, and Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, is the principal investigator for the Chicago area’s involvement in the largest child health study to be conducted in U.S. history. Read more >>


Office of Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at Children’s Memorial Research Center is a unit that functions quietly behind the scenes to make all the hard work pay off — literally. OSP provides support to the Children’s Memorial Hospital research community in finding and applying for funding opportunities, managing budgets and workflows during the funding period, and complying with government and agency regulations. Read more >>



 Martha C. Bohn, PhD, a founding member of the editorial board of the journal Gene Therapy and Molecular Biology, has been invited to serve an additional four years. This new journal has been accepted with enthusiasm by the scientific and medical community. Bohn is director of the Neurobiology Program at the research center, Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, and the Medical Research Institute Council Professor in Neurobiology. 

Marcelo Bento Soares, PhD, has been invited to serve on the editorial board of Gene, an international journal on genes, genomes and evolution.
Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, presented the 5th DSR Sarma Lectureship in Oncologic Pathology at the University of Toronto in November 2007. Hendrix presented her lab’s novel work in reprogramming the plasticity of metastatic tumor cells with embryonic microenvironments to the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. The Lectureship is named in honor of Doctor Sarma’s pioneering work in developing newer probes helpful in early diagnosis of cancer and for cancer prevention and therapy.


Luigi Strizzi, MD, PhD, has joined the laboratory of Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, in the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where he worked as a Fogarty Fellow in Dr. David Salomon’s laboratory. His research has involved the role of the epidermal growth factor related protein Cripto-1 during mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. Strizzi will study the characterization of Cripto/Nodal signaling pathways in cancer and development, and the identification of epigenetic factors capable of regulating these pathways.

Research News

October 29, 2007 (HealthDay News, Washington Post) — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has issued a statement that the emergency defibrillators that have saved thousands of adult cardiac arrest victims can also safely be used on children younger than 8 years old. Read more >>

November 5, 2007 (U.S. News & World Report)
— New research has found a strong correlation between a child’s weight and the amount of sleep that child gets. The study, published in the November 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that sixth-graders who averaged less than 8.5 hours of sleep a night had a 23 percent rate of obesity, while their well-rested peers who averaged more than 9.25 hours of sleep had an obesity rate of just 12 percent. Read more >>

 Tan_InTouchWinter November 17, 2007 (ScienceDaily)Xiao-Di Tan, MD, and colleagues in the Center for Digestive Diseases and Immunobiology have identified a crucial role for MFG-E8, a component of human breast milk. The protein is important in the maintenance and repair of the intestinal lining in rats and mice. Read more >>
January 16, 2008 (U.S. News & World Report) — A study has found that the drug etanercept significantly improved psoriasis symptoms in children under 17 with moderate to severe psoriasis. 57 percent of the children and teens enrolled in the study had at least a 75 percent improvement in their symptoms, and their quality of life also improved. Read more >>

February 12, 2008 (Chicago Sun-Times)
A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology indicates that geography may have an impact on whether you develop asthma. Read more >>



Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural research symposium held in 2006, the second annual “Cracking the Code with the Bear” symposium was held on November 16, 2007 at the Hotel Intercontinental Chicago. Read more >>

 Simon_lab_group Hans-Georg Simon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, and Bernard L. Mirkin Scholar in the Developmental Biology Program at the research center, will be chairing a platform session at the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) meeting at Experimental Biology in San Diego, April 5-9, 2008. Read more >>

Holiday Outreach Campaign

We would like to thank everyone for their contribution to the Greater Chicago Food Depository campaign in December 2007. Research center staff contributed 495 pounds of food, $190 in gift cards and $100 in cash that will help feed the 500,000 hungry men, women and children in our community. The Food Depository states that the donations collected from us will help provide over 722 meals for the hungry in our community. Thank you all again for your contributions. Because of you, someone will eat today.

Tony Rankin, Facility Manager


Student News

Chris Heier, a graduate student in the laboratory of Christine DiDonato, PhD, Human Molecular Genetics Program, has won the Presidential Fellowship for 2008-10 from Northwestern. This highly competitive award is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by Northwestern… Read more >>

Kathleen Somera-Molina (Mark Wainwright, MD, PhD, Division of Neurology, advisor) received her PhD degree on December 28, 2007 from the Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences at Northwestern, with a focus on pharmacology and drug discovery. Read more >>
Kirsten Morris, PhD, joined Ann Harris’ lab as a postdoctoral fellow in November of 2007. Morris came from Rush University, where she completed her graduate training in biochemistry. Harris is the director of the Human Molecular Genetics Program, Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, and the George and Valerie Kennedy Endowed Chair.


Neil Blackledge, also of the Harris group, received his PhD degree on December 20, 2007 from Oxford University. His thesis is entitled “Characterising boundary elements of the CFTR locus.” He will continue in the Harris lab as a postdoctoral fellow.


 Children's Memorial Research Center Leadership
-- Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, President and Scientific Director
-- Philip M. Iannaccone, MD, PhD, Deputy Director for Research — Basic Sciences and Senior Vice President
-- Philip V. Spina, CRA, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
-- Ram Yogev, MD, Deputy Director for Research — Clinical Sciences

Full list>>


Profile: Mary Beth Madonna Mary Beth Madonna, MD, is an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and a member of the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program at Children's Memorial Research Center. Read more >>

InTouch is the quarterly newsletter of
Children's Memorial Research Center
2300 Children's Plaza, M/C 205
Chicago, Illinois, 60614
Phone: 773.755.6341
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