Infant health research
Infant health research sample grants
James E. Crowe, MD, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, is seeking to develop effective drug treatment for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States. Almost all babies contract RSV in the first 2 years of life, with most developing only mild cold-like symptoms. RSV is more likely to cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, in babies who were born prematurely or with birth defects.
Florence S. Dzierszinski, PhD, McGill University, Canada, is investigating how the body's immune system responds to Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that cause toxoplasmosis, as a step toward developing a vaccine or drug treatment to prevent transmission of the infection from a pregnant woman to her baby. When contracted by a pregnant woman, toxoplasmosis can result in miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects.
Paul Hruz, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, is seeking to understand how a gene may contribute to type II (adult-onset) and gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes, as a basis for developing improved drug treatments. Women with diabetes with onset prior to pregnancy are at increased risk of pregnancy complications and of having a baby with birth defects. Babies of women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of large size, birth injuries and newborn health problems.
Ho Yi Mak, MD, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri, is seeking to identify genes that help regulate fat storage, as a basis for developing new ways to prevent obesity and type II diabetes, which is common in obese individuals. An increasing number of pregnant women are obese, which increases the risk of pregnancy complications and of having a baby with birth defects.
Franck Mauvis-Jarvis, MD, PhD, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, is studying how changes in the functioning of a gene may predispose a woman to develop gestational diabetes, as a basis for developing ways to prevent it. This pregnancy-related form of diabetes occurs in about 5 percent of pregnancies and contributes to newborn health problems, and possibly, to childhood obesity and diabetes.
Alistair McGregor, PhD, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, is studying the effectiveness of anti-viral drugs in preventing transmission of cytomegalovirus (CMV) from a pregnant woman to her baby. About 1 percent of babies are born with congenital CMV infection, sometimes resulting in mental retardation, and vision and hearing loss.
Lynda A. Morrison, PhD, Saint Louis School of Medicine in Missouri, is developing a vaccine against the virus that causes genital herpes, in order to prevent dangerous newborn infections. Babies who contract this infection from their mothers during delivery sometimes develop serious infections, lasting disabilities such as mental retardation, and some die.
Joseph W. St. Geme, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, is studying a recently identified form of Haemophilus (a family of bacteria) to learn how it causes severe newborn infections, as a step toward developing an effective drug treatment. This infection poses a high risk of death in infected premature infants.
Virginia D. Winn, MD, PhD, University of Colorado, Denver, is studying a role of a gene in causing preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous pregnancy-related form of high blood pressure, as a basis for developing drug treatments. Preeclampsia occurs in up to 8 percent of pregnancies and contributes to about 15 percent of preterm deliveries.