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Members of the Department of Pediatrics awarded three Innovation Fund grants

Dr. Faiza Khurshid will lead a team of Canadian Neonatal Network investigators in developing statistical and machine learning models to predict bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). BPD most commonly affects infants born at very early gestational ages and can have lifelong impacts on respiratory and cardiovascular function. Once Dr. Khurshid and her team have identified the top-performing models, they will create an online tool that will allow clinicians to easily assess an infant’s risk of BPD. This information can be shared with families so that together, parents and health care providers can make informed decisions and provide very preterm infants with the best possible care and outcomes.

Dr. Daniel Mulder is the Principal Investigator on a study that will examine blood samples from patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using mass cytometry to better understand IBD disease activity. By closely examining an individual’s lymphocytes, this study will characterize IBD disease activity without needing invasive testing. Thus far, Dr. Mulder and his team have collected blood from 63 IBD patients with both active disease and in remission. They will analyze these blood samples for unique markers of disease activity by combining mass cytometry and machine learning. As has been done for other inflammatory diseases, combining state-of-the-art technology and advanced statistical analysis will allow the research team to unravel previously hidden markers of internal disease activity. This novel approach will allow for radical new understanding of IBD disease activity, resulting in less reliance on invasive testing and improved patient outcomes.

Drs. Anupam Sehgal and Lakshmimathy Subramanian (a second-year pediatrics resident) are co-Principal Investigators on a study that will examine 30 years of administrative health records housed at ICES. Together with co-investigators Dr. Amy Acker, Dr. Jennifer Flemming and Dr. Daniel Mulder, and third-year medical student Alanna Jane, their aim is to answer two questions: 1) What proportion of Ontario children and youth with an immune-mediated gastrointestinal disorder (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease) go on to develop an eating disorder?; and 2) Are children and youth with immune-mediated gastrointestinal disorders at higher risk of developing eating disorders than the general population? The answers will help to address two further, as-yet unresolved questions around the care of these patients: 1) Should they undergo routine screening for eating disorders? and 2) Should families and healthcare providers be encouraged to implement nutritional interventions once a young person is diagnosed with an immune-mediated gastrointestinal disorder?

Congratulations to the three teams on their successful applications!

Posted on March 8, 2022

Congratulations to the recipients of the inaugural
Pediatric Research at Queen’s (PRAQ) Fund!

The research awards will support the following projects, which were selected for their considerable potential to generate new knowledge and improve patient care.

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on prenatal screening in rural Ontario (Principal Investigator: Dr. Andrea Guerin)
  • Immune cell subsets from peripheral blood differentiate inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome (Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Mulder)
  • A problem-based, “hypothetical patient” email exercise teaching residents skills in the management of patients with type 1 diabetes (Principal Investigator: Dr. David Saleh)


Posted on September 8, 2021