Science & Discovery

Epilepsy surgery found safe and effective in infants

Epilepsy surgery in infants younger than 3 months is safe and effective, according to a multinational, multicenter study co-led by Sandi Lam, MD, MBA, Division Head of Neurosurgery. Published in the journal Epilepsia, the study found that when performed by comprehensive pediatric epilepsy centers in tertiary and quaternary pediatric hospitals, surgery can stop seizures and lessen the need for medications in babies with drug resistant epilepsy and epileptic encephalopathy. Addressing the effects of epilepsy on the developing brain while still in infancy gives children the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Research Statistics

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in external funding

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clinical and socio-behavioral research studies

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peer-reviewed studies on COVID-19

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publications

Leading in pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials

Developing vaccines for children and adolescents is a critical step toward ending the pandemic. Under the direction of Bill Muller, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of Community & Clinical Trials, Lurie Children’s participated in a multi-center Moderna vaccine trial for children between ages 6-12. Dr. Muller and his team are currently participating in additional studies for patients as young as 6 months to help create a safe, effective vaccine. Dr. Muller and his team also published research on the risk of transmission to healthcare workers from asymptomatic hospitalized children.

New approach to prevent asthma in high-risk infants

Rajesh Kumar, MD, interim head of the Division of Allergy & Immunology, received $3 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health for a site-specific clinical trial to determine whether a specially formulated soy supplement given to infants with viral illness will prevent them from developing asthma. This will be one of the earliest precision medicine approaches to asthma prevention.

Rare gene variants tied to sudden death

Pediatric cardiologist Greg Webster, MD, MPH, published research in JAMA Cardiology showing that genomic sequencing can identify families with an inherited risk of heart rhythm diseases. Using autopsy and clinical data provided by a national network of medical examiners, Dr. Webster and his team conducted pathological and whole-genome sequence analysis and determined rare variants in cardiac genes were associated with younger age at death. Improved genetic assessment and clinical care in families with the gene variant will help to prevent sudden death in other family members.